4B - Thursday, October 6, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 1B
cuisine for guests during football
Since the Athletic Depart-
ment's announcement, several
groups have booked events and
photo opportunities on the field
and at the Stadium Club. With
four events in October, this
opportunity is quickly gaining
popularity, as Michigan Stadi-
um has a packed schedule in the
upcoming summer months.
"Our winter months are a lit-
tle slower, but in June, July and
August, we're pretty busy with
weddings and some other corpo-
rate conference dinners," Hep-
Ana Skidmore, the principle
event planner of TwoFoot Cre-
ative, an eventcplanning company
in the Ann Arbor area, recently
booked her first wedding recep-
tion at the Stadium Club for next
"Weddings in the Big House
are obviously for people who
love the University of Michigan,"
Skidmore said. "The clients I
have booked for next year don't
want to go crazy over Michigan,
but because they're in the Sta-
dium Club, there will be a giant
block 'M' staring at everyone
from the stadium. obviously,
they want Michigan to be a part
of the wedding, but not all of the
From a planner's perspective,
Skidmore said there's a fine line
that's easy to cross when plan-
Michigan League weddings are an elegant yet affordable on-campus alternative.
ning themed weddings.
"You need to be careful not
to go overboard, because then it
becomes cheesy and it becomes a
celebration of Michigan and not
the fact that they're getting mar-
But Skidmore also noted that
it's very easy to plan a themed
wedding with class. She sug-
gested warm mahogany seating
and gold or copper linens to sub-
tly and tactfully tie in maize and
blue to the occasion.
When Skidmore was planning
her own wedding in 2007, she
tried to get married in the Big
House. Her husband, a recruiter
for the football team at the time,
spoke to the department, but it
wasn't an option.
"We did get on the field for
pictures ... but that was the clos-
est we could get," Skidmore said.
"I think what they're trying to
do now, bringing the Michigan
experience to people who might
never have had it before, is really
cool because you might never
get tobe in a suite or on the field
Sophisticated elements can make a wedding University-themed without overdoing it.
Big House unless you're we still went, and I proposed
d to a wedding." afterwards."
After Ley said "yes" and the
Something maize, wedding planning began, it
something blue wasn't long before they picked
a venue. The couple is getting
ny University alums have married in the Pendleton Room
ached Skidmore with the of the Michigan Union and will
to incorporate Michi- host the reception in the Union's
ito their ceremony, even if Ballroom. Ley recognized that a
e not in the Big House. big advantage of a historical loca-
lot of people use 'The Vic- tion like the Union is the level of
is their grand entrance, or school spirit already associated
d of table numbers (at the with it.
ion), they'll choose plac- "Having it in the Union will
campus," Skidmore said. automatically make our wedding
t happens is, they went to kind of themed because of its
, here, they met here and location - we won't need tacky
e both from different plac- things like blue and yellow bal-
t they want to get married loons to incorporate Michigan,"
because that's where they Ley said.
According to Ley, almost
romance Skidmore everything in the wedding and
bed is exactly what hap- reception will be white, but the
to Chris Best and Katha- 200 guests will still see a few
Ley. Both Ph.D. students hints of maize and blue from the
University's department University.
dustrial and operational The couple has tastefully
eering, they are currently slipped maize and blue into dis-
process of planning their tinct components of the day. At
ng, which is set for May 5, the reception, The Victors will
be played, there will be a maize
e met here, so it makes and blue ball pit in the kids' area,
(to get married here). It's and a specialty maize and blue
sly place we've ever been cocktail - a blue drink with a
er," Ley said. lemon garnish - will be offered
t proposed to Ley last Jan- to adult guests.
it the State Theater, where Other touches feature a three-
vent on their first date the tiered cake that will showcase
efore. the couple's time together. The
.e problem was that the lower two tiers will feature Best
only shows two movies at and Ley's heritage, using flags
," Best said. "We went to from Ecuador and Germany. The
Black Swan' because the highest tier will have a Michigan
ative was 'Blue Valentine' flag.
ch ends in divorce. So even For Best and Ley, the Union is
h it's a depressing movie a logical location for the theme of
their wedding because of its sig-
nificance to the University, but
it holds financial appeal as well.
