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wedding trends::being true to yourself

candybar(amazing confections by Amy Atlas)

The other day at the hair salon, I overheard a bride-to-be and her friend chatting, and it got me thinking. The bride-to-be wanted to have a candy bar at her reception, and she was super excited about it. REALLY excited about it. Her friend proceeded to warn her that she had read Candy Bars were no longer ‘in,’ or a popular thing to do, and I could immediately see the bride was losing her excitement now that she had received her friends disapproval.

Brides… if you like it, DO IT! Don’t let a friend, national magazine or blog written by one person tell you not to do something you like, that will make your wedding personal or special to you. Trends are different everywhere, and just because it may be “so last week” to one person, it doesn’t have to be to you. The fact is, while I’ve heard over and over that candy bars are “over” on the west coast, the trend started here in the midwest much later, and I still run into tons of brides locally who have never even HEARD of a candy bar—let alone all the guests who have never seen one! So the moral of the story (no it’s not to get yourself a candy buffet)… Go with your instincts, don’t seek approval for every decision you make, and remember that when it comes to what you want for your wedding, YOU are the expert!

looking forward to::two pair photography

On Saturday we have our first wedding of the season with Megan+Greg at Mill Creek Barns. Megan is so fun & sweet and has been such a joy to work with & get to know over the last 8 months! She has put so much time and thought into all of her details, including bringing in a photographer all the way from Abilene, Texas. I’m always curious to work with someone new for the first time, so of course I headed over to their website to snoop, and I was not disappointed by what I found!  Fun, funky and modern, this husband & wife photography team is a perfect fit for Megan+Greg! A quick internet-introduction later, and I have some absolutely gorgeous pictures to share from Two Pair Photography. Visit their Website and Blog to learn more about this fun & talented pair of photographers!


Thanks Tressie & Chad for sharing your beautiful work with the Stella blog readers! We’re looking forward to sharing Megan+Greg’s fabulous wedding day with you this weekend!

P.S.  How fantastic are those bridesmaids dresses?! I absolutely love the blue with the sheer black overlay—so incredibly lovely!

tidbit friday::a hassle-free bustle

tidâ‹…bit [tid-bit]

1. a choice or pleasing bite of anything, such as news or gossip
2. Tidbit Friday::a small, but useful tidbit of information or inspiration

bustle(L-R: Kelly Powers Photography, Jen Kroll Photography (courtesy of Aletha), Kelly Powers Photography)

Tips for a hassle-free bustle

1.  Make sure whoever will be bustling your dress will be at your final fitting. As the bride, you will be trapped in your dress and unable to offer assistance when your dress is being bustled the day-of. Plus, you don’t need that stress—leave it to your bridesmaid!

2.  Have your seamstress color code the ribbons or loops she sews into your dress. This way you only have to match up the colors and there’s no question if the right spots are being tied together. Trust me, this will save you a lot of hassle, because even though your bridesmaid may say she has bustled a dress before, every seamstress tends to do them differently, and there are many styles of bustles!

katy+ken::washington, dc engagement pictures

We’re coordinating Katy+Ken’s August wedding and I was so excited to come across their engagement pics! Katy+Ken live and work in Washington, D.C and had their engagement pics taken at sunrise at the National Mall. I just had to share a few of my favorites, but you can view all of the lovely photos by Ben Pancoast here.


(all photos by Ben Pancoast Photography)

Getting your engagement pics taken at a location that holds personal meaning to you is a great way to make them unique and special!  A family summer home, the beach you spent your childhood at, or perhaps at the college campus where you met can all be great choices!  Are you getting your e-pics taken somewhere special?

behind the scenes of a curtain call photo shoot

Last Saturday was our long awaited curtain call shoot and it was sooo much fun! We had such a great group of people working together and our couple, Lisa+Dan were incredible to let us spend an entire afternoon with them, just a week after their wedding! They had a blast and so did we, and if we hadn’t all been starving, we probably could have gone all day! I wanted to share some behind-the-scenes shots from the day, and of course we’ll share all of the fabulous photos when they’re ready! Check me out holding the “stand” (highly technical photography term) out on the dunes! We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day in Southwest Michigan!


