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real wedding::yana+brannon video trailer

I love all things pretty. And fast. I am one of the least patient people ever born (or so my husband says) so I am always beyond thrilled when I get a sneak peek of one of our weddings earlier than I expected! Check out the trailer of Yana+Brannon’s wedding (just last week at the Heritage Center and Shadowland Pavilion) created by Aaron of Captured Productions! I LOVE IT! The video speaks for itself, but I can’t say enough how wonderful Aaron and his crew are to work with, both before and during the wedding, and what an amazing way to have your wedding day preserved!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a re-cap of Kate+Mitch’s wedding on Saturday!! We had a blast with this one, and I can’t wait to share all about it!

real wedding::a sneak peek of stefanie+jim from carlos ortiz

Check out a slideshow of Stefanie+Jim’s June 13th wedding, courtesy of their wonderful photographer Carlos Ortiz. Carlos was wonderful to work with, and really captured the spirit of this couple—he’s located in Chicago, but obviously travels, so if you’re currently searching for a photographer for your 2010 wedding in Michigan (or Chicago), check him out!


It rained all morning, until about an hour before the ceremony, but Stefanie and her bridesmaids didn’t let it keep them down, or from capturing some really cute pictures! Who says you have to have clear skies to have a beautiful and fun wedding day—-just roll with it and it will be amazing, I promise!

real wedding::a sneak peek of yana+brannon at the heritage center

Sunday we got to work with a great group of vendors to pull together Yana & Brannon’s wedding in St. Joseph! This is one of 5 full service weddings this summer and we’ve been working with them since October to put together a chic & swanky event for them! While we wait for the pro pics from the awesome Cindy Corstange of The Open Shutter, here is a sneak peek of the reception (tables are pre-centerpieces!) None of my ceremony pics did the beautiful venue justice, so I’ll wait for pro pics to show that one off & we’ll share all of the details of the day!


(all photos by Intern Brittany, Stella Event Design)


Full Service Event Planning::Stella Event Design

Ceremony::Shadowland Pavilion, St. Joseph

Reception::The Heritage, St. Joseph

Photography::The Open Shutter (Cindy Corstange)

Videography::Captured Productions

Catering::Bistro at the Boulevard, St. Joseph

Bar Service::With A Twist (Sue Luther)

Ceremony draping, Custom lighting & Linens::MichaelAngelo’s

Band::Me & The Boys

Stationery::La Stellina Studio (Tara Berghuis), Grand Rapids


real wedding::stefanie+jim at weko beach & santaniello’s


(The ceremony at Weko Beach—the water is so calm it almost looks like sky!)

Saturday we had the pleasure of helping Stefanie & Jim tie the knot on beautiful Weko Beach in Bridgman. The day started off with rain, and while it poured down, Brittany and I set up at the reception hall. Stefanie created many of the details and decor herself, and is a crafty Do-it-yourselfer—she did a wonderful job of making her wedding unique and fun, which is a reflection of her, because she is one fun girl!

At 1:00 when we headed to the beach to setup for the ceremony, the rain was still coming down, so we confirmed our contingency plans to setup at the community center at the beach if necessary. At 2:30 the clouds rain broke and we hurried to set everything up on the beach before the 3:30 arrival of guests! Chairs were provided by Taylor Rental, ceremony arrangements and personal flowers were created by Beikmann Associates Floral, and music was all hand selected by the bride & played via a battery-operated sounds system we secured through Taylor Rental (perfect for beach weddings, the sound is great!)

When Stefanie and the girls arrived on the shuttle they were so excited to see we could actually do it on the beach—Stefanie really had her heart set on a beach ceremony, so we were thrilled we could make it happen! The rain held out for a beautiful and personal ceremony, and the processional song that played as they left was Ever, Ever After by Carried Udnerwood (from the Enchanted soundtrack) which I just loved!

At Santaniello’s Stefanie & Jim and their guests enjoyed an Italian family-style dinner that was delicious! The bride and her dad danced to Forever Young (and did a little freestyle dancing at the end which was great), the bride and groom danced to Jason Mraz, “I’m yours,” and the bridal party got everyone out on the floor with their rendition of “Apache, jump on it,” which was so fun! Pizza was brought out as a late night snack gor guests and Tim Sewcyck with Music Unlimited kept the dancing going all night long, and at midnight everyone was sad to go!

Thank you so much Stefanie and Jim (and Stef’s mom Kathy) for working with us over the last 8 months and being so much fun! Thanks for letting us be a part of your special day! We were so busy contending with the weather and back-up plans that we didn’t get a  lot of good pictures, but we’ll post more when the professional pics are available from their photographer, Carlos Ortiz!


