The Wedding Planner Spring 2009
Meet The Wedding Guys
Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar, known as The Wedding Guys® are recognized internationally as leading authorities on wedding celebrations. Their fun, energetic personalities, keen eye for detail, and passionate love for all things wedding gives couples a fresh new approach to wedding planning.
The Wedding Guys bring years of industry knowledge and trend-forward expertise to Twin Cities couples. They associate and collaborate with leading international couture bridal gown designers—keeping a pulse on fashion trends—while actively working with trendsetting artisans, designers, couturiers, and producers who are leaders in their respective fields.
Each year they create The Wedding Directory, a 400-page wedding planner published by Twin City Bridal Association. This tool helps couples think beyond the norm and create a wedding that is uniquely their own.
Twin City Bridal Association’s website, www.TwinCityBridal.com, is sophisticated, elegant, and known for being an extremely helpful local planning tool. Each year The Wedding Guys answer thousands of questions from around the world as part of their online Q&A, with questions ranging from wedding day etiquette to how to handle stressful family situations. The site is easy to navigate for researching and contacting local wedding experts.
The Wedding Guys also design and host three one-of-a-kind events. The “Love Is A Cure Breast Cancer Benefit,” held in February, features a silent auction of wedding items donated by industry experts. “The Engagement Party,” held in November, focuses on engaged couples and features a talk show format on the hottest and most requested topics. The yearly “Trend Wedding” has become The Wedding Guys’ signature international award-winning event and the most celebrated wedding giveaway in the country. One lucky couple will win a wedding designed especially by The Wedding Guys; a dream wedding featured in the local and national media. Trend Wedding has been featured in Inside Weddings, a national bridal magazine, and awarded the international ISES Esprit Award for “Best Wedding.”
The Wedding Guys are passionate about the wedding industry and the toy a wedding celebration brings. This same passion drives Trettel and Vassar to devote their personal time to charity. From meeting one-on-one with couples over dinner p answering questions or giving to creative insight, to actually planning an entire wedding, their donations have raised thousands of dollars for local charities. They recently donated a wedding to Mercedes Gorden, a 35\tv bridge survivor, and her fiancé, Jake Rudh. Read on for more details.
Building a Bridge
Between Two Lives
In 2006, when Wedding Guys® Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar sat down to discuss wedding plans with Mercedes Gorden and Jake Rudh, the term “structurally unsound” was almost unheard of. The I-35W bridge was just another bridge crossing the Mississippi. Mercedes and Jake were newly engaged and excited about planning their wedding.
They were at Solera, sitting across from The Wedding Guys, because they had bid on (and won) a charity event’s silent auction item—the chance to sit down to a wedding planning dinner with industry specialists’ The Wedding Guys. During the four-hour planning session, The Wedding Guys shared ideas on how the couple could customize their wedding. The Wedding Guys gave them tips about invitations, flowers, catering, and decor.
When they left the dinner, The Wedding Guys just assumed that Mercedes and Jake would continue on with their wedding plans.
Mercedes ran into The Wedding Guys at the Graves 601 Hotel during the November 2007 Butterball, a charity event with a mission to raise money for community nutrition and hunger programs. It had been a year since she’d last seen them. The reintroduction was confusing at first, because Bruce didn’t recognize Mercedes. The last time he saw her she was walking. This time she was in a wheelchair.
When he asked why she was in a wheelchair, she responded, “I was on the 35W bridge when it collapsed.”
It’s a miracle that Mercedes is alive. On August 1, 2007, she was traveling northbound on her way home from work as a human resources professional when the now infamous 35W bridge went down. Her car plunged six and a half stories into the stone bridge support and was rammed by several other vehicles following behind her. She was pinned in her car for an hour before help came.
Mercedes’ injuries included a broken back, shattered bones in her legs, and a fractured spine. Her doctor said her injuries were equivalent to a person jumping from an airplane without the para-chute opening.
