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A publication of Courier Communications

Summer 2019

Your flowers speak the

language of love




ow n t en v e ur 00 o 6 y 2 k Boo 19-260 3

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Contents ‌Love Notes



5 Language of love ... flowers

13 ‘90s are back

10 Bridal checklist

9 Swingtime

18 Trends for personalizing wedding

30 Rehearsal hall directory

11 Ballooning budget 26 Destination wedding tips

21 Invitations worth celebrating 23 Blue Lagoon honeymoon 27 Steer guests to their seats 28 Planning the ‘pawfect’ wedding


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Weddings Magazine is published quarterly by Courier Communications and may be contacted at: 100 E. 4th St., P.O. Box 540, Waterloo, IA 50704. Copyright, Weddings, 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without permission is prohibited.

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love notes

language of love

Bouquet styles to know Beidermeier: A nosegay made of concentric circles of different flowers for a somewhat striped effect. Cascade: A waterfall-like “spill” of blooms and greenery that’s anchored in a hand-held base. Classic hand-tied: A dense bunch of blooms either anchored in a bouquet holder, wired or hand-tied. Nosegay: A small, round cluster of flowers, all cut to a uniform length.

Usually made with one dominant flower or color, nosegays are wrapped tightly with ribbon or lace for a delicate effect. Composite: A handmade creation in which different petals or buds are wired together on a single stem, creating the illusion of one giant flower. Pomander: A bloom-covered ball suspended from a ribbon, perfect for child attendants.

‌Each flower carries a symbolic meaning that sends a message. In the Victorian era, lovers conveyed their intimate feelings by giving flowers a meaning that replaced the need to use words. Choosing your wedding flowers may not be a bed of roses, but it adds an element of fun to understand what your choices may say about your feelings. Flowers are another way to personalize your wedding with style and creativity. Before narrowing your choices, take a look at these pro tips: 1. Make your budget. You need to know what you can spend when you’re considering types of flowers and styles of bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, centerpieces and other floral décor. 2. Get inspired. Browse wedding magazines, Pinterest, wedding and florists’ websites for inspiration. Visit a flower shop for a “look-see.” Make notes on the blooms, colors and styles that appeal to you. Become familiar with the most popular wedding flowers – roses, orchids, hydrangeas, lilies, etc. 3. Hire a wedding florist. These experts will help you choose flowers and arrangements that fit your budget, color scheme, personality and style, including flower combinations and use of scented blooms. 4. Have a color scheme. With so many flowers to chose from, it helps to know what colors you want to use in your wedding. Flowers don’t have to match the color scheme, but should complement your wedding décor and clothing. Be specific – take fabric swatches, photos of bouquets or arrangements, etc., so you and your florist are working from the same color chart. 5. Bridal bouquet first. All eyes will be on your wedding gown and your bouquet as you walk down the aisle and pose for photos. Your florist will work with you to design a beautiful statement-making bouquet that fits the style and personality of your wedding. Once the bride’s bouquet is decided, you can move on to the rest of the bridal party and wedding and reception décor to create an overall look that’s perfect for your special day. 6. Consider the season. You may adore peonies, but if you’re getting married in winter, those out-of-season blooms may be hard – and/or expensive – to get. If you’re on a tight budget, choose flowers that are typically available at the time of year you’re getting married. 7. Determine your wedding style. Is it formal? Luxurious? Rustic? Boho? Modern? Outdoors? Your flower arrangements should suit the same mood. The more relaxed your wedding, the more creative you can be with garden-style bouquets and other details.


love notes

Symbolic flower meanings ■ Anemone: Expectation, good

luck and protection against evil; in season during spring and late fall. ■ Baby’s breath: Innocence; in-

expensive; a great bouquet filler and available year-round. ■ Calla lily: Beauty; light fragrance;

spring and summer availability; rich, deep colors as well as white. ■ Carnation: Each color represents something

Baby’s breath

different, such as purity or talent (white); love (red); boldness (pink); available yearround; flowers can be dyed to match your color scheme ■ Cornflower: Prosperity and friendship; avail-

able in blue, white and pink.


■ Dahlia: Commitment or bond; variety of

sizes and colors; available in summer and early fall.


■ Daisies: Share one’s feelings.


■ Delphiniums: Swiftness and lightness; in

season for summer weddings. ■ Freesia: Innocence, fragrant. ■ Gardenias: Joy and purity heavily scented. ■ Hydrangeas: Understanding and heartfelt

emotions. ■ Iris: Faith and wisdom, typically blue, purple

or white for weddings. ■ Lily: Majesty, truth and honor; fragrant and

in season for summer weddings. ■ Lily of the valley: Happiness; fragrant; tra-



■ Orchid: Beauty, love, fertility; available year-

round in a variety of colors and sizes. Delphinium

■ Peony: Love, happiness and ambition; in

season during late spring. ■ Ranunculus: “Dazzled by your charms”; wide

range of colors. ■ Rose: Love, beauty and romance; available

year-round; the most beloved wedding flower.


■ Stephanotis: Marital happiness; star-shaped

and fragrant favorite for bouquet. ■ Stock: Lasting beauty; fragrant, inexpensive.


■ Sunflower: Adoration and loyalty; rustic;

summer and fall weddings. ■ Sweet pea: Pleasure;

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love notes

Beautiful bouquets ‌Bouquet styles are as varied in composition and flowers as the personalities of modern brides. Classic hand-tied, composite, cascade, nosegay, pomander and beidermeier are bouquet styles to consider. The list of flowers seems endless — roses, orchids, hydrangeas, peonies, gerbera daisies, sunflowers, carnations, calla lilies and so many more.


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love notes


Swingtime! What fun! Brides are incorporating swings into their wedding decor for photo shoots and as a backdrop. See how imaginative the look can be.

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the bride's checklist Six to 12 Months

Two Months

❑ Announce your engagement. ❑ Decide on wedding details, such as style, time of day and location. ❑ Pick a date. Do this as soon as possible so bridal party and family members can make plans and reservations can be made for wedding location, rehearsal and reception locations, etc. ❑ Set a budget. ❑ Select the bridal party. ❑ Choose your colors. Your flowers, attire, linens and cake will reflect your choice. ❑ Choose and order the bridal gowns, bridesmaids’ gowns and accessories. ❑ Start planning the honeymoon with groom. ❑ Begin your bridal registry. ❑ Select the caterer, photographer, florist and musicians. ❑ Start planning the reception. Reserve a hall, hotel or facility. ❑ Schedule premarital counseling. Some churches require this for a marriage. ❑ Choose and order the wedding rings. ❑ Order the wedding cake. ❑ Select and order the invitations.

❑ Mail the invitations. ❑ Get the marriage license. ❑ Finalize the honeymoon plans.

Three Months

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❑ Complete the guest list. ❑ Plan to have both mothers select their dresses. It’s customary for the groom’s mother to wait until the bride’s mother has selected her dress. ❑ Finalize reception plans. ❑ If reservations haven’t been made for the honeymoon, do it now. ❑ Confirm dates and times with the florist, caterer, photographer, musicians and church. ❑ Discuss transportation to and from the wedding and reception sites. ❑ Choose and order the tuxes. ❑ Schedule bridesmaids’ dresses for fittings. ❑ Choose and dye shoes if necessary.

One Month ❑ Reserve accommodations for the groom. ❑ Record gits received and send thank-you notes as they arrive. ❑ Plan the rehearsal and dinner. This is the responsibility of the groom and his family, but all should work together on it. ❑ Purchase gits for the bridal party. Brides oten buy inexpensive earrings or necklaces for the bridesmaids to wear at the wedding. Popular choices for groomsmen are money clips, key chains or ball caps. ❑ Schedule final fittings for bride and bridesmaids. ❑ Schedule appointments at beauty salons for attendants, if needed. ❑ Hold the bridesmaids’ luncheon. ❑ Purchase a guest book and decide where it will go, either at the wedding or reception.

Two Weeks ❑ Finalize wedding day transportation. ❑ Arrange to have names changed on driver’s license, Social Security card, etc.

