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Bridal Guide


Array of sweet treats replace more traditional cakes

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◀ Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune Karina DeJong, owner of Rosebud’s Sweets and Treats, poses for a photo with a red velvet flavored naked cake at her home kitchen near Raymond.

▼ Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune Benson Bakery in Benson offers a variety of wedding treats.

Today’s wedding desserts are as unique as the couple By Shelby Lindrud


ouples are striving to put their personal touch on everything having to do with their wedding — and this includes the cake. So much so that the age of the multi-tiered white wedding cake seems to be over, replaced with a wide array of sweet treats. “Millennials are all about the new and the trends,” said Karina DeJong, owner of Rosebud’s Sweets and Treats, a home-based business in Raymond. “They want to create an experience for their guests.” Benson Bakery, which has been in business since 1933, used to create extravagant tiered wedding cakes, full of fondant flowers and iced string art. “I did a six-tiered cake, it was the scariest cake I’ve ever done,” said bakery manager and cake decorator

Becky Halverson, who has worked at the bakery since the 1970s. Today, couples are ordering smaller and simpler cakes, along with dozens of cupcakes, if they want cake at all. “The cupcakes with a small centerpiece are our number one,” Halverson said. DeJong, who has owned her business for just over a year, specializes in cupcakes and has seen her wedding business soar over the past several months. “Sixty to 70 percent of my business is weddings,” said DeJong, who already has several weddings lined up for 2020. Continued on page 4 WEST CENTRAL TRIBUNE | JANUARY 2020 3

▲ Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune A red velvet flavored naked cake, made by Karina DeJong of Rosebud’s Sweets and Treats, is decorated with a wedding cake topper and fresh roses.

Continued from page 3 Cupcakes are small and portable and are less formal than a traditional wedding cake. They also lend themselves to more unique flavor combinations. A couple can have several cupcake flavors, instead of being boxed into a couple of flavors in a cake. DeJong recommends her couples use no more than four flavors in their cupcake display, though she’ll do up to six. “They want to try out more fun and unique flavors,”

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DeJong said. “They’re personalizing it to show who they are as a couple.” At the Benson Bakery, popular flavors include carrot cake, red velvet and angel food. “They’re more adventurous,” Halverson said of the wedding couples. DeJong has been baking a lot of chocolate flavors including peanut butter cup, Oreo, monster cookie and even mint. “I’ve noticed people gravitating toward flavors they’ve never tried,” DeJong said.

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Rustic and shabby chic wedding themes are still in vogue, and dessert decorations are following that trend. Decorations are more natural looking, like wildflowers and tree bark, and the decorations on cakes aren’t over the top. “It is a lot of silk flowers. They usually bring that stuff in for us,” Halverson said. “A lot of cakes come off Pinterest.” The cupcakes might have a flower on the top or just a bit of sparkle. “Right now its rustic and simple. The cupcakes are pretty simple too, just some glitter,” said Tonya Johannessen-Fath, another cake decorator at Benson Bakery. “It is what they want.” One trend that continues to grow in popularity is the naked cake, where there is only a thin layer of frosting on the sides of the cake, allowing the actual cake to show through. “They really like the look and feel of that,” DeJong said. “It is fun and they can make it what they want.” For those couples who don’t want cake, there are many, many more treats to choose from to sweeten up the reception. Benson Bakery has created everything from cheesecakes and pies to a donut wall, where the donuts were hung from pegs on a wall.

▲ Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune Bars and other treats are one of the many desserts now Continued on page 6 requested from the Benson Bakery for weddings.


Continued from page 5 “We’ve done a lot of dessert bars,” where couples choose several different types of bars for their reception, Halverson said. “One time I did a whole bunch of peanut squares. I had 10 to 15 dozen of them.” A unique dessert the Benson Bakery gets orders for is a kransekake, a Norwegian wedding cake. They’re made of rings of a chewy almond cake, decorated with icing and other ornaments, including Norwegian flags. “We have a lot of Norwegians around here,” Halverson said. Wedding orders can be time-consuming and stressful, but enjoyable too. DeJong said she doesn’t like to start baking the base cake for her orders any more than two weeks out and frosting them only a few days before. Her largest order has been about 324 cupcakes; next summer she’ll have an order of nearly 400. “It is super crazy, but it is fun,” DeJong said. At the Benson Bakery, Halverson said she usually makes the cakes and cupcakes only a few days before ▲ Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune the wedding, if not the day of. Delivery can sometimes Manager and cake decorator Becky Halverson lifts a cookie tray off a rack at the Benson Bakery in Benson. Cookies be the most stressful part of wedding cake business. and other treats are popular items to serve at weddings. The time of the year can be an issue as well.


