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real wedding :: a colorful wedding at the blue dress barn

I absolutely love this color palette! You can’t get much cheerier than a beautiful sunshine yellow, paired with a lush green. And my very favorite thing about this beautiful Blue Dress Barn wedding, is that in lieu of a bridal party, the bride & groom asked their guests to join them as their attendants, by wearing the wedding colors! So the entire wedding was filled with guests donning their shades of green and yellow. How cute!


The ceremony was held on the beach of Lake Michigan. Personally, I find it hard to beat the beautiful backdrop that a beach wedding provides…the sound of the waves, the blowing dune grass…it makes for a truly enchanting setting for a ceremony.



I absolutely love her cheery yellow bouquet, wrapped in burlap ribbon…the perfect rustic accent for a barn wedding! The beautiful florals were done by Crystal Springs, and I believe the rest of the photos by Jennifer Mayo Studios speak for themselves!


Jennifer + Brian, thank you for letting us be a part of your beautiful wedding here in Southwest Michigan…we wish you many, many more to come!



real wedding :: video :: jill+ryans blue dress barn wedding

We love, love, love seeing our brides & grooms on video! Check out this beautiful trailer from Coastline Studios, of Jill & Ryan’s 2011 wedding at the Blue Dress Barn. Jill was an absolutely gorgeous bride (LOVE her dress!) and she had some amazing details! Stella planner Mary Beth was there on the wedding day to help pull together all of the details and make sure everything looked perfect! From the escort card display to the centerpiece vases collected by family members, I just love the details of this wedding!

Ryan & Jillian’s Trailer from John Pottenger on Vimeo.

real weddings::brynne+bradys fall wedding at millcreek barns

I love a great Michigan barn wedding. The only thing better is a barn wedding on a gorgeous fall day, with a beautiful couple, super nice family and a rockin’ band. And that’s exactly what we had on October 9th….an absolutely gorgeous day for Brynne+Brady to tie the knot at Millcreek barns! I have to say, Brynne’s dress is one of my all-time favorites, and I absolutely loved that the bridesmaids were bundled up in matching boots, scarves, hats and sweaters—it was so adorable and kept everyone toasty warm and comfortable! Check out Brynne’s bouquet in the top right picture—-yep, those are buttons! Brynne’s crafty mom Melanie fashioned all of the bouquets and boutonnieres out of buttons and they were absolutely fabulous.

Another thing I loved was the coffee cart from American Espresso. We set them up right in the dining room and they provided guests with made-to-order coffees, hot chocolate, espresso, cappuccino, hot ciders, Italian sodas…it was a huge hit and perfect for a cool fall day! Every detail of this detail was beautiful, and lovingly created the mother of the bride, Melanie. She was a pleasure to work with and we were so happy to help her bring all of her details to life so she could relax and be the MOB for the day!

All of the beautiful images were captured by Lisa & Rob of Walcott Imaging! Here’s one more of that awesome bouquet and the bridesmaids attire—love it!

press::inframe bride “inspired dining”

When we were asked to do a tablescape photo shoot for the 2010/2011 issue of Inframe Bride magazine, it didn’t take me long to know that we wanted to design something that was not only unique, but also something that was feasible for brides to recreate at their own weddings. Our inspiration was the Blue Dress Barn, and the result was a garden-esque tablescape with a vintage flair. We mixed and matched white china, used a mixture of vintage tea tins and a variety of lush, textured blooms, and accented the table with old books and colorful vintage glass candles.
ifbcoverWe shot the tablescape on the patio of the Blue Dress Barn, and used their cute wrought iron patio set for unique seating! On a cute vintage metal tea cart, we set up a unique “guest book” area where guests could fill out vintage postcards (tucked away in an adorable vintage jewelry box) and post their “love notes” on an antique frame. We used different patterned fabrics throughout our design, in the napkins, “love notes” board, and as tops to our homemade orange marmalade favors in tiny canning jars. We collected vintage broaches at our local antique market in St. Joseph, and tied them with thin ribbons around the napkins. We have to give a huge thanks to Crystal Springs, who provided our centerpieces, the Blue Dress Barn for letting us spend hours upon hours shooting on their beautiful patio, and Taylor Rental for use of their linens and flatware, and of course Ben Pancoast Photography for helping us bring the whole thing to life! Below are a few more of our personal favorites from the shoot!


real wedding neak peek::tom+meaghan at the blue dress barn

Here are just a few shots from last Saturdays wedding at The Blue Dress Barn. Meaghan+Tom picked a beautiful fall color palette with a lot of natural accents including apples, gourds, mini pumpkins and pine cones. It was absolutely adorable and had so many personal touches. We’ll share some professional photos from Ben Pancoast Photgraphy when they’re ready, but for now, here is a sneak peek of our own snapshots from the day!
blue dress barn


Megan+Greg at Mill Creek Barns in Watervliet, Southwest Michigan

Lisa+Bart at the Blue Dress Barn in Millburg, Southwest Michigan

Yana+Brannon at Shadowland Pavilion and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan

Kate+Mitch at Shadowland Pavilion and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan

Stefanie+Jim at Santaniello’s and Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan

Jessica+Bryan’s beach wedding and reception at The Veranda at the Whitcomb in St. Joseph, Michigan

real wedding::a beautiful wedding at the blue dress barn in southwest michigan

Saturday was supposed to be rainy with record lows in the 60’s (in July!) but instead, it ended up being the perfect weather for a beautiful outdoor wedding in Southwest Michigan! Lisa & Bart are an absolutely fun, hilarious and stylish couple, and it was a lot of fun to help Lisa bring all of her details together on her wedding day!

