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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!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Semple Mansion Wedding

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

Today, I wanted to take the time to reminisce about a very lovely couple and their fantastic wedding at Semple Mansion. This past July, I had the opportunity to watch a year's worth of meticulous planning come to fruition! Jennifer and Matt, two of the most gracious people you will ever meet, got married at Semple Mansion.

This is one of the premiere mansion venues in the Twin Cities. Located in the heart of uptown, just off of Franklin Avenue, this gem has been a favorite among couples that want a little sophistication for their nuptials.

Semple Mansion was built in 1899 for the Semple family. It boasts the Grand Palladian Ballroom, the largest of the time period. Today, it hosts elegant traditional weddings. Couples usually get married in the Grand Foyer, then after the ceremony they head across the hall into the drawing room for cocktail hour. Finally, guests go up to the third floor for a dinner reception and dancing.

Jennifer was just a vision! Her beautiful, fit and flare dress was embellished with gorgeous beading.  Matthew looked dapper in his black suit. The two took their vows in front of windows that streamed sunlight, and ornate floral arrangements. Crystal chandeliers and handsome woodwork created the perfect simple and elegant backdrop for the ceremony.

Afterward, guests enjoyed an array of cocktails while the couple and their wedding party were whisked away for a few more pictures by the experts Bellagala Photography. When cocktails were finished, the did the Grand Entrance into the ballroom from the staircase. Then they joined their wedding party at the head table. (An interesting side note, Semple Mansion is one of the few premiere venues that allows you to bring in your own alcohol.)

Jennifer and Matt wanted to have a vintage style wedding that reflects their sophisticated style. They opted for pastels to compliment the summer season. In lieu of over the top floral arrangements, Jen wanted to keep it simple and used gold and crystal candelabras surrounded by a smattering of rose petals. Each table number was housed in an ornate frame. LED candles were set in coordinating crystal sherbet glasses to flank the centerpieces.

Three Sons Signature Cuisine provided a sumptuous three course meal. As always, their coordinated service was a joy to watch and it gets the food out very quickly! They boast a time of twenty minutes or less to serve the main course.

After dinner was finished, entertainment from Bellagala kicked off the evening with first dances. The couple and their guests danced the night away, staying until the wee morning hours before being shuttled back to the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

It was a truly spectacular wedding for a fantastic couple! I'm so happy to have been a part of it! I truly hope that I've inspired some ideas for my vintage junkies. :)

Happy planning,

Marissa Partridge


*Wonderful Day Weddings LLC was contracted for hire by Bellagala to plan this event.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wedding Upgrades

Hello wedding enthusiasts!

 As a planner, I work with a variety of budgets. I've had the pleasure of planning intimate affairs on a shoe-string where we used our creativity to stretch the budget and I've worked on weddings where no expense is spared. I've found that there are a few non-essential wedding elements that can take your event to new levels. If you have the means to include them, it's my advice that you consider doing so!

1) Backdrops - These are usually strategically placed behind the head table and can be made from solid materials or fabric and lights. They really define the space where the wedding party will sit as special, and provide wonderful photo opportunities during speeches. Another area where backdrops can be used are for photographing wedding guests. This is an especially fun accessory when you have an outdoor cocktail hour. Setting up a station of hanging frames, a vintage sheet or crystal beading with a camera on a tripod attracts guests. It's a fun distraction during cocktail hour.

2) Photo-booths - The next upgrade that I've found to be very popular is the photo-booth. These differ from backdrops in that they are actual photo-booths, like what you would find at the arcade. They come with an attendant and your guests will leave with a strip of themselves and their antics. Many companies also will put together a photo-book for you, which many couples opt to do in lieu of a traditional guest book.

3) Lounge Area - Most receptions have some form of dancing. Couples these days are recognizing that keeping people on the dance floor the entire evening makes for a very memorable event. Therefore, they're making it easier for guests to stay close to the action but allowing them a place to sit down and rest. Lounge areas use chic furniture, couches, chairs, and cocktail tables situated near the dance floor. This is great for older guests to be close to the action early on in the evening (Grandma can be right up front watching your first dance) and for the guests that stay late into the night, taking small breaks in between songs.

4) Intricate Floral Installations - These cost a pretty penny, but are so worth it when you look back on your day via the photography. Many times, these are placed above the head table along with a backdrop. Other times, they're placed in places where you know you want to take advantage of the building's unique architecture. For example, the banister of a grand staircase, or the archway of the church door.

5) Additional Lighting - Investing in specialized lighting is definitely an upgrade. Chandeliers, paper lanterns, vintage light bulbs, Gobos, pin lighting.... All of these elements help to define the aesthetic of the reception. Many couples use crystal chandeliers to create elegance in basic structures, like tents or warehouses. Gobos with monogrammed initials gracing the dance floor celebrate the importance of your first dance, and up lighting in different colors can set help guests get into the mood to party! Lighting can generally be added on to your entertainment package, so be sure to ask about it.

