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Designing the ‘perfect day’

Minneota High School graduate returns home to start her own wedding business

March 22, 2010
By Karin Elton

MARSHALL - For brides and grooms who want to enjoy their wedding day without a lot of stress, a wedding consultant might be the way to go.

Lisa Gilbertson, the event and design director for Simply Fabulous, a new business at 800 W. College Drive in Marshall, said having help with the details of a wedding is a way to minimize stress and just "have a great day."

She has been coordinating weddings and events in Minneapolis for more than four years and recently moved back to the area.

Article Photos

Photo by Karin Elton
Lisa Gilbertson adjusts a plate on a table setting that will be in a wedding reception in Fargo, N.D. The bride wanted something “dramatic” using black linens, calla lilies and sparkles, she said. Gilbertson recently opened Simply Fabulous Events and Design in Marshall.

A Minneota High School graduate, she spent 12 years in Minneapolis in the corporate world before deciding it was time to pursue her passion.

Gilbertson said she has always been interested in the wedding industry.

"Friends who were getting married would ask me for ideas and etiquette advice," she said. "When I was 7 I would look at McCall's patterns. I would look at the wedding dresses and think of what would go good with them."

Gilbertson said she takes advice on how to run a business from her grandfather, John Tillemans, who owns the Silver Dollar in Ghent.

"He said it was so important to please the customers," she said. "To give them the best attention and customer service. He instilled that in his daughter and grandkids."

Gilbertson has researched the viability of a business like hers and recently had a booth at a wedding planning event in Marshall. She said there was a lot of interest in a bridal service.

She said the wedding industry is "saturated" in the Twin Cities and there is definitely a need for her services in southwestern Minnesota. In addition, the costs are lower here.

"In Minneapolis, the cost per plate is higher, so the guest list is usually kept to around 100 to 150 people," she said. "In this area, people can have 300 to 400 guests."

On her end, the cost of office rental is cheaper here as well as vendor costs.

Gilbertson said she wants to keep as much as she can locally-derived.

"I want to build relationships and have good word of mouth," she said. "I want to build that loyalty within the community."

In addition to offering planning services, the store has rental items such as linens, centerpieces and chargers.

"Brides don't have to drive to Sioux Falls, Minneapolis or Willmar to look for things," she said. "It takes up money and time and they might not even find what they want."

She offers an "intimate, smaller" line of bridesmaid dresses that are made of "great fabrics that complement any silhouette and are something you can wear again."

Gilbertson, who opened the store March 8, said every day the store "comes together a little bit more."

Gilbertson will be the host of an "engaging opening" from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday for soon-to-be-wed couples.

"We will have special offers for couples on linen rentals, planning services, as well as discounts on bridesmaid dresses," she said. "We also will have some appetizers and will be available for any wedding questions that couples may have about the big day."

Gilbertson said she is excited about her new business.

"I'm lucky to be following my passion," she said. "It's not work. I love what I'm doing. I love to see the end result."

Simply Fabulous hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. or later by appointment Saturdays.

 
 

 

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