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real wedding sneak peek::dave+shannon’s southwest michigan beach wedding

Sweet bride? Check. Beautiful day? Check. A wonderful groom, fantastic location & tons of fun family and friends? Check. Check and Check! On August 7th we coordinated the wedding of Dave+Shannon, who tied the knot in a lovely & personal ceremony on the beach, followed by a reception at the Veranda at the Whitcomb in downtown St. Joseph.


Three things I loved about this wedding:

1) They opted for freshly made pies (complete with a heart cut on top) that sat at each guest table. Shannon collected a variety of cake plates, and Crystal Springs provided beautiful wreaths of flowers and greenery to wrap around them. They made for beautiful centerpieces!

2) Their signature drinks was the Matrimotini—-too cute!

3) The escort cards were adorable—tiny paper umbrellas that were tucked into wicker trays filled with sand. They were colorful, cute and a perfect tie-in to their beach wedding!

Shannon and Dave, thank you for letting us be a part of such a beautiful day, and for being so much fun to plan with! All photos are courtesy of Kelly Powers Photography—we’ll post more soon!

real wedding sneak peek::holly+tavis at the veranda at the whitcomb

On August 20th we coordinated the wedding of Holly+Tavis in St. Joseph. After a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Shadowland Ballroom, Holly+Tavis had a fun-filled reception at the Veranda at the Whitcomb in downtown St. Joseph.


I have to say the highlight of the evening was when Holly+Tavis started their first dance to Kenny Chesney’s “You and Me” and then broke into a beautiful (and lively) dance to “Some kind of Wonderful.” It was literally one of the best choreographed ballroom-style dances I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see how All Star Productions captured it on film! But just one sneak peek today, and that’s the lovely photos from Melissa at Jennifer Mayo Studios!

real wedding sneak peek::a modern wedding on the lake shore

When bride Abby contacted me and said she wanted us to help her design  her tented wedding in Holland, I was thrilled, because meeting with her and looking at her inspiration photos, I knew this would be fun!  She had a fantastic color palette of marigold and gray in mind and had already picked out her bridesmaids dresses from anthropologie, so we had some great inspiration! And no wedding is complete without the perfect floral designer, and for this wedding I knew that had to be Modern Day Floral in Grand Rapids. When it comes to unique designs, Jenn at Modern Day Floral can always deliver! With the bride planning from another state, Jenn and I sat down and plotted out our plan of attack…unique and vibrant yellow flowers, sleek white containers, lots of adorable craspedia (those fuzzy little yellow balls of goodness shown below that I’m in love with!) and gorgeous gray tuscano linens from La Tavola. Simply lovely.  And of course, a huge thanks to Kara Purtell who captured it all so beautifully—you can see more photos on her blog!


real wedding sneak peek::amy+dave at shadowland ballroom

Last weekend we coordinated 2 beautiful weddings in St. Joseph! Here is a little sneak peek from the wedding of Amy+Dave and their soft, romantic reception at Shadowland Ballroom in St. Joseph. I absolutely loved Amy’s gown, her pale and romantic flowers by Crystal Springs, the beautiful overlays and chair covers by Simply Elegant Memories, the delicious truffle boxes from the Chocolate Garden, their fun (and addicting) Mod Photo Booth…and pretty much everything else! And to top it all off, add in a super sweet bride & groom, family and a great group of vendors!

Congratulations Amy & Dave, and thank you for letting us be a part of your special (and very beautiful) day! And thanks to Jennifer Mayo Studios for a sneak peek at their very lovely photos!

Win a free engagement session from Jennifer Mayo Studios when you register to attend the Lake Shore Wedding Walk by September 3rd! We will announce the winner on September 7th and can’t wait to see you all at the Lake Shore Wedding Walk on Septmeber 19th!

real wedding sneak peek::lisa+justin

Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of seeing another of our full-service weddings come to fruition this summer as we watched Justin+Lisa tied the knot in St. Joseph! Lisa had a beautiful and unique vision, and I was so happy with how it all turned out! Like many couples we work with, Lisa+Justin originally contemplated having a destination wedding in Mexico, but wanted to be surrounded by many of their family and friends who would not be able to travel, so opted to have their destination wedding in Southwest Michigan!

From the beautiful coral garden roses and pearlized shell napkin rings (hand crafted by the bride) to the oversized paper lanterns, elegant silver chiavari chairs and gorgeous La Tavola linens, I loved how this wedding reflected the brides Caribbean beach-chic syle.


Due to scattered showers, we moved the beach ceremony inside to the Krasl Art Center, which was stunning with a mahogany chuppah draped in white fabric and a gorgeous orchid & crystal chandelier by Beikmann Associates Floral! At the reception, Drop35 kept people dancing all night long as guests enjoyed the beautiful evening weather at the Veranda at the Whitcomb—an open-air, lake-view venue in downtown St. Joseph!

pappas_ collage 2

All of these gorgeous photos were captured by St. Joseph wedding photographer Ben Pancoast. We had a stellar group of vendos working on this wedding and also have to say thank you to CK Catering, ‘Lil Fox bartending, Davone Simon (cake), Pro Show lighting and All Star Productions video!

