Slideshow

2011 Diamond Awards Winners

The best weddings and wedding business in the Twin Cities

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  • REAL WEDDING OF THE YEAR: JOSH & ERICA LAWRENZ
    "There's something so fun and fantastic about the look of this think-outside-the-box wedding," said one judge. "You can tell every detail was special to the bride, who planned it all with the help of her involved and enthused groom." With flowers by Richfield Flowers & Events, and invitations and a cake designed by Gateaux Inc., it's evident that "much thought, love, and effort went into each and every detail" of this wedding at The Enchanted Barn in Hillsdale, Wisc.
  • OUTSTANDING PHOTOGRAPHY: OLIVE JUICE STUDIOS
    "Capturing the fun and the formal, the love and the lighthearted, you'd think that each wedding Olive Juice Studios photographs is their best friend's," said one judge. And the others agreed. Each judge was impressed by this photographer's ability to capture scene-stealing shots in a comfortable manner. "The subjects always look like their being themselves and having a fun, relaxed time," said one judge. 952-920-6958, oivejuicestudios.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Erin Johnson Photography
  • OUTSTANDING CAKE DESIGN: WHITE LACE CAKES
    OUTSTANDING CAKE DESIGN: WHITE LACE CAKES
    "Romantic, modern, tradition—White Lace Cakes has it all," said one judge. Our panel found the one-of-a-kind creations by chef Deborah Wright interesting and intriguing representations of the bride and groom's personalities. Her vintage teacup cakes even caught our eye as a fun shower accessory. Added another judge: "A truly talented haven of artisans that are a master with some fondant and frosting." 651-353-8746, whitelacecakes.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Gateaux Inc.
  • OUTSTANDING BRIDAL SALON: L'ATELIER COUTURE BRIDAL
    The judges raved about Amanda Kautt's North Loop boutique. "L'atelier Couture offers a refined, big-city shopping experience in a space that feels clean and unfussy," said one judge. They also recognized Kautt's expertise. "Her eye for detail and quality is evident," said another judge. "If you are looking for a couture gown, this is the place to go." 219 N. 2nd St., Ste. 404, Mpls., 612-367-8120, lateliercouturebridal.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Bridal Accents Couture
  • OUTSTANDING FLORAL DESIGN: BASTIAN + SKOOG
    "Bastian + Skoog exhibits a thoughtful eye for inventive design and adds a lush factor that any bride would die for," said one judge. Our panel adored everything from these talented ladies. "Far from traditional but effortlessly timeless, these arrangements displayed unfettered imagination," said one judge. If that doesn't say it all, we don't know what does. 310 N. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-333-6450, bastianskoog.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • OUTSTANDING GRAPHIC DESIGN: BEAU PAPIER
    "Colors, fonts, designs, oh my!" said one judge. Beau Papier, a branch of Gateaux Inc., offers a noticeably fresh approach. And that originality is precisely what appealed to our judges. Added another judge: "Beau Papier has the talent to do it all." 15705 35th Ave. N., Plymouth, 763-577-9815, gateaux-inc.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: A Milestone Paper Co.
  • OUTSTANDING DESIGN & PLANNING: INDULGE & BLOOM
    "Wow! Indulge & Bloom delivers events that completely take the cake!" said one enthused judge. "Their team seems skilled at transforming any space or home into a memorable wedding venue that looks exciting and of-the-moment," added another. our panel was decidedly impressed with Indulge & Bloom's coordinated, professional, and elegant approach to its events. 3504 Excelsior Blvd., Mpls., Gaviidae Common, 612-343-0000, indulgeandbloom.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Ambiance Wedding Consulting
  • OUTSTANDING EVENT DÉCOR: AMY ZAROFF EVENTS+DESIGN
    "The results of an Amy Zaroff Events + Design event is so completely thorough, dreamy, and impressive, it makes me want to get married all over again!" exclaimed one judge. Lucky for our brides, they can use her the first time around. Our panel agreed that Amy Zaroff weddings have a lush, fully realized look. Added another judge: "The wow factor is in full effect." 719 Washington Ave. S., Edina, 952-941-3371, amyzaroff.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • OUTSTANDING CATERING: CHOWGIRLS KILLER CATERING
    "I love Chowgirls Killer Catering's focus on local and seasonal ingredients," said one judge. "And their refreshing and innovative take on the classics offers a refreshing break from the ordinary catered fare." Our panel was also impressed by the unique and beautiful menu options and how the team's fun approach transcends to the guests. "There's nothing run of the mill about this catere," added another judge. 1222 NE 2nd St., Mpls., 612-203-0786, chowgirls.net
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • OUTSTANDING FORMALWEAR: HAMMER-MADE
