Merc Monday-5/21/2018-Let's Talk About The Royal Wedding!

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Merc Monday-5/21/2018-Let's Talk About The Royal Wedding!

Oh my goodness! Can we seriously chat about how amazing Saturday was? I must say, knowing I had to coordinate a wedding at the Merc all day, I wasn't super excited about waking up at 4:30, but It was definitely worth it!

I've heard the comments that Meghan's dress was underwhelming, however I totally understand the look she was going for. It fit perfectly with the feel of her day, the respect for the church service and traditions, plus I'm sure that her age and overall taste had a huge part as well. In pictures, I am focusing more on her face, tiara (oh my!), and that stunning veil!

I must say that I was honestly more excited about which tiara she was going to wear, than her dress. I had scoured various blogs and archive photos to see what others had predicted, but not once did Queen Mary's Art Deco headband come up. I thought it was absolutely perfect for her, and now looking back at some of the other predictions, they would have been way over the top! 

As fun and interesting it is to be able to watch a royal wedding, this wedding seemed more relatable. From the ceremony music, to the cake, and even her reception dress, it would be very easy to incorporate her style into your day. 

It was such a beautiful wedding, and I loved being able to see the little moments of him telling her how lucky he was, or holding her hand leading her out to their getaway car, or my absolute favorite which was when they kissed for a second time in the carriage. They were trying to be true to themselves, while understanding the pressure of having such a public event. Even though we will probably never see a photo of their evening reception, I can only imagine how beautiful and perfect it was. For now, I will leave you with their official portraits that have been released. Of course, my favorite is the one of just the two of them. It's authentic and stunning, and you can only look at that and know that in that moment there is nothing but love.

 

 

Oh, how I love love. Congratulations to this beautiful couple, I can't wait to see what their future holds.

XOXO

Stephanie

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Merc Monday-5/14/2018-Happy Mother's Day!

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Merc Monday-5/14/2018-Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all of you amazing mom's and of course to all of you soon to be mamas too!

One of the many amazing things about working in this industry, is seeing how two lives change after they say their "I dos." I've been blessed to continue to be close to our couples, and keeping up with their lives through social media, and the occasional text message. In just 1 year of weddings, our Merc family has added a beautiful baby boy and baby girl to the world, and we have 4 more amazing couples that are going to become parents this year! 

I couldn't be more excited and proud of these beautiful couples. Becoming parent's is such an amazing gift, and I can't wait to see their little families grow.

To all of you, congratulations and thank you for sharing your good news and photos with me! I am so extremely happy for you and I hope that you will stop in someday so I can meet these little nuggets. Merc would also be pretty cute for a maternity or newborn photo session, so just say the word! 

All of our couples are forever a part of our ever growing Merc Family, and I am so excited to see more announcements pop up in my email and news feed, so don't be shy!

So from all of us, Happy Mother's Day and Congratulations! 

XOXO

Stephanie

 

 

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Merc Monday 5/7/2018- Planning in Full Swing!

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Merc Monday 5/7/2018- Planning in Full Swing!

Let me first start off by saying that I am LOVING this beautiful weather we are having! Everywhere I look, people are out and about working in their yard, going for walks as a family, or simply enjoying some sunshine in the park or outside of the local restaurants. It seems that we tend to sink into our busy day to day during the winter, but now we are rejuvenated and ready to enjoy every second of the day.

This also goes for all you couples that are planning your wedding day! The emails have been flooding in from couples that have been booked for awhile and just starting to get back into planning again. Most importantly though, the flood of new inquiries, tours, and bookings! I love learning a little more about each couple that I get to finally bring through this beautiful space. However, nothing beats getting to know them and even becoming friends as we get closer and closer to their day. I have never viewed any of our couples as just "clients." This is too much of a personal process, and I don't take a single second of it for granted. We truly appreciate that our couples choose to trust us with their day, especially when it comes to us being their coordinator. 

