Monday, September 17, 2012

A Few of our Favorite Places to Find Inspiration

When planning an event, it is safe to say that you find inspiration everywhere. Whether it be the color of a leaf on a tree you see on your morning walk to work, a pattern on a scarf you notice while shopping on the weekend or simply while browsing one of our favorite places to search for wedding details and favors, Etsy.

We obviously find inspiration in places that were created specifically for that purpose like Pinterest, but we have to give a shout out to some of our favorite industry related magazines for being wonderful and keeping us on our toes with new trends and relevant articles.

- Michigan Meetings + Events. Not only is this magazine regionally based, allowing us to really target the trends and upcoming events happening in Michigan, it also has an extremely active Facebook page. It's like getting two for the price of one- we get to explore the pages of the magazine and also enjoy extra tidbits shared on the Facebook page, which range from articles they find from outside sources to additional information that they found post-publication for that month. We're huge fans and you should be too!

- BizBash BizBash is wonderful for a variety of reasons. One of those is that they showcase events from Miami, Florida to Toronto- it is so interesting to be able to see what so many different places are up to! Another is that they always keep their information fresh and entertaining. Every time I pick up the latest BizBash, I find myself reading about an idea I had never seen before- and I always love them. Finally, they are extremely active on their Twitter page, which makes them so fun to follow.

- Special Events Magazine. From informing their reader on simple ways to go Green at their events (which we love- seriously, you should see the recycling center in the Events North office. We don't mess around when it comes to saving the environment), to forecasting the top 50 upcoming trends in the event industry, Special Events Magazine always has something interesting and informative to share. They also offer a plethora of their articles on their website, making it easy for you to check them out when you misplace your paper copy of the magazine.

We also find inspiration from some of our daily blog reads and vendor guides (aka guilty pleasures that are actually considered "gathering information for work"!). I should note that you should probably open these links when you have an hour...or three to spare. They are fabulously addicting. Some of our favorites include:

Simply Blue (Northern Michigan wedding guide and a fantastic blog- we cannot stress how much we adore this site!)
Hostess with the Mostess (Her themed posts will inspire you to throw the best parties ever.)
The Knot (Inspiring ideas and an impressive list of vendors from all over the country. A must for Brides-to-be.)
Style Me Pretty (Warning: You will stay on this site for hours- yes. plural.)
The Awesometastic Blog (Not only is reading her blog like listening to your best friend chat with you, she keeps it simple by posting one or two ideas a day- a quick and effective read that still makes you smile.)
Green Wedding Shoes (They feature a ton of articles on how to keep costs down while letting your creativity shine can you go wrong with that? Seriously.)
Emmaline Bride (Their DIY section is one of my favorite things. Ever.)

The list really just goes on and on. Learning from other's successes and ideas is wonderful and having the tools to do so via websites, magazines and blogs is simply wonderful.

Where do you find inspiration? Share some of your favorite sources- we love adding new pages to our bookmarks tab!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bridal Blog: Fall Inspiration Board

Whether we're ready or not, Fall is upon us. Once September rolled around, my cravings for Pumpkin Spice lattes and Warm-colored scarves returned- there is no use denying them.

Fall in Northern Michigan is such a gorgeous time to hold a wedding. The weather is perfect- the sunsets are still breathtaking and the fall colors are just's basically like having a built in color palate- how convenient!

Since our Fall-fever is in full swing at the Events North office (seriously...we're ordering our caffeinated beverages hot instead of on ice. We even stopped listening to the "Summer Hits of the 90's" Pandora station. Big moves over here.), we decided that this week our blog post should be a fun inspiration board for upcoming and future Fall Brides and Grooms! Meaghan had a blast creating this inspiration board, so I hope you enjoy (and maybe use a few of these ideas for your own wedding or event!)

Sources from top left to bottom right: Boutonniere | Caramel Apples | Pumpkin Cake | Pumpkin Initials | Orange Shoes & Socks | Apple Bride and Groom | Fall Flowers | Rustic Favors

We hope that you are falling for Fall as much as we are right now (so corny, I know...but I really couldn't resist)!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vendor Spotlight: ECCO

To put it simply, Traverse City is just a sensational place to hold a wedding or event. Venue options are plentiful and there are just so many diverse options to choose from.

With that said, this week we are highlighting one of our favorite newer venues, ECCO.
Source: Allen-Kent Photo

While we may be somewhat partial to the ECCO event space because we handle their Venue Rentals, we honestly would be obsessed with it regardless.

While one of the first things to note about what makes ECCO great is that it's located smack dab in the middle of downtown Traverse City (literally, right on Front cannot get any closer than that!), the fact that you have the freedom to bring in your own alcohol (which can save you a couple hundred...sometimes even thousands) and to use the caterer of your choice is a huge detail to keep in mind.

Source: Allen-Kent Photography

In addition to that, when you rent the ECCO space for your event, you have full access the entire weekend. While some venues only allow a 3-5 hour set up window the morning of your event, you can feel comfortable knowing that you have an entire 3 day span to both set up and tear down your event. As event planners, we cannot emphasis what an immense sigh of relief we exhale when we know that the set-up won't have to be rushed. Maximum set up time ensures maximum ability to give attention to every single detail!

Another thing that makes ECCO so wonderful and unique is that, with it's exposed brick wall and neutral colors, it is the perfect blank canvas for you to create your dream event. ECCO has hosted everything from Corporate VIP Dinners to Roller Derby Parties to Wedding Receptions to Fashion Shows..the possibilities truly are endless!

Some statistics and quick facts about ECCO:

- The main event room is approximately 4,800 square feet
- ECCO can hold up to 318 people, but 260 is the recommended number for comfortable seating with a dance floor. However, if your guest list is smaller, we can adjust the layout to ensure that your event has an intimate and cozier feel.
- ECCO provides all tables and chairs for your event. Additionally, the ECCO staff will set up your tables and chairs in an arrangement of your choosing. They will work with you to make sure that your room layout meets your expectations and needs exactly.
- Freedom to provide your own liquor and work with the caterer of your choice
- Two movable bars and 5 cocktail tables are provided for you on site.
- ECCO provides an iPod ready sound system and a wireless microphone for you to utilize.
- A Venue Manager will be on site for the entirety of your event to make sure that all of your needs venue-wise are taken care of.

...and all of that is included in your $3750 venue rental fee.

Make sure that your next Traverse City visit includes a tour of ECCO- you won't want to pass up a chance to see one of the most unique venues in town. Contact Meaghan at 231.944.9179 or to schedule a tour...or even just to inquire about more information- she's happy to help with whatever you need!