    "Grooms can look just as stylish as their brides with Hammer-Made's fashion-forward, modern selection," said one judge. Owner Jason Hammerberg's options astonished our judges. "For a man looking to invest in his wedding day look, this is it. He can get a quality-made custom suit, tie, and other accessories all in one place." Guys, it doesn't get any easier than that. Galleria, 952-681-2534, hammer-made.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Savvi Formalwear
  • PEOPLE'S CHOICE VENDOR OF 2011: BROVADO WEDDINGS
    Fans of Brovado Weddings flocked to our voting page to praise photographer Preston Palmer's outstanding work behind the lens. His photojournalistic approach to capturing weddings is both professional and refreshing. Voters were wowed by his quality service and the manner in which his images tell the story of true wedded bliss. 2355 Fairview Ave. N., Ste. 171, Roseville, 612-242-8655, brovadoweddings.com
  • OUTSTANDING VIDEOGRAPHY: MYGUY MEDIA
    Our judges recognized that MyGuy media's skilled videography and careful editing really capture and preserve the entire day. Because the video is one of the few tangible keepsakes following the big day, our judges paid close attention to this videographer's skilled and evocative footage, which resulted in "touching moments impeccably captured." S 231 Burro Lane, Spring Valley, Wis., 715-928-0970, myguymedia.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Capture Studios
  • OUTSTANDING HAIR/MAKEUP: EXTRADOS SALON & SPA
    "[Extrados Salon & Spa's] stylists understand that brides want to look like the best version of themselves rather than some glammed up, overly coiffed bridal cliché," said one judge. Our panel recognized that Extrados goes the extra mile to help every bride look her most beautiful. One judge summed it up perfectly: "Classical style meets modern sophistication." And, really, it doesn't get any better than that. 4279 Sheridan Ave S., Mpls., 612-920-0051, extrados.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT: TRAVELING PHOTO BOOTH
    One judge summed it up best: "Guests love photo booths." Added another: "Both icebreaker and entertainment, The Traveling Photo Booth offers old-fashioned fun for all ages and a great takeaway for guests and newlyweds alike." Your guests will love the interactive entertainment, and the pictures are a big plus at the end of the night. What a perfect keepsake to remember your momentous day! 916 26th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-605-9203, thetravelingphotobooth.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • BRIDAL ALTERATION/PRESERVATION: THE DRESSMAKER
    The judges recognized that, with more than 25 years of experience, Kristen Olsen of The Dressmaker has the skills to trasnform the most important dress of your life. "Decades of experience and a full range of service puts The Dressmaker on top," said one judge. "Craftsmanship and authenticity is preserved while still making the look individual to the bride." 3902 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-929-9475, thedressmaker.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • OUTSTANDING EVENT VENUE: VAN DUSEN MANSION
    The judges were amazed by the impeccable preservation of the beautiful old Van Dusen mansion, which makes not only for a comfortable reception, but also an amazing backdrop for photographs. The judges recognized that its location on the edge of downtown is easy and accessible for guests to get to. "Stately and serene, this venue is a gem." 1900 LaSalle Ave., Mpls., 612-871-2702, thevandusen.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER
  • OUTSTANDING TRANSPORTATION: RENEE'S ROYAL VALET
    Transportation is all about options, and our judges were amazed by the variety of selections at Renee's Royal Valet. "The sheer number of vehicles—from trolleys to coaches and limos—assures there is something for all types of ceremonies," said one judge. "They offer a wide selection of quality transportation, which is vital to any couple getting hitched." 12813 Industrial Park Blvd., Plymouth, 763-551-1919, reneeslimousines.com
    PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER

Planning a wedding isn't easy; we get that. And with the wealth of talent and options available in the Twin Cities, choosing a vendor can be downright daunting. That's where the Diamond Awards come in. We wanted to offer brides a simple, credible guide to the best of the best, so we developed a new award to recognize local bridal excellence. Vendors (and brides) from around the metro area were invited to enter. Then our panel of judges—experts selected from our national connections in the bridal industry—culled through stacks of entries and chose the winners. But we didn't stop there. We also wanted to hear from you, so we posted the judges' top choices online and asked you to vote. Now, after months of anticipation, the wait is over. Meet our winners.

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