Kristen Johnson & Jeffrey Richter
Kristen Johnson and Jeffrey Richter were 16-year-olds when they met in a Jefferson City High School chemistry class. They became friends but never dated, and after graduation, more than 10 years passed before they ran into each other again. In 2012, Kristen returned to Columbia after spending three years as a “travel nurse,” taking positions lasting four to 17 weeks in cities across the United States. During the Christmas season following her return, one of her friends — who later served as her maid of honor — invited her out to a restaurant. The friend invited Jeffrey as well.
After that meeting, it took five more months for Kristen and Jeffrey to begin dating, but once they did, “we knew pretty quickly that this relationship was headed toward marriage,” Kristen says.
In fact, just three months in, Kristen and Jeffrey were picking out a ring. Kristen thought they would wait to make the engagement official until November or December 2013, but Jeffrey proposed in August, as soon as he had Kristen’s ring.
“He said he didn’t want to wait any longer, that he thought we should be engaged now and share the happy news,” Kristen says.
Kristen and Jeffrey were wed on Aug. 2, 2014, inside historic Senior Hall on the Stephens College campus. The Rev. Molly Housh Gordon of Unitarian Universalist Church officiated.
Kristen wore a fit-and-flare, ivory and silver gown by Allure. The lace top of the gown softly transitioned into cascading organza. The fitted dropped-waist bodice featured a dramatic V-neckline and a satin band accented with Swarovski crystals. Kristen wore her hair parted on the side and pulled back in a low updo of curls, which she covered with a short, simple veil. She pulled the veil forward for a birdcage effect in some photos but wore it back during the ceremony. She carried a white and blue bouquet of Asiatic lilies, gardenias, roses, hydrangeas, delphinium and seeded eucalyptus.
Kristen’s bridesmaids wore sleeveless, knee-length dresses in cobalt blue, with T-backs, V-necklines and ruching on the bust and banded waist. The bridesmaids carried an assortment of colorful flowers, including pale yellow dahlias, fuchsia mini roses, Asiatic lilies, blue delphinium and greenery.
Jeffrey wore a black Byron suit with a white dress shirt with French cuffs and a cobalt blue tie. His boutonniere was a single white rose with blue delphinium and seeded eucalyptus.
Jeffrey’s groomsmen wore their own black suits with white dress shirts and cobalt-blue ties. Their boutonnieres were white carnations with blue delphinium and seeded eucalyptus.
At Senior Hall, natural light flooded the ceremony through floor-to-ceiling windows. Instead of exchanging traditional vows, Kristen and Jeffrey tweaked some vows they found in a Psychology Today article. The readings were an excerpt from Illusions by Richard Bach and the poem Us Two by A.A. Milne.
“People told us it was the most unique and beautiful ceremony they had seen in a while,” Kristen adds. “Every aspect of our ceremony was completely original and specific to us as a couple, and we were very happy and proud of that.”
A reception followed at Memorial Union on the University of Missouri campus. The scheme was vintage and classy. Dark wine bottles served as centerpieces, holding various twigs and greenery. The bottles sat on burlap squares, surrounded with low candles and a scattering of small peacock feathers. A tag featuring the couple’s monogram adorned the necks of the wine bottles; the table’s cards used various graphic designs pertaining to the couple’s life. For example, one card had a silhouette of two cats, along with a blurb about the couple’s two black kittens. Another card displayed an anesthesia mask face and a paragraph about Kristen’s pursuit of her master’s degree in nurse anesthesia.
The reception began with dinner, followed by a fun, celebratory dance. The dance floor was full the entire evening, until the end of the last song.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better reception,” Kristen says.
For the cake cutting, Kristen and Jeffrey cut a small 6-inch cake, with white-on-white detailing. Guests were treated to an assortment of colorful cupcakes in scrumptious flavors, as well as petit fours in the traditional flavors of almond cake and chocolate.
Kristen and Jeffrey spent eight days and seven nights in the Dominican Republic at the Royal Suites Turquesa resort in Punta Cana.
Kristen continues her studies in nurse anesthesia at Webster University, where she expects to receive her master’s degree in March. She lives in Webster Groves now but will return to Columbia after graduation. Jeffrey, meanwhile, is an accountant with Clarence Jett, CPA, LLC in Columbia. He also maintains Richter Accounting LLC in the St. Louis area. Jeffrey is working toward his CPA and is enrolled in an online program at Post University.
Kristen is the daughter of Betty Johnson of Jefferson City and the late Sidney Johnson. Jeffrey is the son of Harry and Suzanne Richter of Jefferson City.
Clarice’s Bridal, St. Louis
Riversong Spa & Salon
epagaFOTO, Kansas City
The Iris & The Bee
The Trolley Co., Jefferson City
The Velvet Cupcake
International Diamond, Clayton
The Broadway Hotel
Natalie Imhoff, The Bridal Solution