"Despite it being the anniversary of when she and boyfriend Gary Engel began to date, Jessica Finney was happy to forgo a celebration of her own to attend the birthday dinner of a friend. When Gary stood to make a toast, Jessica assumed it would be in honor of the birthday boy. Instead, she was shocked when Gary turned toward her and said, “I just have to ask you one thing...” and opened his jacket superhero style to reveal a shirt that read, Will you marry me? After tearfully accepting the surprise proposal, Jessica proudly presented her new engagement ring to the table full of delighted friends.
Not long after the engagement, the couple attended a bridal show in Minneapolis sponsored by The Wedding Guys®, the dynamic duo of Matthew Trettel and Bruce Vassar who bring their expertise on wedding trends and planning to Twin City brides. While there, Jessica and Gary entered their names in a drawing to win the “Trend Wedding of 2008,” but they were just one of hundreds of couples who had also cast their lot. “Lo and behold our names were called,” remembers an astonished Jessica. “I would say I was thrilled, but that is an understatement!” When she excitedly ran onstage to claim the prize, Jessica realized that she hadn’t grabbed her groom. “I had to go back and get him!” she laughs. The couple was ecstatic about winning a dream wedding, and eager to begin figuring out all of the particulars of the celebration. However, the excited pair found that with the help of a talented team, planning a wedding was an absolute breeze. “All of the particulars were handled by [Matthew and Bruce],” Gary explains. “We didn’t have to do much at all.”
The clubroom of a local award-winning event facility was transformed into a dreamy white backdrop with gauzy fabric draped from the ceiling and adjacent walls. Lucite chairs were each personalized with the name of a guest, and a specially designed aisle runner highlighted the couple’s invitation motif. A peacock design inspired by the bride’s love of purple was in evidence at the ceremony, but toned down so as not to disrupt the ethereal setting. An ice sculpture carved into the appropriate shape and accentuated with a tail of white feathers and flowers threaded the theme into the décor without incorporating color. The bride’s bountiful bouquet of roses, the deep purple gowns of the bridesmaids, and the attendants’ bouquets of chartreuse flowers popped against the airy, otherworldly background of white.
The reception prominently showcased the peacock premise with feathers as décor elements and gem-toned colors incorporated throughout. Multi-colored plumes were arranged with understated flowers on lamps that served as centerpieces and boasted crystal shades. Gold satin table linens were overlaid with rich purple silk, while hand-painted tapestries brightened the walls. Guests were offered a wide array of delicious dinner options before the celebrating began on a custom built-in dance floor. Scrumptious starters such as shrimp cocktail, steak tartar, and crab cakes transitioned into luscious entrees that included lobster truffle, delectable beef short ribs, and tasty free-range chicken. “The food was amazing – I would love to eat like that everyday for the rest of my life,” Gary confides of the spectacular menu, which concluded with slices of the couple’s chocolate wedding cake.
The lively entertainment was another favorite element that Jessica and Gary fondly remember of their big day. In addition to a live band, a spectacular act by an aerialist was performed on a suspended rope. “We love to entertain, so we were elated that our amusement was so unique,” says the couple. When asked how they felt about someone else planning the majority of their event, the couple enthused that they wouldn’t change a single detail. In fact, “Win a wedding!” is Gary’s tongue-in-cheek advice to other grooms. “I loved winning the wedding,” Jessica says. “I had very little stress, and none of the expense – who wouldn’t love that?” The lucky bride’s only complaint was that it was over much too soon. “I never wanted the night to end.”