I entered into the wedding industry as a wedding photographer, so now I use my creative and particular eye to comb through each detail. Pinterest and wedding blogs have become such a huge part of wedding planning, but what many of you may not understand that those pictures are crafted to look that way. The table number is placed just right, and the centerpiece has been turned and added to to make sure that it's at the perfect angle, the list goes on and on. These may be "little" picky details to some, but you spend months maybe even years planning for this one day. I always take a step back to access what your guests will see because I want to make sure that every detail has been looked over, so you truly don't have anything to worry about. It's not just about making sure the day runs smoothly, it's to give you and your guests an amazing day with nothing to look back on and say "Why didn't anyone fix that!"

So as you dive into wedding planning, and decide who your vendors are going to be and how they can help bring your vision to life, just know that your Merc Girls have your back. 

If you haven't decided on your venue yet, we still have some awesome dates available so get in here! We want to be apart of your day, but most importantly we want to help bring it to life. 

xoxo

Stephanie

 

Shout out to C. Tyson Photography for the stunning photo of Kayla and Adam

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Merc Monday 4/30/2018-Light Up Your Night!

Merc Monday 4/30/2018-Light Up Your Night!

This past weekend, something happened that I have been waiting for since before we even opened! Our amazing couple chose to have individual pendant lights above their head table! It was absolutely magical, and even better then what I had imagined. 

Having this above their head table not only made it stand out, but provided a beautiful glow. I won't lie, I literally told the bride and her bridesmaids how amazing they all looked under this warm light. It was hard to capture on my cellphone, but trust me the photographer was definitely able to capture it and I will share the photos as soon as I have them. Until now, my "awesome" cellphone photos will have to do.

 

It goes to show that lighting can add so much to your event, so here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

 

I would love to see more couples do this, and I can't wait to see what we can dream up for you. So contact me and let's truly make the space one of a kind for you!

XOXO

Stephanie 

Merc Monday 4/23/2018-Wow Your Guests

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Merc Monday 4/23/2018-Wow Your Guests

First off, thank you all for the love on my birthday! I have officially entered my 30's, and I had a fantastic weekend with family, and of course an amazing wedding on Saturday!

This week for Merc Monday, I want to address a very important part of the planning process...the food! The bride and groom killed it on Saturday with an impressive menu from Tall Guy and A Grill, Purple Door Ice Cream, and the Milwaukee Pretzel Co. Yeah, I know!

Here is a breakdown of what was served...

Tall Guy and A Grill-

APPETIZERS-

Mini Bourbon BBQ Pork Meatballs-Bite size ground pork shoulder  meatballs with Tall Guy Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

Italian Bruschetta-Toasted Italian baguette with fresh diced tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella pearls

MAIN COURSE-

Superfruit Salad- Greens, fresh strawberries, blueberries, goat cheese crumbles, walnuts

Fresh Baked Rolls (from Breadsmith)

Char Grilled Beef Tenderloin-Seasoned with house steak rub served with Peppercorn horseradish sauce, oven roasted asparagus with fresh lemon, and scratch made garlic mashed russet potatoes

Grilled Salmon Filet- Sustainably sourced fresh salmon filet topped with a peach salsa. Served with seasonal summer blend of squash, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus and bell peppers, and a side of smashed herb red potatoes

Black Bean, Herb, & Veggie Cake-Black bean, fresh herb, spinach and rolled oat cake served on a bed of fresh mixed greens and dressed with roasted red pepper sauce. Served with seasonal summer blend of squash, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus and bell peppers, and a side of smashed herb red potatoes

 

Purple Door Ice Cream-

Campfire Mini Cones

Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vanilla Ice cream Sandwiches

Molasses Cookies with Espresso Ice cream Sandwiches

 

Ending the night with Milwaukee Pretzel Company Soft Pretzels and Sprecher Root Beer Mustard provided by Tall Guy and a Grill!!

Is your mouth watering??

