March 16, 2017
This Week’s V-O-W is Big Lake Floral, who just celebrated their 30th year of business! Lacey loves working with brides’ personal and unique looks, and tailoring her work to their individual style and concept to create a bride’s dream floral design!
Q: What does Big Lake Floral specialize in?
A: Special events and weddings are our favorites, with a passion for the eclectic style.
Q: When did Big Lake Floral open and where are you located?
A: Big Lake Floral just had it’s 30th year in business. We are located about 40 minutes north of the Twin Cities in Big Lake.
Q: What makes Big Lake Floral stand out in terms of wedding floral design?
A: Our fearlessness and passion. I’m willing to try any combination or installation for flowers. I’m the only florist I can think of who has a Bachelor’s Degree from one of the midwest’s most prestigious Art colleges. So when I create bouquets, I create them like I would a piece of art for a gallery, no detail is left out and they are beautifully composed.
Q: What makes wedding floral and wedding décor different from other events?
A: Weddings are a completely personal and unique look, tailored to an individual style, preference and concept. I think that’s why I enjoy it so much – they are never the same!
Q: What is an average day at Big Lake Floral like?
A: We are pretty low key! When the line isn’t out the door during a holiday rush – we are usually pumpin’ some tunes, surfing pinterest and instagram for inspiration and current trends, or chatting with some of our local regulars that stroll in.
Q: What would you want a couple searching for their perfect wedding florist to know?
A: Find someone you can comfortably talk to and that shares the same vision for your wedding. There are so many talented designers in the Metro area, just make sure you find the one you connect with the most!
Q: How far in advance should couples book a florist?
A: Minnesota is a seasonal wedding industry – in the peak months, you should be finding a florist at least 8-12 months prior to your wedding date.
Q: Should brides decide on ceremony or reception floral elements first?
A: Ultimately, we talk more about reception decor than we do for ceremonies, but I think they can go hand in hand. Sometimes you can get versatility out of ceremony arrangements and reuse them for your reception, so it’s important that the designs can make that transition and that there is continuity between them.
Q: Do you have any unique or memorable floral arrangements you have designed recently?
A: Over the winter months, we collaborated with a talented photographer from Denver to do a stylized winter shoot featuring a skirt that was made from Oxford Cedar, Boxwood and White Pine. It was pretty magical!
Q: What is your favorite flower?
A: Any variety of orchids!
Q: What is your favorite part about working in the wedding industry, specifically with floral design?
A: I truly enjoy planning flowers with brides and making their visions come to life. It’s one of the biggest days of their lives and I love being there for them! Delivering the flowers and watching their faces light up with excitement is definitely the best part of my job!
Big Lake Floral Lightning Round:
Q: Describe yourself in three words:
A: Witty. Creative. Quirky.
Q: Red or White?
Q: Heels or Flats?
Q: White or Ivory?
Q: Black Tie or Urban Industrial?
A: Urban Industrial.
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Q: What’s your go-to comfort food?
A: Gummy Bears.
Q: What is your favorite board game?
A: I don’t play a lot of board games, definitely more of a cribbage person!
Q: Favorite music genre?
A: So hard to pinpoint anything. You walk into the shop and you’ll hear anything from Adam Levine to John Denver, 90’s Hip Hop to Justin Bieber!
Q: Fall, winter, spring or summer?
March 16, 2017
So you’re engaged… you’ve probably already started pinning all your dream wedding ideas and hopefully you’ve attended one of our shows, but before you get really serious there is one thing you must cross off your check list…the dreaded wedding budget. Your wedding will most likely be the most expensive party you’ve ever thrown, with an average cost in the US of over $26,000, its going to take some budgeting, but with one in three couples going over their budget, it is clear that something is not right.
Wedding budgets don’t have to be a dreadful daunting topic, as long as you set it upfront and follow our 5 simple steps to set and maintain it. After that, its on to the fun stuff, Happy Planning!
Step 1: Count Your Cash
There’s three things to consider when you begin evaluating your budget. 1) you and your fiancé’s individual savings. 2) The Money you plan to set aside from your current income and 3) any contributions from your parents or other family members.