She was in the hospital for five week underwent numerous surgeries, and a back brace for three months, then spent more time healing in a wheelchair. It took her four months to walk again. Needless to say, their wedding plans were put on hold while Mercedes recovered from the physical and emotional aftermath and Jake rearranged his schedule to become her loyal caretaker.
After hearing all that this resilient couple had been through, Bruce and Matthew’s initial reaction was to help with their wedding in some fashion. They talked to friends in the wedding industry and asked if they’d be willing to pitch in and donate their time, talents, and services. The ball gathered momentum as more and more event partners expressed an interest in donating items and services for the wedding.
“We feel blessed and fortunate to have so many wedding industry friends willing to help a couple they had never met get through such a difficult time,” Bruce comments. “As we told our friends the story, each of them said, ‘Count me in’ before we even asked them to come on board.”
A week later, The Wedding Guys sent a vague e-mail to Mercedes and Jake saying they would like to help with the wedding—that was all the information they divulged. They met at Clubhouse Jager, where Jake DJs on Wednesday nights. Jake and Mercedes were eager to hear how The Wedding Guys were going to help, but didn’t have a clue just how much they were going to help.
“The key fact is that they never once asked us for anything. We offered to help them,” Bruce says.
When Bruce and Matthew started talking to Mercedes and Jake, Bruce told them that they wanted to help by donating special table linens or something, but after a lot of thought, The Wedding Guys decided instead to give them a wedding.
“Your wedding will be taken care of,” Matthew explained to the (now speechless) couple. “You won’t have to do anything.”
“It was so touching to see their reactions,” Bruce remembers. “I think all of us were practically in tears.”
After months of putting their wedding on the back burner to concentrate on Mercedes’ emotional and physical recovery, the news was almost too good to be true.
Mercedes had purchased her dress before the accident, a gorgeous gown designed by Carmen Marc Valvo, but had yet to find a veil. That’s where Wedding Gown Care Specialist Karen Boehn came in. Karen created a beautiful Spanish flare veil to coincide with Mercedes’ heritage and altered her gown free of charge.
Next, the bridesmaids met with Carolyn Fritz at The Wedding Shoppe in St. Paul. The girls had a great time with Carolyn, trying on different styles and listening to her talk about the latest trends and wedding-day fashions. The girls finally selected espresso chiffon tea-length dresses by Jasmine B2, complete with a ruched bodice in a tank scoop and V-neckline. The Wedding Shoppe generously donated the bridesmaid dresses.
Jake and his groomsmen went to Heimie’s Haberdashery in St. Paul for their complementary rental attire. Owner Anthony Andler, a fourth-generation tailor, fitted Jake for a custom tuxedo—ala Frank Sinatra’s classy style then fitted the groomsmen for traditional formal black tuxes.
With the gowns and tuxes on order, the next task was creating the invitation ensemble. After getting to know the couple better, The Wedding Guys suggested a central theme of 1960s Rat Pack era. With Jake being voted “Best DJ” in City Pages for five years running (as well as being a former Radio K, REV 105 & NPR alum), and Mercedes having a passion for music and dance, it made sense to incorporate Sinatra-inspired songs and the timeless style of the Rat Pack into the wedding.
The couple worked with local invitation designer Sarah Glad of A Milestone Paper Company, creating simple invitations in the style of a swanky lounge during the height of the Rat Pack’s popularity. Brown, hot pink, and white printed on cream stock were accented with a desert star motif. The font was reminiscent of 1960s Las Vegas casino lounge signs, and the text was a message of friendship and joy. A sleek, long program in a matching motif was created for the wedding ceremony.
The Day (Finally!) Arrives
On the morning of their much-anticipated autumn wedding, hair and makeup sessions took place in the Extreme WOW Suite at W Minneapolis — The Foshay, where Mercedes and Jake later spent their wedding night. The 1,700-square-foot penthouse suite, generously donated by the hotel, includes a fireplace, wet bar, living room, dining area, oversized soaking tub, state-of-the-art technology, and W beds with 350 thread-count linens and a goose down duvet.
