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real events::1st annual lake shore wedding walk, part 1

Confession: I have always wanted to plan a bridal show. Though for me (and many others) the words “bridal show” evoke images of a gigantic expo hall filled with drab pipe and drape, vendors trapped behind tables and mobs of brides milling through an endless stream of tiny booths. The bridal show I’ve always envisioned was more than a place to grab coupons, stuff brochures in a bag and wait for a $25 door prize. Instead, I wanted to create an event that was interactive, fun, inspiring and a unique opportunity to meet professionals on a more personal level, while walking away feeling like they actually gained some insight into planning their wedding! Back in April, I pitched my “dream event” to David Krock at the Veranda at the Whitcomb (to see if perhaps I was absolutely crazy) and it turned out he had his own event he’d always wanted to host—a dream wedding giveaway.  So we decided to combine the two into one eventful day! The result: 2 Fantastic events on one day—The Lake Shore Wedding Walk & Dream Wedding Giveaway— a fun day of wedding planning that took brides through 4 beautiful venues as they walked the streets of St. Joseph overlooking the lake, and ending with a chance to win a $30,ooo dream wedding!

(our space—aqua and red wedding inspiration with a little bit of whimsy!)

Over 300 people joined us, and  brides & grooms had the chance to hop on the trolley or walk from venue to venue, visiting the vendor spaces, trying food samples (they were all delicious!), participating in ballroom dance classes, tasting local wines from Tabor Hill and Lemon Creek Wineries, watching the fashion shows at Shadowland Ballroom, and enjoying a gorgeous day in St. Joseph! At the end of the day we all joined at the Veranda at the Whitcomb where we gave away the dream wedding to Sarah+Bill who were beyond excited (I wish I had the video to share—it was a priceless moment!) and we are so excited to be planning their September 17, 2011 wedding alongside CK Catering, Jennifer Mayo Studios, All Star Productions, Cloud Nine Invitation Design, GelatoSmith, and Music Unlimited!

Look for a few more posts sharing photos from each location—there was so much to see and do!

lake shore wedding walk & dream wedding giveaway::sept. 19, 2010

lsww_blog_mapThe Lake Show Wedding Walk and Dream Wedding Giveaway is fast approaching! We have 30 local vendors lined up—-from photographers to wedding planners to gelato carts and harpists, and they’re all ready to show you what they can do to make your wedding in southwest Michigan amazing! And while you’re meeting with vendors and visiting 4 fabulous venues, you can also enjoy interactive events like local wine tastings, ballroom dance classes, and runway-style fashion shows!

Brides & grooms who attend will also have the chance to win an all-expenses-paid dream wedding on September 17, 2011 at the Veranda at the Whitcomb, featuring food by CK Catering, photography by Jennifer Mayo Studios, wedding planning by Stella Event Design, custom stationery from Cloud Nine Design, videography by All Star Productions, a delicious artisan gelato cart by GelatoSmith and more! You don’t want to miss the chance to win this amazing wedding!

You can find more info on the website — use promo code ” bluestar “  and you can get your bride & groom tickets free!



I am so excited to officially announce a unique new event that you will not want to miss! The Lake Shore Wedding Walk & Dream Wedding Giveaway is taking place on Sunday, September 19, 2010 in St. Joseph, Michigan, and it is a MUST for couples interested in tying the knot along the lake shore! Hosted in 4 unique and beautiful venues along St. Josephs beautiful coast, brides will be greeted by full tablescapes and decor, live musicians, delicious food samples, and all of the top-notch vendors you need to make your lake shore wedding a reality! Flip through photography portfolios, chat with a wedding planner, listen to live musicians for your ceremony, and participate in any of the interactive events taking place throughout the day: local wine tastings, runway-style fashion shows, ballroom dance classes, and wedding planning workshops!


What to Expect:: Check in begins at 12:45 at any of the 4 locations. Brides and grooms will be given a “Wedding Walk Passport” that will lead you through your day—hop on a trolley or walk to your first venue and chat with local vendors, sip local wine samples, check out beautiful dresses at the fashion shows, and sit in on a planning workshop with a local wedding planner! Each venue offers brides a unique opportunity to prepare for their wedding! At 5:00, head over to the Veranda at the Whitcomb where you’ll turn in your passport for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid Dream Wedding!!

Learn More:: For all of the details on this fun & unique event, visit for a current list of participating vendors, information on the venues, and more details on the Dream Wedding Giveaway! Information will continue to be added, so check back often and we hope to see you there!!

Become a Fan:: Become a fan on Facebook For all of the most up-to-date info on the Wedding Walk & Dream Wedding Giveaway! We’ll be having some fun giveaways prior to the event—don’t miss out!

A huge thanks to JM Studios for the creation of our beautiful header and use of her photos, and a shout out to The Veranda @ The Whitcomb and CK Catering, who are joining us in hosting this one-of-a-kind event! And be sure to look for the amazing spread coming out in WeddingDay magazine next week, featuring a fun map of the Wedding Walk route through St. Joe!

welcome::brittany johnson, event planner

grand-rapids-michigan-wedding-plannerThere have been so many changes going on around here lately, and I am so excited to be able to officially announce some of them this week! First up is a team addition that we are absolutely thrilled about!

Brittany Johnson first joined us as an event assistant in the Spring of 2009, and after graduating from Taylor University, Brittany is now officially joining the team as a full time Event Planner. Brittany is a perfect fit—she’s one of the kindest, most caring people you will ever meet, she goes above and beyond in absolutely everything she does, and she has a true excitement and passion for helping people to plan amazing events—she is going to be an amazing asset to our brides & grooms!