“Graduation is not a good time to do a wedding cake,” Halverson said, due to the sheer amount of graduation party orders the bakery fills. Couples usually come to the bakery six to eight months before the big day, to begin the planning process for the dessert. According to Halverson it has been years since she’s created a multi-tiered wedding cake, complete with a bride and groom topper. One day she hopes they come back into style. “They were a lot of fun,” Halverson said. Today’s tastes, both aesthetically and literally, have changed and wedding desserts along with them. The dessert is just one more way a couple can show off their personalities, whether that takes the shape of an array of cupcakes or a snack bar with gummy worms and popcorn. Whatever the wedding couple wants, bakers like DeJong and Halverson will be on hand to work with them and create that special, never to forget, moment. ▲ Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune “It is a way to be unique,” DeJong said. “I’m excited Toby Johannessen measures flour on a scale at the Benson Bakery in Benson. to see what people come up with next.” 001938135r1

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ecently engaged couples may be excited to get a jump on wedding planning. Bridal shows can be a great way for couples to meet and familiarize themselves with local wedding professionals, all the while introducing themselves to the terminology of wedding planning. Though they’re a great source of information, contacts and samples, bridal shows also can be a bit overwhelming. Learning how to maximize time spent at shows can help couples plan their weddings as efficiently as possible. • Start small. If the idea of large crowds is unappealing, attend the more intimate, boutique shows that are often held at local reception halls and restaurants instead of the larger installations at convention centers and hotels. • Scout out vendors. Check the bridal show’s website for lists of exhibitors and see if your desired vendors are on the list. But even if they’re not, keep an open mind and use the show as a chance to compare offerings. If an event map is available, marking off must-visit booths can help save time. • Pre-register. Pre-registering for bridal events saves time at check-in, and doing so may make you eligible for discounted tickets. • Come prepared. Chances are each vendor is ▲ MetroGraphics going to ask couples for information so that they Bridal shows can provide inspiration to couples planning can follow up with a phone call or email with their weddings.

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more detailed offerings and estimates. Couples attending the show can expedite the process by coming equipped with labels that feature their names, contact information and wedding date. They can then stick the labels on sign-in sheets or use them like business cards. • Dress comfortably. Bridal expos involve a lot of walking and roaming around. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Consider a backpack or hands-free bag so you are not weighed down when collecting the swag and other handouts throughout the day. • Ask questions. When face-to-face with vendors, rely on their expertise but don’t hesitate to ask questions concerning themes, colors, recommendations for honeymoon locations, invitation paper suggestions, and much more. • Stay for the fashion show. Many shows will offer a runway experience to present the latest gown and tuxedo offerings. This can be an entertaining way for couples to formulate their wedding styles. Wedding shows introduce couples to vendors and set them on the path to making decisions regarding the planning of their weddings.

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Wedding checklist The details involved in wedding planning may seem overwhelming at times. Here is a helpful checklist to keep your planning on track.

6-12 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Select a wedding date & time ☐ Make a preliminary budget ☐ Select bridal attendants ☐ Plan reception ☐ Determine the type of wedding you want ☐ Reserve your ceremony & reception location ☐ Determine who will officiate at the ceremony ☐ Hire a wedding consultant, if you plan to use one ☐ Decide on your color scheme ☐ Determine the size of your guest list ☐ Start compiling names & addresses of guests ☐ Have fiancé select attendants ☐ Check catering facilities, if at a club or hotel ☐ Select a caterer, if one is necessary ☐ Select a professional photographer ☐ Select a reliable, creative florist ☐ Select your dress and headpiece ☐ Announce your engagement in the newspaper 4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Make final arrangements for ceremony (deposits paid, contracts signed) ☐ Make sure all bridal attire is ordered ☐ Have both mothers coordinate and select their dresses ☐ Register at a bridal registry in the towns of both families ☐ Order invitations and personal stationary ☐ Complete the guest list and compile them in order ☐ Select the men’s wedding attire and reserve the right sizes ☐ Check requirements for blood test and marriage license in your state ☐ Make appointment for physical exam (if your state requires one) ☐ Shop for wedding rings


