Bruce Vassar loved weddings from the very beginning. As a child he would sneak into church on Saturdays, peaking his head in to get a glimpse of the bride. At age 5 he would cut out dresses from the JCPenney catalog to create his own elegant paper dolls. He could be found orchestrating wedding plays with his neighborhood friends, dressing them up in their mother’s wedding dresses then teaching them the proper way to walk while he straightened their long trains.
Bruce graduated from Augsburg College with a degree in Marketing and Communications. Early in his career he could be found in the medical, hospitality, sports and non-profit industries. He was responsible for the marketing, positioning, and reputation management of companies that included Control Data, Scimed Life Systems, Children’s Hospitals, Ramada Hotels and the Unites States Tennis Association (USTA). But his passion was still weddings, so in 2000 he joined David’s Bridal where he worked part-time in visual, creating beautiful window displays, and in customer service, helping brides with purchasing their dream dresses.
Bruce is world-renowned and best known as one of The Wedding Guys®. In 2001, Bruce connected with life-long friend and soon-to-be business partner Matthew Trettel. For nearly 20 years he worked alongside Matthew to elevate the world of weddings. Together the two were a dynamic force and amazing team that transformed the wedding industry.
In 2002 they created their first business venture, Elite 100 Weddings Couture. Their concept was to elevate the wedding industry by creating a one-of-a-kind wedding event called The Wedding Gala. Hosted at International Market Square, the event was the first luxury bridal event in the country. The soiree would include a fashion show featuring six international bridal gown designers flown in especially for the event. As Elite 100 Weddings Couture they also published their first hard-cover book called The Wedding Planner.
Industry partners started to refer to this dynamic duo as ‘The Wedding Guys’ and by 2004 they recognized the importance of this developing brand and applied for, and received, a Trademark from the US Patent Office. In 2009 they founded their new corporation, The Wedding Guys, Inc. which would place them on an amazing trajectory in establishing a global brand.
Bruce was very passionate about his work and his vision and talent were awe inspiring. Bruce co-produced bridal shows throughout the country including UNVEILED – The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event, the Twin Cities Bridal Show and UNVEILED – Rochester. He has also co-produced the Wedding TrendSpot Press Fashion Show for Bridal Fashion Week in New York. He co-authored the annual Wedding Trends Look Book. He worked in Television with the creation of ‘RANDY to the RESCUE’ series for TLC and as an art director of Finale of Say Yes to the Dress America airing in January 2020.
His passion for all things weddings would lead him inspire couples to create a celebration that truly expresses their love. He had an eye for fashion and understood the importance of every detail as guests turn to see the bride as she takes that first step down the aisle. His sage advice was to always wear closed-toed shoes when wearing a long gown, because they don’t interrupt the line of the dress as they peak out in the walk down the aisle. He also had strong convictions that without a veil, you are just wearing a white dress. The veil, he said, makes you look like a bride.
He believed in so many in the wedding industry and offered sincere advice and wise counsel. As a truth teller, mentor and enthusiast, he helped wedding businesses to achieve the dreams they had for their companies; giving sage advice, encouraging the highest of standards and offering his friendship.
Bruce was a kind, joyful and fun-loving individual who desired to uplift others. His fun spirit and boisterous demeanor left an impression on every life he touched. He was a dapper and distinguished gentleman, leader, friend and man of faith who brought grace and peace to every situation.
Bruce believed in helping others find their true potential and ability to feel like their best self. Whether that was through work, pageantry, volunteerism, or fashion, he helped you believe that you were and always deserved to feel like royalty.
His exuberant personality, sense of humor and twinkle in his eyes made people feel at ease no matter how long he had known them. His smile lit up a room, his infections (and unique) laughter could lift anyone’s spirits.
Bruce enjoyed figure skating, royalty, fashion, dress designing, and a belvedere martini, up with three olives.
His industry contributions went beyond his career. With 25+ years of involvement as a member of the National Association of Catering and Events (NACE) he held almost all Board of Director positions, serving multiple terms as Local Chapter President, and most recently as Immediate Past President of the Twin Cites NACE Chapter. He created a second family with this amazing group.
His giving included his time offered as valued guidance to brilliant young women through work with the Miss America/ Miss Minnesota Organization. He loved to offer incredibly supportive encouragement and inspiration, acting as a teacher, role model and positive influence – holding their hands and believing in them and cheering them on. This paired with his impeccable sense of fashion, glamour, sophistication, class and most of all, compassion.
Of all his accomplishments he was most proud of his two children Ryan and Stephanie.
Bruce leaves behind an amazing legacy, from covering the Royal Wedding of William and Kate to creating international-award-winning bridal shows so couples could be inspired and find the perfect vendors for their wedding. His generous heart and grace changed our world for the better and we will always remember him with love.