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luminary festival open house::this friday in our st. joseph studio!

This Friday is the annual luminary festival in downtown St. Joseph, when the streets will be lined with 800+ glowing luminaries starting at dusk! Shops will dressed up with lights and their most festive holiday decor and will be open late, until 9:00! We are joining in the fun by hosting an Open House where everyone is welcome to stop in, enjoy some wine, browse through pictures, books & wedding magazines, and talk weddings with us! No sales pitches, no business talk…it’s all about having fun and talking weddings!

The Details
When: Friday, November 20th from 6:00-9:00
Where: Stella Event Design Studio, 314 State Street, St. Joseph (between Beachside Cafe and La Dee Da Children’s Boutique)
Why: Why not! We’ll have wine, tasty treats and wedding chatter! We’ve got over 30 of the latest wedding magazines, tons of books and lots to look at!

Will you be there? We look forward to seeing you!

great gift ideas::recycled flat vases

flatvasecollageWhile not 100% wedding or event related, these fun and funky little vases would make a really cute present for bridesmaids, or for the holiday that I am in denial of being so close (Christmas!). These vases by Jill-able are made from recycled plastic and lay flat until you fill them with water. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure how these little guys are supporting the weight of these flowers, but it’s happening! I think the great thing about these is that when you decide to stop at the store to pick up some flowers for yourself or someone else, you don’t have to worry if they’ll have a vase to put them in. I know more than once I have had to plop my stems into whatever I could find, until I could find a suitable vase. Problem solved! Whether you’re taking flowers to the hospital or as a hostess gift, pop one of these little guys in your purse and you’ve got a ready-to-go vase (and on the cheap for $8!)

Check out the Jill-able site for all of the styles and online ordering (again, only $8!)

stella event design has a shiny new home

Our new design studio is finally finished, so I thought I’d share some of my excitement by showing a sneak peek of the space and our open house on Monday! I wanted this space to be not only a comfortable place to create amazing weddings for the Stella Event Design team, but also a place where brides feel comfortable and inspired as we plan!
southwest michigan wedding planner studio

I absolutely love how our comfy consultation area turned out! And our sitting area filled with bridal magazines, books galore, linen swatches and custom invitations will be an amazing resource for southwest michigan brides! Below, my personal work space, filled with pink loveliness! I am so excited to plan some amazing 2010 weddings here!
michigan wedding planner
A huge thank you to everyone who came to visit our new space and celebrate! It was a wonderful night of catching up with friends, family and vendors who have helped to make these last 2 years at Stella Event Design possible! The Design Studio has open office hours this week from 10-5:00 if you’d like to stop by to chat, read magazines and check out the new space, and will normally be by appointment! And lastly, a few pictures of our open house, visitors and sweets table!candy buffet
Snapshots provided by Stella Event Design

upcoming events::open house & giveaways

Monday marks the 2 year birthday of Stella Event Design! It has been an amazing 2 years, and to celebrate we are opening our new design studio, with a fun open house from 6-9 on Monday, and we’ll be doing several giveaways next week, so stay tuned!

If you’d like to join us at our Open House on Monday, October 26th from 6-9 you can find us at 314 State Street (upstairs) in downtown St. Joseph. The entrance is between La Dee Da Children’s Boutique and Beachside Cafe. There will be wine, delicious treats from our beach-inspired sweets table, and time to mingle and celebrate our new space! We would be thrilled to meet some of our blog readers in person, so I hope you’ll join us! We’ll also be giving away an awesome Wedding Day Emergency Kit to one lucky bride who stops by to celebrate with us on Monday! There is no purchase necessary, no pressure, just wedding fans having fun in our new space!

a delicious treat for your fall or winter wedding


Today I was dreaming about a steamy cup of cocoa to go with this chilly weather and I immediately started thinking about all of the fun ways I would garnish it for a party, and you could do the same for your wedding! Start with some delicious gourmet hot chocolate, and then provide as many delicious garnishes as you please!

Tasty Topping Options:

  • Peppermint sticks
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Homemade marshmallows
  • Ginger snap cookies
  • Chocolate chips (or mint chocolate chips, even better!)
  • Marshmallow fluff
  • Rock candy sticks
  • Homemade biscotti
  • Chocolate dipped spoons
  • Whipped Cream
  • Nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices to dust on top
  • Candy crumbles: toffee crunch, peppermints, candy bars
  • For the adults: Peppermint schnapps, Kahlua or Baileys

I think a fabulous assortment of cookies would be the perfect accompaniment to this table, and you could even create some “take home” mugs for guests to enjoy later. Include a keepsake mug, hot cocoa mix and a chocolate spoon, and wrap it beautifully. Your guests can enjoy hot cocoa at your reception, or opt to take a mug to go!

i take thee, blog…

A blog is a lot like a marriage (stick with me for a minute)….it takes daily attention to keep it fresh, it requires a long-term commitment, and it’s extremely fulfilling when you get it right! While I love my blog (and readers) dearly, the busy wedding season has caused me to be a very bad blog-spouse the last few months. Sure, it’s gotten some good updates over the months, but I know deep down that it hasn’t gotten the attention it truly deserves (and that I love to give it!)