Thanks to the lovely Leda of LVL Photography for having the wonderful idea of doing a Curtain Call shoot, and inviting me to be involved. Many would call this Trash the Dress, but the mission of this shoot is not so much to trash the dress as it is to allow a bride the opportunity to wear her dress one last time and capture shots that just wouldn’t be possible on her wedding day!

Thanks to Ben Pancoast and Justin Leveque for joining in on this shoot and providing for even more fabulous shots throughout the day! I can’t even count how many times Lisa+Dan commented on how much they enjoyed working with these 3 photographers, and I can’t agree more—an absolutely fabulous & talented group and any one of them would be an asset to your wedding team (not to mention they are a fun bunch!) Also thanks to Erica at Salon 1341 in Stevensville who styled the brides hair, David at the Veranda at The Whitcomb who provided us a lovely room to use as our “home base” for the day, and Kim of All-Star Productions who filmed our Shennanigans throughout the day!

If you’re interested in a Curtain Call photo shoot, we’ll be offering a Marathon Curtain Call Session on Sunday, August 30th.  The cost is $175 per person or couple ($75 deposit) and includes hair, 2 photographers in at least 2 locations and all of your digital negatives. Did I mention how incredibly fun this was?!  Sign up today by contacting!

Check out Leda’s photos & recap here

See more from Ben Pancoast here

a quick recap


The last few weeks have been pretty hectic (in a good way!) around Stella Event Design. We’ve been busy working on a new website design, a blog re-design, attended a workshop in Chicago and are working on getting our interns ready for the upcoming wedding season. Not to mention we have some amazing weddings coming up that we’ve been excitedly working on!

Last week I spent 2 days in Chicago for Blogging Bootcamp with Liene Stevens of The Smart Planner. Monday night I had the pleasure of spending a lovely dinner with 3 lovely wedding professionals: Erika of E-Vents, Ami (the Elizabeth 1/2) of Elizabeth Anne Designs, and Kathy of Perfect Solutions. Wonderful ladies and an absolutely delicious dinner of french-vietnamese cuisine at La Colonial on Rush Street.

Tuesday was spent in an all day workshop learning how to make this blog a better and happier place for all of our wonderful readers. In the next week or so we’ll be launching our newly designed blog which will not only be much lovelier than this one, but more importantly, will be easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for!  So if you’re in the mood to check out all of our planning tips, they’ll be only a click away!

become a fan::stella on facebook


Become a fan of Stella Event Design and you can read what we’re doing minute-by-minute, view the latest photos from real weddings, post questions on etiquette or planning, and register for online giveaways! Plus, we’d love to see who’s reading the blog, so if you’re a regular blog reader, or you’ve stumbled upon us for the first time, take a moment to join us on Facebook!

Need more Stella Event Design? Follow us on Twitter

megan o’hara, event assistant


Megan O’Hara
2009 Event Assistant

Our team is completed with Megan O’Hara, who will be working with Stella Event Design this summer as an event assistant. We got the chance to meet with Megan in St. Joseph in February and knew her personality and excitement would be a great fit for the rest of our team.

Megan is joining us from Miami University in Ohio where she majors in Mass Communications and Marketing and has previous experience planning social events for campus organizations. Megan will lend her organizational and design skills, as well as her contagious enthusiasm to our 2009 events and we’re happy to have her.

Welcome Megan!

brittany johnson, event assistant


Brittany Johnson
2009 Event Assistant

We couldn’t be happier with the ladies we’ve chosen to assist us this summer as 2009 Event Assistants! Brittany Johnson is a communications major at Taylor University and will be on-site to assist us at many of our weddings this summer.

Brittany has been involved in organizing events for Acting on Aids on her campus and really struck me with her excitement and enthusiasm to be involved hands-on in events.  I’m looking forward to sharing all that we do at Stella Events with her!

Welcome, Brittany!

mary george, event associate

maryresizeMary George
Event Associate

Mary began assisting with events during our 2008 season and will continue to bring her atttention to detail, organization and passion for weddings to our 2009 events! Mary will assist with full-service weddings in 2009, as well as offering Day of Coordination services.

Mary has a degree in counseling and enjoys one on one interaction with brides and grooms, and working with them to make their day stress free and comfortable. Mary lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband Brandon and her son Liam.

We are so excited to have Mary take  on this role with the Stella Event Design team!