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Wedding Rentals

Mount Vernon Shop focuses on wedding rentals, decor

By Deborah Neyens, correspondent

MOUNT VERNON – Jo Kutcher got into the wedding planning business almost by chance.

“A friend of a friend asked me to coordinate their wedding,” recalled Kutcher. “She knew I had that spark inside of me. I just went for it and got in straight away. “

The former first grade teacher and mother who stayed at home coordinated all aspects of the wedding, from dressing the bridal party to receiving the 300 people at a local hotel.

From that first wedding in 2012, Kutcher’s first business, Unveiled Event and Design, was born.

“I thought I might have one wedding a year,” she said. “But from there it’s completely snowy. The next year I did four, and after that I did more than ten weddings a year. “

For five years, Kutcher handled all aspects of other people’s weddings and special events, from booking the venues and vendors to creating the decor and coordinating the day of activities. But with three children busy in sports and other activities, she found the time expended too much.

Kutcher’s decision to back down last year resulted in a new business, Old Brick Manor, which is focused on event rental, design and decoration.

“Last year I started looking at all of the inventory, which I was slowly building up, and found that I had a lot of things,” she said. “I also looked at what aspects of the events I really love and that was the decoration and the design.”

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Kutcher’s new business offerings rent out their wide range of decorative items such as vases and candle holders, as well as vintage items such as chairs, benches and serving dishes. Rental fees include free delivery to Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and the surrounding area.

In addition to rental, Kutcher also offers event design and decoration services. These services include everything from setting up an event decor according to the specifications of a bride to the subsequent demolition to the design of unique centerpieces, backdrops and floor plans.

“My brides are so different,” she said. “Many already come in with a list. They know exactly what they want but don’t have the time to do it themselves. Others have no idea what they want so I’ll get an idea of ​​their style and design something just for them. “

To do justice to the new business, Kutcher and her husband built a small showroom at the back of their large brick home in Mount Vernon. She uses the space to display rental items and meet with brides to review design ideas. The showroom is open to the public on Thursdays or by appointment.

Kutcher said she doesn’t miss the stress that comes with coordinating all aspects of someone else’s big day.

“I’m passionate about design and I find things that people love,” she said. “I am in heaven. I am real.”

l Do you know a company that has been in operation for less than a year and could create a fascinating “first floor”? Contact [email protected]

At a glance

• Owner: Jo Kutcher

• Shop: Old Brick Manor

• Address: 1111 Palisades Rd. SW, Mount Vernon

• Telephone: (319) 560-0233

• Email: [email protected]

• Website: oldbrickmanor.com

By Deborah Neyens, correspondent

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