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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Welcome 2017

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

My, my, my how 2016 flew by! Like many of you, I'm looking forward to 2017 and all the excitement the future has to bring. One of the things I invested in to grow my business was a proper camera. I'm so looking forward to playing around with my Nikon Coolpix! It's great for someone that needs something better than a pocket/phone camera but isn't quite comfortable with a DSLR.

Now, I'm by no means a professional photographer, however, I decided that it would be a good idea for me to start taking photographs of my events, so that I can more easily post updates in a timely manner. I've learned quite a few tricks of the trade by watching so many talented photographers over the years and I'm confident that I can get some fairly decent shots to share right away.

Now, I know Instagram has great filters, and that is a fantastic app to use in a pinch. However, I'm a stickler for quality and you can definitely tell the difference between an Instagram snapshot and a photo taken by a professional. Thus, I want to have this tool at my disposal. Of course, I will still be showcasing all the wonderful photographers I work with via my blog and website.

Plus, photography is a creative endeavor and I love all things creative! So, I'm taking on a new hobby. I will be honing my Photoshop skills, and taking a ton of photos of my weddings, family, friends and hobbies.

Speaking of hobbies, in the past year I joined a belly dance troupe. Yes, your reserved wedding planner is also a belly dancer, and you know what? It's amazing to step outside of your comfort zone! You really learn a lot about yourself, your desires, your fears and capabilities when you do that.

So here's to 2017! New skills, new hobbies, new weddings, new friends, and new opportunities. I look forward to becoming a more authentic version of myself and to working with you! Cheers!

Happy planning,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Calhoun Beach Club Wedding

Hello Wedding Enthusiasts!

Wow! It's been almost a year since I had the wonderful experience of doing a wedding at Calhoun Beach Club. I've been so busy lately, so it becomes a little too easy to be complacent with this blog, so I apologize dear reader.

Calhoun Beach Club is top tier wedding venue in Minnesota. Located across from Lake Calhoun, it's a perfect place for a wedding throughout the year. They have a beautiful balcony called "The Hidden Terrance" with sweeping views that is used for cocktail hour, ceremonies and an area to cool off after getting down on the dance floor.

In addition to this, Calhoun Beach Club has  The Solarium, which is the main ballroom with large windows and beautiful chandeliers. The other rooms, The Library and Blvd. Room are the spaces my clients chose to have their December 2015 Wedding. The Library has a beautiful curved staircase that leads up to the Blvd. Room, which is generally used for cocktail hour.

Cal and Jillian chose to have their ceremony in The Library, with cocktail and cake in the Blvd. Room while it was flipped for the reception. The neat thing about this arrangement is the bride walked down this fantastic staircase adorned with a plethora of floral. It was such a grand entrance also a fun exit. Bounding up the stairs after the ceremony, the bride and groom were joined by their guests right away for celebratory drinks while D'Amico Catering and I flipped the room.

I cannot speak highly enough of D'Amico Catering. They are the exclusive caterers for a number of venues around the Twin Cities, and they are rock stars! Of course, Cal and Jill wanted to have a sit down formal dinner which was carried out perfectly. Having the right staff is essential to a smooth transition when planners need to flip rooms.

Floral was provided by Bachmann's Floral, which is not only a garden center but their staff also has fantastic florists that specialize in events and weddings. They showed up on schedule, created a beautiful staircase swag and ceremony arrangements. Also, Bachmann's expertly staged the centerpieces so we were able to get them out on the tables as efficiently as possible for the room flip. Not only is their artistry top notch, so is their service!

Of course, the night wouldn't be complete without guests having a blast on the Dance floor. Bellagala provided the DJ service for both the ceremony and reception. Consummate professionals, the Emcee was fantastic cuing the toasters right on schedule and making sure that all important parties were available for each of the dances. These DJ's are on par with live music in my opinion!

Thanks for letting me say some positive words about these hard working Twin Cities vendors. Cheers!!!

Happy planning,

*Wonderful Day Weddings was contracted for hire by Bellagala for this wedding.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Vendor Spotlight - Cocoa & Fig

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

With the air turning sweet with the smells of Lilacs and budding crab-apple trees, I'm reminded of a tradition that I think is here to stay - the dessert buffet. Many couples are deciding to forgo the traditional three tiered wedding cake in favor of offering a variety of fabulous desserts.

I think this is a trend that is here to stay for many reasons. First of all, this is a financially savvy way to offer dessert. Mini cupcakes, bars, shooters, cake pops, etc. offer a fabulous spread and look ridiculously cute. Arranging the desserts on stands and trays creates an interesting display, and often you can pick desserts that color coordinate with your wedding decor.

I have to admit that I think Cocoa & Fig is top notch when it comes to creating the dessert buffet! They do such an excellent job setting up the display with beautiful stationery naming each dessert, arranging everything just so perfectly!