6) Ceiling Draping - Speaking of lighting, swags of flowing fabric hung from the ceiling go hand in hand with beautiful luminaries. Generally, they are also lit with strands of twinkle light. The billowing lush fabric does a great job camouflaging an undesirable ceiling and creates romance. Worth every penny, especially when transforming a boring ballroom.

7) Special Entertainment - This trend is a personal favorite. I love dancing, so when a couple indulges in a choreographed dance or hires dancers to give a performance and entice guests onto the dance floor, I just love it! Other options, depending on the vibe of your reception, include alternative performers. Everything from belly dancers to fire breathers, and jugglers. Of course, be careful to pay attention to the overall feel of your event.

8) Late Night Snacks - The Late Night Snack is ingenious. Seriously, putting food into guests that have been imbibing is a great idea. Bonus if it's non-fussy, like pizza, sliders and fries, or a tortilla chip bar. Not only does it sober people up just a little, it takes care of those hunger pangs that hit around midnight. 

I truly hope that I've inspired you to consider upgrading your wedding. Adding just one or two of these elements will help to make your wedding a memorable masterpiece. If you can do them all, I'm sure we'll be seeing your fete on the pages of all the bridal magazines! :)


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Transportation Logistics and Styles

One of the last elements to come together for a wedding is often transportation. It's hard to imagine how you're going to transport guests or get to your hotel accommodations before you've even selected your wedding dress! However, it's something to consider early on in the process.

 If you have sizable portion of your guest list coming from out of town then you will probably need shuttles. Think about it, you don't want Great Aunt Gertrude trying to navigate the downtown gridlock or an unfamiliar suburb. Usually, a mini-shuttle is sufficient for most guest counts. They can transport up to thirty people at a time. If you don't have far between your hotel accommodations and venues, several trips is optimal. However, if you have a larger guest list with the majority of people coming in from out of town, definitely consider renting a coach bus.

Logistics are an important part of securing transportation. You have to think about managing the wedding party, the couple's getaway car and having vehicles for VIP's, like mom and mom in law. First off, how are the ladies getting to the ceremony location? Are they getting ready there or at the salon or hotel? What about the gentlemen? Are they getting ready at the same location, and do they need to be there as early as the girls? What about after the reception - can wedding party members leave their vehicles at the location overnight? Do you want to include your wedding party in the final send off at the end of the evening or have a car for just you two?

Figuring out logistics beforehand can really help you articulate your needs when you speak with a transportation representative. If you have some idea of how many trips you will need to take that day and how many people will need to be transported, they will be able to help you accurately secure the type and how many vehicles you will need for your big day!

Finally, we need to talk not only about function but about style! I think it's best to match your vehicle style to the type of wedding your having. If you going sleek and modern, a limo hummer would be
awesome but if you want a vintage wedding, a classic Rolls Royce might be a better fit. If you want something memorable and out of the ordinary, consider using a trolley to transport you around town, or if your venue location is in the country why not do a horse and carriage?

Whatever your transportation needs, talking with your planner will help you pin down what is essential for moving people from point A to point B seamlessly. Happy planning!

Monday, July 6, 2015

An Elegant June Wedding at Landmark Center

 Landmark Center is one of the premiere event spaces in the Twin Cities. It has the capability to host intimate or grand weddings, which makes it ideal for many couples. The regal architecture lends itself to many different types of weddings, from modern to romantic! Pretty much the only style that wouldn't fit here is a country theme.

In June of 2015, my lovely couple, Justine and Jin, wanted to have a "Vintage Glam" wedding. Justine decided that gray combined with dusty rose and soft lavender accents would be the perfect representation of her style.  She wanted to have some bling, and some traditional elements intertwined.

The Landmark seamlessly enables couples to host their wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and reception in the same space. For Justine and Jin, we had the ceremony at the Musser Cortile, moved guests upstairs to the second floor balcony for a cocktail hour, then flipped the Cortile for dinner and dancing. Immediately following the ceremony, guests climbed the main staircase to greet the couple and enjoy a variety of cocktails and Hors D'eouvres.

Sadie's Couture Floral created several lush centerpieces that we reused. They are very experienced at dealing with flipping event spaces. They staged all of the decor and floral behind a sheer curtain, and as soon as the ceremony was finished, we got to work transforming the ceremony space into a reception ready room. All of the fabulous linens, ceiling draping and chair covers were provided by We've Got It Covered. They have a great selection of specialty linens and an expert staff that can totally transform any room from dull to dreamy.

Deco Catering, a preferred caterer for Landmark, quickly moved pre-set tables, while we placed centerpieces and candles to design the glamorous tablescapes from Justine's imagination! The head table was set apart by a glittering table cloth, tall centerpieces and loads of unique candles.  To create a coordinated vintage look, the guest tables had staggered centerpieces, some tall and some short.

Of course, after dinner the guests were treated to a choreographed dance by Justine and Jin. Bellagala provided the music for the ceremony and the reception. With skilled DJ's, they keep the flow of the evening going effortlessly. I love that we thoroughly communicate about every aspect from speeches to dances so that everything falls into place!

