andrea & chris ~ newport, ri wedding

I love the ocean. I’m certain I was meant to live near the water, despite growing up in land-locked South Dakota. With my husband being from Connecticut I have grown very fond of New England, so when our good friends Chris and Andrea decided to get married in Newport, RI, I jumped at the chance to help them plan their destination wedding!

They celebrated with about 100 of their friends and family on a beautiful day along the water on Goat Island. The day featured soft, romantic florals, a rocking dance party and a ridiculously happy couple. Hope these two are enjoying their first anniversary today!


Wedding Planning: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Kim Lyn Photography
Venue: Hyatt Regency Newport Hotel & Spa
Floral Design: Sales Livingston Design
Videography: Hippo Film Co.
Ceremony Music: La Bella Musica
Reception Band: Silver Arrows Band
Rentals: Quality Rentals
Makeup: Jessica D’Amore Makeup
Stationery: Minted


allissa & alex ~ mayowood stone barn wedding

Allissa and Alex live in the Twin Cities but chose to get married at the Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, as it was the perfect fit for their rustic, romantic and laid-back wedding day. Anytime you have a food truck and donuts involved, you know it’s going to be a fun event! One of my favorite parts of the day was during the ceremony when the bride and groom asked other couples in attendance to stand up and give their best marriage advice. It was beautiful and touching to hear others’ definition of love and a successful marriage.

This gorgeous day was also featured over on Junebug Weddings earlier this year. Be sure to check out that full post as well for some words from the bride (who, by the way, hand wrote all of the signs and designed the invitations herself!). Happy first anniversary, Allissa & Alex!


Wedding Coordination: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Matt Lien
Venue: Mayowood Stone Barn
Flowers: Le Jardin Floral
Catering: Gastrotruck
Dessert: Glam Doll Donuts
Hair & Makeup: SM Makeup
DJ: Wedding Day DJ’s
Bride’s Gown: a&bé bridal shop
Groom’s Attire: Atmosfere


maura & dave ~ james j. hill library wedding

As Maura and Dave celebrate their first anniversary today, I wanted to take a look back at their beautiful wedding in St. Paul a year ago. Fitting that the weather was HOT as this sweet couple relocated to the desert (Scottsdale) shortly after their wedding to continue their careers in medicine. But these two were unfazed by the heat, worrying only about soaking in all of the love and joy that surrounded them. Maura and Dave are part of some of the kindest families I have worked with, and that along with the fantastic group of vendors made it a fabulous day!


Maura and Dave’s St. Paul, MN Wedding from Iwen Exposures on Vimeo.

Wedding Coordination: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Lucas Botz Photography
Videography: Iwen Exposures
Ceremony Venue: Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church
Reception Venue: James J. Hill Library
Catering: Green Mangoes Catering
Flowers: Forever in Bloom
Ceremony Musicians: Spiritu
Reception Band: The Sevilles
Cake: Buttercream
Hair: The Apiary Salon


caitlin & joe ~ somerby golf club wedding

Caitlin and Joe’s wedding day was simply stunning. From Caitlin’s gorgeous dress to Fox & Fern’s lush floral design to Paper Rock Scissor’s elegant stationery – the day was filled with beautiful details. It began with the ceremony in the same church in which Caitlin’s parents were married, making it extra special, and ended with a sparkler send off and a very cool vintage getaway car for the bride and groom. What a more fitting way to celebrate their first anniversary than looking back on that lovely day!



Wedding Coordination: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Unique Touch Photography
Ceremony Venue: First Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue & Catering: Somerby Golf Club
Floral Design: Fox & Fern Floral
Linens & Rentals: Linen Effects
Stationery: Paper Rock Scissor
Band: The Bluewater Kings
Bride’s Dress: Posh Bridal Couture
Cake: Daube’s Bakery
Late Night Snack: Flapdoodles
Hair: Salon Chic
Makeup: 1st Avenue Hair Company
Transportation: Star Transportation and Rochester Trolley & Tour Company


maggie & nick ~ basilica of saint mary + café lurcat wedding

It’s time to look back at our amazing 2016 weddings and relive all the beauty from our busiest season yet! Let’s start with Maggie and Nick, who were married on a perfect spring day last May in Minneapolis. After a traditional Catholic ceremony at the Basilica of Saint Mary, guests paraded down the street to Café Lurcat where they enjoyed the beautiful weather during cocktail hour on the patio. Guests were then treated to a fabulous dinner and a rocking dance party. Some of my favorite details of this day was Maggie’s heavenly smelling bouquet (peonies and lilacs!), the peony detailing on her dress, and the floral print of the bridesmaids’ dresses. Perfect details for a spring wedding!