I firmly believe that if you impress your guests with great food, and a crowd pleasing bar, they'll be happy, your day will be memorable (in a good way), and it helps set the tone for the night. That was definitely the case on Saturday as guests genuinely wanted to party, WELL having Sound By Design as their DJ also helped ;)

It was a great selection of vendors, and it showed that  a lot of time was spent to carefully select each one so that it reflected the look, and feel that they wanted for their day.

So, as you start to plan your day, don't forget that as part of each coordinator package, we also work with you to determine which vendors are best for you! We understand that the process can be overwhelming, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you. 

Also, don't forget there's only 1 more week to get our 2018 pricing for 2019 dates! Don't miss out on this opportunity to book at an amazing rate!

XOXO

Stephanie

 

 

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Merc Monday 4/16/2018-End of an Era

Merc Monday 4/16/2018-End of an Era

So this past week, the wedding industry was shook by the announcement that the most popular wedding blog site, Style Me Pretty is shutting down by the end of April. They have already stopped posting new content, but by April 30th the site will be down entirely.

For 12 years, SMP has been the leading resource for all things wedding. Before the days of Pinterest, brides and vendors relied on this gorgeous site to find some of the best vendors that the wedding industry had to offer. For many in the industry it's a major accomplishment to be featured and can really propel your business.

For myself, even before I was engaged I turned to SMP to find inspiration and most importantly my photographer. Yes, Pinterest is an amazing resource, but SMP really helped me hone in my ideas and showed me just how beautiful my day could be (without overwhelming me like Pinterest sometimes can.) 

My dreams of a Mercantile Hall wedding being featured on SMP are shattered, but that doesn't mean that there aren't amazing sites out there for couples to get inspiration. So I've compiled a list of some of my favorites places to dive in to all things weddings. Hopefully, at least one of them will help fill the void of the iconic SMP.

Martha Stewart Weddings

Green Wedding Shoes

Ruffled

100 Layer Cake

Wedding Sparrow

I will always look up to these sites, and especially SMP of course. If anything this is just another reminder that sites can disappear, and it's important to save your ideas, be creative and find what is going to bring your wedding to life. 

 

XOXO

Stephanie

Merc Monday 4/9/2018

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Merc Monday 4/9/2018

Where in the world is our Spring weather?! I don't know about you, but I am over this 3rd winter we're having!

So lets warm things up, and try to imagine ourselves on a beautiful spring day, birds chirping, bees buzzing, and flowers blooming. Most importantly the soft pink tones found in flowers like peonies, sweet pea, and cherry blossoms. No matter what anyone says, blush tones will always be a popular wedding color because they offer a romantic feel and can fit with any wedding style.

Blush is amazing as your main color, but it can also be just as beautiful to use as an accent color, with soft touches to your flowers, linens, or even just your wedding dress! Also, let's be real, guys love pink too! 

So how can blush work for you? Well, here are some beautiful blush touches to incorporate into your spring wedding!

Also, don't forget we have our April special going on right now! So if you haven't booked with us yet, don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Cheers, and hopefully Mother Nature is paying attention and those spring days will be here before we know it!

XOXO

Stephanie

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Four Years Later - An Anniversary to Celebrate!

Four Years Later - An Anniversary to Celebrate!

From the purest of places, it's hard to imagine a few years back to the feelings of anguish of people losing their business, jobs lost, and the gripping feelings of shock induced by the 5 alarm fire that tore through 2 buildings downtown Burlington. For those who were impacted by the devastating loss of the beloved Schuette Daniels Furniture Store, a fixture of the community, it was a major tragedy and one that saddened the town for a long time with many wondering what might come of the historic, vacant charred remains at 425 N. Pine Street.

Today, 4 years later, after months of loving restoration & salvaging its precious original hardwood floors and fabulous brick exterior walls, we open our doors proudly, inviting guests to create memories, celebrate with their loved ones, and honor the rich history the building shares with the town every day. For all of us on the Merc Hall Team, it's about building a business we love, a business that we are enormously proud of, and one that both serves our community as well as far beyond the town's geographic boundaries.

So, from tragedy comes this celebration.  425 N. Pine Street, we salute you. We are approaching our one year anniversary of being open and serving the community, just four years after the fire.

