Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Teamwork transformation of my daughter’s historic wedding reception venue September 24, 2013

LONG BEFORE THE WEDDING, the preparations begin.

Date chosen. Check.

Church, reception venue, caterer and floral designer booked. Check.

Dresses and dress shirts and other wedding attire selected and purchased. Check.

It takes hours and hours and hours, more than I ever imagined, to pull off a wedding.

It takes families working together and patience and love and endurance.

It takes trusting in others and prayer and encouragement and support and focus.

All of this I’ve learned. My eldest daughter’s wedding day on Sunday was near perfect from the weather to the pastor’s message to the ceremony to the toasts to the food to the venue to the flowers and everything in between.

There were only a few minor flaws, like running out of paper towels and a key that wouldn’t work for the supply room; two wedding party crashers who wandered in off the street and were about to help themselves to dessert before being escorted out; and an usher (the bride’s brother) who was in a Massachusetts hospital emergency room eight days before the wedding with an asthma attack and a severe viral infection (lots of people praying for his recovery; he was healed by wedding day).

Now, days after the wedding, I am sorting through photos and reflecting on everything, feeling blessed beyond measure that my daughter, Amber, has found the love of her life in Marc. Anyone who has seen the two of them together can see their deep love for one another. They are blessed. And so is this new mother-in-law. Blessed beyond measure.

TODAY I BRING YOU the first in a series of wedding posts, this one focusing on wedding reception venue prep and images. Enjoy this peek inside, in my opinion, one of Faribault’s most beautiful reception spaces, The Loft in the historic Bachrach Building along Central Avenue in downtown Faribault.

The Bachrach Building in downtown Faribault was beautifully restored several years ago to its original appearance. The Loft space is on the second floor in the back half of the building.

The Bachrach Building in downtown Faribault was beautifully restored several years ago to its original appearance. The Loft space is on the second floor in the back half of the building. It features exposed brick and limestone, wood floors and a bank of western windows. Great space with exceptional natural light.

The bride's brother, Caleb, steam presses tablecloths while the father-of-the-groom, Eric, works on setting tables.

The bride’s brother, Caleb, steam presses tablecloths while the father-of-the-groom, Eric, places napkins on tables.

The groom, Marc, worked just as hard as everyone else to transform The Loft.

The groom, Marc, worked just as hard as everyone else to transform The Loft.

The bride assumed sash tying duties. Only 115 sashes to tie.

The bride assumed sash tying duties. Only 115 sashes to tie.

Best man and brother of the groom, Jon Eric, folds napkins.

Best man and brother of the groom, Jon Eric, folds napkins.

The ironing crew, from left, maid-of-honor Miranda (the bride's sister), Lynn (mother of the groom) and Stephani (sister-in-law of the groom and reader). Ironing was, by far, the biggest and longest task. I ironed all of the sashes and napkins prior to set up day, so did little ironing of tablecloths.

The ironing crew, from left, maid-of-honor Miranda (the bride’s sister), Lynn (mother of the groom) and Stephani (sister-in-law of the groom and reader). Ironing was, by far, the biggest and longest task. I ironed all of the sashes and napkins prior to set up day, so did little ironing of tablecloths.

The Helbling and Schmidt families working together.

The Helbling and Schmidt families working together.

The father-of-the-bride, my dear husband, swept the downstairs Atrium area used for the social hour. He also vacuumed the stairs and other carpet, wisely avoiding any ironing or sash tying duties.

The father-of-the-bride, my dear husband, swept the downstairs Atrium area used for the social hour. He also vacuumed the stairs and other carpet, wisely avoiding any ironing or sash tying duties.

Outside, my floral designer sister, Lanae of Waseca Floral, fills urns with hydrangea from my yard and with ornamental kale and curly willow from her yard.

Outside, my floral designer sister, Lanae of Waseca Floral, fills urns with hydrangea from my yard and with ornamental kale and curly willow and greens from her yard. She is one talented floral designer and the BEST sister ever.

The floral designs my sister created outside the Bachrach Building and still in place.

The floral designs my sister created outside the Bachrach Building and still in place. If you like what you see, go to the “About Us” page on the Waseca Floral website and send her an email.

The first floor Atrium in set up process.

The first floor Atrium in set-up process. The table to the left held Faribault made cheeses purchased at The Cheese Cave which is just off this room to the right.

Looking down from The Loft into The Atrium.

Looking down from The Loft into The Atrium. My husband, Randy, and I set up this area Sunday morning. Missing from this photo are a vintage suitcase used for cards and set on the gift table, to the left.

Back upstairs, work continues on the reception set up.