Start planning the honeymoon Decide where you will live after the wedding ☐ Begin shopping for trousseau ☐ ☐

2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Address invitations and announcements They should be mailed four to six weeks before the wedding ☐ Finalize all details with caterer, photographer, florist, reception hall manager, musicians, etc ☐ Order wedding cake, if not supplied by caterer ☐ Finalize ceremony details with officiant ☐ Make rehearsal arrangements ☐ Plan rehearsal dinner ☐ Plan bridesmaid’s luncheon ☐ Make appointment with hair dresser ☐ Arrange accommodations for out-of-town 1 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Have a final fitting for your gown and bridal attendant’s dresses ☐ Have a formal bridal portrait done ☐ Complete all physical or dental appointments ☐ Get blood test and marriage license ☐ Make transportation arrangements for wedding day ☐ Purchase gifts for attendants ☐ Purchase gift for fiancé, if gifts are be exchanged ☐ Have the bridesmaid’s luncheon ☐ Purchase going away outfit ☐ Keep a careful record of all gifts received (write thank-you notes immediately instead of letting them pile up) ☐ Make sure you have all accessories, toasting goblets, ring pillow, garter, candles, etc ☐ Select a responsible person to handle guest book and determine its location 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Attend to business and legal details.

Get necessary forms to change names on Social Security card, driver’s license, insurance and medical plans, bank accounts; make a will ☐ Prepare wedding announcements to be sent to the newspaper ☐ Reconfirm accommodations for out-of town guests ☐ Arrange to have possessions and gifts moved to your new home. Give a change-of-address card to the post office ☐ Finish addressing announcements to be mailed on the wedding day THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Contact guests who have not responded ☐ Give the final count to the caterer to review details ☐ Go over final details with all professional services you have engaged. Inform them of any changes ☐ Give photographer the list of pictures you want ☐ Give all musicians the list of music for the ceremony and reception ☐ Plan the seating arrangments ☐ Arrange for someone to assist with last-minute seating errands and help you dress ☐ Practice having your hair done to make sure it comes out properly, and deter mine the time it will take ☐ Practice using your make-up in the same type of lighting you will have on the wedding date ☐ Keep up with writing your thank-you notes ☐ Pack your suitcase for the honeymoon ☐ Make sure you have the wedding rings, and they fit ☐ Make sure all wedding attire is picked up and it fits ☐ Have a rehearsal with all participants, reviewing their duties ☐ Attend a rehearsal dinner party, stay calm and enjoy yourself


Wedding checklist The bride is not the only one with planning to do! Here’s what the groom should do before the big day:

6-12 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Discuss with fiancé the date and type of wedding ☐ Start on your guest list ☐ Choose best man and ushers ☐ Start planning and making arrangements for the honeymoon 4 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Shop with fiancé for wedding ring ☐ Complete your guest list, including full names, addresses and phone numbers ☐ Check requirements for marriage license ☐ Select and order men’s wedding attire with fiancé ☐ Finalize all honeymoon plans and send in deposits if required 2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Meet with officiant to finalize ceremony details ☐ Assist parents with plans for the rehearsal dinner party ☐ Discuss the amount and the financial arrangement for the flowers that are the groom’s responsibility ☐ Arrange accommodations for out-of-town attendants 1 MONTH BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ See that all attendants have been fitted and wedding attire has been ordered ☐ Purchase gifts for groomsmen and ushers ☐ Purchase wedding gifts for fiancé, if gifts are being exchanged ☐ Pick up wedding rings and make sure they fit

Take care of business and legal affairs (add fiancé’s name to insurance policies and medical plans, make a will, add her name to a joint checking account, or joint charge cards

