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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vendor Spotlight - Camrose Hill Wedding - Plum and Green

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

Well, it is now May and wedding season is gearing up. I'm so excited for this year's crop of events! That being said, I really, really need to share with you one of my favorite weddings from last year.
I try to keep on top of my blog, but reality is I'm quite a busy lady trying to wear the many hats of a small business owner and balance the needs of my family.

So, without further a-do, let me share some beautiful images from last September. Christina & Max's wedding and reception took place at my most favorite MN venue, Camrose Hill Farm.

Christina wanted to have a wedding that was casual, fun, and yet, classy. I had the pleasure of helping her throughout the process as she and Max are residents of NY city! It was such fun Skyping for our many planning meetings and attending a plethora of vendor meetings when they had the opportunity to come to town.

The weather on the wedding day was absolutely perfect. Christina and Max held their fairytale garden ceremony under a beautifully adorned gazebo. They were serenaded by Trillium Ensemble. After a short and sweet ceremony, officiated by the groom's friend, guests enjoyed cocktails on the lawn with many games, such ad Badminton and bean bag toss.

Christina loved the idea of using plum and green to take full advantage of the early autumn landscape.  Her bridesmaids each wore a variation of plum in a cut that flattered their body types. (I absolutely love the idea of coordinating, not matchy-matchy.) The bride was a vision of beauty in her Ann Taylor dress with cute, vintage, kitten veil.

For the event design, Christina wanted rustic-elegance. She chose wrought iron lanterns adorned with hydrangeas, gypsum and tree fern for centerpieces. Wooden stanchions held the table numbers and burlap runners, sewed by a family friend, added the final touch to her table-scape.

Guests were treated to a wonderful buffet by Common Roots Catering and then danced the night away.

The couple opted out of a traditional DJ, instead having the officiant act as master of ceremonies. A playlist created by the couple set the mood and everyone was on the dance floor the entire evening!

Instead of doing a traditional cake, the newlywed decided to do a cupcake dessert buffet. They tenderly fed each other delectable cupcakes in lieu of wedding cake. When the evening was coming to a close, everyone lined up to send them off with sparklers! They then preceded to go to the "after party" via Eclipse transportation.

Isabelle Selby Photography took the amazing photos I'm displaying here today. She is based out of NYC and has a thriving small business as a wedding photographer. I'm very glad that we had the opportunity to work together! If you're living in the New York area, I would recommend her as a photographer.

Many thanks to all the lovely vendors that made this wedding a fantastic reality! - Camrose Hill Farm & Flower Studio, Common Roots Catering, With A Twist Bartending service, Isabelle Selby Photography, Trillium Ensemble, Ultimate Events, and Eclipse Cars.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 ISES Star Awards

Hello everyone,

Wow! It has been a very busy past few days and I have some exciting news to share! I've had clients in from California to do some marathon planning, and I had the pleasure of attending the 2015 International Special Events Society Star Awards.

ISES is an international organization that provides support, education and networking opportunities to event professionals. Each year, chapters across the nation host the Star Awards to honor outstanding professionals in several different categories. Everything from event lighting to best catering.

I'm so thrilled to announce that I was nominated this year for an award in the "Best Wedding under $50,000" category! It feels so great to be recognized and appreciated by top notch professionals in the industry.

Of course, I had some stiff competition - The Wedding Guys and Rosetree Events. The talented Wedding Guys won the award for their work on "Falon & Paul's Wedding."
As you may know, Falon is a popular radio personality on KDWB. I have to give it up to her and the Wedding Guys, it was definitely a fantabulous affair! A hearty congratulations to them. Still, I will try again in 2016, and I have some really great clients that I'm keeping in mind for next years' submission. :D

The 2015 Star Awards was held at the glamorous Aria in downtown Minneapolis. It was such a night to remember! The theme for the awards ceremony was "Storytellers." If you think about it, that fits perfectly because as event professionals we are tasked with telling the story of our clients through event design, entertainment, cuisine and logistical support. Events are a living story!

The event design was remarkable. Not only was it held at arguably the hippest venue in the Twin Cities, there were so many interesting elements to look at. As you entered, there was a large book case that held teal escort cards in the shape of a feather. A vintage globe and several books were support props for the "quill" seating arrangements.

Book pages were hung from the ceiling in the cocktail reception area to emphasize the theme. Coupled with the beautiful crystal chandeliers and show stopping ice bar that offered craft beer, it was a sight to see! The table centerpieces were a neat mix of books, candles and golden antlers encased in glass. It was pretty magical.

 The very talented Fabulous Catering offered a mouth watering Charcuterie of a variety of meat and cheeses. Crave Catering offered small bites of different dishes such as mini-Cubans (YUM) and vegetarian sushi rolls. Of course, that was just during cocktail hour! We were treated to a 5 course plated dinner, with wine and champagne for toasting the nominees.

After the award ceremony, we all enjoyed a dance with a DJ provided by Enticing Entertainment. It was fun to get out onto the dance floor and let loose with my hubby under the spell of colorful lights and great tunes.

