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real wedding :: event design at shadowland ballroom

Along with planning & coordination, we also offer design services. We get to know our couples and their style, and turn their folders of photos — or for some, just an overall feeling — into a cohesive design that reflects their personality. We offer customized design services, specialty linens and decor rentals and we work with the best florists, lighting companies and rental companies to bring the designs to life.

Kim+Dan’s August 2011 wedding was one that we had a lot of fun designing. Kim is a truie “girlie-girl” and we were so excited to hear that she loved patterns, crystals, and all things pretty & glitzy! She wanted a look that was elegant, and traditional, but with a twist. We provided beautiful patterned linens in her shades of gray & yellow, and Crystal Springs Florist worked with us to bring the floral designs to life. gray yellow wedding details cake centerpiecesThe tables featured several decor elements, including a mixture of silver mercury glass arrangements, tall candelabra pieces and crystal chandeliers. Shadowland Ballroom is full of natural light, so I knew one unique way to bring another “crystal” element into the mix was incorporating a clear/silver chiavari chair. They’re far from traditional, but they’re an amazing decor piece that makes such an impact! I absolutely love them!
Shadowland Ballroom gray yellow wedding detailsA creative floor plan can go a long way in the overall look of your event, and for Kim+Dan we created a unique arrangement at Shadowland Ballroom that took full advantage of every square inch, including round tables, square tables, and long king arthur tables. Unique table layouts are a budget-friendly and easy way to add a little spice to your wedding design!A huge thank you to Kristy Photography, for all of the gorgeous photos!

Need help bringing your wedding day look to life? Event design services are included with both our basic and full service planning packages and are also available as an ala carte service, or in addition to day-of coordination! From rustic chic designs to traditional and modern, we love getting the opportunity to help brides design the wedding look of their dreams!

See more wedding decor designed by Stella Event Design:

real wedding:: brittany+scott’s lake shore wedding, part 2

After a beautiful ceremony at Shadowland Pavilion, guests were invited to enjoy a beautiful tented cocktail hour on the lawn of the Silver Beach Center, before heading inside to Shadowland Ballroom. Escort cards were nestled into wooden trays filled with pebbles and succulents, and the tables were beautifully appointed with gorgeous centerpieces from Modern Day Floral. When I first sat down with Jenn at Modern Day and we talked about Brittany+Scott, what they were like, their style, and the concept I had in mind, she not only got it, she made it even better and she is so much fun to work with! Beautiful manzanita (very reminiscent of driftwood) was used in several of the reception centerpieces and focal pieces, and the bright white flowers with all of their beautiful fresh green stems paired with tons of candlelight were just perfect! I loved it not only because it was beautiful, but it was absolutely perfect for Brittany+Scott—elegant, natural and reminiscent of the beach, but not overdone!
And the dessert table? One of my favorites! There were 6 different cupcake designs in 4 delicious flavors, whoopie pies, blue gummi bears (the brides favorite) and other assorted bites of goodness! A huge thanks to Dee’s Specialty Cakes for the delicious cupcakes and whoopie pies! Brittany+Scott had a fabulous band, the Dave Ivaz Orchestra who had people dancing all night…and boy did they dance…this group got right out on the dance floor at the first song and never left—it was a great party!

Brittany+Scott, thank you so much for trusting us with your special day, and for being such an absolute pleasure to work with! If you’re curious about their sailing adventure, you can live vicariously through them (like I am!) by following them on their blog at!

If you missed Part 1 of Britt+Scott’s wedding, check it out here! All photos are by talented duo Ben+Mindy Peterson of Studio623

real wedding:: brittany+scott’s lake shore wedding, part 1

We plan several full-service weddings each summer…these are couples we get to work with from start to finish to plan every detail and aspect of their weddings, and we usually get to work with them for 6-12 months! When I met Brittany+Scott for the first time last November, I knew this was going to be a fantastic wedding with a fantastic couple, and it was going to be so fun to plan! Brittany+Scott are from Chicago, but they’re 2 sailors who happened to meet in St. Joseph during the Tri-State Regatta, so having the wedding in the same city where they met was the perfect choice for them. They wanted a beautiful wedding that was elegant but casual, beachy but not overdone. Working with Brittany was amazing, because she gave me direction and an overall feel, and she let me run with it! (I’ll be sharing another post later this week showing how a wedding develops from inspiration to the finished product).

The ceremony was held at Shadowland Pavilion on Silver Beach, which overlooks the St. Joseph River and lighthouse, and is right across the river from the yacht club where they met—the perfect place to tie the knot with sailboats drifting by behind them! The photo lower right shows Brittany opening her wedding present from Scott—a flag for their sailboart, named Rasmus! Just a few weeks ago these 2 embarked on a sailboat trip around the world which will keep them out on the water for several years—-a pretty incredible journey for these adventure-seeking newlyweds!

Despite torrential rain the entire morning of the wedding (and I mean serious, ‘will it ever stop?’ rain) the storm clouds parted and the skies were dry and blue for their afternoon ceremony. They walked down a gorgeous custom aisle runner adorned with a dune grass pattern that coordinated with all of their stationery items from Save the Dates to Welcome Bag maps! The father of the bride surprised them with personalized golf umbrellas for guests in case of rain, and also, to stay optimistic (which paid off) hand held motorized fans with the couples names! It was blazing hot by the time the ceremony came around, so guests were so appreciative and they were a great little memento!

I’ll share more on the florals and decor in the next post, but check out the ceremony arrangements and those gorgeous bouquets! The amazing team at Modern Day Floral absolutely rocked out these bouquets—-elegant, earthy and unique—just like this couple! Stay tuned later today for more on their reception and details!

