Little Mistress dress, $89, Jenny Bird necklace, $105, earrings, $170, and bracelets, $115 and $170 each, all @ Lily and Violet, 3413 W. 44th St., Mpls., 612-746-4160, lilyandviolet.com; Sam & Libby pumps, $40 @ Target, multiple metro locations, target.com, location courtesy of Rudy’s Event Rentals, pastries courtesy of Cossetta Pasticceria.
On an evening last march, the lounge at La Belle Vie sat empty—with a few notable exceptions: a woman standing amidst a rose-petal-lined path, and her boyfriend, bent on one knee, holding a diamond ring. The two were surrounded by tables filled with photos and mementos of their relationship, and a cellist played in the background. Nearby, wedding-proposal planner Lizie Anne Hunt watched through the lens of a video camera as months of preparation unfolded.
Hunt turns proposals into dream days for future brides, and the La Belle Vie affair, which she refers to as the “Epic Proposal”—a daylong event including a limousine, spa treatments, a private shopping spree, an orchestra concert, and a suite at the Grand Hotel—has been her most ambitious so far.
“Proposal planning is so big right now,” she says. Every year I get more and more inquiries from guys, which is really exciting. I love doing weddings, but I really love proposals.”
Hunt’s photo books and swatch collections help clients grasp her aesthetic. Photo by Wing Ta
When she sets up a proposal, Hunt starts by sending prospective grooms questionnaires about their future fiancées. “The proposal has to be about the girlfriend, so I need to know what makes her feel most loved,” says Hunt, who also strives to bring as much personalization to the weddings she’s been planning since 2007.
“I’m really drawn to a clean, romantic, elegant look that’s still full of personality,” she says. “A bride will say, I need to order a traditional cake—but you don’t. What’s your favorite dessert? Let’s have that. I had a bride whose dad passed away recently, and he loved artichokes—so we worked them into the floral arrangements.”
Hunt is drawn to a natural setting for weddings: She favors outdoor venues and open spaces, and prefers loose floral arrangements to tightly constructed bouquets. The romantic aesthetic crosses from her design sensibility into her personal style as well. Whether she’s staging a head table at a wedding reception or pulling an outfit out of her closet, Hunt finds herself pairing blush tones and lace pieces (“It doesn’t matter if it’s a fabric on a table or the material for a shirt or dress, lace always catches my eye”).
She’s comfortable expressing her personal style, even if it’s not what others might expect. (“I used to have this perspective that planners had to wear suits and high hair in buns,” she says.)
Instead, her approach to fashion echoes the rustic-elegant look for which she’s become known: softly curled hair and dark-wash skinny jeans paired with lace-up wedge booties—and pulling on a dress at every opportunity. “I love dresses,” she says. “I probably have more dresses than shirts.”
Her favorite spots to look for frocks each season include Francesca’s and Gap. “I’m kind of simple, but I like to be trendy at the same time,” she explains. “And I tire of clothes very quickly. Nothing stays around long.”
Luckily for her clients (and her husband of 15 years), Hunt’s attitude toward love is not as fleeting. “When you look at your wedding pictures later, you’re looking at the beauty behind the day—the couple, the family. That’s what’s behind a marriage.”
Lizie Anne Hunt’s Style Crib Sheet
What She’d Never be Caught Dead In
Neon, camouflage print
Dress-Shopping Tip for Brides
Keep your own body type in mind. “Brides go through magazines and see gorgeous gowns on the models, but they aren’t going to look like that on everyone. You need to trust your bridal shop to look at your body type, hear what you want, and find what complements you.”
Bare Minerals products and lip balm. “I’m not picky about it—whatever hydrates!”
Bonus: The Twin Cities’ Romantic Spots
A proposal planner’s top picks
Wedding-and-proposal planner Lizie Anne Hunt has made love her business—so her radar’s always seeking romance. “Normally, I find a lot of inspiration and beauty outside,” she says. “You just kind of stumble on those really romantic spots. I’ll be walking through a park and see a weeping willow tree with a lake in the background and just think it’s drop-dead gorgeous.” Whether you’re planning to get down on one knee or just putting together a special evening, here are some of her favorite places in the Twin Cities.
- Rice Park, St. Paul: “It’s one of the only places I’ve ever looked around in the wintertime and thought, Wow, this is romance.”
- Forepaugh’s, St. Paul: “My husband and I love all of the historic buildings in the Cities, like the mansions that have been restored and turned into restaurants.”
- Pier 500, Hudson: “The river in downtown Hudson is beautiful. This restaurant has one of the only decks that overlooks the water.”
Behind the Scenes Photos
Hunt primps with help from makeup artist Alice Berman. Photo by Mandy Finders
Berman’s tools of the trade. Photo by Mandy Finders
Sweet snacks from Cossetta’s Pasticceria. Photo by Mandy Finders
Hunt smiles for the camera. Photo by Mandy Finders