A guide to creating the wedding you want
Written by Alexandra Perron | Assisted by Alissa Johnson, Anne Guettler and Krystine Svoboda
Cake Lettering by Sweets Bakeshop; photographed by Michael Eldon
Whether big and bold or timeless and traditional, every wedding has its own style. With so many details, planning for your special day can be overwhelming. We’ve teamed up with The Wedding Guys, Bruce Vassar and Matthew Trettel, who are internationally recognized as trend spotters in the wedding industry. They produce the national wedding event “Unveiled” and also design signature weddings for select clients. Together we’ve created a guide that is chock-full of everything from décor and drinks to cakes and centerpieces.
Here comes the guide. . .
This is for the bride who always dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding. It’s grand, formal and full of romance. The ceremony is almost always at a church, featuring organ music or a string quartet. Ideal reception spots feature rich, baroque architecture with gold and mahogany accents. “The St. Paul Hotel, Grand Hotel and the Hilton Minneapolis are good examples. Decor will be less because the architecture becomes the decor,” says Vassar. The Wedding Guys suggest using colors that evoke feelings of romance such as white, pink and red. When it comes to the menu, three to eight courses are appropriate
for a traditional wedding. Vassar recommends adding an amuse-bouche or an infused champagne to the menu. Most traditional wedding cakes are elegant and tiered, but the style is simple with flowers and delicate scalloping.
Menu: Three to eight courses, with a champagne toast
Cake: Tiered cake
Venue: St. Paul Hotel, Grand Hotel, Hilton Downtown
Décor: Ceiling draping and rose centerpieces
Invitation: Formal, consider engraved lettering in a sheriff typeface.
Bouquet: Rose bouquet, get creative and add feathers or curly willow to the bunch.
Make it special: Add a surprise after-glow party in the ballroom foyer.
This type of wedding suits an urban, uptown bride who identifies with simplicity. “The contemporary wedding is all about what is important to the bride and groom. It reflects personality. It should be wacky and fun — you never know what’s coming next,” says Vassar. The ceremony often takes place outside of the church at an art gallery, library or park. For reception spots, The Wedding Guys suggest something different like the chic and modern W Hotel or the urban Soap Factory. Decorations are always on trend with what is happening in home decor. “Flowers for this wedding are like a piece of art,” says Vassar. He suggests choosing orchids with blown-out roses. When it comes to the menu, contemporary weddings have many options. Unique action stations, where the chef
prepares food on the spot, are extremely popular. Vassar recommends ditching the signature cocktail in exchange for “his and her” favorite drinks. The cake also calls for something bold and unique such as stripes and polka dots.
Menu: Small portions with restaurants styling or action stations
Venue: Soap Factory, W Hotel, The Graves 601 Hotel
Décor: Clean, simple lines with flat panel ceiling drapery and minimal altar flowers. Use white with pops of color.
Invitation: Think of your invite as an ad campaign. Brand your wedding and use the invitation to tie everything together.
Make it special: Have an art-inspired wedding with an artist on hand to do a portrait of the bride and groom.
Love your food? Love your wine even more? The restaurant wedding is perfect for the foodie couple and it’s been gaining in popularity over the years. “This style really focuses on wanting your guests to be pampered while having a great dining experience,” Vassar explains. It is common to hold both the ceremony and reception at the restaurant. Decor is limited because the space has already been styled. The Wedding Guys suggest small table arrangements and simple centerpieces of rocks and flowers. The menu is likely to be based on the regular offerings of the establishment. “If the wedding is small, 30 people or less, let your guests order from the menu. For a larger group, provide select dining options to choose from,” says Vassar. When it comes to the cake, talk to the head chef or pastry chef to create something delicious that suits your palette.
Menu: Offer a full menu to guests or a few favorite dishes as options.
Venue: Pick your favorite restaurant and inquire about a private dining area for the ceremony.
Décor: The restaurant’s décor should provide you with all you need. Create simple centerpieces to compliment tables.
Invitation: Combine your personal style with the style of the venue for an interesting invitation.
Bouquet: Keep it simple with a few orchids.
Make it Special: Have the restaurants chef introduce courses or welcome guests.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Café & Bar Lurcat, photo by Studio 306; Invitation from Watermark Stationery; Place Card , photo by Studio 306; Couple at Loring Pasta Bar, photo by Olive Juice Studios; Cupcakes from Sweets Bakeshop op.
This is ideal for the classic bride who is looking for a prestigious setting. Country club weddings are quite traditional, with the ceremony usually taking place at a church followed by a lavish reception. “Keep in mind that some clubs are private,” says Vassar. “You must be a member or be sponsored to hold your event at a club.” Great venues include the Minneapolis Club, the Lafayette Club and Interlachen. Decor often includes ceiling draping, specialty table linens and large, full, architectural centerpieces. The Wedding Guys say don’t be afraid to change lighting throughout the night to help set the mood. When it comes to the menu, the food is very extensive, with up to eight courses and wine pairings. The wedding cake should also make a statement. Try covering the cake with flowers or having it mimic the wedding gown.
Menu: Eight courses, an extensive menu with wine pairings and a champagne toast
Venue: Minneapolis Club, Lafayette Club, Interlachen
Décor: Go lavish or stay simple. Pattern lighting can be used to create texture on the walls and ceilings. Go for tall centerpieces on eight-person table rounds.
Invitation: Can go traditional or contemporary. Play with texture using silk and different fabrications.
Bouquet: Have a design pattern within your flowers for an architectural look.
Make It Special: Add an after – dinner cordial bar to toast your guests.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Lafayette Club, photo by Kelly Brown Weddings; Cupcakes from Sweets Bakeshop; The Minikahda Club with flowers from Richfield Flowers and Events, photo by Studio 306; Invitation from Watermark Stationary; Couple dancing, photo by Dolce Studios; Exterior Lafayette Club, courtesy of the Lafayette Club
The home wedding is all about family and friends and is especially popular during recession times. But watch out: This could end up costing more than some venues. Home weddings are ideal for brides who are getting remarried and want to keep things small and inti-mate. The Wedding Guys say there are plenty of options, from hiring a caterer to renting a tent and throwing a barbecue. “Revisit old traditions, perhaps it’s just cake and coffee or champagne and punch. The great thing about the home wedding is that you can take your favorite elements from the traditional or contemporary wedding and apply them on a smaller scale,” says Trettel. Keep flowers simple and opt for natural, loose arrangements. Decor should also be minimal and reflect the style of your home.
Guests: Size depends on location, but generally it’s small guest list
Menu: Anything from a barbeque to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres consider hiring a caterer.
Venue: At the home, whether indoors or tented outdoors
Décor: Décor will vary depending on the home style
Invitation: Range of options for this style of wedding. Give things a personal touch.
Bouquet: Go for a looser arrangement with natural flowers.
Make It Special: Combine china from the two families for electric and personal table settings.