Of course, they're desserts are just pure deliciousness and they offer such a plethora of choices that you're sure to find something to fit your style and budget! In addition to their excellent dessert buffets, they do also provide traditional wedding cakes, which are stunning!

They are definitely a vendor that I wanted to spotlight on my blog because they've done such a great job over the years. Most recently at the Historic Stillwater Courthouse last fall. I'm sure I'll be calling on them again for scrumptious and beautiful nibbles!

Thanks for letting me give some kudos! I truly hope I've inspired.

Happy planning,


Friday, May 6, 2016

Hamline Alum Celebrates Wedding at Saint Thomas More & Reception at Kay Fredericks Ballroom (Hamline University)

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

First, I have to say that I'm so thrilled that wedding season is upon us again! I've been busy with projects, passions, family and friends.

Today, I wanted to talk about a fantastic wedding that took place within Minnesota's highly prestigious private college system. I had the pleasure of assisting Brandon and Evelyn to plan their wedding and reception at two very lovely venues, Saint Thomas More Catholic Church on the Saint Thomas campus, and the Kay Fredericks Ballroom on the Hamline Campus.

This couple needed quite a bit of help because they lived out of state, settling in Indiana. The bride is from Germany, and emigrated to America to be with the love of her life!

They chose to tie the knot in Minnesota, where Brandon grew up because a majority of Evelyn's family would not be able to attend the wedding. Of course, Brandon wanted to make sure that his lovely bride was privy to the best Minnesota has to offer, so they chose to utilize the private school campuses of our premiere colleges. I should add that Brandon is an Alum of Hamline University!

Saint Thomas More Catholic Church was the perfect place for their nuptials. It's a very large and ornately decorated church. Both the inside and the outside have several wonderful spaces for those all important photos. Patrick Clancy Photography provided top notch service, just look at the fantastic photos!

Evelyn decided that she wanted to go for a very soft, romantic feel for their wedding day. Therefore, petal pink and white were the chosen colors. Her bridesmaids wore fit and flare, chiffon pink dresses from David's Bridal and the gentlemen coordinated nicely in gray from Savvi Formalwear.

Floral, provided by Carol K of Bellagala, had to have a soft romantic vibe so we chose the classic combination of roses, hydrangeas and baby's breath. The bouquets were comprised of lush roses surrounded by baby's breath, whilst the centerpieces consisted of roses and hydrangeas with a smattering of water bead crystals at the base, which created the "bling" Evelyn was looking for. Furthermore, each table was named after a city in Germany as a nod to her heritage!

The Kay Fredericks Ballroom is located on the third floor of Klas Student Center. It has enormous windows that look out over the field-house and the beautiful campus. Amazing views are coupled with state of the art audio/visual equipment. To create a romantic ambiance, Evelyn decided to incorporate ceiling draping from Avant Decor. The chiffon ceiling draping and lovely views made this a premiere reception space!

Catering was provided by Hamline University, and the food and staff are excellent, I can't speak highly enough about their service and food. Brandon and Evelyn opted to go with a buffet but sit-down dinners are also available. The cake, made especially for the couple by the catering department, was three tiers of deliciousness with a buttercream frosting. We added a topper and floral to finish the look.

 In lieu of a guest book, the couple wanted their guests to sign a Genga game piece and stack a tower! What a unique way of receiving well wishes. Additionally, they decided to give away small frames that doubled as a favor and an escort card. A lovely, and cost effective idea.

Finally, the bride and groom danced the night away to the awesome tunes from The Covers, a local variety band that plays hits from the 70's, 80's, 90's and today! They are absolutely a wonderful addition to any reception and everyone was on the dance floor the entire evening! Then, the bride's father and brother dressed in traditional German Lieder Hosen and serenaded the guests with an accordion. It was a fantastic incorporation of her heritage into an already kickin' party.

The evening ended with guests being shuttled back to their hotels via bus provided by Northfield Lines.

* Wonderful Day Weddings was contracted for hire via Bellagala to provide planning services for this client.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Hello 2016!!!

Hello wedding enthusiasts and 2016! I'm so excited for this coming year! The Pantone Color forecast for 2016 is a mix of subtle hues. As always, the wedding industry often gets its' inspiration from the fashion industry, so I expect o see a lot of these colors in use for weddings!

The top picks from the fashion industry are "Serenity" and "Rose Quartz." To my eye they're perriwinkle and a soft mauve. I think they're lovely paired together, however there are several other colors that would work as well. See the chart below for inspiration!

Color of the Year 2016 - Color Pairings and Pallettes

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Historic Stillwater Courthouse Wedding

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

Today I wanted to showcase a fabulous wedding that took place in September of 2015, at the Historic Stillwater Courthouse. My lovely couple, Jake and Jennifer I have known for a very long time! Jennifer is a fabulous figure skater that I've had the pleasure of practicing with when she's in Minnesota, and Jake is a former co-worker of my husband! So, I was absolutely ecstatic when they called me to help them plan their elegant, vintage autumn wedding!

