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Life has a funny way of making things happen, especially when your ten-year-old daughter wants to eventually be a wedding planner and all she wants to see is her moms getting married. Olivia had planned over and over and over in her mind just how the perfect wedding would look when her moms, Liz and Ang, got married. The problem was they never could get married until Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage on August 1, 2013. And so you may ask why did it take 6 years for Liz and Ang to get married? We asked the same thing and the reason was very clear – Life! Starting a family, purchasing a home, upkeep, careers, and, yes, running the kids to basketball, hockey, you name it: Life!
But life couldn’t stop Olivia and her brother Luke from trying and with the help of family, Olivia and Luke started planning and of course filming. The task ahead of them would be to enter their moms in a chance to win the KSTP TV Twin Cities Live Cupid’s Couple Contest – A wedding giveaway where one lucky couple would be selected by the viewing audience for an all-expense-paid wedding designed by The Wedding Guys. The caveat would be each wedding item would be voted on by the viewing audience and in turn, The Wedding Guys would weave it into the overall wedding design.
The Couple: 11/8
With an average of 45,000 viewers tuning in each week to Twin Cities Live the audience chose Liz Becker and Ang Grossman. The entry was a video created by their daughter Olivia explaining why she thought her two moms should win the Cupids Couple Wedding giveaway.
The Vision: Woodland Forest
As with any couple who The Wedding Guys design a wedding for, it all started with a get-to-know-you dinner with the couple. It’s great to get a vibe and what they like and what they don’t. Liz is the outgoing personality and Ang is the soft-spoken, go-with-the-flow personality. What we learned was they truly enjoy summertime and spending time at the cabin with family and friends. The cabin is where they had thought of having a wedding someday and it’s also where Olivia started preparing her video. So how do we recreate a cabin vision that hasn’t already been done? The inspiration came as a Woodland Forest surrounded by tall trees and friends and family.
With the trend of having more wedding ceremonies outdoors we felt this would be a good direction to go in but how would we accomplish this when the wedding would take place in the television studio on Valentine’s Day. That would be the easy part as we said the entire studio would be transformed.
The Venue: KSTP TV Studio and Bavaria Downs
The detail to create the Woodland Forest design would need to work around the lights and cameras within the TCL studio, which we would completely transform into a woodland Forest. Now our work was cut out for us as we truly wanted to have a forest surrounding everyone in the studio. n other words, there would be no part of the TCL set showing other than the floor.
We selected the hottest new venue in the Twin Cities called Bavaria Downs by Bellagala. A woodland estate located in Chaska, Minnesota, would be the reception location of the cocktail hour, dinner, and dance. The estate itself has the most amazing rooms for pictures and the Get Ready Rooms are out of this world luxurious, refined, and plush. The main Ballroom which seats 300 needed to seat 100 guests for the wedding so our job was cut out for us to bring an intimate Woodland Forest into the space for dinner and dancing.
The Rings: 11/21
Jewelry by Johan was selected as the jeweler to create the wedding rings for Liz and Ang. Why shop at a jewelry case when you can have custom rings that express who you are as a couple? Liz and Ang selected convertible bands that have interchangeable wood finishes that screw on and off – AMAZING!
The Invitation: 11/27
Epitome Papers in Excelsior was the stationer selected for the invitation and all the wedding stationery. When presented with the vision of a Woodland Forrest, Evelyn and Shannon created three styles. Two styles were a bit formal and the third was without words – because we were speechless – Shannon had created a custom watercolor of a Woodland Forrest vision. The audience would end up selecting the watercolor invitation from which the Woodland Forrest décor scene would evolve over time.
The Wedding Gowns: 12/4
When it came to the wedding gown, we selected Posh Bridal Couture in Wayzata. The staff was amazing to work with and above all knowledgeable in all aspects of fit and construction of wedding gowns which is so important. Three gowns were selected for Liz, two a bit more shall we say “bridal” and the third one a bit more “Glitzy Glam” which in the end was the viewer’s choice. With a spaghetti strap sweetheart neckline and crystal and sequin bodice, chiffon flowing skirt with a sweep train would help with the breezy woodland feel.
The Bridesmaids Dresses: 12/12
Kennedy Blue was the choice for providing the bridesmaid dress for Olivia. This Minnesota-based company allows bridesmaids the opportunity to shop from home on the internet and select a gown(s) to be shipped to them to try on. A great option for when your wedding party is from many parts of the world. The choices were Fatima, Logan and Maria which would be in the color of Storm; a Gray Blue tone in Chiffon. The audience selected Logan as their romantic choice for the wedding.
