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Weddings and Special Occasions

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Whether you’re getting married, celebrating a milestone anniversary, or hosting a birthday bash—you want to acknowledge the big event with an unforgettable party. And you don’t want just any party, you want this to be the party of 2011. With some useful tips from wedding and event-planning professionals, we help simplify the process for a truly memorable celebration.


The Venue

The first item on your “to-do” checklist is finding a venue. The setting makes all the difference. Do you want a small, intimate gathering of close family and friends or a giant bash with a seemingly never-ending guest list? Do you want a lavish venue, or something simple? Take a look at a number of venues within your budget. With a little imagination and creativity, even the most ordinary venues can be turned into fairytale settings.

TIP: Ask if the venue is handicap-accessible, has air conditioning, and if parking is readily available. Ask if there are any restrictions in regards to using the facility. (Some venues, such as historical sites, have restrictions regarding smoking, candles, and alcohol.)

Tip: Keep costs down with a small, intimate wedding. The Lodge on Lake Detroit, located on Big Detroit Lake, is a great choice for smaller destination weddings (get married outdoors during a lakeside ceremony or indoors in the fireside lobby) or honeymoons. The hotel offers affordable luxury, complete with an on-site day spa perfect for couples and wedding parties.

Trend: Think outside the box. A unique wedding venue is Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. The professionals at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres can also facilitate a memorable rehearsal dinner or bridal shower during the sweet romantic musical comedy I Do! I Do! running from Sept. 24, 2010 through May 2011.

Trend: Make your wedding a mini vacation for everyone on the guest list. The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes, located in Baxter, can accommodate between 10 and 500 guests. Perks include in-house AV, natural lighting, and a beautiful lodge-style ballroom featuring fireplaces and a courtyard walkout. Guests love the on-site restaurant, fitness center, and massive indoor waterpark.

Personalizing the Event

According to Twin Cities wedding experts The Wedding Guys®, Bruce Vassar and Matthew Trettel, a memorable invitation will not only set the tone of the party, but make a lasting first impression (and build anticipation) of what’s to come.

“Use something other than a standard envelope, and you’ll get people talking,” Trettel suggests. “From metal clam-style boxes to mailing tubes, you can create a dynamic enclosure for your invitation.”

TIP: Customize invitations by adding wrap, ribbon, a motif or monogram, or using two colors of ink. –Parchment of Minnesota

Vassar adds that you can also make a “wow” statement with high-impact floral arrangements. “Upscale hotel and fine dining restaurants use this technique all the time. Do you remember the last time you stopped in awe of a large arrangement in a hotel lobby?” he points out. Using a high-impact floral arrangement can serve double-duty during a wedding: it can dress up the ceremony site and be moved over to the reception venue.

TIP: Most brides take into account the color of their bridesmaid dresses before choosing bouquets, but many forget about the colors of their venue when selecting centerpieces or floral arrangements. To avoid an awkward color combo, “Make sure you take into account the characteristics of your venue when choosing color and design selections for your big event.” –Sadie’s Couture Floral and Event Styling

TREND: Hand-tied bouquets are popular, as are romantic roses and the all-white combination of classic and timeless Lily of the Valley and orchids.

Add pizzazz and personal touches to your party through items such as canopies, tables, chairs, P.A. equipment, LCD projectors (for slideshows), décor pieces, and ceiling and design treatments, available locally at Ultimate Events (a culmination of Classic Events & Parties, Skyway Event Services, and Aarcee Party & Tent Rental), Festivities Event Services, and Event Lab. Couples can also hire event consultants and coordinators to take care of any “what ifs” on the big day, and put out any fires so the day flows seamlessly.

TIP: “The biggest decor mistake people make is not allowing their personality to come through in the vision of the day. If the day represents you, you can’t go wrong.” –Jennifer Braun, owner, Festivities Event Services

TRENDS: “We’re designing weddings and events with beads, crystals, chandeliers and unique lighting to make any event really shine.” –Jack Noble, president, Event Lab

“Color isn’t the primary source of inspiration any longer. It’s still important, and we’re seeing brides use multiple shades of the same color rather than just green and purple, for example, but we’re also seeing themes like ‘Rustic Garden’ or ‘Classic 40s,’ with color as a supporting element.” –Ultimate Events, Inc.


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