Themed Wedding Receptions–Success Stories

So you’re planning a wedding reception! You want everyone to remember your big day forever.  Why not stamp your personal signature on your once-in-a-lifetime event through the use of a distinctive theme?  You may want to showcase a particular interest of yours, or maybe a vacation or honeymoon destination that really appealed to you. The sky is the limit when it comes to wedding themes!

Why use a theme?  Simple.  A theme sets your wedding apart and gives your guests something visually powerful to help them remember it for years to come.  And it gives you the opportunity to let your creativity shine through!

So let’s take a look at four ideas from our past clients that I thought were extremely successful, and more importantly, created vivid memories. 

Kelly and Justin Diercks got married in August of 2007.  Their Davenport River Center reception featured a garden theme.  On a scale from 1 to 10 they took their theme to an 11!  Their 420 guests enjoyed a grand selection of gardens, some of which could be walked through, and all of which were beautiful!

Landscaped Wedding Reception

Landscaped Wedding Reception

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Landscaped Wedding Reception

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Landscaped Wedding Reception

Landscaped Wedding Reception

Marilee and Michael Godsil selected a Hawaiian theme for their Galesburg wedding reception in June of 2007.  From décor to attire to catering, their wedding reception made you feel as though you were on the islands!

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Hawaii Wedding Reception

Hawaii Wedding Reception

Authentic Hawaii Food for Wedding Reception

Theresa and Tom Hull’s January 2011 wedding reception guests will never forget the Disney Cinderella experience that Theresa and Tom created for them.  Music and décor was carefully selected to complete the Cinderella theme.

Cinderelly Wedding Reception

Cinderella Wedding Reception

And the best theme award goes to Jessica and Salomon Andrade, who got married in the dead of Winter 2007.  Jessica chose to create an ice castle theme for her wedding reception.  Her reception hall was decorated with artificial icicles strategically hanging from the ceiling.  To complete the effect she selected an arctic white fur parka to wear for a portion of the evening, along with arctic white polar boots trimmed in white fur. 

She could not have imagined that on her wedding day a massive ice storm would shroud the area with a thick sheet of ice just before the reception.  Not only that, but the storm rendered the reception hall powerless.  It was dark and it was cold.  But with the use of a generator, we were able to provide some great ambient light from our dance floor lights which enhanced the ice effect.  We had music, we had food and we had dancing and fun!   Jessica was able to wear her arctic parka and boots the entire evening, as it was so cold in the reception hall.  People danced to stay warm.  And it was the best wedding reception ever!

Strangely enough I cannot find the photos of this event anywhere on my computer.  They’re gone.  Kaput.  But it doesn’t matter.  It further serves to illustrate my point that a great theme makes your wedding reception unforgettable.  While I used photos from the other events to help write this article, I had no photos from the “Ice Wedding”.  But the images from the event are vividly etched in my mind forever.  If a great theme can help your wedding DJ remember your wedding, imagine how much better you and your guests will remember it!

So be bold!  Find a theme and use it!  Create an event that will live forever in your memories!  For more photos and themes please visit our Facebook site under Seamless Wedding Reception series.

Mallory and Ben September 3 2011

Mallory Jackson and Ben Cherrington are two of the nicest young people I have ever met.  They joined forces as the new Mr. and Mrs. Mallory and Ben Cherrington on Saturday September 3, 2011.  Together, they will become an example of all that is right and good in America and they will bring happiness and joy into the lives of all they come in contact with.   That is my prediction and I’m sticking to it!

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Let’s talk about all the things that made their wedding reception memorable and unique.  First of all, there was the rainstorm.  Although it made our equipment load-in a challenge, it also made the streets and sidewalks look shiny for their outdoor photos!  If you’ve ever noticed that some car makers actually go to the expense and effort of hosing down the streets prior to parading their latest and greatest machine in front of the camera, then you can appreciate the fact that Mallory and Ben got this effect for free!

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The shiny, new and chic first floor of the most unique banquet facility in the Quad Cities was the setting for Mallory and Ben’s party.   The University Club in Moline is the perfect answer for those looking for the exact opposite of your generic banquet room.   Brick walls, shiny new hardwood floors and an elegant library invite guests to feel at home and have a good time without any effort.  Again, unique!

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Even the guest seating arrangements were unique and creative.  Guests entered to find their table assignments cleverly displayed on this multi-panel door:

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Each table had it’s own creative name:

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Guests enjoyed a variety of great appetizers prior to the arrival of the wedding party.  There even was Asparagus!

