First annual Unveiled wedding event at the Memorial Union


Mia Wang/Iowa State Daily

Unveiled, the first styled shoot at the Memorial Union took place on Sunday, April 28. This photoshoot is to promote the Memorial Union as a wedding venue for couples who need of a place to get married.  

Sierra Hoeger

The Great Hall in the Memorial Union was home to dozens of tables set with elegant decor, vases filled with warm-colored flowers and lots of commotion as vendors set up for Unveiled on Sunday. 

Unveiled at the Union is where wedding vendors can come together to create mock receptions with styles that are going to be up and coming this next wedding season. Over 32 vendors come to the event to bring together five various styles.

Unveiled at the Union was closed to the public. The decision for keeping this event quiet to the public derives from wanting the stylists and photographers to get the best pictures possible. With it being the first time this event is being hosted, organizers wanted to ensure it ran as smoothly as possible.

“I was a little cautious to put more pressure on the vendors with already the crunched time we had,” said Jessica Erickson, wedding and event coordinator. “I think in the future I would love to have a shoot where it’s open to the public for a portion of the day.”

Models, photographers, florists, caterers and just about anyone else needed to pull off an amazing wedding day were in attendance at the styled shoot Sunday. Beforehand, each vendor was given a variety of mood boards to choose from and then select which style they wanted to show at the event.

“We wanted it to be beneficial to us, but also beneficial to them,” Erickson said. “We kept it pretty open-ended with who chose what, and how they interpreted that style. We gave them the mood board and then they went wild.”

The day started inside, showcasing and highlighting the variations of decor and styles one can choose from should they have their reception at an indoor venue, then moved outdoors, to showcase what outdoor venues Iowa State has to offer. 

Several models were also at the event to show off some of the dresses, supplied by Modern Dress, located in Boone, Iowa.

“I work at Modern Dress, and we brought all the bridal gowns and bridesmaids dresses, and then they asked us to be a part of it, too,” said Ashlee Moorman, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) student and Modern Dress employee. Moorman is studying nursing at DMACC, and plans to attend Iowa State to complete her Bachelor’s degree.

While Modern Dress supplied a variety of dresses, there will always be certain styles that remain popular with brides.

“Lace is always going to be in,” Moorman said. “It kinda changes. You’ll see more traditional [lace], what you think of when you think of lace. And now, what we’re seeing is it would still be called lace, but it’s more like modern. But long sleeves are really in, and a lot of people like low backs, strapless [styled necklines] is kinda fading out.”

Vendors find the styled shoots beneficial for their company, for marketing and advertising purposes.

“The main thing for styled shoots is marketing, so that’s the one thing we wanted to utilize this styled shoot for,” said Morgan Tjarks, director at Weddings by Aspire. “We haven’t done a lot, since we just started in January, so we’ve loved that we could show what we’re able to do.”

Tjarks and co-worker Alexis Garland are Iowa State alums, and both studied event management. Now, the pair works at Weddings by Aspire. There, they design events, whether it be weddings or bridal showers, they provide everything needed decor-wise at the event.

“It’s even super cool that we’re graduates from Iowa State that when they reached out we were like ‘oh my gosh we have to do it,’” Garland said.

Trying to provide more for the newly engaged couple looking to have their wedding at Iowa State, Erickson also plans to have more events tailored to showcasing all that Iowa State has to offer when it comes to planning your wedding.