Friday, February 6, 2009

For the Wedding Reception: Cake, Candelabras, and - Propane?

Let's say you're planning a wedding. You've gotten directions to a place that you've heard does a good job with receptions. The directions take you past Fisk Implement and down a side street, to three sets of signs.

The ones on the left and right read "Engelbrecht Plumbing Rental" and "Egelbrecht Welding Supplies."

In the middle, top to bottom, there's a big arrow pointing right, with the word "enter;" then "Engelbrecht Wedding and Event Supplies & Party Store." Below that, there's another sign, whose huge letters proclaim "WE SELL PROPANE."

You're not lost: this is the right place.

Follow the arrow to a concrete block building, go through a metal door, and you'll be talking with Gerda Engelbrecht, who's been arranging wedding receptions, company cookouts, and graduation parties around Loonfoot Falls for over twenty years. She's got chairs and bubble machines, plant stands and punch bowls, including a five-gallon one that lights up. She calls it a "champagne fountain."

I hadn't made the connection between propane and parties until I saw her portable kitchen: a 14 by eight foot trailer with grills, a deep fryer, and five propane tanks.

Sometimes Gerda has to rent equipment herself: like the time a couple wanted a fog machine for the reception: and a black light miniature golf course for their guests.

The most unusual reception she'd set up, she told me, was one where the bridal bouquet was made of cattails, and the head table was made to look like a duck blind.

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