Congratulations! You’re engaged. Now what?
Before you get lost in a sea of vendor lists, let us help you narrow the field. We instituted the Diamond Awards six years ago to give couples like you a comprehensive list of the best in bridal. So before you get bogged down by the plethora of talented options available in the Twin Cities,
let this breakdown of the crème de la crème be your guide. This year’s Judge’s Choice winners were chosen by a handful of national bridal pros, while our People’s Choice picks were voted on by thousands.
Happy reading—and happy planning.
Real Wedding of The Year
Carly and Adams June wedding
Credit: Joe & Jen Photography
Carly and Adam Wirkus
Our judges were thoroughly moved by the thoughtful and personal touches that filled Carly and Adam’s June wedding. It was important to the couple that it felt genuine to them and their love story. “This wedding was really based in love and family—not trends,” gushed one judge. The couple wrote their own vows, they hand-selected 30 unique Bundt and cheesecake flavors, and they said their “I dos” at the bride’s family farm. “We wanted to create an experience for our friends and family,” said the bride. “We wanted everyone to feel the love we had for each other.” Our judges fell in love with that authenticity, citing the intimate setting and heartfelt details as some of their favorite components. “In an era filled with Pinterest, this wedding is a breath of fresh air,” one judge said.
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These talented designers make it their mission to find what is meaningful to their couples and create an authentic celebration of their love. This intentional approach to their design unanimously wowed our judges.“It’s all about the details,” said a judge.
People’s Choice: This Love Weddings
“It’s clear from their work that this is a talented group of individuals,” said one judge. The others praised Treasured Garment Restoration’s vow to meet with customers and personally inspect each gown to determine the safest plan of attack. Several metro locations.
People’s Choice: Evermore Wedding Gown Care
There’s a reason why year after year our judges name Renee’s Royal Valet the top transportation provider in the Twin Cities. From the expansive fleet of limos, coaches, and trolleys to impeccable service and courteous drivers, Renee’s portfolio wowed our judges to no end.
People’s Choice: Renee’s Royal Valet
When they self-proclaim, “We fit every curve, listen to every word, making sure every detail is there,” it’s hard not to be impressed. Not only are the pros at Amazing Alterations talented, they are also visibly excited about making your dress fit like a glove. That excitement earned top honors from our judges.
People’s Choice: Amazing Alterations
It’s no wonder our judges fell for Chowgirls Killer Catering, just like the rest of the wedding industry. In the past 12 years, this full-service catering company has grown from a team of two women to a staff of 125. With a focus on organic and healthy options that are both customizable and delicious, this was a clear winner for our judges.
People’s Choice: Chowgirls Killer Catering
With collections from 10 different designers, JB Hudson Jewelers boasts one of the most astounding assortments of wedding and engagement rings in the Twin Cities. Our judges noted the jeweler’s dedication to guiding happy couples through the exciting experience of selecting their dream ring, and they appreciated JB Hudson’s commitment to quality and customer service.
People’s Choice: JB Hudson Jewelers
When you consider more than 40 years of experience—and roughly 200,000 weddings—it’s easy to see why our judges named The Wedding Shoppe a winner in outstanding formalwear. “You can tell when they say, ‘Creating happiness isn’t our job, it’s our passion,’ that they mean it,” said one judge.
People’s Choice: Savvi
“You can’t beat its immense collection of designers,” raved one judge. Bella Bridesmaids offers a stress-free environment where brides can sit back and relax while their friends have fun choosing from the hundreds of dresses available. Plus, with 50 showrooms across the country, it’s easy for out-of-state bridesmaids to take advantage of complimentary fittings and online ordering.
People’s Choice: Bella Bridesmaids
People’s Choice Vendor of The Year
After more than 10 years in the business, Chowgirls Killer Catering has built almost a cult-like following. With delicious options that range from an eggplant torte to poblano cream chicken, clients of Chowgirls are wowed by their culinary expertise and dedication toward sustainability. Owners Amy Brown and Heidi Andermack source most of their food from a 75-mile radius of their kitchen, so you know you’re offering your guests a true taste of Minnesota.
