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Preview: pearls events :: event planning + consulting

Planning a Michigan Wedding with Pearls Events

Michigan Wedding Planner, Aletha VanderMaas, gives daily tips & great finds about planning a Michigan wedding.

Updated: 2017-11-21T10:18:51.604-05:00


Real Wedding | Victoria & Joe


Couple | Victoria & Joe, 9-5-15 Ceremony & Reception | Prairie ProductionCeremony Officiate | Joel Skene, friend of the couplePhotographer | Hetler PhotographyCaterer | Wanderlust CateringBartender | SpritzologyDisc Jockey | Toast & JamPersonal Flowers | Posh PetalsCenterpiece Flowers | Hamilton Dahlia FarmLinens | Special Occasions WestCake | A Baker's TalePhotobooth | MagboothPearls Events Service | Planning, Design and Set UpVictoria is my younger sister and assisting her with the planning, design and execution of her Chicago wedding day was something I had always assured her I'd do. It feels like Joe has always been a part of our large family (I'm the oldest of five kids), so when Labor Day weekend rolled around, and they made it official, we were all excited to celebrate with them in their hometown of Chicago.The wedding weekend prep began early in the week for me. My mom and I cut over 200 dahlias at Hamilton Dahlia Farm, and my mom picked up all the linens from Special Occasions West. I also called in a few favors from my colleagues Michelle at Red Heels Events and Elizabeth at Posh Petals; Michelle let us borrow her chargers & candles, and Elizabeth hooked us up with all the vases for the reception.Greg, my husband, and I met the rest of our family in Chicago on Friday afternoon and we had the ceremony rehearsal on the rooftop of Victoria and Joe's townhouse - it was perfect weather! Joe's parents treated everyone to a lovely rehearsal dinner at Goose Island Friday night, and Saturday morning arrived quickly after a good night's rest at the newly renovated Renaissance hotel.Hair & makeup with the ladies happened in our parent's giant hotel suite, which always works out well for the getting ready portion of the day. Joe got ready at home before meeting Victoria at their wedding venue, Prairie Production, for their first look, couple photos, wedding party & family photos.It was a hot day in September, but thankfully the outdoor ceremony space was in full shade by the time cocktail hour began. Victoria & Joe greeted their guests into cocktail hour, and then the wedding party walked down the aisle for a very casual, standing-only ceremony led by Joel Skene, a friend of the couple.After the ceremony, guests made their way inside for dinner, dessert and dancing. It was a very fun day filled with great family & friends who made the trip to Chicago for the weekend!I've shared a few of my favorite photos here, but Hetler Photography has MANY more on their blog post here.[...]

Real Wedding | Kate & David


Couple | Kate & David, 8-22-15Ceremony Location | St. Alphonsus ParishPhotographer | Kristy Berends PhotographyReception Location | Gull Lake Country ClubHair Stylist & Makeup Artist | Cheeky StrutFlorist | BloomersCaterer | Steve & Rocky'sWedding Cake | Nantucket Baking CompanyEntertainment | RedlineRentals | CanopeumTransportation | Holiday Coach Company, Affordable LimousineRehearsal Dinner | Tre CuginiPearls Events Services | Event Design & CoordinationKate & David contacted Pearls Events about a year ago and Leah B. spent nearly 8 months working very closely with both of them making sure every detail was absolutely perfect on their big day. The ceremony was held at St. Alphonsus Parish downtown Grand Rapids and their reception about an hour away at Gull Lake Country Club, so the Pearls Events team had to divide and conquer the day-of to make sure everything went according to plan.Cheeky Strut met Kate and her ladies bright and early in Kate's bridal suite at the J.W. Mariott to start hair and makeup. I checked in with breakfast and coffee while Leah B. and Aletha began setting up at the country club. Once tables, chairs and linens were in place, Bloomers arrived with centerpieces and the tent began to transform making Kate & David's wedding dreams come true!The bride & groom decided not to see each other before the ceremony which made Kate's grand entrance into St. Alphonsus Parish that much more special. After the ceremony, guests were transported to Gull Lake Country Club via charter bus while Kate & David stayed behind to take a few photos.Cocktail hour began right on schedule and once the bride & groom arrived, guests were invited to find their seats. Kate & David cut their cake, speeches & toasts were made and dinner was served. After a few traditional dances between the bride & groom and their parents, Redline opened the dance floor to guests and they danced the night away!Many thanks to Kristy of Kristy Berends Photography for the lovely images - Check out her blog if you'd like to see more![...]

Real Wedding | Jessica & Mike


Couple | Jessica & Mike, 8-1-15Ceremony & Celebration | Private ResidenceCeremony Musicians | Simply StringsOfficiate | James BarberPhotographer | Couple of Dudes PhotographyCaterer | Pit Stop CateringFlorist | CO-ED FlowersRentals  | Fancy Fray, Taylor Rental, TablescapesEntertainment | Speaker on a StickPearls Events Services | Event CoordinationThe Pearls Events team traveled to Sault Saint Marie (a first for us!) for Jessica & Mike's backyard barn wedding. The weather on their big day was nothing less than pure Northern Michigan perfection and the laid-back bride and groom were such a joy to work with!The ceremony and celebration took place at Mike's family's farm. Pearls Events spent all morning setting tables, coordinating vendor arrivals and making sure every last detail was in place. Jessica & Mike decided to do a "First Look" with family photos immediately following. The whole day was stress-free and relaxing, just what Jessica & Mike wanted!Guests arrived mid-afternoon and walked about a 1/4 mile down a grassy path to the ceremony site. The ceremony was short and sweet, officiated by a close friend of the couple. After Jessica & Mike said I do, guests made their way back toward the house to a tented reception complete with farm tables (thanks, Fancy Fray!), delicate string lighting and blue Spatterware mugs from Tablescapes at each place setting. The bride & groom enjoyed a casual BBQ meal and homemade pies with their closest family and friends before dancing the night away in the most perfect barn ever imagined!Jessica & Mike - Thank-you for inviting us to be a part of your special day. You and your families were so welcoming and sweet! Wishing you lots of love and happiness! [...]

