Vendor Spotlight: Bauer Creative

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Tell us about your business.
Bauer Creative offers photography and design services. As a photographer, I understand how uncomfortable it can be front of the camera and do my best to make you laugh, loosen up, and walk away with photos that look like you - photos you're proud to share. You won’t find me trying to recreate embellished Pinterest photos - let’s just find some natural light and greenery instead! One thing I hear from my wedding clients time and time again is that I bring a calming presence while also having the assertiveness to keep things moving. I really enjoy capturing the day as it unfolds, instead of over-posing and over directing.  My goal on your wedding day is to minimize your stress, help keep you present, capture YOUR unique celebration, and probably befriend your family and bridal party along the way.

What excites you most about the work you do?
I really love getting to know couples and their families throughout the process, and bringing some calm and direction to an often hectic day! It’s such an honor to be able to capture someone’s wedding day - a day they’ve spent months preparing for, down to the smallest detail. It’s so much fun to deliver their gallery and allow them to relive the day all over again. 

What led you to the wedding industry, specifically? 
There are a lot of reasons, but one of the predominant ones is that I love to see each couple’s style reflected in their day. Nothing gets me more excited than seeing unique decor, invitations, bridesmaid dresses, etc.

Tell us about your most memorable and fun wedding/event.
I photographed a wedding in North Dakota last fall. The location was far from picturesque to begin with, out in the oil fields. But the bride and groom did the best they could and found a small camp with a lake! Then, a few weeks before the wedding, the county decided to drain the lake - no one knew why. So when I showed up to the location, there was literally nothing to work with - or so it would seem! I scouted around until I found a small patch of greenery - and we made do! The bride was thrilled with the photos and so grateful that I was able to make the location look beautiful.

Can you tell us more about the types of services you have to offer?
I offer photography and graphic design services. I photograph weddings, couples, professional head shots, seniors, family, maternity, and newborns. For design, I work with clients to create logos, branding, websites, marketing materials and more.

Tell us one thing we might not otherwise know about you. My mom is also a photographer, so I grew up on the other side of the camera! She owns her own photography business as well, doing residential and commercial interiors. We are both Nikon girls :) 

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We are celebrating 2 years in business!

Today is a big day for all of us at Events by Melody... We are celebrating TWO years in business!

 Photo Credit: Krista Reynolds Photography

Photo Credit: Krista Reynolds Photography

Some of you know the story about how the company got started, but some of you do not. Since I was a young child, I always had that entrepreneurial drive. In elementary school, I would bring a box of brand new pencils to class and when a fellow student asked to borrow one, I would tell them they had to purchase one for a quarter (talk about a hustler at the age of 7!). That's not all! I would also collect rocks in my parent's front yard and sell these (well I tried, come to find out nobody wanted to purchase basic landscaping rocks -- lol). 

As I got older, I always knew I wanted to start my own business but I wasn't sure what exactly that was. During my college years, I tossed around the idea of opening a doggy day care for quite a few years. However, ALL the questions kicked in like, "where do I even start?" With fear being a major factor, I decided to continue pursuing my college degree in Marketing at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. After I graduated, I landed a job in marketing in the Engineering world and did that for a few years since it was secure and the normal routine. I wouldn't be lying though when I say that was SO boring. I knew I couldn't keep up the 9-5 job the rest of my life. I had dreams much bigger than this!

During my years as a marketer, I was also planning corporate events for the companies I worked for (holiday parties, retirement parties, etc.) and I really did enjoy this aspect of the job. I was also at that age where my friends were getting married so I was helping them plan and coordinate every last detail which I also really enjoyed. My friends would always tell me that I should start my own event planning business but I just laughed it off (I was still thinking about that doggy daycare dream!). 

That's when in early 2016 I was bored at my FT job and made a logo and website -- the same one you're seeing now! Events by Melody was born! Well, sort of. I never actually did launch the website or promote the business until July 2016 since fear kicked in and I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing. Starting a business seemed SCARY. However, one thing led to another and I launched my Facebook page, website, email address -- you name it. A few weeks went by I had my first prospective client email (whaaaaat!?). It was a couple getting married in Duluth, Minnesota and you can bet I made the trip and fulfilled my first wedding under the Events by Melody brand. 