During the festivities, guests were able to indulge their silly side by having their pictures taken in The Traveling Photobooth. Justine and Jin then had the photo strips collected as a keepsake!

After the reception, Justine, Jin and several of their guests merely walked across the street to the classic Saint Paul Hotel. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to watch traffic stop to congratulate the bride and groom! Several well wishes and a few short steps later, they retired to start their new life together! It was a fantastic day with an awesome cast of experienced and professional vendors.


*Wonderful Day Weddings was contracted for hire by Bellagala.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Grooming for the Groom and Gentlemen Friends

In the wedding industry, we tend to pay a lot of attention to females. The dress, the flowers, the bling! However, the times are changing! More and more businesses are starting to realize that the guys have needs too. Gentlemen deserve to pampered as well, so I suggest they make an appointment with establishments that cater to them.

Whether they need just a trim and a shave, beard-scaping, or a new style all together, the following establishments are ready to serve their needs.

Heimie's Haberdashery is a well known hot spot for guys grooming. Not only do they have a shop that provides the most regal suits, shirts, ties and accessories, they also have an on-site barber and shave parlor. This is the place to go for the care and attention a gentleman deserves!

Gent Cuts & Grooming has such a cool, low-key, vintage vibe and a plethora of services to fulfill all the grooming needs of gentlemen. They offer hair cuts, a classic straight razor shave, beard trimming and shaping, even hair removal (a nice way to say "waxing the brows.") Another amazing detail, they cater to wedding parties which means your guys can have the run of the shop, picking their own music and TV channels.

The Barber Sharp Salon- Is owned by a lady master barber that is committed to hair-cutting, facial grooming, and traditional shaves. Located in North East Minneapolis, surrounded by breweries, restaurants and eclectic shops this area caters to the metro-chic crowd. A masseuse is located upstairs so before getting all gussied up, the guys can relax with a quick shoulder rub. What a perfect way to start a wedding day!

Dick's Sports Barbers - This is the perfect place for your gent if he is a sports fanatic. The walls covered in sports paraphernalia, sometimes famous athletes stop into the shop for their grooming needs. They offer hair cuts and the classic straight razor shave. Definitely a great choice if you're getting married to a manly man.

Rooster's Men's Grooming Center - Located on West End Blvd. in Minneapolis, Rooster's offers the classic barber shop experience. They provide everything from the classic cut to facial waxing and beard-scaping. Their signature seven step shave hot towel preparation with essential oils, a close straight razor shave followed by deep cleansing and after shave.

Happy Planning, Gentlemen! Enjoy the big day by treating yourself to some pampering. You deserve it!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Saint Thomas More/Hamline University Wedding

On May 16, 2015 I had the pleasure of being the planner for a lovely couple, Brandon and Evelyn! They hosted their wedding at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and the reception at the Kay Fredericks Ballroom on the Hamline University campus.

The St. Thomas More Catholic Church is absolutely stunning! It has high arched ceilings, intricate tile work and very cool architecture. Perfect for getting those artistic shots! The Kay Frederick Ballroom was a natural choice to host their reception because it is Brandon's Alma Mater and it is located only fifteen minutes from the church. It boasts beautiful views through its' floor to ceiling windows and has a spacious layout.

Both Brandon and Evelyn are a lively couple, and they really wanted to have some unique elements that encompasses who they are. I think we did a great job of merging Evelyn's love for soft color palettes with Brandon's exuberant, fun loving personality.

Evelyn chose a dusty rose color for the bridesmaid dresses with a flowing, chiffon fabric. She wanted to have a very romantic feel to her wedding reception. The Kay Fredericks Ballroom is a very cool space, but it is a bit modern so we decided to create a softer aesthetic by using lighted ceiling swags provided by Avant Decor. They can transform virtually any space from ho-hum to OMG!!!

  For floral we went with a traditional flower combination of hydrangeas, roses and baby's breath. Evelyn wanted to have a few "bling accents" so Carol Kushke of Bellagala Floral included crystal water beads to spread at the base of each centerpiece. The way the candlelight played off of them was gorgeous! It was the perfect amount of sparkle.

Brandon's contribution to the wedding were a couple of very unique ideas. Instead of having guests sign a traditional guest book, he wanted them to sign a Jenga game piece and finish by stacking them! I thought it was such a fun way to get many well wishes and signatures. Plus it is a very cool keepsake for after the wedding! They also did a non traditional escort card by using small frames with the name and table number etched on each one.

The evening ended with everyone shaking it on the dance floor to the cool tunes of The Covers. This band is seriously awesome! They have a huge repertoire that spans decades and I was impressed that they knew quite a few songs from today. Their rendition of "Uptown Funk" had literally everyone on the dance floor.

Of course, the lovely photographs that you're seeing are from Patrick Clancy Photography. He did a superb job and I'm so happy to share his work with all of you. He has years of experience dealing with the restrictions of churches, and that is a huge bonus!

Well, ta-ta, for now. I will keep you posted on the many weddings to come.

Happy planning!

*This wedding was contract work that I did as a Bellagala Event Planner. It was a wonderful experience! :)