Real Wedding | Bethany & Corey


allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="500" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="810">Couple | Bethany & CoreyCeremony Location | Central United Methodist ChurchOfficiant | Rev. Chris Lane, Central United Methodist ChurchPhotographer | Dan Stewart PhotographyReception Location | The Hagerty CenterHair Stylist & Makeup Artist | Memorable OccasionsFlorist | Field of FlowersWedding Cake | Cake Connection TCGroom’s Cake | Aunt B’s CakesPies | Grand Traverse Pie CompanyDJ | Mr. MusicTransportation | Celtic ShuttlesPhotobooth | Motion BoothParty Favors | The Taffy BarrelPearls Events Services | Coordination & Set UpAfter six seasons with the Pearls Events team, this was Mary's very last wedding for us. We are so sad to see her depart from the wedding industry (for now!), but I know this was the perfect wedding for her to retire on.While I wasn't personally there to assist Mary, she said Bethany & Corey were so very wonderful to work with and their day was relaxed, on-time, and meticulously planned by the bride. No details were missed along the way, and everything came together for a wonderful wedding day for the couple.A huge thanks to Dan Stewart Photography for the gorgeous images - it was hard to pick my favorites, but there are plenty more if you're looking for some eye candy on Dan's blog.[...]

Introducing... Leah VanBoxel, Lead Event Planner


(image) It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the next chapter of Pearls Events!!

Leah VanBoxel, who has worked under my direction for the past four busy wedding seasons, will be taking over as the Lead Planner and eventually as owner as well. I could not be more thrilled about this decision moving forward and she is just as excited as I am!

I began Pearls Events in 2007 as a small planning & design business. It was always my intention to employ creative people and provide hardworking individuals an enjoyable place to channel their desire to create gorgeous weddings, and organize the tedious details. I am proud of this small business, but it was never my intention to own the business forever.

In the past two years, I've been focusing my personal time on restoring homes, and last year made the official leap to open True Home Restorations, in addition to Pearls Events. With my growing family, working weddings (mostly on weekends) wasn't ideal. And while I LOVE so many of the clients I've worked with over the years, I'm ready to hand over the reigns of Pearls Events to someone who is as passionate about people, planning and design as I was over eight years ago.

I will stay on board for the next 6+ months as we make the official transition to her as owner, but since Leah has worked with me for so long, I'm not sure she will need much direction! There is a lot of back end work that I've done over the years that I haven't trained anyone to do, so a lot of office time will be scheduled together to make that as seamless as possible.

Of course, I have a few clients this season (honestly, I cannot say no - weddings & enthusiastic brides make me happy!) and both Leahs have their own clients. And there are a few clients that I will still work for in the coming years (shout out to you, Mrs. J.G.!!) as events arise, but at the end of the 2015 wedding season, I officially hang up my Pearls Events hat!

Leah grew up in West Michigan and comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She has been passionate about people and events since she can remember. She lives in a fabulous little condo in Grand Rapids and loves city living. I look forward to seeing where she takes Pearls Events in the years to come.(image)

Real Wedding | Jackie & Patrick


Couple | Jackie & Patrick, 9-6-14Event Planner | Carole Erbel of For the Love of Mackinac!Event Design | Pearls EventsPhotography | Andrejka PhotographyThis wedding was unlike any other we've ever worked on! The main reason was because the wedding was held on Mackinac Island, which if you're not aware, is an island were there are no motor vehicles. Getting everything to a venue on an island that functions with horse drawn carriages and bicycles as their mode of transportation is quite a logistical feat! We had to reschedule our initial site visit from December to May because of ice on the big lake - the boat literally could not get us there. Logistics aside, it was a fabulous day in September for the most fabulous of couples. It started with a call from the wonderful Mackinac Island wedding planner, Carole Erbel. That's right - Pearls Events acted as an event designer only in this wedding, and WE LOVED IT!Working with Carole on Mackinac Island is a must. She lives on the island and knows it like the back of her hand. She focused on all the planning and coordination of the weekend, and Mary & I (plus four guys to haul all of our rentals alongside of us...) focused on the design elements. We were more than HAPPY to work alongside of ladies of BLOOMfloral Design to transform the Cypress Room at Mission Point Resort.From the chargers & linens, to the exterior bars & vintage lounge furniture - it took two days to install every single detail on-site. And in the end, it was all worth it - Jackie & Patrick were thrilled, their family & friends had an absolute ball, and it was one for the books on our end!Since I did not plan this wedding, I don't know all of the vendor details as I normally do. If you're looking for vendor recommendations on Mackinac Island, get in touch with Mackinac Island wedding planner, Carole Erbel![...]

Real Wedding | Lindsay & Matt


allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="810"> Couple | Lindsay & MattCeremony & Reception | Blue Dress BarnMakeup | Angie MillerPhotographer | Studio 6.23Videographer | Highway 61 FilmsFlorist | Posh PetalsLinens | Pearls EventsVintage Rentals | Fancy FrayEntertainment | Final SayCatering | Two UniqueRehearsal Dinner | Painted Turtle InnDessert | SpoonlickersPearls Events Services | Event planning, design & coordinationWith their first anniversary quickly approaching, I had to share the most amazing July wedding day that unfolded last summer. Lindsay and her mom, Barb, were wonderful clients to work with - clients you wish you had every single year. I truly mean that. Let's do it again, okay ladies??Lindsay planned much of the day herself, and Pearls Events designed it alongside her. We had dreams of a Southern Glam soiree, inspired by their new home in Charleston, NC. In the end, Pearls Events jumped on board with last minute planning when her and Matt were moving across the country from Chicago. Everything came together at the Blue Dress Barn with soft pinks, punchy coral and a touch of mint and sparkle on the most magical of days in July.Lindsay & Matt are expecting a new little bundle of joy, a boy!, in August. Wishing them nothing but the best for years to come!!![...]