All in all, it was a very majestic evening. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by so many talented professionals and get a date night with my hubby. Many thanks to this year's Director of the Star Awards, Gretchen Culver of Rocket Science Weddings. She did a phenomenal job planning this event!

I know everyone always says, "It was an honor just to be nominated," but I really mean it! It  was an honor to be recognized and I'm so thankful. I've got my work cut out for me next year, so I'd better get back to business.

Happy planning,



Tuesday, March 10, 2015

1st Annual Wedding Video Awards

Hello everyone,

I have to admit, as winter drags on I get a little stir crazy. So it was a welcome distraction when I was invited to the 1st Annual Wedding Video Awards at Eyes on Minnesota on the 50th floor of the IDS Tower. This lovely gala awards ceremony featured the most talented videographers in Minnesota and guests were treated to a delicious cocktail reception and viewing of the top 10 wedding videos in Minnesota!

The evening started out with fantastic views of the Minneapolis skyline. Although I am very afraid of heights, I definitely appreciated the beauty of the city all lit up at night. (As long as I didn't look down, it was breathtaking, in a good way.) The 50th floor of the IDS Center is definitely a perfect venue if you're considering a swanky, evening wedding.

During cocktail hour, guests dined on mini-beef wellington, chicken satay in peanut sauce, fresh fruit, mini cream cheese wontons and salmon bites. After enjoying some wine and appetizers, we were invited to sit down and watch the Top 10 wedding videos of Minnesota. The videos were chosen by a panel of judges from within the industry.

I'm happy to share that I learned of some very talented videographers that I've not yet had the opportunity to work with. A few of the videographer vendors that stood out to me are: Olsen Media, Northern Lights Video, and Sky Focus Films. Each of them had different approaches to their craft but collectively their finished product made an impression on me! I'm hoping to work with these up and coming videographers in the near future!

Happy planning,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Dainty Obsessions Magazine!!!

Hello! Hello! Hello!

I have some very exciting news to share. One of the most exquisite weddings that I had the pleasure of coordinating was featured in Dainty Obsessions magazine! It made the cover! Woo hoo! This magazine is regional, catering to a Midwestern audience. It's so fun to see the different ideas that are popular in our neck of the woods. I really love Dainty Obsessions because the layouts of real weddings are gorgeous, giving ample space for photographs and sharing the wedding story. I'm talking, three to four page spreads of fabulous wedding goodness!

Emma & Alex had a lovely June wedding at Camrose Hill Farm. In my humble opinion, this is the best space in Minnesota to get married if you want the outdoor, garden feel for your wedding. The setting is filled with an eclectic mix of rustic, shabby chic and country charm decor. It's absolutely stunning, and they also do an amazing job providing all your floral needs. It's an incredible convenience to be able to book your venue and a talented floral team at the same time.

The wedding featured a very soft color palette of lavender and blush. The Camrose Hill flower studio made sure that the bouquets were filled to the brim with lush flowers such as Jasmine vine, peonies, ranunculus, tulips and roses! Absolutely heavenly.

Although the ceremony had to be moved into the pavilion due to rain, we still managed to have a gloriously beautiful ceremony! The Camrose Hill Farm team decorated their white chandelier with an amazing bounty of beautiful flowers, candle light graced the ledge and guests were seated comfortably in light wood folding chairs. Emma walked down the aisle to acoustic guitar music provided by Michael Handler and said vows amidst family and friends.

Emma donned a spectacular, vintage inspired gown that looked totally amazing! The soft ivory, dress was understated, which really let her natural beauty shine through. She purchased it from a top tier local wedding shop, L'atelier Couture.The guys wore slate gray suits, and looked dashing! Emma's maid of honor donned a light mauve dress that coordinated perfectly with the blush colored flowers. The rest of her bridesmaids dresses were varying shades of lavender, and together it all looked so soft and romantic!

The reception event design was phenomenal. The couple decided to do long rectangular tables in a "family style" setting, with the head table being a rustic farm table provided by Ultimate Events. After a lovely buffet dinner provided by Common Roots Catering, the couple and their guests danced the night away to Slip Twister, a live band that plays all the classics and hits from today too! Of course, by the evening, the clouds had parted and guests were free to stroll the grounds or hang out by the bonfire, roasting marshmallows. When it was finally time to go, the bridal party along with the newly weds boarded the trolley from Stillwater Trolley Co. to set out for another couple of hours to the charming pubs in downtown Stillwater.

Additionally, Emma & Alex's vintage charm wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty blog! What an honor, it's seriously one of the top wedding blogs - ever. Wonderful Day Weddings is so excited to be included in their little black book!

I can't say enough good things about how lovely a day it turned out to be. It was such a pleasure to see it all come together! Congratulations to Laura Ivanova Photography for creating such fantastic photographs that are getting such exemplary recognition.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Vendor Spotlight - Landmark Center

Landmark Center is, well, a landmark. This ornate, beautiful building in the heart of St. Paul is the perfect venue for both a wedding and a reception. Especially if you have regal taste! It is situated next to historic Rice Park. On the outside, Landmark boasts intricate architecture and a grand, palace-like appeal.  In reality, this amazing building was built in 1902, and served as the Federal Courthouse.