Evaluating your own savings seems pretty self-explanatory, but there’s more to it than simply logging into your bank account and writing down the balance. Figure out what 3 months of living expenses for both you and your fiancé would be, and keep that in your savings (in case of an emergency or job loss) then subtract that from the total savings amount. Your end number is what you can put towards your wedding budget.
Next, take a look at your monthly income. Subtract and existing debts (such as student loans, rent etc.), then evaluate about 10 percent of that final number. This will be the amount of your monthly income that should be allocated to your wedding fund. Consider setting up a separate account for your wedding savings and enroll in an automatic deposit for the amount you land on for each pay check. If you don’t have to think about taking the money out of your paycheck, it makes the process much less daunting and much more reasonable.
Finally, consider any gifts of money that family members will be contributing. Never assume that your parents will cover the cost of your wedding, but it definitely is worth a conversation. It might be a monetary value that you can add to that separate savings account, or they might offer to pay for a certain element (the bar tab, a photography package etc.)
Step 2: Get Organized!
You will want to be very diligent about tracking your wedding spending. Create a spreadsheet with three columns/categories: Estimated, Modified and Final.
Under the Estimated column you will record the price of each element based on research you’ve done or other brides you’ve spoken with. Under Modified you will record the quotes and proposals you receive after talking to your preferred vendors. Then, in the Final column you will record the actual amount to pay them. Don’t forget to add in tips and gratuity for the categories that are applicable.
You will also want to add an additional line called “extras”. Here you will tack on about 15 percent of your total budget. This is the wiggle room for the little details we all seem to forget. (postage for invitations, plating fees etc).
Step 3: Expect the Unexpected
Before you commit to a particular service or vendor and sign contracts be sure to go over all the details as a couple and then again with a trusted family member or friend. Read all fine print and don’t overlook the little add ons here and there because it really does add up! Preparing yourself and expecting these little add ons will help ease your stress and keep you on track as the date gets closer.
Step 4: Be Innovative and Creative
Thinking outside the box and leaving yourself enough time to brainstorm creative alternatives will insure that many of your dreamy wedding visons will come true. If something is over budget, research DIY solutions or similar alternatives. Remember to save on the little things. Although it might not always be glamorous, take on the nitty-gritty jobs like envelope stuffing (many shops charge a fee to do this, so instead grab a few of your bridesmaids and make a girls night out of it!).
Step 5: Think Twice before you Swipe
We know you’ll be tempted, but be strong and resist the urge to enhance your budget by adding plastic to the equation. A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t charge anything for your wedding that you can’t pay off within 30 days. Interest fees add up quick and you aren’t leaving any room for that in the budget. If you must use a credit card, be smart about it. Sign up for a card with good benefits, possibly one that offers flight or travel incentives you could use for a honeymoon!
March 16, 2017
You can wear just about anything you dream of on your wedding day, after all it’s YOUR big day! All of your childhood dreams will become a reality tomorrow as we watch Belle and the Beast come to life on the big screen, and we cant forget about that iconic yellow dress! Not only will we see this classic gown come to life, but there is also a rumored “celebration gown” that will be featured in the film. Your wedding day is the perfect time to channel your inner-Belle with a classic romantic gown. All the buzz about Belle’s on-screen fashion has us searching for fairytale worthy wedding gowns that can be just as iconic as Belle’s. We’ve created a list of 15 show stopping ballgowns or should we say bellegowns!
