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silver beach wedding ceremonies in st. joseph, michigan

In honor of Silver Beach in St. Joseph being named one of the best places to host your wedding ceremony (Detroit Free Press), we’re offering a special ceremony package exclusively for couples planning a wedding at Dunes Pavilion on Silver Beach in St. Joseph, MI! 

The amazing view from Dunes Pavilion at Silver Beach in St. Joseph!

The Dunes Package Includes:

  • Up to 110 chairs
  • A gorgeous four-poster bamboo arch with white draping and a floral arrangement (your choice of colors)
  • 8 aisle floral arrangements (your choice of colors)
  • Table with white linen & sash (for sand ceremony, etc)
  • Delivery, setup and teardown of all chairs, arch and flowers
  • COST: $1000 (regularly $1200)

Availability is limited, so book your date soon.


libby + dan’s fall wedding at post family farms

I love our clients. Really, I can’t begin to say how lucky we feel getting to work with some of the sweetest, most adorable and fun couples around! Libby + Dan were no exception–we worked with them for over a year as we planned a fun wedding day at Post Family Farms that included a lovely color palette of coral, burgundy & gray; patterned linens, beautiful flowers from Modern Day Floral, yard games, a delicious comfort-food menu, a rocking band & tons of personal details.

We incorporated lots of the couples favorite items–comfort foods, vintage sodas, Garrett’s popcorn, Kilwin’s caramel apples, rustic farm-inspired details like the giant hay bail with custom floral monogram embellishments, invitations adorned with vintage mix & match stamps…such a fun day to design & plan! Thank you Libby + Dan for letting us be a part of your special day–we had a blast planning with you and your family & we wish you many, many hears of happiness!

Lovely Photos by 430 Studios

Stella Services: Full Service Planning & Design

Thanks to all of the lovely vendors who made this day possible: Post Family Farms, 430 Studios, Coastline Productions, Matt Stedman Band, Modern Day Floral, Mirabella Confections, Dream Tree Design

real wedding video :: a lovely vintage beach wedding on lake michigan

Kim & Brian – 07.19.13 from Forever Fossilized, LLC on Vimeo.

Check out this lovely video of Kim+Brian’s 2013 wedding created by Forever Fossilized. They did a fantastic job of capturing this fun couple and beautiful outdoor wedding! Kim & Brian planned a destination wedding in St. Joseph all the way fro California, and we were thrilled to be able to work with them in planning this sweet, vintage-inspired event.

Stella Event Design Services: Full Service Planning & Design

hiring :: 2014 event assistant internships

It’s that time of year again–wedding season is around the corner and Stella Event Design is accepting applications for interns (Event Assistants) to assist us during our 2014 wedding season.

Who We’re Looking For :: We are seeking junior & senior level students pursuing a degree in a related field (hospitality & tourism, public relations, communications, etc.), who are excited about learning the ins-and-outs of event planning. Weddings can be a stressful and emotionally charged time for a bride & groom and their families the ideal candidate is hard-working, friendly, calm under pressure, and a great communicator! Most of our events are located in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor/Harbor Country area, which is approximately 45 minutes from Kalamazoo, 70 minutes from Grand Rapids, and 45 minutes from South Bend. You must be able to travel to Southwest Michigan for events on weekends.


Stella Event Design team photos through the years!

What You’ll Do :: Event Assistants will assist with all day-of wedding tasks including: setting up decor at ceremony and reception sites, assisting vendors with deliveries (ie. cake, flowers, linens, rentals), assisting with ceremony management, assisting vendors as needed throughout the day, ensuring time lines are being followed, trouble shooting problems that arise, communicating with vendors & bridal parties, ensuring accuracy of layouts, and much more.  Event Assistants are always working alongside an experienced Event Planner or Coordinator who is there to direct & teach you! Some assistants will also have the opportunity to work in our office on a weekly basis. You will have the opportunity to assist us with various projects including: assisting with the design and execution of photo shoots, collaborating on design projects, contacting vendors, sitting in on client meetings, learning to create timelines, room layouts and other logistical pieces, and a variety of other tasks that go into the planning of our events. We highly recommend office hours to those who are available, and desire a well-rounded learning experience!

What You’ll Get :: This is an unpaid internship and must apply towards college credit. You will walk away from this internship with hands-on experience in event planning & execution unlike anything you can learn in a classroom. This internship puts you in the action, working with real clients, professional vendors and beautiful locations throughout West Michigan.