Happy Anniversary to Mercantile Hall and to my awesome Merc Hall Team. This journey is one that I cherish, and I love you all.

- Wendy

 

 

Merc Monday 4/2/2018- HUGE Savings!

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Merc Monday 4/2/2018- HUGE Savings!

Happy April!

This is a very special month for us, because it marks 1 year of being open for business! A year ago we were in our final month of construction, and getting ready to host our first wedding on April 29th. It took sleepless nights, a tribe of family, friends, electricians, carpenters, and a lot of elbow grease to bring our beautiful space to life. We have celebrated with so many amazing couples, and continue to be in awe that this is what we get to do each day.

This past weekend, we celebrated with Kelsey and John, and I got to witness one of my favorite ceremonies to date. Kelsey and John stared into each others eyes during the service, and you could feel the love between them, and the love and respect that the guests had for these two wonderful humans. This wedding was the kickoff to our nonstop weddings for the year, and it couldn't have been a sweeter reminder that we are part of these love stories, and that is something to truly cherish.

The "Merc Girls" have been toying with the idea of doing something awesome for the month of April, because when it comes down to it, we want to be a part of as many love stories as possible! SO for the month of April, we are rolling back our pricing and offering 2019 dates for 2018 pricing, and 2018 dates for $500 off! The savings are huge, and you'll want to jump on these prices, because it ends April 30th!

So contact us ASAP to set up a tour, and book your date! We can't wait to start this journey with you!

XOXO

Stephanie

 Photo by Florapine Photography

Photo by Florapine Photography

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Merc Monday 3/26/2018-BIG News!

Merc Monday 3/26/2018-BIG News!

Let the party begin! We now have our very own liquor license!!

Our license won't necessarily affect any weddings, but it finally allows us to host our own AMAZING events throughout the year!

One of our core values is strengthening our community, and in order to do that we want to make Burlington a destination center for entertainment, and gathering with friends and family. Some of the events we envision include hosting world class speakers, musical talent, and other community events that will engage others to explore and support Burlington! Trust me, we have a working list of possibilities, and you don't want to miss a beat!

We also plan on strengthening our partnerships with other local businesses and community members to offer unique opportunities and events right here in town! I was recently talking with a longtime resident of Burlington, who described Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights downtown half a century ago as lively as Broadway in Nashville with buzzing businesses, and packed streets requiring police officers directing traffic on every corner...It was the ONLY place you HAD to be each weekend...That was just the inspiration we needed to reach back to the roots, and enhance this great community even further. Think music...food...laughter...family...friends...and now, BEER!

Cheers!

XOXO

Stephanie

Merc Monday 3/19/2018 Floral Ideas

Merc Monday 3/19/2018 Floral Ideas

Spring is almost here, and that means more flower options! So many of our brides are hopping on the trend of incorporating flowers in fresh new ways. Here are just a few ideas on how to really elevate your floral game, and I think you'll agree this is one trend that isn't going anywhere...

Hanging Florals

Heck yes you can do this at the Merc! We've had a few couples choose to add some greens to our chandeliers, and it's quite magical. Fingers crossed for a couple that would like an installation above their head table! :)

 

Bridesmaids

Nothing is more Spring then dressing up your ladies in beautiful floral bridesmaid dresses!

Groomsmen

Oh absolutely! This trend isn't necessarily new, but it's definitely been getting some momentum in the last couple of years. C'mon boys, you know you can rock it!

Place cards

Whether it's a simple bud with the place card, or some small vases to double as centerpieces, this is a simple way to add a whimsical touch!

Flower Crowns

I don't know about you, but I'm still in love with them! It takes a certain bride to pull them off, but they are oh so beautiful!

Floral Desserts

We all know that flowers on cakes are timeless, but what about painted macarons, or edible flowers on your cookies! They are sure to be showstoppers!

Cocktails

This can take some extra work, but incorporating edible flowers for at least your cocktail hour or signature drink can really bring a whole new element to your day. Plus, if done right the flavors could compliment your drink!