2 WEEKS BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Together with fiancé, gather necessary documents and get your marriage license ☐ Arrange wedding day transportation ☐ Reconfirm accommodations for out-of-town guests ☐ If moving, give change of address card to post office; arrange to have utilities and phone service turned on in new home ☐ Have your hair cut THE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING ☐ Discuss all final details with fiancé, offer to assist if needed ☐ Pick up and try on wedding attire ☐ See the attendants get their wedding attire ☐ If flying, make sure you have plane tickets ☐ See to it that you and your attendants are at the rehearsal and that they know their duties ☐ Go over special seating or pew cards with ushers ☐ Make sure luggage is in the car or the hotel where you will stay your first night

Attend rehearsal dinner, relax and

enjoy yourself DON’T FORGET TO: HONOR THE GROOMSMEN Weddings are all about the brides, or so it would seem. While all eyes are on the bride, the groom sometimes goes unnoticed. One person who shouldn’t fail to notice the groomsmen is the groom himself. Groomsmen can and often do have significant responsibilites. A good groom should recognize the efforts of his groomsmen and give gifts as an aknowledegment of their efforts. FOLLOWING ARE SOME GIFT IDEAS: COMMEMORATE THE RECEPTION Men tend to focus on the celebratory aspects of the day. Grooms can give a personalized gift as a means of commemorating the day. REMINISCE THE BACHELOR PARTY These days, weekend getaways are a common theme to many bachelor parties. Consider gifts that evoke memories of that special weekend where you were the guest of honor. TAKE THE MORE FANCIFUL ROUTE For grooms whose wedding will be an elegant affair, celebrate that elegance by giving each of your groomsmen and engraved pocket watch.


Ceremony planner

DATE________________TIME_______________LOCATION___________________________________________________________ ADDRESS________________CONTACT_______________PHONE _________________________FEE_________________________ REHEARSAL_____________________________________________DATE_______________________TIME_____________________ OFFICIANT(S)____________________________________________OFFICIANT(S) PHONE__________________________________ # OF ROWS RESERVED_____________________# OF PEOPLE________________________________________________________ PEW 1 ________________ PEW 2 ________________ PEW 3 ________________ PEW _____________________________________ CEREMONY MUSIC SELECTIONS: _______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


PHOTOGRAPHER___________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ EMAIL_____________________________________________ CONTACT_______________PHONE____________________ NUMBER OF HOURS BOOKED________________________ PACKAGE DESCRIPTION_______________PRICE________ NUMBER OF PHOTOS TAKEN_________________________ DATE PREVIEWS WILL BE READY______________________ ADDITIONAL REPRINTS COSTS_______________________


VIDEOGRAPHER___________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ EMAIL_____________________________________________ CONTACT_______________PHONE____________________ NUMBER OF HOURS BOOKED________________________ PACKAGE DESCRIPTION_______________PRICE________ NUMBER OF HOURS TOTAL TAPING___________________ DATE FINISHED TAPE WILL BE READY_________________ COST OF ADDITIONAL COPIES_______________________

important contacts


BRIDAL SHOP______________________________________ CONSULTANT______________________________________ PHONE____________________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ ALTERATIONS______________________________________ FITTING DATES_____________________________________ PHONE____________________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ PICK-UP DATE______________________________________

GROOM’S ATTIRE TUXEDO STORE_____________________________________ CONSULTANT______________________________________ PHONE____________________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ PICK-UP DATE______________________________________



FLORIST___________________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ PHONE____________________________________________ CONTACT_________________________________________

STATIONERY PRINTER/STATIONER________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ PHONE__________________CONTACT_________________ ORDER DATE___________________DATE READY_________ # CEREMONY GUESTS_____# RECEPTION GUESTS______


BAKERY___________________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ PHONE____________________________________________ CONTACT_________________________________________

Reception planner

DATE________________TIME_______________LOCATION____________________________________________________________ ADDRESS_____________________________CONTACT_________________________PHONE _______________________________ FEE___________________DEPOSIT_____________________________FOOD SERVICE TIME_______________________________ CANCELLATION TERMS_________________________________________________________________________________________

