catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 8 :: 2010.04.16 — 2010.04.29


Telling a good story

How long have you had a particular interest in weddings?  Where does your interest come from and how does it show up in your work?

I actually had no intentions of getting into weddings until a friend asked me to design her wedding invitation four years ago and it’s grown from there all by recommendations. I enjoy designing the invitations because they set the stage for the wedding. They are people’s first glimpse into a very special occasion. The invite also tells a lot about the couple. I enjoy meeting with them and hearing about their plans. Then I take what I know of them and design an invitation especially for them.

What was your own wedding like?  How did it reflect your values in a way that was unique to the two of you?

The beach was the main stage for our wedding. We love spending time on the lakeshore in God’s amazing beauty. In addition, we both grew up there and were engaged there so we thought it fitting to have our reception on the lakeshore.  We would have gotten married there if it weren’t for the risk of Michigan weather in April — and thank goodness we didn’t because it rained and snowed on our wedding day.

We were married in the church that I grew up in.  Music is a huge part of our lives so we paid special attention to the music at the ceremony and hired a live band for the reception. We knew the importance of the commitment we were making before God and each other so we really focused on our vows and memorized them.  Family is central to us so we had our family stand up for our wedding party. We are also foodies, so the meal was stellar, made by a woman who catered out of her home. 

In the planning of our wedding, we worked with all vendors who worked out of their homes. That was important to us because we wanted to support local business and get one-on-one attention to build relationships with the vendors.  It’s amazing how far the wedding industry has come in the last five years. There were hardly any options for adding unique flair to your wedding. You really had to come up with your own.  

What is GRunveiled?  How did the idea for the event come about?

GRunveiled is a wedding show unveiling independent, hip and contemporary wedding vendors from around West Michigan. The show was a place where brides could support local artisans who design and facilitate services and products for the contemporary wedding. Brides could discover original designs, fresh concepts and the talented individuals behind it all. The show created an experience where brides wouldn’t find booths and gimmicks, just creative spaces and talented people who are passionate about what they do.

GRunveiled had been a dream for me for the last two years. I had wanted to do a show that would provide local businesses an opportunity to grow while providing clients the personal attention they deserve. I kept meeting so many talented people in Grand Rapids so I thought, “Why not put them all in the same place and offer a bridal show?” I approached Aletha, a local wedding planner, and she came on board, and then I called St. Cecilia Music Center downtown Grand Rapids, and before I knew it I had a date and I was planning a bridal show.

What has the response to GR Unveiled been, from vendors, visitors and others who have heard about it?  Do you plan to do it again?

The response to GRunveiled was huge! My goal was 15 vendors and 100 attendees and we ended up with 37 vendors and 230 attendees. For a lot of our vendors, GRunveiled was their first show because they too were looking for something that fit their personality, business style and budget. Several of our guests throughout the evening thanked us for doing such a fun and unique show.  We also had great media coverage for the show, which we didn’t expect. We went into the show not putting much money into it to keep the entry fee down for the vendors and really focused on advertising through free social media options. 

Yes, we will be doing it again. We are just starting to talk about our plans for next year.

What resources would you recommend for couples who want to do things differently for their weddings?

I recommend having a brainstorming session thinking about what makes the two of you who you are and what has brought you together. What’s your story? Then, take those pieces and incorporate them into your wedding. Are you a gardener? Maybe you plant your own flowers for your centerpieces. Are you passionate about justice? Maybe your favor would be a donation to an organization you see making a difference.  Are you a foodie? Think about out-of-the-box meal ideas or having gelato instead of cake.   I also recommend reading blogs, checking out etsy, and, if you’re in West Michigan, hitting up GRunveiled next year to find local vendors in your area.

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