One Week ❑ Start packing for the honeymoon. ❑ Finalize the number of guests with caterer if not already done. ❑ Plan seating arrangements for guests. ❑ Have a hairdresser practice fixing your hair. You may want to practice applying your makeup. ❑ Make sure wedding rings are picked up and fit.

Wedding Day ❑ Relax and enjoy your very special day.



why wedding budgets

MAY BALLOON ‌Couples are placing increased emphasis on creating a unique and unforgettable wedding experience for friends, family and wedding party members. “Nearly 60 percent are marrying someone with a different background, blending their interests, cultures and unique love for one another, and infusing them into a completely custom, personalized experience. However, couples still find it very challenging to accurately budget for their weddings,” said Lauren Goodson, director of Insights at WeddingWire. The 2019 Newlywed Report from WeddingWire Inc., is the largest report of its kind. The report analyzes behaviors of over 18,000 respondents and provides thorough insight into how real, modern-day couples are planning their weddings, finding their

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vendor teams, and celebrating their love with each other and their guests. 1. GETTING OLDER The average age of couples getting married increases each year (now, 33) as they prioritize education, career and travel. Couples are becoming more diverse and are paying homage to this blending of backgrounds. Nearly 1-in-5 couples incorporate cultural traditions relating to their race or religion into their wedding ceremonies. Couples are also carrying their cultures to the wedding reception as well. Popular ways for couples to incorporate their backgrounds include serving local cuisine (like ramen, waffles or croquembouche), or incorporating cultural music and dancing (like bagpipes, a Celtic band or Bollywood hits).


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2. MARRY ME With the rise of sharing life updates on social media (64 percent share their engagement on social media within a few hours), present-day proposals have evolved in a big way and often turn into celebrations involving friends and family (26 percent). For this reason, vendors are also often included in the special moment, with photographers used in 1-in-5 proposals to capture the moment. Additionally, couples may look into venues and caterers to host intimate celebrations or post-proposal parties, and even include music to elevate the special occasion.

a wine tasting, a fortune-teller or palm reader, or casino tables. While booking 14 wedding vendors may seem overwhelming, couples rely heavily on reviews and photos to ensure they have the perfect team to bring their wedding vision to life. In fact, nearly 80 percent of couples consider reviews “very important” in deciding whether or not to hire a vendor.

Top reasons couples overspend on weddings

3. PLANNING AHEAD ■■ Budgeting lower than reality Millennials, who make up the larg(33 percent) est percentage of today’s marrying ■■ Falling in love with things couples, are now planning for their they “needed to have” weddings earlier than ever before. during wedding planning (28 They are 15 percent more likely than percent) Gen X couples to wedding plan prior ■■ Adding custom or personalto an engagement. In fact, 2-in-3 milized wedding elements (25 lennial respondents reported taking at percent) least one wedding planning step before ■■ Changing their guest count getting engaged, including looking at (24 percent) wedding dresses online (35 percent), ■■ Opting for upgrades (21 percreating wedding inspiration boards cent) on Pinterest (30 percent), and reSource: WeddingWire’s 2019 searching venues (25 percent). Newlywed Report Millennials — known for coveting instant gratification — plan with a digital mind-set, wanting immediate and on-the-go access to tools, vendor 6 NEW-AGE NUPTIALS options and inspiration for efficient Ceremonies have continued to beplanning. come less formal, with most lasting 30 minutes or less (70 percent). Addi4. FULL-DAY FESTIVITIES tionally, couples are steering clear of Couples are now hosting full-day traditional wedding vows with nearly affairs for those who stand beside them half of couples writing their own. during nuptials. Much like entertainThis is yet another way for couples to ing their guests, couples are placing an personalize their special day, a trend increased emphasis on creating a fun WeddingWire continually notes is on experience for their wedding party. the rise. Most couples (65 percent) get ready with their wedding party, and many 7. UNREALISTIC even provide wedding party memAs the cost of weddings increases bers with matching robes or other fun year-over-year, couples continue to outfits to get ready in. Additionally, underestimate the cost of their big nearly 30 percent of couples orga- days. On average, couples spend 45 nize a pre-wedding activity with their percent more on their weddings than wedding party members, like golf, spa initially expected. One-in-three coutreatments or a fun pre-wedding pool ples acknowledge their initial budget party. is not necessarily realistic, and after 5. HIRING PROS conducting further vendor research, On average, couples hire 14 wedding 60 percent of couples go on to create vendors to help pull off their special a more detailed budget as they become day. Now more than ever, couples further educated on costs. strive to create a one-of-a-kind guest Today’s average couple is now payexperience and are hiring vendors to ing for 45 percent of their wedding. In create personalized experiences like order to do so, couples are most likely interactive food stations (18 percent); to dip into their savings (42 percent), photo booths (25 percent); fun and per- find new ways to make some extra cash sonalized favors (69 percent); and even (30 percent), and even incur credit card unique entertainment (15 percent) like debt (20 percent).


‘90s are back -and better than ever


rom butterfly clips to polka dots, 1990s trends have been making a fashion comeback. Now, as ‘90s babies increasingly reach average marrying age, these trends are popping up all over the wedding industry as well. An Etsy 2019 wedding trends report declared ‘90s nostalgia a top trend of the year, with over 300,000 searches for both rhinestones and polka dots on the site in the three months before the report’s release in February. Etsy has also seen a 14 percent increase in butterfly clip searches since last year. Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson says a ‘90s resurgence doesn’t mean we’ll suddenly be seeing huge puffy sleeves and oversize hair. Rather, popular ‘90s trends are being modernized and updated. “They give some nod to those styles but they are so much more sophisticated,” Johnson says, adding that today’s butterfly clips, for example, look more whimsical and romantic than they did in the ‘90s. And although wedding-dress sleeves may not be as puffy as they were 25 years ago, statement sleeves are big again. Dresses are breaking from the modern tradition of a sweetheart neckline silhouette, giving brides the opportunity to better express their personal style. Lauren Kay, deputy editor at The Knot, says she has seen an increase in holographic and iridescent decor, chokers, disposable cameras on tables, and ‘90s music. Jeffra Trumpower, creative director at WeddingWire, cites the return of ‘90s styles like neon signs, macramé, and custom jean jackets with monograms or calligraphy on the back. Los Angeles wedding planner Beth Helmstetter of Beth Helmstetter Events has noticed a return to bridesmaids wearing color block dresses — combining two or more large blocks of bold, typically clashing colors. And Chicago wedding planner Nicole Hensley of Storybook Weddings and Events notes more couples incorporating their favorite ‘90s snacks into their special days. “As most of our couples are now in their 30s,” Hensley says, “they lived through childhood eating dunkaroos, pop tarts, ice pops and so many other nostalgic treats. It’s been so fun sourcing these items for late-night snack stations or having our caterers put a fun twist to pop tarts... or creating an ‘adult’ alcoholic version of the ice pops!”


Custom bride and bridesmaid jean jackets SYDNEY MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY VIA AP

Custom his-andhers jean jackets EMILY REITER PHOTO VIA AP


Iridescent wedding decor Butterfly clips WILD AND FREE JEWELRY /ETSY VIA AP‌


Bell sleeve lace Bohemian ‘90s-style wedding dress


Perhaps the most surprising ‘90s trend that is resurgent both in weddings and beyond is the fanny pack. A 2018 report by the NPD Group found that fanny packs account for almost 25 percent of overall growth in the fashion accessories industry. Etsy reported a whopping 62 percent increase in searches related to “bridal fanny packs” in the three months before its trends report was released. At bachelorette parties, a bride and her crew might wear bedazzled or glittery fanny packs that say “Bride” and “Squad.” Couples also are incorporating more chic, fashionable versions of fanny packs into the wedding itself. These classier versions may be referred to as hip or belt bags. Brides and grooms aren’t necessarily wearing them down the aisle, but they are using them at the reception or other wedding events to carry phones and other items. Johnson sees fanny packs as part of a broader trend toward functionality and reusability. Not only are they handy during the celebration, but fanny packs can be used long after the wedding is over. Experts agree that couples who want to invoke a little ‘90s nostalgia into their weddings should do so tastefully and sparingly. Many suggested thinking about no more than one or two motifs from the ‘90s and putting a more modern spin on them. “If it’s neon fanny packs for example,” says Hensley, “take that idea and go a step above! Reinvent the idea. Give fanny packs out as favors filled with a hangover kit for surviving the next morning. Fill it with a mini water bottle, some pain reliever, eye drops and maybe a little ‘hair of the dog’!” In essence, a full-on ‘90s-themed wedding might be overkill, but including flashes of the decade here and there can make for a beautiful and nostalgia-filled event.

