Monday, June 25, 2012

Venue Spotlight: Brengman Brothers at Crainhill Vineyards

Traverse City is lovely for so many reasons, but one of my personal reasons for loving where I live (and I’m sure I speak for quite a few individuals when I say this) is being close to so many wonderful wineries and vineyards. Being able to wake up on a Saturday and say “Hey! Let’s go on a spur-of-the-moment wine tasting tour!” is pretty spectacular.

Also convenient, wineries and vineyards also double as great places to hold a wedding or event! So many brides dream of vineyard weddings, which makes Traverse City a wedding hot-spot.

While we are fans of so many wineries and vineyards in the area, we have to give a shout out to one of our absolute favorites to work with: Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards.

Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards not only has an amazing view, it is also located just 5 miles outside of Traverse City, making it extremely convenient for guests who are staying at hotels in the downtown area. Another bonus: their wines are superb… but you should probably test this out for yourself. You know, just to be on the safe side.

Brengman Brothers at Crain Hill Vineyards offers both indoor and outdoor venue options, so no matter what your need may be- they can absolutely accommodate you!   The gorgeous main indoor tasting room (which is what I would describe as the perfect blend of rustic and modern) has an impressive floor to ceiling stone fireplace, stunning candle-lit chandeliers and is ideal for groups up to 98. Have a larger group? The outdoor lawn area can accommodate up to 200! They even offer a ceremony-only option for those brides and grooms who simply want to recite their vows amongst breathtaking vineyard scenery.
The Tasting Room. Source: Brengman Brothers
One of the biggest perks of Brengman Brothers, however, is that the hospitable staff makes you feel right at home the second you enter the door. They are some of the most helpful and genuinely nice individuals we have ever had the pleasure of working with. No matter what type of event you're looking to hold, the Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards will go above and beyond to fit all of your needs.
Source: Brengman Brothers
If you’d like more information on Brengman Brothers Crain Hill Vineyards, or want to schedule a tour, contact Allison Beers, Event Sales Manager.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tips and Tricks for Your Outdoor Wedding!

Living in Traverse City, we are lucky enough to have a plethora of gorgeous outdoor wedding locations. Whether you’re looking for a stunning view of the West Bay or a breathtaking vineyard reception, Northern Michigan offers a wide variety of exceptional outdoor locations for your big day.

However, while it is your wedding day and you would like nothing but blue skies, 70 degree weather, and the soothing sound of waves casually crashing in the background…sometimes things don’t always go according to plan.

So, without further ado, here are just a few important tips and tricks for your outdoor wedding!

1. Keep the comfort of your guests in mind.
Yes, this is your big day and it is absolutely all about your wedding bliss, but you want your guests to be focused on how gorgeous of a couple you and your significant other are and not on how swelteringly hot/frigidly cold it is outside.

Here are a few simple ways to keep everyone content and allow your day to reach a level of maximum enjoyment:
- Serve water bottles (you can even customize the labels!) to guests immediately following the ceremony to beat the heat in a personalized way! Another option is to display your wedding program on a fan for guests.
Source: Intimate Weddings

- If it’s a slightly chillier than you planned on, invest in some heaters or provide guests with blankets or shawls (which could also double as wedding favors- what's not to love?)

- Make sure if you are having a sunset wedding that guests are not blinded by the light- you don't want them to have to squint while watching your ceremony.

- If it is "bug season" outdoors (you know the one), provide guests with bug spray in bathroom
baskets or invest in some citronella candles so everyone is well protected.

-Think about where your wedding is taking place and consider all of the possible unwanted noise. You want to make sure your guests can hear every detail of your ceremony, toasts, prayers, etc. Investing in a sound system in case of louder than you’d like distractions is a solid plan.

2. Plan B is a MUST!
No matter where your wedding is taking place…you really cannot control the weather (Why has no one made an App for that?). That being said, having a plan B for your outdoor wedding is a must so you can sit back and relax on your big day no matter what.

Allison Beers, owner of Events North, explains this best in her article, “If You Don’t Like the Weather, Wait Five Minutes,” Featured in Families First Monthly's February/March 2009 Edition.
“Plan A might involve all of your guests in the back yard or in a park under the trees, but a Plan B is a safe idea. Check with local rental companies to see how late you can add a tent. The 10-day forecast is a safe bet as it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Sometimes it’s best to have a back up location. Does the church you’re getting married in have hall? Does the hotel your guests are staying in have an extra room? You typically can’t hold these without plans of using them, but if they are going unused, as your event gets closer, they may be an option.”

3. Windy Conditions.
While a light breeze may be welcomed with open arms on a warm day, wind can sometimes be slightly wilder than you matter what the time of year. You can help conquer windy conditions by doing the following:

- Make sure that your centerpieces are heavy enough to withstand some rougher winds…perhaps consider some contained mason jar candles instead of a more delicate option.
Source: Serious Eats

- Be sure that your place cards, napkins, and any other lightweight item that is displayed are secure so you can spend your night dancing instead of chasing down miscellaneous items.

- Factor in the possibility of wind when considering your hairstyle…you don’t want your hair covering your face as you’re saying “I do.” A little extra hairspray does wonders…trust me.