While Mercedes got ready at the W, talented photographer Meghan Doll of Meghan Doll Photography was busy documenting the moments in fabulous photojournalistic detail. (Meghan is a friend of Mercedes’ physical therapist. This was the first of many connections discovered throughout the day.)
After the bride looked red carpet glamorous, the couple and photography team were off in style—courtesy of Eclipse Transportation—for some fun shots outside of First Avenue and in the Sculpture Gardens at the Walker Art Center.
Exactly where a bride and groom decides to tie the knot is an important decision, and Mercedes and Jake’s wedding was no exception. It had to be as unique as the couple themselves—contemporary with a flare of art—with windows facing the west so they could recite their vows at sunset. The Wedding Guys worked with long-time friend Carolyn Dunne at the Walker Art Center to create a stunning ceremony in the Cargill Lounge area. The venue was perfect, with just the right mix of contemporary and modern. The seating arrangement was set up as a half circle arc, with clear acrylic chairs and aisle . . stands surrounding an acrylic altar by BeEvents, an event, planning service based in Minneapolis. The ambiance was further enhanced with cylinders and softly glowing candles.
“The half circle represents the hands of friends engulfing the couple in love and support,” Bruce explains. “It added a sort of ethereal feel to the environment.”
The flowers, courtesy of Violet’s Flowers, were colorful and dramatic. Tall branches and a floral display warmed the room. Three foot tall clear glass cylinders were filled with oranges and clementine’s, green cymbidium orchids, mini orange calla lilies, cherry brandy roses, burgundy roses, curly willow dripping with tear drop crystals, and cone-shaped glass vases holding roses and orchids. A rock crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling.
The Wedding Guys thought it would be fitting to commemorate the bridge victims, so outside the lounge window, 13 sets of candles—signifying the 13 victims of the 35W bridge collapse burned brightly. Prior to being seated, guests mingled in an area filled with framed wedding photos of the friends and family who gave strength and encouragement to Mercedes and Jake; friends and family who were viewed by the couple as marriage role models. As the guests were seated, they were asked to place a flower on a special wreath—another Wedding Guys creation—featuring 13 candles representing the victims of the collapsed bridge. The wreath was in honor of those who lost their lives on the 35W bridge.
With Jake being a DJ and music being equally important to Mercedes, it went without saying that music was an integral part of the ceremony. Each song was chosen with careful thought and deliberation. Twin Cities jazz vocalist Maud Hixson and guitarist David Singley provided music. The prelude included Autumn Leaves, S’Wonderful, and Nice ‘N Easy, and bridesmaids walked down to I’ve Got A Crush On You.
With Mercedes on Jake’s arm, they ascended the aisle to an instrumental rendition of And I Love Her. Love Is Here To Stay followed the lighting of the unity candle, and the recessional was Frank Sinatra’s You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To. Guests departed the ceremony location to the tunes of Michael Buble’s Sway, as well as classics The Look Of Love, and So Nice.
An Emotional Tribute
On the way to the reception, Mercedes, Jake, and The Wedding Guys stopped at the Mississippi River—where the bridge collapsed for a moment of silence. Together Mercedes and Jake lit the candles on the ceremonial wreath and set it afloat as a tribute to the victims, an idea devised by The Wedding Guys as an adaptation of a royal tradition in which marrying brides released a wreath to recognize the soldiers who had died for their country. On the other side of the river, just as Mercedes and Jake placed the wreath into the water, church bells rang in the distance. Everyone got chills.
“Some of the most magical moments in life can’t be planned,” Matthew says.
After they left the emotional tribute at the river, it was time to lighten the mood and celebrate. It made sense that Mercedes and Jake, a very classic contemporary couple who love the aesthetic quality, great tunes, and cool style of the Rat Pack, would have their reception at a retro venue.