Source: Associated Press

Bridal fanny pack LADY BIRDESIGN / ETSY VIA AP‌


Neon wedding decor


mism atched

Ideas for making

bridesmaids dresses work


Alison Reed, center, of Colorado Springs, Colo., stands with her bridal party in Vail, Colo. Reed chose to allow her bridesemaids leeway in the colors and styles of dresses they wore.

‌NEW YORK (AP) — Alison Kelly felt she had enough on her plate dealing with her own wedding gown and all the details of her mountain getaway nuptials without micromanaging how her bridal party would dress. So instead, she asked her maid of honor — her sister — and the rest of her bridal party to choose natural tones to honor the informal Vail, Colorado, location that she and her husband had picked for their nuptials, and to wear styles that made them feel good. “I’m surrounded by women

who make their own decisions and are strong and independent. There’s no way I could tell any of them what to wear. It just wouldn’t even work,” Kelly laughed. “I know that they know their own bodies.” She was thrilled with the results, a soft mix of rose blush, light red, ivory and taupe that proved the perfect complement to her own white gown. The bridesmaids wore matching rings of flowers on their heads. The groom’s party was also not matchy-matchy. He wore light gray, his best man was in black

Sydney Broadhead of Nashville, Tenn., allowed her bridesmaids to choose their own dresses, though she stayed in the loop on their plans and was the final arbiter. LEAH MOYERS PHOTOGRAPHY VIA AP‌ 16 Thursday, June 27, 2019 XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX 



and the other groomsmen were in darker gray. Identical boutonnieres tied their looks together. While brides have been giving their stand-up loved ones greater freedom from the constraints of more traditional — often hideous — matching confections, they now seem to be taking the mismatch bridesmaid trend a step further. Matching colors in different silhouettes or identical dye lots for different styles of dresses have given way to completely different cuts, textures and colors. The trend is well represented on the retail side. Many designers have collections of mismatched bridemaids option with advice on how to make the concept work, from using the same color in different styles to choosing wildly different fabrics, lengths, silhouettes, colors, prints and embellishments. One suggestion: Select different shades of the same color, but include light, medium and dark shades to allow for an ombre gradation. For large wedding parties, mix in some pale neutrals that will offset the overall palette. While mismatching is more visible these days, it hasn’t completely taken over. According to the most recent Bridal Fashion Study by the wedding site, done in 2015, 51 percent of bridesmaids still wear the exact same dress as others in their wedding party, while 33 percent wear the same color in different styles, 11 percent wear different dresses and 5 percent wear the same style in different colors. Shelley Brown, fashion and beauty editor for The Knot, said the idea of mismatched bridesmaids dresses is picking up speed as more

brides look for ways to personalize their weddings. “Over the past few years, designers have picked up on this trend, adding new colors and styles and patterns so brides can mix and match,” she said. “It’s a really easy way to make your bridal party stand out.” It’s also a great way for brides to be more sensitive to the shapes, sizes and skin tones of their bridesmaids, Brown said. Complete freedom of choice can go wrong, so Brown suggests that brides provide some broad guide “Offering no guidelines can create a more stressful process for the bridesmaids,” Brown said. “So don’t just say, oh, buy a blue dress. Is it strapless, is it floor length, what material is it, what shade of blue?” If it’s a super-formal wedding, for instance, a short dress likely wouldn’t work, Brown said. Nor would a more informal fabric like jersey, she said. Some brides who want to offer choice in color without losing control altogether may want to offer paint chips as a guide. “One of my favorite ways to interpret this trend is to pick a really subtle, neutral color like blush or nude or even a very soft pewter and then let your girls choose what embellishments or silhouettes they like,” Brown said. “They could do rose gold sequins if they want to, maybe someone else has a lace dress and someone has some kind of separates happening. That way your girls get to show some of their personalities. They’re definitely spending a lot of time on your wedding. They’re invested in the process. They want to look good, too.” WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019 17



hen Ashley Yore and Derek Ultican were planning their wedding, the question of the garter and bouquet tosses didn’t come up. “It just wasn’t something I ever wanted to do,” said the 33-yearold Yore, who lives in Tampa, Florida. “Maybe because a lot of our friends are married already. We’re just not a super-traditional couple. We wanted everyone to be part of the party and enjoy themselves.” They’re not alone. According to The Knot’s 2018 Real Wedding Study, many couples are going their own way when it comes to longstanding traditions. They’re incorporating more personal touches, paying closer attention to their carbon footprints, and embracing fashion trends that have trickled from the runways


person al

C r w

From tulle turbans to carbon neutrality

to wedding halls. Just 33 percent of more than 14,000 U.S. brides and grooms surveyed by the bridal site went the time-worn garter route, down from 41 percent in 2016. As for bouquets, 45 percent tossed, down from 53 percent in 2016. “I do think there’s an element of women feeling empowered and saying, you know what, this bouquet toss for whoever’s going to get married next is a little cliche, or the garter feels a little unnecessary,” said Lauren Kay, deputy editor of The Knot. “Couples are just more focused on the guest experience.” FUNCTION Yore and Ultican, who is also 33, married oceanside March 2 in St. Pete Beach, Florida, with a reception at the pink, castle-like

Don CeSar hotel. Their chuppah, the traditional Jewish canopy used during marriage ceremonies, was made of bamboo trees that were planted in their backyard a few days later. “This really important piece of our wedding can now flourish in our home,” Yore said. “That was really special.” Her mom made their party favors, little mason jars filled with mixed nuts flavored with cinnamon sugar. Each one had a photo label of the couple with the message: “We’re nuts about you.” They were special not only because they came from mom, but because Ultican loves the snack. Such functional favors are hot on the handmade site Etsy. This year, couples are sending guests away with gifts they actually might want, rather than generic

items of yore. According to Etsy, searches so far this year for such things as “wine favors,” ‘’soap favors” and “honey favors” were on the rise. The 35-year-old Ivory Davis (formerly Weems) married 34-year-old information technology specialist Jonathan Davis in Cancun, Mexico, on Oct. 20. They combined their escort cards with their party favors — shot glasses emblazoned with “We Came. We Conquered. We Cancuned,” and “Viva Las Davis,” which was the hashtag they encouraged guests to use when posting on Instagram and other social media during their celebration. The best part: The shot glasses were filled with a tequila from Cancun and served throughout the reception at the tequila bar they set up.


This statement hat from Jesus Peiro is a choice for brides who don’t want to wear a traditional veil. AP PHOTO ‌

Chalkboards are an eco-friendly replacement for a traditional wedding program or menu.

Honey bottles make charming and flavorful wedding favors.

Has the wedding garter become passe? Some couples think so.

Herb-infused olive oil in individual bottles makes a functional wedding favor, rather than a trinket to take home.