DOES FACILITY PROVIDE ACCESS FOR DECORATING?__________________________ DANCE FLOOR?____________________________________ SECURITY?________________________________________ ADEQUATE PARKING?_______________________________ SETUP?__________________________CLEANUP?________ SERVERS?______________________HOW MANY?________ BARTENDERS?__________________HOW MANY?________ TABLES & CHAIRS?__________________________________ HANDICAP ACCESS?________________________________ VALET PARKING?___________________________________

DINNER/RECEPTION MUSIC GROUP/BAND/DJ______________________________________ CONTACT____________________________________________ PHONE_______________________________________________ PLAYING FROM _________________TO____________________ NEED EARLY SET UP TIME?_____________________________ COST______________________DEPOSIT___________________ BALANCE DUE_____________WHEN______________________

Catering planner

CATERER_______________________ADDRESS________________________________CONTACT_______________________ PHONE_____________________________________________________SERVICE DATE____________TIME____________________ RECEPTION LOCATION____________________________________PRICE__________________________________________ MENU:

COST LIQUOR & BEVERAGES SUPPLIER__________________CONTACT_______________ ADDRESS_________________________________________ PHONE__________________PICK-UP/DELIVER__________ OPEN BAR FROM________________TO_________________ CASH BAR FROM________________TO_________________ CHAMPAGNE FOR TOAST _____WINE(S) FOR DINNER___ OTHER BEVERAGES______________COST______________

PER PERSON________ X NUMBER OF GUESTS__________ = TOTAL___________________________________________

DOES COST COVER ALL NECESSARY EQUIPMENT?_______________________ CHINA & FLATWARE?_______________________________ ROOM SETUP?_____________________________________ TAXES & GRATUITY?________________________________ CAKE CUTTING?____________________________________


Expense list WEDDING PARTIES ENGAGEMENT PARTY $_________ BRIDESMAID’S LUNCH $_________ REHEARSAL DINNER $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

TRANSPORTATION LIMOUSINES $_________ TRANSPORT FOR GUESTS $_________ PARKING $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

BRIDE’S ATTIRE WEDDING DRESS $_________ ALTERATIONS $_________ HEADPIECE & VEIL $_________ SHOES $_________ ACCESSORIES $_________ JEWLERY $_________ DRESSES FOR OTHER PARTIES $_________ UNDERGARMENTS $_________ HAIR STYLING $_________ MANICURE/PEDICURE $_________ COSMETICS $_________ SKINCARE $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

CEREMONY LOCATION FEE $_________ OFFICIANT FEE $_________ MARRIAGE LICENSE $_________ DECORATIONS $_________ PROGRAM PRINTING $_________ AISLE RUNNER $_________ RINGS $_________ PILLOW $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

MUSIC CEREMONY MUSICIANS $_________ BAND/DJ $_________ EXTRA MUSICIANS $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

HONEYMOON TRANSPORTATION $_________ ACCOMMODATIONS $_________ FOOD $_________ CLOTHING $_________ ENTERTAINMENT $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

CORRESPONDENCE GROOM’S ATTIRE TUXEDO $_________ SHOES $_________ CUFF LINKS $_________ HAIR STYLING $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________


STATIONARY $_________ INVITATIONS $_________ ANNOUNCEMENTS $_________ THANK-YOU CARDS $_________ AT-HOME CARDS $_________ STAMPS $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________




MISCELLANEOUS WEDDING CONSULTANT $_________ GUEST FAVORS $_________ BIRDSEED/ CONFETTI PACKETS $_________ GUEST BOOK & PEN $_________ MISC. FEES & TIPS $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

GIFTS GIFTS TO EACH OTHER $_________ MATRON (MAID) OF HONOR $_________ BEST MAN $_________ BRIDESMAIDS/ GROOMSMEN $_________ PARENTS $_________ OTHER $_________ TOTAL $_________

TOTAL WEDDING BUDGET ______________________________



▲ Carolyn Lange / West Central Tribune The lonely garden arbor stands in the snow as a reminder of the backyard wedding in September.

▼ Photo courtesy of Cheryl Huckle Bride and groom exchange wedding vows in front of the backyard arbor.

