Trend Wedding 2008

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Each year The Wedding Guys,® Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar of Twin City Bridal Association, set out to define wedding trends for Twin Cities couples. Through Trend Wedding,™ their signature event, they debut the latest inspiration in wedding designs and execution. Many people are fascinated by elaborate affairs, making Trend Wedding the most publicized wedding in the area, garnering attention from local and national media alike.

The Wedding Guys partner with the Twin Cities most celebrated wedding experts to design a gorgeous, memorable, over-the-top wedding experience through Trend Wedding. This event gives future brides and grooms creative ideas and innovative concepts that can be incorporated into their own special wedding day. It’s the perfect way to learn about the hottest trends in decor, colors, fashion, food, stationery, and just about anything wedding-related.

Trettel and Vassar planned Trend Wedding 2008, titled “That’s Entertainment,” with a smaller, more intimate experiential wedding in mind. They envisioned the event as an orchestrated movement, transitioning between each element of the ceremony and reception with surprises around every turn.

What makes Trend Wedding especially exciting is that one lucky couple wins the wedding, valued at just under $150,000. Plans started evolving almost a year in advance, long before the bride and groom were selected in a live drawing at The Engagement Party,™ produced by Twin City Bridal Association each November. The highlight for many Engagement Party attendees is when one lucky couple is drawn as the Trend Wedding winner.

Thousands of couples entered their names in the drawing, but it was Jessica Finney and Gary Engel that were chosen as the lucky couple by KS95’s Staci Matthews, host of the Moon and Staci Show. By this point The Wedding Guys had already decided that the Metropolitan Ballroom and Clubroom would be the perfect setting for the Art Nouveau-inspired reception. Their goal was to have all aspects of the day work in harmony to create a complete work of art.

The Metropolitan was the ideal venue in that it features several unique spaces, the perfect way to accomplish what The Wedding Guys had envisioned. Many of the details remained a secret to Jessica and Gary, making the celebration even more exciting.

Finding the gown, setting a theme

The Trend Wedding experience began with an exclusive appointment at The Bridal Salon at Macy’s where Jessica would select her Vera Wang gown. Macy’s consultants closed the salon to the public so that Jessica and her bridal party could shop in private. They provided champagne and artisan cheeses for the entourage as Jessica previewed the exquisite gowns. The helpful Macy’s consultants had fitted each of their mannequins with a different Vera Wang gown, giving Jessica a preview of what each gown looked like on, rather than on a hanger. Jessica finally selected a beautiful off-the-shoulder Vera Wang gown made in ivory tulle. The gown was whimsical and romantic yet sophisticated. She chose a pair of exquisite Grace shoes—a classic sling-back heel in ivory—with a delicate crystal buckle adding just a hint of sparkle.

Jessica’s bridesmaids also had a chance to try on dresses from an amazing selection of Vera Wang bridesmaids’ gowns. With the help of both Jessica and The Wedding Guys, the final selection was a striking full-length trendy Vera Wang dress in a deep purple with a black sash and eye-catching halter style V-neckline.

With the gowns on order, the next task for The Wedding Guys was creating the invitation ensemble. They enlisted the help of designer Sarah Glad of A Milestone Paper Co. to create a suite of personalized wedding day stationery. The design would play off the ceremony décor and elements of the reception. Sarah proposed a bound-book format with perforated cards that would contain all pertinent information and incorporate every element of the invitation into a sleek and modern package. The invitation itself featured the color palette of the ceremony and reception—peacock colors of regal purples, greens, and a splash of red. A Philip Morris-inspired pattern enhanced the booklet’s cover and Art Nouveau-inspired motifs were reflected on the interior pages. Liberal use of bold, interesting, colorful graphics and original text made the text itself a graphic statement. In addition to traditional elements included in the invitation ensemble, The Wedding Guys opted to include a copy of the reception menu. This would give the guests a formal listing of the culinary selections in advance, a good idea since the reception would feature chef action stations (and a traditional menu displayed at each setting seemed inappropriate).