In 2016, the company did 11 weddings and 1 corporate event. In 2017, we did 41 weddings and a handful of corporate events. This year we're doing even more weddings and had added some more corporate and nonprofit clients to our list. Not to mention, I have a whole team to back me up! In 2017, I had to spring into action and bring on some help to get through the massive growth I was experiencing. Oh, and did I mention I made the leap of faith and quit my FT job. Events by Melody is ALL I DO! To this day, I still have people ask me, "So, what is your secret?". Honestly, there is no secret except for the fact that I wake up everyday and work hard. My clients come first and I will do whatever it takes to make their wedding or event exceptional.

Cheers to another year in business! I can't thank my husband, family, friends, EBM team and clients for all the support you've shown me these past two years. I can't wait to see what the future has in store!

xo, Melody

15 ways to save money on your wedding

Want to SAVE THOUSANDS on your wedding? Don't know where to start? We’ve outlined some great starting points for making a realistic list of priorities, sticking to a budget, and how you can still have your dream wedding with all the frills! 

 Photo:  Digital Born  

Photo: Digital Born 

Making a list of everything you're going to incorporate into your wedding can seem overwhelming. There are several ways to make this an easier, organized process. Cost of Wedding, for example, is a great online tool for determining what specifically you want, and how much it will cost.

1. Prioritize:

Prioritizing is critical in maintaining a balanced budget and an organized system.

It’s better to spend more money on fewer things to ensure optimal quality than to spread your budget thin and get poor results. In addition, make sure to distinguish between things you want and need. This may seem like an obvious task, but it's harder than you think. You may be totally set on having a 4 tier cake, but if that means sacrificing first-rate vendors and a day of coordinator (who will make sure your wedding is PERFECT), that may be a trade-off to reconsider!

BUT, as we’ve said, part of our job is helping you to have your cake and eat it too (literally, I suppose). So, let’s get into some ways in which you can realistically and effectively save money on your wedding while making an effort to include all of the "extras." 

 2. Cut the numbers: Cutting the guest list is the fastest way to save money. Although we may feel obligated (and even pressured) to invite all our friends and family regardless of how long it’s been since your last conversation, cutting the guest list can save you up to thousands of dollars.

Think of it this way: In Minnesota, the average cost for a wedding guest is $136. Let’s assume you start with 120 guests.  If you cut that list by 20 people, (2 tables) you’ve just saved $2,720.

3. Off peak days: We all know most weddings take place on Saturdays, (70% in fact). This is partly due to accommodating out-of-town guests who need additional travel time. But choosing to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday can end up saving you thousands of dollars on a venue. A Friday/Sunday or weekday wedding will also result in more affordable airfare costs for out-of-state guests.  

4. Seasons: In addition to days of the week, season plays a big role in determining the price you pay for a venue. Consider having your wedding on an “off-peak” month (November-April). Not only will the venue price drop, but your vendors will most likely offer you an off-season price as well. Besides, who doesn't love the winter aesthetic? 

Let's talk invitations...Let’s assume you purchase 100 invitations with an online retailer. In this calculation we are including the average prices of save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, postage, and shipping costs. All together, these add up to $713. Here are a few tips on how to cut that price in half:

5. Printing: Use flat printing instead of letterpress and thermography. Stay away from engraving, as this is the most expensive printing process.

6. Simplify: This may seem obvious, but try to avoid extensive embellishments and keep the invitation relatively simple. It will still be elegant, and less is more!

7. Assemble your own: A lot of stationers charge a fee for stuffing envelopes. Avoid this extra cost by getting some family members and friends to do it.

8. Material: Consider using postcards for save the dates and RSVPs. You’ll save on paper cost and postage.

9. Combining cards: Another option is combining the invitation and response card. In this case, the response card would be attached on the bottom of the card by perforation. You’ll cut your cost by using less paper, and you’ll save quite a bit on postage since they will be lighter.

10. Using your website: Instead of having several inserts with schedules, transportation, menus, logistics, etc., simply include your website on the invitations. Guests will have the information they need, and you'll save a lot of money by eliminating inserts.  

Flowers can be one of the most expensive items on a couple’s list. The average price for all bouquets, centerpieces, florists, and decorations is $2,140. That’s 7% of the average $30,000 that couples spend on their wedding. How can you cut this cost while still including elegant blooms and a pleasing aesthetic? We’ve got some answers:

11. Stay in Season: Make an effort to stay within the season’s flowers, as these will be the most budget friendly.  Not to mention, you’re getting the freshest blooms.

12. Trust your florist: Your florist should help you find the most affordable prices. Tell them your vision of style and color, and then hand the reigns over to them. They will ensure you get the look you want while staying within your budget.