This company recognizes that weddings are about people. With that in mind, the pros at Acowsay Cinema make it their goal to tell each of their couples’ stories. Our judges appreciated this very personal approach and believe it makes their work behind the camera all the more outstanding.
People’s Choice: Acowsay Cinema
Hair & Makeup
Hair and makeup are extremely personal components of the wedding-planning process. The talented artists at Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios understand the delicate nature of their jobs, and it’s evident that they strive to make the primping process as easy as possible.Our judges appreciate this attention to detail and unparalleled customer service.
People’s Choice: Brett Dorrian
Rehearsal & Event Space
The stunning juxtaposition of old and new at Solar Arts by Chowgirls caught the eyes and hearts of our judges. “I love that it’s a seemingly blank canvas yet somehow offers distinct character at the same time,” said one judge. The others agreed. The historical elements, such as a bar previously owned by Johnny Cash, are just the icing on the cake.
People’s Choice: Solar Arts
Music has the ability to make a wedding into an unforgettable party. The DJs at Instant Request know that and take their role as purveyors of fun very seriously. Our judges loved that every DJ on staff at Instant Request has at least five years of experience, which means the entire team knows how to keep your guests on their feet all night long.
People’s Choice: Adagio Djay
Your wedding photos should tell your love story, and that’s precisely what Jeff and Jessica, the husband-and-wife duo behind the lens, strive to do. The former high school sweethearts work together to create a seamless blend of fine art portraits and beautiful candid moments, a skill that our judges value in a wedding photographer. “You can tell they just get it,” said one judge. “It’s refreshing.”
People’s Choice: Erin Johnson
“What an inventory!” raved one judge. The rest of our panel couldn’t help but be impressed with the many options that Après Party and Tent Rental has available to its clients. Furniture, tents, linens, china, and flatware—Après has it all. Plus, couples can rest easy knowing that the products will be delivered promptly and in quality condition.
People’s Choice: On Solid Ground
Cake & Dessert Design
It was clear to our judges that the pros at Buttercream Cakes & Desserts really love making beautiful cakes that bring a couple’s dessert dreams to life. Its light, smooth mousse made from heavy cream and white chocolate creates the desired look of rolled frosting and tastes delicious. “A very desirable combo!” remarked one judge. Other locations: 682 Transfer Rd., St. Paul, 651-642-9400
People’s Choice: Buttercream
Our judges were instantly drawn to the attention to detail that owner Kate Panke brings to her invitation suites. “Her passion for creating invitations that reflect each couple’s unique style makes me wish she could have done my invitations,” laughs one judge. From fun and casual to elegant and timeless, this stationer has the ability to do it all.
People’s choice: Gretchen Berry Design Co.
Calligraphy adds a personal and elegant touch to any invite, especially if it’s done by the amazingly talented Rosann Konieczny. Our judges were in awe of her truly unique and beautifully stylized typography. “Her fonts are simply stunning,” raved one judge. “If you’re looking to make a first impression with your invites, Rosann’s calligraphy will do the trick!”
People’s Choice: Rosann Konieczny
This full-service design house is known for one-of-a-kind floral creations that are both trendsetting and beautiful. One judge excitedly commented on how Maven’s bouquets were refreshingly unique, while another loved that this florist often works with local farms. It was clear to our panel that the team at Maven channels its love of flowers into its outstanding work.
People’s Choice: Maven
Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Lela Rose. The roster of designers at l’atelier couture bridal boutique certainly caught the attention of our distinguished panel. “There are so many choices,” exclaimed one judge. “Any bride would be hard-pressed not to find her dream dress here.” Plus, the elegant space located in the North Loop and the personal shopping experience make all brides feel like a VIP.
People’s Choice: Posh Bridal Couture
Wedding Design & Planning
Our judges were impressed with the pros at Style-Architects and their commitment to bringing every couple’s wedding vision to life. They also appreciated Style-Architects’ vow to go above and beyond while remaining cognizant of budget. “They ensure that every decision offers maximum impact, and that’s what you want from a planner,” one judge said.
People’s Choice: Maven
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