Beautiful Blooms by Jen, florist
Jennifer Linehan, Ohio Certified Florist, beautifulbloomsbyjen.com
The start: Linehan fell in love with floral design after taking a horticulture class as a student at Southview High School; she never looked back, starting her own business in 2012.
The method: "We like to do the fun, weird stuff, the succulents and different flowers that you wouldn't typically see in a bridal bouquet."
The trend: "Rustic or country themes with birch branching, big roses and peonies — that vintage rustic look is really in."
The advice: "When you come to a wedding consultation, you definitely want to have budget in mind. Typically flowers are 10 to 15 percent of your wedding budget."
The Birds & the Bees invitations
Karrie Brock, owner, www.thebirdsnbees.com
The start: The Birds & the Bees started in 2004.
The unique requests: "We've done some neat things, from actually layering wood invitations to custom-making theme invitations for a Double 007 wedding."
The trends: All-in-one cards have the same popular one-card-does-it-all look (where the RSVP is attached to invitation), but fit into an envelope to avoid rips going through post office machines. And the language on RSVP cards has become more playful. "Instead of saying will or won't attend, they're saying 'sorry we have to miss the party of the year.'"
The options: Traditional letterpress and thermogaphy are available, as well as the more graphic and inexpensive digital printing.
Crowning Celebrations wedding planning
Brittany Craig, owner (pictured third from left), www.crowningcelebrations.com
The start: After a stints in the corporate event planning industry, Craig started Crowning Celebrations in 2001.
The method: "We like to make the process fun for our clients. We really create an experience that's a true reflection of themselves."
The memories: After a client lost something during her rehearsal dinner, Craig found herself dumpster diving. "I was willing to do it just to give [the bride] peace of mind."
The mantra: Keep calm and carry on.
The pet peeve: Short tablecloths.
The advice: "The consideration of the food shouldn't be skipped. There's something historical about the first time as husband and wife [that] you’re sharing a meal together with guests."
Jennifer Daher and Emily Moody, owners, www.momentsbyjem.com
The start: Moody and Daher shot their first wedding in 2001; they opened a studio in 2002, and though they shoot separately, their dreamy styles are so aligned it's hard to tell their work apart.
The method: "We like to tell a story. We know posed pictures are important, but we like to get those beautiful shots where the couple's not necessarily looking — all the in-betweens."
The advice: "Make sure that you love the work that your photographer does, and when you meet your photographer, make sure you like them, because you're going to spend the whole day with them."
Mary Wyar Photography
marywyar.com, Mary Wyar, owner
The start: Though Wyar studied film at the University of Toledo, she caught the still photography bug while working at a one-hour photo shop. "I always saw shooting weddings as a sell-out," she says. "But I realized I don't have to conform to what my parents' wedding photography was."
The method: Wyar's quirky style is reflected in her images. "The way that I shoot is story telling. I like my photos to read like films."
The inspiration: "People think they need to get their inspiration from wedding magazines specifically, but I think a wedding should convey who you are as a couple."
The advice: "I think the most important thing is for the couple to feel like they can be themselves with the photographer."
Elite Events, wedding and event planning
www.eliteeventstoledo.com, Nikki Wolfe, owner/creative director
The start: Wolfe started Elite Events in 2008 after returning from Los Angeles. "I saw there was a void in the wedding market after I had just planned my own wedding," Wolfe says. She decided to start a bridal consultant business and became the only certified bridal consultant in Northwest Ohio.
The vision: "We pride ourselves in making the event truly the bride's vision. Our slogan is your vision, your style, your day, we make it happen."
The big tickets: They've planned events for local plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Barone and the grand opening of the Mall of Monroe.
Their specialty: Subtle detail, "so that it really tells [the couple's] story but isn't overwhelming and too theme-y."
The advice: "Really do your research on vendors. Ask for professional references, not just personal."
The Ribbonry custom flowers, headpieces and purses
Camela Nitschke, owner, www.ribbonry.com
The start: A confirmed Francophile, Nitschke has studied and worked with the "endangered textile," ribbon, for more than 35 years.
The accessories: The Ribbonry makes ribbon versions of everything from small flowers to headpieces, purses and dress accents.
The method: "We really take great pains to recreate from nature authentically," Nitschke says of her ribbon flowers. "Our idea is we want a bride to have something special to hold onto for a lifetime and to pass on."
The mantra: "We're going back to the way things used to be made."
Shenanigans Photo Booths
Frank Weidman, co-owner, www.shenanigansphotos.com
The start: Weidman ran a party promotion and marketing business before being introduced to Nick Amrhein of 3BYONE Media, who mentored him in the ways of the photo booth business.
