Anna Gross & Matt Thompson’s Wedding

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Anna Gross didn’t really know why she was emailing Matt Thompson, except she’d had a dream about his family and just felt prompted to make contact. In the six years since they had ended their Rock Bridge High School romance, Anna and Matt had seen each other only once, at a Rock Bridge graduation. The couple had broken up in 2004 when Anna left Columbia to attend Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Anna was still in Texas in October 2010, when she sent the email, and Matt was in Florida.

Despite the distance, Anna’s email led to some phone conversations, which in turn led to Anna and Matt meeting up when both were home in Columbia for Thanksgiving. Each returned to their separate states but continued to talk, and at Christmas, they met up again and decided their relationship needed a second chance.

Within the next six months, Anna moved back to Columbia and Matt moved to St. Charles. A year later, in April 2012, Anna planned a birthday trip for Matt to Memphis, Tenn., to attend an NBA game between the Orlando Magic and the Memphis Grizzlies. Matt proposed on his birthday, April 27, at the Peabody Hotel.

Ready to begin their life together, Matt and Anna began planning a small summer wedding. Anna’s family had a vacation planned to Steamboat Springs, Colo., that August, and the mountain destination sounded perfect to Matt and Anna. They invited close family members and the Rev. Pieter Van Waarde from Woodcrest Chapel.

The wedding took place on Aug. 17, 2012, at Catamount Ranch & Club. It was an outdoor ceremony, with a dramatic view of Catamount Lake and the Steamboat Mountains in the distance. Small bunches of white tulips graced the aisle chairs.

Anna wore a white lace Anna Maier gown with a keyhole back (something new), a long white veil that her older sister had worn in her wedding (something borrowed), pearl earrings passed down to her from her father’s mother (something old) and blue Kate Spade heels (something blue). Her hair was pulled half back with loose curls and a white flower accent. She carried a bouquet of white tulips and calla lilies.

Anna’s bridesmaids wore mismatched long gray chiffon dresses and carried small bouquets of white calla lilies and tulips.

Matt wore a gray suit with a solid light blue tie and white shirt. His groomsmen wore gray suits in a lighter shade. The groomsmen’s ties were all different patterns in either light blue or light mint green. All of the men, including Matt, wore white mini calla lily boutonnieres.

Matt and Anna exchanged nontraditional vows in a ceremony that celebrated their Christian faith. They took Communion with their families and found that moment especially meaningful and memorable.

“We wanted to have Communion as part of our wedding because we wanted Christ to be the center of our special day just as we strive to keep him as the center of our everyday lives,” Anna explains.

The reception took place inside the Catamount Lake House Grille, which had a rustic lodge feel. White lace tablecloths covered the tables; rustic silver vases filled with white tulips and calla lilies served as centerpieces. Votives surrounded the vases. The elegant three-tiered round wedding cake featured smooth white frosting accented with white bands encircling the bottom of each tier and accented with large white flowers.

The reception atmosphere was one of an intimate family celebration.

“There is nothing more important to Matt and me than family, so we were both more than happy to share our special day with only them,” Anna says.

Matt and Anna chose to wait on their honeymoon, as they had already taken off a week for the destination wedding. But just when they’ll get to take that special vacation is uncertain. Only a couple of weeks after their wedding, the two learned they would be parents by their first anniversary! Daughter Harper Elizabeth-Leigh Thompson was born on May 12, 2013 — Mother’s Day!

Parenthood, Anna reports, is amazing.

“Harper is such a good baby, and both Matt and I feel so blessed to be her parents,” she says. “Our baby girl has shown us a different kind of love, which has only made our love for each other stronger.”

Celebrating with Anna and Matt are Anna’s parents, Kent and Regina Johnson of Columbia, and Matt’s parents, Donna and Ron Baxter of Columbia, and Gary and Julie Thompson, also of Columbia. Remembered with love is Anna’s late father, Randy Gross.

The Businesses That Helped Make The Day Special

Bridal Gown:
Berry Bridge Bridal, St. Louis

Hairstyling:
Off 7th Studio, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Photography:
IN Photography, Summit County, Colo.

Tuxedos:
Binghams

Florist:
One Fine Day Productions, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Band:
Steve Boynton jazz band, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Cake:
Life is Sweet Co., Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Rings:
L.C. Betz (bride’s); Gary B. Robinson (groom’s)

Wedding Coordinator:
One Fine Day Production, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

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