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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!


Friday, October 9, 2015

The Stillwater Public Library/Loft at Studio J Wedding

Stillwater is one of Minnesota's premiere destinations for weddings. This quaint town on the St. Croix River is picturesque and with so many wonderful spaces to get hitched, it's no wonder that so many couples gravitate here.

 One of the coolest spaces for a wedding ceremony or reception is at an unexpected public venue - The Stillwater Library. They have a rooftop location that has sweeping views of Stillwater. With a beautiful white pergola to set the ceremony space, this is an awesome space to get married! It is quite large, which means it can accommodate a huge guest list. Bonus!

In August of 2015, I had the pleasure of working with Erin and Kiel, who hired me as their "Day of Coordinator." Erin was such a lovely bride and very fun to work with! She was very organized and relaxed on the wedding day. It was a fantastic day with perfect weather, and everything went smoothly.

Erin & Kiel picked the Stillwater Public Library for their ceremony, and followed up their reception literally only blocks away. After their gorgeous rooftop ceremony, guests walked to their reception while  the wedding party, rode around Stillwater Trolley for some site seeing and pictures.

The couple chose Camelot Photography lead photographer  Matt Garceau to shoot their wedding! An award winning, amazing studio, I'm so glad they chose Matt. He is a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with! The photographs are absolutely gorgeous, and as a planner I really appreciate having pictures that showcase my work well.

 They held their reception at The Loft at Studio J which is a newer event space. It has been open for a couple of years now, and due to it's prime location in the heart of Stillwater and the industrial chic feel, it's quite in demand!

Erin's colors were reminiscent of a late summer day, periwinkle, cream and soft duck egg blue. This color palette fit perfectly with her Hydrangea and white Rose bouquets and centerpieces, provided by Camrose Hill Flower Studio. She painted Ball Mason jars in coordinating colors, and floral placed fluffy, white hydrangeas in them. A few well placed candles, and a lovely centerpiece was created.

The newlyweds opted for a bountiful buffet provided by The Deco Catering. Seriously, the Deco creates the most stunning buffet displays and their food is excellent! They are an award winning European style caterer, and do an excellent job of creating the perfect menu for your event. They go above and beyond. In fact, Erin didn't want a traditional wedding cake so she had them do an ice cream bar with all types of different toppings!
The guests were blown away! :)

After a lovely meal,  guests danced the night away to the beats from DJ Justin Haffner of Justin Haffner Inc. One of the coolest things about the dance space was the Coca-Cola wall backdrop that made for awesome pictures of the couple during their first dance!

When it was time to retire, the couple simply walked across the street! Above Capture Salon, where Erin and the girls got ready, is The Lift Bridge Loft, which can be rented out. It's basically a studio apartment with all of the amenities you would need, right across the street from Studio J. What a great idea! Pamper yourself at the salon before the wedding, an after, retire to your own special space above it!

All in all, it was a lovely day with a very wonderful couple! Cheers Erin & Kiel!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Vendor Spotlight -Midland Hill's Country Club

Hello Wedding Enthusiasts!

Today, I want to spotlight a lovely country club, located in Saint Paul. Midland Hills Country Club is a beautiful place to host a wedding ceremony and reception! I've had the pleasure of both attending a wedding as a guest here, and working as a planner here.

Both occasions were great experiences! Their staff is top notch, who make sure to work with you every step of the way so all the details go smoothly. Midland Hills has a very regal feel to it, it boasts a large ballroom with a fantastic dance floor, large windows to create the perfect backdrop for your head table, and a nice outdoor space to linger on a summer evening.

Of course, Midland Hills is a golf course, so there are ample places to capture beautiful photographs! Imagine driving around in a golf cart with your photographer, finding the perfect landscape to snap a few photos with your sweetie!

Midland Hills catering staff is top notch! They have an expansive menu to choose from, and take great pride in making sure that their sit down dinner is served in a timely manner. Of course, if you want to do a buffet, there is that option as well. The event space has a nice lobby area where guests can be hosted for cocktail hour. If you choose to do a wedding ceremony here, the staff can expertly flip the room from ceremony space to reception space in an hour to an hour and a half depending on the size of the guest list.

The large dance floor is definitely a perk! I've been a guest at a wedding here where the couple had professional salsa dancers come in and teach us how to dance because that is how they met - taking salsa dance lessons! Keeping the guests on the dance floor all night is one of the ways to have a fantastic reception.

I truly hope that I've inspired you to check out a premiere country club located very near the Twin Cities. Happy planning!

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

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Creating a Personal Cocktail

Hello Wedding Enthusiasts!

As we all know, an essential part of making any wedding great is a kickin' cocktail hour. It gives guests a chance to unwind from the emotional high of watching you get you married by imbibing spirits and noshing on tasty finger foods!

I'm a huge fan of providing a "signature drink" during your cocktail hour because it cuts down on your bar costs but also because it's a way to honor your tastes as a couple. So how do you go about picking the perfect cocktail to represent you?

I would suggest finding a drink with a story behind it. Perhaps you're marrying somebody with a Russian heritage, and Moscow Mules are all the rage right now. Maybe you were drinking Whiskey Sours when you met, or you both have an epic love for Surly, or there is an inside joke about that time you got randy on the beach. Okay, scratch that one, maybe a personal cocktail shouldn't be too personal!

Whatever the connection, make sure your guests know why you picked this particular concoction. The best way to share is by displaying a drink menu featuring your signature cocktail and a little quip about why you chose it. "The Garden of England cocktail - Gin, Prosecco, Rosewater to celebrate Matt & Kaylee's engagement at Windsor Castle" or whatever.

When picking your signature drink, it's also a good idea to choose something with minimal ingredients, three or four max. Make sure to include them on your sign, so people understand what's in the drink and can opt out if it isn't their jam.

The best way to serve a signature drink depends on what it is. If you've chosen your favorite wine, absolutely have your service team make the rounds with glasses on trays. However, if you're going to do something that requires some mixing, you might set up a station with a bartender on hand to make them quickly and have some pre-set.

I hope that I've inspired you with a few ideas for coming up with the perfect personal cocktail. Cheers!