Brittany will be based out of Grand Rapids and will be planning & coordinating weddings in both Southwest Michigan and the Grand Rapids, Holland and Grand Haven areas! She’ll be available for consultations in both Grand Rapids and St. Joseph and brides interested in wedding planning services in the Grand Rapids, Holland, Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Muskegon areas can contact Brittany directly at! Next week we’ll be posting a full bio and a fun Q+A with Brittany—stay tuned!

Welcome, Brittany—we are so extremely excited to have you as part of the Stella Event Design team!

don’t run out on roses


Think a rose bouquet is an overused cliche? Absolutely not! Classic red or white roses are always a hit, but if you want something that stands out, try spicing up your basic rose bouquet by choosing vibrant colors, mixing varying styles (like beautiful garden roses & spray roses) or partnering it with small accents or details.

When it comes to colors, your choices are virtually endless and you can easily match roses to your wedding color palette. With varying types of roses, you can keep your bouquet monochromatic while still incorporating different sizes, textures and hues.

Keep some leaves attached to the roses to add a touch of nature into your ceremony, or go sleek and modern without them.  Don’t be afraid to use roses in your bouquet because you think that they are too common—but instead, think of creative and unique ways to personalize this versatile flower.

More unique and fabulous rose bouquets

Posted by:: Gina (event assistant)

will you say goodbye to the infamous white dress?

wedding dress-color copy

Who says you need to wear white on your wedding day? Some brides are saying no to the traditional white wedding gown and are saying yes to bold and unique color! Dresses come in all different styles and all different colors, so if you’d like to step outside the norm and add some unique flair to your wedding, consider adding a bold pop of color to your wedding day attire.

Or, if you’d like to incorporate color, but not in such a bold way, then pastels, lighter shades, and accent pieces are also a great way to express your individual style. Your wedding dress will be front and center in most photos and is a unique part of you and your wedding. so express yourself and your unique style by opting to rock a not-so-white frock!

Still a little too much for your taste? Add a touch of color by finding a fabulous pair of colored shoes, pairing bold colored accessories with a traditional white gown, or opting for a colored sash!

Photo Source

Posted by:: Kelsey (event assistant)

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!

meet::mod photo booth


One of the things I was most excited to see this year at the Wedding World bridal expo, was the brand new Mod Photo Booth, created by Jennifer Mayo Studios. Now I know there are a lot of photo booths out there, but I have yet to come across one that can compare to the beautiful look and quality of this one (check out the picture below)! It’s not your black, boxy photo booth—it’s elegant, sleek, and sexy (go figure, a sexy photo booth!) The picture quality is also fantastic—I have several recent strips from photo booths, and the pictures I got from the Mod Photo Booth when I tried it out at the bridal expo were fabulous (you can see my less-than-stellar posing skills on the left!)

So if you’re in the market for a really fun favor for your wedding or special event–that people won’t throw away–then check out the Mod website, and read below for all of the details on Mod and what makes it unique!


What makes Mod different?
Mod utilizes the same line of Canon EOS professional digital SLR camera equipment that Jennifer May Studios uses to photograph high-end weddings. You will not find any point-and-shoots here. Each 10 megapixel photograph from a photo booth session is saved individually and into a separate file on each event-specific custom print design for reprints that can be made at a later time.

The photo booth also utilizes the same type of softbox lighting used in professional photography studios. The large strobe softbox provides a modeling light so that visitors are never left in the dark during their photo booth session and the light provides soft, flattering light unlike the small flash incorporated into most mainstream photo booths.

How does it work?
Each photo session is controlled by a 21” touchscreen monitor. Visitors can select color or black-and-white photos and choose how many prints they want printed at the completion of the session. The monitor also serves a mirror so guests can see exactly what the camera sees through Canon’s live view technology.

At the completion of each session, prints from Mod’s commercial-grade dye sublimation photo printer are printed in about 25 seconds each and can be retrieved through the photo slot on the exterior of the booth so that the next group of guests can start their photo booth session. Unlike many of the ink jet printers used by some photo booths, the commercial printer used in the Mod booth delivers prints in only seconds, prints are completely dry, prints are archival rated so they will not fade over time, and the specific printer line used by Mod is the only dye sublimation series that can provide a matte finish similar to the luster paper used by most professional photographers.

After each event, the bride and groom or guest of honor receives a disk with all of the original photos and print layouts in full and web resolution for printing, viewing and social networking. Clients also receive a login so guests can access all the images online and place orders for reprints if desired.

Find out more @

a special for wedding world 2010 brides

If you were at Wedding World on Saturday, you may have heard my seminar on how to get your wedding planning on track with the first 3 steps in planning your wedding—determining your budget, creating your guest list, and choosing your venue & date. And you also heard me talk about a fun new program called Bride2Be University, and as promised, we have a special for those who attended Wedding World 2010:

Sign up for one of our Bride2Be University classes for only $15! Bride2Be University Classes are fun & intimate small-group sessions that will get your planning on track! Enjoy a glass of wine, sit back and relax…we’ll help you feel confident in planning your wedding! Spaces are limited, so visit the website to see class topics & RSVP soon! (Please mention Wedding World on your RSVP to receive the special rate! Offer good until March 1, 2010)

visit us::wedding world 2010

If you’re in the St. Joseph/Benton Harbor area, you can come see us this Saturday, January 30th at the Wedding World bridal expo at Lake Michigan College. We’ll be presenting at 1:45 with some tricks to get your wedding planning on track, budget-saving tips, and an open Q+A session. You can also check out all of the booths and a fashion show that starts at 3:00. The show is open from 12:00-3:00 with the fashion show from 3-4:00 and admission is free!  Stop by, we’d love to see you!