Wedding Coordination: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Jeff Loves Jessica
Ceremony Venue: Basilica of Saint Mary
Reception Venue/Catering/Dessert: Café Lurcat
Flowers: Spruce Flowers
Reception Band: The R Factor
Hair & Makeup: Blowdry! Salon
Transportation: Renee’s Royal Transportation
Stationery: Paper Rock Scissor
Bride’s Gown: Che Bella


elle & bryce ~ mayowood stone barn wedding

Before I dive into the beauty of my 2016 season, I have a few final special weddings to share from 2015 here on the blog (because it’s better late than never, right?). Elle and Bryce are one of those special couples. Elle is an emergency room doctor and Bryce is a firefighter so they spend their days saving lives, no big deal. They were so sweet and wonderful to work with throughout the planning process. Their priorities were a unique menu (no boring wedding food here!) and memorable design (colorful, botanical garden was the feel), and with our awesome vendor partners we nailed it. Despite her crazy work schedule, the bride DIY’d a lot of the details, including the marquee sign on the dessert table and the adorable mini succulent favors that doubled as escort cards.

Their beautiful wedding is currently featured in the Fall/Winter issue of The Knot Minnesota magazine, so be sure to grab your copy today! It was also featured on Trendy Bride earlier this year.

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Please take a few minutes to watch the video of the day from Eyetography!

Wedding Film | Elle + Bryce from Eyetography on Vimeo.


Wedding Planner & Signage: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Meg Cooper Photography
Videography: Eyetography Film & Foto
Venue: Mayowood Stone Barn
Flowers: Fox & Fern Floral
Catering: Catering by Design
Hair & Makeup: Hayley Sachs Artistry
Cake: Daube’s Bakery
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Music: The OK Factor
DJ: Instant Request
Bartending: With A Twist
Bride’s Gown: a & bé bridal shop
Officiant: Carolyn Germaine of Grand Avenue Officiants
Transportation: Rochester Trolley & Tour Co.
After Party Venue: The Doggery
Letterpress Invitations: A+P Designs (with DIY packaging from the bride)


luxe northwoods wedding inspiration

When Meg Cooper approached me with the desire to put together a winter-themed styled shoot, I immediately contacted Brianna at Fox & Fern Floral to get her on board as well. The three of us did two weddings together in 2015 and I was excited to get these talented vendors on the same project again. Brianna and I had worked at a very special private ranch property on a 2014 wedding, and the owners were gracious enough to not only let us set up our shoot there, but also take out one of their gorgeous horses for a few shots!

Using a palette of marsala, black and gold with pops of emerald, we created a lush tablescape contrasting the rustic backdrop of the ranch. We don’t get to have many outdoor events in the winter in Minnesota, so it was fun to set up the dinner table outside with gorgeous fresh flowers and luxe touches against the bare and brown winter scenery. The metallic geometric shapes with hand-lettered leather strips as place cards added an unexpected element to the place settings – the leather a nod to the ruggedness of the ranch. The vintage gold chandelier hanging from the tree and abundant candlelight gave the table warmth despite the cold December temperatures.

Pomegranates, a perfect winter fruit, were incorporated in the centerpiece and were the star of the pomegranate and champagne signature cocktail. Our bride (who got to cozy up to her real-life boyfriend as the groom) donned a stunning Tara Keely dress and an antique emerald ring that belonged to Meg’s grandmother.

​The overall idea of the inspiration shoot was to step outside the typical wedding box, yet create a look that’s approachable to inspire Midwest winter brides. We were thrilled that this shoot was published on Ruffled Blog earlier this week. Be sure to check out the feature! Thanks to the talented group of vendors listed below who helped this look come together.


Coordination: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Meg Cooper Photography
Floral & Styling: Fox & Fern Floral
Hair & Makeup: Amber Berry
Dress: Mestad’s Bridal
Calligraphy: Hooked Calligraphy
Cake: Top Tier Delights
Invitation: Allison Hopperstad



claire & rob ~ peace plaza wedding

When planning an outdoor wedding, you always have a Plan B. Claire and Rob, when planning their modern, garden-inspired downtown wedding in Rochester’s Peace Plaza, did just that – they had a tent secured for the reception to protect guests from the elements, and planned to add walls to the tent in case of inclement weather. What no one could have prepared for were the nearly 40mph winds that ripped through the Peace Plaza, creating a ridiculous wind tunnel and a dangerous situation under the tent. The tent walls were ripping off, we couldn’t keep linens let alone centerpieces on the tables, and the few tent poles that weren’t tied down with massive concrete blocks were literally lifting off the ground. It was crazy! I stood under the tent with the other vendors, barely able to hear each other speaking over the noise caused by the wind, and we knew we had to do something.

