Jason Nguyen and Kellan Baker say ‘I do’ in one of Minneapolis’ most unique wedding venues: the Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
From Vietnam to St. Cloud to Minneapolis to a dating app, Jason Nguyen and Kellan Baker came a long way to find each other, but now that they have, they’re never letting go.
“We both knew from the beginning that each of us could be the one for each other. After countless dates between us with guys we didn’t connect with, we knew something was special when we met,” says Baker.
Nguyen, originally from Vietnam, moved to St. Cloud when he was seven years old. After attending college in St. Cloud, he relocated to Minneapolis where he currently works in sales at Agiliti. Baker, who grew up in the small resort town of Battle Lake, originally moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota and stayed to work in his current position as a sales representative in the commercial architecture and interior design industry. Lucky for the happy couple, their paths crossed while living in Minneapolis, and their relationship has only grown stronger since.
“We balance each other so well. [I’m] a little more reserved, and Jason is more outgoing. We compliment what each other lacks, and it makes us both better rounded individuals,” Baker says. “Our favorite thing is being able to laugh with each other.”
Baker proposed to Nguyen at their home while surrounded by friends and family for Nguyen’s 28th birthday, and the couple tied the knot not long after at the Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
“This building is newly built and has striking architectural features. We opted for this site because of the unique design and the ability to have an outdoor space that was covered from the elements in case of inclement weather. A narrow pathway lined with tall timber columns along the building’s south side created a perfect space for our small ceremony,” Baker says. “Our reception was at the Theodore Wirth Chalet, just around the bend from the ceremony. This building, again, spoke to us because of the architectural design. The Chalet is over 100 years old and was a perfect contrast to the ceremony, which was more modern.”
The couple had an open bar and served a Thai buffet catered by Sawatdee. Baker says décor was kept minimal to let the design of the space do the talking. “After dinner, we danced the night away with friends and family,” he adds.
Bert Jackson, Trailhead events manager of Theodore Wirth Regional Park, says Nguyen and Baker approached them with ideas of a special place for their ceremony, noting the lighting alongside the architecturally designed building provided the ideal setting for them. “We worked together to create the vision, and it was a pleasure to help them find the ultimate location for their ceremony,” she says.
Baker and Nguyen’s wedding was the third wedding hosted at the Trailhead and the first GLBT wedding, but Jackson says they are excited to have more scheduled.
“Not only is the Trailhead in a beautiful urban park setting, but we also have two entire walls of windows in our Great Hall bringing the beauty of the park inside to the celebration. Start your celebration in one of our several outdoor locations for ceremonies, from the location that Kellan and Jason originated along the beauty of the building, to more private green spaces of the park,” Jackson says. “Our reception space, the Great Hall, has Douglas Fir beam structures and ceilings, as well as beautiful custom wood tables that enhance the natural feel of the venue.”
The rental comes with tables and chairs, a private conference room for customizable staging, and an outdoor patio equipped with outdoor tables, chairs, and two fire pits. There is also a grass lawn adjacent to the patio, which Jackson says provides a wonderful area for outdoor games for guests.
“It was quite the busy day and lots of preparation leading up to that one special moment. We both felt so happy to finally tie our bonds in front of our friends and family. After walking down the aisle hand-in-hand, we were elated to begin our lives together as a married couple,” Baker says.
For more information about weddings at the Trailhead at Theodore Wirth Regional Park, visit www.loppet.org.
Photographer: Mish Ellis – Lens on Records
Date of Wedding: May 26, 2019
Dating Since: November 2015
Location of Ceremony: Theodore Wirth Trailhead Terrace
Location of Reception: Theodore Wirth Chalet
Music: Lens On Records