Backyard wedding

Offers of help? Accept any and all help you can get


By Carolyn Lange

t was a perfect December morning and the wooden garden arbor in our backyard was surrounded by a smooth blanket of white snow that hadn’t even been disturbed by deer and bunnies. The arbor stood like a guard in the yard and a reminder of a different kind of white beauty that surrounded it just three months earlier during the backyard wedding of my son Adam and his fiance, Lexa. In September, the arbor was draped in white tulle as the bride and groom stood in front of it and exchanged their vows. Rows of white chairs held 16 JANUARY 2020 | WEST CENTRAL TRIBUNE

guests to witness the event. Seeing the lonely arbor standing in the December snow brought back sweet memories of the wedding day – which was perfect in every way – and washed away the months of work and angst it took to get there. It was kind of like when a new mother sees her baby for the first time and immediately forgets the previous nine months and hours of painful labor. Like motherhood, having a backyard wedding is not a task for sissies.

Fantasy vs reality

When Adam and Lexa decided that our backyard would be the best venue for their wedding, I had visions of Snow White dancing and singing in the woods. The reality, however, was more like the seven dwarfs going to work in the mines. Thankfully, we had a crew of miners. For those planning on an outdoor/backyard wedding, let me advise you to get yourself a posse of hard-working family and friends to help with the preparations.

Tuck your pride away and ask for help – and accept the help that’s offered. Adam and Lexa went to work securing rental agreements for the tables, chairs, linens and large white tent where the reception would be held and paced out steps to find the flattest part of the yard to anchor the temporary reception hall. The porta potties would be located downwind and feature a country washstand Adam made from repurposed wood and white enamel bowls. Continued on page 18

▲ Photo courtesy Cheryl Huckle Looking through the doors to the wedding arbor, the stage is set for a backyard wedding.

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▲ Photo courtesy of Cheryl Huckle The reception is set up in a tent in the backyard, awaiting wedding guests for a meal and a dance.

Continued from page 17 They secured a catering crew and cupcake-maker and started creating the decorations and additional adornments, including a freestanding set of double doors Adam made for his bride to walk through in the wall-less outdoor cathedral. But getting the pretty things in place was only half the battle. Our backyard is on a very old farm and there were some serious challenges to overcome – the “Minnesota Rain Deluge of 2019” being a prime one.

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It (seemed like it) had been raining for 40 days and 40 nights but instead of building an ark, we were wielding paintbrushes, chainsaws and weed wackers in an effort to tame the woods and turn our paintdeprived old farmhouse white again and the old barn red again. A corn crib was moved, a chicken coop was given the fixer-upper treatment it needed and a brooder house that had been the kids’ playhouse two decades ago got a facelift to create a play area for children attending the wedding.

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There were trees that needed to be trimmed, acres of lawn that needed constant mowing and a large garden that needed to be planted. And because the wedding was taking place in mid-September, said garden needed to be weeded ALL SUMMER LONG. And all these projects needed to be done while Minnesota was receiving a record-breaking rainfall ALL SUMMER LONG. Even though my pastor told me in frank terms that it didn’t work this way, I did offer a bargain to God that there’d be something extra in the offering plate if it didn’t rain on the day of the wedding.

▲ Photo courtesy of Cheryl Huckle Guests are gathered as wedding vows are stated in front of the backyard arbor.

The countdown

The items on the seemingly endless project list were gradually checked off with the help of family and amazing friends who also called on rainy days to assure me that the sun would shine on the wedding day. The last couple of days before “W” day were a flurry of activity as flower pots were set out, Edison lights were strung from the porch and I kept checking weather reports. As rain ran down the gravel driveway, the truck with the porta-potties arrived. Crews set up the massive tent in the dark of night, as the winds howled, in order to get it done before the really heavy rain hit the next day. Jackets and mud boots were worn during a quick outdoor rehearsal and the groom’s dinner that had been planned for the backyard was moved to the church, with friends packing up and transporting crockpots, bowls and coolers – after first giving me a hug and telling me it would all be OK. And it was. The next morning the sun rose, the rain stopped, the mud dried up and the temperature was a perfect 75 degrees as guests arrived. The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, the flower girls and ring bearer were adorable. The music was lovely, the vows were meaningful and there was a full harvest moon hanging over a glowing white tent as people ate and danced and celebrated the marriage of my son and daughter-in-law. And, yes, there was a little something extra in the offering plate.

