It’s crazy to say it out loud, but 2012 marked the end of 5 years (I can hardly believe it!) for Stella Event Design, and it was definitely a year full of beautiful details, sweet brides & grooms, new additions, big changes and tons of fun! Every year I’m thrilled to look back at how Stella has grown and changed, the new faces that joined us, and the new and exciting opportunities that presented themselves. So here’s a (lengthy) little recap of 2012:



In early 2012 we were thrilled to add Holden Alee  to Team Stella, as he came on board to work with us throughout the 2012 season, both with our weddings, as well as stepping up as the lead coordinator for the 2012 Lake Shore Wedding Walk. Area vendors & venues were quick to embrace Holden & his enthusiastic, fun-loving spirit, and we’re thrilled to have him as a permanent fixture — he’s a great fit with both our business and our brides!

2012 also marked the departure of long-time Stella Event Planner Brittany Johnson, who has been working with us remotely from Grand Rapids since wayyyy back in 2009! She started with us as an intern in 2009, and has been an Event Planner with Stella since 2010…she quickly became a much-loved fixture here in Southwest Michigan–her home away from home on many (many) weekends! But alas, we must say goodbye to our much-loved road warrior Brittany and wish her the best as she moves on to work at her alma mater in Grand Rapids. She’ll forever be an honorary member of Team Stella!britt1

This summer & fall we had an amazing group of summer & fall interns, that sadly, I never got around to introducing here on the website (I’m horrible, I know!) but with such a busy wedding season we were all hard at work, and sadly, neglecting our blogging here just a bit! But, they all deserve a huge round of applause for helping us complete our most successful wedding season yet, as we planned, coordinated and designed over 30 weddings.

A huge THANK YOU to Rachel (from GVSU), Sarah (from GVSU) and Kristen (from Spring Arbor) for all you did, ladies! And speaking of interns, we are currently hiring for our 2013 wedding season, so if you’re a Junior or Senior in a related field, send your resume & cover letter to jessica@stellaeventdesign.com! We’ll have a full post on that coming up soon!


Team Stella 2012 (L-R): Sarah, Holden, Jessica, Mary, Brittany, Kristen & Rachel. Photo by Jennifer Mayo Studios


We coordinated SO many beautiful weddings this summer, we can’t begin to thank all of our wonderful brides & grooms for putting their trust in us, to help them on such an important day! We were lucky to work at some of our favorite venues over and over, including a TON of weddings at Millcreek Barns and Blue Dress Barn, two of our favorite rustic venues, along with more tented weddings than we’ve done in the past! 2012 marked our most design-work to date, and we’re excited year after year to come up with new, exciting ideas for our brides, and offer more and more options. In 2012 we started offering rentals of the many vintage, rustic and unique decor items we’ve collected over the years, along with a growing collection of specialty linens, and, new for 2013—specialty glass chargers. We loved seeing so many of our decor pieces shown off in our 2012 weddings—we love that brides don’t have to scour websites & thrift shops, and we can help offer unique choices. So here are just a few shots of beautiful 2012…keep an eye out for many, many more 2012 weddings to be featured on the blog in the coming weeks…photos are starting to pour in from photographers and we’re excited to share them!


2012 was an exciting year for us press-wise. Just last month, we were thrilled to find out that one of our 2011 weddings in Saugatuck was featured in The Knot Michigan, making it our first wedding to be featured in a statewide print magazine (and one of our favorite magazines, at that!). With pretty pictures from photography friend Ben Pancoast, it’s no surprise….we loved planning and designing this wedding, and also have to thank Modern Day Floral for delivering some stellar florals—as usual! We were also thrilled to be quoted in Michigan Meetings+Events magazine’s article about what meeting planners can learn from wedding planners. This Spring, we had a lovely orchard photo shoot with Bradley James Photography featured in WeddingDay Magazine, and this winter we had one of our 2012 weddings at Millcreek Barns featured on Style My Pretty’s LBB Blog.

the-knot-michigan-featured-wedding-saugatuck3RD ANNUAL WEDDING WALK & BRIDAL BIDS AUCTION

We coordinated our 3rd Annual Lake Shore Wedding Walk, which took place in September and was, by far, the most beautiful weather we’ve had for a Wedding Walk. We love that this event is perfectly tailored to helping brides discover everything our beautiful local area has to offer—it’s intimate, unique, and full of only the area’s best vendors! We had an amazing group of vendors who participated, and to top it all off, we introduced the 1st “Bridal Bids Auction” which raised over $9000 for the Michigan Chapter of Wish Upon A Wedding. As wedding planners, we have been so incredibly blessed to do what we love, and to be involved in such an amazing and supportive community of wedding professionals. One of our goals for 2012 was to give back, and the Bridal Bids was a great step towards finding ways that we can all come together and give back. A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped put this together, especially the folks at The Veranda at the Whitcomb, and to all of the amazing local vendors who contributed their services & goods to be auctioned. Check out this video of the professional auctioneer (who volunteered) and did an AMAZING job with the live portion of the auction—please ignore my laughing and shaky hands—I was so excited! Below he’s auctioning off a Saturday at The Veranda at The Whitcomb, which netted over $3000 and went for OVER the face-value price, thanks to some very generous and enthusiastic bidders (AKA brides!)


And lastly, one of the very biggest changes for Stella Event Design (and the source of TONS of excitement), was moving into our new studio space in The Box Factory. For 2 LONG months we (sort of) patiently waited for construction to be completed. And by patiently, I mean we stalked the progress almost daily— to the construction teams dismay—taking photos, measurements, and visiting again and again, just to remember what it looked like! But come December 1st we had a new, bright and shiny space to meet in, that is a perfect fit for our growing team, and allows easier access for our brides and grooms. While we always loved our first space on State Street in downtown St. Joseph, parking in the summer was a struggle–especially for our staff trying to come in on a daily basis–and we had outgrown our work space, as it only accommodated one person being in the office full time.  Our new space offers plenty of space for both myself and Holden to work in the office together with event assistants, which will allow us to work as a team more effectively. We also get the perk of having some pretty awesome 3rd floor neighbors, in the way of Jennifer Mayo Studios right next door, and Ben Pancoast Photography right down the hall. We’ll be hosting a joint open house in early February, so keep your eyes open for that post coming soon–everyone is invited! I have to say a HUGE thank you to our family & friends that pitched in with painting, and our 12 hour moving/assembly day…because we were determined to be completely moved into the space in ONE very long day. Thank you for putting up with our craziness! We’ll dedicate a whole post to this very soon, but here are a few before and afters of the new space…looking back, it was pretty incredible what they accomplished in 2 months, since we were 1 of about 15 new spaces completed:



If you made it to the end of this post, I applaud you! Leave a comment and we’ll choose one lucky person to receive a FREE gift card to MISSNOWMRS.com, to kick off 2013! They’ll help you navigate the murky waters of changing your name & personal info once you get married and change your name! We’ll choose the winner on January 11th by random drawing and email the winner!