Listen to the Podcast About The Broz

Podcast for The Broz

Podcast Summary

On the recent episode of Felix and Fingers podcast, host Alyssa Jones welcomed guest Deborah Lynn, a representative from The Broz. Established in 1898 by Wenceslaus Broz, a Bohemian immigrant and versatile man, The Broz boasts of its rich architectural history and intricate designs. Some of its memorable features include hand-carved pillars and tin ceilings, truly showcasing the opulence of a bygone era.

Following numerous renovations since its days as renowned Schumacher, The Broz has restored much of its original historic charm. Today, it offers an elegant banquet hall that can accommodate up to 300 people, a 1920s bar, a cozy brick room popular for dances, and a comfortable lounge with patio.

According to Deborah, the current wedding industry is seeing a trend towards smaller, more intimate ceremonies, with many opting for adult-only celebrations. One interesting aspect is the growing popularity of Halloween weddings, complete with picturesque black wedding dresses.

Deborah highlighted that uniqueness is becoming key in modern weddings, with bridesmaids often choosing their own dresses within a certain color spectrum. Similarly, the tradition of the groom and groomsmen wearing tuxes has been evolving, with many opting for suits or even smart jeans and vest combinations.

Whether you’re planning a grand or intimate wedding, The Broz—with its rich history, classic charm, and adaptivity to modern trends—is sure to make your special day unforgettable.

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

Podcast Transcript

Alyssa (00:25)
Hey everybody, it’s Alyssa from Felix and Fingers and I’m here today with Deborah from The Broz. And we’re super excited to have her on here. I’m really excited. I got to talk to you earlier this week and I’m just excited to share all of everything that you have to offer to everybody that’s listening to this podcast. So welcome.

Deborah Wagner (00:44)
Thank you, I’m happy to be here.

Alyssa (00:47)
Awesome, we’re very happy to have you. First of all, can you just kind of give me a little brief introduction about your venue?

Deborah Wagner (00:55)
Sure, so The Broz was built in 1898 by Wenceslaus Broz. He was a Bohemian immigrant. He was a school teacher. He was undertaker, built furniture and came over here from Bohemia, built this with the architect being…

at least architect firm of Cass Gilbert, he did design the Minnesota State Capitol building. So when you come in, there are a lot of really unique and beautiful features. There’s a lot of hand carved pillars, there’s tin ceilings. In 1898, there was running water and electricity, which is not the normal time. It used to be Schumacher. So a lot of people knew about Schumacher. It has gone over.

Alyssa (01:31)
That’s huge, yeah.

Deborah Wagner (01:40)
Going through a ton of renovations since Schumacher’s. Schumacher’s was on Minnesota bound on channel 11. They would do the outdoor bound or whatever. So there are paintings up the staircase here that were from 1974 by an artist named Pipka. And that stayed from Schumacher’s. Everything else was kind of tried to bring back to what it was more in 1898. Paint.

Alyssa (01:41)

Deborah Wagner (02:09)
was taken off all of the wood, that kind of stuff. And then we have a banquet hall that can seat up to 300 people. Our bar can, it’s 1920s bar, so it’s just, it’s a beautiful bar. We have a brick room. Brick room was where most people have dances and in the winter people get married and they have like less than 150 people. They use that. The lounge, we have a patio. I mean, it’s just, it’s really a gorgeous venue and it’s been around, yeah, it’s been around for a long time.

Alyssa (02:34)
It is. And I think definitely for anybody listening, make sure to check out the website because the pictures are just absolutely, completely gorgeous. Can you tell me a little bit about what current trends you’re seeing in the wedding industry?

Deborah Wagner (02:45)

I don’t know that I’m seeing anything different. A lot of the weddings seem to be smaller than they used to be. A lot more weddings that don’t have children. Understand I have a lot of kids and most of the weddings I’ve gone to in my life, kids come to. A lot of the weddings aren’t like that anymore. A lot of the weddings are just the adults and most of them tend to be 100 to 150. I mean, we’ve had 300, we’ve had 340.

Alyssa (03:04)
He he.

Deborah Wagner (03:19)
But for the most part, they seem to be getting smaller and just inviting those people who family and close friends instead of having a larger wedding. So that would be, I think, the biggest thing. We’ve had a couple of weddings near Halloween. And when they’re near Halloween, they love to do Halloween. And then there’s black wedding dresses usually too. And they’re beautiful. I mean, they’re absolutely beautiful.

Alyssa (03:43)
I know I was just like scrolling on Pinterest earlier and I was like seeing all the different things coming up. What were you gonna say? I think you were about to say something, sorry.

