Severson to a leanger

As the bride, when the wedding is over, there are many things that still need to be done–like changing your name. The name change is a big deal and there are many steps that are involved in converting an identity you have been born with to a brand new one. It isn’t just practicing your signature and changing the name on your checks anymore…

I knew that changing my name after decades of being a Severson would be hard, and actually wasn’t really looking forward to it. As a designer your name is your brand, your digital footprint. I branded myself MNdesignGal after starting a Twitter handle for myself and other social channels soon followed, so transitioning in the social space actually helped it become pretty seamless.


For email, I secured months before the wedding to make sure my new name wouldn’t need a number 69 or 21 after it to make it unique.

My Google + account and circles was luckily pretty easily transferable with all the attached history with them. It takes about 7 days, but once that is up and running you can shut down your old maiden name Google+. You do lose your Google +’s on webpages from the past name but that can be quickly made-up for right? Right.
Also you can only combine accounts twice in a lifetime, so beware. [As of December 2013]

google+tricia youtube tricia

YouTube videos and history can NOT be transferred or combined to a new account. So no more TriciaJo22 from 2006, it will now be TriciaJoSeverson connected through my new Gmail account. All videos need to be re-uploaded losing your stats and views. This leaves yourself wondering if should keep both accounts active. #WhatAPain

Facebook name change is easy, my question is how long do I keep my maiden up in as “formally known as (Severson)”? 6 months? A few years? Forever?

Work email transfer will never be perfect, a co-worker will always reference you with your maiden name because of the history the email account will have. I will always need to have an email re-direct from the maiden name. Google chat doesn’t let you change you name, everyone would need to delete you and re-add you with your new name (that is a waste of time and who will do that?).  I’m also not putting on the bottom of my signature ” as of November 16, please refer me as Tricia Leanger” – who am I Prince? Formally known as? No ones reads a signature anyway.

US social security office line

Finally, the social security card change. Get ready ladies for a fun little day trip. I found the 6-county area office that is off of Chicago Ave downtown Minneapolis. Find your location before heading over. In most cities it’s a different office than your friendly and local DMV (I learned the hard way). I thought it was such a great idea to take off work the Monday after my honeymoon to mark this one-off my TO-DO list. From the research I have had, there is never a good time to get there. I stood in line for 2 hours (outside in November) then made my way through a metal-detector and got questioned by an officer (for real). Then I waited over 3 hours in a crowded DMV-type-office with about 100 other people. Ladies don’t worry, the only times you have to go there is if you lose your card or change your name. Thankfully hospitals file for your new baby social security cards.

us social security office 1

What to bring to the Social Security office:
– Wedding License
– Driver’s License
– Current social security card
– Hand sanitizer
– Something to drink (you may be able to sneak something in)
– A snack
– Your phone / iPad fully charged

TIP: Get 2 copies of your wedding license when you go in with your fiancé. It will only be $10 more. This way you can send it to get your Passport changed and even your Social Security without being too nervous about losing the only copy you have. 

Overall the name change has been successful and I have re-branded myself.




Cheers to a new name and an exciting time in any gal’s life. It only happens once–right?!

your MN Design Gal TRICIA jo leanger

a new bride

Wedding Follow-up (the more pictures post)

As many of you know, being a MN Design Wife, the post-wedding keeps me busy with  organizing the photos (5,000 to be exact). Also I have edited my own video for the entire wedding day and trip.

I have turned the wedding website into a lifestyle blog that features post-wedding and ongoing life milestones

lovinrlife capture

I also wanted to follow-up to give Esther Bernal Photography the shout-out it deserves! Esther and Oscar (Wife and Husband team) gave the energy, experience and confidence a Minnesota Bride needed. Esther brought-on her romance being also an editorial photographer for Maxim Magazine and Oscar never left the guy’s side all afternoon. Getting to have both their experience and lens’ on us just made it pretty damn perfect.


We met a few days before the wedding, the second day after we arrived in Cabo, at Villa Valentina’s, where I had seen Esther take pictures in a previous shoot. It has the charm of true Mexico and it would also give my groom and I some short time alone before the ceremony. The venue was full of life and some of those pictures were our favorites for sure.

I would highly recommend Esther and Oscar for future Cabo weddings– they are expecting their first bambino any day. Send them well wishes and great prayers.

Here are just a few of the Bride’s favorites from our November 15, 2013 wedding day captured by Esther and Oscar.


