On Saturday, January 30, 2010 at 9:30AM CST The Wedding Guys were featured in a segment to talk about Chandeliers and their amazing use for weddings. Whether the chandeliers are used to light the aisle for your dramatic entrance or hung from a tree in the evening with a glowing warmth in the sunset, chandeliers can enhance any wedding with a bright vision. If you want to take it a step further use them on your guest tables as centerpieces….just remember the bulbs do radiate warmth not only a glow at the table.
Who says you can’t have a wedding reception outdoors in Minneapolis in the month of December? We did just that for Bonnie and Jim. Okay, not the entire reception but we did have a fire pit and a custom ice bar for the brave at heart to smoke their cigars and drink Guinness Beer at.
We like to plan out of the ordinary things for our clients. When we discovered Jim liked his cigars and a lot of his friends did as well we thought, ‘well, it’s going to have to be outside so how are we going to keep them warm?’ Fire and Ice! Our plan was simple to create a lounge area outside the reception to house an ice bar with an attendant who would serve Guinness Beer. The attendant also provided awesome cigars and clipped the ends for the guests. Our job was to keep the flames going and make sure there was plenty of heat. And the guests weren’t shy of braving the elements. It was a conversation starter as guests mingled around the warmth of the fire. We went through 8 bundles of wood and the Guinness was still pouring – mission accomplished.
The guests had so much fun even with the temperature at 18 Degrees. One woman came in from the lounge dressed in a great cocktail dress, a fur coat and great high heels. We told her she won the award for being outside the longest and much to our surprise she said, “And I’m from the south!’
Consider creating a Fire and Ice lounge for your wedding reception.
We are all used to the various wine and cheese tastings, so welcome aboard to Stout and chocolate pairings. When planning the interactive cocktail reception why limit the guests to a wine and cheese tasting, (or having wine and chocolate for dessert?) Before reaching for the wine, why not consider beer instead – a trendy new twist.
Long before micro brewing became popular, beer had always had a foothold with chocolate…as you investigate you will determine some stout even have cocoa in them. So when greeted by a challenge to come up with a fun thing for the beer drinking guys to do at a reception we thought, “why not a stout and chocolate tasting.”
We needed to introduce this concept to the guests who are used to wine and cheese, but stout and chocolate? That was going to be new. We had signs made for the tasting, as we knew people would ask what it was. Much to their surprise and ours they thought it was a great idea. They had never heard of it so they wanted to give it a try. We had one server who asked what type of stout they liked and then poured a small juice glass of stout and then the guests pared it with a chocolate. Some said it was like a pop of chocolate and a soothing smooth taste of beer. Others said it was the richest taste of chocolate they have ever had.
So the big question is what to pair with what type of chocolate? That is where the fun begins. There is really no rime or reason to any specific pairing. It is hard to settle on just one beer to pair with chocolate. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, and beer are such natural partners that almost any random beer can pair very nicely with a chunk of chocolate. Even a simple Pilsner can be elevated by good chocolate. It’s particularly excited when pairing based on contrasts rather than similarities. So if you want to pair, pair the opposite – Dark Chocolate with a lager, a milk chocolate with a Dark Stout like Guinness and for the ultimate in sensation a white chocolate with a creamy ale.
Weddings By Tara Guerard
Photography By Liz Banfield
Finally a Wedding dream book that is approachable and actually applicable in reality.
Weddings – A new book featuring world-renowned wedding designer Tara Guerard of Soiree by Tara Guerard of Charleston, DC and New York City has just been released. All of the photography is by Liz Banfield of Minneapolis, Minnesota who is well known for photographing a number of weddings for Martha Stewart and whose work has been seen in Town & Country, InStyle, Conde Nast Publications and Southern Weddings. We had the pleasure of meeting Tara Guerard this week and reconnecting with Liz Banfield at the NACE luncheon and a wonderful book-signing event at the chic Monique Lhuillier Salon in Edina, MN.