Accessories

From robes, to real flowers on your shoes, and even Rifle Paper Keds!

Last but not least...Backdrops

Nothing is more romantic then being surrounded by beautiful flowers, while you say your I dos! 

 

I can't wait to see what our couples have envisioned for their day, and what their super talented florists come up with!

Happy Monday!

XOXO

Stephanie

Merc Monday 3/12/2018- Citrus Style Board

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Merc Monday 3/12/2018- Citrus Style Board

Hey! 

So first things first, last week I asked all of you Merc couples to comment on the post with a simple way you are incorporating a private moment into your wedding day. Surprisingly there were only a couple comments, so I've decided to give both my girls a special gift! Congratulations Holly Tranberg and Chelsea Burke! You'll both receive a surprise gift from us on your wedding day, and I can't wait for you to see it!

Now, let's dive in to why we're all here! I've had a lot of requests for style boards, and I wanted to challenge myself with a color that is my least favorite...orange! Wendy, our fearless leader is obsessed with all things orange, and she often teases me that she's going to get everything in this "bright, happy color." She did accomplish to make some Merc shirts in bright orange, and lets just say, let me know if you want one ;) (Love you, Wen x)

My recent change of heart over the color orange came during a photo shoot we did with our linen provider, Windy City Linens, Front Room Photography, Jane Kelly Floral, and Gertrude & Evelyn Vintage Rentals. My absolute favorite combination was ironically enough with orange linens! Yup, I don't know what's happening either. Take a look for yourself!...

 

 

I know, right!? The vendors were able to take a color that is usually pretty powerful, and blend a vintage feel, and gold tones to create this stunning tablescape. The best part is I could see this citrus flair working for the summer or fall, and gives a whole new meaning to an "orange fall wedding." Plus, it looks absolutely amazing with our dark tones, and Chicago Pink brick.  

My suggestion when working with a bright color such as orange, is to be subtle with it. You don't have to do full on orange tablecloths, but add it in as a runner or floral accent to brighten up the look without going overboard.

Here are my Pinterest finds to give you some ideas on how to make this work.

I will admit that even finding ideas for this post were few and far between, but that only means that if you're willing to step outside of the box and do something exciting and fresh (pun intended), then orange may be the color for you!

If you have or are planning on incorporating any orange or even citrus colors/fruits into your wedding design, I would love to see some of your ideas! I am thoroughly convinced now that this color scheme is quite awesome, and can really be stunning! I only hope that one of our Merc couples is willing to take the risk!

XOXO

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

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Merc Monday 3/5/2018 Making the Most of Your Day

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Merc Monday 3/5/2018 Making the Most of Your Day

So there has been something that I keep hearing over and over again, and that's how couples are trying to make their wedding day special from start to finish for...themselves. I feel like the focus has always been impressing our guests, and giving them an experience, but now couples are finding ways to slow down the day and to take a moment together.

They don't want to feel rushed, or pressured to do what other couples have done. They are truly making the day unique and focusing on whats most important to them.

So here are just some of the ideas I've heard, and some of my own suggestions!

Have an intimate ceremony with just your family, and invite your guests to join you later

Some couples have even chosen to feed their family, and then serve appetizers and small bites for their remaining guests later in the evening. Depending on your timeline, this can really make your day intimate without excluding anyone. Plus, it'll help with your budget!

Take time in the morning to be with each other

I know this is a break in tradition, and so this may not be for everyone. However, having the opportunity to see each other, and grab a cup of coffee before the chaos begins, can really ease your nerves. One couple is planning a breakfast with just their parents and wedding party for the morning of the wedding, rather then the morning after. They want the day to start off feeling relaxed surrounded by the people that mean the most to them.

Spending some extra time with your wedding party

This is one of my own regrets from my wedding. Our main focus was to get ready in the morning, that I never took the time to relax with my girls, grab those group shots of us before we got dressed, or even remind them why it meant so much to me to have them there. So learn from my mistake, and just take a moment to do something together. It can be as simple as a quick toast with your mimosa, a special gift just for them, or a relaxing pedicure. This was something that was very important to me throughout my planning process, and it always makes me sad to know I didn't take that time for myself and to thank my ladies.

