Diamond Award Winners 2012

  • Bridal Salon Experience
    Judges' Choice: l’atelier couture
    People’s Choice: Bridal Accents Couture
  • Bridesmaid Apparel
    Judges' Choice: Bella Bridesmaid
    People’s Choice: Flutter
  • Collin Hughes Photographs
    Cake & Dessert Design
    Judges' Choice: Cocoa & Fig
    People’s Choice: Cocoa & Fig
  • Calligraphy
    Judges' Choice: Crystal Kluge Handlettering & Illustration
    People's Choice: Katie Hayden Dunham of Katie Murphy Stationery
  • Catering
    Judges' Choice: Green Mill Catering
    People's Choice: Green Mill Catering
  • Event Décor
    Judges' Choice: Linen Effects
    People's Choice: Linen Effects
  • Floral Design
    Judges' Choice: Bastian + Skoog
    People's Choice: La Petite Fleur
  • Formalwear
    Judges' Choice: Hammer Made
    People's Choice: Hammer Made
  • Hair and Makeup
    Judges' Choice: Bespoke Hair Artisans
    People's Choice: Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios
  • Invitations
    Judges' Choice: A Milestone Paper Co.
    People’s Choice: A Milestone Paper Co.
  • Music Entertainment
    Judges' Choice: Bellagala
    People's Choice: Synergy
  • People's Choice Vendor of the Year
    DnK Photography
  • Real Wedding of the Year
    Jacey & Aaron Siedband
  • Rehearsal and Event Venue
    Judges' Choice: Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior
    People's Choice: McNamara Alumni Center
  • Transportation
    Judges' Choice: Renee's Royal Valet
    People's Choice: Renee's Royal Valet
  • Videography
    Judges' Choice: Sky Focus Films
    People's Choice: Sky Focus Films
  • Wedding Design & Planning
    Judges' Choice: Amy Zaroff Events & Design
    People's Choice: Fete Perfection
  • Wedding Favors
    Judges' Choice: Gateaux Inc.
    People's Choice: A Simple Toast
  • Wedding Jewelry
    Judges' Choice: Max's
    People's Choice: Arthur's Jewelers

Bridal Salon Experience


“Any bridal boutique that has the clout to secure Vera Wang, Marchesa, AND Jenny Packham is a must-shop in my book,” said one impressed judge. We tend to agree. “Amanda Kautt really has an eye for high fashion that is still timeless and wearable,” added another judge, “which makes her l’atelier couture bridal boutique one-of-a-kind.” 219 N. 2nd St., Ste. 404, Mpls., 612-367-8120


Bridesmaid Apparel

Bella Bridesmaid

Local brides rejoiced on behalf of their maids when Briana Griffiths opened Bella Bridesmaid a year and a half ago in Excelsior. So did we. “Bella offers an array of dresses from the top in bridesmaid apparel,” said one judge. “You cannot beat a shop that is completely dedicated to making a bride’s maids feel fabulous on their best friend’s big day,” added another. 276 Water St., Ste. 200, Excelsior, 952-474-5086

People’s Choice: FLUTTER

Cake & dessert Design

Cocoa & Fig

Trying to tackle dynamic and new with something as classic as a wedding cake can be a challenge. But that’s what Laurie Pyle’s Cocoa & Fig does best—extending beyond the confines of a traditional wedding cake. “This confectioner’s ability to make both dynamic and tasty dessert bars as well as modern and elegant cakes sets them apart from the competition,” said one judge. Gaviidae Common, 612-333-1485

People’s Choice: Cocoa & Fig


Crystal Kluge Handlettering & Illustration

Calligraphy can be such a classic embellishment that our judges were excited to see the personal accents and modern variations from Crystal Kluge Handlettering & Illustration. “Her breadth of fonts and inspired suites are nationally respected in the bridal community,” said one judge. Plus, her custom commissions make certain that no two suites look the same. 612-377-2983

People’s Choice: Katie Hayden Dunham of Katie Murphy Stationery


green mill catering

Perfect for everything from the groom’s dinner to the reception, Green Mill Catering puts the focus on fun (as well as the food). One judge was sold on the appetizingly appealing late-night pizza, while another was impressed with the high level of service and the delectable presentation. Attractive food that tastes great? That’s a winner in our book. 1342 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 612-718-0529

People’s Choice: green mill Catering

Event Décor

Linen Effects

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Décor makes or breaks a wedding. With Don Jensen’s Linen Effects at the helm, your wedding will be made to look like an unforgettable event. One judge said Linen Effects’ décor is “eye-catching” and “makes a big impact.” Another raved, “I’ve seen a lot of weddings, and I’ve never seen décor quite as powerful as this.” 1801 West River Rd. N., Mpls., 612-355-2500

People’s Choice: linen effects

Floral Design

Bastian + Skoog

The inspiring combinations of blooms in colors that were both breathtaking and fun caught our judges’ attention for the second year in a row. Praised one judge, “A true test for a floral designer is being asked to do something outside of the bouquet box, and Bastian + Skoog’s work is truly eye-catching.” It certainly catches our attention, year after year, wedding after wedding. 310 N. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-333-6450

People’s Choice: La Petite Fleur



He did it again. Jason Hammerberg’s custom suits from Hammer-Made’s impressed our judges for the second year in a row. One judge exclaimed, “I love the idea of an affordable custom option for the groom; it’s a guarantee that they will look and feel their best on a their big day.” Another judge said, “Investing in one great custom suit that a groom can wear to a bevy of occasions for years to come is a much more economical and sartorially savvy way to go.” Galleria, 952-681-2534

People’s Choice: savvi formalwear

Hair and Makeup

Bespoke Hair Artisans

A newcomer to the scene, Lisa Williams’s Bespoke Hair Artisans finds fresh ways to interpret the classics, creating looks that are precisely what brides imagined for their strut down the aisle. “So many places go over the top on makeup and hair on brides,” said a judge, “but Bespoke practices the right amount of restraint.” Resulting in perfection. 3918 W. 49 1/2 St., Edina, 952-224-4062

People’s Choice: Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios


a milestone paper co.

