Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pearls Events Press | Inspired Dining

I've been excited to share our photoshoot we did for the current issue of InFrame Bride magazine with the amazing team of wedding professionals! We had the pleasure of working with Lisa Kae Photography, A Piece o' Cake, Mulick Floral, 6.25 Paper Studio, Iced Events & Events by I. Candy this year, and I couldn't be more proud of all the hard work!

If you've been reading for a while, you'll notice that this year's shoot was completely different from last year's shoot - I like to switch things up! Because these are just tiny photos, I plan on sharing more images from Lisa Kae Photography soon - stay tuned!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real Event | Jill's Surprise Party, Part II


Guest of Honor | Jill
Pearls Events Photographer | Mindy Leigh
Bar Service | Applause Banquets
Florist | Posh Petals
Stationery | 6.25 Paper Studio
Linens | Pearls Events
Entertainment | Brant Satala

Jill's birthday party details were some of my favorite because I love clean lines & bold colors. If you've been in my office, you would think I picked the color palette myself, when in fact, the inspiration came directly from Jill's blog! Everything we created was so simple on its own, but styled together, it was perfect for Jill.

Although I had Mindy Leigh come take photos on behalf of Pearls Events before the party started, Jill's brother-in-law, Brian Fett, of Obsessive Compulsive Photography, was the official event photographer. He captured the evening as it unfolded, and I LOVE the great shots he captured!

I cannot thank Mindy & Brian enough for capturing this evening for Jill. I know photos are very important to her, so Eric & I wanted to make sure every little detail was remembered for years to come.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Real Event 2011 | Jill's Surprise Party, Part I


Guest of Honor | Jill
Event Photographer | Obsessive Compulsive Photography
Pearls Events Photographer | Mindy Leigh
Catering | Gilmore Collection
Bar Service | Applause Banquets
Florist | Posh Petals
Stationery | 6.25 Paper Studio
Linens | Pearls Events
Entertainment | Brant Satala

Eric & I had coffee downtown to discuss the party he wanted to plan just before Eames was born. We've been working together on the super-secret-surprise party at the GRAM for his wife, Jill, ever since. When she walked into her party last night, I was thrilled to unveil the big surprise, and meet her - it's been a long time coming!

Jill has been following the Pearls Events blog for years. We've been in touch via blogging/Facebook/Twitter on various occasions, but our paths have never crossed until last night when Eric introduced us and we hugged like old friends.

Our team arrived to start setting up in the afternoon, and by 3pm I was receiving texts about how excited & nervous Eric was. He compared it to the day he proposed to Jill and how the day was going SO slowly, because he just wanted to get the party started. I wanted everything to be perfect when they walked into the Member's Lounge of the GRAM. And it was. I could not have been happier with how everything came together.

Guests began arriving for the big surprise, and half an hour later, the guest of honor walked off the elevator to a round of Happy Birthday. Jill's brother-in-law, Brian, of Obsessive Compulsive Photography was on hand the entire evening to capture the night, and I cannot wait to see Jill's reaction as she stepped off the elevator! I plan on adding a follow up post with those images as they are available from Brian.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers on the veranda, before dinner overlooking Rosa Parks Circle in the glassed-in boardroom at the GRAM. After dinner and another round of Happy Birthday with the adorable chevron cake, guests made their way back to the veranda for cake & ice cream sundaes while Brant Satala provided music well into the night.

With ArtPrize taking over downtown Grand Rapids, the city was ALIVE with art and, what seemed like, the entire community. What an AMAZING night to be in the heart of our beautiful city.

Jill - I wish you another amazing 30 years with your family & friends. Everyone who surrounded you last night was an absolute joy. I look forward to running into you more often!

Eric - I cannot express how much fun it has been working alongside of you to make sure this day was perfect. Thank you for trusting my vision and all my ideas. You were the ideal client and one I will miss.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Real Wedding 2011 | Megan & Jacob


Couple | Megan & Jacob, 9-4-11
Ceremony & Reception | Blue Dress Barn
Catering | Classic Catering
Cake & Pies | Bit of Swiss
Florist | DIY from Horrock's
Deejay | DJ by TJ
Pearls Events Service | Event Coordination & Set Up

I knew Megan & Jacob were designers, but when Megan sat in my office and shared their letterpress invitations her guests received, I about died....Red! Graphic! PURE AWESOME! So, after hearing about her big day with Jacob, and listening to all of the details they designed together, I knew our team was in for a treat.