The inside of Landmark Center is impressive! Three floors with Romanesque columns and balconies  look down onto the spacious first floor atrium. Weddings and receptions are easily accommodated here, and it's a perfect space if you have a large guest list. The capacity for a sit-down reception in the atrium is 320 people!

Of course, this space is also very accommodating to more intimate weddings. In addition to the large main floor, the Landmark has several other spaces available. The Ramsey County courtroom can host 125 guests for a cocktail reception, and 80 for a dinner. Other options include the Butler Room (48 person dinner capacity), the Sanborn Room (20 maximum capacity) and the Chief Justice Room (40 person dinner capacity.) Therefore, if you wanted to have an intimate ceremony and reception, you could use these beautiful rooms to create a "Great Gatsby" style wedding without the price tag.

 I can say nothing but great things about Landmark Center! It's beautiful, their rental terms are quite reasonable and it is an affordable option for many couples, considering the downtown location and historic status. However, if you plan to get married here, be aware that you need to plan ahead. This space books up quickly, so be sure to check their availability calendar. Saturday dates tend to be taken, but there are still some Friday dates for 2014/2015.

If you're planning on doing both your wedding and reception here, make sure that you have a way to create a ceremony space. I would suggest pipe draping, staging or large centerpieces on columns to define the area. You can reuse these items for the reception, a stage and draping backdrop for the band or DJ, and large centerpieces flanking the entrance/exit or head table would be a great way to recycle these event props.

I think the Landmark lends itself to many styles. However, modern with clean lines, really isn't one of them. Traditional, Victorian, vintage, jazz-era, and art nouveau  styles tend to work best in this space because of the architecture and period pieces found here. In my opinion, event design featuring jewel tones or neutrals with mercury glass or metallic finishing looks absolutely stunning!

A great, yet cost effective way to get a good amount of color on your tablescape is to use the plain white or black catering linens provided by full service caterers and then add a runner. Runners can be made very inexpensively, and you don't even have to know how to sew! If you use hemming tape, you can simply iron the edges for a finished look. Joann Fabrics, Hancock Fabrics, and Walmart all have a variety of fabric available at reasonable prices. Standard runners are 108" in length and 12" in width.

Of course, if you would prefer not to do it yourself, there are so many websites these days that have runners you can buy very inexpensively! My favorite is Smarty Party.
However, you can also purchase runners at Save on Crafts. Another option is to rent them from a local rental company or do a colored napkin (many full service caterers have napkins in a variety of colors, be sure to ask about this option when interviewing caterers.)

As for centerpieces, because Landmark is such a huge space, I would suggest going with impactful centerpieces. Tall centerpieces (3ft or above) staggered with lush, low centerpieces and plenty of candlelight would be just beautiful. Candelabras with crystals and floral also give a very regal and rich feel to your event design. Don't go with small centerpieces because the building will dwarf them. In this case, bigger truly is better. If you don't have a large floral budget, use cylinder vases of varying heights in sets of three and submerge the floral, and top with a floating candle. The water magnifies the flower, making them appear larger. Great options are roses, orchids, and spider mums. 
The Landmark Center does have a preferred catering list, however, you may use any licensed and insured caterer. However, they have quite a few great caterers on their preferred list. My recommendations are Three Sons Signature Cuisine, Deco Catering and Brie Cater. Each has their own style, and an excellent staff. You will be in good hands! :)

I hope that I've given you some insight into this fantastic venue! It's definitely a premier wedding and event space, with great photo opportunities inside and out.

 I've included a few photos from Rebecca & Britt's September 2013 wedding. They hired me as their Day of Coordinator, and she did an absolutely fantastic job on her event design! It's the exact "look" this space was meant to create, regal, and elegant. It was such great fun to set it all up and see it come together. STUNNING! :)

I truly hope that I've inspired.  Happy planning!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wonderful Day Weddings - KMSP Interview

Hello everyone,

I have some exciting news to share! Almost a year ago, I was invited to be a guest expert on KMSP Fox 9 News to discuss money saving tips when planning a wedding. I finally tracked down the news clip, and I'm really happy to update my website and share it on my press page and blog. My work has been featured in a few magazines, however, being interviewed for television was a new milestone for me.

The segment topic was about the rising costs associated with weddings and I was invited to share some of my "go-to" methods for saving money. I'm so grateful for this amazing opportunity to share my knowledge, and I'm hoping to be invited on other programs in the future! :)

Happy planning,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Calling All Couples - Sweepstakes from Common Roots Catering

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to share some cool news. One of Minnesota's premier caterers - Common Roots Catering - is hosting a sweepstakes! You could win $10,000 in catering! I just wanted to pass this information along to you all. I would enter, what do you have to lose? Good luck!


Happy planning,