Having a drink together after the ceremony

This has been a popular one, and I completely get it. After you've said your I do's, the hard part is over. We've gotten through most of the day, and hopefully the pictures, so it's getting to the point where you can finally relax, eat and enjoy your evening. However, before you get lost in the sea of wedding guests, it's important to just take a moment and cheers to your new life together!

Private moment/first look

By now, hopefully you've heard of a first look, or holding hands around a corner to pray or exchange love letters. This is an absolute must. It gives you a moment after you're all dolled up, to really come together to reflect on why you love each other, and how excited you are. Think of it this way, do you really want the first time you get to say anything to each other to be up at the alter? There are a million emotions on your wedding day, and you've been spending months maybe even years planning, so isn't it important to spend more then 9 hours together?

Sneaking away during the reception

This is a great opportunity to do sunset photos, sneak a kiss, or to just take a moment to watch your guests enjoying the evening. Whatever it is, just take it all in.

There are tons of ways to make sure your day remains special, and to not let the inevitable whirlwind take over. Be true to yourselves, discover what is most important to you as a couple, kiss a lot, hold hands more, and take the time you need to absorb the love and emotion of the day. 

 

What is one way you are incorporating a private moment into your day? Comment below to win a special surprise from your Merc Girls on your wedding day! I will announce the winner next Monday!

XOXO Stephanie

 Photo by Autumn Silva Photography

Photo by Autumn Silva Photography

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Merc Monday 2/26/2018-What's your style

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Merc Monday 2/26/2018-What's your style

Hey Beautiful People!

This past weekend was absolutely amazing, and we had a great turnout for our impromptu Open House on Sunday! I always love walking through the space with each couple, and explaining to them how they can customize the space. We have so many amazing little touches that can really elevate your event, and even for little to nothing!

The greatest thing about Mercantile Hall isn't the fact that our location is awesome, or the free parking, or close hotels, our affordable bar packages, or even how cool we are (well yeah all of those things are pretty great), it's the fact that our space is a chameleon!

I describe our space as "industrial chic", but there's no set style. Often times with your venue, your wedding style becomes whatever the space is. Honestly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that...if it's the style that you're going for. Here at the Merc, I have helped couples put on weddings that would be described as rustic, whimsical, modern, classic, and even themed (do you all remember our awesome Halloween bash last November, or our fairy tale wedding in December?) It honestly doesn't matter what look you're going for, or how simple or grand you want it to be. The space is simply stunning on it's own! That is HUGE, when it comes to planning your wedding!

When you find the right space for you, it helps you define your day, your look, and the feeling you want your guests to have when they walk into the space. It's the "ooos and ahhs" and the "oh wow, this is Pinterest in here!", or the "did you see that's a bed spring on the wall" that I LOVE, because at the end of the day it lets us know that we did it right. 

This week I want to have you do something fun! Comment below with 3 words that describe your wedding style, and 2-3 colors that you're using/plan to use for your wedding. I will randomly select 2 of you to receive a special discount! This can apply to couples that have already booked, or plan to book (must book by end of March to receive discount!) Bonus points for a style board pic! 

I can't wait to see your Mercanstyle! Good Luck!

XOXO Stephanie

 

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Merc Monday 2/19/2018-Special Promotion

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Merc Monday 2/19/2018-Special Promotion

Hey Loves!

I don't know if you've heard, but February is the Month of Love! Here at the Merc, our whole world revolves around LOVE! Which is why we want you to share in our excitement, so that we can be a part of your love story. As a special promotion this month, we are offering $500 OFF any wedding booking for 2018 or 2019! The only catch is you must book by the end of the month! We have never offered this before, so here's your opportunity to really snag a great deal!