Lauryn, Natalie & I arrived at the Blue Dress Barn to begin setting up the beautifully restored barn around noon on Sunday. Megan, her sister Kristen, Jacob and Megan's parents were there helping unload all of the gorgeous DIY details. It was a delight to work directly with Megan to make sure everything was exactly how she envisioned it as we set up.

Megan & Jacob did a First Look with their fabulous photographers, Jessie & Eric Stevens from Simply Jessie Photography. When couples want to join their guests at cocktail hour, plus get a ton of great photos, it makes a lot of sense to do this. And amazing photos were taken - check out the posts from Simply Jessie Photography if you're interested in all the shots - PART ONE & PART TWO.

Guests began arriving and one of my favorite parts of the day was that cocktail hour was FIRST! Guests grabbed a drink from the bar, and munched on glorious appetizers from Classic Catering before the ceremony - which was as awesome way to begin the celebration and I'd highly recommend it.

The short & sweet wedding ceremony took place on the side of the barn, under the arbor while everyone cheered on the couple. Guests made their way inside for a second cocktail hour, and Megan & Jacob had time to greet their guests casually. Dinner was served family style by Classic Catering before the toasts and cake cutting. The couple began the party portion of the evening with a spin around the dance floor together.

Since the couple LOVES photobooths, they had The Traveling Photobooth on hand the entire evening for guests to enjoy. Everyone also enjoyed s'mores over the bonfire, which was a great idea for a barn wedding!

Megan & Jacob - Thank you SO much for allowing Pearls Events to be a part of your day. Your style is impeccable, your love is contagious and we were thrilled to celebrate with you! Wishing you nothing but years & years of happiness!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Real Wedding 2011 | Sarah & Mike


Couple | Sarah & Mike, 8.17.11
Makeup & Hair | Hanna Wagner
Bride's Gown & Groom's Suit | J. Crew
Ceremony & Reception | Ventura Pines Cottage
Rentals - tent, chairs, linens | A-1 Rent All
Florist | DIY from Hamilton Dahlia Farm
Catering | Marie Catrib's
Photography | Bryan + Mae
Pearls Events Service | Event Coordination & Set Up

Sarah & Mike are amazing. Nice. Super fun. In love. Thoughtful. From awesome families. I could go on and on... They were a fabulous couple to work with - from beginning 'til the end! I have to say, I'd been looking forward to their wedding ever since our first phone call. They wanted an intimate beach wedding with no frills - my ideal setting! And after seeing everything come together - this is exactly the wedding I'd have if I got to do it all over again.

Mike vacationed on the shores of Lake Michigan as a child, and shared his love for the area with Sarah while they were dating. After a (very!) long engagement, they invited their families & closest friends to witness their nuptials at my favorite cottage north of Holland, Ventura Pines Cottage.

It was a warm Wednesday afternoon at the beach, but their 45 guests from California didn't seem to mind! After their beach side vows were spoken, the couple joined their guests for lakeside cocktails & hors d'Ĺ“uvres before making their way to the tent on the bluff for a delicious family-style meal from Marie Catrib's. After dinner, Sarah & Mike cut into the most amazing pies from Crane's and then everyone danced the night away to the sounds of Chicago's Matt Stedman Band. It was truly a wonderful evening, which ended with a bonfire overlooking Lake Michigan.

Above are a ton of detail shots from the fabulous duo of Bryan + Mae. To see even more, check out their full post!

Sarah & Mike - it was a pleasure getting to know you and I wish you a lifetime of happiness & fun! Libby, Stephanie & I had an amazing time working with you two. Best wishes!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pearls Events Press | Brides Michigan 2011 Editor's Choice

I have had the pleasure of working with Brides Michigan editor, Heather Lee, over the past few years. She first contacted me (and I about fell outta my desk chair when she did!) about a venue guide for West Michigan. Over the past three years, I've contributed to many articles, and each one has been helpful for Michigan brides.

Last week, I received their very first Editor's Choice Award from Brides. I was shocked to receive this recognition, as there are so many awesome Michigan wedding professionals. I love how Brides explains they picked "amazing, forward-thinking, art-creating, call-returning, trend-making wedding vendors who inspire and delight us every time we craft an issue of our magazine"

Thank you, Brides, for being one of Pearls Events' cheerleaders!

