In the heart of winter, summer always looks better when you look back at it. 

Silverwood Park is beautiful in the summertime. I was fortunate enough to shoot a wedding there last year. It was amazing. Lush green trees. The wind sings a beautiful harmony with the leaves that makes you feel close with nature. Every time I look at this photo, it takes me back to the amazing trails and glorious views of the woodlands. I couldn’t stay away.

This is what the park looks like in winter:

Even with the leaves gone and the buildings powdered white, something magical happened here this month. With engagement season picking up and wedding season on the horizon, there are many brides (and husbands) starting their search for their vendors and photographers, so I decided to gear up and brave the cold to check out some wedding fairs this year. I went to a couple of events a few weeks earlier before attending this one and on February 24th, I was pleasantly surprised.

It was a bustling community of vendors, hospitality staff (promoting a prize giveaway at the door), and overall inviting environment. Mothers, fathers, fiancés, and couples on their wedding journey visited from all over the state. The place was buzzing. Unlike other fairs I attended, they made efforts to reduce potential negative impacts on the environment. All the way from the design of the facilities of the park that use green tech, compostable products, recycled paper goods, and eco-friendly amenities. To put an additional bow on the feels, the funds raised from the event were donated to a charitable organization.

Vendors that made an impression
Here were some of the vendors that stood out to me at this year’s fair. They welcomed potential clients with bright smiles which was expected, but they did it in a unique way that wasn’t overbearing. This was probably because their approach did without the weird silent eye contact #awkwardstare. You know what I mean, right? The type of people that stare so hard you can feel them looking at you (or even through you) as means to a conversation. Not my thing and I hope it isn’t yours either.

Unlike this judgemental stare above, the few people I spoke with had great presence and were just getting their business going or had years of experience. I always feel energized hearing stories about professionals in the events industry. Consider this my way of showing a little care and salute for those trying to make a living doing what they love just like I do week-to-week.

My first stop was with Lindsay Correll (Owner) of Opulent Events Planning. Here’s a little bit about her and what she had to say.

What does Opulent Events do?
First off, Opulent means “unique,” so the approach is to do everything uniquely. We do everything from planning your wedding, execution, design, and coordination. All the good stuff when it comes to streamlining your dream wedding.

Why did you start Opulent Events and what tips do you have for couples?
I started it two years ago and have been doing events for six years. I transferred from my personal name to actually being a business owner and giving it the go ahead.

For couples, I would recommend they get a wedding planner whether they think they need one or not. Because there are 10,000,000 things that go on during the day that you don’t really realize need to be handled until you’re like, “Well hold on. I’m the groom, but I also need to go get my wallet to pay the caterer or something like that.” Or what happens when a glass breaks? Who’s going to get someone to clean that up? We don’t want you to worry about that on your big day.

You need to have a glass in your hand, not the glass on the floor that you’re cleaning up. We take care of that and we do a lot more than what people think.

Next stop was the table that had the whole space jumping. I got to hang out with a fly brother named Jamar Cadejuste – owner and DJ of J.Juice Music and Entertainment. They’re a small company that packs a big punch and knows how to have a good time. On the team, there’s about 5 DJ’s and Juice is the main DJ. They started out serving weddings, but were recently picked up to do summer tours with Weight Watchers and a few other companies.

Here’s what Juice the DJ had to say himself:

What’s the story of how you got into DJing?
I fell into it about 7 years ago. I put out an ad on Craig’s list and thought I could host karaoke. I didn’t really know what I was up to at the time, but I thought I could figure it out. A bar called me that was located in Dinkytown (Blarney’s) responding to the ad saying they need a DJ and they gave me a shot. I was a regular DJ there for three years. Then someone asked if I could do their wedding and I was like sure. Now I’ve released an album, work with Treasure Island, work with KDWB, and do somewhere around 500 events a year.

Last stop, was speaking with Brandi Hunt-Wright of Hunt Wright Design Co. She designs and creates custom and semi-custom wedding invitation suites. She also makes other elegant, well-designed digital and paper goods. Here’s her perspective on stationery and the goods she makes:

What do you think stationery means for a couple?

It sets the tone. Easy to overlook, but important.

Save the dates give everyone an indication of what’s to come. It’s the first introduction of what colors, tones, the look, and feel of what the wedding might be like. Vision is important and crafting something real for a couple helps them see, hold, and feel that vision with their hands – something tangible. Some couples may go formal or light and airy. There’s a utilitarian aspect to each piece that can help a bride and groom track RSVPs. I design because I’m in love with graphic design.

How does Urbane Aperture rate this? Thumbs up or Thumbs down?
Attending wedding fairs can be a hit or miss when taking a look at it from all sides involved. Maybe a potential client might not find the right match (or enough vendors) for what they need for a wedding. On the vendor side, there is a concern about finding people who are actually in the market to book. Fairs like this might not always deliver. In regards to the 2019 Silverwood Wedding Fair, I think this one is time well spent if you keep an open mind.

Kudos to the Three Rivers event staff and everyone involved for a wonderful event. If you’d like to book your wedding here, preliminary contact information is below:

Reservation Hours: Weekdays 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Saturdays 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Call (763)-559-6700 to make a reservation.

General reservation inquiries:
Wedding-related inquiries:

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Missed the fair? Couldn’t attend? For a list of accommodations, apparel, cakes & dessert, caterers, event planners, floral, jewelry, music & entertainment, officiants, rental & decor, stationery, and travel and honeymoon services from this wedding fair, click here.

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