Photoshoot | Vintage Bohemian


In this business, we always have the pleasure of working with talented, familiar vendors as well as the thrill of meeting new individuals who shine in their work in the industry. Over the past few months, we have encountered some new faces in events. So we thought, "Since we haven’t designed a photo shoot in quite awhile, why not showcase their fabulous work doing just that?"We couldn’t have picked a better day; the weather was absolutely beautiful! We selected a wooded location at the Holland Fish and Game Club, which was the perfect setting for our vintage-bohemian inspired shoot.We accessorized the space with stunning pieces from Fancy Fray, decadent (and delicious!) treats from LeBon Macaron, and adorable, tented labels designed by Beloved Paperie.Our models, including two of Pearls Events’ own(!), were adorned in elegant, chiffon gowns, while our bride wore a stunning lace gown and sparkling head piece - all of which were provided by Bridal Gallery.Each model had a bohemian inspired hair style provided by the talented ladies at Engedi Salon topped with an adorable floral crown by Posh Petals. The flawless faces were compliments of Michelle Matson, a talented local makeup artist. One of our favorite things about working with events is seeing everyone involved work together to make a magical moment come to life - which is exactly what was achieved in our shoot that day. A huge thank you to all the vendors that participated!Photography | Elisabeth Marie PhotographyHair | Engedi SalonMakeup | Michelle MatsonLocation | Holland Fish and Game ClubDresses | Bridal Gallery Floral Crowns | Posh PetalsRentals | Fancy FrayMacarons | LeBon MacaronPaper Products | Beloved PaperiePlanning, Styling & Execution | Leah Baillargeon of Pearls Events[...]

Real Wedding | Kim & Brian at Bay Pointe Inn


Couple | Kim & Brian, 10-12-13Ceremony & Reception | Bay Pointe InnMakeup | Faces by Linda GHair | Erin BrownPhotographer | Karrn Frost PhotographyFlorist | Posh PetalsLinens | Pearls EventsEntertainment | Music Host EntertainmentDessert Display | MiraBella ConfectionsPearls Events Services | Event CoordinationKim & Brian planned a lovely wedding, which happened to fall on the last perfect autumn day of 2013. Blue skies, slight breeze, fabulous couple. What more could we ask for? Ooh, also, the leaves on the trees around the lake were a splendid sight. Ideal day. The couple decided to host all of their out-of-town guests at Bay Pointe Inn, which is one of my personal favorite spots for a wedding day. Bay Pointe makes everything SO easy, for both the wedding pros, and the guests! The ceremony site on the lawn, overlooking Gun Lake, is ideal, then guests head to just outside the pavilion for cocktail hour, and make their way inside the permanent pavilion for the dinner & dancing. Our team started early that morning with linen set up. The linens, a combination of blues & whites, were some of my ultimate favorite for this casual lakeside celebration, and it was so fun to see everything come together that day. Posh Petals was close behind us, since each centerpiece was put together on-site. I LOVED all the little details Elizabeth from Posh put together for the bride & groom - perfectly casual, yet well planned and unique. The ceremony was lovely, family & bridal party photos went well, and the dinner & dancing portion of the evening will be remembered by all the the guests.Kim & Brian - thank you for trusting Pearls Events with your wedding day. What a glorious October day it was! Best wishes for years to come! xoxo, Aletha, Leah & Leah[...]

Real Wedding 2014 | Natalie & Matteo in Grand Haven & Spring Lake


Couple | Natalie & Matteo, 6-14-14 Ceremony | Christian Reformed Conference GroundsReception | Holiday InnPhotographer | Hetler PhotographyMakeup & Hair | Flawlessly Finished Event ArtistsPersonal Flowers | Eastern FloralReception Decor | Events by I. CandyDesserts | Ryke'sDeejay | Movin' MusicTransportation | Coleman's Shuttle ServicePearls Events Service | Event CoordinationNatalie & Matteo woke up to a wedding day with the perfect summer weather everyone dreams about when they are thinking "outdoor wedding by the beach & tented reception by the water". I'm not even joking - I couldn't believe it! In the past seven wedding seasons, we've honestly never had as gorgeous weather as we had that day! Pearls Events arrived at the Spring Lake Holiday Inn with breakfast in tow for the ladies, who were getting beautified by Flawlessly Finished. After dropping off the breakfast spread, our team headed downstairs to the lawn to start setting linens & centerpieces from Events by I. Candy.We went over to the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds to make sure things were just as lovely there as they had been at the hotel, and all was on track; we even had time for lunch (which doesn't always happen...)! Everyone was ready, and Coleman's started getting guests to the ceremony. The wedding party arrived dressed and ready to go, and we got everyone down the aisle right on time - just like I prefer! When Matteo saw his bride for the first time, on the arm of her father, it was pretty magical for everyone in attendance; what a sweet, sweet day for this family! Our team picked up desserts from Ryke's Bakery, and headed to the reception to get set for guest arrival. The team at the Spring Lake Holiday Inn did an amazing job with everything and it was a pleasure working with them. The view of Spring Lake and the Grand River from the reception tent could not be beat! After dinner and desserts, the couple started the dancing portion of the evening. Movin' Music kept the dance floor busy - even after the firework display started! Natalie & Matteo - it was a joy working with you on your amazing wedding day. Thank YOU for letting us be a small part of your happily ever after. The entire Pearls Events team will remember the gorgeous weather, your adorable & polite girls, and your gracious manner for years to come. [...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Lauren & John


allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="455" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="810"> Couple | Lauren & John, 9-7-13Ceremony | Fountain Street Church Ceremony Musicians | Brioso String QuartetRehearsal Dinner | Mangiamo!Rehearsal Dinner Transportation | Elite Services, Inc.Reception | Amway Grand Plaza, Pantlind BallroomInvitation & Day-of Paper Product Design | Paper Studio 6.25Outer Envelope Calligraphy | Lola Grace CalligraphyMakeup | Julie StratingHair | Erin BrownReception Band | The Hip PocketReception Deejay | Music Host EntertainmentPhotographer | Karyn May PhotographyVideographer | Inspiration VideoFlorist | Ludema'sWedding Party Transportation | Elite Services, Inc.Linen Rental | Pearls EventsChair Rental | Chiavari Chairs WeddingsPhotobooth | ShutterboothPearls Events Service | Event PlanningLauren & John were a joy to work with throughout their planning process. After they booked the Amway Grand Plaza for their reception, they were sitting in my studio chatting about all the other details. I worked closely with Lauren, John, and Lauren's parents, Susan & Steve, throughout the engagement, and this is one of those weddings I put my heart into.Lauren & John loved the overall 1920's feel of the Pantlind Ballroom at the Amway Grand, and wanted to incorporate that into their wedding invitations and cake design. Abbey at Paper Studio 6.25 worked with us closely making sure each detail was perfect. I LOVE the letterpress invitations - some of my favorites to date!Lauren & John's wedding day began with the ladies getting ready together in Lauren's bridal suite at the  Amway Grand Plaza. The Pearls Events team stopped by with breakfast and to check in on everything before we started placing linens and all the reception details so Allison from Ludema's could easily place her gorgeous floral centerpieces.Per tradition, this bride & groom decided not to see one another before the ceremony, which always makes the ceremony "first look" so, so sweet. The ceremony was lovely, and after the grand streamer exit from Fountain Street Church, Karyn & Joe of Karyn May Photography took the wedding party around downtown Grand Rapids for photos.Cocktail hour was wonderful, as they served some of my personal favorite appetizers! Dinner hour began by the wedding party being introduced, the couple cutting their amazing cake created by the pastry chef at the Amway, and then toasts before salads were served.Dancing started after dinner, and The Hip Pocket kept the dance floor packed up until midnight, then the deejay, Kurt from Music Host Entertainment, took over and kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning.Leah & Leah stayed until the very end, taking care of all the little details on behalf of Pearls Events. I stopped by their Farewell Brunch the next morning and heard lots of great stories about the previous night. All in all, it was a fabulous wedding weekend for a lovely couple!Lauren & John - It was a fantastic planning journey with you both! I loved working with such kind families - from the photographer interviews and the food/cake tasting, to the floral meetings and the napkin chat - I think we all have good memories of our time together. Thank you SO much for trusting me with your wedding day; I loved getting to know you all! [...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Joanna & Patrick


Couple | Joanna & Patrick, 8-10-13Ceremony | Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox ChurchCeremony Musicians | Signature String QuartetRehearsal Dinner | Amway Grand Plaza, Imperial BallroomRehearsal Dinner Entertainment | Music Host EntertainmentReception | Cascade Hills Country ClubHair | Erin BrownMakeup | Julie StratingCocktail Hour Entertainment | Peat in the CreelReception Band | Rod Tuffcurls & The BenchpressReception Deejay | Chilly & DioPhotography | Karyn May PhotographyFlorist | Posh PetalsLinen Rentals | Special OccasionsLate Night Snack | Let Us Cater featuring YesterdogTransportation | Affordable Limo & Holiday CoachPearls Events Service | Event CoordinationThe second weekend of August was ideal weather for a wedding in West Michigan. Pearls Events stopped by Joanna's childhood home Saturday morning to drop breakfast & coffee off to the ladies while both Erin & Julie were on site for hair & makeup. All of the bridesmaids gathered there and enjoyed their morning getting ready together.Joanna & Patrick decided not to see each other before the ceremony, which always makes the ceremony processional a little more exciting. The look on the groom's face is always priceless. Our team was excited to finally witness a Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony at the gorgeous Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.After the ceremony, guests were transported from the church to Cascade Hills Country Club and enjoyed a lovely summer cocktail hour on the patio entertained by Irish band, Peat in the Creel. Guests were invited to find their seats for dinner, and the bride & groom were introduced into the dining room by the band.The mother of the bride & mother of the groom had a little surprise for the couple. Joanna's mom presented Patrick's mom with a cake, just like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. They were a fun group to work with!After dinner & dessert, the dance floor was packed for the rest of the evening. Later in the evening, Yesterdog arrived for the late night snack and in the early morning hour, guests finally made their way back to their hotel rooms!Joanna & Patrick - We loved working with you and your families on your wedding day! Thank you for inviting us to be a small part of your big day! Best wishes for a wonderful life together. [...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Deb & Kevin