Tara is a trend forward designer with meticulous detailing in her designs. Tara is very nice to point out what she likes and what she doesn’t like in today’s weddings and we honor her for her focus on creating not only a personal experience for the couple but also for the guests. What is very apparent with Tara’s designs is that she does not duplicate them so a couple truly has a wedding designed specifically for them.
The book Weddings by Tara Guerard is a stunning book that not only gives you pretty images to dream and fantasize about for your own wedding, but it also gives you images that you can actually incorporate into your own wedding. The pictures are stunning, the designs are amazing and above all Tara does not talk about how wonderful she is, she actually talks about how and why they did the design elements you are looking at. Thank You Tara for inspiring couples instead of just saying ‘look at my event wasn’t it beautiful’. Thank you so much!
To my surprise I loved when Tara gives recipes for hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments or tips on how to make a monogram for a door. So many things we do as wedding designers but forget how simple it can be for the DIY bride to accomplish if she feels very compelled to do so.
Liz Banfield our hat goes off to you for your amazing passion for capturing weddings in a true art form with such style and vision.
Brides and wedding professionals if you do not have a copy you better hurry!
I have to share with you a terrific experience I had at the Sofitel Minneapolis on Hwy 494 and Hwy 100 in Bloomington, MN. I have been familiar with the Sofitel and some of their staff – Wendy Gustafson, Director of Catering and Executive Chef Serge Devesa for some time but my recent experience was simply and amazingly outstanding.
Matthew and I met with Bonnie, a bride whose wedding we are designing. Bonnie and her fiancé Jim wanted the wedding reception to take place on the Hwy 494 strip in Bloomington/Edina, Minnesota, a first tier suburb of Minneapolis. The focus was great food and music with a not so traditional ballroom environment.
With that in mind, we knew just the perfect location – the former fine dinning restaurant La Fougasse at the Sofitel Minneapolis Hotel. A refreshing space with great color, setting and wonderful food under the eye of Chef Serge! Also on order and part of the wedding favors for each guest from the bride and groom would be that each guest would receive overnight sleeping room accommodations with a Sunday Brunch following an evening of celebration.
We arrived to meet Bonnie and introduce her to Wendy as Jay Gorham, Sales Manager for the sleeping room portion of the tour, joined us. As we began the tour of the La Fougasse event space, we were soon joined by Mike Tindal, Banquet Director as he had offered Bonnie, Matthew and myself a glass of champagne presented on a silver tray welcoming us to our tour at the Sofitel. As we reviewed the space beginning right at the entrance and talked about the details of flow, menu, band/dance area and dinning area we progressed on to one of the suites, which is where Bonnie and Jim will stay during their time at the Sofitel.
As we walked down the hallway to the Presidential Suite, we were surprised as the door opened and inside the suite stood a uniformed room attendant Perla Vazquez, Housekeeping Supervisor and she welcomed our tour to the suite. Before she started the room tour, she presented a welcome gift of luxurious toiletries’ on a silver tray. The shampoo, lotion and conditioner are products of L’Occitane en Provence and are a Verbena scent from Paris. The suite was wonderful and the furnishings were of the highest style and quality. After viewing the suite, we moved on to the Garden Court area where the brunch would be held, a great space with creative brunch possibilities.
As we were readying to depart, Wendy presented a box of petit French pastries for Bonnie and lucky for us, The Wedding Guys! Obviously a petit taste of what would be a great experience to celebrate their wedding at the Sofitel Minneapolis. My hat goes off to Hotel Sofitel and the team for creating an out of the box experience that truly makes all the difference in the world! Bravo!
The Wedding Guys® were on the Get Married show on Saturday, January 16, 2010.
Check out the video clip to see the latest tips about ruffles!
For many brides planning their wedding, they initially think of the reception. So get ready to put it in reverse and start at the ceremony. Instead of having your guests arrive at the ceremony and quickly ushered to their seats with program in hand, design the start of your wedding with impact right from the start – ‘the ceremony’. Remember you don’t have to wait until the reception to bring in flowers and decor.