Deborah Wagner (03:51)
Yeah, one other thing is, I know this has been different for the past several years.

but most of the bridesmaids and they just have to have the color. But sometimes they’re not even having the exact color. Just go out and find a black dress, go out and find a red dress. And a lot of grooms aren’t doing the tuxes. They are either buying suits or they’re, a lot of them will do jeans and a vest. So I mean, that’s something, I know that’s been happening more, but it’s just not the traditional way of that things used to be. So.

Alyssa (04:28)
Definitely, I wish at my aunt’s wedding they would have done that when my cousins are almost six feet tall and I am five feet tall and finding dresses that would actually work for all of us was like the most impossible task I’ve ever had. Awesome, well can you tell us just kind of about what a typical wedding day at your venue would look like?

Deborah Wagner (04:31)

Thank you.


Yeah, people come in between eight and nine in the morning. The

The contract is nine o ‘clock until midnight, but anybody who needs to come in at eight, it’s because of hair and makeup. So, so we always accommodate that. So people will come in, they’ll come in and it will, they’ll start out going upstairs. We have a bridal suite in a groom’s room. The women always arrive before the men. The men take 15 minutes to get ready. So, you know, they don’t have to be here that early. They usually are here by 10, but not necessarily eight or nine. They’ll go upstairs. They’ll start to get ready. Mom and dad will often

and set up. We have a hospitality room upstairs and so they’ll bring in things for mimosas and muffins and sandwiches and different things like that so people can eat and just relax and enjoy. A lot of brides are buying pajamas for or robes for their attendants and they’ll run around The Broz in their pajamas all day and you know silk pajamas usually is what it is and they really kind of just take over.

the venue and it’s almost like a home for the day before people get here. Once people get here it’s different. So that will happen until about noon and then at noon pictures will start happening.

you know, some of them will be full wedding party, some of them will just be bride and groom. The reveal is often done right behind me on these stairs. The bride will come down or come to the top of the stairs and the groom or the dad will be standing at the bottom. And you know, so they’ll do that with the first look. Everything continues to happen at three o ‘clock. I make bride and groom.

go upstairs or by 315 for sure, because people are going to start arriving. Weddings are typically between four and 430. And so once the wedding takes place, that’s if they’re here, some people choose to get married at their church, but if they get married here, they’re going to have it at four or 430. The ceremony is generally outside in the winter, obviously it’s inside. And it’s just kind of, you know, for Minnesota. After that, there’ll be a,

Alyssa (06:51)

Deborah Wagner (06:56)
an hour for a social hour usually. I start to push people, not push, but say it’s time to tap them on the shoulder, say it’s time to go find a spot to sit down and they’ll go sit down for the dinner. They’ll have their dinner after dinner. They come out and the dance is usually in the brick room, which is right over there. So the dance will generally be there and that’s

Alyssa (07:03)

Deborah Wagner (07:23)
you know, they just hang out there and they hang out in the old hotel part. When this was built, there was the Burroughs Hotel, there was a building, tiny building in between, and then there was what used to be like a mercantile. So the mercantile, what used to be like a mercantile is the banquet hall. Once the dinner is done, most people want to stay in what was the hotel because it just has so much character.

I mean, there’s just so many things that are carved, so much brick, so many different textures, gorgeous cobblestone patio, lots of green space, that kind of stuff. So that’s just kind of the day. And then by 1130, they’re tearing down, bars closed up, and the music has stopped. So anyway, very often though, the day before, almost always.

really, really rarely, September, October, maybe, people do not get to come in and decorate, but the rest of the months, people get to come in and decorate the day before. And so they’re here with all of their family the day before getting everything set up, which honestly, I enjoy more than the wedding. I love seeing the family come together. It’s just such a neat thing. Everybody comes together. Everyone’s decorating.

The bride is so much more relaxed after being able to decorate that day. And then the day of just totally focusing on the wedding and getting ready and the guests and just enjoy it so much more. So that is one of the things that we really try and make happen. I think I’ve only had two weddings since I’ve worked here that I haven’t been able to do that. And that’s because we had a Friday wedding as well. So.

Alyssa (09:03)
That’s huge. I mean, that’s probably like the number one thing that I hear Brad Degrooves talking about. It’s not being able to get into space before and how stressful that can sometimes make the day up. And so that’s such a big thing. And like, I laugh whenever you say like, seeing everybody come together, I’m like, my family would, you know, have something crazy playing on the radio. And, you know, like, I feel like that plays into the memories that you make so much on the day as well, for sure. And also speaking of memories, like,

Deborah Wagner (09:11)

Thank you.

Right? There is, yep, that’s totally.