Couple | Deb & Kevin, 12-7-13Ceremony | Plymouth Heights Chrisitan Reformed ChurchReception | Frederik Meijer GardensPhotographer | Hetler PhotographyFlorist | Posh PetalsEntertainment | Music Host EntertainmentDessert | MiraBella ConfectionsMakeup | Julie StratingHair | Erin BrownDay-of Paper Products | Paper & Ink DesignsWhile Melanie & Charlie's wedding was technically our final 2013 wedding, there WAS a very special wedding that happened on December 7th. My sister-in-law's wedding; one I had been anxiously awaiting for a couple of years.Greg, my husband, is one of four children. His sister, Deb, tied the knot in Grand Rapids and I had a bit to do with it. While the Pearls Events team did not coordinate the day-of, I did assist with the planning. On the day-of, I had my first-ever (and possibly only!) emcee gig of my career. After knowing each other for over 20(!) years, and dating for the last two, Deb & Kevin were engaged in the spring, and we started planning right away. I promised her she COULD get married in 2013 - it was just narrowing down the date that worked for everyone.While Kevin was deployed, Deb & I did a few site visits. She ultimately ended up selecting the Frederik Meijer Gardens, which was perfect for their afternoon reception in December. In typical December fashion, it was chilly out, but we were inside for both the ceremony & reception, so everything was perfect! The day started out at church - the ladies got ready with Erin & Julie in the morning, before the late-morning ceremony started. The couple decided to do a traditional receiving line after the ceremony, and then some family photos at church. Kellie from Hetler Photography had some time to grab couple & wedding party photos around the gardens while guests enjoyed mimosas & appetizers during cocktail hour.Lunch was served, cupcakes were cut, and the jazz band kept the celebration lively & festive! Guests were invited to tour the gardens - they were open for everyone to enjoy at their own pace. While there wasn't any typical wedding dances, I did sneak one dance in with the jazz band leader, Rick Reuther - I taught him the rumba!What a lovely day! Later that evening, some of us met up at Bar Louie to continue the celebration with the happy couple!Deb & Kevin - It was a pleasure helping you along the way. I am SO excited to see where the future takes you both. Hope to see you soon :) xoxo[...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Melanie & Charlie


Couple | Melanie & Charlie, 11-1-13 Ceremony | First Christian Reformed ChurchRehearsal Dinner | Pietro's Italian RestaurantReception | The Cheney PlaceCaterer | San Chez BistroBar Service | POURHair & Makeup | Cheeky StrutPhotographer | Stoffer PhotographyFlorist | Posh PetalsLinens | Pearls EventsRentals, Vintage Dessert Buffet | Fancy FrayRentals, Farm Table | The Rental CompanyRentals, Chiavari Chairs | Chiavari Chairs of MichiganRentals, Non-Floral Centerpiece Elements | Events by I. CandyEntertainment | Main Street Dueling PianosLate Night Snack | Peppino's PizzaPearls Events Service | Event Coordination & Event DesignLeah & I arrived at First Christian Reformed Church for rehearsal the evening prior, and the entire group was dressed in costumes for Halloween. Immediately, we knew we were working with a great group of people! Both families, plus the entire bridal party, was wonderful.Melanie & Charlie's wedding day proved to be like many November days in Michigan - chilly and overcast with a teensy bit of rain, but that didn't matter much - it was still a lovely wedding day!The Pearls Events team spent the morning getting The Cheney Place set with linens, chairs & non-floral design elements, while the bride & her ladies were upstairs in their well-appointed bridal suite with Cheeky Strut for hair & makeup. Melanie & Charlie decided to do a First Look, and also formal family photos before the ceremony, which meant lots of time for informal wedding party photos after the ceremony.Melanie & Charlie are both musicians - so, there was great music throughout the ceremony! Melanie had both her parents walk her down the aisle, and I loved the entrance, although I'm a bit partial, as that is how I walked down the aisle at my own wedding. Melanie's fit-and-flare gown was incredible - the tulle skirt was stunning, as was her bridal bouquet by Posh Petals.After the ceremony, the wedding party took some time downtown Grand Rapids for informal photos, while the guests headed to The Cheney Place for cocktail hour. San Chez Bistro was on hand for appetizers and a delicious family-style dinner and POUR was there to provide drinks all night.The highlight of the evening was absolutely when Melanie & Charlie sat down to the pianos from Main Street Dueling Pianos and sang a song together. It was quite magical, and Stoffer Photography captured it quite well! The dueling pianos kept the dance floor busy all night long, and we had Peppino's Pizza delivered well into the night to keep everyone satisfied.Melanie & Charlie Thank you both so much for inviting Pearls Events to be a part of your day. We had a great time working with you designing this event, and helping pull all the details together! It was a lovely day, and we are so thankful for clients like you! Best wishes for a wonderful 2014 and beyond!! [...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Kyla & Julius


Couple | Kyla & Julius, 10-26-13Ceremony & Reception Location | The HomesteadPhotographer | Dan & Melissa PhotographyVideographer | Coastline StudiosFlorist | Marla Courtney WoodPearls Events Service | Event Planning & Event CoordinationKyla & Julius worked with our Traverse City-based planner, Mary Brown, planning their lovely Michigan Fall wedding. They were supposed to be married this coming June, but because of some extenuating circumstances, Mary kicked it in to high gear and they were able to get married & celebrate with family and friends October 26th at The Homestead in Glen Arbor, Michigan.The day started out with the ladies at the salon at The Homestead. Mary and I stopped in to see how things were going - everyone was calm & relaxed. Mary and I set up a few details and grabbed some lunch (which always feels like a luxury when there is time for it on event days!).We were all ready to start sending guests to the top of the ski hill for the ceremony, but the day was chilly - so cold, in fact, that the image of the ceremony site above is misleading. The Homestead made the call to do the ceremony inside, which in hindsight was a wonderful idea.We quickly re-set the ballroom into a ceremony setup, and began seating guests. I have to admit Kyla was thee most adorable bride - she was SO excited/happy/thankful to be marrying Julius, and you could tell in all of her actions. Hopefully, I shared the right photos to share her spirit - she was full of joy! It was a joy to work with her! After the ceremony, Kyla & Julius braved the chilly, Fall air for some outdoor photos, and then joined their intimate party for dinner, dessert & dancing. It was a great night, at a great location, with wonderful vendors! Thank you to the lovely couple of inviting us to be a part of their day.Some sweet words from the bride & groom..."I can not say enough praises regarding Mary Brown and Pearls Events. Mary was the glue that held me together while I was planning my wedding. She was extremely helpful in so many ways. She went above and beyond in her efforts, coordination, planning, answering all of our questions in a timely manner, locating vendors and researching the best vendors to meet our needs, providing expertise and advice, etc.Our wedding was spectacular, to which I give her the credit. I truly believe she was a gift from God to me and my husband. We had to plan our wedding rather quickly due to extenuating circumstances. I may be bias but even my guests agreed, my wedding was a fairy tale, elegant wedding! Again, I have Mary and Pearls Events staff to thank for this! My vendors were top notch. They exceeded any expectation I may have had." -Kyla & Julius[...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Anne & Alby


