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Now and Forever has new owners

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Dorothy Beyer, the new owner of Now & Forever, displays her bride and groom mannequins.

Under Dorothy Beyer's new ownership, Now and Forever Wedding Gallery will continue to be part of Wadena's downtown elegance.

The building has a long history in the community. Deb Martin, the previous owner, ran the store for six years and achieved several awards. Before that, the building was home to Krauss Drugstore.

One of the old Now and Forever traditions was the changing of the mannequins every week. "This community looks forward to the mannequin change," Beyer said. "I will continue that."

Beyer took ownership of the store on June 1 and officially opened it on June 17 -- yes, that June 17.

Dorothy Beyer's husband, Ray Beyer, takes care of building maintenance and advertising. Thirty-six years into their own marriage, the Beyers expressed support for one another and completed each other's sentences. They recalled the day of the tornado.

"I finished the windows and the siren went off," Dorothy Beyer said.

While it is open for business, Now and Forever is still in the process of updating its inventory. Ray Beyer said they will have a grand opening at a day to be determined.

While some new owners may prefer a complete makeover on their properties, Dorothy Beyer chose to retain the look and feel of the existing store including the name.

"I did not change the name. The previous owners had named it and I liked the style," Beyer said.

The difference is that she is expanding what is already there.

"They had a nice line, and I continued with the same companies that they were dealing with," Beyer said. "I've added a few, I've expanded the wedding gowns, the bridesmaids dresses." She also continues with size and color customization, continues alterations, and plans to add more dress choices for the mother of the bride.

Beyond dresses, she is working on the gifts and other wedding accessories.

"Basically our hope is to do the whole package," Beyer said. "I've expanded the inventory and we have more things coming."

The current and future rental lines include table centerpieces, chair covers, punch bowls and even fake cakes so the couple can have their tall decorative dessert and eat the real one too.

The new Now and Forever will be short of having the wedding DJ, caterer, and dove release rentals, but Beyer said she has the contact information for all those other services and that she hopes her business will be a one-stop shop.

Sensitive to the complexities of modern wedding planning, Beyer said she is always open for appointments beyond the store's walk-in hours.

"I've always had an interest in styles and this is just a good fit," Beyer said. "The whole wedding thing has always been an interest from me, from the beginning to the end, all the details. It gives me a chance to share with other people what I enjoy."

Now and Forever Wedding Gallery also features dresses for proms, pageants and other formal events.