Back upstairs, work continues on the reception set up.

After hours of teamwork...

After hours of teamwork…it all comes together.

My floral designer sister, Lanae of Waseca Floral, created these stunning centerpieces using mostly flowers from her garden and that of friend Carol. They were perfect. The vintage blue Ball canning jars were rented from Mike, who lives two blocks from me. I stopped at his garage sale this summer, saw the jars and learned about his jar rental.

My floral designer sister, Lanae of Waseca Floral, created these stunning centerpieces using mostly flowers from her garden and that of her friend and co-worker, Carol. The flowers were perfect. The vintage blue Ball canning jars were rented from Mike, who lives two blocks from me. I stopped at his garage sale this summer, saw the jars and learned about his jar rental.

Just another view of the beautiful The Loft space on the upper level of the historic Bachrach Building.

Just another view of the beautiful The Loft space on the upper level of the historic Bachrach Building.

A "sweetheart table" just for the bride and groom. It's covered in one of the vintage tablecloths from my collection. The table was purchased for $15 months ago at a Montgomery, Minnesota, used furniture store. At the time of purchase, my husband asked why I was buying it. "Because I like it," I told him then. Little did we know our daughter would use if for her wedding.

A “sweetheart table” just for the bride and groom. It’s covered in one of the vintage tablecloths from my collection. The table was purchased for $15 months ago at a Montgomery, Minnesota, used furniture store. At the time of purchase, my husband asked why I was buying it. “Because I like it,” I told him then. Little did we know our daughter would use it at her wedding reception.

Vintage wine glasses, gifted by the groom's parents, Herb and Norma. They flew in from the groom's native California for the wedding.

Vintage wine glasses, gifted by the groom’s grandparents, Herb and Norma. The Schmidts flew in from the groom’s native California for the wedding. Other of the groom’s family flew in from places like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Mississippi.

One last view of the reception venue with a space left open for the dance floor. By around 5 p.m., The Loft was ready for guests to arrive 24 hours later.

One last view of the reception venue with a space left open for the dance floor. By around 5 p.m. Saturday, The Loft was ready for guests to arrive 24 hours later. Thank you, Schmidt family and my family and sister Lanae for all of your hard work in creating a beautiful reception setting.

Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

33 Responses to “Teamwork transformation of my daughter’s historic wedding reception venue”

  1. What an AMAZING Venue and LOVE the decorations – those vintage wine glasses are BEAUTIFUL!!! I am glad to hear your son is doing much better health wise. Thanks so much for sharing your daughter’s BIG DAY with your readers:) Happy Tuesday!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I totally agree about the venue. It’s exceptional and, transformed, even more so. It was a perfect fit for the vision the newlyweds had for their reception.

  2. Looks gorgeous, Audrey! How lovely.

  3. cecilia Says:

    How absolutely stunning, SO MUCH WORK! wow. beautiful, all that crisp white on white brought to life by your sisters flowers, her garden must be fantastic, loved the sweet heart table, the drape and fall of cloth.. what a treat to see.. I can see why you are exhausted. c

  4. treadlemusic Says:

    First off…..the sashes and hydrangeas are awesome!!!! As is the whole venue. A true storybook fairyland! That vintage cloth looks very familiar….reminder to self: check tablecloth stash!!! LOL! Thankful for Caleb’s health!!! Hugs to all (I almost feel as though this was an event in my family!!!! LOL!)……

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Doreen, Doreen, I would not be at all surprised if you owned a vintage tablecloth exactly like the one shown here. We are sisters of the heart, after all. Sisters often choose the same things, love the same things…

      Fairyland is a great tag to attach to the whole mood/feel/look of the reception. It was even beyond my expectations as everything came together.

      You know how grateful I am to you and other praying sisters. I firmly believe that is the reason Caleb healed so quickly and was able to fly home from Boston (albeit his plane was delayed three hours in Kansas City by severe weather Thursday evening).

      You are family, Doreen, as are my other readers.

  5. DeLores Johnson Says:

    Really nice. I loved the use of the blue jars. I have boxes of them in our attic, inherited from my husband’s grandmother. Wonderful idea and your sister’s flowers
    are gorgeous. The urns beautiful. She is very talented as are you.

    I have the same vintage tablecloth that is on the bride and groom’s table. It was given
    to me from my mother along with several others.

    This is one of the most beautiful receptions I have seen. You are all to be complimented.
    DeLores

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      DeLores, thank you kindly for your words of praise. We all worked hard to create what my daughter and her husband envisioned for their wedding reception. The florals my sister designed really sealed the deal. Lanae is an incredibly talented designer and the BEST sister ever.