“We thought instantly of Jitters in Northeast Minneapolis,” Bruce explains. “It has a supper club feel and jazz club look with kitsch metal walls and a wild mix of tabletops and chairs. It is so Sinatra, we knew it was the perfect place for their reception.”
When The Wedding Guys chose jitters as the reception site, they didn’t know that Mercedes used to be a server at The Times (Jitters is located in the basement of The Times). When the owner, Dan Lessard, heard who the bride was, he was more than happy to graciously donate the venue, food, and beverages for the celebration.
“Like many things regarding this particular wedding, we soon found connections with the locations and people that we didn’t know until after we started planning,” Matthew says.
When it came to decorating the space, very little needed to be done to set the mood. The vibe was great on its own.
“We lust enhanced what was already there,” Matthew says. “BeEvents provided the up-lighting, and Studio 6 Specialty Linen & Decor donated a variety of linens for the tables.” Old-fashioned booths with curved seats looked especially rich in orange pintuck, and several tall cocktail tables were dressed in brown pintuck. A head table—also in brown—was created with a row of square tables and booth-style benches. Each table had a small floral arrangement centerpiece, courtesy of Violet’s Flowers, to match the bridal party’s bouquets.
As guests arrived at the reception, they posed for fun snapshots in a Photobooth Memories original photobooth, listened to music provided by Ticket to Brasil, and enjoyed butler-passed brochette with basil pesto, Gorgonzola, and artichoke topped with Parmesan. They also enjoyed a light noshing station—draped in gold pintuck linens by Studio 6 Specialty Linen & Decor—with selections including sweet potato fries with lemon-caper aioli, fried cheese ravioli with chilled marinara, grilled vegetables, green beans, baby carrots, mushrooms, red peppers, and cream cheese wontons with Asian ginger sauce. Basil tomatoes, mushroom pate, and hummus with baguettes were popular tapas options.
Comfort foods, and a few of Mercedes’ favorite dishes when she worked at The Times, were also on the menu. Guests dined on spinach salad, garlic mashed potatoes, chicken provencal in a tomato sauce, green bean and Gorgonzola, breaded walleye with both regular and jalapeno tartar sauce, and delicious macaroni and cheese. Jake and Mercedes chose two flavors for their wedding cake: carrot cake filled with cream cheese frosting, and sour cream chocolate cake filled with ganache and milk chocolate mousse. The cake, courtesy of Jessica’s Cakes, was frosted in vanilla buttercream with an intricate string work design.
The speeches and congratulatory wishes were especially moving; everyone knew what this couple had been through. “I love you more than anything,” Jake told Mercedes. “And I thank everyone for making our ceremony such a beautiful occasion.”
Once dinner was over, the moment Mercedes had been waiting for became a reality—her first dance with her husband. It was very important to her to be able to dance with Jake at their wedding.
The moment was extremely moving. All eyes were on the couple as they danced to their special song, their first dance together as husband and wife.
At the end of the night, each guest was handed a copy of a CD with a favorite playlist of the bride and groom. Music had been a constant in their lives and an important component in their relationship through the good times and the challenging moments.
In the words of author H.A. Overstreet: “I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.”
Wedding Venues & Honeymoon Getaways
He proposed, you said yes, now what?
If eloping is out of the question, you have a lot to do to get ready for your wedding! First things first-you’ll need to create a budget, determine a date, make a guest list, choose your attendants, and select a venue.
Perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll make will be where you choose to celebrate your wedding. It will help set the tone and play a significant role in many of the details. Not only does it need to “speak to you” as a couple, it also needs to accommodate everyone on the guest list without breaking the bank. Keep in mind that—in addition to the charge for the site itself, there are significant catering costs (don’t forget to ask about gratuity and taxes), and sometimes additional fees for bartending services, security, and cake-cutting. Even if the price is right, wait to sign a contract until you’ve scouted out at least one or two other suitable venues. Ask if the entire space is available (and if it’s not, what’s considered off-limits?) Find out what the food tastes like by scheduling a taste-test. Ask about available parking, what their alcohol policy happens to be, what time you can start setting up and what time you have to be out of the rented space, what the restrooms are like (will you have to share them with any other guests?) and if there’s a room for the bridal party to get ready. Pay attention to your gut reaction when working with site coordinators, too. Do they seem helpful, friendly, and willing to accommodate any special needs you may have?
The most popular venues, such as The Saint Paul Hotel, book out a year or more in advance (some wedding dates are booked 18 months in advance at this gorgeous hotel). A local landmark since 1910, the Saint Paul Hotel has a long-standing reputation as the place to hold a social occasion. Guests receive the full white-glove treatment, from the bellman to the concierge.
The hotel’s old-world style speaks for itself, with a classic English gar-den outside and beautiful architecture inside, as does the location in St. Paul’s charming Rice Park area. Elegant extras such as ceiling drapes, candles, rich ivory linens and beautiful china, glass, silver, and crystal add a sophisticated feel to the space. Brides and grooms wishing to capture the romance of a bygone era love the ambiance of this classic (and classy) hotel.
The renowned Promenade Ballroom is ideal for weddings of up to 300 guests, and the newly remodeled and expanded Hill Room can easily host events up to 150.
The architecturally-magnificent McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus is so beautiful that it really doesn’t require much in the decoration department. With an 85-foot-tall ceiling, six miles of wood-lined interior, built-in stage and terrazzo dance floor, indoor water feature (paying homage to Minnesota’s Land of 10,000 lakes) and huge windows along the geode-like structure, the only thing rivaling the amazing interior is the high level of service.
The staff gave us the feeling that they cared about our daughter’s wedding as much as we did,” says Carol Turnquist, a former mother-of-the-bride.
Other pluses include a 500-car parking ramp connected to the Alumni Center by a tunnel, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment (perfect for slideshows) landscaped grounds ideal photography backgrounds, and the capacity to accommodate up to 350 guests. The Alumni Center hosts up to 60 weddings every year. A list of available dates in 2009 and 2010 are listed on their website.
Guests enjoy a lively Spanish-influenced atmosphere at Solera, located on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. Contemporary mosaics and floating light sculptures, excellent food (tapas dining is a hit with guests), and a courteous, attentive staff make this restaurant a natural choice for weddings and celebrations.
“We’re a unique facility, with a colorful atmosphere, and that’s what people are looking for now,” says Dale Hanson, catering sales manager.
The patio at Solera can seat up to 125, and the indoor facility can accommodate up to 225.
Another popular venue in the heart of Minneapolis is the Radisson Plaza Minneapolis, Radisson’s flagship hotel. Located in the city’s retail and business district, this charming hotel features smaller, elegant meeting rooms as well as the opulent Scandinavian Ballroom. The upscale Radisson is new, clean, and spacious with amenities such as an attached parking garage, skyway access to restaurants, boutiques, and department stores, and an amazing restaurant—FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar—serving American bistro-style fare.
When a bride and groom want a romantic, wedding but don’t want to book a flight to get there, a Lake Superior resort is the perfect venue for an unforgettable wedding.
Described by many as one of the most romantic resorts on the North Shore, Bluefin Bay is in a class of its own. Couples can unwind before their ceremony with a massage in the new wellness center, soak in the only year-round outdoor pool and hot tub on Lake Superior, or relax in a double Jacuzzi as a fire glows in the fireplace and waves crash against the rocky shoreline at Bluefin Bay. The resort is “wedding friendly” in every way, from the newly-remodeled and contemporary Bluefin Grille Restaurant, with split level dining (Perfect for weddings of up to 100 people), a talented chef, and a variety of lodging options ranging from hotel suites to townhomes overlooking the water. According to event coordinator Kim Nelson, many brides and grooms have such a great wedding experience that they return to the resort to celebrate their honeymoon, wedding and eventually anniversaries, introduce their children to the beauty of the area.
