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Welcome to the blog! Here is where I feature the beautiful couples I work with and industry news, tips, and tricks. 


Colorful Wedding at Essence Event Center

Real Weddings

Jackie and Joe originally met back in 2018 at work. They both were employed by a local community bank at the time. They were just friends for the first two years of knowing each other, but it then turned into something more! After dating for some time, Joe decided it was time to pop the question. They went up to Jackie’s family cabin and her parents went with them (and were completely in on it). It was a beautiful morning at the lake and they had just finished eating breakfast. Joe asked Jackie to go on a walk. Being tired, she reluctantly agreed. It never occurred to Joe that Jackie might not want to go on the walk, so thank goodness she decided to go! They walked on a path through the forest and made their way back around to the lake in front of the cabin. Joe got down on one knee and asked her on the beach, the most spiritual spot in the world for Jackie. She said yes and her parents came out of the cabin with their cameras out to capture the special moment!

Soon after is when our partnership started with this awesome couple. One of our favorite previous clients referred Jackie and Joe to us, and we could not be more thankful! They decided to book our Planning Lite package which included venue searching. We started out with a list of 30 possible venues, which we narrowed down to 10. From there they only needed to tour two of them before landing on Essence Event Center. Truly a great choice! Joe was especially pleased with the ample parking lot and the hotel right across the street. We love a groom who thinks through the logistics! 

During the planning process, there were a few things that were going to be elements of their day. One of those things was that Jackie LOVES Moulin Rouge, so we knew there would be some elements of the movie throughout the wedding. This also meant that red would be the main color, so be sure to keep an eye out for the pops of red that we incorporated!

The morning of the wedding the ladies and guys gathered in their respective getting-ready rooms at Essence. We love the games in the groom’s suite and the hair/makeup stations and the standing mirror room in the bridal suite! The stations were very helpful for Jackie and her bridesmaids to get their hair and makeup done with Nellie Weidel and Taylor Marie Beauty who did amazing work! The mirror room was the perfect location for Adam Kennedy Photography to capture photos of Jackie with her beautiful Marcella’s Bridal gown and red heels.

cheers to forever sign in essence event center

While everyone was getting ready Adam Kennedy Photography also made sure to capture flatlay photos of the stationery and wedding accessories. Jackie made all of the invites and printed the items herself, so it was important to get a photo that captured her hard work! The close-up shot of the rings in these photos is a fan favorite. The details in Jackie’s ring from Filigree Minneapolis and Joe’s ring from Knox Jewelers are mesmerizing!

Once hair and makeup were complete, Jackie slipped into her gown, the bridesmaids into their red Azazie dresses, and the guys put on their Hemie’s Haberdashery suits. Everyone cleaned up very nicely! 

Jackie then made her way to the ceremony site that the vendors had been setting up all morning. Our gold circle arch was adorned with drapery and colorful florals from Studio B Floral. The couple wanted to have a lot of color incorporated into their wedding day, so starting with Jackie’s bouquet we built a fun and creative palette. Just wait until you see how beautifully it blends with the linens we picked out from Linen Effects!

colorful wedding bouquet for MN wedding

The bride’s father was waiting in the ceremony aisle for his first look with his daughter. The moment they shared was so sweet!

Following the first look with her dad, was her first look with Joe. Needless to say, his reaction was priceless and we are obsessed with the love these two share for one another!

Adam Kennedy Photography then took the couple around the venue to capture a few portraits before rounding up the wedding party to join for group photos. Check out their epic photos in front of Essence Event Center!

bride and groom portrait in front of essence event center

As it got close to ceremony time, we tucked the wedding party away and a group of the couple’s friends/family began playing live music to serenade the guests as they arrived. Once everyone was seated, it was time to start! We cued the wedding party down the aisle which included another important element for Jackie and Joe’s wedding day, their adorable dog, Murphy, they got while wedding planning. He was looking spiffy in his attire and did a great job making his way down the aisle all by himself! The couple shared a sweet ceremony with their family and friends before sharing a kiss and making their way down the aisle to sign their marriage license. They were officially Mr and Mrs!

ceremony site at essence event center

The bride and groom then took a few minutes to themselves while their guests began enjoying cocktail hour. Essence Event Center was busy serving up drinks and kept the line moving swiftly while Chef Jeff provided delicious appetizers. Guests were able to sign the guest book and check out the heritage area that had been set up. This was a super cool area that consisted of old family wedding photos, Joe’s mom’s wedding dress, and Jackie’s grandmother’s wedding dress!

As dinnertime approached, the KUE team began inviting guests to find their seats in the reception area. We had repurposed the bouquets and ceremony arch, which added the perfect touch to the space. Remember how we said the palette went well with the beautiful linens from Linen Effects? This is exactly what everyone was greeted with as they entered the room!

Once everyone found their seats, Jackie and Joe did their grand entrance directly into their first dance. The bride is a choreographer, so obviously their first dance was one for the books!

couple cheering during grand entrance at Essence Event Center

Chef Jeff then began serving up a delicious dinner that everyone thoroughly enjoyed! There was also a round of champagne poured for toasts which the KUE team cued near the end of the meal. 

bride and groom cheers at sweetheart table at Essence Event Center

The couple decided to keep dessert simple with cookies from Costco and a small cake from a local bakery. Murphy made another appearance as a small figurine taking a bite out of their wedding cake. We loved this small touch that made the simple cake unique to the couple!

Everyone then gathered around the dance floor for the parent dances. Their moves were truly impressive! As we said before Jackie is a choreographer, so the dancing portrait of the night was a highlight. Because of this, they decided to book DJ Hampster Dance who is truly one of the best. He definitely showed off his skills as he adapted to the vibes and kept the party going all night long!

wedding dance floor with DJ Hampster Dance at Essence Event Center

Adam Kennedy then pulled the couple aside to capture evening photos that turned out so fun! You can also see a peek at the red detailing on Joe’s jacket, we told you the red would be making appearances in many ways. 😉

Another red appearance was the heart neon sign from Boxwood Rose. The neon sign that Jackie originally ordered did not come in on time, so the KUE team surprised her with this heart. They loved the surprise and took advantage of the new photo location!

bride and groom with LED red heart sign

The night wrapped up with plenty of dancing, drinks, and socializing. It was truly a night to remember!

bride and groom on dance floor with DJ Hampster Dance

One last shout-out to the awesome vendor team that helped pull this day together for Jackie and Joe!

Venue: Essence Event Center

Caterer: Chef Jeff

Bar Service: Essence Event Center

Dessert: Costco Bakery

Ceremony Music: Friends/Family of the Couple

DJ: DJ Hampster Dance

Florist: Studio B Floral

Hair: Nellie Weidel

Makeup: Taylor Marie Beauty

Photographer: Adam Kennedy Photography

Rentals: Linen Effects

Bridal Gown: Marcella’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie

Suits: Hemie’s Haberdashery

Bride’s Ring: Filigree Minneapolis 

Groom’s Ring: Knox Jewelers

Neon Sign: Boxwood Rose

Planner: Keyed Up Events

Creatively written by: Hope Konkol

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