Carolyn Lange

Carolyn Lange is a reporter with the West Central Tribune and a features writer for Live it! Magazine in Willmar.


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Tips for creating a wedding registry


uilding a wedding registry is a task unlike any other couples may encounter during their lifetimes. Wedding registries are invaluable resources that provide engaged couples’ loved ones with gift suggestions. In spite of that value, couples may find it daunting and even a little uncomfortable to build their wedding registries. Building a wedding registry can feel like walking a tightrope. Couples likely won’t want to ask for too much or for gifts that are too expensive, but a poorly built registry can be a major inconvenience for guests. The following tips can help couples build adequate registries that benefit them without asking too much of their guests. • Register with more than one store. It’s important to register with more than one store. Doing so makes things as convenient as possible for guests and increases the chances they will be able to shop at stores they’re familiar with. Unless your guest list is predominantly local, try to register with at least one national chain so guests who live in different regions can shop for gifts in-person if they prefer to do so. • Make a large list. Some couples are hesitant to make large wedding registries, feeling that doing so gives the impression that they’re asking for too much. But large registries simply give guests more options to choose from. Many industry insiders advise registering for two to

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three gifts per guest. That might seem like a lot, but guests will appreciate having all of those options. • Don’t hesitate to include expensive items on your registry. Couples also may be hesitant to include especially expensive items on their wedding registries. However, the couples’ parents and other close relatives may be honored to purchase more expensive items, so couples should not feel embarrassed to include them on their lists. It’s also important to note that many retailers, after couples’ wedding days have come and gone, discount registry items that weren’t purchased. So even if no one purchases the more expensive items, including them on a registry may significantly reduce their cost for couples who want to buy such items themselves after tying the knot. • Vary the prices of items on the list. In addition to including more expensive items on the registry, make sure to include moderately priced and inexpensive items. This gives guests more options and ensures guests who might be spending a lot to travel to and from the wedding can still purchase gifts without digging too much deeper into their pockets.

• Periodically update the registries. Periodically update your registries to remove items you have already received and to add items if many of the less expensive ones have already been purchased. This also makes things more convenient for guests. Building a wedding registry is a unique task that couples can embrace as their wedding day draws near.

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Paws Floral 303 Pleasant Ave. Atwater, MN 320-974-8680,

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ATTIRE & ACCESSORIES The Special Event Boutique & Bridal 2715 Hwy 29 S, Suite 110 Alexandria, MN 320-762-0633,

BAKERY Benson Bakery 1305 Pacific Ave, Benson, MN 320-842-4681, Cold Spring Bakery 308 Main St. Cold Spring, MN 320-685-8681,

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MUSIC Priority Sound And Light Jason Anderson 507-530-3742,

PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEO Vows on Video Ken Hanson, Herman, MN 320-808-0340,

PRINTING CATERING McKale’s Catering 606 4th Ave SW, New London, MN 320-354-2007, Heglund Catering P.O. Box 563, Willmar, MN 320-235-5822,

Print Masters of Willmar 919 1st St. S. Willmar, MN 320-235-8055,

RENTALS South Central Tent 320-222-8368,



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SERVICE DIRECTORY VENUE American Legion - Paynesville 770 Diekmann Dr, Paynesville, MN 320-243-4982 American Legion - Spicer 155 Lake Ave N, Spicer, MN 320-796-5542

American Legion - Willmar 220 19th Ave. SW, Willmar, MN 320-235-8136 Grand Stay Hotel & Suites 15980 Hwy 23 NE, Spicer, MN 320-347-1500, Green Lake Lutheran Ministries Spicer & New London, MN 320-796-2181, Lakeside 180 So. Lakeshore Dr, Glenwood, MN 320-760-4987, Padua Pub 33945 County Rd 18, Sauk Centre, MN 320-352-2683 Prairie’s Edge Casino & Resort 5616 Prairies Edge Ln, Granite Falls, MN 320-564-2121, Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center 12718 10th St NE, Spicer, MN 320-354-5894

The Oaks at Eagle Creek 1000 26th Ave. NE, Willmar, MN 320-235-4448,

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