Couple | Anne & Alby, 9-14-13 Ceremony & Reception Venue | Private Residence on Portage LakeCaterer | Gilmore CollectionEntertainment | Soul StreetPhotographer | TAK PhotographyFlorist | Marla Courtney WoodHair | Hair by KayleyMakeup | Julie FunkeyChair Rental | Chiavari Chairs of MichiganTent Rental | Rip and Run Canopy RentalLuxury Restrooms Rental | Plummer's DisposalPearls Events Service | Event CoordinationAnne and Alby both lived out of state, but had deep family roots in the Portage Lake area. Their families have summer homes on the lake, and it was the obvious spot to celebrate their new marriage. Mary & I were thrilled to work with them - super sweet couple and amazing location!There was no rain in sight, and although it wasn't hot out, it was a gorgeous September day to get married on the shores of the Portage Lake. The home were the wedding & reception took place was purchased by Anne's grandparents decages ago. Unbeknownst to them, they had purchased it completely furnished, and when they showed up for the first time after closing, they thought the former owner had forgotten to take their possessions! In reality, the former owner planned on leaving everything - the collection and history of furniture and artwork is incredible. I enjoyed each and every nook & cranny of the home - and hearing a bit of history from Anne's helpful aunt while setting up.The ladies got ready in the adorable guest cottage on the estate between Portage Lake and Lake Michigan, while Alby and the guys got ready at Alby's parent's home down the road. Anne & Alby did a First Look, which worked out well for them, as they were able to enjoy their cocktail hour with family & friends who travelled from all over the country to be a part of their day.The ceremony began right on time, and the wedding party walked out from the gorgeous home which has been part of Anne's family for decades. The marriage ceremony, overlooking the lake, was literally picture-perfect and we couldn't ask for better weather for mid-September.Guests made their way to cocktail hour while our team (and the help of some strong men!) moved chairs into the tent for dinner. After appetizers on the lawn, guests made their way into the fabulous white tent with (amazing!) blue & white runner and wildflowers by Marla Courtney Wood gracing the family-style banquet tables. Dinner from Gilmore Collection was served in stations, and did not disappoint!The band, Soul Street, kept the dance floor packed all night long - it was an amazing party! Small jars of jam were given as gifts at the end of the night, as guests loaded back into their coaches and back to their hotel rooms - which I'm sure is where the party continued!Anne & Alby - you were a lovely couple to work with! Thank you for trusting Pearls Events with your day's details. Mary & I wish you nothing but the best in years to come!!!Some sweet words for the bride..."Planning a wedding in four months required some big help - and I couldn't have pulled off our 'up north' nuptials without the help of Aletha! She was incredible. From recommending wonderful Michigan vendors, trouble shooting (especially after losing a caterer three weeks before the wedding!), helping keep the event on budget, offering wonderful design and style ideas, and keeping the day organized. Aletha is responsive, calming and helpful in nearly all situations. I would highly recommend Pearls Events for any bride - whether it's full-planning or only day of coordination!" - Anne[...]

Pearls Events Press | Laura & Kevin's Traverse City Wedding


(image) (image) Laura & Kevin's October 2012 wedding was simply amazing! Mary, our Traverse City-based planner, worked with the couple to make sure each detail that Laura planned was absolutely perfect. And what couldn't we do? Well, of  course we couldn't hold off the rain - but that actually made it a bit more magical, and I LOVE that image of Laura under the umbrella!

The photographers, Dan & Melissa Photography captured all of the details so well, that their "just married" photo was chosen as the cover image of the latest edition of UpNorth Bride! You can see the entire article online here.(image)

Pearls Events Press | Jennifer & David Blue Dress Barn Wedding


(image) (image) (image) Jennifer & David planned their Blue Dress Barn wedding while living in Chicago. The details Jennifer created were outstanding; she thought of everything - and it shows in the photos! I've already shared all of their wedding photos on the blog, but they are also in the newest edition of The Knot Michigan and I wanted to share their four-page spread!(image)

Pearls Events Press | Molly & Tom's Lakeshore Wedding


(image) (image) (image) Color, patterns and texture are my personal favorite design elements. Don't get me wrong, I love a soft, romantic wedding with hints of blush and ivory, but if I were to do my own wedding again, I'd be a bit more bold.

I have already shared Molly & Tom's wedding photos and video, but in the newest edition of The Knot Michigan, their wedding was shared with readers in a great four-page spread.(image)