The hand-bound booklets were personalized for each guest, allowing for the invitations to arrive in cellophane envelopes, and giving the bold graphics a center-stage presence. Sarah even designed a custom stamp that included the couple’s names and an Art Nouveau motif.

Dramatic transformations

Wedding Guy Bruce Vassar spent most of the wedding day morning and afternoon with Jessica. At the Metropolitan Ballroom and Clubroom, Wedding Guy Matthew Trettel was busy orchestrating the final details of the ceremony and reception décor. It took two whole days just to install everything.

The glowing bride arrived at Hotel Ivy, a luxury hotel in downtown Minneapolis, where pampering was the rule of the day. Greta Olson of New-York based MG Hair and Makeup did Jessica’s hair and makeup in the elegant 1,100-square-foot Grand Suite. In order to stay with a romantic, evening theme, the makeup consisted of a smoky gold-brown eye shadow, natural-looking lashes added to the outer edge of Jessica’s eyes (to add definition without being overly dramatic), a soft blush, light bronzer, and pale pink lipstick. A 19th century “Gibson Girl” style—complete with a waterfall of curls pulled back into a low gathering of pinned curls—looked both romantic and timeless. The crowning touch was a wonderfully simple chapel-length ivory veil by Toni Federici from The Bridal Salon at Macy’s. Jessica’s silver Swarovski crystal earrings and hair jewelry were custom-crafted by Che Bella, located on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

Earlier in the morning, MDR Video had arrived at Hotel Ivy to film the entire wedding experience. To ensure that each moment was captured, they had a camera crew for both the bride and groom as they got ready. The rest of their staff was busy setting up at the ceremony site, including a camera crane and three additional cameras.

Gary and his groomsmen arrived at the Hotel Ivy to meet the rest of the wedding party for photographs taken by Jenn Barnett of Jenn Barnett Photos. Gary and the guys were dressed in black Soho jackets by Joseph Abboud with matching tone-on-tone black striped pants, courtesy of Savvi Formalwear.

Jenn Barnett took plenty of creative photojournalistic shots of Jessica getting ready and of the magical moment when Jessica and Gary saw each other for the first time. Because Jenn wanted to create a truly original album for the couple, she asked if she could document the wedding party at several unique locations. From the hotel, Valley Limousine and Transportation transported the group in luxury to the Guthrie Theatre and Mill City Museum. In true documentary style, Barnett even took a few shots of the wedding party stopping for a snack at McDonald’s!

First impressions

Après Party and Tent Rental created a custom marquee tent to accommodate the guests’ arrival. The marquee, draped in dramatic black fabric and featuring a crystal chandelier, offered protection from rain or inclement weather. Once the guests pulled up to the Metropolitan Ballroom and Clubroom, valets from Class A Valet, an elite professional valet service in the Twin Cities metro, greeted them.

Once inside the Metropolitan, a gorgeous floral piece created by Stems and Vines made a memorable impact. Set upon a large table with aubergine linen from Après Party and Tent Rental, the piece was reminiscent of the type of arrangement you would see in a five-star hotel. A custom guestbook, embellished with fabric from the wedding reception, shared space with the floral arrangement. From the lobby, the guests—dressed in formal attire—were directed into the dramatic ceremony space.

The sound of contemporary classical music, played by Complete Music, filled the air. The ambiance was magical. Everything was white, from the carpet (brought in just for the ceremony), to the modern ceiling draping technique created by Après Party and Tent Rental. The environment was reminiscent of the Art Deco decadence, only with a modern twist. The Wedding Guys emulated Deco’s clean lines and use of metal, mirror, and glass. They infused acrylic and chrome in items like clear chairs and acrylic cubes from BeEvents. Personalized touches included chairs featuring each guest’s name and custom booklet programs, created by A Milestone Paper Co., matching the theme of the invitations. These details hinted at the Art Nouveau-style reception to follow.

Two acrylic cubes displayed dozens of candles within stemmed glass holders, placed at the start of the aisle. A hand-painted aisle runner from New York-based Original Runner Company incorporated the couple’s motif from the invitation along with their names.