13. Trade-ins: Obviously some flowers are more expensive than others. But more often than not, these expensive ones have “cousins” that look quite similar. Consider switching peonies for roses, orchids to delphiniums, Gardenias to Camellias, etc. Same great look, better prices.

14. Greenery: As always, greenery is the best way to add texture and color to an arrangement, and it is very inexpensive. 

15. Alternatives: Another way to save money on flowers is simply not to use as many. Consider filling your space with more candles to increase the variety and romantic atmosphere. Mix it up with different sizes, from tall candelabras to tea lights.

Real Wedding: Karla & Nick

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This week we're highlighting Karla & Nick's New Year's Eve wedding that took place on at Lumber Exchange Event Center in downtown Minneapolis. First of all, what a fun and memorable New Year's Eve we had ringing it in with Karla, Nick and their wonderful wedding guests! Back track to August 2017 -- Nick sent us an email via The Knot looking for a day of coordinator for his upcoming wedding. He mentioned that while his fiancé, Karla, had been planning everything, they knew they were missing one piece to the puzzle: a day of coordinator. A few short weeks later, we met with Karla & Nick for coffee and discussed their vision for the big day and also found out more about what exactly they were looking for in a day of coordinator (to help make sure the day runs smoothly and their vision is executed!)

Out of nowhere, all of a sudden it was December -- only a few weeks until the big day! We met up at the Lumber Exchange Event Center to do a quick walk through with the venue manager. Karla & Nick's ceremony and reception would take place in the beautiful Fountain Room. During cocktail hour, guests would have access to the Sawyer Room just around the corner. With the venue walk through out of the way, the final countdown was ON! The timeline and details were finalized and vendors were ready to rock n' roll. 

Fast forward to December 31, 2017 -- KARLA & NICK'S WEDDING DAY! We arrived at the venue a few hours before guests and boy was downtown Minneapolis quiet (the calm before the storm!?). Of course, we knew that wouldn't last long since the New Year's Eve parties were just starting to heat up around town. We came upstairs and helped with the final touches for decorating (place cards, menu cards, chargers -- you name it) and things were starting to look amazing! Artemisia Studios was also on site setting out centerpieces and other floral... beautiful! Guests starting arrive, the ceremony began and cocktail hour was underway. During cocktail hour, our team assisted the staff at Lumber Exchange to do a rather quick room flip. Since the venue was opening to the general public for a big New Year's Eve party around 10pm, Karla & Nick wanted to get dinner and dancing underway so they could enjoy the evening with their guests! Once the room flip was complete, Karla & Nick came out to the song "Jump Around" for their grand entrance.... and we must say, it was GRAND! What a great way to get the party started and guess on their feet! Dinner starts, speeches followed, and Bluewater Kings Band kicked off the dance party and what would become one of the best New Year's Eve parties ever! Karla & Nick -- CONGRATULATIONS! Wishing you many years of love, laughter & happiness.

To view more photos from Karla & Nick's wedding, click here.

Ceremony + Reception: Lumber Exchange Event Center
Hair + Makeup: Warpaint International
Photographer: Jason Albus Photography
Videographer: B&M Video Productions
Ceremony Musician: Oviation String Quartet
Band: Bluewater Kings Band
Florist: Artemisia
Dessert/Cupcakes: Hyvee
Transportation: Total Transportation
Day of Coordinator: Events by Melody (Melody + Alexis)

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Animal Ark 3K Walk

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We recently partnered with Spotlight Business Solutions to help put on the Animal Ark 3K Walk on Saturday, May 19th, 2018. This is an annual event and is a ton of fun for everyone involved! The Events by Melody team (Maggie and Alexis) spent the morning setting up, staffing the registration table and check points on the course to ensure everything ran smoothly. Tons of people came out to support a great cause including their furry four-legged friends!

About Animal Ark
Animal Ark is a Minnesota-based animal welfare organization. We embrace and follow a no kill philosophy in our work to rescue, rehabilitate, & rehome Minnesota’s lost and homeless companion animals every year.  Founded in 1977, Animal Ark is a 501(c) 3 non-profit Minnesota corporation. (source: animalarkmn.org)

 
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Questions to Ask Your DJ & Band Before You Book

When it comes to planning your wedding, you want to make sure to have all of the best vendors in town... right!? It's important to not only meet with your potential vendors in person or over the phone, but it's also important to ask them questions before you sign a contract. With that being said, there are some things you'll want to ask potential a potential DJ and/or band before booking securing their services.