“The bold colors, inviting fonts, and repeating elements make these invitations a standout,” lauded a judge. The unique designs of owner Sarah Glad’s invitation suites from A Milestone Paper Co. add a personalized twist without overdoing of-the-moment trends. Another judge excitedly exclaimed, “Gorgeous papercuts!” We couldn’t agree more. 1313 Echo Dr., Burnsville, 651-492-6977

People’s Choice: a milestone paper co.

Music Entertainment


Though our judges realize it’s important to check out your band or DJ in action before booking, they were impressed by Bellagala’s ability to source musicians who seem to know how to move a crowd to their feet. From jazz combos to DJs to live bands, Bellagala has everything you need to create an unforgettable ceremony, a relaxing cocktail hour, and a rocking reception. 235 E. 6th St., Ste. 300B, St. Paul, 651-227-1202

People’s Choice: synergy

People’s Choice vendor of the year

dnk photography

The people have spoken. Not only has DnK Photography earned this year’s People’s Choice honors for Outstanding Photography, but our readers also voted this playful team of photographers the top Vendor of the Year. Owners Dan and Karin Berdal expertly capture images that depict the personalities of the couple they are working with, so their portfolio offers a range of images that span from romantic to fun to downright breathtaking. Spend a few minutes perusing their work and you'll see why DnK is a crowd favorite. 612-803-1007

Real Wedding of the Year

Jacey & Aaron Siedband

Though the judges were impressed with all our fabulous real weddings, they were especially drawn to the color palette of Jacey and Aaron Siedband’s elegant September event. “The pale pink is so romantic and sophisticated,” said one judge. Another was impressed with “how well the colors were carried through every last detail.” Everything from the bride’s blush Vera Wang gown from l’atelier couture (“the dress is beautiful,” raved one judge) to the flowers by Richfield Flowers and Events worked together to enhance the soft and dreamy environment that event planner Amy Zaroff Events + Design successfully created. Even the Minnesota and Illinois props helped to make this lavish wedding feel personal yet enchanting all at the same time.

Rehearsal/Event Venue

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior

“Versatility is so important for a wedding venue, and this is a spot that couples can dress either up or down,” noted one judge. Not only is Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior a “great option for a close-to-home destination,” but it also offers all the amenities a couple needs to plan an elaborate event. One judge summed it up best: “The setting is (wink) superior!” 5700 Minnesota 61, Lutsen, 218-663-7212

People’s Choice: McNamara Alumni Center


Renee’s Royal Valet

For the second year running, our judges unanimously agreed that Renee’s Royal Valet is the top transportation provider in our twin towns. “The one and only!” exclaimed one judge. Its assortment of limousines, coaches, and trolleys offers brides a plethora of options to choose from for their wedding transportation. Plus, the exceptional service means one less thing you have to worry about when the big day rolls around. 12813 Industrial Park Blvd., Plymouth, 763-551-1919

People’s Choice: Renee’s Royal Valet


Sky Focus Films

Our judges recognize that a videographer is there to capture all of those little stolen moment that a couple might miss in the course of this busy day, and they all unanimously agreed that Sky Focus Films does just that. Said one impressed judge: “This videographer offers a very personal, sweet, intimate point of entry into a bride’s big day.” With the Kleenex at the ready, we were equally captivated. 303-887-9780

People’s Choice: Sky Focus Films

Wedding Design and Planning

Amy Zaroff Events & Design

Our judges could not stop praising all the immaculate details in each of Amy Zaroff Events & Design’s weddings. “Her creations capture the lengths designers go to create the ultimate, one-of-a-kind wedding experience from start to finish,” gushed a judge. Added another: “No detail is overlooked, and everything is executed elegantly.” 7179 Washington Ave. S., Edina, 952-941-3371

People’s Choice: Fete Perfection

Wedding Favors

Gateaux Inc.

Gateaux appears to have mastered the art of ‘branding’ a wedding through its unique and personal offerings,” noted one judge. With an extensive collection of options, owner Robin Martin’s creations are “sophisticated and not cheesy,” added another judge. “They’re something guests will actually want.” And when it comes to favors, isn’t that a nice surprise? 15705 35th Ave. N., Plymouth, 763-577-9815

People’s Choice: a simple toast

Wedding Jewelry


Max’s looks like a vendor that can provide classic pieces for the more traditional folks but can also find something unique for the bride or groom looking to rock a statement piece for the big day," declared one judge. And the rest of our panel concurred. From the extensive collection of artisan-made jewelry to the one-of-a-kind styles made just with her in mind, Max’s is the perfect place to find that one piece of jewelry that seems to say forever. 3826 Grand Way, St. Louis Park, 952-922-8364

People’s Choice: Arthur’s Jewelers

Wedding Photography

erin johnson

Our judges were blown away by the detailed yet fun shots delivered by Erin Johnson Photography. “I’m a sucker for stolen moments and detail shots,” said one judge, “and each of these shutterbugs deliver those in spades.” The breadth of imagination combined with the attentiveness to each couple’s individual personality is part of what makes Erin Johnson one of the best in town. 612-529-9792

People’s Choice: dnk photography

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