Cove Point Lodge in Beaver Bay is a romantic, and secluded North Shore destination quiet, providing all the right ingredients for a small, intimate wedding. Some couples are married in front of the Great Hall fireplace; others choose to get married outside on the lakeside lawn, on the point, or at Split Rock Lighthouse (the views are unbelievable). Wedding season at the lodge is from December through May Honeymoons are also popular at Cove Point, with year-round packages available.
There’s defiantly a trend today toward photojournalism and black and white photography at weddings. Black and white photos convey more emotions and accentuate the essence of the subjects or objects being photographed while color photographs capture the over-all theme and feel of your wedding, like the decorations, the bridal party colors, and your flowers. When it comes to theme weddings, make sure the photographer or videographer understands the vision of your day, says Wedding Guy Matthew Trettel.
Brides and grooms choose Distinctive Images By Jason because of photographer Jason Jorgensen’s experience, playful attitude, and creative talent. He considers it an honor to be part of so many wedding celebrations. He shoots about 30 weddings per year, taking well over 1,500 images.
“I pay attention to details, ensuring everything is in place when doing formals, and focus on fun moments and expressions when doing candids,” Jorgensen comments. “I’ve owned my business for 25 years. With that much experience, I’m comfortable in any situation.”
His advice when looking for potential photographers is to meet them in person. “All too often couples rely on email alone,” he says. “Wedding photography is a personalized service that involves a relationship of trust. That trust begins with how you’re treated. Personality does matter.”
A recent trend at weddings is renting a photo booth where guests line up to have candid shots taken. It’s not only entertaining to guests, it’s a great way to get a collection of fun photos as the night goes on. Brides and grooms often say that the photo booth was the hit of their reception, win the party favors (the photos) serving as a reminder of just how fun the night was.
The Original Traveling Photo Booth company, a business run by two local guys who , roommates at the University of Minnesota, offers Wedding Package including the photo booths a photo strip guest book, a full-time photo booth attendant, a 60-day web gallery, and 100 personalized thank-you cards.
Party Booths, a worldwide photo booth company with a local connection in Minneapolis, offers reasonable prices, no travel fees (a bonus for out-of-town weddings), on-site assembly, classy-looking photo booths, excellent service, a fun booth operator, and the option of a contemporary-size booth that can accommodate large groups of family and friends something not available at all photo booth companies.
“You can never have too many pictures of your special day,” says Jeff Halsch, regional director of Party Booths. “When the lights go out, the photo booth will have captured many of the best, most spontaneous shots taken the whole day.”
A Memorable Meal
The reception dinner gives couples the chance to express their palate and the caterer’s expertise and innovation. Classic at the dinner table, but many caterers are moving away from the classics and offering dishes that reflect the couple’s heritage or interests. Sometimes the wedding has a theme and the food helps to carry the theme through.
“We’ve performed services from build-your-own pizza to five course plated meals that would be welcome at any five star restaurant,” says Benjamin McCallum, executive chef/co-owner of Three Sons Signature Cuisine, a by-design catering company offering full menu design, event planning, and event execution services throughout the Twin Cities. Food trends, according to McCallum, include a slight shift away from multi-tiered cakes to mini and specialty desserts or dessert bars. Non traditional meals and interactive food stations are also popular, adding an element of entertainment for the guests. Soile Anderson, owner of Deco Catering, believes that serving food should be a unique, artistic experience, especially at a wedding celebration. Couples get that and more at Deco Catering, where the emphasis is on custom-designed menus and high-quality cuisine.
Our success is built on uncompromising quality service, attention to detail and a distinctive flair that is individually carried out in a says Anderson. “We customize each event to our clients’ specifications and requirements.
