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Western Reserve graduate starts wedding, event decor rental business

Cary Ashby • Apr 26, 2019 at 3:00 PM

BERLINVILLE — The inspiration to start Petticoat Junction Weddings and Events came from Michelle Finley’s experience of “doing one too many family weddings.”

“It kinda started with my niece in my back yard. I threw her a family get-together. She was from Chicago and we all couldn’t go there, so I threw her an event at my house. She is a decorator by trade, so I was kind of afraid to decorate her wedding a little bit, but I really studied what she liked and what her inspiration was, so I can repeat nearly anything I see,” said the Collins resident.

Finley takes those same things into consideration when customers rent decor from her. She said everything she has in stock is flexible and can be changed with little fuss. 

For example, the Western Reserve High School graduate can paint doors, which can be used as a decorative entry, to match the event or her customer’s needs.

“I have windows we can put seating charts on; we can put menus on (them). It’s really about their inspiration. I have plenty of vases to create flower arrangements. I have plenty of lighting that you don’t need cords for,” said Finley, who “dolled up the place” for a surprise birthday party for a 90-year-old friend.

Petticoat Junction Weddings and Events, which offers decor to be rented at reasonable costs, will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The business is located at 5897 E. Ohio 113, at the intersection of Ohio 61 and Ohio 113 in Berlinville. Visitors can park in front or at the side of the garages and if those spaces are full, parking is available across the street.

“There will be yummy cupcakes and maybe even some drawings,” Finley said.

The business site has family history.

“My grandparents owned the building and after they moved and downsized, I bought it,” Finley said.

Whether it’s a wedding, business event, children’s birthday party or another social event, there’s a good chance that Petticoat Junction has something a customer might need.

“I even did my brother’s memorial because we had to jazz it up a bit,” said Finley, who used greenery from a pine tree her brother frequented as decorations.

The business owner prides herself on being intentional and providing what her customers want.

“Whatever they want me to create, I can create,” she said. “I work with them, in the fact that if I don’t have it in stock and I think it’s something I can reuse anyway, I’ll probably go halfsies with them and then they don’t have to worry about getting rid of that (item) when they’re done.”

Finley always is looking for items at garage sales and online that she could repurpose. For example, in her show room is a two-sided utility sink she painted which can be filled with ice to serve cold drinks.

How soon does a customer need to contact Petticoat Junction before an event?

“I can whip it together in about two weeks — sometimes even a week. It’s just depending on what I’ve got going on, only because I have a lot in stock and I can pull (what I need),” Finley said.

For prices, more information, call Michelle Finley at 419-706-1590.

“I generally work 11 (a.m.) to 3 (p.m.) every day, but I can be reached after that. We can set up private viewings.”

In addition to renting decor, Finley is willing to be a mother-figure for brides who don’t have a mom.

“I would volunteer to be their mother on their wedding day for them and take them dress shopping, spend the time with them and help them plan their wedding at either little or no cost. It’s just important to me that if they want a mother-type figure there, that I would be there for them,” she said.

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