Our Wedding Winners: The Big Day Approaches

As the clock ticks closer and closer to Amanda Brown and Jessica Engel’s wedding, the two have a lot on their hands: planning the ceremony and the reception, choosing rings and, of course, deciding what to wear.

Happily, the two say they have much less stress on their minds thanks to event planer Jacqueline Riehl of Riehl Events. After meeting with Riehl for two hours on Feb. 26, both Engel and Brown say they’re feeling a lot more relieved and relaxed.

“She’s just so on the ball,” said Engel. “We went over every little part and she didn’t seem stressed at all with all we had to accomplish in the next two weeks. We walked away with smiles.”

Riehl, she added, is assisting with all aspects of the ceremony at the University of Utah’s Post Chapel and reception afterward in the nearby Utah Museum of Fine Arts, from catering and attire down to the details of the sand ceremony the two want to have. In this ceremony, Brown explained, the couple, their four children and their loved ones will all add sand into a vase to symbolize the coming together of the family.

Both agree that a wedding planner is a helpful part of putting together any ceremony.

“Jacqueline has done this a hundred times and she thinks about the small things like where are you going to get the ring pillow for the ring bearer,” Brown said. “She’s kind of like the glue to everything. She’s the glue to the puzzle.”

Another part of the puzzle of the couple’s wedding is, of course, flowers. For these, Brown and Engel have turned to Raymond King, owner of Twigs Floral Company, who has won _QSaltLake_’s most Faaabulous Award for flowers and roses since the award’s founding, and kudos from a number of the state’s other publications.

“He’s just really great,” said Brown. “He’s laid back and like, ‘Oh, this is easy!’”

From King, the couple requested arrangements of Gerbera daisies, large specimens of the flower that come in a number of bright colors. Brown chose bright pink, orange and green daisies for the bridesmaids’ bouquets and asked King to make each arrangement different from the rest, to emphasize each woman’s individuality. The women have also asked the bridesmaids to purchase any dress in black and cream colors that suits their personality.

“I’m really into Alice in Wonderland,” said Brown, when asked about the flowers’ colors. “We wanted that big, chunky Alice in Wonderland feel with the bright colors,” a theme, she noted, which will be reflected in the chocolate and vanilla cake being created by their friend Linda Merkley.

“It’s whimsical, topsy turvy looking,” said Engel.

The wedding invitations are being created by Colby Su of C3 Design, who Brown says “bent over backwards” to help her and Engel when a misunderstanding arose in the number of invitations they needed. Initially, said Brown, Su was going to give them 150 invitations “but for some reason, in our excitement, we thought she said 250, which is closer to how many we invited when we gave the address list to her. But she did everything she possibly could so we’d have 250 invitations,” including charging the couple only $39 for envelopes and postage to make up the difference.

“Colby ate a lot of costs — not only her time but cost in printing — to accommodate our needs,” said Brown.

Unfortunately, the dress Engel likes the best costs much more than that. “The one,” as she calls it on the couple’s blog at lesbianmomma.wordpress.com, is an ivory taffeta trumpet gown emblazoned with pearls, crystals, sequins and beads which fits her perfectly. The only problem is the price tag: $750. To help raise the money, Engel has put a Paypal donation button on the blog’s front page and has offered her thanks all who see fit to pitch in a few dollars.

Brown, however, is still looking for her ensemble, though she has mentioned that she wants to wear a “feminine, flowy summery dress” in cream and brown colors.

“I have an idea and the wedding planner’s kind of helping me pull it together,” she said.

The couple got a little taste of the excitement to come on Feb. 25 when Mini’s Retro Café owner Leslie Fiet threw them a bridal shower. Roughly 25 people attended, said Fiet, who served appetizers including egg salad sandwiches, macaroni with smoked gouda cheese, pigs in a blanket and, of course, the café’s signature cupcakes.

“It was a lot of fun, and they were really nice,” said Fiet, who had not met Brown or Engel until around the time of the shower. “I was really impressed with the diverse group of girls they had there, and I would probably say maybe 90 percent hadn’t been into my store before and were pleasantly surprised.”

Brown called the appetizer fare “scrumptious” and Brown said she could eat “a whole case” of the cupcakes, which included tiramisu and key lime.

“I had a really good time and enjoyed that she supported local businesses and wanted to be part of doing something special for us,” said Brown.

The couple has yet to select wedding rings, but said they are considering a number of possibilities.

Brown and Engel’s wedding will be held on March 13 at the Post Chapel on Fort Douglas Blvd near the University of Utah. QSaltLake will report on the celebration next issue in the conclusion of our series on the couple’s wedding preparations.


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