Asking the Wedding Experts
talking to local photographers, florists, and more about all the crazy weddings they’ve attended
photos by Randy Lee
What is the craziest, most unique thing you’ve ever been asked to do at a wedding?
“I had a backyard wedding at a renovated barn and farmhouse, the bride and groom were going to be pulled in a buggy by two horses and they wanted flower decorations for the horses to wear at the wedding.” – Genny Hay, Eau Claire Floral
“I saw a bride’s wedding dress nearly get pooped on by her bare-bottomed toddler. I didn’t know the child was about to poop and ended up with a picture of the moment.” – Jenna Larsen, Photographer
“A bride in a Vera Wang dress doing a keg stand... Priceless!” – Leslie Duffy, Photographer
“We have a few: A Star Wars groom’s cake. A cake made entirely of Rice Krispies treats. A Halloween wedding cake complete with edible chocolate skulls.” – Michelle Abram, Pattycakes LLC
“To arrive just in time to officiate for a surprise wedding where all the guests believed they were at a July 4th picnic.” – Rev. Sandra McKinney, Officiant
“Most crazy wedding ceremony: Eau Claire County Jail. It had to be performed by telephone with bride and groom on separate sides of the partition.” – Judy Gilles, Cabin Ridge Rides
What’s the most “Wisconsin” thing you’ve witnessed or been a part of at a local wedding?
“I was asked to DJ dinner music for an hour, then a polka band took over for the next hour and then I rounded out the rest of the dance. It was super fun.” – Jamey Brownell, Kaleidoscope Entertainment
“When our cornfield wedding ceremony ended, the bride and groom climbed into a combine and led the guests down the trail to the farmhouse.” –Rev. Frank Nowak, Officiant
“I had a bride use reclaimed wood from Lake Superior for her table numbers that we incorporated into her centerpieces. She also served bison at her reception; that’s pretty Wisconsin.” – Genny Hay, Eau Claire Floral
“Barhopping in a pontoon boat after a wedding at Lake Holcombe.” –Leslie Duffy, Photographer
“Bride & groom in camouflage with bride arriving on a tractor.” – Rev. Sandra McKinney, Officiant
“I was first struck by ‘The Grand March’ – it’s such a big thing here, and I had never once heard it called that. Recently at a wedding, the DJ announced that just about everyone there had separately requested a polka. Oh, and that cornhole game!” –Jenna Larsen, Photographer
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to local couples looking to tie the knot?
“You don't have to spend a ton of money to make a big impact. Sometimes more simple centerpieces draw more attention than a tall bouquet of flowers falling into peoples faces and food at the reception table.” – Genny Hay, Eau Claire Floral
“Don’t spend too much time on Pinterest. The ideas are fun, but the expectations can make for unnecessary disappointment.” – Jenna Larsen, Photographer
“While the ‘wedding’ gets all the attention, it's really about the marriage.” – Rev. Sandra McKinney, Officiant
“Relax, do not stress, have fun, enjoy every minute. No matter how much you plan, things will go wrong. Ninety-nine percent of the guests will never know. Guests are your friends and relatives. They love you no matter what happens. If something huge goes wrong, it will become a great story and part of family history that you will tell your grandchildren.” – Judy Gilles, Cabin Ridge Rides
Any cliches you are absolutely sick of?
“All baby’s breath in a mason jar, and I bet all the florists will say the same!” – Genny Hay, Eau Claire Floral
“Couples, or any client, wanting me to replicate an image they have seen on Pinterest. ... Every wedding or event is different and unique and cannot be replicated! It puts a lot of pressure on the photographer.” – Leslie Duffy, Photographer
“If it works for the couple; it works for me – no matter how often I've seen or heard it.” – Rev. Sandra McKinney, Officiant
“Nope! Usually a ‘cliché’ is that for a reason, it’s withstood the test of time. It’s your special day, so you should have what you want, and don’t worry about if others think its ‘cliché.’ ” – Michelle Abram, Pattycakes LLC