The name: "Shenanigans is about silly — a little mischievous. We just want to capture all the shenanigans that happen at a party."
The signature move: The mustache of the business's logo appears often as a prop in the photo booth.
The idea: "I think years ago the photos were formal and weren't capturing the fun part at the reception. I think that's what the photo booth brings in, it captures the fun at weddings."
Toledo Symphony Ensemble
The story: The Toledo Symphony Ensembles include a jazz trio, string quartet, brass quintet, harp and flute duet or soloists for weddings and events. "[It's] a Carnegie Hall-quality musician at your wedding, so it's that much more special," says ensemble sales associate Michelle Keller.
The tunes: Musicians have fulfilled requests for everything from the traditional Canon in D to "Another One Bites The Dust."
The favorites: "One of the most beautiful requests was for an arrangement of music from the Pixar movie Up!, which accompanies one of the most heartfelt wordless scenes in animated movies," says Merwin Siu, violinist. "I remember thinking how perfect it was for a wedding."
The advice: "There's nothing like live music, especially for the ceremony," says Keith McWatters, general manager and percussionist. "When live music starts, it slows life down and transports a person from whatever they were doing/thinking directly to your event."
toutsweetevents.com, Nicole LeBoutillier, owner
The start: LeBoutiller returned to Toledo with years of experience as a jewelry and accessories buyer for big-name fashion retailers like Bloomingdale's. She decided to take her experience merchandising and designing tables of costume jewelry and handbags and applied it to desserts, starting Tout Sweet in 2009.
The method: Tout Sweet designs delicious, colorful tables of sweets and candy buffets sourced from local bakers.
The memories: "So far, no fiascos," says LeBoutillier.
The favorite: LeBoutillier's weakness is French macarons. "They're beautiful, they taste great, and they're a great way to incorporate the colors of the theme," she says. She also loves to use candy apothecary jars to house old-fashioned and bright treats.
The advice: "I think it's important to find a theme, and to have an image for your wedding. It's about the bride and groom and how to really tell you story."
Frosted Light Productions, photography and videography
frostedlight.com, Clay Chaszeyka, owner
The start: After returning from a stint as a cinematographer in L.A., film-lover Chaszeyka brought a new focus to his work, adding a bit of magic back to videography. "I wanted to bring a cinematic element to weddings," he says.
The method: "There's something about watching a film that takes you away, that's not like a home video. I want couples to experience that same thing — they can go back to the same place they were [on their wedding] day."
The trends: "Production values have gone up. Higher quality video is getting more accessible — people are really starting to experience a new wave in wedding videos."
The sounds: "I think music and sound in general, when it comes to film, is almost more important than the picture sometimes because music inspires such an emotional response in people."
TONIC pilates, yoga and BeyondBarre studio
www.tonicmaumee.com, Deborah Chapman, owner, and Kimberly Chapman, director of operations
The story: Tonic studio is the brainchild of the health-conscious Deborah and Pilates expert Kimberly.
The method: "We help brides get in their best shape in a very small amount of time in a healthy way," Kimberly says. Sessions focus on Pilates, yoga and BeyondBarre to get brides-to-be their best body for the big day. Brides and bridesmaids can even sign up for a private yoga session together or get ready the day of at TONIC's studio.
The motto: "It's a quote from Buddha: 'There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting.'" With exercise this is crucial. You have to start somewhere. We don't boast, we don't judge. We look for ways to help people find their ideal regimen," Kimberly says.
The advice: "Enjoy the process and remember the most important thing is you two, bottom line. Planning can be stressful but try to have fun and let your parents have some fun too in planning," Kimberly says. "It's a very special time for them as well and I never could appreciate how emotional it must have been for them until I became a mommy."
Bridal by Gwen gowns
www.BridalByGwen.com, Gwen Kizer, owner
The start: Bridal by Gwen started in November 2012, offering a smaller boutique that caters to brides with affordable options to rent or buy gowns. "I try to help brides find the dress of their dreams."
The fun fact: Veils are handmade, and can be customized according to the bride's preference.
The motto: "Once you walk through the door, it is all about you!"
The advice: "Just try to relax and enjoy yourself on your wedding day," Kizer says. "Whatever stress you may have leading up to the wedding, let it go on your special day."
Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant
Rehearsal dinner site, www.meatballs.com
The method: Spaghetti Warehouse offers rehearsal dinners that are a fun, stress-free experience. Banquet packages can be tailored to the bride and grooms personal tastes and budgets, and are available by contacting 419-255-5038.
The motto: "We are a Warehouse full of food, friends and fun!"
The advice: "If anyone offers to help, be sure and let them. You want to have fun and not be stressed out!"