When You’ll Work :: Weddings are scheduled primarily on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Interns will be scheduled to work for a 12-16 week period (approximately May 4-September 16 or August 1-October 31) and will be scheduled to assist with weddings several weekends each month.  We know summers include family obligations and the occasional vacations, so we are happy to take schedules into consideration if given proper notice at start of season!

How to Apply :: If you’re interested in joining the Stella Event Design Team for our 2014 season, please email your cover letter and resume (.pdf format, please) to We will be accepting applications through March 1st and will be conducting interviews in February and March! If you have additional questions, please email (no phone calls, please).

planning tips :: getting the most out of bridal shows

Happy Monday friends! And a warm welcome to all of you newly engaged readers who may be popping in for the first time.

It’s that time of year–everywhere you look there is a bridal show or expo popping up! If you’re newly engaged, it can be so tempting (and exciting) to visit them all. But if you don’t have every weekend free, you’ll probably need to narrow down the choices. Here are some of our best tips for choosing which bridal show is the best fit for you and how to make the most out of your time when you get there!

Location Considerations

Where are you tying the knot? Attend bridal shows that are in the area where your wedding will be located. If you’re a bride in Chicago planning a wedding in West Michigan, consider attending shows in the area so that you can meet vendors that service the area where your wedding will take place. You’ll cut down on things like travel & hotel fees, and get to meet businesses familiar with the area and your venue which will benefit you in the long run!

Research & Pre-Screen

Do some research beforehand. If you know you’re in the market for a photographer, visit the bridal show websites and see which ones have some vendors you are interested in. That way you can come to the show already knowing which vendors may fit your style, and focus your time on those! Some vendors will also offer discounts for booking AT the show so doing some research ahead of time will ensure you don’t make an uninformed decision on the spot just for a discount!

Style & Budget

There are tons of wedding shows out there for every budget and every style of wedding. From those that focus on high-end affairs to others that focus on DIY & budget-friendly, pic a show that caters to what you have in mind. Same goes for style–if you’re eclectic, focus on the small, indie shows that cater to brides looking for ultra-local vendors, offbeat providers and unique inspiration!

Avoid Info Overload

As a wedding vendor I can tell you that businesses all want to get their hands on your contact details. And it’s not a bad thing…they just want to be able to follow up with you after the show, provide you with more info, extend offers to you and answer questions. Bridal shows are hectic, so they can’t spend a lot of time with everyone at the show. That being said, beware of the WAY you give your info out. If you take away only one tip here, let it be this: Set up an email address that is ONLY for wedding-related information. That way you can put your email address on every contest entry and inquiry form without fear that you’ll be getting emails from 100+ wedding-related businesses long after you’ve tied the knot!

Bridal shows can be a great way to meet vendors you have already researched, check out samples, and get excited about your engagement—so gather up your bridesmaids and get out there and have some fun!


a venue tour & photo shoot at hidden vineyard wedding barn

How time flies! Back in October we were invited out to Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn in Berrien Springs to set up a Spring-inspired wedding shoot. We’ve been to the venue a few times to finish and we’re happy to get to share a little tour of the space and let you have a peak at what it has to offer. Plus, we have some pretty eye candy, so be sure to read on to the photo shoot at the bottom! Lovely photos by the very talented Ben Pancoast Photography, who is always so much fun to work with, even when we’re wrapping up a shoot at 11pm!

So let’s start with a little virtual tour of the exterior: The back of the property features picturesque scenery that includes a giant pond and views of the rolling country side and vineyards. The balcony at the back has great views and your ceremony could be hosted in the back of the barn, or under their beautiful old Catalpa tree that sits on one side of the barn. Lots of space and lots of options!
2014-01-08_0001 They did a great job with the interior of this venue. The upper level features the main entertainment space…the guest areas, restrooms and catering prep room. The lower level features a lounge area, brides room, grooms area, and another set of restrooms. (Clockwise  below: brides room, mirror collection in the brides room, lounge area that sits outside of the bridal room, upstairs women’s restroom, and the grooms area)
2014-01-08_0002The main area of the barn fits about 150 comfortable, and the covered deck area can be used for additional seating if you like. We did several layouts for our shoot, utilizing a mixture of long and round tables, which I think works really nicely in this space. Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn does not have in-house vendors, so you have the flexibility of bringing in your own catering, bar service, alcohol, etc, which is always nice. Beloe (upper left) you’ll see the view from the barn out onto the deck that overlooks the property. There is a lot of room for a cocktail hour on the deck, or in the yard just below the deck!
2014-01-08_0003Now moving on to the pretty stuff. We picked this pretty blue that pops alongside the wood of the barn, accented with a pale yellow napkin, threw in some of our brick brown rattan chargers and used a fun and textural mix of flowers including: hydrangea, astilbe, scabiosa pods, freesia, succulents, roses, snapdragons, tulips, craspedia, ranunculus and Queen Anne’s Lace.