      Lucky you to have boxes of vintage blue jars. You could rent them out for weddings and other receptions.

      Your praise-filled comments and those of other readers are truly warming my heart today.

      I hope you use your vintage tablecloth. I most definitely use mine for special occasions.

  6. Deb Says:

    Simply stunning.
    Had to laugh when I saw Lanae was your sister. i have been using Waseca Floral for years, even when I lived in Northfield, It was my go to place. So of course, the flowers were beautiful.
    Glad that Caleb is feeling better. So hard when they are so far away.
    Anxiously awaiting the next post.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Deb, you will be happy to hear that I am working on the next wedding post as I type. Going through photos.

      I’m not surprised that Lanae is your go-to floral designer. Her talent is incredible. The great thing in working with her is that she knows her niece’s tastes and we could trust her to take Amber’s vision and create exactly what was envisioned.

      Yes, we are all thankful Caleb is feeling better, too. Just wish he could have stayed in Minnesota longer. It’s tough having him 1,400 miles away. But he’s happy and where he should be and that’s what counts.

  7. Dorothy Bowman Says:

    I spoke with your Mom last nite and she was, of course, telling me all about the decorating.
    It was great to see the photos. Sure wish we could have been there. Waiting to hear more about it from you and also from other family members. A big hug to you and take time to rest.

    Love you, Dorothy

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, Dorothy, we so wish you and Uncle Robin could have been there, too. But we understand. Arkansas isn’t exactly like right next door. There will be plenty more photos coming.

      Love you, sweet aunt.

  8. JIll Johnson Says:

    Absolutely lovely! Congratulations!
    Jill Johnson
    Little Minnesota: 100 Towns Around 100

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Jill. You need to send me a copy of your book for review consideration. Looks like my kind of reading.

  9. Lanae Says:

    Everything was beautiful. Seeing the love in Amber and Marc’s eyes was so worth all the hard work to get the wedding together. Love you Sister.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I could not agree more. Love you, too, sister. Thank you for all you did to create the vision Amber and Marc had for their flowers. They were absolutely perfect and beautiful.

  10. Lisa C. Says:

    I loved seeing the two families working together to prepare for this wedding. Wonderful! And how lovely the decorations were!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Lisa. Indeed, a team effort of the Helblings and the Schmidts. And I totally agree about the chosen decor.

  11. Jackie Says:

    Seriously Audrey, I dont think I’ve seen a more beautiful reception setup….ever. I am amazed at the work you all did yourselves. Everything was lovely from the venue to the tables/chairs, centerpieces and oh my those planters out front,,, your sister is indeed a very talented florist! The Bride & groom table idea is so awesome, I dont think I’ve ever seen a bride and groom sit separate but I like it. I can hardly wait for more on the wedding 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Jackie. Your enthusiastic praise means the world to me. Yes, we all worked hard to create the vision Amber and Marc had for their wedding day. I’ve never seen a “sweetheart table” prior to this either. But it was nice, really nice. the rest of the wedding party was mingled among the guests.

      • Jackie Says:

        I really really like this Idea, I bet it’s more fun for the wedding party to mingle amongst the other guests. I find it rather awkward when they all sit in a row staring out at the guests, This way they have people all around them. I wonder if you this will be the “new trend” ?

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        At first I wasn’t too keen on the sweetheart table idea. But I, too, rather like it. I assume this must be some new “trend.”

  12. Beth Ann Says:

    Love love love it all from the perfect sashes to the Ball canning jars to the perfect flowers outside the venue. You were right to do those!!! Very beautiful and just the perfect way to enter the venue seeing those beauties. I love how the families worked together–it was heart warming to see it all from your perspective. Thanks for sharing!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, it all came together and our family had the best crew, the Schmidt family, to work with in creating this setting. Amber married in to one fabulous family.

  13. hotlyspiced Says:

    It looks beautiful, Audrey and I love how everyone from both sides of the family all got involved and did what they could to help – so much ironing! Your sister’s flowers outside the venue are stunning and I love how the hydrangeas all came from your own garden xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Charlie. We were pleased with how the whole reception venue came together with the linens and flowers and more. It was beyond our expectations. My sister worked magic with the flowers and, yes, the hydrangea coming from my garden was a nice personal touch.

  14. So well done….stunningly simple, elegant! And the amount of teamwork putting together such a special day!
    Each detail, really had it’s place. Perfect backdrop with the historic building. 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thank you, Stacey. We were all delighted/happy/thrilled with the way the reception venue turned out, just as envisioned. And, yes, the historic building was perfect.


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