“We wanted (guests) to take a shot to start the celebration of our union,” said Ivory Davis, a flight attendant based in Los Angeles. ECO-FRIENDLY Etsy trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson noted a rise in sustainable wedding touches, with searches on the site for ecofriendly bridal items numbering more than 107,000 in the past four months alone, including for reusable straws, biodegradable confetti and vintage decor. Bethany Pickard owns a boutique wedding and event planning company, Modern Kicks, in New York’s Hudson Valley. She has seen a rise in couples looking to serve locally sourced food and cut down on paper products. “They’re doing chalkboard menus instead of one on paper for every guest,” Pickard said. “And they’re choosing vendors that can repurpose dishes and plates and things rather than trucking that stuff across the state.” A Brooklyn catering company, Purslane, guarantees carbon neutrality through reusable and compostable wares, the purchase of carbon credits and consumables sourced from nearby sustainable vendors. “We do not send anything to landfills,” said a partner, Amanda Braddock. FASHION Isom Johnson said alternatives to veils are on trend, from huge show-stopping hats and tulle turbans to smaller accessories, such as ornate hair clips. “I’m talking about statement hats to a simple velvet bow that they’re tying in their hair,” she said. “They don’t want that traditional, cathedral-length veil.” Wedding dresses with sleeves have been making a comeback for several years, but Isom Johnson said it’s all about statement sleeves these days. It’s a way to bring a bit more glamour, romance and drama to a couple’s big Instagram-worthy moment, she said. “It’s the ‘70s bell sleeve, the split sleeve and over-the-top lace. There are sleeves that are chiffony and whimsical,” Isom Johnson said. Capes and capelets have also taken off, she said. KEEPING SECRETS Many couples are also looking to honor each other in private ways, perhaps following the cues of Meghan Markle and, later, her pal Priyanka Chopra when Chopra wed Nick Jonas. Markle revealed last September that her May wedding dress included a small piece of a blue dress she wore on her first date with Prince Harry. When Chopra married Jonas in December, donning two


dresses for separate ceremonies, she included a secret of her own: a piece of the dress Jonas’ mother, Denise, wore at her own wedding sewn into one of Chopra’s gowns. The gown was embroidered with messages, including Chopra and Jonas’ wedding date (Dec. 1), her parents’ first names (Madhu and Ashok) and her hubby’s full name: Nicholas Jerry Jonas. The custom Purple Label black tuxedo Jonas wore also had a secret message inside the lapel: a small piece of lace from one of Chopra’s looks, embroidered with the Urdu “My Jaan,” for shared life. Isom Johnson said brides can keep little secrets simpler through a tie bar, for example, with words of love on the back, or a private sentiment sewn into a seam of a dress. “Today’s weddings,” she said, “are about letting the couple tell their personalized and unique love stories.”

Source: Associated Press

Using recycled — and recyclable materials — makes for a green option at the reception.

Bouquet-tossing is becoming cliche for some brides.


You’re invited! Invitations reflect varying styles of celebration

‌Whether formal or casual, wedding invitations these days are meant to set the tone for the celebration, reflecting the themes of the weddings themselves. Heavier, more expensive papers reflect fancy black-tie weddings. Simple textured invitations with interesting fonts reflect celebrations in a more contemporary style. And florals reveal more classically romantic events, experts say. 1. DESTINATIONS “One of the biggest trends we’ve been seeing are printed envelope liners, particularly for destination weddings. So if you’re getting married on a beach, there are liners printed with seashells, or maybe light blue with waves,” says Rachel Sylvester, senior lifestyle editor for Real Simple magazine. Kyle Williams, lead merchant for wedding stationery at the Chicago-based, design-oriented Paper Source, which has 130 stores across the country, says, “Destination weddings are a huge trend now, and we’re responding with invitations that speak to various destinations, like beach scenes, or mountain vistas, or grapes and flowers for Napa Valley weddings.” 2. COLORS No matter what kind of celebration it is, couples are becoming more creative with color, experts say. “You often see a color-on-color approach to invitations, with a lot of couples pairing blush pink with orchid, for example. In addition to invitations, there’s an attraction to a range of colors reflected in things like bridesmaids dresses, which are increasingly in any array of related colors instead of all the same color,” she says.


These four colors —and fun details — fit in with current wedding color schemes.

3. FLORALS & GREENERY “Florals and greenery are really working right now. It’s really more about the execution. The trend started a few years ago with leaf motifs, and now we see it in lilacs, lavender and eucalyptus leaves,”


Williams says. 4. LUXE MATERIALS “When couples come in to look at invitations, paper quality is the first thing they look at,” Williams says, adding that thicker papers and fancy envelopes and liners are hot items. “If it’s a black-tie wedding, for example, it’s top-quality thick paper and envelopes with a bit of shimmer,” he adds. 5. CRAFTY You can design and print your own invitations, use a professional designer or stationer, or go with an in-between option. If you decide to make your own, Sylvester recommends aiming for interesting calligraphy, or hiring a calligrapher to handwrite names and addresses beautifully for you. 6. WEBSITES Websites are a must now, experts agree, and can be mentioned on whatever type of invitation you choose. “Your website is a catch-all place for wedding information that is very detailed, and an important way of getting news about any last-minute event changes to your guests,” Sylvester says. “It’s poor form to include anything about your registration in your invitation,” she adds. “A wedding website is a more appropriate place to include a link to a registry, if you go that route.” It’s also a good place for links to maps and hotels, and a place to post photos after the event. 5. GO GREEN Couples are interested in recycled paper and other environmentally-friendly options. And printed invitations still rule the day. “Plantable wedding invitations embedded with seeds are a great sustainable option, as is vegetable-based ink. And for those who want to go beyond paper, there are even rustic-looking invitations made of thin, laser-cut wood,” says Sylvester, of Real Simple. “E-cards are certainly less expensive and more environmentally friendly, but paper is by far more popular,” she says. “At the end of the day, aside from the photos, you have your dress and your invitation suite (invitations, R.S.V.P. cards and thank-you notes) that encapsulate who you are and what the wedding was like, and will remain a memento for years to come.”

Source: Associated Press 22 WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019


Dogwood Blossom Wedding Invitation suite from Paper Source’s 2019 collection.


The Mountainscape Wedding Invitation is part of Paper Source’s assortment of destination themed invitations.


Blue lagoon

Mexico destination is like nowhere else on earth TRACY L. BARNETT Special to the Washington Post ‌

‌Looking down from the hilltop through the palm fronds, the sight took my breath away: at least seven hues of blue, stretching out before me to a green-fringed horizon. This was the Lagoon of Seven Colors, and it was everything I’d been told, and then some. Set like a sparkling strip of blue ribbon amid the coastal jungle and mangrove of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula near the border with Belize, this body of water, also known as Bacalar Lagoon, is like nowhere else on Earth. Its shallow, crystalline waters overlie a soft, white limestone soil, giving rise to a subtle array of shades, from aquamarine to turquoise to deep azure. But under the surface is something even more rare: reeflike formations of an organism linked to the origins of life. Bacalar Lagoon is one of a tiny handful of places where stromatolites —layered collections ofcyanobacteria dating back billions of years — are still being formed. The alkalinity of these waters, the same factor that gives rise to the legendary seven colors, is what allows the bacteria to survive. And it’s that very quality that is at stake as tourism begins

to boom in an area lacking adequate infrastructure. Developers from the north have set their sights on Bacalar as the new Cancun. On this little lake, I learned, such a development would spell ecological disaster. After attending a sustainability conference in Bacalar, I returned to see for myself how the lagoon was holding up to the pressures of tourism — eco or otherwise. Bacalar has been contested ground ever since the Spanish conquistadors wrested it from the Mayas in the 1530s. Later years saw the Spaniards fighting off marauding English pirates mining the red gold of the palo de tinte tree for expensive clothing dyes. And still another conflict erupted in the mid 1800s, when Mayas fighting to free themselves from slavelike conditions took overBacalar and made it a stronghold of the 50-year Caste Wars. But conflict was the furthest thing from my mind on my first morning in Bacalar as I watched a heron soar overhead. I had arrived the night before at Casa Lamat, an intimate eco-retreat named for the Mayan symbol for Venus. A collection of palm-thatched bungalows set on a terraced hillside, the resort is connected by a winding path to a dock

with hammocks—perfect for a sunrise meditation. I had heard that the best way to experience the lagoon was from a sailboat, but it was not to be: The wind was slack. So instead, after a swim in the clear, fresh waters, I headed for historic Bacalar to wander in the charming plaza, see the historic fort that had shielded the town from generations of pirates and follow up on some leads. I had consulted with Agua Clara Bacalar, a local committee working for protection of the lake, to see which activities and businesses were truly eco-friendly and not just “greenwashing,” as is common on the Caribbean coast. We found no shortage of options. We enjoyed breakfast at El Manati, a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, garden, gallery and live music venue, where the soaring melodies of Estacion Fenix were wafting through the air. We peered down from the heights at the surreal sight of Cenote Azul, one of the deep natural wells characteristic of the zone, where the perfectly round, blue mirror of the sky was juxtaposed against an entirely different blue of the lagoon. At Cayuco Maya, an ecologically sensitive resort, we surrendered our-

