Betrothed Boutique exiting wedding-gown game
Tuxedo service to remain

By Jake Meister - Enterprise Staff

Sept. 14, 2017

 Betrothed Boutique is holding a liquidation sale after its owner Kristy Zingsheim recently announced it would be closing. The shop had sold wedding and prom gowns for nine years.
Jake Meister/Enterprise Staff

OCONOMOWOC — Betrothed Boutique owner Kristy Zingsheim said the shop will discontinue its nine-year practice of selling wedding and prom gowns, citing the increasing tribulations online shopping has given small businesses of its variety, as well as changes in her life.

The store’s liquidation sale began Sept. 7 and Zingsheim will keep the business in operation until all gowns and accessories are sold. She stressed that all customers who have stored items or items on order will have those requests filled.

After the liquidation sale wraps up, Zingsheim will continue to rent tuxedos and operate her floral store, Modern Bloom, out of the 203 E. Wisconsin Ave. storefront. Sue’s Tayloring will also continue to function at that location. Each of the businesses will maintain the same hours of operation.

Zingsheim said the decision to wrap up the gown selling didn’t happen overnight. She said small businesses have been ravaged by online sales for years.

Fittingly, Zingsheim had to pause during her interview with the Enterprise so she could field a call in which the person on the other end said they had been in talks with a few wedding gown businesses that were closing just that day.

Same wedding focus, different business model

Zingsheim’s departure from the sale of wedding gowns will allow her to devote more time on a new business venture.

In October, Zingsheim will begin leasing and renovating the site of the former Ixonia Fireman’s Hall, N8345 Park St., with the goal of opening a new bridal venue there next spring.

“Chivaree on Park” will host weddings, ceremonies, and receptions in the historic building which was built by the Ixonia Volunteer Fire Department in 1949. The building was sold to the Town of Ixonia in exchange for a payment of $50,000 a year spread out over 10 years. The last payment was made earlier this year.

In May, the Ixonia Town Board voted to accept Zingsheim’s bid to lease the facility.

As one might expect, the wedding gown game is quite different from the bridal venue business.

Zingsheim said a popular theme in the area is the rustic barn wedding. While it’s favored by many, she doesn’t like the idea. Zingsheim said these refurbished barns typically lack indoor plumbing, heating and air conditioning — things she believes any wedding venue needs.

With the old Ixonia Fireman’s Hall, Zingsheim will give her customers these amenities in a setting she describes as “industrial chic.”

Zingsheim plans to keep many of the hall’s redeeming traits intact — features she describes as “vintage nostalgic touches.”

Return of the dance

To the amusement of many, Zingsheim will keep the famed all-wood dance floor that the volunteer fire department installed during the initial build. The smooth wood was once the focal point of the hall’s social gatherings, especially on Sundays when the polka dance seemed to wrap the whole town up in a festival of groove.

What was dubbed the final dance at the hall occurred in April. However, that event now looks more like the beginning of a short hiatus as Zingsheim has expressed a desire to restore the polka dance.