La Boutique Nostalgie provides vintage styles for weddingsWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Not many wedding planners started their own faith, specialize in vintage-style weddings or spent 15 years as a psychiatric nurse — but Heather Zeller is unique.
She started the Genoa-based La Boutique Nostalgie in December 2011. About two weeks ago, Zeller moved her wedding planning business, which offers full design and day-of coordination, from her home to her French-styled studio nearby. Although vintage-inspired wedding are popular now, the theme doesn’t go out of fashion, Zeller said.
“Vintage is timeless. It’s classic; it never goes out of style and it exudes romance,” she said. “Clients that come to me have an appreciation of history.”
Zeller, who offers to go on appointments with clients and has recommended vendors, has been told that she is the only vintage wedding planner in Ohio. She said many vintage weddings have a 1920s feel, but vintage can also mean pre-Victorian or all the way up to the 1950s.
In addition to providing floral services, Zeller can customize and perform ceremonies for couples. She and a friend started the Divinitist Order, which honors the divine in each person. Zeller called it, “more of movement than a religion.”
The Order primarily does weddings, but Zeller said people have expressed interest in monthly meetings. Zeller, who was ordained in 2001, performed a commitment ceremony at Toledo Pride last year for 10 same-sex couples.
“It was like a utopia. It was a real show of unity in the Toledo community,” she said.
She has traveled to other Ohio cities for other same-sex ceremonies and has plans to attend the Youngstown Pride event in March.
“The only way we’re going to start getting to the point where we can live in peace is respecting that everyone is on their own path,” she has said.
Through La Boutique Nostalgie, Zeller can also arrange for antiques to be on the wedding site and she has several decorative items like lanterns and mercury glass available. In addition, she offers customized “memory tables” with black-and-white pictures of the couple’s family in vintage frames to be displayed at the wedding.
Zeller has 12 weddings currently booked and big plans in the works for her studio, including painting it from red to green. She hopes to grow an English garden where couples could have outdoor ceremonies by her studio and maybe build a gazebo as well. In the future, she and her husband of eight years may also “join forces” and open a winery on the property.
“I learned a lot this past year with what we do,” she said. Zeller also recently hired new assistants for La Boutique Nostalgie, which was a WeddingWire Bride’s Choice for 2013 honoree and featured in The Knot Ohio wedding magazine.
For full wedding design, Zeller recommended contacting her about nine months to a year before the wedding. For day-of coordination or for the Order’s services, she advised getting in touch about three months before the big day.
Zeller, a Wharton, W. Va. native, moved to the Toledo area at 22 to work at Mercy St. Charles Hospital. The self-taught planner got into design when friends noticed her knack for floral and interior design.
She said her work as a psychiatric nurse helps her in her new role.
“Things that maybe would get other people really upset or flustered, I can handle the stress,” she said.
Juli and Keri Samiec used La Boutique Nostalgie for their Sept. 29, 2012 wedding at Stone Oak Country Club in Holland. Juli said she appreciated Zeller’s “one-stop shop” approach.
She said she and her husband have always loved the vintage look. For their wedding, Juli wanted to mimic an Ethan Allen commercial that interwove indoor and outdoor elements.
“[Zeller] put her Midas touch to everything,” Juli said of her big day. “It was a full moon that night. It was extraordinary. She had these chandeliers hanging over this roaring fireplace outside.”
La Boutique Nostalgie’s rates are flexible, but design/planning starts at about $1,500 and day-of coordination starts at about $800.
For more information, visit laboutiquenostalgie.com.