Kate Manion & Eric Tobben


Eric Tobben and Kate Manion found each other online. After they connected, Kate discovered she and Eric had some mutual Facebook friends, so she asked about him. The friends gave glowing reports, so on Aug. 12, 2013, Eric and Kate met at Truman’s for some karaoke — along with about 20 of Kate’s friends from Columbia Entertainment Company. In-between songs, Kate and Eric talked all night as if they’d known each other for years. They felt like friends from the very beginning and planned a second “proper” date for dinner and a movie — by themselves, this time.

Three months later, Eric and Kate spent a weekend at the historic Elms Hotel & Spa in Excelsior Springs, the same hotel where President Harry S. Truman spent election night 1948. After breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 9, Kate went back to their room and found a dozen long-stemmed roses and a card. She read the card and when she turned around, found Eric on one knee with a ring. She immediately said, “Yes!” He responded that he didn’t even get to ask the question! So then he asked, and Kate said, “Yes,” again.

Eric and Kate were wed on June 14, 2014, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. The Rev. Michael Brooks, a church deacon, officiated.

The wedding had a 1920s theme. Kate wore a two-piece sheath silver and ivory gown, with a charmeuse satin slip beneath a lace appliqué overlay embellished with embroidery and crystal. Kate accessorized with a Great Gatsby-inspired ring bracelet, chandelier earrings, and a pearl and crystal necklace that trailed down the plunging V of the gown’s back. She wore her hair in a side-swept bun with finger waves in front, and finished off her vintage look with an art deco satin headband encrusted with sunbursts of crystals and ivory pearls. She also wore a Juliet cap English net veil.

Her bouquet was a stunning cascade of green mini hydrangeas, green mini cymbidium orchids, peach-pink garden roses and cream roses with green hanging amaranthus, cream feathers and strings of pearls and rhinestones trailing below.

Kate’s bridesmaids wore flowing floor-length chiffon gowns in a pale mint green, and they carried bouquets of cream and peach roses accented with cream feathers.

Eric wore a black tuxedo with a white vest, white bowtie and a green mini cymbidium orchid boutonniere, accented with cream feathers. His groomsmen also wore black tuxes but with pale, mint green vests and bow ties and peach-pink rose boutonnieres, also accented with feathers.

The ceremony was a traditional Catholic wedding Mass. Eric and Kate exchanged traditional vows and incorporated an Irish handfasting ceremony, in which their hands were tied together using cords the bride had made.

After the wedding, the bride and groom were surprised to find a 1920s Ford convertible Coupe waiting to take them to their reception. A friend had arranged for the stylish ride.

The reception took place in the Tiger Hotel ballroom. As guests entered the hotel, they were welcomed with 1920s-inspired cocktails at an open bar and a Champagne tower.

The gift table held an antique typewriter for guests to type messages to the bride and groom; a vintage suitcase collected cards.

The ballroom itself was decorated with 1920s opulence and flair. Cocktail tables held mercury glass mint julep cups filled with cream hydrangeas and feathers, surrounded by candles in mercury glass holders. The mint and pink fabric-draped large tables alternated centerpieces of crystal trees and tall glass cylinder vases with white carnation balls accented with pearls, rhinestone sprays, green orchids, cream plumes and green hanging amaranthus, which were draped with.

The couple’s first dance was to “Cheek to Cheek,” a song written by Irving Berlin, sung by Fred Astaire and danced to by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the 1935 movie “Top Hat.” A local professional ballroom dancer choreographed Kate and Eric’s performance, which drew wild cheers from the guests.

The celebration continued with dancing and libations. Guests enjoyed Champagne in vintage coupes, a glass popular in the 1920s, and as a token of their thanks and to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition, the bride and groom gave guests bottles of home-brewed cream ale.

Kathleen Manion, mother of the bride, created the four-tiered wedding cake. The tiers alternated between square and round; each tier had its own design, incorporating silver and gold art deco fans, gold dust, crystal jewels, pearls and the couple’s monogram. Green cymbidium orchids and pink garden roses served as the topper.

The groom’s cake, also made by Kate’s mother, was decorated like a 1920s St. Louis Cardinals World Series jersey.

The day after the wedding, Kate and Eric left for a 10-day honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii. They stayed in a condo in sunny southern Poipu and in a bed and breakfast in northern Hanalei. Their island exploration included a helicopter tour with a landing at Jurassic Falls, hiking part of the Kalalau Trail, sunset cruises, snorkeling and visiting a variety of beaches off the beaten path.

Kate and Eric make their home in Columbia and are expecting their first baby — a “honeymoon baby,” Kate says with a smile — in March.

Kate is the daughter of Tom and Kathy Manion of Rolla and is as a third-grade teacher at Derby Ridge Elementary School. Eric is the son of Dave and Lucy Tobben of Washington, Mo., and serves as a correctional officer with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.


Norman’s Bridal, Lebanon

Norman’s Bridal, Lebanon

Men’s Wearhouse

Green Meadows Hair Co. & Spa

David Owens Photo-Graphy

Kent’s Floral Gallery

Allen’s Flowers

Anju Chandy, pianist; Ryan Kenny, vocalist; Debbie Priesmeyer of Rolla, vocalist

Kathleen Manion of Rolla, bride’s mother

Josh Stacy, Public House Brewing Co., Rolla

Bleu Restaurant

Helzburg Diamonds

Benjamin Hedrick

Lucy Holden with Ballroom Rendezvous – Como Ballroom & Latin Dancesport

Botanicals, St. Louis

Bed Bath & Beyond; Macy’s