It does. Yep.

Alyssa (09:33)
of that day. I just want to say again for anyone who’s like listening and not looking, the pictures are just absolutely stunning that are taken in the venue because there’s just, like you said, there’s so much character. There’s so much, like every single photo that I’ve seen is completely unique and also just like you can like feel like you are almost there in the room just by looking at the picture.

Deborah Wagner (09:57)
Yeah, it’s it is fun. I feel bad sometimes because I walk in the first time I walked in here. I was in awe. I mean, serious. I was like, oh my gosh, this is gorgeous. I still think it’s gorgeous. I just see it more often. And so, you know, it’s like going to the ocean. If you see the ocean every day, it’s still really cool. But it’s not the same as if you go once a year. So but beautiful.

Alyssa (10:17)
Absolutely. Awesome. Can you tell me like what’s a super fun, unique, like something that you’ve seen at a wedding recently that you were like, I maybe not would have like, I wouldn’t have thought of that, but that was such a cute idea or something.

Deborah Wagner (10:31)
You know, there are more people doing sparklers and stuff like that. A lot of popcorn bars, lots of candy just out and available, but some of the centerpieces are so beautiful. And that was, there was a…

So the cylinder candle holders, somebody filled those with baby’s breath and water and then floated a candle on top of that. So that was something that was very unique that I had not seen and was just absolutely gorgeous. So most of the other things, it’s candy, it’s different things. You know, a lot of people are doing things for people to take like canned koozies or a lot of those.

Alyssa (10:56)

Deborah Wagner (11:18)
glow sticks, but in the foam stuff is so they’ll get those and have their names on the outside of them. And just fun things like that. A lot of those kind of fun things. We did have one.

kind of silly wedding. I came in the next day, there were chicken feathers everywhere. They do the chicken dance at every single wedding. And they have these feather boas, and then they had all of these rubber chickens that they could pull and it would shoot out. So anyway, they had a great time. They had a wonderful time. So yeah.

Alyssa (11:50)
I love that. I love hearing about like little traditions like that. I found out actually recently somebody gave me the heads up that anybody who went to St. John’s University, that piano man is always the closer of their night. And so I heard, yeah, I heard apparently if you have anybody that went to that university in Minnesota that they will take off their pants. But when they play piano man at the end of the night and I said, I’m so glad as a dueling pianist, I’m so glad you gave me that warning.

Deborah Wagner (12:04)
Oh, didn’t know that.



Alyssa (12:19)
Um, so the first time that happened, I wouldn’t go.

Deborah Wagner (12:24)
That was interesting.

Alyssa (12:26)
Yes. But I think like different traditions and different fun things like that I think are like definitely what give every wedding so much character is like you can tell like I feel like those are the memories that you remember forever because those are the things that are so specific to the couple and their friends and their family and things like that.

Deborah Wagner (12:36)


We had one other wedding that, you know, most of the weddings are outside, but once in a while it’s raining and then it’s inside. This bride wanted it outside and it was misting and it would not stop. And I went outside, I’m trying to dry the benches off. I could not get them dry because it was raining too heavy. By the time I finished one, it was soaked. So anyway, she absolutely wanted it outside, which was great. I mean, they were just so laid back about it. So I thought, okay, I’m going to grab.

black plastic bags, garbage bags, and hand those out to people and they can sit on them or whatever. All of the pictures, all of everything, everybody was in a bag. I mean, like they wore them apart, used them as cape, put them over their heads. And I, it was wonderful because everybody was great with it. But more than that, I guarantee that they will talk about that wedding forever. And they won’t have to.

try and remember whose wedding was that, it’ll always be a memory because this doesn’t happen. But everything, some of those little funky things make it more memorable.

Alyssa (13:47)

Absolutely. I always say, like, the things that we always worry about going wrong. Sometimes those end up being the best, most memorable things, I feel like. And that ends up being the thing that we talk about for years and years. We laugh in my family because both my parents’ wedding and my aunt and uncle’s wedding, my grandpa announced the wrong name. My dad’s name is Curtis and my uncle’s name is Chris, and he mixed up the names at both weddings.

Deborah Wagner (14:01)

And it wasn’t on purpose.

Alyssa (14:23)
And it wasn’t on purpose. And then at my other aunt and uncle’s wedding, my dad announced it and he announced Cory and Angela. It’s Cody and Angela. So it’s become the new thing in my family. Like the groom’s name never announced right. And it’s become the funniest thing that we like laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh about for so many years.

Deborah Wagner (14:31)

Thank you.

Those kind of things are, yeah, but to accidentally do it to begin with, that’s hard to move down.