It was the spectacular creation at the end of the aisle, however, that made the biggest statement. The teamwork of Ice Sculptures by Tom Doyle and Stems and Vines created a magnificent centerpiece to the ceremony—an eight-foot-tall albino peacock made out of ice, orchids, and feathers. Perched upon a mirrored pedestal, the body of the peacock was carved from a solid piece of ice, blending seamlessly into a tail of albino white peacock feathers (shipped all the way from a farm in Oregon), and white dendrobium orchids. The tail cascaded down the pedestal and onto the floor at the feet of the bride and groom.

While the guests arrived, the wedding party relaxed in a lounge that had been designed by The Wedding Guys and Après Party and Tent Rental. Like the ceremony, the walls were lined in white chiffon. The room included lounge seating in black and white with custom pillows in black mink. The room also featured a small table and chairs for the bride and groom to enjoy champagne together in a private moment after the ceremony.

The ceremony

The bride and her father made a dramatic entrance as rolling fog filled the floor from the other side of the room. The effect was as if Jessica was entering on a cloud. Guests could hear the magical tinkling of the crystal strands in Jessica’s gorgeous cascade bouquet (consisting of lisyanthus, vanda orchids, sweet peas, and roses) as she and her father proceeded down the aisle to “Fairy Dance” from Peter Pan. As a unique twist, The Wedding Guys orchestrated the processional to include the groomsmen holding the bridesmaids bouquets until their partner met them at the aisle, in which they then handed the bouquet over. The bridesmaids’ bouquets offset Jessica’s with a lime green monochromatic cascade of dendrobium orchids and green tea roses. The groomsmen had peacock feathers in their boutonnieres. Jessica met Gary beneath the towering peacock display. Dozens of candles surrounded them.

MDR Video was present throughout the day with a five-person camera crew carrying hand-held broadcast quality cameras. This allowed them to capture Jessica and Gary’s most intimate moments without the hassle of taking the focus away from the bride and groom’s wedding day experience. During the ceremony, they used four cameras, including one mounted on the ceiling to get an overhead shot of the action.

Joe Anderson, Jessica and Gary’s pastor from River Valley Church, performed the ceremony. During the lighting of the unity candle Jessica and Gary’s friend, Chris Atkinson, sang “Heaven” by Bryan Adams. The ceremony ended when the newlywed couple exited to “Overture” from The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. They were able to enjoy a few moments alone in the lounge room by celebrating with a champagne toast as they waited to take a few more pictures.

Cocktail reception and dinner

In the meantime, servers greeted guests in the lobby with butler-passed champagne. They were then ushered into the Clubroom where D’Amico Catering had an outstanding selection of hors d’oeuvres including steak tar tare with stone ground mustard on Yukon gold potato chips, truffled lobster, and sweet corn fondutto tartlet butler-passed on framed mirrors. To embellish the presentation, The Wedding Guys ornamented each frame with the couple’s signature motif.

Surprise number two came in the form of a unique performance. The Wedding Guys had enlisted the help of Heather Haugen, an aerial artist, to perform three acts during the cocktail reception and dinner. This Cirque du Soleil-inspired performance amazed the guests. Heather’s graceful aerial performance included dramatic falls and lyrical movements at 15 to 20 feet above the dance floor. Even the floor was decked out. The Wedding Guys used gobos to project images of the couple’s signature motif along with Jessica and Gary’s names.

The reception transitioned from the Deco look of the ceremony, into more of an Art Nouveau style setting. Using the peacock feather as inspiration, the reception was saturated with color.

Metropolitan’s Clubroom featured four levels of distinct seating, with Après Party and Tent Rental creating unique designs for each area. The top level exuded an intimate 1920s nightclub feel with tables dressed in ‘metal circle’ linens featuring black velvet flocking on a base of iridescent platinum. Next to each napkin was a customized CD of various ceremony and reception music selections. The case featured the beautiful designs of A Milestone Paper Co., keeping with the overall theme of the invitations and programs. Centerpieces included flowers, candles, and foliage to create texture and drama.

The custom lounge area opposite the bar featured custom bolster pillows in the ‘metal circle’ coordinating with the cocktail linens.