These two live in California, so our planning process involved a lot of Skype and whirlwind meetings with vendors. At the end of the day, we picked awesome companies that made this a wonderful wedding!

Jennifer really wanted to give a nod to the English tradition of wearing fancy hats to formal affairs, and to also incorporate the European tradition of having a cheese tower in leiu of a wedding cake. Let me tell you, it was extraordinary. Guests wore lovely frocks and hats, and enjoyed the delicious cheese. Jennifer was a vision, with her vintage birdcage veil and fitted gown with intricate bead work! Her hair and makeup were done by Creative Beaute Agency, on site so she was able to relax with her girlfriends.

In order to have the romantic wedding of her dreams, we had to find a building that could accomodate both a wedding and a reception (she didn't want guests from out of state having to drive all over town) and had a vintage feel. Another priority, a venue that allows alcohol to be brought in, narrowed our search. The Historic Stillwater Courthouse fit the bill!

Jake and Jennifer are foodies, so it was essential that the cuisine be absolutely fabulous. Another detail, they wanted to do a "small plates" family style dinner where course after course is served and shared. The menu ended up being unbelievable, and Brie Catering did a magnificent job serving and preparing delicious cuisine.

As for the cheese tower, The Wedge & the Wheel, located in Stillwater provided a gorgeous spread. A mix of hard and soft cheeses, served with crackers and exotic jam. YUM! Of course, just like a traditional wedding cake, we wanted it to be decorated. So we topped it with lush blooms; roses, dusty miller and sprigs of rosemary.

 In addition to wonderful food, it was imperative that we create the romantic ambiance Jennifer desired. With the help of Linen Effects, each table was draped in a damask cloth in the color of white or red wine, in a nod to Jake and Jennifer's love of California Vineyards. The guest tables were graced with centerpieces that consisted three differently painted wine bottles and dried hydrangeas.

Speaking of flowers, we chose Rose Floral of Stillwater to provide the bouquets, cake flowers and centerpieces for the judge's bench and escort  card table. They did an amazing job! Rose Floral incorporated the use of grapewood branches to display the Victorian elegance of the centerpieces.

Soft mauve roses, dusty miller and gypsum created beautiful bouquets. Set against the deep plum of the bridesmaid dresses, they absolutely popped.The color combination of deep plum with the softer pastels of the flowers really played up the soft, romantic atmosphere Jennifer desired to create. I think it was the perfect palette for an early autumn, vintage wedding!

Of course, to capture the timeless elegance of this very special day, we sought out one of the most talented photographers in Minnesota - Preston Palmer of Brovado Weddings. He's fantastic at organizing people to get "posed" shots and fading into the background to be ready for those candid moments.

A wedding isn't complete without great music, and Instant Request provided spectacular entertainment for the evening. On point for every aspect of the reception, from announcing the speeches to the choreographed first dance. The party went on until midnight, with guests gracing the dance floor for the entire evening. Seriously, there were no dull moments!

In the middle of the festivities, Jake and Jennifer opened up the Dessert Buffet. The spread was designed by Cocoa and Fig, they offered a variety of luscious desserts: shooters, bars, mini cupcakes. It was incredible, and the nosh everyone needed as they danced off their meal.

When the wonderful day ended, the newlyweds headed back to the Anne Bean Mansion to retire. It's only a stone's throw from the Historic Courthouse, which makes it a perfect accommodation.

It truly was a Wonderful Day Wedding. I hope that I've inspired you to create the wedding of your dreams. Special thank you to all of the fabulous vendors that helped create this momentous occasion.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Vendor Spotlight - The Wedge & Wheel

I'm so very excited to share a vendor spotlight of The Wedge & Wheel located in Stillwater, MN. Normally, a cheese monger wouldn't be one of the vendors I'd expect to review, however, I've recently done a wedding where we had a cheese tower instead of a traditional wedding cake. It was such a wonderful twist to an old tradition.

Oh. My. Goodness. We were provided with four wedges of delicious, artisan cheese. (The 4th wedge, and top tier is not pictured here because it needed to stay in the refrigerator until it was ready to be served.) Soft cheese, hard cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese. Served with an array of crackers! This tradition is very popular in Europe but it is making its' way across the pond. More and more brides are deciding to offer decadent cheese towers for dessert or serving a wedge along with a charcuterie for Hors D'ouevres.

The Wedge & Wheel, traditionally caters to customers who stop into the shop to enjoy wine and cheese expertly paired together. However, when we approached them about sourcing a variety of rare cheese for a tower, they were ready and willing! They provided expert opinion on the tools that would be needed to chop the cheese, and the best way to display it (a wooden cutting board with floral accents.)

It was a pleasure to work with them, and their knowledge was superb. It's truly a memorable alternative to a wedding cake, and just as beautiful!