Now with every great offer and addicting infomercial, there's always a bonus gift, right?! SO we're not done yet! I am also giving away a free up lighting package ($100 value)! To be entered in to win, just mention this blog when you book from now until the end of the month, and I will randomly select 2 lucky couples!

Tour times are booking up quickly, but I am also having an Open House this Sunday (2/25), from 11:00-2:00! So stop in, or email us at info@mercantilehall.com and let's finally get your venue booked!

Julie and Andrew Wedding-1091.jpg

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Merc Monday 2/12/2018

Merc Monday 2/12/2018

It's Valentines week, and love is in the air! Some people hate this holiday, but we can all agree that love is sweet, and by love I mean desserts.

Here at the Merc, we don't have any rules on what our couples bring in for their dessert, which only adds to the customization of their event. Whether it's grandma making dozens and dozens of cookies, your niece making your cake, or a wall of donuts from Grebe's Bakery, they are all spectacular.

So in honor of this sweet holiday, I want to share with you some of the amazing dessert tables, walls, and carts that have satisfied our sweet tooth.

 

Merc Monday 2/5/2018

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Merc Monday 2/5/2018

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, but do you know what it also marks? From Christmas to Valentine's day is prime engagement season!

One of my favorite things in the entire world, is hearing about engagement stories, or even better bawling over the videos shared online. It's a magical moment, and I find myself smiling and crying all at the same time (I know I'm not alone here.) It could be someone I know, or a complete stranger, either way the moment is so raw that it pulls right at my heartstrings. 

It doesn't matter if it happened while you were snuggled on the couch, or out to eat, or it was big and extravagant, because it means two people are saying yes to spending the rest of their lives together. 

In the spirit of love, I want to do something very special for one lucky couple. As a photographer, I've had the honor of being a part of some amazing love stories, and proposals for dear friends and past clients. I want to offer the use of Mercantile Hall for your very own proposal!

What you need to do:

1. Submit a short "love story" of how you met,  and what you love about this amazing person that you want to marry.

2. Include any special ideas or items you would like to include in your proposal. (i.e your fur baby, family and friends, etc)

3. If you have a specific date in mind, let me know!

Email all of this to stephanie@mercantilehall.com before 2/28.

We will help you plan an amazing and personal proposal, that will seriously impress your friends, and make everyone jealous. Plus, you'll get some amazing deals if you book Mercantile Hall for your wedding as well! 

Rules:

1. All submissions must be in by 2/28

2. Must be ready to make lifelong commitment ;)

3. Proposal must take place between now and the end of June.

 

For all of those that this doesn't apply to, please tag your family and friends that need a little push to get engaged!

I can't wait to help make this happen, and to celebrate with you!

xoxo Stephanie

 

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Merc Monday 1/29/2018

When you hear the words, "hot date," you may think about a nice dinner out with your other half, or a couples massage, or maybe your mind goes to more uh-hum "romantic" thoughts... ;) Well here at the Merc, us "Merc Girls" think...May 27th, 2018...is super hot.

Seriously though, after reviewing our available dates for this year, we still have some super HOT dates available. So who wants to get married this year?? If you read my previous post about wedding planning, you know that I can help you make this happen. Whether its in 3 months, or 10 months, we can totally bring your vision to life. I'm actually convinced that I could plan a wedding in 2 weeks, and I am willing to take on the challenge! 

So are you ready to see our list of available dates for 2018?? Here it goes...

March- yup! It can totally happen!

9th, 10th, 16th,23rd, and 24th

May-

6th, 11th, 25th, 27th -(Memorial Day weekend!!!)

June-

3rd, 8th, 29th

July-

15th, 20th, 22nd, 28th (Saturday!), 29th

August-

3rd, 10th, 11th, 12th (Saturday!)

September-

7th, 9th, 14th, 23rd

October-

7th, 14th, 19th, 21st, 28th

November-

4th, 11th, 16th, 18th, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 30th

December-

2nd, 7th, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 28th, 29th, 30th, 31st (New Years Eve!!)