1: Julie Vino 1217+1202 Napoli Ballgown
2: Julie Vino 1217+1215 Napoli Ballgown
3: Morilee Margarita Wedding Dress
4: Morilee Maribella Wedding Dress
5: Morilee Marilyn Wedding Dress
6: Morilee Madison Wedding Dress
7: Morilee Maisie Wedding Dress
8: Galia Lahav Corina Gown
9: Galia Lahav Rihanna Gown
10: Moonlight Bridal Red Alencon Lace Ball Gown
11: Moonlight Bridal Tulle & Sequin Net Fabric Beaded Ball Gown
12: Moonlight Bridal Tulle Drop Waist Mermaid Wedding Dress
13: Moonlight Bridal Organza Red Wedding Ball Gown
14: Sabrina Dahan Amelie Gown
15: Sabrina Dahan Cecile Gown
March 14, 2017
Lara Leimbach has fallen in love with weddings, she started her career in the wedding and event planning industry and is now able to capture every detail of a couple’s big day on camera, as a wedding photographer. Her style sets her apart and you are sure to have priceless photos that will last a lifetime. Read more about what Lara has to say about wedding photography in this week’s V-O-W!
Q: What does Lara Leimbach Photography specialize in?
A: Photojournalistic Wedding Photography: With a style that’s been described as quirky, elegant and fun, I blend classic portraiture with a photojournalistic eye. I realize that this is one of the most important days of your life. With this in mind, I strive to discreetly document the laughter, love and celebration that will tell the story of your wedding day for years to come.
Q: What makes Lara Leimbach Photography stand out in terms of wedding photography options couples have in the Twin Cities area?
A: This is my 11th year in business as a professional photographer specializing in weddings. Prior to this I planned weddings for three years at a top MN resort (Lutsen Resort – a great place to get married!) and traveled worldwide for a top event planning company. With my planning background I love making the photography process simple and effortless for couples so that on the day they get married all they have to think about is getting dressed, getting married and having a party.
Q: When and how did Lara Leimbach Photography begin?
A: I moved to Paris in my early twenties and fell in love with art, architecture and photography and decided I wanted to make art for a living. Starting my photography business was a natural evolution after planning weddings for several years.
Q: How are you able to show the personality and love between the couple through photography?
A: My style is very photojournalistic, capturing the moments and details so that couples can relive the day which goes so quickly. Plus we just have lots of fun!
Q: What do you love about working in the wedding industry?
A: It’s a tremendous honor to witness and document people’s family celebrations and history.
Q: What’s an average (wedding) day at like with Lara Leimbach Photography?
A: A typical day starts with getting ready photos, seeing each other for the first time, a couple portrait session, group & family photos, ceremony, dinner and dance. A typical day is anywhere between 8-10 hours.
Q: What would you want a couple in the wedding planning process to know about choosing the perfect Wedding Photographer?
A: I think it’s important that couples like the style of not only the photography but also feel comfortable with their photographer as they will be spending a lot of time with them on their wedding day.
Q: Have you captured any unique weddings that stand out?
A: I have seen so many beautiful weddings, truly every wedding is special and unique from beach weddings to vineyards, I love them all!
Q: Anything else you want couples to know about Lara Leimbach Photography or about capturing their big day on camera?
A: I’m passionate about capturing your wedding day with beautiful, iconic images, while making the process simple and fun!
Q: Describe yourself in three words:
A: Passionate, positive and professional
Q: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?
A: Summer – I can’t wait for the heat!
Q: Red or White?
Q: Heels or flats?
A: Flats – I have big feet 🙂
Q: Veil or no veil?
A: Veil – so romantic and pretty
Q: Black Tie or Farm to Table?
A: Both! Love the classy timeless black tie and who doesn’t love the laid back farm to table.
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
Q: Coffee or Tea?
Q: What’s your go-to comfort food?
A:Thai chicken pizza – yum!
Q: Favorite music genre?
A: Who can choose – Rock, reggae, dance music, hip hop, Jazz, disco, funk, bluegrass and classical.
March 14, 2017
The Twin Cities Bridal Show on Sunday March 5th at the Saint Paul RiverCentre was a great way to wrap up our busiest show season ever! We hope you had a blast and got a ton of inspiration for your big day!
Some of the top features included in the Twin Cities Bridal Show include the Inspiration Station, the Cafe, Glam 2 Go, and the Aisle of Style Fashion Show. All images provided by Lauren B Photography.
Our Attendees entered the show at Noon to our Inspiration Station where they found 6 curated themes from some of top wedding providers in the Twin Cities ranging from rental, florists, stationery, fashion, and cake. The themes included: Greenery, Vintage, Retro Revived, Urban Chic, Modern Art, and Opulence, with a little something for every bride.