Creating An Atmosphere
Faced with questions of “What do I do When? How am I ever going to get everything done?” a baffled or panicked couple can find great solace in hiring a wedding coordinator to calm pre-wedding jitters.
Hiring a planner allows the couple to create their wedding story as they’ve always envisioned it. It gives them a chance to sit back, relax and enjoy their engagement and wedding day rather than worry about every tiny detail.
A team of creative consultants at Give My Regards To, located in Minneapolis, can help plan a memorable experience.
“We work with a full list of preferred local wedding vendors to achieve the look and feel the bride and groom desires within their specified budget,” explains Owner/lead Event Planner Amy Zaroff.
The process of working with a wedding planner \ consists of going over basic ideas and concepts, outlining a budget, and letting them help as much—or as little—with referring and hiring vendors. On the day of the wedding, a coordinator can help keep the bridal party on track and smooth out any potentially problematic scenarios.
Zaroff describes her company as a “one stop shop” that also offers custom invitations—with the option of beautiful hand-made paper and letter-press typography—and unique stationery.
Invitations set the tone of the wedding. “The whole package needs to be considered,” Zaroff says. How the envelope is addressed, what stamp is used, the texture of the paper, the wording, font, and ink color all help brand your celebration and give guests an idea as to how formal your event will be. A consistent color palette gives cohesiveness and conveys a well thought out message.
According to Alexis Harsh of Watermark Fine Stationery, there are a lot of bright, deep, saturated cardstock colors in today’s wedding invitations, with white and ecru popular options for those who don’t want to stray too far from the traditional.
“Paisley patterns, damask, and stripes are all the rave because they are patterns brides can carry to other details of their day,” Harsh says. Another growing request at Watermark, a full-service invitation studio, is green invitations, made with soy-based ink on 100 percent recycled, acid free paper.
“There are so many options out there,” Harsh says, “We narrow down the enormous selection out there and make every appointment fun and relaxed. We find the perfect invitation within the couple’s budget.”
Invitation ‘no-no’s’ include using a mailing label to address your envelopes, printing “no children” on the invitation, or telling guests where you’re registered, she says. Another invitation faux pas is adding minuscule pieces of confetti or glitter, underestimating the time it takes to address, stuff and send the invitations so the guests receive them six to eight weeks in advance, and ordering too few invitations. She suggests ordering 25 extras just in case; reordering is expensive.
At Archiver’s, the Photo Memory Store, couples can select the color, paper type, size and style for handmade invitations that perfectly suit the look, feel, and tone of your special day, and add coordinating programs, place cards, thank you cards, and so much more for a celebration you’ll never forget. Brides can make it even more fun by rounding up a group of friends and reserving Archiver’s workroom to assemble the invites. While the invitation may set the tone for the celebration, it’s up to brides and grooms to add pizzazz and personal touches to their parties. This can be achieved through colorful linens, specialty lighting, elegant draping, lounge furniture, china, chandeliers, aisle runners, tents, tables, chairs, and accessories, available at Apres Party and Tent Rental.
“Put your attention and dollars toward the `wow’ items that will make an impact—lighting, draping, chair treatments, and linen,” suggests Sheree Bochenek, design consultant. “Don’t get caught up in the tiny little details, like personalized M&Ms.” It’s the big items that make a lasting impression, not the little ones, she points out.
When a couple is in the early stages of wedding planning, she recommends starting a portfolio of photo ideas (it’s easier to show a design consultant what you like rather than try to describe it) and can’t stress enough the importance of visiting their showroom to see what they offer. She also suggests making an appointment at Apres, to receive the personalized guidance of a salesperson.
Music is an extremely important aspect of your big day. Talented musicians, like prime locations, go fast Phil Thompson Is one of these artists.