Lisa+Justin, thank you for letting us help you plan a beautiful destination wedding in SW Michigan and many wishes for years and years of happiness!

real wedding::caitlin+nathan tie the knot in st. joseph

Back in March, we were contacted by BRIDES magazine to share our ideas on planning an intimate and unique wedding reception hosted at an art gallery, on a budget of $10,000. It was a lot of fun to brainstorm and design, as we’d never planned a wedding in an art gallery! Then, of all things, a few months after we turned in our ideas to the magazine (and just before the story actually came out) we were approached by a fun & funky couple, who wanted to plan an intimate wedding reception at our local Krasl Art Gallery! Enter Caitlin+Nate and their fun and fabulous wedding 4th of July weekend…

All of their lovely photos were captured by Genevieve McKeiver Photogaphy, and you can visit her blog to see many more!


real wedding::50’s inspired garden party at mill creek barns (part 2)

Megan+ Will’s beautiful wood rings were made by a Chicago artisan, and Megan’s was set with Moissanite, a diamond alternative. After learning that Megan & Will had spent 2 years in Africa, I wasn’t surprised that they had opted for a conflict-free diamond alternative. You can also find eco-friendly conflict-free rings at!

When Megan and I met for her first consultation she told me that she wanted her wedding to be more like a fun, family gathering than a traditional wedding reception. They wanted people to have time to enjoy and interact with one another, visit with them, and have a great time. So, after the ceremony, while the couple took photos around the beautiful property of Mill Creek Barns, we set out lawn games for the guests to enjoy: croquet, bocce ball, corn hole/bag toss and my favorite–super size Jenga! People enjoyed the games both before and after dinner and it was a fun way for everyone to enjoy the beautiful day! Giving guests a little extra entertainment during cocktail hour also allowed them to enjoy their photos without worrying about getting back too quickly! After a delicious meal by CK Catering, a beautiful (and yummy) cake by Cocoa Bean, guests enjoyed dancing, a colorful candy bar, and at dusk, we fired up the bonfire for guests to enjoy some s’mores! All photos were captured by photographer Ben Pancoast!


real wedding::50’s inspired garden party at mill creek barns (part 1)

Megan+Will tied the knot on Sunday, June 27th at Mill Creek Barns. When we arrived to setup at noon we were quickly greeted by an onslaught of rain that lasted for at least an hour. But by the time the bride arrived, the groomsmen were getting dressed, and the final touches were getting put on, the skies cleared and gave way to a beautiful clear sky for their 3:00 ceremony! I love those kind of days!

Megan chose a 50’s garden party as the inspiration for her wedding design, and it was a great fit with the venue, and a fun change of pace from traditional wedding decor! The color combo of Red & Turquoise was just fabulous, and all of the little details she incorporated really tied the whole design together! When you choose to do something very stylistic for your wedding (such as an era-inspired wedding) you really have to go for it, and Megan went all out, from the clothing and flower choices to the accessories, centerpieces and fabrics, and it was stunning.

One thing that made this wedding so special was the fact that the bride and her family and friends were extremely involved in the planning, as well as the creation of many of the DIY Details. See all of the details of the DIY loveliness below!


The Dress::Megan bought her dress on Ebay and added her personal flair with some custom alterations. As you can see, it was absolutely beautiful and very unique.

The Flowers::Megan made a stop at A New Leaf in Chicago, before heading to Michigan, and created her bridesmaids bouquets out of vintage carnations, zinnias, hypericum berries and artichoke. Her bouquet was a beautiful combo of lambs ear, peonies and hydrangea.

Centerpieces:: The beautiful paper flowers were made by the brides mom and a slew of her friends recruited to help! They were placed in vintage soda bottles, and milk glass vases that Megan had collected, and we incorporated vintage broaches, necklaces and candy dishes amongst the tables!

Escort flags:: I loved these, and of course, they were hand-crafted by the bride! Very unique, colorful, and a perfect complement to the colorful candy buffet!

I’ll be honest, I pretty much loved everything about this wedding, and when it came down to sharing photos from Ben Pancoast Photography, it was hard to choose! So look for Part 2 later today!

real wedding::jessica+justin’s lake michigan wedding

On Tuesday we shared a sneak peak of Jessica+Justin’s St. Joseph wedding, and today we’ve got a ton of beautiful photos to share from the talented ladies at Jennifer Mayo Studios! I absolutely loved these bridesmaids dresses, and the bright color combo used in the flowers and centerpieces, created by Beikmann Associates—it was such a fun & lively color combo and it perfectly reflected this fun couple! And look at those beautiful sparkling waters of Lake Michigan! You just can’t beat a ceremony on the lake, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous as these 2 tied the knot with Rev. Bonnie Corondan!

real wedding sneak peek::tessa+brian’s saugatuck wedding


Last Saturday we had our first wedding in lovely Saugatuck, and Tessa+Brian couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day for a beach wedding! They shared an intimate ceremony on Oval Beach with family and friends before heading over to Restaurant Toulouse in downtown Saugatuck where tables were covered in lovely royal blue satin linens and covered in lush centerpieces of pale blue hydrangeas and yellow mini callas, and warm candlelight!

A jazz quartet played throughout the night, and wait til you see the cake—it is one of my all-time favorites and it was an absolute work of art! We can’t wait to share more photos from their photographer, Duneland Photos!


The Venue:: Saugatuck holds special memories for Tess+Brian and Restaurant Toulouse was a beautiful backdrop for their wedding. They have a gorgeous outdoor veranda where guests enjoyed cocktail hour, and their dining area has a beautiful fireplace and a warm and intimate atmosphere that was perfect for this intimate celebration!

Thanks Tess+Brian for letting us join you on your special day, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Saugatuck!

Stella Event Design services:: Day-of Coordination+Decor Design

Wedding Coordinators:: Jessica Pennington & Brittany Johnson