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10 reasons you’ll love the lake shore wedding walk (and free tickets!)

If you’re a regular reader you’ve definitely heard us chattering about the Lake Shore Wedding Walk. It’s a unique (really fun) bridal event that takes place in St. Joseph on Sunday, September 18th from 1-4:00 and we’re proud to both plan the event and participate in it! We would love for all of our readers to come visit us, so use promo code STELLABRIDE 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:-)

2. Beautiful tables designed by Stella Event Design and our fave local florists

3. Food. Food, Food, Food!

4. We just received this years bridal bags and we think they’re pretty awesome!

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. You can meet with 30+ amazing local vendors who are eager to chat with you!

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

10. Visit 4 of the areas most beautiful venues!


real wedding::a beautiful june wedding at the blue dress barn

Helping Lyndee plan her June 17th nuptials to Aaron was a lot like helping a friend plan her wedding…she was so much fun to work with, and such a sweetheart! Her focus was always on the marriage, and while she wanted a beautiful day, she also wanted it to be focused on bringing together their family and friends and being a true celebration of their union. She and her mom are very close, and she played a big part in the planning—-I love seeing parents who are involved in the wedding plans and ready to help with whatever they can!

I loved the fun, cozy feel of this wedding– A family friend created 6 different runners in blues, yellows, and floral patterns, and we criss-crossed two on each guest table in the barn. A beautiful bouquet of colorful wildflowers topped each table. The colorful cakes (each one a different design and flavor!) were made by the brides step-mother, who did an absolutely fantastic job—they were beautiful and delicious!
Blue-dress-barn-wedding-michigan-barn-wedding-millcreek-barnThe gorgeous bouquets were created by Crystal Springs florist, and I don’t think they could have been more perfect for this country wedding! The bridesmaids looked stunning in their wrap dresses—-each one could twist and tie their dress into a different style, and it was a great way for them to “pick their look!” Thank you Lyndee + Aaron for letting us be a part of your special day—it was special because of the focus you two put on making it a day filled with love—and we enjoyed every minute of it!

All of the beautiful photos are by our new friends at Xpose Photography—they were a ton of fun to work with! Check out the “xtreme photo booth” pics  from the wedding on their blog!

2011 team photo shoot with jennifer mayo studios

Every year we bring on a group of summer interns (aka Event Assistants) to help us with our frenzy of summer weddings in Southwest Michigan.  So every May (yes, this is a little late) we start things off with a team photo shoot! It’s a great chance for some team bonding, it gets everyone excited for wedding season, and we get to spruce up our website with snazzy new photos.  Southwest Michigan wedding photographer Jennifer Mayo Studios did our shoot this year and we couldn’t be happier with the photos.  We decided to let our personalities shine through a bit more this year on the website and blog, so a bright color scheme and some fun props were right up our alley! I think the magazine photos are my personal favorite.

A huge thanks to Jennifer Mayo for having a little fun with us and getting us some great shots! And of course we have to send out a (belated) but enthusiastic welcome to our summer Event Assistants Kayla, Blair & Lexie! If you’re curious, you can find out all the details about them–and the whole team–on our website! garden tea party shoot

Posted by Brittany Johnson (Event Planner)

When Brad & Sam of Bradley James Photography approached me about designing a photo shoot with them a few months ago, I was thrilled.  They wanted to do a spring shoot set in an apple orchard when the apple blossoms would (hopefully!) be in bloom.  Michigan’s state flower is a beautiful blend of white and pink and from this stemmed our color scheme.

michigan-orchard-wedding-inspirationI started with a swiss dot coral linen from La Tavola, then met with Modern Day Floral to create the centerpiece.  The vintage gold napkins and frame Brad & Sam found antiquing added a vintage flair that coordinated with the bride’s dress and pulled everything together.
michigan-orchard-wedding-inspirationWe hoped wedding chicks would enjoy our shoot as much as we did so we submitted the photos and anxiously waited for a reply.  The day Brad called to tell me weddingchicks had accepted our submission I was beyond excited.  Thank you weddingchicks for publishing our work.  It was truly an honor to be featured on one of our favorite sites! You can check out the feature on the WeddingChicks site!

join us at the 2011 lake shore wedding walk

We are so excited to announce that tickets go on sale today for the 2nd Annual Lake Shore Wedding Walk on Sunday, September 18th! We are so excited to host this unique event and we hope you can join us—we have some really fun displays in the works— tablescapes showcasing some great color combos, DIY ideas, and of course a great lineup of vendors and exhibits! This is a far cry from your cookie-cutter bridal show! If you’re planning a wedding, or thinking about a wedding along the lake shore, the Lake Shore Wedding Walk is a MUST. The event is hosted at FOUR local venues…the Veranda at the Whitcomb, Heritage Center, Shadowland Ballroom and Krasl Art Center…each venue will feature vendor exhibits, food samples and interactive events such as fashion shows, local wine tastings and more!

Learm More & Buy tickets!

Follow on Facebook for up-to-date details!

is a receiving line right for you?