What to do AguaViva Sailing Col. Centro, 77930 Bacalar, Quintana Roo 011-52-984182-1558 VivaSailing Specializing in alternative tours focusing on the lagoon’s environmental features, this team of seasoned sailors knows the lake, and its ecosystems, well. About $25 per person for a 3.5-hour trip. Information


Unusual stromatolite formations accumulate on posts that once held an abandoned dock at Bacalar Lagoon in Mexico. selves to the water and the gentle hands of Denisse Tatemura, a Janzu water therapist whose treatment is described as a “rebirthing.” And at the Galeon Pirata (Pirate’s Galleon) we watched a preview of a new documentary about the lake by Polish filmmaker Kamila Chomicz. We also saw a firsthand illustration of not-so-conscious tourism. We paid a visit to the Rapids, one of the greatest collections of stromatolites in the world, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin, who have been studying these formations for a decade. Here, scores of swimmers ignore the warnings each day and clamber all over the fragile formations, some of which are believed to be up to 9,000 years old. Like corals, the surface of the structures is fragile and can die if touched, the experts say. Horrified, I watched as a man stomped a foot down atop what moments before was the feathery soft surface of a living stromatolite formation. It seemed as if an army of vacationers were poised to succeed in destroying what centuries of war and colonization did not. Later, I visited with Sandro Ciccarelli, a native of Florence who settled here years ago, who was preparing for the opening of Finisterre Bacalar, his slowfood, old-country Italian restaurant. Like many locals, Ciccarelli has watched as Bacalar has gone from a sleepy backwater to a bustling tourism hot spot. Casa Lamat was lovely, but friends had told us that if we wanted to experience the peak of eco-finesse in Bacalar, we had to visit Akal Ki Holistic Center. Ten miles south, we wound through the jungle, past the bioconstruction demonstration area and the organic garden and the palm-thatched yoga center, ending up at a reception desk in a garden overlooking 24 WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019

the lagoon. There before us, surrounded by the sparkling blue waters, beckoned a reclining Buddha. Bacalar Lagoon was completely off the radar when Arturo Arroyo, a fast-paced businessman from Mexico City, discovered it two decades ago. Here, he built Akal Ki, Mayan for “lake of sweet water” and “fountain of vital energy,” and found himself transformed by these waters. Akal Ki has evolved into a garden of peace, offering a delightful feast not only for the eyes, but for the body and soul as well, with yoga classes, exquisite vegetarian-friendly cuisine and a sound healing session with crystal bowls. He created a school that teaches people natural building techniques with lowcost, readily available materials—such as coconut husks, palm leaves and bamboo. My final day, an as-yet unmet wish came true. Marco Jerico, the founder of Agua Clara, invited me on a sailboat outing. We would not do the usual tourist route, heading for Bird Island, the Black Cenote and the Pirate Canal, where party boats congregate and passengers disembark to “exfoliate” at the urging of their guides with the soft white soil of the lake bottom—leaving quantities of nonbiodegradable suntan products in their wake. Instead, we headed south on the “alternative tour” with the crew of Agua Viva Sailing. My spirits soared as the wind whipped the sail and we picked up speed. We grabbed the snorkeling gear. The water was fresh and crystalline, and we made our way to the formations—like strange, knobby, felt-covered corals, all lined up in a row. In the center, an ancient formation believed to be thousands of years old took the form of a large lily pad.

Where to eat El Manati Calle 22 No. 116 011-52-983-834-2021 Creative art space, natural products shop and restaurant features indoor and outdoor dining in a tropical garden gallery. Breakfast, brunch and “comida” (the big midday meal in Mexico). Great vegetarian options. Open 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Entrees start at about $4. La Playita Avenida Costera at the corner of Calle 26 011-52-983-834-3068 High quality seafood/Latin fusion cuisine. As the name suggests, it is located right on one of the best beaches in town, so bring your swimwear. Open noon to midnight. Entrees start at about $4. Finisterre Bacalar Calle 3 between Calle 24 and Calle 26 011-52-984-105-6078 Beautiful, new fine dining Italian/ Mediterranean fusion option with a view of the lagoon. Slow-food ethic includes handmade pasta and pizza dough that has risen for four days. Open 8 a.m. to noon. Upscale for Bacalar, with entrees starting at about $7.

If you go Where to stay Cayuco Maya

On your special day, surround yourself with love and nature’s beauty.

Carretera Chetumal-Cancun 011-52-553-331-4521

The reclining Buddha at Akal Ki sets the tone and carries an extra layer of symbolism: The layout of the holistic center is in the form of a reclining Buddha.

This spacious, rural eco-resort offers four cabins with screened-in porches (about $54 per night, per person) as well as camping facilities (about $6). The beautiful lakefront setting also hosts health and sustainability-related events. The meals, cooked in a traditional outdoor kitchen, are delicious, nutritious and affordable. It’s located a 20-minute drive (or $8 taxi ride) from Bacalar— and is solar-powered, so come with provisions such as a fully charged battery and a backup. Casa Lamat Costera Norte Avenida 5 011-52-983-164-2380

Beautiful gardens, endless possibilities. 1927 East Orange Rd. Waterloo, IA 50701 319.226.4966

Soaking up the cool, fresh water and watching the colors change are among the highlights at Akal Ki Holistic Center.

This beautiful, intimate eco-resort is just minutes from Bacalar but feels like a different world. The road is rugged, so drive with caution. (A typical sedan can make it.) The resort is pet-friendly and has lakefront access, kayaks, yoga and a spa. Cabins start at about $42. Akal Ki Holistic Center Carretera Federal 307 Km 011-52-983-106-1751 A waterfront sanctuary, buried in the jungle, offers 11 rooms with luxury accommodations including over-the-water bungalows, a spacious spa and a yoga facility, along with kayaks, a sweat lodge, gardens, hiking trails through the jungle and an excellent farm-to-table restaurant. Low season prices for a cabana start at about $175.

Make it a Day to Remember! Share your special event at...

Waverly Area Veterans Post 1300 4th Street NW, Waverly

(319) 483-9287


destination weddin g Chart course for low-hassle

‌Planning an overseas destination wedding is no day at the beach — even if that’s exactly your vision for your big day. Before you mentally dig your toes into that sand, dig into the details so you don’t end up being your own “something blue.” 1. FACTOR IN COSTS, TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS According to a 2016 survey from wedding site The Knot, the average cost of an international destination wedding is $25,800. That figure may be within your event budget, but for guests, international airfare and multinight lodging could be out of reach. Of course, a smaller, more intimate gathering may be what you’re after. In addition to costs, consider logistics for your guests. Work schedules, health conditions or a lack of child care may pose additional hurdles. Criminal convictions may also be an obstacle. For example, if you have a DUI on record, you may not be allowed entry into Canada, says Ashley Morris, owner and travel concierge at Alpaca Your Bags Travel.

2. CONSIDER A TRAVEL AGENT Travel agents can alleviate some of this pressure by handling guests’ needs, questions and payments. They also may be able to negotiate discounted group quotes based on their partnerships. They might also negotiate perks when more guests stay at the host hotel, such as a free welcome happy hour or brunch, or even free rooms. Your guests might try booking a different hotel on their own to save money, but be aware that they may have to pay a day fee — sometimes $100 to $150 — for access to weddings at private resorts abroad, Morris says. 3. ANTICIPATE GUESTS’ NEEDS When Elise Giannasi, style and beauty blogger at Belle Meets World , planned her wedding in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, she did the research for guests. Her wedding website answered frequently asked questions about travel requirements, hotel options, restaurants in the area, scheduled activities and more. At a minimum, give guests enough notice to save

the date; Morris advises around 11 months.