The ceremony was held on the grounds of the Blue Dress Barn, with the reception held afterwards in the historic barn. When it comes to a beautiful wedding location, it’s hard to beat the Blue Dress Barn in Southwest Michigan—it has so much charm and detail on its own, you really could do absolutely nothing to it and still have an amazing location! Beautiful photographs courtesy of Kelly Powers Photography


  • Ken+Katy at Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan
  • Megan+Greg at Mill Creek Barns in Southwest Michigan
  • Yana+Brannon at Shadowland Pavilion and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan
  • Kate+Mitch at Shadowland Pavilion and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan
  • Stefanie+Jim at Santaniello’s and Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan

the perfect venue for your 2010 wedding in southwest michigan


I love that Southwest Michigan has some amazing wedding venues. From barns to vineyards to elegant historical buildings, the lake shore area has a lot to offer to brides looking to plan an amazing Michigan wedding. However, just a word to the wise that these venues fill up fast. If you’re a 2010 bride, now is the time to secure that dream venue! So get out there, make some visits, and find that special place that will make your wedding day everything you’ve hoped for!

If you need some help finding your perfect Michigan wedding venue, feel free to contact us, we love to help brides and grooms find wedding location in St. Joseph, New Buffalo, Saugatuck, South Haven, Holland, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Muskegon, Leeland, and beyond!

**Blue Dress Barn Photo By Monika Caban Photo, Heritage Center by Stella Event Design, Veranda @ The Whitcomb by Zdanis Photography, MillCreek by Stella Event Design

southwest michigan wedding venue in martha stewart!

Check out the Fall edition of Martha Stewart Weddings to see Southwest Michigan’s very own Blue Dress Barn! The October 27, 2007 wedding of Kelly & Jeremy is featured, and this brides beautiful diy’s are something you just have to check out!

We’re coordinating several 2009 weddings at the Blue Dress Barn, and I’m excited for the rustic charm and beauty that it lends to a wedding. Each and every wedding I’ve seen at the Blue Dress has it’s own personal style and touch of creative flair—it definitely attracts the creative, unique and detail-oriented bride!

mill creek barns

Mill Creek Barns is the sister property of the Blue Dress Barn and is located in Watervliet, Michigan in Keeler Township. We planned several 2009 weddings at Mill Creek Barns and love the natural charm it has. There are fun details throughout the property including vintage items, original artwork, a beautiful outdoor ceremony area, and white paper lanterns above the dining area.


Brides getting married at Mill Creek may consider Day-of coordination services to help with set-up, coordinate the ceremony (and moving guests from the ceremony to cocktail hour), assisting vendors with deliveries, coordinating catering & bar services, and tearing down decor at the end of the night. Mill Creek brides have the opportunity to bring in their own catering, bar service and other vendors which can be a great budget-saver, but entails a bit more work for the bride and family! Stella Event Design can help design services that fit your budget and will allow you to enjoy your wedding! Full-service planning is also available to help you create the amazing rustic-chic wedding day you’ve envisioned, from start to finish!

What one Mill Creek bride says about working with Stella Event Design:

“Stella Event Design saved my sanity! There were parts of my wedding that I really wanted to have control over and othe parts that didn’t matter to me at all. Jessica at Stella Event Design was able to accomodate me with a “partial planning” package that fit perfectly with my needs. She is quick to respond to emails and phone calls and is flexible with times to meet in person. She is very familiar with the local area and its vendors and helped me stay on budget. When it comes to above and beyond, Jessica was awesome. She returned all of my rented items for me the next day as well as my alcohol that we didn’t use. I ordered wholesale flowers and she was able to put them together to create my centerpieces and they looked beautiful. I really can’t rave about her enough. She’s calm in chaos, super organized, and obviously loves her job! I would recommend her service to anyone.”

-Megan, Married 5.16.09, from Chicago, Illinois


All Photos by Two Pair Photography

unique southwest michigan wedding venue::the blue dress barn

If you’re planning a wedding in Southwest Michigan, a must-see venue is  The Blue Dress Barn, located in Millburg, Michigan, just a short drive from St. Joseph. The beautiful historic “House of David Dairy Barn” was lovingly restored by husband and wife artists Amelia & Kirby Briske and they have done an amazing job of combining the original historic beauty of the barn, with some wonderful modern amenities!

The barn boasts over 4,000 square feet of space, including a beautiful dining area, dance floor and stage, all beneath a beautiful beamed ceiling, accented with wrought iron chandeliers. The paper lanterns strung around the room offer a wonderful ambience, and the lighting is absolutely beautiful for photographs! The barn can accomodate up to 280 guests, and along with the main barn area, has several balconies as well as beautiful grounds outside, including gardens, a fire pit, and a beautiful ceremony location…lots of opportunities for gorgeous pictures! Below, some pictures from the 2009 wedding of Lisa+Bart, by Stella Event Design. Photography by Kelly Powers.


The barn offers the use of outside catering as well as bartending/beverage service, which is a huge plus in my book, as you can choose a caterer that fits both your taste, style and budget! They also offer a separate bridal area for you and your bridesmaids to prepare! If you’re seeking a truly unique (and beautiful) location–The Blue Dress Barn should definitely be on your list!

Blue Dress Barn featured in Martha Stewart Weddings Fall 2008 Edition!


Megan+Greg at Mill Creek Barns in Watervliet, Southwest Michigan

Yana+Brannon at Shadowland Pavilion and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan

Kate+Mitch at Shadowland Pavilion and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan

Stefanie+Jim at Santaniello’s and Weko Beach in Bridgman, Michigan

Lisa+Bart at the Blue Dress Barn in Millburg, Southwest Michigan