Real Wedding 2013 | Elizabeth & John


Couple | Elizabeth & John, 7-20-13 Welcome Dinner | Iroquois HotelStrolling Violinist | John Van PattenCeremony | Saint Anne's Catholic ChurchOfficiating | Father PawelSchola Choir | Cathedral of St. AndrewCeremony Trio | Mike Davis TrioCeremony Florist | Margaret's Garden, Grand HotelHair & Makeup | Astor's Salon, Grand HotelReception | Straits of Mackinac II, Arnold LineReception Quartet | Classic ImpressionsPhotographer | Andrejka PhotographyCaterer & Bar Service | Pellston MarketCake | Bella e DolceDay-of Paper Products | 6.25 Paper StudioReception Florist | Pearls EventsRentals | Fancy Fray, Refunktion Junktion, La Tavola Linens, Events by I. Candy, Special Events RentalAccommodations | Grand HotelTrumpeter | Bob HicksPearls Events Service | Event Coordination & Event DesignJohn called me one day late Spring and started telling me what he envisioned for his wedding day with Elizabeth. I must admit I wasn't sure if he was for real, because I am quite certain I've never worked with a groom as closely as I worked with John. I tell you one thing - Elizabeth is one lucky gal. This guy thought of everything!Mackinac Island. Victorian. Boat dinner party. Crystals. Chandeliers. Horse-drawn carriages. Trumpeter. Fireworks. Dancing on the dock. We did it all!Thus began our six week journey to Mackinac Island. John & Elizabeth had many things set - the all-important dress, the guests (only 30!!!), each other. But many of the details were still up in the air, so we got to work right away.We met in Mackinac just after Memorial Day weekend and there, we selected linens and rentals. We had a last minute change in reception venues (the first boat wouldn't be Coast Guard-approved in time...), and of course all of the "what-ifs" with working on an island with no motor vehicles, but everything was set by mid-July and we were ready for roll on July 20th.My team and I arrived Friday afternoon. I headed to the island to run through rehearsal at Ste. Anne's with Elizabeth & John, while the rest of the team got settled into the hotel room & grabbed dinner.Saturday, Adrien & I were off to the island via ferry to coordinate the carriage processional from the Grand Hotel to Saint Anne's Catholic Church, and then the ceremony, while Leah & Greg stayed behind to load into the boat. Yes, my husband worked this wedding with me - for the second time in Pearls Events' history, he assisted with setting up and we couldn't have done it without him.We loaded in sofas, chairs, side tables, linens and what seemed like a million candles while Special Events Rental loaded in chiavari chairs, tables & draped the entire boat with fabric and lights. We set linens, centerpieces and candles while Bella e Dolce set up their amazing cake covered in roses. Nancy Kelly from Pellston Market and her culinary team started getting ready for the most amazing small-bite 10 course meal I've ever seen presented.After the ceremony, and a horse-drawn carriage ride around the island, guests enjoyed tea at the Grand Hotel. Later in the evening, guests began arriving on the dock. The couple arrived to a grand trumpet entrance, complete with sparklers, and we were off into the sunset! Dinner was amazing, the quartet played the entire four hours, and we ended with an extra-long firework show out of St. Ignace.We returned to the dock, where the Pearls Events team had set a dance floor for the couple's first (and last!) dance of the evening, after sending off a couple of wish [...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Kirstin & Khoi


Couple | Kirstin & Khoi, 7-6-13Ceremony | Fountain Street ChurchOfficiating | Chip SauerRehearsal Dinner | San Chez BistroReception | Urban Institute for Contemporary ArtsCaterer & Bar Service | Martha's VineyardEntertainment | Wiser ProductionsMakeup | Faces by Linda G.Hair | Echo SalonPhotographer | Bryan and MaeCake | MiraBella ConfectionsFlorist | Posh PetalsLinens | Pearls EventsRentals | Events by I. CandyPhotobooth | ShutterBoothCandy Buffet | It's Personal by Sweet Cakes DesignPearls Events Service | Event CoordinationWhat a great couple to work with! Kirstin & Khoi were in the midst of moving from DC to Chicago at the end of their planning, and didn't miss a beat with all the details. I enjoyed both of their families, and getting to know them a bit before their big day.Kirstin and I spoke over the phone initially, and then met up at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts to go over the layout of the space. The linens we worked with were some of my favorites - clean, modern, bold, and the flowers that Posh Petals designed were perfect for the UICA and Fountain Street Church. The paper products, designed by the groom's sister, were some of my very favorites - soft pink & white, and graphic with their monogram & a bit of chevron; perfect!Because one of my very good friends was also married this day, I dropped breakfast off to Kirstin at the Amway Grand Plaza and spent the morning setting up the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts before I handed the coordination reigns over to Leah, Leah & Adrien. I received a text from Leah B. that afternoon (after the ceremony) saying it went so smoothly and that I would be so proud; and I was. I LOVE knowing my team can handle everything I can and not having to worry about a thing.Based on the photos from Bryan and Mae and follow up meeting of the Pearls Events team, I know that dinner from Martha's Vineyard was wonderful, the various cakes(!) from MiraBella Confections were out-of-this-world, and the dance floor was packed all night long thanks to Randall from Wiser Productions.Kirstin & Khoi - thank you for trusting the Pearls Events team with your big day! I had a wonderful time getting to know you both a bit, and we all wish you nothing but the best in Chicago (and beyond!) on your new adventure.[...]

Real Wedding 2013 | Elise & Kenny


allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="810"> Couple | Elise & Kenny, 6-29-13Ceremony | United Methodist Church of the DunesOfficiating | Pastor Dan DuncanMakeup | Hanna WagerHair | Kayley HeeringaReception | Spring Lake Country ClubPhotographer | Bryan and MaeVideographer | Coastline StudiosFlorist | Hey Gorgeous EventsCake | MiraBella ConfectionsEntertainment | Collision 6Chair Rental | Chiavari Chairs of MichiganRehearsal Dinner | The Lakehouse Waterfront GrilleTransportation | Elite Services & Crystal LimoPearls Events Service | Event CoordinationI had the pleasure of sitting down to coffee with Elise, her dad, aunt and cousin a year prior to Elise & Kenny's wedding in Grand Haven. It was a lovely afternoon getting to know more about her and Kenny's relationship and how they wanted to celebrate their wedding day.Elise's mother's family had vacationed in Grand Haven for years, and sharing Elise's love for the resort town with Kenny, and all of their family & friends was what mattered most to this couple. Each and every guest traveled to Grand Haven for this wedding - a destination indeed!After the ceremony at my personal favorite Grand Haven church, United Methodist Church of the Dunes, the couple and their wedding party (the largest we've ever had!) headed to Lake Michigan for beach photos. And even in the midst of the sand soccer tournament, Bryan from Bryan and Mae was able to capture everyone on the sandy shores.The couple arrived at cocktail hour at Spring Lake Country Club and mingled a bit before being announced into the dining room. They cut their amazing peach-hued cake by MiraBella Confections, and sat at their darling sweetheart table, designed by Hey Gorgeous Events.Guests ate a delicious meal, and then the band, Collision 6, kept the dance floor packed all night long! The Pearls Events team passed out glow necklaces late into the evening, and then sparklers for the grand exit at the very end of the night.Elise & Kenny - Congratulations on your marriage! It was an honor working alongside you through your planning journey, and coordinating all the wonderful details of the day. Leah, Leah & I wish you nothing but an amazing life together!!![...]