Originally part of a traditional wedding, many couples are now opting to not do a receiving line.  If you’re on the fence on receiving your guests, check out a few pros & cons to see if it’s a good fit for you:


  • You and your new groom are able to greet older guests that might not stay later into the night (they love that!)
  • You get to personally greet and thank guests for coming, especially guests you are meeting for the first time from your new side of the family, and you have a chance to be introduced by your new in-laws


  • If it is an outdoor wedding, guests can get very hot and uncomfortable during the ceremony and standing in line could be torturous (especially for the elderly or young children). This is especially true for beach weddings on a beautiful (hot) summer day!
  • With large parties, it could take a very long time to get through everyone, and you always get chatty guests who hold up the line.

Tips to a successful receiving line:

  • If your ceremony/cocktail hour/reception is outside, make sure the place you pick to start the receiving line is in the shade. The other option is to start the line as guests enter the reception area which will also help guide guests to their tables or escort cards
  • Set a time limit! Only greet guests for 20-45 mins and if you are at the reception venue, ask the family to help escort and direct guests to their tables at the reception. This will help keep your party on time and a timely wedding makes guests (and vendors) happy!
  • Shorten your receiving line by only having you, your groom, and your parents greet guests. This will help move things along, as guests won’t have to stop to greet bridal party members as well!

Posted by Kayla Weems (Event Assistant)

real wedding sneak peek::a boardwalk wedding at shadowland ballroom

When I first met Jessica and Marc I knew their wedding was going to be a unique event that guests would not soon forget!  Jessica shared with me that she wanted to create a beach boardwalk themed evening that would keep guests happy and full all night and she definitely succeeded!  From cake and gelato to cotton candy and a late night pizza snack, there wasn’t a hungry soul in the room.  Guests were not only treated to delicious snacks, but a photo booth complete with props, carousel rides, and a special guest—Sparty, the Michigan State University mascot!   Sparty’s grand entrance threw the groom and his family (all Michigan fans!) into an uproar and their wasn’t a face in the room without a smile.

It was the little details that brought everything together though. The table numbers gave history of different places in St. Joseph and the escort cards were carousel ticket stubs — so cute! Jessica’s final touch was the lighting. Mod Events completely transformed Shadowland Ballroom’s blue walls and created the warm intimate setting the bride and groom wanted.  Check out some of the beautiful moments of the day captured by Jennifer Mayo!


Thank you Jessica+Marc for letting us be a part of your special day.  We had a blast with you!

Posted by Brittany Johnson (Event Planner)

real wedding sneak peek::mix and match bridesmaids

On Sunday, Jessica+JT tied the knot at the Veranda at the Whitcomb, after a beautiful beach ceremony in St. Joseph! We’ve had some sketchy weather this summer, but it couldn’t have been a more gorgeous day for a wedding on Lake Michigan! There were so many things I loved about this wedding: The bride and groom….a super cool couple. The color palette…gorgeous. Flowers…stunning. And those bridesmaids dresses…one word.  AMAZING! I absolutely love mix ‘n match ‘maids dresses, and this is a perfect example of how letting everyone choose their own styles can really let their personality shine! So if you’re looking for a less traditional approach to your bridal party attire, then you pick the perfect color palette, and let your ‘maids go out and pick the perfect frock to rock your wedding!

mis-matched-bridesmaids-dressesSneak peeks after the wedding are the best! This one was made possible by the gals at  430Studios

now hiring::fall 2011 interns

Michigan is famous for it’s beautiful Autumns, which set a perfect scene for the numerous Fall weddings Stella Event Design has been asked to plan. We are now accepting applications for Fall interns (Event Assistants) to assist us during our 2011 Fall wedding season, September 9-December 9. (November 9-December 9 work is remote, no driving necessary!)

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! Office hours assisting planners throughout the week are also available for the right candidate.

Who We’re Looking For :: We are seeking junior & senior level students pursuing a degree in a related field (public relations, communications, hospitality & tourism, etc.), who are excited about learning the ins-and-outs of event planning, work well with a team, and exhibit a high level of responsibility. Weddings can be a stressful and emotionally charged time for a bride & groom and their families—the ideal candidate is friendly, enthusiastic, 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 60 minutes from Kalamazoo, 90 minutes from Grand Rapids, and 45 minutes from South Bend. You must be able to travel to Southwest Michigan for events on weekends.

What You’ll Get :: This is an unpaid internship and must apply towards college credit. You will walk away from this internship with 10 weeks of 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 Southwest Michigan.

When You’ll Work :: Weddings are scheduled primarily on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Interns will be scheduled to work for a 10-12 week period September 9-November 9 and will assist with 8-12  events. From November 9-December 9 you will assist us with “behind the scenes” work, online from your home.  We are happy to take schedules into consideration if given proper notice at start of season. Interns will also be assigned “pre-event” tasks each week, which can often be completed online from home.

How to Apply :: If you’re interested in joining the Stella Event Design Team for our Fall 2011 season, please email your cover letter and resume (.pdf format, please) to We will be accepting applications and conducting interviews through September 15! If you have additional questions, please email (no phone calls, please).