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Mallory and Ben’s wedding cake was beautifully displayed with a photo of the couple as the topper:

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Mallory and Ben like fun props.  The Grand Entrance was very entertaining with every member of the bridal party sporting some type of flair!  There also was a photo booth for guests to ham it up.

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The Wedding Party included:

Parents – Terry and Pam Jackson, Randy and Chris Cherrington

Ushers – Paul Nicholas Stewart, Aaron Lemon, Mike Gonzales

Bridesmaids – Jenny Cherrington, Meggie Bostrom, Cara Church, Marisa Rizzo, Hannah Hagener.

Groomsmen – Andy DeWulf, Ryan Jackson, Mike Ross, Greg Bunch, Andrew Bloom.

Maid of Honor – Lindsay Jackson

Best Man – Jake Leech

The Cherrington’s cut their wedding cake immediately after their splashy entrance, and the party was on!

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Mallory’s Grandpa, Paul Stewart, gave an entertaining welcome and prayer before the buffet dinner:

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After dinner there were toasts by Best Man Jake Leech, Maid of Honor Lindsay Jackson and the Father of the Bride, Terry Jackson.  Ben and Mallory thanked their guests for coming and then invited guests to enjoy the dance floor after they danced their first dance to “Weightless” by Lee DeWyze.

The guests really used the big University Club dance floor from start to finish!

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Make sure to visit our Facebook wall at

for more photos of the fun on the dance floor!

Wedding professionals who assisted Mallory and Ben included:

The University Club

Rick Jennisch Photography

I Do Events (linens)

Duckys Formal Wear

Celebration Bridal

Heller Cakes

Quad City Trolley

Riefe’s Catering

Clazzy Designs

First Christian Church Moline

Stoney Creek Inn

Black Tie Entertainment (Music, Emcee, Up-Lighting)

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Thank you Mallory and Ben for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day!  It is clear to see that you are loved by family and friends and I wish you all the best as you begin your adventure together!

Keri and Kenny July 23 2011

Wow, what a party!  Keri Cannon and Kenny Swanberg celebrated their marriage, along with their families and close to 400 guests, in the beautiful Jumers Casino Grand Ballroom on July 23.

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It was easy to see that Keri and Kenny are truly loved by their family and friends, and this energetic group of people created a lifetime of memories in one evening.

We arrived mid afternoon to find an amazing variety of floral arrangements being set up by Cathy from Hy-Vee in Silvis.  My wife Robin began setting up the accent lighting in Blue and Teal while I set up our digital BOSE sound system near the dance floor.

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It is always our goal to have our sound and lighting equipment set up in such a way to blend into the room and not be visually obtrusive or overpowering.  The photo below is an example of that concept.  The paper lanterns are from Exceptional Events.

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Wedding cake was illuminated by lighting from Exceptional Events:

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Members of Keri and Kenny’s fun loving wedding party included:

Parents – Kelli and Mark Hoague, Mike Cannon, Debbie and Erik Swanberg

Flower Girl – Taryn Nees

Ring Bearer – Harry Alfonz Van Vooren

Bridesmaids – Katie Douglas, Laina Lagomarcino, Natalie Cartwright, Michelle Imig, Emily Hoague, Rachel Hoague, Nicole Hoague

Groomsmen – Paul Friedrich, Andy Witte, Alvin Carbajal, Jeremy Lundgren, Steve Owen, Kaj Holgersson, Drew England

Maid of Honor – Breanne Forgie

Best Man – Derek Swanberg

Here are some of the stunning floral arrangements:

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Floral arrangements were in the colors of Blue and Teal and featured Peacock feathers.

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Feathers on the head table:

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After a cocktail hour and a plated dinner the guests viewed the video Love Story of the couple, produced by Ruby Media.

Then Kenny and Keri opened the dance floor with their first dance to “”Me and You” by Kenny Chesney.  That dance floor was packed for the duration of the night, right up until the last song of the evening.

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A great team of wedding professionals was on hand to help Keri and Kenny, including:

Exceptional Events, Peg and Jim  – event planning and coordination

Jumers Casino – Venue and Catering

I Do Events – Linens

Ducky’s Formal Wear

Celebration Bridal

Vanessa Biasi and Jerousch Bakery Chicago – Wedding Cakes

The Boom Boom Bus

Hy-Vee, Silvis, Cathy- Floral

Ruby Media

Ericandi Photography

Broadway Presbyterian Church

Black Tie Entertainment – Emcee, DJ, Up-lighting

Thank you to the Hoague, Cannon and Swanberg Families for an absolutely wonderful evening!  It was a pleasure being with all of you and we will remember the night for a very long time!