And a big congratulations to the other fantastic Michigan professionals they have recognized and we've had the pleasure of working with over the past five wedding seasons...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Real Wedding 2011 | Sara & Bud


Couple | Sara & Bud, 7.23.11
Hair | Jenny Davis of Circa VI Salon
Bridal Gown | Lazaro via Macy's Somerset
Groom's Suit | Ermenegildo Zegna
Ceremony | Private Residence
Ceremony Chairs & Rain Tent | Grand Rental
Ceremony Musician | Karla Green
Reception Chairs | Chiavari Chair Wedding
Linens | Pearls Events
Deejay | Guy Voss
Photography | Harrison Studio
Videography | Coastline Studios
Pearls Events Service | Event Coordination

Where do I even begin with Sara & Bud? I loved working with them and both of their families. It was a wedding I was looking forward to for over a year and when it all came together, it was absolutely worth the wait!

After a year of talking vendors, timelines, linens, flowers, set up options, candle placement, menus, napkin folds... we were beyond excited for Sara & Bud to tie the knot! And finally, on Friday, July 22nd, Libby, Lauryn & I arrived at Bud's parent's home in Battle Creek for their ceremony rehearsal. It was a typical July evening in Michigan - warm, sunny & beautiful on Lake Goguac.

Saturday morning we woke up to rain, but by lunch time it cleared & our rain plan was put on the back burner. Photos began at Sara's parent's home with the couple, then the wedding party, followed by immediate family before the ceremony began.

An hour before guests started arriving, Sara & Bud made the ultimate decision to have the ceremony as planned - in Bud's parent's yard. Unfortunately, the skies opened up and began pouring right before Sara & her father walked down the aisle, so guests retreated to the house. We did the processional again and Sara & her father made it down this time, but again, the rain came down. Their bridal party held umbrellas over their heads while the couple quickly said their vows in front of their guests.

As luck would have it, after the shortened ceremony the skies cleared again and cocktail hour on the shores of Lake Goguac went as planned. Guests made the short walk to the country club for dinner & dancing after an hour of mingling.
The food was fantastic, and the deejay kept the dance floor packed all night long. Libby, Lauryn & I were THRILLED to be a part of this beautiful day!

Above is just a tiny part of the photo preview from Harrison Studio. To see even more wonderful images, check out their post.

Sara & Bud - it was an honor working with the two of you. Your families & wedding party were nothing short of awesome, and we truly were thankful to be a small part of your big day! Libby, Lauryn & I wish you nothing but the best for YEARS to come!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Spring from Pearls Events

It's one of those sunny weekends in West Michigan that reminds us all that warmer temperatures are near. Our grass is getting greener, the birds are chirping, and our spring flowers are making their way out of the ground - I cannot wait for the tulips to bloom!

And with that, wedding season is right around the corner!

We have an amazing event line up for our 2011 season, and I'm dying to jump back into work in May, however I'm currently spending time at home with my new son. I couldn't be enjoying this new venture in my life any more. With Kate holding down the fort in the office, I am soaking up every smile, coo and well, diaper change; it's an experience like no other, and I'm thankful to be enjoying it with Greg.

Above is a gorgeous shot of the flowers my friend, Natalie who happens to be a wonderful florist, sent me while I was in the hospital. Every single nurse (and guest, for that matter!) walked into the room and told me how gorgeous they were - and I agree, simply stunning! Thanks again, Natalie!

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful weather! I look forward to getting back to regularly scheduled blogging soon.

(photo copyright Mindy Leigh Photography)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Inspiration

Every March, I get an itching for SPRING - green grass, tulips popping up, no more snow - and this March is no different. I've used these tulip images over the past three years on this blog more than once, and honestly each time I do, I want to run to my favorite Grand Rapids florist and buy a few dozen just to have around the house.

I currently made the switch from a (lame) PC to a shiny, new iMac, and am patiently waiting for my photo software to arrive, hence the lack of posts. I am also awaiting the arrival of our first child (due in two days, although I have a feeling Baby VanderMaas will be late!), so things have been a bit hectic around here.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

GRunveiled 2011 | Second Floor Recap

You most likely caught the first floor recap yesterday, and today I'm sharing the vendors who exhibited on the second floor. You can see why our wedding show, GRunveiled, really is different from other shows in Grand Rapids, can't you?

We invite the most interesting vendors to participate, to bring our brides-to-be unique vendors they will not find elsewhere. Many of the wedding professionals have never done another show, and we strongly encourage them to think outside of the wedding show "box" and create a space that will inspire brides. I honestly think this year's spaces were ah-mazing and I'm so proud of this group of pros.

Thank you again to Nicole Haley Photography for capturing our show, and a huge thank you to everyone who made it down to St. Cecilia's last week to check everyone out. We had an amazing turnout and couldn't have done it without everyone who worked hard!

[photos copyright Nicole Haley Photography]

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