 Photo Credit:  Jason Albus Photography
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How many weddings have you done?
  • How many weddings do you do in an average weekend?
  • Are there any additional services you provide such as uplighting or photo booth?
  • Will you be the DJ/band leader at our wedding? If not, who will that person be?
  • Have you ever performed at my venue?
  • Can you describe your style?
  • Will you help me choose music/song selections for the processional, recessional, first dance, etc.?
  • How extensive is your music library or songs list?
  • If the DJ or one of the band members scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go?
  • Do you take breaks? How many and when?
  • What music is played during the breaks? Can we provide music/playlists setup on an iPod for you?
  • Do you also act as an emcee and make announcements? If so, what is your style?
  • What is your rate? Do you charge an additional fee for the ceremony?
  • What is the deposit and when is that and the final payment due?
  • What is your refund/cancellation policy?
  • Do you provided microphone(s) for the ceremony and speeches during the reception? Are they wireless?
  • Do you bring backup equipment?
  • What will you wear to our wedding?
  • Do you require a meal?
  • Will we meet again before the wedding?
  • How much time do you need for setup and teardown of your equipment?

Real Wedding: Stephanie & Ben

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This week we're highlighting Stephanie & Ben's wedding that took place on September 30, 2017 at Transfiguration Church and Radisson Blu-Minneapolis. Stephanie & Ben came to us in the fall of 2016 when they were still about a year out from the big day. We grabbed coffee at Starbucks and talked all about their upcoming wedding! They had most of their vendors secured, but only one thing was missing -- a day of coordinator. Luckily, they found us! As the months went by we keep in touch every few months via email. That's when we found ourselves on August 30, 2017 -- ONE MONTH prior to their big day! We met for coffee a few short weeks later at the same Starbucks as the previous year. Let me tell you this -- it felt like no time had passed at all. A year went by in the blink of an eye, that's for sure! We quickly caught up and talked all about the wedding details, confirmed the wedding day timeline, and went on our way for the evening.

Fast forward to September 30, 2017. Finally, the big day was here! While Stephanie, Ben and their family and friends we're getting ready and headed to the church for the ceremony, our team arrived at the Radisson Blu for the reception setup. Meanwhile, the band arrived and starting setting up their equipment and doing a sound check, the florist arrived to deliver flowers and setup the centerpieces, and the catering staff at Radisson Blu set all the place settings. Our team set up the place cards, menu cards, and other final touches. The reception came together beautifully! A few hours passed and guests starting arriving at the Radisson Blu. That's when dinner and speeches kicked off a wonderful evening followed by an awesome performance by The R Factor! Stephanie & Ben -- CONGRATULATIONS! Wishing you many years of love, laughter & happiness.

To view more photos from Stephanie & Ben's wedding, click here.

Ceremony: Transfiguration Church
Reception: Radisson Blu Minneapolis
Hair + Makeup: Spa Beauty Agency
Photographer: Lauren Kirkbride Photography
Videographer: Eyetography
Band: The R Factor
Florist: Artemisia
Dessert: Muddy Paws Cheesecake
Linens & More: Linen Effects
Transportation: Total Transportation
Day of Coordinator: Events by Melody (Melody, Tina + Hannah)

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Events by Melody Real Wedding Featured in Lake Bride Magazine

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We are so excited to announce that Jenni & Max's summer 2017 wedding at Legacy Hill Farm was recently featured in Lake Bride Magazine's Spring 2018 edition! 

Vendors:
Photographer: Krista Reynolds Photography
Venue: Legacy Hill Farm
Florist: Brittany Lott
Dress: a&be
Caterer: This Little Piggy
Bakery: Angela Ross
Officiant: Bride's Brother (John Aiton)
Day of Coordinator: Events by Melody (Melody + Tina)

>> Click here to read more.

About Lake Bride Magazine
Lake Bride Magazine is Minnesota’s ultimate bridal magazine and online resource for brides and bridal professionals.  A collection of style inspiration and chic celebrations, highlighting the premier local vendors and resources that make us great. 

Thoughtfully designed and carefully curated for our Minnesotan brides. Lead by a team of four women with a deep love for the wilds of Minnesota. We are inspired by sparkling blue waters, vibrant sunsets, golden fall hues, and the peace of freshly fallen snow. 

Lake Bride magazine strives to continually inspire you and your ideal “I Do’s” by featuring a collection of beautiful inspiration, the best local resources, the latest trends, and practical planning tips for your special day. 

source: lakebridemagazine.com

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