Playing and performing on the piano is one of his greatest passions. He began playing of Thompson’s pushed him he could even read before, eventually Y lessons from a private instructor who later taking to study at the MacPhail Center for the Arts. In high school, he was asked to play at private parties, weddings, and the US Senate campaign. Today he writes and performs music whenever possible. His style—described as ‘romantic piano”—is the perfect fit for a wedding celebration.
Beauty And Fashion
Whether it’s the bride, groom, mother-of-the-bride or groom, or member of the wedding party, a wedding puts everyone close to the couple in the spotlight. It’s a special day to look and feel your absolute best.
If brides are looking for a unique wedding gown, one place to check out is dugo (Dress Up Go Out), located in Edina’s Galleria.
Featuring fine clothing for charity balls, summer parties, rehearsal dinners, and weddings, dugo brings back the satisfaction of dressing smart and dressing well.
“Mothers of the bride and groom especially like dugo because we understand their style and can order many different things in terms of design, style, and color to meet their exact needs and wants,” says Nancy Shank, owner.
While men don’t have quite as many options as women do when it comes to wedding day attire, they do have decisions to make when it comes to their tuxes and the tuxes for the men in the wedding party.
The current trends for tuxes are long vests and ties rather than traditional cummerbunds and bow ties. Non-pleated shirts and three-button jackets are also in. Another popular look is the cutaway tux with a cravat—a wide scarf knotted with he broad ends laying flat over each other—topped off with a pearl stickpin.
Wedding Day Jewelry
Your ring is a symbol of love built to last a life-time. Do you want a contemporary setting or an antique reproduction? Smooth or sculpted metal? What will your ring say about you?
Many grooms today are opting for platinum or white gold-many times set with diamonds—over the simple gold band of yesterday. Many brides are creating and selecting designs as original and unique as they are.
Rebecca Paquette Johnson, owner of BNOX Gold & Iron, on the shore of Lake Pepin, custom designs approximately 75 rings every year.
Bringing a one-of-a-kind ring to life is absolutely thrilling for Johnson and for the couple. “I enjoy collaborating with clients in creating rings as unique as they are.”
When the wedding day has come and gone, the gown is packed away, and the honeymoon is over, your wedding ring symbolizes your wedding day, your love, and your lifelong commitment to one another. Your ring signifies that wherever you go, you won’t be alone. It’s a major investment you’ll wear for the rest of your life; make sure it’s a piece of jewelry you love.
The Grand Finale
When the wedding day is over and the gifts have all been opened, most couples choose to begin their new life together with a special honeymoon.
For 40 years MLT Vacations has partnered with airlines, hotels and tour companies to offer complete travel packages to fun and exciting worldwide destinations. They offer great travel adventures through NWA World Vacations, boasting an easy and convenient, “one-stop” travel shopping experience, attractive pricing, and exceptional customer service. NWA WorldVacations offers honeymoon packages to Hawaii, Mexico, and the Carribean.
At Carrousel Travel American Express, planning a destination wedding or honeymoon is not just another vacation, says Carol Flanigan, senior travel consultant, it is treated like the once-in-a-lifetime event that it is.
Hiring a travel agent like Flannigan can help a couple simplify their search, give them access to expert advice and recommendations, and help them get the best pricing and deals. A travel agent can also be a couples’ best advocate should a problem inadvertently arise.
“I travel regularly to these resorts to be sure that they are meeting and exceeding my clients’ expectations,” she says.
For established couples, Flannigan recommends creating a free honeymoon registry—thehoney-moon.com—where wedding guests contribute to honeymoon experiences rather than a traditional bridal registry.
Because really, she reasons, “Who wouldn’t rather receive a couple’s massage or candlelight dinner instead of a toaster?”
The main thing to remember on your honeymoon is that the wedding planning is done, you’re married, and now it’s time to unwind, have fun, and enjoy your company together.
When the pandemic hit, celebrations, and the need for flowers, slowed down a bit. But local florist extraordinaire...