The Groomsmen Attire: 12/19
Heimie’s Haberdashery in Saint Paul, heimies.com was selected to style the groomsmen for the wedding who have been styling gentlemen since 1921. Anthony Andler proprietor of Heimie’s selected the three options for the viewers to select from a modern contemporary charcoal grey suite, traditional medium grey all wool suit, or an ultimate classic black all wool suit formal looks. The audience selected the charcoal grey suit which fit in perfectly with the overall woodland theme.
The Catering: 1/9
When you want the best for catering, you go to the best and we did, we went to D’Amico Catering who is the exclusive caterer at Bavaria Downs. This year we pre-selected two choices because there were options the guests could select between Sauteed Farmhouse Chicken Breast with Potato Gnocchi, Hanger Steak with Potato Galette, and it was up to the audience to vote on which fish entrée to round out the third option. The Salmon with Asparagus, Crème Fraiche Yukon G Potato Puree, and finished with Herb Pesto was the winning fish entrée to the delight of many guests.
The Décor: 1/16
The décor for the event was provided by BeThings, who has the most amazing furnishings for rent. We had three options for the dinner tables and chairs. One was the high gloss black Monaco Dining Table, a second with a Cement Table Top, and the third option with a live edge. Each table would be used in the reception but it was the Chameleon Chair – new to the Twin Cities only through BeThings and optional chair back covers that the viewing audience would select. The winning selection was the silver Chameleon Chair with a moss green contemporary tree chair back cover for the family table which would seat Liz, Ang, Olivia, and Luke. We also selected sheer screen-printed woodland forest panels for the ballroom to assist in making the large space more intimate.
The Flowers: 1/23
Joy Unspeakable Flowers created three different bouquet designs for the TCL audience to vote on. One with various winter white roses and berries called Elegant Forest, the second Muted Meadow with succulents and green amaranths, and three Something Blue a more classic with a navy blue and purple thistle. The texture and sizes were perfect, not overwhelming and each bouquet had meaning to them.
The Cake: 1/29
The flavor of the cake created by Pastry Chef, Samantha Cunningham of HyVee, would be in the hands of Liz and Ang’s kids, Olivia and Luke. They were able to pick between flavors like Turtle Mocha, White Chocolate Raspberry, Almond, Luscious Lemon, Vanilla Delight, Golden Oreo, and Chocolate Madness. The viewing audience voted on one of the three cake designs – Woodland Magic, Birch Beauty, and Beige Romance. The winning flavor by Olivia and Luke was White Chocolate Raspberry Almond and Samantha also made a small Chocolate Madness cake just for Olivia and Luke on the wedding day because what kids don’t love chocolate.
The Wedding: 2/14
The wedding ceremony was officiated by TCL host Elizabeth with music by Joe Trucano and Keri Noble. Keri was one of the couple’s favorite singers and they had been to many of her concerts. Twin Cities Live surprised Liz and Ang by having Keri sing a song written by Keri just for the wedding titled – Your Ring.
There are a few things you will always have to stir memories of your wedding so selecting them is extremely important. One of the key elements of a wedding is photography. Let’s put it this way – there has to be a connection, they have to see your wedding the way you do. And above all remember you are going to be with them every step of the way on your wedding day. Bellagala’s Katie Bailey stepped the audience through the three styles of photography and then the viewers had to select the one style they thought would be the best. From the Traditional, Photojournalistic and the new Fine Art styles, the audience selected the more relaxed fun Photojournalist style capturing Liz and Ang’s day from an editorial perspective.
The reception wouldn’t be complete without a great party. We partnered with Tin Folkenson from Minnesota Wedding Party to act as the evening’s host, seamlessly keeping the evening flowing through the speeches, toasts, and into the dance. With his unique VJ service in addition to the great music, he has incorporated music videos into the dance. Guests love the added dimension. Dolly from Mirror Me Perfect Selfie Photobooth brought more fun to the evening with her Photo Booth that is actually a camera set behind a magical mirror! Your guests pose themselves looking at their reflection and the Photo Booth does the rest!
The Honeymoon: 2/14
Where should they go the big mystery of the wedding day for Liz and Ang’s Honeymoon? With the help of AAA Minneapolis, the choices were Vancouver & Victoria British Columbia, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. The announcement was delivered to Liz and Ang on the way to the reception with Kelli Hansen reporting live to deliver the winning location of Hawaii.
Photos courtesy of Bellagala