The lovely cake was provided by C’est La Vie Cakes, who are always such a pleasure to work with! We shot in the evening, during the same time that weddings usually take place and wrapped up around 11:00 when they usually end, so I’ll leave you with a night shot of the barn as we welcome one of Southwest Michigan’s newest wedding venues onto the scene. Thanks for inviting us out to design your pretty space!
The Team
Venue: Hidden Vineyard Wedding Barn
Photography: Ben Pancoast
Design & Floral: Stella Event Design
Cake: C’est La Vie Cakes
Linens & Rattan Chargers: Stella Event Design
Place Settings: CK Catering

real michigan wedding :: a california rustic wedding in saugatuck

Katy was one of my favorite kinds of brides. She came in with a big-picture idea –she wanted the wedding to feel organic, rustic–but not too rustic–and wanted to incorporate the color purple. And then she let us really run wild with the design and present a concept that was so much fun to put together. The color palette for this September was a twist on traditional fall colors, featuring persimmon, eggplant, mossy green and pops of soft blue. We also mixed in some pops of gold!
We dubbed Katy’s wedding day style “California rustic”— organic and contemporary elements tied together with some rustic accents. There were no plain-jane vases here—wood serving trays, gold-dipped bottles, galvanized zinc cylinders, clay terrariums and glossy white vases all made an appearance in this eclectic design scheme.

I just love Katy’s gorgeous dress–it was absolutely perfect on her! Ladies, if you have a chance to buy a dress with pockets, let me assure you that you will not regret it!

The reception was held at the lovely Saugatuck Center for the Arts, which is one of our favorite venues. It’s centrally located right in downtown Saugatuck, and offers the entire building/grounds for events. The outdoor rain garden was used for cocktail hour, dinner was held in the pavilion, and the night was wrapped up with dancing in the lobby, which features 3 huge glass garage doors, so even the indoor space can feel like it’s outside! We utilized the contemporary red soft seating normally used throughout the building to create lounge areas, both in the front lobby for those who wanted to be near the action, and in one of the galleries, where guests could escape for a quiet escape to chat.
I love mixing up linens and I was so glad that Katy was open to mixing and matching colors, solids and patterns! All in all we had 7 different linens that made appearances at this wedding, The dessert table featured a ribbon banner of eggplant and blue and showcased a small cake and an assortment of delicious pies from Crane’s. We brought in some warm tones via gold chiavari chairs, brick brown rattan chargers, gold-dipped vases, and some centerpieces even included brassy metal pine cones.
Katy+Jeff, thank you so much for inviting us to be a part of our special day, and for trusting us with the look and feel of your wedding. We can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed bringing your vision to life!
Vendors: Reception venue: Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Catering: Christine Ferris, Photographer: The Compass Points Here, DJ: friend of the bride, Bar service: Beverage Specialists by Liquor Locker, Tent: Taylor Rental of Holland, Chiavari Chairs:, Floral: Crystal Springs, Pies: Crane’s, Centerpiece containers & props: Stella Event Design, Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental via Stella Event Design

Stella Event Design Services Provided: Design, Day-of Coordination, Linens & Decor Rentals

real michigan wedding :: stephanie+marshall’s millcreek barn wedding

Talk about photogenic–Stephanie and Marshall are SUCH a cute couple! They were absolutely head over heels in love with each other and so calm about everything. It made working with them on their special day at Millcreek Barns a real treat! 2013 was an amazing year for dresses—we saw so many amazing gowns at our events and Stephanie’s was no exception—it’s just gorgeous! Enjoy the lovely photos below from our friends at 430 Studios!


They chose Mill Creek Barn as their venue, and it was a picture perfect day. One of our favorite things about Millcreek is that there are so many amazing photo opportunities right on the property–there’s no need to drive around–you can change on site in the adorable bridal cottage, roam the property for photos, and be ready to go for your ceremony!


The décor, in varying shades of soft pink, was romantic and slightly vintage in style. Mill Creek has a rustic elegance about it, and this wedding definitely highlighted that beautifully.