IMG_7492 IMG_7438IMG_7624IMG_5567_thedip IMG_5679 IMG_7262_ashme IMG_8299 IMG_6061 IMG_6497 IMG_6764effect_portrait IMG_8602 IMG_8316 IMG_7985_MandyJT IMG_8000_lindslin IMG_8012_marleneandme IMG_8024_camandtinaus parentsbest IMG_8179bw IMG_7992_jimandjess IMG_8043_ashbrianwithflowers IMG_6984eff_holdingparents IMG_6110eff IMG_6000_KTdust_us IMG_5233 onthebeach_nosetonoce IMG_8263eff.a76ef047d8d24c03823acdf41c4ee7c8 IMG_8077_cheerswedparty.a76ef047d8d24c03823acdf41c4ee7c8

IMG_8146_jump_SM IMG_8944Thanks again for letting this newly wed showcase some of her memories. Remember to Like and Share Esther’s work properly by tagging this blog post from ( )–even better tag Esther Bernal by placing her URL in your post.

Dreaming of Los Cabos,
your Cabo Bride – Tricia 


#CaboWedWeek – 1 week away

Ladies and Gentlemen the official final week before the wedding has arrived.

Not only am I just 7 days, 18 hours and 34 mins away from becoming a Mrs., but my bags are just about packed for the exciting adventure over to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Life is truly good.
It has been my motto the last few days because I’m so incredibly thankful for the supportive friends and family, fun-loving co-workers and awesome network of talented people. Life is good. Destination weddings have their own unique energy surrounding them and I can appreciate the candid thoughts, kind surprises and packages to my door and positive wishes from all.

Steve asked me to marry him here November 30, 2012. oneknee_Nov302012

And we will be getting married here November 15, 2013.013_Los-Cabos-Mexico-by-AlecT10

Please keep us in your prayers as we travel with 21 guests to this incredible destination.





Now I’m off to get married!
your MN design gal – forever a gal, and soon to be a wife


The Wedding Invites

Some little girls dream of their wedding dress and the flowers while this bride-to-be has been dreaming of her letterpress self-designed invites since she was 12! My letterpress dream came true with the help of Kim from Vandalia Street Press.

Kim rocked her press skills on her 1956 Heidleberg Windmill. This was a referral of referral of a referral (for real). Thanks to Gina Nacey from Adventure Creative Group in St Cloud and Mary from Bruno Press for leading me to Kim.

The planning began one sunny afternoon. As you can see from our tabletop instagram, we meant business.




The color had to be right. The PMS was 485 and we added some transparency and yellow to it to tone it down to ensure it wasn’t a “red” but a watermelon.

The paper I chose was a Pearl White Crane letterpress paper at 220 weight. I actually ended up buying the envelopes online at Amazon because I needed that side open in the same Crane stock and the local paper store only sold it in hundreds and I needed only 40.






Very excited as we loaded the plates on the press after the final tests. Did you know that simple text outlined PDF’s make the letterpress plates?


Thumbs-up for even the groom showing up to participate with this experience. He was the one asking the main questions too. Who knew?!






Have the professionals cut your invites too. Better then loosing the tip of your finger to your rusty exact knife from college. 20130605-164019.jpg

Invites are sent! What a relief!
It truly was a dream of mine, but feels good to have them out of my hands and into our bestest friends and closest family. The stamps were bought months ago and the coral and white tropical flowers were saved between the others to pull out the tropical theme and oranges and corals.


Stay away from printing the main invites yourself, between the overall printer maintenance, color correction and ink replacement nightmares and additional stress just let the experts do it. You can stick to making your own mini jars of M&M’s and shopping on Etsy.

The main event:

DSC02252 DSC02253 DSC02257 DSC02258 DSC02260 DSC02283

DSC02274 DSC02275

Copper letterpress plates mounted on wood from Owasso Graphics in Michigan. My design was just outlined and exported to a PDF to make these exact size plates for the press. I paid $20 more for the Copper because Magnesium just wasn’t as cool with the coloring and aging of the metal.

This will be a forever keepsake displayed in my office. Plus the groom’s favorite metal is Copper (wires though).

DSC02276 DSC02303 DSC02304 DSC02307 DSC02313 The Save Our Dates were sent out in April and were just the start to the branding of the wedding. They were printed digitally by Printer Mike Oslund from Daily Printing locally in Minneapolis.DSC02321 To help stay focused with the wedding brand. I created this 1-sheet style guide that outlines the colors, fonts and imagery.

Wedding Brand Sheet DSC02324

[design plug] I’m happy to help personalize your day because everyone deserves a one-of-a-kind invite experience. Remember invites can be printed online (scary but true) on a traditional off-set printer or even-handed-off to your local guy. Letterpress was just my little dream.

Bride-To-Be and Your MN Design Gal

Questions? Ideation? Email me.

My work here is done! Wait- we have wedding day materials now to do...

