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west michigan wedding photographer::kelly powers photography

(photo copyright Kelly Powers Photography)

When it comes to choosing your vendors, there are few pieces of advice more important than this: Choose vendors who you can enjoy spending the day with! If you don’t care for them during your initial meeting, chances are, you won’t enjoy them sharing your big day with you. No where is this more true, than with a photographer, with whom you will spend more time than the majority of your other vendors. It is so important to find someone you are comfortable with, and who you will enjoy spending this special day with!

Last week I met up with Kelly Powers to talk weddings, and get to know her and her work. I’ve admired her work via her web site, but was very excited to meet her in person and get to know her! I simply can’t say enough about what a sweet and wonderful person Kelly is. She took me out for a shoot around the city, and I’m not sure I’ve ever had so much fun getting my picture taken! I can’t wait to see the results later this week!

Kelly does amazing work, which I truly believe comes from the kindness of her spirit, and the connection she forms with her clients. If you’re looking for a photographer, check her out—you will not be disappointed!

engagement photos {kate+mitch}

Kate+Mitch had their engagement pictures snapped earlier this week, and I just couldn’t wait to share! The awesome Jen of JK Photography travelled to Chicago to take some amazing photos of this very fun couple! Check out her blog for even more—they found some really fun locations, from a light shop to a marina! Above is my absolute favorite shot, but it has some close competition!
The exact spot where Mitch proposed! I love it! Kate+Mitch are getting married on the beach, also, which is perfect!
Thanks so much to Kate+Mitch (and Jen) for letting me share some of their amazing engagement pics!

more ways to {follow} stella

Follow Stella Event Design on Twitter! My husband finally talked me into trying this, and I have to say I’m slowly becoming hooked!
I promise to update you on all of the exciting and off the wall things that go on around here, like breakfast, lunch, and dinner! And of course, I’ll throw in all of the exciting, glamorous, and mind-bending wedding and event planning activities we’re up to! Follow me here! If you don’t have a twitter, don’t worry—it’s super easy to set up, and even easier to customize–you’ll have a page you love in no time, and people will be lining up to stalk (I mean follow) you!
Please excuse my short absence from blogging this week—my Mom was in the hospital for a few days for surgery, and life is finally getting back to normal—expect more updates soon!

blog love {sparkliatti}

The Sparkliatti Blog, hosted by the fabulous Sasha Souza, is one of my new favorites! After taking a glimpse at this gorgeous sunrise-inspired board, I just had to share! Check out her blog for non-stop eye candy and inspiration!

Also, if you’re a bride-to-be, check out her great post on escort cards vs. place cards—this is a question asked so often, and she does a great job of summing up the differences—-YES, they are 2 completely different things!

Comments Off on blog love {sparkliatti}

pro pics teaser {michele+tim}

I’m under the weather this weekend, recouping from bronchitis, and becoming addicted to “So You Think You Can Dance,” thanks to the marathon of last seasons episodes I’ve been sucked into all afternoon! Between naps on the courch, I was pleasantly surprised to receive some of the pro pics from my April 19th wedding, courtesy of photog Ben Pancoast. So, to apologize for my absence from blogging while I continue to be pampered by my husband, and hopefully kick the sickness, here are 2 of my favorite photos from the wedding—expect more soon!I love ring pictures, and this one doesn’t let me down—I don’t know what it is, but I absolutely adore this picture!

loving it {etsy:gochemoche}

(pictures via Gochemoche on Etsy)

seller Gochemoche has some of the coolest Japanese-inspired hair pieces and boutonnieres that I couldn’t wait to share. I was catching up on my blog reads since being back from vacation, when I came across this real wedding featured by Perfect Bound, one of my favorite daily reads! I was scanning through, attempting to catch up on my 700 (yes, 700!) new posts, and this picture of their custom bouts caught my eye. I checked out the etsy site, and Gochemoche offers so many fun and customizable pieces from bouts to broaches, ponytail holders, and hair pins! Everything is handmade, and made from authentic materials. I must have one, so I’ll post pics when I get mine—I haven’t even picked from all of the amazing choices yet! These would be absolutely adorable for your ‘maids hair, or as a cute gift for your gals!

fernwood botanical gardens

(photo copyright MONIKA PHOTO)

Another beautiful outdoor wedding location in Southwest Michigan! Fernwood Botanical Gardens is located on Range Line Road in Niles. Fernwood is a beautiful location for small, intimate weddings. Members are able to reserve an outdoor area and/or meeting room by calling the Visitors Center. The reservation fee, which can be found here, includes admission to all of Fernwood for your wedding party and a pre-specified number of guests (100 people maximum). Fees are based upon the total number of people attending the celebration, including bridal party, parents, and guests.

Thanks to Monika Caban of MONIKA PHOTO for supplying this beautiful photo! I met up with Monika for lunch on Thursday, to talk weddings and go over some of her work! She shared some of her beautiful photos with me, as well as some amazing albums she offers! She is such an open and genuine person, and focuses on the relationships and meaning of the day, to capture the “fleeting moments” of emotion that you will look back on so fondly! She’s done a number of amazing outdoor {and indoor} weddings in Southwest Michigan and beyond, so if you’re planning a wedding in Southwest Michigan, check her out!

your budget

(image source)

When planning weddings, I always have a budget to consider. Whether that budget be $15,000, $25,000, or $50,000, I have yet to meet a couple that doesn’t have some sort of pre-determined idea of their personal spending limit. Determining the amount you have to spend may be the easy part, but sticking to that magic number often poses a challenge once you become inundated with couture gowns, custom stationery, and every must-have wedding trinket under the sun. It’s easy to get carried away, and the longer you wait to set a budget, the more you will get pulled off track. So, first things first, sit down and determine how much you can spend. If parents will be contributing, ask them up front, and find out how much you can expect. You shouldn’t assume on a contribution unless you’ve already discussed it {trust me, you’ll be glad you did!}.

I found a great article called “Your Wedding Budget: 41 Ways to Save,” which offers great ways to trim your budget, and keep things on track.

Here are a few tips::

Time Is Money
The most important money-saving issue is time. And the less time you have, the more likely you are to make rash decisions and thus compromise your finances. Give yourselves enough time to shop around for the best vendor prices.
Forgo the personalized accents; napkins and matchbooks alone can cost several hundred dollars.

Keep it Simple

Consultants Cut Costs
Hire a wedding consultant. You will undoubtedly recoup his or her fee with the sound advice he or she can provide about getting more or better service for your money.

Limo Limit
Don’t get caught up in the idea that you need a wedding cavalcade to transport everyone to the reception. Limit the number of limos you use, or ask a friend with a vintage car to drive the two of you and book a mini bus or van to transport both the wedding party and your parents.

Read the Full Article.

stepping out {las vegas}


Stella Event Design is headed to Las Vegas!
I will be out of the office Saturday through Tuesday, but will keep posting regularly! I will respond to emails when I get back! I love all things that shine, sparkle & glitter{like all of Las Vegas} so look for pretty pics when I get back!