Brianna of Fox & Fern Floral made some calls and about 1.5 hours before the ceremony started we had secured a new reception location, conveniently located just a few blocks away. It was all hands on deck and all the vendors flew into action. I have never been so proud of a vendor team (check out the full list below)! It was truly a textbook example of why you should hire professional vendors for your wedding. A huge shout out goes to my assistant, Elizabeth, who, with the help of her boyfriend and my husband, rushed to the reception site to get everything set up while I stayed at the Peace Plaza to run the ceremony. We pushed back the ceremony start time by only a half hour (guests killed time in one of the many bars around the Plaza), and by the time Claire & Rob were officially husband and wife, and everyone made their way down to the new location, the reception space had been completely transformed.

The bride and groom were cool, calm and collected, the guests were so gracious with the last-minute change of plans and the vendors stepped up to make sure it was still the best day ever for the couple. It was almost nothing of what they had originally planned but it still turned out to be an incredible and gorgeous day. You can see these beautiful images by Meg Cooper in the spring/summer 2016 issue of The Knot Minnesota magazine and the January issue of Rochester Magazine! Thanks to Claire and Rob for putting their trust in me and the entire vendor team, and for letting me a part of their special day!


Wedding Coordinator: denae brennan weddings & events
Photographer: Meg Cooper Photography
Ceremony Venue: Peace Plaza
Reception Venue: Historic Riverside Building/Cambria Gallery
Florist: Fox & Fern Floral
Catering: Johnny Mango’s Catering
Rentals: Majestic Tents & Events
Band: The Bluewater Kings
Sound Technician: Northern Sun Productions
Bride’s Dress: Effie’s Bridal Trunk
Groom’s Attire: Knight’s Chamber
Hair & Makeup: Hair Studio 52
Invitations: Watercolorful Weddings



claire & marcus ~ four daughters vineyard & winery wedding

Claire & Marcus chose a picture-perfect Saturday in September for their nuptials at Four Daughters Winery & Vineyard. These high school sweethearts enjoyed their “best day ever” surrounded by lots of family, friends and wine! Claire was a meticulous planner and left no detail untouched. Many of their vendors were actually talented friends as well, making the day even more personal.

Be sure to pick up the January issue of Rochester Magazine to see this wedding featured in print, and scroll all the way through to the end here to see the fantastic video from Sunset Blue Productions! Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day, Claire & Marcus!



Marcus + Claire | Wedding Vignette from Sunset Blue Productions on Vimeo.

Wedding Coordinator: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Ellen D Photography
Venue & Catering: Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery
Flowers: Julie’s House of Flowers
Videography: Sunset Blue Productions
Stationery: Allison Hopperstad
DJ: Complete Weddings & Events
Transportation: Rochester Trolley & Tour Co. 
Hair & Makeup: Lasata Salon and Diane Mirsch
Cake: Daube’s Bakery
Bride’s Dress: Flutter Boutique
Men’s Attire: Knight’s Chamber


justine & dave ~ family farm wedding

I have been lucky enough to work on a number of at-home/private property weddings at some amazing properties, and Justine & Dave’s was no exception. Dave’s family farm had the perfect set up for hosting a fantastic wedding day. The ceremony was in the backyard of his parents’ house with a beautiful view of bluff country. Guests then mingled outside in the warm sunshine of the crisp fall day before moving into the tent for dinner and dancing. When the sun went down and the temperature dropped, guests stayed warm both by shaking it on the dance floor and roasting s’mores by the bonfire.

I had so much fun planning this day with Justine and Dave. They were one busy couple – moving several times, building a new house, starting new jobs – all while planning their wedding. It was so great to see the day finally arrive and watch the relaxed smiles on their faces as they were able to just thoroughly enjoy their best day ever! Thanks to Megan Norman (who was so awesome to work with!) for the lovely photos.


Wedding Planner: denae brennan weddings & events
Photography: Megan Norman Photography
Venue: Groom’s Family Farm
Rentals: Majestic Tents & Events
Flowers: Monet Floral
Catering: Pogy’s Catering
Cake: Craig’s Cake Shop
Stationery: Paper Piper
Bartending: Give Us A Shot
DJ: Instant Request
Hair & Makeup: Sue Kolve Salon
Transportation: Ready Bus Company