4. DELEGATE SOME PLANNING A wedding coordinator can keep details from falling through the cracks. Consider a coordinator in the U.S. who has relationships with vendors in the destination; a private on-site wedding coordinator; or an on-site wedding coordinator provided by an all-inclusive resort. For destinations overseas, on-site coordinators who speak the local language can make communication with local vendors easier. 5. MAKE ROOM FOR MISHAPS Speaking of language barriers, details for a destination wedding can often get lost in translation because you’re not on site to oversee them. If you live in a different time zone from the destination, patience is especially important, as you likely won’t get immediate responses from vendors there.

Your wedding day will shine brightly at Diamond Event Center. Find us off Prairie Parkway, located conveniently near a variety of lodging options.

Full-service events team creates a stress-free day for you

Chef-directed in-house catering offers delicious dining options

Flexible space allows you to celebrate with up to 400 friends and family Seneca Epley Photography


MOND DI A event center 5307 CARAWAY LANE CEDAR FALLS • (319) 859-9324

Steer guests to their seats in style ‌The most memorable special occasions often have some elements that are a little offbeat. At weddings, one easy place to add a creative and personal touch is the escort cards, seating charts and place cards that steer guests to their seats in style. “Getting creative with seating chart and place card displays allows couples to tell their story, bring in unique details from their hometowns, or convey their interests,” says WeddingWire’s creative director, Jeffra Trumpower. “They’re essentially a blank slate to showcase what makes them unique.” 1. Couples should think about what their interests are, she advises, and what they like to do together. Escort cards — the little cards that tell guests what table they should go to — don’t have to be paper. Seat assignments could be printed or tied to all manner of objects. Get creative and make the “cards” yourself, or look at the work of designers online. 2. For their April 2018 Montauk wedding, Jamie Ianello and Dan Morrissey, who both work with animals professionally, found a way to play off that mutual interest. Jamie bought an array of small plastic animals from online shop Safari Ltd ., spray-painted them copper and put escort cards in small top slits. “I chose animals I liked and that would stand up easily,” Jamie says. “I matched people I knew really well with their favorite animals, but I also tried to keep it somewhat random, so people wouldn’t get the wrong impression.” 3. Nature lovers might attach seating cards to a vintage paddle or potting bench, or place the cards on sticks inserted into fruits, small potted plants or trays of sand. You can print names and seat assignments on seed packets or paper leaves. For a coastal wedding, Dallas designer Rachel Carl has done calligraphy on small pieces of driftwood and oyster shells, giving tablescapes a note of seaside flavor and soft, natural color. 4. A nautical couple might consider pieces of sea glass for the cards, or — if they’re displaying a larger seating chart — colorful life preservers or

Cedar Valley’s #1 Wedding Venue!


All Events Prints in Sacramento, Calif., who have a shop on Etsy, will send you a template for this editable world map that you can customize and print on your own. buoys as a backdrop. 5. For a more glam look, MaryAnne Ducut-Moochun of Hamilton, Ontario, who founded Enamoured Calligraphy , hand-letters seating charts onto mirrors, plexiglass or chalkboard. 6. Or, for a rustic affair, display the seating chart on an antique ladder, vintage wagon wheel, weathered shutters or wooden pallet. Create escort or place cards out of sanded slices of wood or pretty earthenware tiles, lettered with permanent inks. 7. Avid travelers might consider placing seating assignments on an antique suitcase or steamer trunk. Attach seating cards to mini compasses, or on leather-look luggage tags. Jennifer Minch of Anthologie Press in Bend, Oregon, designs seating cards that look like retro paper luggage tags, complete with grommet and twine tie. 8. San Francisco wedding planner Erica Rose helped one couple combine their love of animals and music for their Napa Valley affair. Seating assignments were put on cards printed with vintage-style animals, and chair rows were delineated by placards printed with favorite song lyrics.

Source: Associated Press

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Wedding Receptions up to 700 guests Wedding Ceremonies for 100-250 Rehearsal dinners ❤ gift openings Courtesy room block 7213 Nordic Drive | 319-859-3852 Leslie Boucher Event & Catering Manager

Black’s Sky Room

Now taking reservations for weddings and special events! 8th floor of the Historic Black’s Building in Downtown Waterloo 501 Sycamore Street, Waterloo, IA 50703


WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019 27 27

P c v

‘pawfect’ Plan a

Lara Leinen of Doggy Social MN LLC poses with Lindsay and Kyle Hofer, and their dog Carter, at their wedding in Minneapolis. RUSSELL HEETER PHOTOGRAPHY/ LARA LEINEN VIA AP

wedding that includes your dogs


hen Kelly Curry was planning her wedding, she knew her dogs Charlie, Zoey and Izzy were going to be in it, and that her friends would expect no less. “They’d be surprised if they weren’t there,” says Curry. The question was how to make it work. She happened to see a social-media post about a pet wedding service, Pawfect for You (“Wedding Day Pet Care and Chauffeur”), which offered to do it all: pick the dogs up, wrangle them during the event, and bring them home again safely, letting the bridal couple enjoy their perfect day with no worries. “I thought it was a joke,” said Curry, who was married in October 2017 in Haddam,


Connecticut. It wasn’t, and she got in touch with Pawfect for You’s owner, Veronica Silva. It’s hard for brides and grooms to find a friend who can handle their pup all day on the wedding day, says Silva. “How do you coordinate this when everyone you know is at your wedding and anyone close to you is in your wedding party? How can they go home, pick up the dog, bring the dog over for pictures, coordinate how the dog walks down the aisle?” says Silva. “And then you’re stuck with, everyone’s sitting down for dinner, how can I get the dog back home without imposing on someone?” Having a dog in a wedding is about more than the dog. For one thing, it’s about timing. “Dogwalkers commit to a window, not

a specific time, which is normally fine, but weddings are different,” says Silva. “Some of the timelines I’ve seen from professional wedding planners are down to the minute, and we have to be cognizant of that.” Lara Leinen, whose company, Doggy Social MN , services the Twin Cities area and Wisconsin, had a previous career as a wedding planner, so she knows what goes into it. “I’m working on the back end with all the vendors to make sure the couple’s day is perfect,” for them and the dog, she says. “I want it to be stress-free for everyone involved. I reach out and let them know who I am and what I’m doing and that if timelines get off, let me know and we’ll roll with the punches.” She makes sure the pet is getting potty breaks, water, etc. “I’m constantly paying

R t d

attention to the energy of the animals and making sure that they’re happy,” Leinen says. The handler also helps ensure that pets play their roles comfortably and efficiently. “We walk around with chicken, cheese, turkey, proscuitto in our pockets,” says Silva. That helps with the photos in particular, especially with those tight timelines: “We need to make sure we’re not taking a hundred shots trying to get the dog to look at the camera.” Not so long ago, the idea of having your pet in your wedding might have sounded eccentric, but not anymore. Leinen feels that her clients make good choices based on knowing their pets. If they’re not up to crowds, the plan is made accordingly. “One couple, their dog had a severe case of anxiety,” she says. “So we decided we’d only be there for the first look and the pictures for 20 minutes — just the couple and their dogs, no bridal party or any-

one else.” Such sensible choices mean the “pet” in a wedding is almost always a dog. Silva has had some inquiries about cats but no one’s gone through with it. And while many couples, like Curry, have their dogs walk down the aisle, there are also many who just have them there briefly for photos, and then the handler takes them home. That may be a more limited sort of involvement, but it might be the most important. “For most couples, one of those images with their dog in it — that is going to be their favorite photo,” says Leinen. “Maybe not their favorite moment — maybe later when they’re dancing alone with their significant other on their wedding night will be the most significant moment to them. But picture-wise, it’s the dog picture.”