Stephanie’s accessories were absolutely stunning from the blush gems to the shoes. And speaking of the shoes–these amazing & shimmery Jimmy Choo’s are definitely our favorite glam shoe of the season!


Stephanie+Marshall, thank you so much for letting us be a part of your day—it was lovely, you are lovely, and we are so glad you let us be a part of it!


Vendors: Ceremony & Reception Venue: Millcreek Barns, Photographer: 430 Studios, Floral: Beikmann Associates, Catering: CK Catering, Cake: Dee’s Specialty Cakes, DJ: AllStar Productions, Hair & Makeup: Julie Strating, Ruffled Burlap Runners: Stella Event Design, Bar Service: Beverage Specialists by Liquor Locker

Stella Event Design Services Provided: Day-of Coordination, Decor Rentals

real wedding :: jamie+kevin’s romantic vineyard wedding in southwest michigan

From the first time we met with Jamie and Kevin, we knew that it was going to be a real treat planning and designing a vineyard wedding for this sweet couple. They envisioned a romantic, vintage-inspired celebration with shades of pink, yellow and grey, with pops of light blue. Our design incorporated custom table runners, a variety of eclectic mix-and-match centerpieces, custom wine bottle table numbers, lots of candlelight and many unique details.  The crafty bride took our design plan and ran with it, incorporating some DIY projects of her own that made the day especially unique & personal to them. Enjoy the beautiful photos captured by the always-amazing 430 Studios!


The wedding ceremony was absolutely gorgeous. Jamie arrived in a vintage car, which drove her to the aisle with her dad. The aisle was accented by vintage doors, hanging jars of baby’s breath and draped ribbons, all of which lead to a beautiful stone gazebo accented with suspended flowers hung with ribbon. It was the perfect way to frame such a lovely couple.


I loved their sweetheart table, which was playful and fun featuring a gorgeous linen from La Tavola that was reminiscent of the brides dress, and was framed by a colorful ribbon banner made by the bride! The light up monogram letters accented the dance floor and were made by the brides father (I love that!) Ladies, don’t underestimate what your dads are able to do for you—we have seen so many amazing creations come from crafty & handy fathers!
We just love the detail on these delicious homemade pies provided by Piggott’s Farm Market as part of the dessert table!
This may be one of my favorite ring-shots to date, and Jamie’s dress was just so beautiful—it was absolutely perfect for her! Jamie+Kevin, thank you again for letting us be a part of your special day–we can’t tell you how much we enjoyed working on your beautiful day with you!
Vendors: Ceremony, Reception venue & caterer: Willow Harbor Vineyards, Photography: 430 Studios, Vintage Car: Magnum Limo, Pies: Piggott’s Farm Market, Floral: Crystal Springs Florist

Stella Event Design services provided: Design, Day-of Coordination & Decor Rentals


2013 lake shore wedding walk — 12 reasons we know you’ll love it!

If you follow us on Facebook (you should–we’re tons of fun!)  you’ve definitely heard us chattering about the Lake Shore Wedding Walk and sharing some coupon codes for free tickets! It’s a unique (really fun) bridal event that takes place in St. Joseph on Sunday, September 15th from 1-4:00 and we’re proud to both plan the event and participate in it! We would love for all of you to come visit us, so use promo code STELLABLOG for free tickets when you register online! You can find all of the details on this event at but I PROMISE YOU, you don’t want to miss this event! So go check out the website, buy your tickets, and we hope to see your smiling face there!


1. Local wine tastings. Wine! Enough said:-) There will be 6 local wines featured this year!

2. Beautiful tables designed by Stella Event Design and other fab local florists, including some super-snazzy specialty linens you will ‘ooh’ and ‘aaah’ over!

3. Food. Food, Food–at all 3 venues!

4. Bid on over $8,000 worth of amazing wedding services at the Bridal Bids Auction, with proceeds benefitting Wish Upon a Wedding Michigan!

5. Hop in a photo booth (with your family & friends) and get snap-happy!

6. Ride the trolley through St. Joseph and fall in love with it (we know you will!)

7. Have we mentioned the wine & food?

8. Meet professional, amazing, fun, and super talented local vendors to create your wedding day Dream Team.

9. The atmosphere is relaxed, fun and low-pressure!

10. Visit 3 of the areas most beautiful venues!

11. Eat some cupcakes!

12. Did we mention the food and wine?