Katie and Brad July 9 2011

The wedding ceremony and reception of Katie Harris and Brad Burt took place at the elegant and classy Davenport Country Club on a bright, sunny Saturday in July.

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Dr. and Mrs. Brad Burt are a very photogenic and fun couple and it was great to play a part in creating memories for them.

The ceremony took place on the Country Club’s driving range, just a few steps away from the Club House Banquet Facility. It’s a beautiful setting for a ceremony, especially if you are a golfer!

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We provided sound support for the ceremony so all in attendance could hear everything that took place, including Brad and Katie’s wedding vows.

Here I am looking for a shady place to set up the sound equipment for the ceremony.  I didn’t find one, but there was a nice breeze so it was OK.

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The wedding party waits in a shady spot for the ceremony to begin:

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Katie looked stunning as she walked down the cart path at the beginning of the ceremony.

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The new Dr. and Mrs. Brad and Katie Burt:

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Members of the wedding party included:

Ushers- Rob Harris, Mike Welbes

Bridesmaids – Kari Burt, Kris Burt, Ashley Danner

Groomsmen – Dean Haldeman, Rob Ricketts

Matron of Honor – Amy Thacker

Best Men – Austin Burt, Chad Burt

Milan Flower Shop provide stunning floral arrangements as they always do:

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Brad and Katie’s wedding cake from Olde Towne Bakery looked awesome displayed in Davenport Country Club’s lobby:

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Katie and Brad’s Candy Bar featured sweet treats.  Everything in the display was either pink or brown, the couple’s wedding colors.  This is the kind of attention to detail that I really admire!

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Davenport Country Club as always served up a fabulous meal and then Katie and Brad opened the dance floor by dancing to “When You Say Nothing At All” by Alison Krauss.  The couple took dancing lessons prior to their reception so they looked great on the dance floor!

Everyone had a fun time on the dance floor as the party went on into the night!


Here is a list of those wedding professionals who helped Katie and Brad celebrate their special day:

The Wedding Stringers – ceremony music

Davenport Country Club

Creative Wedding Package (video and photography)

Tita’s Linens


Schaffers Bridal Des Moines

Olde Towne Bakery

Milan Flower Shop

Kirk Whalen – Officiant

Black Tie Entertainment – DJ, Emcee, Ceremony Sound Support

Thanks Katie and Brad for allowing me to help you celebrate!

Allison and Colin July 3 2011

The Radisson Quad City Plaza in downtown Davenport Iowa was the setting for the wedding reception of Allison Sanyi and Colin Stringer on the Sunday night before the 4th of July.  Their reception was a fantastic event indeed, framed by a soccer-style introduction of the wedding party, fireworks outdoors at dusk and lots of action on the dance floor until 11:30 PM.  20110703 Sanyi Stringer 025

Black Tie provided the couple with purple and pink up-lighting to accent their décor, featuring the hotel’s premium lighting package for the head table and cake, black chair covers and flowers from Milan Flower Shop.  We also opened Allison and Colin’s Love Story for all to hear for the very first time.

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Guests enjoyed cocktails in the atrium until the banquet room opened at 6:00 PM.

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Guests enjoyed seeing an elaborate cake displayed on the dance floor along with lots of flower petals and cupcakes.  The cupcakes tasted fantastic!

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The flowers from Milan Flower Shop were, as usual, exquisite:

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The ballrooms at the Radisson are always a great place to have a wedding reception.  It’s a wonderful setting for a good party!

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Members of the wedding party included:

Parents- Ken and Sharon Sanyi, Dennis and Maribeth Stringer

Ushers- Anthony Bacino, Tim Lepore and Kevin Lepore

Bridesmaids – Laura Scherbring, Brittany Stringer, Katie Ryan, Laurie Fritz

Groomsmen – Brandon Violette, Tim Miller, Ryan Lancaster, Calvin Dane

Maid of Honor – Anne Sanyi

Best Man – Andrew Smith

Allison and Colin’s dance floor was packed right up until the last song of the night.



Vendors involved in making their night special included:

The Radisson Quad City Plaza


The Bridal Room

Olde Towne Bakery

Rick Jennisch Photography (Rick)

GCH Video (Tana)

Milan Flower Shop

St. Paul Lutheran Church

Black Tie Entertainment (Love Story, Emcee, Up-Lighting)

Thanks to Allison and Colin for allowing me to be a part of the big day!


Kim and Ryan June 25 2011

Kim Williams became the bride of Ryan Miller on a rainy Saturday in June at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf Iowa.  The rain really didn’t matter, and of course, it’s generally considered good luck.  20110625 Williams Wedding 017

The happy wedding party arrived at the site of the reception, the storied old Viking Club in Moline Illinois around 5:45 PM where they found around 200 guests enjoying appetizers as they waited.