A few steps below that was another tier of seating featuring the stunning vertical buffet—an innovative new culinary trend. A lighted vertical arrangement of food allowed guests to help themselves, a very popular trend in the world of high-end events. D’Amico provided a selection of small plated items including boucheron tart with roasted tomato, Sicilian onion and arugula, shrimp martini with tomato, avocado and red pepper infused oil, miniature Vietnamese duck egg rolls, and French cheese board with figs and walnut raisin bread, placed within a modern cubed wall.

Continuing the peacock theme, Stems and Vines created square block vases lined with peacock feathers and illuminated from within creating a striking silhouette.

The main level hosted the baron’s-style head table and two family tables. The ten-person wedding party sat at the head table. The centerpiece was a modern floral runner of black magic roses, green Fuji Mums, lavender roses, purple lizyanthus, garnet dahlias, green dendrobium orchids, and fern and moss in a low hedge effect. Peacock feathers and luminaries in purple and turquoise were used to accent.

The head table was flanked by the parents’ tables decorated with an iron candle tree and a lush arrangement of the same flowers. Crystals hung down from the tree like rain. Stems and Vines amplified the tree effect with large tropical leaves. For a colorful glowing effect, the base of the tree was heavy with luminaries.

This level also featured two chef action stations where D’Amico prepared balsamic marinated berry salad with goat cheese crouton and organic mixed greens, mache with Newsom ham and Humboldt Fog goat cheese, beef short ribs with balsamic glaze served with smoked tomato fettuccine, saffron pappardelle pasta, chef prepared risotto and range chicken with Taleggio cheese and parsley cream sauce.

The dance floor housed even more cocktail tables. Crystal drop centerpieces accented the tables and featured a crown of floral set off with peacock feathers.

The Wedding Guys welcomed the guests and introduced the newlyweds as they entered the reception. Guests welcomed the couple as the second aerial performance began. Everyone was delighted by the surprise. This was also the introduction to the dinner portion of the evening. The wedding party was seated and provided with French service as the remainder of the guests enjoyed the action stations and open seating. Phil Thompson played the grand piano during the cocktail and dinner hours.

As the dinner concluded, a final performance by Heather Haugen and a pyrotechnic display of streamers and confetti signified the first dance. The Wedding Guys selected the band Metro Jam, represented by Macken Music, to keep the party going. Under the direction of Jay Fuchs and featuring Erin Schwab, the high-energy group thrilled the guests.

Let them eat cake!

Another pyrotechnic display of streamers and confetti signaled the opening of the Music Box Cake Room revealed behind the head table. The room was enveloped in red velvet and featured a decadent chocolate cake from Elegant Confections by Bellaria Bakery towering at an impressive seven feet. The cake featured five decadent layers covered in dark chocolate ganache. Inside dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling, dark chocolate cake with Irish cream buttercream filling and dark chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream filling. The chocolate cake was layered with floral in the rich color scheme and peacock feathers creating a striking centerpiece for the dessert lounge. The cake was bordered by a dessert buffet including milk chocolate and dark chocolate truffles, petite lemon meringue tartlets, petite tiramisu, fruit tartlets and miniature chocolate ganache cups in orange Grand Marnier, classic bittersweet, crème de menthe and mocha from Bellaria Bakery atop elegant period crystal serving plateaus. Uplighting added impact to the overall space.

While the guests wined and dined, the team busily transformed the ballroom from the ceremony setting into a coffee area. The lounge opened to reveal a room lined in chocolate brown velvet. In the center of the room was a large leather banquette with a towering floral arrangement, chocolate Wildwood linens, and Flocked Taffeta runners. Atop each table was a cluster of stemmed candleholders and a wreath of peacock feathers and florals.

Guests danced all night, and when it was time to say goodbye, they picked up custom-made thank-you puzzle notes encased in acrylic boxes. Friends and family also took home gift bags of vintage candy including popcorn balls, roasted peanuts, saltwater taffy, cotton candy, and a lollipop.

The tired but elated newlyweds enjoyed a chauffeured ride, provided by Valley Limousine, back to Hotel Ivy where they reflected on their magical day and the start of their new life together.