Real Events 2013 | GRunveiled


Our fourth annual GRunveiled was a complete success - even with the crappy weather we were dealt. Each year we plan this event, it always comes together. From inviting vendors to join us, to news spots where Joy'l and I invite everyone we can to get down the St. Cecilia's, it's like no other event I plan throughout the year.

Each year, I'm always afraid no one will show up - selling tickets and waiting for people to walk though the door makes my stomach turn. There is something to be said about planning events that require the public show up. Not my favorite cup of tea - I much prefer weddings where we invite people to celebrate the couple! But, nonetheless, it's a great event that I'm proud to be a part of. Here's a small sampling of the 2013 show... Thank you to EVERYONE who came, and plans for the 2014 show are already underway! (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image) (image)

Real Wedding 2012 | Jamie & Rob


Couple | Jamie & Rob, 9-1-12 Ceremony | St. Robert of NewminsterMakeup | The Leslie StudioHair | TanazReception | Cascade Hills Country ClubPhotographer | Jen Kroll PhotographyVideographer | Inspiration VideoFlorist | Mulick FloralEntertainment | Matt Reed BandTent | Special Event RentalChairs | Chiavari Chairs WeddingLinens | Special OccasionsVintage Buffet | Fancy FrayRehearsal Dinner | Bistro Bella VitaTransportation | The Grand Rapids Trolley CompanyLate Night Snack | YesterdogPearls Events Service | Event CoordinationJamie and Rob were married on Labor Day weekend in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it was a wonderful day to celebrate one super sweet couple! The weather was perfect - it had finally cooled down from the crazy-hot summer we had this year.The ladies had a relaxing morning at the salon having their hair done. Then it was onto Jamie's parent's home for makeup. Our team stopped into Cascade Hills Country Club to set up some details before heading to check in on the ladies.Rob & Jamie opted to see each other before the ceremony, so after Jamie slipped into her amazing gown, Rob arrived with his guys and photos began. It was a lovely day for photos outside and I loved the ones Jen captured of the wedding party. Not posed - just some great shots of them together! It really captures the whole day - relaxed and fun with a great bunch of family & friends.We all headed to church for the evening ceremony, which was ideal. Even though it was a Catholic ceremony, Father Len allowed the couple to have their wedding after Saturday Mass. I LOVED this, as it meant no huge gap before the reception. After the couple were presented to their guests, everyone made their way to Cascade Hills Country Club for cocktail hour on the lawn. The wedding party arrived after family photos at church and joined them.The wedding party was introduced into the dining room after guests were seated. Jamie & Rob did their first dance, and cut their cake before the wonderful meal prepared by the chef at Cascade Hills Country Club was served. The dancing began promptly after dinner, and didn't end until 2:00am! And I am quite certain guests would have kept going if the band would have continued! What a party; no one wanted it to end! What a wonderful way to begin a marriage - with a party no one will forget!Jamie & Rob - congratulations to you! [...]

Real Wedding 2012 | Jennifer & David


Couple | Jennifer & David, 10-21-12 Ceremony & Reception Venue | Blue Dress BarnOfficiant | Joanne Dow, Bride's AuntRehearsal | Round Barn WineryRehearsal Dinner | Tosi'sCaterer | Christine Ferris CateringCeremony & Cocktail Singer | John VincentReception Entertainment | Lazer Jam ProductionsMakeup | Julie StratingHair | Erin BrownPhotographer | Amy Carroll PhotographyCake & Desserts | Dee's SpecialtyFlorist | Posh PetalsLinens | La Tavola Linens via Pearls EventsJennifer contacted me last December, and I was so excited when we finally sat down at one of my favorite cafés to chat about her wedding day at Blue Dress Barn. It was great hearing about all the DIY details she was working on, and I loved how precise she was. I knew it was going to be a memorable day and when October 21st rolled around, it was great watching it unfold.Since the Blue Dress Barn is a very popular wedding venue, Jennifer & David held a very informal ceremony rehearsal at the Round Barn Winery the afternoon before. If you get a chance to experience Round Barn Winery on a Saturday afternoon in the fall, be prepared to have fun. There were tons of people, live music, and picnicking going go. We found a quite spot behind the barn to practice the ceremony, and before I knew it, I was heading home again.The next day, Leah and I arrived to place linens before Elizabeth arrived from Posh Petals to begin the floral set up. Jennifer picked some of my favorite linens from La Tavola, and it added so much texture to the overall design. We also used mahogany chiavari chairs, which dressed the space up. I pretty much loved every single thing she dreamt up!Guests arrived via shuttle and enjoyed hot cider and doughnuts before the ceremony began right on time. Jennifer's mom and dad walked her down the aisle, which is my personal favorite way to process. Jennifer surprised David with his favorite Chicago-based singer, John Vincent, and he arrived right on time to do the recessional song. David was so surprised; the look on his face was priceless!Guests enjoyed amazing appetizers from one of my very favorite caterers, Christine Ferris Catering, during cocktail hour while Jennifer & David took photos with Amy Carroll. The couple was then introduced as husband & wife, cut their cake, and sat down at their gorgeous reception for a family style meal. Everything went smoothly, and every guest had a great time from what we could tell! The party went on until the end of the night! Shuttles took guests back to hotels and they lived happily ever after :)Jennifer & David - it was a joy working with you both! I wish you nothing but the best in years to come! [...]