From the Inspiration Station, attendees moved on where they were connected with the areas best wedding experts, from florists, stationery, cake, venues, disc jockey, photography, caterers, and the list goes on! The day is filled with some much to see, touch, feel, hear, and of course taste!
A must stop at the show is our Glam 2 Go Makeover Zone where bride’s could have a mini trial of hair and makeup for their wedding day from the experts with SM Makeup Inc. What is better than a day of wedding planning with a little pampering mixed in?!
The award-winning Aisle of Style Fashion Show returned this year at 1pm and 3pm with the hottest and freshest looks in bridal fashion from the area’s top bridal salons including The Wedding Shoppe, Luxe Bridal Couture, Mestad’s and tuxedos provided by Savvi Formalwear.
We hope you walked away from the show with all the inspiration and information you need to get you started on your wedding planning! But if not we will see you back in the fall, for Twin Cities Bridal Show on November 5th at the Saint Paul RiverCentre!
March 13, 2017
Introducing UNVEILED- ROCHESTER. On January 29th 2017, we were proud to debut our Newest addition to the show season, the inaugural UNVEILED Rochester! The spectacular day filled with bridal eye candy of every kind took place for the first time in Rochester at The Mayo Civic Center.
UNVEILED was unlike anything Rochester has seen before when it comes to the Wedding Market. Both Vendors, attendees and even our own staff was dazzled by the inspiration seen in every inch of the room.
As brides entered the show room they were greeted with a red carpet featuring some of the most beautiful gowns for the season, including a gown flown in from Say Yes to the Dress’s Kleinfeld’s in NYC. Once couples entered the show, they had the opportunity to plan, chat and brainstorm with the areas leading wedding service providers. Everything from catering, hospitality, floral, photography, fashion and so much more!
Brides were able to shop at BESPOKE The Shop at Unveiled, which offered exclusive and limited edition gifts hand-picked by The Wedding Guys themselves. Everything from clothing to coffee mugs and bags. The shop also features trendy bridal and bridesmaids essentials from our friends at bminx.
The TrendSpot Fashion show featured some of our favorite bridal and bridesmaids looks for the season. Mestads Bridal and Formal Wear featured the latest trends we are seeing for the 2017 season, including long trains, luxurious laces, 80s inspiration and nude tones. Models hit the runway with looks designed from SM Makeup Inc. featuring matte bronze contouring, bright highlights and subtle lips. Hair was pulled into a classic and elegant up-do.
Rudy’s Event Rentals and Majestic Tents put together a beautiful trend wedding experience that highlighted some of the hottest reception trends for 2017. The vintage theme took a modern and rich update beneath a beautifully lit tent. The theme included hues of rose gold, blush and deep burgundy colors.
Powers ventures served up mouthwatering samples at the tasting bar. The tasting menu included spiral pasta, burgundy peppered steak and mixed baby greens. They were even able to satisfy our sweet tooth with a selection of delicious desserts.
Thank you, Rochester, for an amazing first show! We can’t wait to be back next season, this time in the brand new ball room on October 22, 2017 and January 28th, 2017!
March 13, 2017
The Wedding Guys “Unveiled” the best and most luxurious wedding event in Minnesota on February 5th at the Minneapolis Convention Center! 100+ of the Twin Cities best wedding vendors came together at Unveiled Wedding Event to bring you the hottest wedding trends of the season! Images by Lauren B Photography.
We were proud to reintroduce our newest feature at the show, Bespoke: The Shop at Unveiled. The shop offered exclusive and limited edition gifts hand picked by The Wedding Guys themselves. Everything from clothing to coffee mugs satisfied the Sunday shoppers. The shop also features trendy bridal and bridesmaids essentials from our friends at bminx.