I know many people say that if you haven’t been a faithful blogger, you shouldn’t mention it to your readers, but instead, just start writing again. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is brilliant insight, and makes a lot of sense. However, I’m a big believer in putting something out there, so that you can be accountable.  So, my lovely blog readers—I’m making an on-the-record commitment to blogging every single day (Monday-Friday) for a month, starting on Monday! We’ve wrapped up our 2009 wedding season, and I’m looking forward to looking back on what we loved for 2009, and to discussing what we’re looking forward to in 2010! We’ll share new trends, show our favorite ideas from 2009, introduce you to fabulous local vendors, and keep you up-to-date on all things wedding in Southwest Michigan!

As always, I would love to hear from all of you, and you are always welcome to email in with your questions on planning, etiquette or weddings in general to! Next week we’ll be talking about beautiful table coverings, sharing pictures from a stunning August wedding at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame (a must-see if you’ve never seen this amazing location), and we’ll be announcing some fun upcoming events & giveaways to celebrate our 2 year birthday as a business!

office open house::monday, october 26th

I don’t know if anyone has ever been as excited about 400 square feet as I am about our very first studio space!

The doors to our new office will officially open on Monday, October 26th! We’re kicking things off with an open house from 6-9 on Monday and we’d love for all of our blog readers, local brides and vendors to stop by. You can chat with us, check out linen swatches, bridal magazines & books galore, and we’ll have a fun beach-inspired display set up with some tasty treats! We’d love for you to help us celebrate our very first space!

The office will normally be By Appointment, but we’ll have open office hours from 10-6:00 Tuesday-Friday opening week, when you are also welcome to stop by!

MAP IT:: 314 State Stree (suite 1A), St. Joseph, MI 49085. Entrance is between La Dee Da Childrens Boutique and Beachside Appetite and the studio is upstairs!

custom invitations+stationery for your michigan wedding

stationery1 copy

(custom stationery created for the June 2009 wedding of Yana+Brannon)

Beginning in October with the opening of our new design studio, we will begin offering custom invitation design in-house. Tara Berghuis, will bring her creativity and style to Stella Event Design as she joins us to offer custom invitation design!

At the studio you’ll be able to look through a wide array of samples in different styles, colors and layouts to help you envision the design possibilities available! You’ll even be able to look through all of the amazing paper choices & colors to handcraft your custom invitations, place cards, escort cards, menu cards, save the dates and more! We have beautiful custom invitations to fit into literally any budget and style!

We’re so excited to officially add this service, as we strive to help brides create an amazing and unique event, while taking away the hassles! Come visit us at The Design Studio in October to see for yourself! For your personal invitation to our grand opening events (and a chance to win amazing items for your wedding) email

bride2be university::ballroom dance class on september 30th

Join us Wednesday, September 30th as we kick off Bride2Be University with our ballroom dance class! We’ll have information on future classes and a fun & unique dance class for brides & grooms, taught by professional ballroom dancers. Learn all the moves you need to be confident on your big day!

When: September 20th at 7:00pm
Cost: $20.00 per couple
Location: The Veranda at The Whitcomb, 509 Ship Street, St. Joseph
Hosted By: Sunset Coast Ballroom Dance

For more information on Bride2Be University, check out the website!

the design studio::opening october 2009

In October, as Stella Event Design celebrates its 2 year birthday as a company, we will also be opening our very first studio space! The Design Studio will be a creative and inspiring place for us to meet with clients, share our ideas, and work as a team to plan amazing Michigan weddings! We’re also excited to be able to showcase some of the custom services we provide such as specialty linens, custom invitations and modern decor rentals,! The Design Studio will be open to all brides, and we would love for everyone to stop by, browse through our collection of the latest wedding magazines and books, take a look at all The Design Studio has to offer, and talk weddings with us! It’s always a treat to meet our readers in person!

The doors to the design studio will be opening in October, so stay tuned as we announce our Open Houses! We have fun giveaways and events lined up  to celebrate our grand opening & birthday, including some must-have items to make your wedding day amazing! (secretive, I know–but it’s awesome, I promise!)

Want a personal invitation to our grand opening? Email with your Name, Wedding Date, and Address to get your invitation to celebrate with us, and a chance to win some fabulous items for your wedding!