Photo by Robert Evans
Remember when we blogged about the pop-up wedding trend in August? At the time, there were no local companies focused on helping brides- and grooms-to-be plan a “flash” ceremony. That changed this past October when Twin Cities couple David Orwoll and Shawna Milbrandt, overwhelmed by planning their own nuptials, launched Away We Go Weddings for couples who want a big day without a big to-do. Mpls.St.Paul Weddings spoke with Shawna about her and David’s own wedding plans and how they tackle everyone else’s, too.
Why did you decide to launch a pop-up wedding service?
As we started talking about our own wedding, many people suddenly offered ideas and opinions of what we should do and who we should invite. It is so well meaning, but we found it overwhelming and decided that an elopement would be best for us.
What about an elopement appealed to you and David?
An intriguing part of the idea of a small ceremony or elopement for us is the ability to keep things really intimate. Our group of seven guests is comprised of our parents and some dear friends. It’s a good example of how there is a perfect wedding day for everyone, no matter the planning that goes into it or the size of the guest list.
When did you realize you and David would make good business partners?
I’ve been a licensed officiant for three years and I love writing wedding ceremonies. David is an art director who enjoys the creative side of wedding photography, so we realized that this was a service we could provide together.
What all do you do for your clients?
The concept of vows, photos, flowers, cake, and champagne may seem simple, but it is tremendous work and requires creativity and organization to create. I meet with our couples in-person or work with them via phone or e-mail to get a sense of what they need in a wedding day. While David scouts ceremony sites, I start writing the ceremony and planning flowers. We also have contacts for styling, videography, and music, should that be something a couple wishes to include in the day.
What if he or she hasn’t “put a ring on it” yet?
We have our new Pop-up Proposal option where we help people pull off a special proposal with pictures!
What kind of feedback have you heard?
I think people see the benefit of having an event planner, wedding coordinator, personal attendant, concierge, celebrant, and photographer in one stop. The resounding feedback of couples and guests is that what we do makes the day so much easier. We try to take care of everything so couples don’t need to worry about anything.
Any advice from one bride to others?
We definitely believe that the adventure begins with you and “I do,” and that the good stuff is in the journey together beyond the wedding day. Everything you could want or dream of for a wedding is really already here, and I say that as a bride, not just a business owner. Our Twin Cities is the perfect backdrop for an intimate wedding day.
What’s next for AWGW?
We look forward to what the 2015 wedding season will bring. We are exploring reaching beyond the Twin Cities to other beautiful parts of Minnesota. We’ll take it wedding-by-wedding and see what happens next.