Stella Event Design::Basic Planning Services

Ceremony::Weko Beach, Bridgman

Reception::Santaniello’s Restaurant, Stevensville

Photography::Carlos Ortiz, Chicago

Florist::Beikmann Associates Floral, Niles

DJ::Music Unlimited, Riverside

Cake::Dee’s Specialty Cakes

Transportation::Royal Excursion, South Bend

real wedding::megan+greg at mill creek barns

If you’ve been reading this blog lately or follow us on twitter or facebook, you know we’ve been excited about our first wedding of the season at the brand new Mill Creek Barns! Saturday was the big day, and even though the morning started out rainy, Megan+Greg ended up with a beautiful day for a Southwest Michigan wedding! Megan+Greg had a very fun and unique wedding that was filled with their own personalities and personal touches, and it turned out absolutely beautiful and perfect for them! All photographs are courtesy of the talented duo Tressie+Chad at Two Pair Photography!


Despite morning rain, the sun came out and we had a wonderful cocktail hour outside with passed appetizers, a lemonade and iced tea bar (complete with mason jars to sip from) and an outdoor bar with Michigan beers & wines handpicked by the couple.


Inside the dining hall we decorated tables with burlap overlays, tree ring chargers, and mason jars we filled with hydrangeas and wildflowers or candles.  In honor of the couples love for adventurous trips, each table was named for a trip or “adventure” the couple has been on, complete with a picture of the couple at that location. The escort cards sprang from tins of grass with a sign stating, “Find Your Own Adventure.” The nights menu hung on a hand-painted canvas and a delicious dinner was served family-style by CK Catering! After dinner, guests moved into the Dance Hall where Montage kicked off the night, and guests never sat down again!


Here are a few of their beautiful ceremony at St. Bernards! Megan was just one of the happiest brides I have ever seen and her smile was contagious! Thanks to all of the vendors that made this first event of the year so successful and a big Thanks to Megan+Greg for letting us be a part of your special day!

ceremony collage


Ken+Katy at Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame and The Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Michigan

Lisa+Bart at the Blue Dress Barn 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

fave of 08::me+the boys

If you’d like to do something to make your wedding fun+exciting, I suggest you consider live music! I can’t remember the last time I attended a wedding (as a guest) with live music, but it’s always a hit at weddings I’ve coordinated! My favorite of 2008 was Me and the Boys, an eight piece swing orchestra out of Northern Indiana. They were absolutely incredible, and everyone was blown away by their fun, retro style that kept everyone dancing!

In 2009 we’ve got at least five weddings using a variety of live music, and I’m excited to hear them all in person and pass along recommendations to all of you considering live acts for your 2009/2010 celebrations!

*Photo by LVL Photography

fave of 08::bring on the color!

Kelly was an incredibly fun bride to work with! She’s a spunky gal, so it was a no-brainer that we could pull off something a little different with her wedding! Kelly chose a deep fall color palette for her September 27th wedding, using dark reds, oranges, yellows and greens! She gave me free range on selecting centerpieces, and we came up with the lovely design above, courtesy of Crystal Springs!

However, when it came to her bouquet, Kelly fell in love with a bright pink and kept coming back to it despite the change in color palette, so we decided to roll with it! Instead of trying to force the wedding into one color scheme, we used a bright pink color palette with green accents for the beach ceremony, and carried the fall colors throughout the reception.

It turned out amazing, and I’m glad we did it—don’t let anyone put you in a box when it comes to your wedding design. Go with your instincts and have fun!

*photos by Kelly Powers Photography

fave of 08::bright+bold color combo

Tracy+David hired me to help them with their decor, and I had an amazing time helping them put together a design concept using their bright+bold color combo of pink+orange! Along with the fun color combo, Tracy also wanted to incorporate crystals as an accent. We brought color into Foundry Hall with HUGE pink+orange paper lanterns (you can’t tell, but they were about 3 feet in diameter), bright pink table runners, and pink+orange rose petals.

To tie in the crystals, we used swarovski scatter crystals on the table (I love these!) and also used crystal tree centerpieces on the two larger tables. All in all, this setup was one of my favorites, despite it being one of our most difficult of the year, having to secure the 20+ huge lanterns into the beams of Foundry Hall! Well worth it—this wedding was gorgeous!