The TrendSpot Fashion show featured some of our favorite bridal and groom looks for the season. Mestads Bridal and Formal Wear, The Wedding Shoppe and Savvi Formalwear all featured the best trends we are seeing for the 2017 season, including long trains, luxurious laces, 80s inspiration and nude tones. Models hit the runway with looks designed from SM Makeup Inc. featuring matte bronze contouring, bright highlights and subtle lips. Hair was pulled into a classic and elegant up-do that kept the focus on the gorgeous gowns.
The 2017 Trend Wedding experience was titled “Blanche”, taking design cues from the Chic Minimalist contemporary design with sleek furnishings, and a punch of color. The sleek white tables and benches contrasted with the bright pops of yellow and orange seen in the accessories. Vinyl lettering was used for both décor and functionality. The decals on the benches served as place cards and the fun calligraphy font that ran across tables and on the floor served as a unique statement décor element, vinyl graphics even served as a faux bright yellow charger for each table setting. The look was furnished by BeThings. A geometric inspired 6-tier wedding cake from Nadia Cakes was created exclusively for the blanche theme. The cake stuck with the color theme of white gray and yellow. Entertainment included lighting and music by Instant Request and tables were dressed with custom designed stationery by A Milestone Paper Co.
The Cake Emporium was a hit once again! Couples could taste delicious desserts from some of our favorite local bakeries including Nadia Cakes, johnjeanjuan Cakes, Café Latte and Rosa’s Cake Gallery. The Knot Beauty Bar featured glam stations by SM Makeup Inc. where brides could get express hair and makeup consultation and makeovers at the show. Show goers also enjoyed the Linen Effects Bubbly Bar, the tabletop gallery and we can’t forget about the all the amazing vendors that came in to showcase their best work.
All the hours of hard work The Wedding Guys put into the show paid off when the eyes of brides light up as they walked through the showroom doors, once again the unbeatable Unveiled Wedding Event left brides and vendors alike speechless.
March 13, 2017
Alvina Valenta is a bridal line handcrafted in NYC and designed by Jessica Williams. The brand’s esthetic is romantic, iconic elegance and effortlessly luxe glamour. The layers of lush silks, European laces, intricate embroideries and impeccable detailing create a sense of magic. Jessica believes in helper her brides express their inner romantic by giving them their dream wedding dress. The gowns accentuate feminine shapes of all kinds, she says, “to all of the romantic hearts, these wedding gowns are for you.”
Jessica Williams was born and raised in the countryside of the pacific Northwest. Form a young age she always wanted to be creative. She studied art and design and spent a lot of time exploring Europe for inspiration. She studied fashion design at FIDM in LA, and upon graduation she moved to NYC to be immersed in the fast-paced fashion capital. Her love for travel and culture shows through in her designs, the indie, bohemian and pacific northwest explorations influence her romantic carefree design esthetic today.
March 8, 2017
As the 21st season of The Bachelor is concluding, and we watch Nick take a knee and prepare for wedding bells we wanted to reminisce about one of our all-time favorite bachelorettes, Ali Fedotowski. Although Ali didn’t find love on her season of the bachelorette, she made up for it by finding the man of her dreams years later. Ali and Kevin Manno said their “I dos” at a beachside wedding over the weekend. On Friday, March 3rd the couple walked down the aisle at a beachside location in L.A.
Ali who is 32, said she has dreamt about her wedding day her whole life, but the reality turned out even better than expected. The beachy wedding took place at the Terranea Resort in L.A., overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Ali and Kevin’s dog, Owen walked down the aisle first, followed by the adorable scene of their 7-month-old daughter, Molly who was pulled in a vintage wagon serving as the flower girl.
Ali’s Wedding day fashion included a strapless, lace Alvina Valenta gown. The scenic ocean side view was enhanced even further with an arch covered with ivory silk drapery accompanied by white roses and lush greens. The inspiration for the day was classic romance, Ali insisted on something that she could look back on years down the road and still find elegant and timeless.
The couple was originally set to get married in Mexico, which was postponed after the couple became pregnant with Molly and the Zika outbreak. As a new mom, Ali relied heavily on the help of her expert wedding planners, giving a bit of advice to any mommy brides to hire the extra help because planners are life savers!
Photos by Brandon Kidd
March 7, 2017