Source: Associated Press


Ryan Curry and Laura Moylan walk Izzy, right, and Zoey down the aisle at the wedding of Kelly Curry and Patrick St. Onge. The bride and groom’s dogs took part in the ceremony. WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019 29

Reception Hall Directory His proposal was music to your ears. Now it’s time to put your florist, cake baker and caterer on speeddial. When choosing a reception site, check out its size and determine whether it will fit your style of reception and number of guests expected to attend. To assist our readers, here’s a listing of metro area reception halls: American Legion Post 138, 728 Commercial St., Waterloo • 319-234-8511 Open to public, accommodates 100-150; book early; $250 per floor, $50 deposit; kitchen, bartender costs extra; no on-site catering; tables, chairs included, linens not; decorating one to two hours before; dance floor. Beaver Hills Country Club 8230 Beaver Hills Dr., Cedar Falls • 319-266-1975 Open to public, booking upon availability; accommodates up to 250; $500 for room; set up, clean up included; on-site buffet or sit-down style catering, about $15 per person; tables, chairs, linens provided; bar; decorating early depends on availability; dance floor. Brown Derby Ballroom 618 Sycamore St., Waterloo • 319-240-0308 The newly remodeled and restored Brown Derby in Waterloo was originally the first Elks Club. We have great parking and can serve 215 people in a sit-down dinner. We can serve more if it is just a reception with appetizers. We have a full bar. We are also handicapped accessible. To review and reserve, please contact Chuck at (319) 240-0308. Black’s Sky Room/Tea Room 501 Sycamore St., No. 710 Waterloo Contact Vern Nelson • 319-233-5109 Built in 1929 atop the eighth floor of the Black’s building, the Sky Room has been beautifully restored. Events from 10 to 360 people; choice of 8 pre-approved caterers or your choice to be approved; open bar, paid bar or combination with bartender(s); tables, chairs, stage risers & podium available; parking connected by Sky Walk. Cedar Falls Community Center 528 Main St., Cedar Falls • 319-277-1900 Available for evening and weekend rentals for special events such as weddings and receptions, anniversaries and other special events. Chairs and tables provided, capacity 200. No on site food prep allowed, but small kitchen to assist with catered food. Dance floor. Nonsmoking with ample nearby parking. Additional deposit and charge for wine and beer. Available to rent up to one year in advance; call 268-5541 for more information and booking. Cedar Falls Womans Club 304 Clay St., Cedar Falls • 319-266-1431 • Manager: Angie Andrews This stately home overlooks Overman Park in the heart of the historic area of Cedar Falls. It has been and is a meeting place for many groups and a gathering place for private parties & small weddings. Consider this beautiful Cedar Falls landmark for your next event. Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens 1927 E. Orange Road, Waterloo • 319-226-4966 A lush, 40 acre garden setting located directly east of Hawkeye Community College – the perfect backdrop for your special day. A Saturday wedding in the garden of your choice includes a one hour rehearsal between 4pm and 7pm the night before your wedding and the use of our education center and the garden of your choice from 10am – 6pm on the day of your wedding for $800. Wedding rentals are available seven days a week, prices vary. For more information about booking the Arboretum for your special day, call our office or email us at


Centennial Oaks Golf Club Eagle Ridge Dr., Waverly • 319-483-1765, ask for Lisa Accommodates intimate gatherings to large receptions up to 400 guests; on-site catering and bar services; customized menus; chairs, tables, linens provided; outside ceremony site, on-site event coordinator, professional wait staff, dance floor, complimentary setup and tear-down. Center Inn Banquet Facilities 209 Main St., Readlyn • 319-279-3839 Dining room accommodates up to 75, ballroom accommodates up to 400; banquet room rental SundayThursday, $150, Friday and Saturday, $300; dining room rental Monday-Sunday, $75; basement rental $50; deposit and credit billing $100, required to confirm all bookings, non-refundable; post-event clean up, $100. The Centre Hall 1211 4th St., SW, Waverly • 319-352-1386 Seating for up to 700 guests. Wedding package includes: day prior to event, day of event, half day after event, seating for 250 guests including tables and chairs, kitchen area and serving tables. Accommodates the wedding, reception, dinner, and dance without moving or tearing down tables and chairs. Clarion Inn 5826 University Ave., Cedar Falls 319-277-2230, ext. 7322 Enjoy the convenience of your reception and hotel accommodations under one roof; brand new banquet room called “The Cedar” seating 150 people, mezzanine and plaza seat up to 350, banquet hall seats up to 300; full service catering, $18.95 to $22.95 per plate; free honeymoon suite with whirlpool for bride and groom; special overnight rates for wedding guests; rehearsal dinner, gift opening, bridal shower available; tables, chairs, linens, skirting, security, bar, bartender provided; some decorations provided, decorating 8 a.m. day of event; dance floor, table for disc jockey. New Against the Grain Bar and Restaurant. Diamond Event Center at Jorgensen Plaza 5307 Caraway Lane, Cedar Falls (319) 266-9994 or The Cedar Valley's newest event center is under construction and taking reservations for events beginning June 2018! Weddings and receptions, business luncheons or awards dinners, anniversary and retirement parties - all this and more can be accommodated in our flexible space that seats up to 350 at tables. Amenities include fully customizable menus and bar options, specialty linens, coat check, set up and clean up, state-of-the-art audio/visual, valet parking and coat check. Diamond Event Center is managed by Barmuda, with 30 years of restaurant and events management in the Cedar Valley, and is located off Prairie Parkway in south Cedar Falls on the campus of Western Home Communities. Call Crystal today to plan your special event. Electric Park Ballroom 310 W. Conger St., Waterloo • 319-232-5801 or The Electric Park Ballroom at National Cattle Congress is a historic venue that can accommodate 1,000 people. It is an ideal location for wedding parties, banquets or conventions. We offer multiple amenities such as free parking, two full service bars, complimentary set up and tear down, name on the marquee. Our iconic ballroom features a 81’ x 63’ built in wooden dance floor with a built in stage and lights. We look forward to working with you.

Fox Ridge Golf Club Highway 20, Dike • 319-989-2213 Accommodates 320 people; bookings one month in advance; business meeting space available; in-house catering available to fit all budget needs; wedding rental requires $250.00 deposit (nonrefundable/applied toward final bill) and signed contract to hold date. Please contact Ben Biersner at 319-989-2213 or ben@ to request more information. Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center University of Northern Iowa campus Cedar Falls • 319-273-3660 • Lobby hall accommodates up to 120 banquet style, 300 standing; book six months to a year in advance; $600, $300 deposit; on-site catering only by UNI catering; tables, chairs, linens provided; balcony, grand central staircase; decorating day before event; dance floor. Grout Museum District & Snowden House 503 South St., Waterloo • 319-234-6357 Main building accommodates up to 200, $350-$750. Tables, chairs, set up and tear down included. Cash or open bar available. Full service kitchen. Dance floor. No on-site catering. Snowden House: Historic Victorian Italiante architectural style home. Accommodates up to 120. $50/ hr. Tables, chairs, set up, tear down included. Kitchen available. No on-site catering. (Due to historic nature of facility, no dancing is allowed). Hartman Reserve Nature Center 657 Reserve Dr., Cedar Falls • 319-277-2187 Accommodates up to 100; booking at least six months in advance; $400-8 hours on Saturday or $475 Fri. nite/Saturday add $100 if serving alcohol; full kitchen, tables, chairs included; non-smoking; decks with scenic overview, bridge, outside amphitheater seats up to 100, fireplace. Henderson Event Center 2320 Iowa Ave., Independence • 319-334-6464 Our 12,000-square-foot event venue comfortably accommodates up to 500 guests, all of whom are sure to be impressed with the elegance of our facilities and the level of our service. Conveniently located off of U.S. Highway 20, and within close proximity to Waterloo, Cedar Falls and lodging, our event venue in Independence, Iowa is perfect for: Weddings, School dances, Corporate functions, Holiday parties and Retirement parties. Hickory Hills Park 3338 Hickory Hills Rd., La Porte City 319-266-6813 Accommodates 125; book up to two years in advance; pricing varies, two-day wedding packages available; $100 deposit, more if bringing in beer keg; no on-site catering; restrooms, kitchen facilities (pots/pans not provided); tables, chairs for 125 are provided, additional seating allowed; beer, wine coolers allowed; lakefront view; decorating early requires rental; outlets for DJ; cement floor; attached deck, air-conditioning.

Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo 777 Isle of Capri Blvd., Waterloo Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo is an ideal location for your wedding, party, meeting or convention. Isle Waterloo features 5,000 feet of flexible meeting space and 1,600 square feet of pre-function space. This space is ideal for groups of 270 people sitting banquet style or a 400 person cocktail reception. Our professional planning and catering staff is ready to help you create your next memorable event. For more information visit or call 319-833-2266 to speak with a professional planner today. Janesville Riviera Roose Community Center 307 Maple St., Janesville • 319-987-3512 or 319-231-7660 The center is a modern, fully accessible facility managed by the Community Center Board of Directors. Its small town location on approximately 10 acres of land near the Cedar River provides an ideal setting for weddings and receptions, as well as reunions, anniversaries, retreats and business meetings. The center features a large hall with banquet seating for 350, a wood dance floor, commercial kitchen, bar and a large outdoor patio. Parking is adjacent to the building. For more details, visit Oster Regent Theatre 103 Main St., Cedar Falls • 319-277-5283 Accommodates 80-100; book early; $200, $50 deposit; no onsite catering; can serve own alcohol but cannot sell to guest; kitchen with serving area, sink, refrigerator, microwave; tables, chairs provided for 80; linens rented for $3 each; beautiful view of the Cedar River; decorating day before depends on availability; Hardwood dance floor. Pepsi Pavilion, National Cattle Congress grounds 319-232-5801 or If you are looking for a comfortable relaxed open concept venue then the National Cattle Congress Pavilion is just right for you. The Pavilion offers seating for 800 people which makes it an ideal location for anything from a concert to a wedding. Our services included complimentary set up and tear down, name on the marquee, serving the head table as well as keeping the food line full at all times, two NCC bartenders, and free parking. We look forward to working with you. Ramada Hotel and Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center 205 W. 4th St., Waterloo • 319-233-7560 Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Waterloo. We are able to accommodate parties from 50 to 1200 people in our uniquely customizable spaces. Rental prices range from $800.00 to $1200.00 depending on the space need for your special day. The rental fee in an inclusive price, no “hidden fees”. Rental fee includes your setup, teardown, and cleanup; as well as all tables, chairs, linens, place settings, dance floor, and so much more. We have a minimum of $4000.00 for the reception. Customizable dinner (both buffet and plated) menus provided by our professional on-site catering staff for your rehearsal dinner, reception and gift opening. Full bar service with many customizable options to fit your guests needs. Feel free to book the space in advance, no limitations to how far in advance you may book. Call us today to meet with our sales team and to tour the facility.

Rotary Reserve 5932 N. Union Rd., Cedar Falls • 319-266-6813 Accommodates 300; book up to two years in advance; $650 for all day Saturday; package deals include $800 for both Friday and Saturday night, $925 for all day Friday and Saturday, $650 for Thursday night and all day Friday; weekday times range from $195 to $275, $100 increase on holidays; $200 deposit two weeks prior to event; no on-site catering; kitchen, restrooms; tables, chairs provided for 300 guests; linens, cooking utensils not provided; beer, wine, champagne only; uniformed security officer required if serving alcohol; non-smoking; remote location on banks of Cedar River, deck, gazebo, fireplace, PA system, concrete floor, air-conditioned/ heated; changing rooms for both men and women available. Sunnyside Country Club 1600 Olympic Dr., Waterloo • 319-234-1707 Available to non-members & members for weddings; Seating up to 300 with overflow; booking depends on availability; competitive pricing; on-site sit-down or buffet-style catering only, starting $21 per plate; setup and tear down of tables, chairs, linens provided; fullystaffed bar; decorating early allowed when available; dance floor. For details call 319-234-1707 or email University of Northern Iowa Commons-Slife Ballroom W.23rd Street, Cedar Falls 319-273-2333 Ballroom seats up to 220; additional space available in the neighboring lounge overlooking the campanile that can be used for ceremonies, pre-reception cocktails, etc; reservations accepted up to two years in advance; half of estimated cost paid in advance, remainder due at event; set up, clean up included; on-site catering by UNI Catering; bar service; tables, chairs, linens provided; sound system in ballroom; portable risers for band, DJ, head table; dance floor; additional decorations available to rent. University of Northern Iowa Gallagher Bluedorn 8201 Dakota Street, Cedar Falls • 319-273-3660 • Hall lobby accommodates up to 200 banquet style, 300 standing; book six months to a year in advance; onsite catering only by UNI Catering; bar service; tables, chairs, linens provided; balcony, grand central staircase; decorating day before event; dance floor. University of Northern Iowa Maucker Union Old Central Ballroom 1227 W. 27th Street, Cedar Falls • 319-273-5888 Ballroom accommodates 400+ banquet style with no need to remove any seating for your dance; reservations accepted up to two years in advance; deposit half of rental; set up, clean up, linens, table skirting, tables, chairs and staging included; on-site catering by UNI Catering; bar service; sound system and drop down projectors available in ballroom; dance floor included; additional decorations available to rent.

Wartburg College Saemann Student Center, 100 Wartburg Blvd., Waverly 319-352-8286 Groups of 20-200. Full-service banquet facility with customized menu and event planning. Great location for rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Food and service provided by the College. Half of estimated total paid; tables, chairs, linens provided; bar serves wine and beer. AV equipment available; dance floor needs to be rented and brought in. Waterloo Center for the Arts, Boat House and Riverloop Facilities 225 Commercial St., Waterloo • 319-291-4490 We offer beautiful and affordable riverfront spaces that can accommodate up to 250 indoors and 5000 outdoors. A range of amenities are available including: set up & clean up; newly renovated restrooms; kitchen; catering; beverage service; round or square tables; chairs; linens; ice table; pipe & drape; piano; sound system; stage; tents; and dance floor. Waterloo Elks Lodge 407 E. Park Ave., Waterloo • 319-234-7568 Sherri Simon, Accommodates up to 375; on-site catering only, $15 to $25 per person plus tax and gratuity; tables, chairs included; fee for bartender, linens; decorating day before depends on availability; luxurious atmosphere, stage for bands or DJ, dance floor; plenty of on-site parking. Waverly Area Veterans Post 1300 4th St NW., Waverly • 319-483-9287 Open to the public! The Patriots Hall accommodates up to 300 guests for your event. We have a dance floor that can be customized to the size you prefer, up to 30’x30’. You choose your own caterer, WAVP will provide the bar. Linens are available to rent. Tables and chairs are provided with the cost of the rental. $900 for the whole Patriots Hall, with a refundable damage deposit of $250 required at time of booking; hall rental fee due the month of the event. If your event does not require the entire hall, we have a temporary wall that can divide the room into two separate rooms. Patriots Hall West is $400 (holds up to 100 guests), Patriots Hall East is $500 (holds up to 200 guests). Friday decorating time is available for only an additional $250; you will have the entire day to decorate. Coming in the Spring of 2017 is a large deck that will overlook the Cedar River off the Patriots Hall. Waverly Golf and Country Club 705 Eighth St. SW, Waverly • 319-352-3855 Open to public for rental; accommodates 275; book about a year in advance; $600, $100 deposit; on-site sit down or buffet-style catering only; one-meat buffet $12.95, two-meat $14.95, three-meat $16.95 per person, call for sit-down meal prices; can bring in wedding cake; tables, chairs, bartender, waitresses, linens $1 per person; decorating night before depends on availability; dance floor.


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Waterloo 32 WEDDINGS | SUMMER 2019


Profile for Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Weddings - Summer 2019  

Weddings - Summer 2019