My work here is done! Wait- we have wedding day materials now to do…

Snow to Sand

Excited to announce to my friends + followers that we have found our wedding location and have the wedding date! Steve and I will be going from the Minnesota cold to the beaches of Los Cabos, Mexico to get married on Friday, November 15, 2013. We are excited about our adventure this year and can’t wait to experience this with our close family and bestest friends. 

Snow to Sand

If you have ideas, suggestions, travel tips and/or vendors you would recommend me to use for the wedding day and festivities please reach out and drop me a quick line.

We truly are Lovin R life!

Your future Cabo Bride,

Cold Feet

The winter chills has set-in here in Minneapolis. The snow came later than normal and now the cold temperatures have greeted us all through-out almost day in February. (Did I just open my blog post with talking about the weather?)

The snowless day of November 30th will be forever marked as my engagement day. How much does your life, thoughts and life challenges change after you accept a marriage proposal. The month of December was full of Holiday cheer, gushing over the future plans of the big day and random thoughtful advice from others. January brought lots of wedding investigating and planning between the groom-to-be and I. Visiting at least 5 venues every Saturday and then attending my first-ever Bridal convention show left my head spinning. Trying to stay organized, I quickly started spreadsheets and alphabetical order binders full of the possible vendors and venues to work with.

Confident the plans would go fast, easy and smoothly, I’m now stuck at February 10th with no theme, venue, dress, photography, DJ or even church booked. How could this be? How could this experienced party planner not even have her own wedding ready to send out the save the dates?

What occurred to me late January, is that it truly is harder to plan for yourself then it is to plan for others. Maybe it’s the money that you actually spend is yours, and that the special day has so many gathered expectations that every where you turn your ideas compile into this never-ending TO-DO list.

At this very moment, I feel in a good place, knowing that my fiancé and I have a simple plan in the works and we are excited to gather the final details to share with family and close friends.

Until then, enjoy the engagement picture highlights. Photos are presented by Trina Severson, she is a bright-eyed, down-to-earth inspiring-photographer that not only has the powerful camera but the eyes behind the lens to catch those moments. I compiled a few highlights to hold you:

Photos taken In Brandon, Minnesota by Trina

Photos taken In Brandon, Minnesota by Trina

Severson Street Sign

Severson Road in Brandon, Minnesota, where the Bride is from. Photos taken by Trina

Our proposal site shoot, Rice Park in St Paul, Minnesota

Our proposal site shoot, Rice Park in St Paul, Minnesota

Rice Park Proposal moment by Trina

Rice Park Proposal moment by Trina

Snow playing

Snow playing in Rice Park, by Trina Severson

We aren’t getting cold feet, lets just say the cold weather has set back our planning a bit. Stay tuned because the best is yet to come!

your MN design gal

What direction will the wedding go?

Wedding Planning Begins (?!$#)

Well, the Holidays have almost come to a close (one more Christmas today), and my mind is on wedding planning! You will be able to help this MN design gal.

I’m just starting the reception venue process and need your help finding design gal inspired venues that have all or some of my first-thoughts:

-Original and Unique (like me, well, I’m sure every other bride says this)
-Lots of Architecture and Views (why be stuck in a black hole for 5 hours?)
-Location doesn’t actually matter, Minneapolis or Stillwater, Northern MN or Wisconsin… this gal is open
-Priced for a budget
-Venue must be inside with outside options (Come on it’s Minnesota and don’t need Mother Nature stress)
-Eat. Dance & Be Married!
-100 people + (numbers are still being calculated but small closest friends & family)

Round tables in a classy room? Lights matter...

Round tables in a classy room? Lights matter…

Is it a night club location or event center?

Is it a night club location or event center?

Vineyards in Stillwater?

Vineyard side?

Look forward to your suggestions and thoughts! Send me a wedding venue tweet to: @MNdesignGal and I will retweet and blog about my top picks.

Also, once vendors get secured I will post them on the

Wish me luck starting the planning process… because your along for the ride readers!

designing a wedding gal

Pin that.

Ok, I’ll admit it my new addiction is Pinterest! Fun, easy way to organize your thoughts and random LIKES. Please don’t judge.

Today I used it for some quick lunch shopping. Got to explore fashion picks and trends that designers had posted before heading to the store. Then I organized them into BOARDS “Things that I had that need to use them like”, or “NEED to buy”.

Yes, you are seeing some wedding favorites in the mix, it is purely because what little girl isn’t programmed to dream of her wedding? Might as well be prepared.
Who lead me to Pinterest? My aunt Kara and girlfriends kept sending me requests to join.

Pinterest also have an iPhone App. Guess what I’m downloading tonight?

Today’s lunch shopping trip led me to Forever21 and I spent $140 on 7 very trendy pieces to spice up my closet! Thanks Pinterest!

Happy Pinning!

mn design gal