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Big whopping wedding: 50 couples say ‘I do’
Nov 12, 2010 | 22115 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

By Unsie Zuege

You thought planning your own wedding was overwhelming and crazy?

How about planning a “Big Whopping Wedding” for 50 couples?

Talk to Kris Howland at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, and she’ll run down a mind-boggling to-do list that would have put the most seasoned wedding planner to the test: Guest list. Flowers. Wedding cake. Music. Catering. Wedding attendants’ attire. Photography. Getting everyone to the wedding on time.

Now multiply by 50.


Last Saturday, nearly 50 Twin Cities couples were married or renewed their wedding vows at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, to promote the return of its longest running musical “I Do! I Do!” in the Fireside Theater. CDT partnered with Twin Cities radio station My Talk 107.1 FM, creating a contest in which couples vied to be one of 50 couples selected in a random drawing to participate.

Not only that, but the ceremony was performed by popular talk show host Ian Punnett. Punnett and his wife, Margery, have a morning drive-time radio show on 107.1 FM. In addition to being a radio personality, Punnett is also, conveniently, an ordained minister. And to make it absolutely official in the eyes of the law, Tom Koehnen was the legal officiant for the event.

And the wedding attendants included the other 107.1 FM radio personalities: Colleen, Margery, Lori and Julia, who were bridesmaids; flower girl duties were filled by Alexis; Reuvers was ring bearer, and GR, Jason and Donny were groomsmen.

Planning a wedding for 50 couples was a community event, too, as Chanhassen Floral donated all the wedding flowers for the event, including mini-bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and floral arrangements; the cake, reception decorations and linens, formal attire for the radio personalities, and photography were also donated from by Twin Cities businesses.

Roller rink romance

One of the lucky 50 couples in Chanhassen Diner theatres’ Big Whopping Wedding was Dave and Terri Bloomquist of Chanhassen. The Bloomquists met about 30 years ago at the roller skating rink in Bloomington, when Dave asked Terri to a couples skate. They dated for two and half years, then married on April 16, 1983. They’ve been in Chanhassen since 1991, and have two children, Stephanie, 23, and Alex, 22.

Although the radio station was promoting the contest and the event on air, the Bloomquists actually learned about it online.“My husband was on the computer one night, looking at things for us to do, and came across a link to the website and the contest,” Terri said. Entering was just a matter of filling out a form, and sending a photo from their own wedding in 1983.

They’re excited to have had their names drawn. Each couple is allowed to bring another couple as wedding guests. Terri and Dave are bringing their daughter Stephanie and Terri’s mother. 

What did they wear for the first wedding?

“I had a pretty conservative dress, compared to today,” Terri said. “It was off-white, long sleeves with lace, and a lace V-neck. And the guys were in cream-colored tuxes with brown vests.”Terri recalled seeing “I Do! I Do!” during its first historic run, sometime in the 1980s, “… most likely for a birthday or our anniversary,” she said.

Geek love

Thank goodness for Star Trek and the miniature communicator pin Shannon Johnson wore on the lapel of her coat. It broke the ice when she met Derek Johnson back in 2003. The couple met online, and spent the first three weeks e-mailing one another. When they finally did meet in person, it was to see an anime movie.

Later, Shannon learned that Derek had been a nervous wreck about their first date, wondering what in the world they might talk about. Well, it turns out plenty. Star Trek for one. Star Wars for another. Turns out both are science fiction buffs, and they haven’t stopped finding things to talk about ever since.

“Yeah, we’re geeks,” Shannon said. “I’m an engineer and I’m all into science. Derek is a histotechnologist at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.”

They married three years ago, and carried the sci-fi geek theme into their wedding. They and each member of their wedding party carried light sabers in their wedding. They even found a miniature version for the little flower girl.

“We still have them all displayed on our wall at home,” Shannon said. Shannon is a self-described serial contest-enterer.

“People swear that the first thing I must do when I get out of bed in the morning is Google “contests,” she said. “It’s not just radio contests, it’s game shows, the roller derby. I’ll try out for anything.”

She heard about the contest on the radio as a My Talk 107.1 FM listener.

They’re thrilled to have won even if three years married might be a little soon to be renewing the vows.

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