All photos are by talented duo Ben+Mindy Peterson of Studio623!

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::dee+michael at shadowland ballroom

Last weekend we had the pleasure of having our very first winter wedding and I absolutely loved the color palette—black and white with splashes of a rich, velvety red! Absolutely loved working with this fun couple to plan their wedding at the new Shadowland ballroom on Silver Beach…thank you for letting me be a part of your special day!

For more fabulous photos check out the Parker Photographic blog—Chris did an amazing job capturing the day!

silver beach carousel & shadowland ballroom

The Silver Beach Carousel is finally here, and isn’t it gorgeous?! This beautiful piece of artwork is housed in the same building as the new Shadowland Ballroom, which is also opening on December 31st! For more information, check out our previous post on Shadowland Ballroom and Carousel on Silver Beach! We have our first wedding here on February 27th and are so excited—it’s going to be an amazing wedding! For more pictures of the Silver Beach Carousel Grand Opening, check out photographer Jennifer Mayo’s blog!

Photos above courtesy of Jennifer Mayo/JM Studios.


southwest michigan wedding venue on the beach::shadowland ballroom & carousel

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a guided tour of the new Shadowland Ballroom on Silver Beach in St. Joseph. The new facility will open on December 31st, and has been highly anticipated! The building is not yet open to the public, so I was excited to get some pictures to share with brides who may be looking for a gorgeous wedding venue along the lake shore.

First, a quick note on the location—it’s amazing! The new Shadowland building houses Shadowland Ballroom, an annex to the Curious Kids Museum and the full-size, working reproduction of the historic  Silver Beach carousel and is located below the bluff, about 500 feet from Lake Michigan itself. One section of the ballroom, the Sunset Room and its adjoining outdoor patio, actually has views of the lake! Across the street is the newly opened Compass Fountain Park, which boasts aerial and in-ground fountains that go off on the hour during the spring and summer! Shadowland Ballroom is within walking distance of downtown St. Joseph, and downtown hotels like The Boulevard Inn. So if you’re looking for a wedding on the lake, you can’t get much closer than this in Southwest Michigan! Keeping in mind that I’m not a professional photographer, but try my best, I’ll take you on a little photo tour of Shadowland Ballroom!


Below (left) is the main entrance to the building, and the private parking lot will have 80 spots reserved for private events. The building will be lined by dune grass, with a grassy front lawn. Just inside the entrance is an amazing overhead Kaleidoscope that you can actually walk under and look up into. Photos are projected into it from various cameras throughout the building, which means during your event, your big moments and your guests may be captured and displayed in all of their 1,000-faceted glory! This was neat even covered in black tape and without anything projected on it—I cannot wait to see this in action! After entering the building and passing under the kaleidoscope, you walk into a large main corridor called the Boardwalk, which divides the building into the ballroom section on the right, and the carousel and museum on the left. This building is very light, bright and open, with lots of skylights, windows and natural light!shadowland-ballroom-carouselBelow (left) is a view of the ballroom from its entrance—3 sets of large french doors. On the right, the view of the ballroom, facing the entrance. I really like the colors in the room, which are light shades of blue, creams and light greens—it’s very neutral and natural feeling. On the far right, you’ll see just a glimpse of the Sunset room.
shadowland-ballroom-carousel-stjoseph-michiganBelow  right, is another view of the Sunset Room. The Sunset room is attached to the ballroom and connects to an outdoor covered patio area. The Sunset room has a beautiful view of the Compass Fountain park, the lake, and of course, the sunset! As you can see, the ballroom has beautiful light wood floors, and will boast beautiful art-deco style chandeliers, which have yet to be installed. The room has state of the art features including overhead lighting options (you could project your monogram onto the dance floor) and a built-in overhead projector with 2 built-in, drop-down screens.
shadowland-ballroom-southwest-michigan-carousel-silver-beachAcross the hall from Shadowland Ballroom is the million dollar working replica of the original Silver Beach Carousel. This project has been ongoing for years now, and I am so excited to see what is promised to be an amazing piece of artwork! The carousel itself will boast 50 different horses, animals, chariots (and even insects) that guests can ride. The carousel portion of the building is open to the public, but if you’d like to reserve it for your guests, you can purchase private time in 30 minute increments. This private time can be used for pictures or rides for your guests, and also includes 50 carousel tokens that can be used at anytime during your wedding reception, or on another day. The silver tokens are actually beautiful art pieces of their own, and would make wonderful favors or keepsakes! The picture on the right shows the view of the lake from the carousel! See that blue sky? That’s the lake below it! The views from this building are going to be amazing during wedding season!
shadowland-ballroom-carousel-silver-beach-michiganI know there’s nothing fun about bathrooms and dressing rooms, but they’re a must-have if you’ll be needing a spot to get ready on-site. The bathroom is on the right, and will have a beautiful glass-tile back splash lining the long wall of sinks.  Plenty of room for you and your  bridesmaids to line up and check their makeup before heading into your reception! On the left is the bride’s room, which also has its own private bathroom across the hall!

The Shadowland building director is Phil Knuth, and event bookings are being handled by Anne Vonk of The Boulevard Inn—she tells me that most Saturdays are filled for summer 2010, but as always, off days or the off-season are great alternatives and it’s never too early to start thinking about 2011!  If you’d like information on available dates, pricing or a tour of the facility for your upcoming event, contact Anne at 1.888.404.7587!

Planning a wedding at Shadowland Ballroom? Let Stella Event Design help you find the perfect ceremony location, connect you with amazing local vendors, create an amazing design concept for you, keep your day running smoothly and more!  Contact Us to find out about special complimentary add-on services for 2010 Shadowland Ballroom brides!

View artist renderings of the finished building HERE!