Months before her daughter Addie’s wedding, Jocelyn Gorlin began preparing for a prenuptial celebration at their colonial-style home on 805 Park Terrace in the Knollwood neighborhood of Hopkins.
“It was truly a labor of life,” Addie Gorlin-Han said of her mom’s planning of every detail.
Known as the 805 Party, the celebration on the eve of the wedding for the 2007 Breck School graduate and her groom Chris Han included not only the closest friends and family of the couple but also 25 of their neighbors.
“It was a culmination of the incredible childhood I had growing up in Hopkins, and that neighborhood in particular,” the bride said, adding that the neighbors have been a “big part” of her life ever since moving from Boston in third grade.
“They were so important in making us feel welcome,” she said, noting they were her first friends and her first bosses as she took on babysitting jobs in the neighborhood.
Twenty-two years ago, Jed and Jocelyn Gorlin and their family moved into the Knollwood neighborhood.
“It felt like home to me,” Jocelyn Gorlin said of the house that so closely resembled homes on the East Coast.
The 1939 colonial-style house was originally owned by the Gluek family of Gluek Brewing Company, which operated in northeast Minneapolis starting in the late-1800s.
That home and neighborhood are where the couple raised their three daughters: Addie, Rebecca and Rachel.
Because of the unique close-knit neighborhood, Jocelyn Gorlin said it was important to include them in the pre-wedding celebration at their home.
Not only were the neighbors invited to the party, but they also contributed in many ways, from lending coolers and grills to helping with the flowers and finishing touches.
“All the neighbors chipped in and gave their time and their effort,” the mom said.
She most appreciated the help of her neighbor, Fawzia Khan, and her close friend, Jodi Mooney, who helped her decorate and ensure that the event ran smoothly, particularly while she was at the wedding rehearsal at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, where the couple was wed the next day.
Building on her daughter’s vision of an informal garden party that celebrated the union of the Minnesota and Wisconsin families, Jocelyn Gorlin scoured antique stores along Mainstreet in Hopkins looking for items she could repurpose as flower containers.
“I was looking for things that would be able to be used as a container that I could use again in the future because I didn’t really want to waste a thing,” she said. She looked specifically for items that either had a Minnesota or Wisconsin connection as Han is from Madison. The couple met while she was attending college at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Gorlin’s search resulted in a variety of containers, from coffee pots to tin minnow buckets, along with her favorite find – a tin can used by the Northern Pacific Railway to put water into the train engine.
Some of the containers she repurposed by planting flowers in the spring, giving them the summer to grow before the Aug. 31 wedding. Others were used for cut wildflowers that were ordered from the Minneapolis Farmers Market, which were picked up the day before the party.
What made the dinner party unique was that it wasn’t catered and so many people pitched in to prepare for the event.
The father of the bride contributed by preparing 24 pints of pesto from basil sourced from their backyard garden. The pesto was used for the pasta served as one of the main dishes.
In addition, he made 200 chocolate-dipped biscotti to serve along with the freshly brewed coffee.
The mother of the groom also supplied an assortment of Wisconsin cheese.
Other menu items included roasted corn on the cob, locally sourced brats and pie pops in the shapes of Wisconsin and Minnesota. An ice-filled canoe harbored craft beers from each of the states, and the girls’ childhood swing set offered a convenient setup for the bar.
“It was so incredibly playful,” Addie said. The idea encapsulated the Knollwood party for her in that it was “where childhood meets adulthood.” That is also her mission as a freelance theatre director – to blur the boundaries of children’s and adult theater.
The evening continued with family, friends and neighbors dancing to bluegrass songs from the High 48s, an award-winning Minnesota bluegrass band. The festivities culminated around a bonfire on the island of the neighborhood pond.
“It was so exciting to be able to share the childhood of my house and all the people in my life,” Addie said. “It took a village to make it and it was beautiful.”
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