ABC member planner: Frank J. Andonoplas, MBC™, Frank/Frank Event Design, Chicago,,

ABC businesses: BBJ Linens, Classic Party Rental, Frank/Frank Event Design, and Godfather Films.

Photographer: Aaron Fortin.

Other businesses: Freeman, Kehoe Designs, Royal Park Hotel (reception), Troy Sports Arena (ceremony), Zingerman’s Catering (brunch), Mel Ball, and Colours Orchestra.

The couple: Judy Sargent, a United States championship gold medalist in ice skating, was marrying her first ice skating partner, Paul Mata. They decided ice was where they should exchange vows, in the Troy Sports Arena, with a reception at a local boutique hotel.

Inspiration: My design inspiration was ice, since that’s where the couple met. I used Waterford and Swarovski crystals and all white flowers like hydrangeas, roses, and peonies to illustrate the theme. Reception tables had mirror tops with sparkly rhinestones, each napkin had a beautiful brooch, and there were hanging Swarovski crystals—something like 4,000. There was lots of bling.

Most unique element: The ceremony was on an ice rink, covered in 8,000 square feet of flooring and carpeting, with swags of flowing organza fabric.

Color palette: White with crystal accents.

Guest count: 220

Biggest challenge: The biggest challenge was taking the ceremony set down for the couple’s first dance. What went up in two and a half days, we needed to get it down in less than an hour. In total, we had 1,200 man hours on this project.

On teamwork: I can’t say enough about the team I chose for this lavish and incredible wedding. Due to my careful planning and full support of the team, this went perfectly. Lots of meetings, emails, phone calls, and faxes followed by one conference call with 14 of us for the final team meeting aided in getting everyone on the same page.

Hindsight: I need to not doubt myself and my talent and abilities. I hung up the phone after I accepted the job realizing I had only five months, and thought, “What the hell did I just get myself into?” I needed a challenge, and I pulled it off.

Website: Watch a recap online at or through a link on

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