Make the start of your wedding ceremony with an impact statement sure to greet your guests and tantalize their senses.
To demonstrate the look we would envision for the entrance to a wedding ceremony, we would like to introduce Heath Alan Ray, the creative director of Jackson Durham in Atlanta, Georgia. We met Heath in Atlanta last month when we traveled to speak at The Wedding Party by Atlanta Weddings Magazine, which took place at the stunning Georgian Terrace Hotel. Heath totally rocked his studio space at the show with this stunning floral arrangement including hydrangea, roses, tea roses, tulips, and large stunning stems of Phaleanopsis orchids. A truly stunning statement! BRAVO!
This arrangement would make a stunning entrance to a wedding ceremony. You could have this arrangement displayed on a 48 inch round table with an elegant specialty linen. The guest book could also be placed here for your guests to sign and write their sentiments. To enhance the entrance area you may want to add candles to create a warm glow, select a string quartet or harpist performing, a very romantic and fresh vision.
So many people ask how we develop our creative for our national show tour ‘Unveiled’ The Ultimate Wedding Planning Event or for our Signature Weddings we design for select clients. I will tell you a little secret; it came from something I used in journalism and creative writing classes while I attended college. It’s called ‘Branching’.
Branching is all about taking a main idea and ‘branching’ off from the main idea with supportive details for the ‘main idea’. This is also a great way to get out of a ‘writers block’ or when you need to creatively think of a way to solve a problem. It’s clearly not that difficult and it helps to make sure you are covering all the details and aspects of your design.
Branching – To branch out, write your main idea at the bottom of the page ie trunk or roots of the tree. Above it, list your sub-categories supporting the main ideas. Then, branching off to the left and right, listing details of these sub-categories. See the example below; being creative about a daisy or peacock and it’s many uses and how you can incorporate this into your creative process.
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.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Outside reception, photo by Shelly Mosman Photography; Couple at home, photo by Shelly Mosman Photography; Food table, photo by Shelly Mosman Photography; Champagne glasses, photo by Wendy Woods Photography; Cake, photo by Shelly Mosman Photogrpahy.
Tune in to GET MARRIED on Saturday, January 16, 2010 as The Wedding Guys give tips on the latest craze – RUFFLES FOR WEDDINGS! Check your local cable listings for an airtime near you!
For some of us who remember the old Ruffles Potato Chip commercial, ‘Ruffles Have Ridges’, we love to see the reinvented use of the ruffle in not just wedding gowns but also in wedding decor. For brides who are planning their wedding – ruffles are one of the hottest trends and bigger than ever. Initially it was the romantic flare of the gown by adding ruffles to the skirt or a one-shoulder bodice or a way to incorporate the jacket into a frilly bolero jacket for that strapless gown. This very flirty and feminine silhouette has now inspired other aspects of the wedding from the invitation, cake and yes even chair-back covers.
At first like with many detailed aspects of the wedding a bride will want to have them everywhere. However like any good thing, too much is a bad thing. So our advice is to look at your overall wedding vision and see how you can introduce the ruffle aspect into your design but as on a gown a ruffle is best used as an enhancement not a blanket treatment. Look at each stage of the wedding and develop one area that will be strengthened by the use of ruffles, if ruffles are ‘you’ as like other things, they are not for everyone.
Chair Back Covers for the parents and bride and groom’s chairs.
Chair Back Covers for the first chair in each row next to the aisle.
Chair Back Covers for every chair in the last row on each side of the aisle.
Flower Girls look adorable in ruffled dresses.
Ruffled cabbage leaf in a bouquet.
Ruffled gift table or cake table.
Ruffled table linens.
Ruffled chair covers.
If cost is an issue reserve the ruffled chair back covers for the head table and the parents or family tables.
The ruffled chair cover image shown in the blog is from the Chameleon Chair Collection by visiting http://www.chameleonchair.com