According to Ley, the couple
would have considered getting
married in the Big House, but
the cost to rent the available ven-
ues wastoo extravagant for their
"The Union is only, like,
$2,000 for the rental of both
rooms, and you get some rental
discounts if you're a student,"
On another side of the Diag,
the Michigan League is also an
affordable University venue for a
Ann Cassel, a 2011 graduate of
the University and bride-to-be,
will marry 2010 alum and col-
lege sweetheart Brian Igoe at the
League this May. Both French
horns in the Michigan Marching
Band, the couple met and began
dating when Cassel was a fresh-
According to Cassel, while
on a date after her graduation,
Igoe took her on a detour to the
Bell Tower, where he proposed.
Because the University has been
such a large part of their rela-
tionship, it will be a prominent
part of their wedding ceremony
"It was our way of life for the
last four or five years," Cassel
said about their time at the Uni-
versity. "We're huge football fans
and it just means so much to both
of us. Without having us both go
here, none of this would be hap-
A maize and blue color scheme
and yellow flower arrangements
revolve heavily around their con-
nection to the University and the
marching band. One of Cassel's
ideas for table centerpieces uses
old marching band music like
"The Victors," "Let's Go Blue,"
and "Fanfare" as table numbers.
Besides the bride and groom,
the majority of the wedding
party is closely tied to the Uni-
versity as well.
"All of my bridesmaids were
with me in the marching band,"
Surprisingly, Cassel and Igoe's
participation in marching band
is one of the reasons that Cassel
and Igoe chose not to get mar-
ried in the Big House.
"The thing is, because we've
gotten to do so much in the Big
House, we've already made
important memories there," Can-
Memories might be the big-
gest part of what make weddings
so majestic. Despite unending
weeks of preparation to create
a bride's (or groom's) dreams
of the perfect day, vows will
be exchanged, the cake will be
eaten, and the last guests will
leave. What lasts and will be
remembered are two people who
have a profound connection to
For Best and Ley, Cassel an
Igoe and many other couples,
experiencing these moments at
the University, a place that keeps
the memories of so many people,
can only heighten an already
See a multimedia pieceabout
this story on
Many couples choose the 'U' for their weddings because of their memories here.
From Page 3B
Wey said the evaluation por-
tion is not only helpful for those
three speakers, but also for all
those in the audience. It's an
opportunity to see what tech-
niques worked better than others
and which ones to start incorpo-
rating in their own speech-giving.
Many suggestions focus on
improvement of tonality, which,
much like singing, is fundamen-
tal for speech-giving. Aguilar
said the way he improved this is
by imagining he's trying to speak
specifically to the last person in
the audience or even to the back
Another common suggestion
is improved eye contact. For this,
members are told to look at each
person, holding eye contact for
three full seconds before moving
on to the next until the speech is
Yet another common critique
involves body language, vocabu-
lary and removal of filler words.
The best way to improve this,
among other skills, is practice.
Finally, remembering a speech
can sometimes be difficult, so in
order to facilitate memorization,
members are encouraged to use
acronyms to remember the top-
ics and to use the stage asa visual
"It's nice to stay firmly plant-
ed. It shows that you're a strong
speaker," Rarus said. "We also
encourage (the members) to use
Rarus herself uses what she
calls a "visual timeline," where
she will move from space to
space on the stage as she transi-
tions from speech introduction,
main arguments and conclusion.
Many of the Toastmasters
members started off terrified of
speaking in front of an audience,
but soon progressed to being able
to sign up for a speech on the
spot and give it without worries,
"When I first started (giving
speeches), I would be thinking
about everything," Wey said.
"What am I supposed to say
next? Am I looking at everyone
in the audience? But now, I just
focus on the audience's reactions
and having fun with it."
Members are given the free-
dom to choose their speech top-
ics and are generally encouraged
to speak on something they are
passionate about. Members tend
to migrate toward personal sto-
ries or commentaries about life.
"In Toastmasters we're very
fortunate because people feel
that in this environment they
can really open up," Rarus said.
"(The speeches) are very per-
sonal and reveal some very deep
secrets and things that are very
close to them or people they
Despite the group's affiliation
with Ross, participation is open
to all. Aguilar said they've had
members ranging from students
to doctors to University affili-
He added that members are
generally divided in to two
groups: those who stick around
for a while, learn some skills and
leave, and those whose lives are
changed by both the skills they
acquire and the group itself.
Aguilar said he's one of the latter.
Toastmasters conducts Table Topics, in which members give impromptu talks.
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