Alyssa (14:48)
Absolutely. Can you tell me like what if you had somebody who is just like at the beginning of starting their wedding planning journey? What would be like the biggest piece of advice you give them?

Deborah Wagner (15:01)
don’t worry about it. It’s going to be perfect. I mean, no matter what happens, it ends up being perfect. So many people get stressed to begin with. And once you have a venue, you have a venue, you know where you’re getting married, whether it’s at the venue or the church, and you have the food, everything else completely falls into place. And on the day of if things aren’t perfect, like you said, those some of those things are the most memorable, it really

It’s people think it takes a year to two years to plan a wedding. You can easily do it in six months. I mean, you really can if you can get the dress and if you can if you can get the venue, you can do it in that amount of time. So, you know, it’s just stress less. Enjoy this because you you know, you’re doing it once and it’s just such a such a special time and just don’t stress it.

Alyssa (15:55)
Absolutely. That’s such good advice, I feel like. I think that’s, anytime I’m talking to brides and grooms, I’m always like, enjoy the process of planning it. Let the people come in and help you and take those things off and let it be a team effort. And I think that really is when you see on the day of, whenever everything’s fun, everybody’s been working together. That’s just such a fun way to see it all come together.

Deborah Wagner (16:04)

Yeah, it definitely is.

Alyssa (16:26)
So I have one last question for you. And we’ve kind of talked a little bit just about your venue, about obviously how it’s such a character in itself, which I love. But if you had to pick the number one thing that you think makes your venue super unique, whether that’s in the way that you plan events or in the architecture itself, what do you think is the number one thing that makes it super unique?

Deborah Wagner (16:51)
I think it’s the architecture. I mean, it’s just such a beautiful space, but it’s also one of those places, you know, a lot of people want.

barn weddings right now or vineyard weddings, that kind of stuff. We have a ton of green space and we have indoor space. So when it is 90 degrees and humid outside, you get to come inside into air conditioning and to a absolutely gorgeous venue. And then as it cools off during the evening, you go out onto the patio and everybody does, and you get to use that. There are people sometimes playing football because we have so much green space. A lot of people will do bring bean bags and corn hole, whichever one you want.

want to call them or different types of games. It’s, you know, it’s one or the other. So anyway, to me, that’s a it’s just it is an absolutely beautiful, beautiful space. And it’s because of the it’s a historical place that has been really done well bringing it back to how it was. But you have the indoor and the outdoor space. A lot of places only have one or the other. And if it’s hot, or if it’s cold, you’re stuck.

Alyssa (17:33)
One or the other.

Deborah Wagner (17:58)
So I think that would be it.

Alyssa (18:01)
I totally brain love it and I can’t like I said it three times I think already but make sure you go look at the picture. They are just like absolutely stunning and then also you also host some public events throughout the year if I’m correct. So definitely go check those out.

Deborah Wagner (18:14)
Yes, we’re doing. Yeah, we’re doing things like paint and sips and decorating cookies and Euker.

But on Thursday nights, we’re doing Thursdays at The Broz. And those things are going to be like the Euker and the paint and sips and the cookie decorating and porch pots and all of those kinds of, you know, just a bunch of different things. We’re going to have a woman’s group in here. We also have the opportunity for anybody who is in sports. If they want to have their, um, their end of the year banquet just for a team, not the entire school. We don’t have that much space.

But just for the team. So we had gymnastics and we’re going to be doing a tennis team in here and they can use the facility if they’re within 30, 35 miles of New Prague. They can use the facility for free on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and come in and get to see it. It’s a gorgeous place to have something. It puts a little more class into it. And we get people in to see the venue and get to enjoy it that way. So it’s just, it’s a win -win. We get people in here and they get a gorgeous

venue. So anyway that’s something that we’re offering too.

Alyssa (19:23)
awesome that’s so generous I’m thinking of like all the like bad hotel ballrooms that I occasionally had my like end of year think without school like I would have loved the pictures and everything of that so definitely yeah everybody that can check out the venue it’s just absolutely gorgeous I promise you’ll get your Instagram pictures because it is stunning and thank you so much Deborah for coming on and talking with us today you

Deborah Wagner (19:28)
Thank you.


You’ll listen.

Alyssa (19:50)
given us so many things. I love your advice about just like not stressing and really enjoying the moment and getting to enjoy the day. I think that’s so, so valuable for everybody listening. Awesome. Thanks. And again, this was Alyssa with Felix and Fingers and Deborah from The Broz. And thank you so much for listening. Bye.

Deborah Wagner (20:00)
Yeah. Well, thank you. I appreciate it.

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

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