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Members of Kim and Ryan’s wedding party included:

Parents – Diane Williams, Scott and Rhonda Williams and Bill and Lynne Miller

Flower girls – Emma Miller and Kelsey Doonan

Ring Bearer – Kaedyn Nolen

Ushers – Brad Williams, Steve Miller and Eric Miller

Bridesmaids – Stormie Floyd, Laney Milleville, Katie Thompson

Groomsmen – Dan Madesian, Greg Brandom, Gabe Thompson

Maid of Honor – Kristen Doonan

Best Man- Bruce Bales

Bruce and Kristen proposed toasts and the dance was underway!

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The guests had a great time on the dance floor until the party ended.  We used our high energy light show to add even more excitement to the night along with a custom monogram projected onto the dance floor.

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Some of the vendors who helped Kim and Ryan on their special day included:

The Viking Club

Ducky’s Formal Wear

Celebration Bridal

Stacks Florists

Cunningham Confectionaries

Shauna Welch (photographer)

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Thanks Kim and Ryan for allowing me to help you celebrate your big day!

Lisa and Dave Requet June 18 2011

Lisa Sprott and Dave Requet were married at 1:30 PM in Sacred Heart Church in Moline Illinois.   Afterwards, guests arrived to enjoy the big party at the sparkling Jumer’s Casino Rock Island.  The grand ballroom next to the hotel was decorated with white chair covers and coral sashes, floral centerpieces from Coleman’s Florist and accented in the wedding colors of coral, black and silver.  We provided green up-lighting designed to complement the main color of coral.

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The Manny Lopez Trio provided music for cocktails and dinner beginning at 4:00 PM.  At 5:10 PM the wedding party made their grand entrance.

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Wedding party members included:

Parents – Greg and Cheryl Sprott, David and Lynda Requet

Flower girl- Alexis Sprott

Ring Bearers – Kaleb and Brayden Sprott

Ushers – Jeremy Sprott, Brian Sprott, Keith Keesy, Tim George

Junior Bridesmaid and Junior Groomsman – Kelsey Sprott and Korbin Sprott

Bridesmaids – Danielle Jones, Dana Ros, Melinda Sprott, Amanda Sprott, Tami Clarke

Groomsmen – Shane Olson, Deric Schradeya, Dan Sprott, Ben Parent

Maid of Honor – Cassie Flynn

Best Man – Benjamin Requet

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Cassie and Benjamin eloquently toasted the Bride and Groom after a fantastic plated dinner.  And then it was time to open the dance floor, with Lisa and Dave dancing to “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait.

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Wedding guests packed the dance floor until the last song of the night, “Closing Time” by Semisonic.


Some of the wedding vendors who helped make Lisa and Dave’s wedding special included:

Jumers Casino Rock Island

Wedding Cake – Karen Taets

Manny Lopez Trio

Ducky’s Formal Wear

Celebration Bridal

Colemans Florist

Tita’s Linens by Claudia

Act II Limo

Elizabeth Sommes Images (Photographer)

Black Tie Entertainment

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Thank You to the Sprott and Requet Families for allowing me to help you celebrate!

Shawna and Joel June 11, 2011

Shawna Chezem contacted us last February looking for some lighting to enhance her June wedding reception at the Botanical Center Event Canopy. We met with her at the venue shortly after the big blizzard of 2011. Shawna looked at some various up-lighting colors and configurations and she decided upon 20 magenta (purple) up-lights arranged in an angled pattern.

It was a great choice. Shawna and Joel Swain’s reception hall came alive with color and light. Guests arrived in the events canopy shortly before 8PM after an outdoor Botanical Gardens ceremony and were awed by the purple lighting and the permanently installed white lights in the canopy.

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Since I had previously set aside June 11 as a night off from spinning tunes it was convenient for Robin and I to deliver, set up and remove the lighting ourselves.

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Shawna’s reception was scheduled to end at 1 AM. We arrived to remove the lights around 12:30 AM, in time to enjoy watching the party as it concluded. It’s always fun to watch a party when another DJ is spinning tunes. Shawna and Joel’s DJ was a family friend, from Cedar Rapids I think. Guests were enjoying the dance floor right up to the last song.

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Thanks Shawna and Joel for having us Light Up Your Wedding!

Copyright© 2011 Black Tie Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

Black Tie Entertainment Inc. – Quad Cities – Iowa Illinois

The Lester and Fobert Families Celebrate on June 4, 2011

The Radisson Quad City Plaza witnessed the joining of two great families on Saturday night when Abby Lester and Jeff Fobert celebrated their marriage with a spectacular party in the hotel’s ballroom.

