The How & Why of the Spruce Wedding Company

When people ask me how I came up with the idea of a pop-up wedding company I realize it was really three separate events that all came together...

Laura & I - as Bradley students around 1999-2000.

Laura & I - as Bradley students around 1999-2000.

Event 1: I've been involved in the wedding industry for years.   YEARS.  Sometime in 1998 I got a last-minute call to sub in a string quartet and we've been playing together ever since.   Over the years (decades!), I came to realize how much I enjoyed having a small part in the happiness of so many couples.  As this grew into Something Old Event Rentals, I would have conversations with some of my friends - and I would be having a wonderful time describing the centerpieces and bride's gown - I came to realize a few of my friends just DID.NOT.CARE about a traditional wedding.  As in, they would come right out and tell me how much they hated the sequined white ball gown and 200 guests and yes, string quartet.  

Let's be honest.  I think my friends are crazy and they think I'm crazy.   But we still love each other!

But I started thinking about this group of friends - people who care about marriage, want to be married but really don't want the traditional event.   Some of them have careers, some have children, some have previous marriages and to them, spending a year on planning and a house down-payment on expenses is not something they would ever agree to do, and if they did agree, there is no way they are inviting 200 people because they only want their family there anyway.   

Event 2: Beginning in January 2016, I started getting involved in a lot of styled shoots - these are typically where a photographer, florist, wedding gown shop, jewelry store, etc all come together to create a fake wedding for the purposes of taking photos and showing off new looks.  Most recently, I did this Berry Romantic Collaboration, but by the end of 2016, I will have photos that have been published on national blogs such as Green Wedding Shoes, Smitten and Artfully Wed.  

Photo by Kara Kamienski Photography; florals by LeFleur; dress by Cloud Nine.  Her headpiece - stunning, right?

Photo by Kara Kamienski Photography; florals by LeFleur; dress by Cloud Nine.  Her headpiece - stunning, right?

The reasoning behind the styled shoots is that vendors can try new - or even risky - looks that brides may not be interested in until they can see them.  It's also a chance to work out a new idea that may sound great on paper, but may not actually work in a real space.   In a few weeks, I'll be heavily involved in a styled shoot that is based on the life and works of Andy Warhol.  I haven't had any clients come to me asking if I have inventory for a Warhol-inspired wedding, but I want my clients to know that they can truly have the wedding of their dreams - whether it involves a soft ivory sofa or a bold orange chair!  As I was doing these shoots, I would frequently think, "It would be so fun to have someone just hop into this picture and actually get married."   

Event 3:  I met Tricia, of the Pittsburgh Pop-Up Wedding Company.  As she was describing her events to me, I realized it could be the perfect combination of what I liked about styled shoots and what my non-wedding-lovers were looking for - a sort of Las Vegas elopement but with amazing local style and flavor.   As I started researching pop-up weddings, I realized this was the perfect direction for Something Old Event Rentals as a business, and for my own creative development.  I already have all the inventory needed for a wedding - once I add a few more necessary items I can have an entire wedding planned and executed in a short amount of time.  

As I started planning the first event and bouncing ideas off other vendors, I realized this was truly an exciting and needed wedding business for the Peoria area.   I can think of five couples I know personally who would want an amazingly planned, professional-looking event but without the hassle of the planning or large wedding party or enormous expense.  

Inside the main lodge - this is where the reception will take place.  Right outside those windows are deciduous trees that should be in full color!

Inside the main lodge - this is where the reception will take place.  Right outside those windows are deciduous trees that should be in full color!

I wanted to highlight the beautiful fall foliage, so the first event I've created I'm calling "Camp Spruce".   It's inspired by the set from Moonrise Kingdom, Camp Wandawega and hosted at a former Girl Scout camp in Pekin.   Every detail from this event - from the invitations to the cake to the centerpieces - have been created to share nature, summer camp memories, and yes, love, love, love!

I can only host a maximum of four weddings in one day, and as I'm writing this I may have two spaces already filled, so if you or a friend are interested, send me an email at SpruceWeddingCompany@gmail.com to get your copy of the Field Guide which explains all the details and vendors!  I am so thrilled to offer this option to happily-in-love-but-don't-want-a-traditional-wedding couples across Central IL.   Hint, hint - It would also be perfect for a vow renewal!  

So who's ready to visit Camp Spruce?