4. Make sure your Wedding Cake doesn't turn into a Hot Cake!
You've probably envisioned your perfect wedding cake for years now (or maybe that's just me...), but when having an outdoor wedding on a balmy day, you do have to keep in mind that butter-cream frosting will melt faster than fondant or other frostings. Make sure to let your cake artist know ahead of time that your wedding is outdoors so they can frost your cake accordingly…especially if there is no way to keep your cake refridgerated!  You want your cake to look as wonderful as it tastes...and not look like a piece of Salvador Dali artwork:
Source: {For} The Real Brides of New Orleans

The list could go on and on, really, but we decided to provide you with the subjects that we found to be most important in keeping both you and your guests happy.  We also do not want to scare you away from an outdoor wedding, we just simply want to make sure you’re ready for one. No matter what the conditions, if you’re prepared for them, then that means…

Happy you + Happy guests= THE PERFECT WEDDING DAY!

So readers, now it’s your turn! What are some other tips and tricks for outdoor weddings that you’ve come across/read about/used in the past/ etc? Leave your tips in the comment section- we’d love to hear what you have to say!

Monday, June 11, 2012

An Eventful Introduction

Hello! Welcome to the first official post on the Events North blog!

            You may be asking yourself: “Wait…what/who is ‘Events North?’ Why does an Event Management company want to start a blog? What do they feel the need to blog about?”

            Well, you are in such luck: I am going to provide an answer to all of those questions!

First, however, I am going to introduce myself. 
Photo Credit: Allen-Kent Photography
My name is Meaghan Jameson and I am the Event Manager for Events North…and the newest addition to the staff! I just moved to Traverse City, Michigan from Tampa, Florida in January to pursue my dream career, which is exactly what I am getting the opportunity to do here at Events North. I enjoy all things wedding, long-distance running, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and The Beatles.  I also love social media, event coordination, and Traverse City…which is where I am now lucky enough to call home!

I am also an active member of the Traverse City Young Professionals, Venue Rental Manager for the superb ECCO Venue in Downtown Traverse City, and on the board of the DDA TIF 2 Development Area Citizen’s Council.

            Now, onto the first hypothetical question I proposed: What/who is ‘Events North?’
            Excellent question. Events North is a full service event management agency located in Traverse City, Michigan that specializes in corporate and social events. Allison Beers, owner and founder (and also my wonderful boss), has over 15 years of experience in event management and prides herself in working hard to save clients money while still making every detail of their event extra special. Events North is happy to help you with as many or as few aspects of the planning process you require- we cater to your needs exactly. We will host the event of your dreams, exceed your expectations and WOW your guests by creating an experience that will never be forgotten!

And who are we? Well, you’ve already been introduced to me, but the rest of the Events North family is made up of Allison Beers, owner and founder, and our summer event coordinator, Macaila. I’ll allow them to introduce themselves:

Allison Beers: 

While living on the East Coast, Allison planned and executed a 40,000 guest carnival fundraiser for the opening of the Philadelphia Eagles new stadium,  and also planned a two-week regional road show for America Online. 

While in Philadelphia, she guest lectured for a class at Temple University in event management and served as a board member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the International Special Event Society for 3 years.

Allison is a graduate of Albion College with a double BA in English and Speech Communications and also has a certification in event management from The George Washington University School of Business.

Beers is currently the President of the Board of Directors of the National Cherry Festival Foundation and on the board of directors for the Downtown Traverse City Association (DTCA). She was elected to the Traverse City Rotary Club Board of Directors for 2012.   She has also served on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan. 

Beers is a founding member of the Traverse City Young Professionals. She is currently the coordinator of the program for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 2010 and 2011 Events North was named the Readers' Choice Best Of Award Winner from Michigan Meetings + Events Magazine for Best Meeting and Event Planner.

In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, the Traverse City Business News named Beers one of the 40 Most Influential Business People Under 40.

In 2010, Beers was named the Top 10 in '10 from Albion College. Top 10 in 10 awards were created to recognize noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by ten alumni who have graduated within the past ten years.

Allison is also a freelance writer for Michigan Meetings + Events Magazine and serves on their editorial advisory board.

Allison, originally from the Detroit area, moved to Traverse City 7 years ago with her husband, Adam, a Traverse City native.  She has two children, Anna (4) and Jake (10 months). 

(Allison also really enjoys Oldies music, watching Punky Brewster with Anna after a long day, and indulging in some tea from MORSELS on occasion. She verified that all of this information is accurate, except that she enjoys tea from MORSELS more than just occasionally...)

Macaila Schlaff: 

Hi! My name is Macaila Schlaff and I am the new Event Coordinator at Events North! I am an undergraduate senior at the University of Michigan and have been given the opportunity to intern in Traverse City for the summer to gain experience towards my future career in social, corporate and non-profit events. My favorite things are boating, weddings, watching romantic-comedies and Michigan football! As a Michigan native from the Detroit area I am thrilled to be living and working in Traverse City for the summer!

Question #2: Why does an Event Management company want to start a blog?
            Well, honestly…Events North has a lot to blog about. We are located in an amazing town, get the opportunity to work with fantastic clients, are surrounded by superb local vendors, and have some excellent tips and tricks of the trade to share.

Which brings me to our final question: What do they feel the need to blog about?
            Events North plans on using this blog to share highlights from past events we’ve managed, shed light on some outstanding local vendors and venues, spread the Traverse City happenings to our readers, give you some insight into our Event-coordinating brains, provide wedding tips and money saving tricks…the list goes on and on. Mainly, I just want to keep you updated and entertained and also allow you to see how wonderful Traverse City really is (yes, even in the winter season).

            I think that about covers it as far as introductions go. I will be updating the blog at least once a week and also providing consistent updates- and sometimes even giveaways!- on our Facebook page.  In the meantime, have a wonderful week- hope it’s eventful (So punny, I know. I know.)!