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The North Bend Eagle


Fun wedding leads to more fun

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 9/29/10

Wendi Emanuel enjoyed decorating for her own wedding in January 2004.

“The whole time we were doing her wedding she kept saying, ‘We could do this. Wouldn’t it be fun?’” said her mother, Lois Otte.

Occasions decoratorsWendi Emanuel and Lois Otte stand among some of the items they have for decorating weddings of any season.

Move ahead five and a half years and Emanuel is now a stay-at-home mom with husband Ron and sons Ethan, 5, and Marcus, 2, on their farm north of North Bend. Last October an ad in the North Bend Eagle caught her eye:

“Complete Wedding Business (decorations) for sale. Everything to make a wedding perfect!”

Emanuel saw this as a way to get started. She called her mom and asked if she was still interested. Otte, who lives in the Linwood area, wasn’t as enthusiastic as her daughter, but was willing to give it a try.

They contacted Joan Mastny in Clarkson who had built the business over 12 years. She was now ready to move on to other opportunities in her life and wanted to sell everything. And the Emanuel - Otte business began.

“We got everything,” Emanuel said. “Enough to do two weddings at one time.”

Their purchase included columns, sheets, table clothes, skirting, center pieces, vases, silk flowers, ivy, lights, netting, trees, lanterns, tropical items, arches, arbors, picket fence, champaign and wine glasses, colored napkins, card holders, child size table and chairs, flower girl baskets, ring bearer’s pillow, two large boxes of snowflakes and more.

“We feel we have something for everyone,” Emanuel said. “But if someone wants something special we are willing to invest in new items if it looks like something we can use again.”

Emanuel’s husband Ron spent the winter “mouse proofing” an old barn on their place to give her storage for all the items.

“We couldn’t do it without (our husbands’) help and strength,” Emanuel said. “They figure things out, help us decorate and fix things.”

Otte’s husband, Dave, is now retired and gets in on more of the decorating and undecorating jobs. Even Ethan has a decorating idea on occasion. Emanuel says if they do it too much he’ll complain, “Not that wedding stuff again.”

The women have invested in an enclosed trailer to transport items and bunches of totes and crates to transport and store their supplies.

They have done four weddings in the last ten months and look forward to doing more.

“I think we’d be maxed out if we do one wedding a month,” Emanuel said. “We do this for fun. We’re not out to make a zillion dollars.”

What each bride is charged is based on what they want done.

“We can work within the bride’s budget,” Emanuel said. “Whether she just needs centerpieces or needs to disguise a room, we can do it.”

Emanuel has had from three weeks to eight months notice for decorating. She likes to talk to the bride over the phone to see what they want, what they imagine their wedding reception looking like so she knows what direction to go with her suggestions.

When they meet Emanuel can show the bride photographs of what she can do and make up items to see if she is on the right track.

“It’s a great stay at home job,” Emanuel said. “People come to my house, things are out in the barn and we can do it all during nap time!”

Otte agrees they have a good time at it.

“Our business made fun stuff for us to do together,” Otte said. “If we go shopping we can always say its for the business.”

The two named their business “Occasions” after a suggestion from Emanuel’s friend, Bill Rexnicek.

“We wanted the name not too long and to encompass everything,” Emanuel said. We’ll do other things also - anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas parties, any event.”

Emanuel can be contacted at 652-3650 or via e-mail at for specifics about her home business.

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