*Photos by JK Photography

megan+sott {10.11.08}

(Photos courtesy of Chad Bosma)

I apologize for the tardiness on this post, but I was so busy that day I didn’t get a chance to snap a single picture, and wanted to wait for pro pics to share! Saturday, October 11th marked the end of our 2008 wedding season, and we couldn’t have asked for a nice day, and a nicer couple! I’ve been working with Megan for the last couple of months to help her pull together all of the details for her wedding. Friday we began setup at the hall, and once things got started I left Becca, my assistant for the night, behind and headed to the rehearsal. The rehearsal (and ceremony) were at the absolutely beautiful Centre Meeting House on Morris Farms. It’s the cutest little wedding chapel I’ve ever seen!

Megan’s aunt Pat, who is the mayor of a local city, officiated over the ceremony and the 2 of us spent about an hour running everyone through the ceremony and making sure everyone was ready for the big day!

Afterwards, Megan+Scott headed to the rehearsal dinner and I headed back to the hall to finish the decor setup.

Saturday morning I headed to the rental company to pick up the table for the unity candle and a few linens for the reception hall. I arrived at the meeting house to setup a few things before the bridal party arrived. The Flower Cart dropped off some beautiful arrangements for the church and I proceeded to pass out all of the corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets. Megan chose small bouquets of roses for the mothers which I thought was a beautiful alternative to the usual corsages. Renaissance Strings provided absolutely beautiful ceremony music, and their ceremony was very sweet and personal. My favorite part was Megan’s grandfather reading “Blessing of the Hands,” which I will share in another post.

After the ceremony the bridal party headed out for pictures with Chad Bosma and I loaded up flowers from the ceremony and headed over to the reception where guests had already arrived and began to enjoy appetizers as Mark from Music Express provided dinner music. After dinner was served the dancing began, I sliced up the cake and everyone had a ball dancing and celebrating Megan+Scott!

Thanks again Megan+Scott for letting me be a part of your day!

a fall wedding on lake michigan!

Is it just me, or was Saturday the most beautiful day for an outdoor wedding ever?! Look at that amazing water! I may be a little biased because it was my last outdoor wedding of the year, and I was so absolutely thrilled that we shook off the rain from the week before and came out with a gorgeous day for a wedding on the shores of Lake Michigan! While we patiently wait for the pro pics from the talented Kelly Powers, here are a few I snapped of the ceremony and the little details we put together for this special day! I’m always so happy to see the end results of our full-service weddings and how it all pulls together…they are some of my favorites!

The Setup:

Beth and I arrived at the beach at 11:00 to setup chairs and put the final touches on the ceremony setup. Kelly was so fun to work with, and really gave me a lot of room to flex my creativity on this wedding which was a lot of fun, and it was so awesome to see her love everything we put together for her! We wanted to keep things simple and natural since we had such a gorgeous backdrop, so we did some simple gerber daisy and dune grass arrangements on the chairs, made a focal point at the front using driftwood and dune grass, and lined the back of the chairs with more dune grass, which is hard to see in pictures (sorry!) All of the gorgeous flowers were provided by Crystal Springs Florist.

Even though Kelly chose a fall palette of dark reds, oranges, yellows and greens, she fell in love with a bright pink bouquet, so we made the entire ceremony area bright and cheery using pink, and incorporated her fall color palette into the reception. The pink really popped on the beach, and I loved that there were sailboats all over in the background! At 3:00 Kelly+Russ said ‘I do’ in front of 54 of their closest friends and family, accompanied by beautiful harp tunes provided by Carl Payne (by the way, harp music is just perfect for the beach!) The ceremony was conducted by Kelly’s brother in law and was very personal and touching!

Some details:

Monogram: we based all of our printed materials off of a monogram created by April at Blu Sky Designs and we couldn’t have been happier with it! We incorporated it into the table numbers, favor tags, and even dropped the flowers into the menu cards!

Favors: Caramel apples from Kilwins were wrapped up with orange and green ribbon and raffia and set out on cake plates for guests to take home. These were a huge hit and I ate mine today—so delicious! Kelly also bought adorable light house ornaments for each family (you can see it in the box in the lower left pic) which was a really cute idea in honor of their beach wedding!

Kids’ favors: Small tin buckets filled with Legos (the couples favorite toy). Each bucket contained the pieces to make one car, and the couple put it together ahead of time and took a picture (rolled up in the scroll of paper) so the kids could see what they were making! The kids LOVED this, and had so much fun sitting at their table and making their Lego cars!

Cake: Cupcakes! There were cupcakes covered in large daisies in red, orange and yellow and they were delicious!

My pictures don’t do this beautiful wedding justice, and there are so many other fabulous things from this wedding I just can’t wait to share (but I will) so more to come! Thanks Kelly+Russ for being an absolutely AMAZING couple to work with! I was so happy to help create and share this special day with you both!

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