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A 2pm ceremony at Edgewood Baptist Church was followed by guests gathering in the beautiful Radisson Atrium for cocktails at 5pm.

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The banquet room doors were opened shortly before 6pm.  Stepping into the ballroom guests’ eyes feasted on a visual treat consisting of floral arrangements by Clazzy Designs, white chair covers with dark purple sashes and purple accent lighting by Black Tie Entertainment.

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A cake made by family friend, Darrell Hill, was on the middle of the dance floor accentuated by spotlights furnished by event and wedding planner, Exceptional Events.  Peg and Jim of Exceptional Events were the planners and coordinators of this event.

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After the bridal party made an exciting entrance into the room, Brad Lester, the Father of the Bride eloquently welcomed the guests.  Dinner was served after a blessing by Pastor Mel Brown.  The Radisson served up their always awesome feast with your choice of Chicken or Pork as an entre.

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Tommy Fobert (Best Man) and Jessie and Molly Lester (Maids of Honor) toasted the new bride and groom and the dance party was on!

Abby and Jeff danced their first dance as husband and wife to “Free” by the Zac Brown Band.

Abby and Jeff’s guests were not shy and they utilized the whole dance floor for the duration of the night.  The dancing was enhanced by our “Dynamic Accent Lighting” which allows us to transform the entire ballroom to the colors of our choosing, depending on the mood of the moment.  This feature has become highly popular and sought after from our brides this year!

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Members of Abby and Jeff’s bridal party were:

Maddi Rockwell and Aidan Rodriguez – Flower girl and ring bearer

Brandon Hollenback, Josh Hughes, Mike Jones and Collin Shutt – Ushers

Tammy Rodriguez, Abby Meuser, Breanne Young, Michelle Mann – Bridesmaids

Tony Quintana, Tom Rockwell, Adam Johnson, Jay Cousineau, Justin Taylor – Groomsmen

Jessie Lester and Molly Lester – Maids of Honor

Tommy Fobert – Best Man

And of course Jeff and Abby Fobert – Bride and Groom

Quad City area wedding vendors assisting the couple were:

Exceptional Events

Creative Wedding Package (Photography)

Radisson Quad City Plaza

QC Trolley


Hopes Bridal

Clazzy Designs

Black Tie Entertainment

Thank you Abby and Jeff for allowing us to play a role in your very special day!

Kristen and John, A Love Story 05/28/2011

The Love Story of Kristen Koupal and John Rose is a story of Italian Restaurants, the Navy, Facebook, The Kerryman in Chicago, “classrooms” of stuffed animals, graduate school and a Michigan marriage proposal.  A new chapter of Kristen and John’s love story began on Saturday the 28th of May 2011 with their Grand Wedding Reception in the Radisson Quad City Plaza Ballroom.

After an afternoon wedding at Holy Family Church in Davenport Iowa, guests arrived for a 5PM cocktail hour in the Radisson’s atrium.  Dinner chimes rang at 6PM and the wedding party was introduced to the guests at 6:30.

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Members of the wedding party included:

Father of the Bride – Robert Koepal

Mother and Stepfather of the Bride – Dean and Cathy Maupin

Parents of the Groom – John and Lynn Rose

Ushers – Mark Leja, Anthony Minette

Flower Girl – Kennedy Rose

Ring Bearer – Caden Rose

Bridesmaids – Victoria Smeaton, Lindsay Dodds, Abby Dillivou, Rebecca Rose

Maids of Honor – Kimberly Koupal, Karli Koupal

Groomsmen – Greg Adamiec, Jason Ruffin, Pat Galvin, Nick Eggett, Bryan Gage

Best Man – James Rose

Eloquent welcome speeches and toasts were given by Robert Koepal, Cathy Maupin, Kimberly Koupal, Karli Koupal and James Rose

Guests enjoyed a plated dinner and wedding cake.

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After dinner, Kristen and John’s Love Story was opened and read for the guests for the very first time (A Black Tie Entertainment Feature) followed by their first dance, “The One” by Gary Allan.

A large contingent of guests, many from Chicago, stayed well into the night and danced energetically until the party ended at midnight.

Kristen and John are truly in love and are destined to have a great marriage.  I offer my thanks to them for allowing me to play a role in their celebration.


Here are more Area wedding vendors who helped Kristen and John:

Radisson Quad City Plaza Hotel

Mens Wearhouse

House of Brides

Olde Towne Bakery

Brian Barkley Photography

Clazzy Designs

Black Tie Entertainment (me)