When I see these dates, I get super excited, because that means that they are opportunities for me to help you with a chapter of your love story. To help make your day amazing, and worry free, and to give you a space that is a chameleon. We can be modern, rustic, vintage, or as I like to say 'industrial chic.'

So come celebrate with us, become part of the Merc family, and let's get those rings on your fingers!

xoxo Stephanie

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Merc Monday 1/22/2018

Merc Monday 1/22/2018

Hey Everyone!!

Thank you for joining me for round 4 of Merc Monday!

This week I want to talk to you about something that is very close to my heart. This beautiful little town of Burlington.

For those of you that know, or have read our little 'about us' on our site, know that this building and the little one next door had a large fire in 2014. I still remember calling family, and watching the videos posted online as firemen were trying to put it out. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. This building is not only historic, but it is smack dab in the middle of our town. We all thought that the building was either going to collapse or would need to be torn down.

Fast forward a couple of years...Add a 15 minute pitch where I word vomited every idea I had up my sleeve, the amazing Boss Babe, Wendy Lynch, our amazing team and families, a lot of blood, sweat, tears, money, and time, and you have the Merc. Our town had a new sense of pride, as the windows and doors were put in, and the lights turned on. The energy, and love that we felt, and continue to feel is absolutely amazing. We constantly have people stopping in just to see how we're doing, and look at what has become of this beloved building that has historically been such an integral part of the community. 

We hear time and time again, that the local businesses are thriving from this new flood of customers each weekend. You're coming here to find your bridal gown, bridesmaid dresses, suits, flowers, cake, caterers, hair stylists and sticking around for the coffee, the local restaurants and bars, the late night open mic and music scene and even our adorable shoe shops right across the street. Just this past weekend, after an absolutely amazing wedding on Saturday, I stopped into the Coffee House, across the street from us, to grab a quick latte and quiche before starting my busy day. This has become a bit of a ritual for me after one of our weddings, because I love seeing how our town is transformed on wedding weekends. You see a mix of wedding guests recovering from the night before, the regulars chatting with their favorite barista, students studying in the corner with headphones on, 2 guys playing chess, and families catching up with one another. 

Some of you may have seen our "Wedding This Weekend" sign that we place on our sidewalk each time we are privileged to celebrate the joining of two families. It's our way of sharing our excitement with this town, not only remind them that it may be busier then normal downtown, but to take it all in! Some of my favorite moments have been where our bank tellers next door huddled together in the teller's window to watch our bride and groom have their first look, or how 2 police officers radioed each other to block off the street for a minute while our couple did some pictures with sparklers, or how the night-lifers at the bars across the street have thanked us for your leftover donuts and cake. (They love us.) This building has always been in the center of downtown, but now has truly become the heart of our city.

So as you start to plan for your day, know that our town is genuinely excited and respectful of your day. They see the love as you walk around town taking photos outside of our many historic spots, and because of you (and your talented photographers), they are seeing their home in a whole new way. You are breathing a new life, and giving us all a flood of energy and excitement, and we couldn't be more proud of that.

 

All of the photos below, were all taken within 5 minutes of Mercantile Hall, and many of them are in walking distance!

Merc Monday 1/15/2018

Merc Monday Week 3!

This week I want to dive into a question I hear all the time, which is, "We have our venue, now what?"

Everyone knows that to decide on a date, you have to find the venue first. We're used to seeing couples choose us 1.5-2.5 years in advance, which leads them to think that they have plenty of time. Right? Well yes...and no.

When it comes to wedding planning, procrastination can cost you big time! SO it's important to really be on top of your To-Dos and create a plan of what needs to get done, and when. One thing that I do during my planning meetings with couples that have chosen a coordinator package, is talk through what they have done, and then remind them of what is left, especially if some of those things are crucial. Every couple that has added a coordinator package has done so at different stages of their planning process, but every single one has had an "ah ha" moment during our meeting. It's hard to remember every little thing, and not every planning checklist found on the internet is going to be 100% complete. As a special to all of my amazing couples, and even those that haven't booked yet, here is my version of a planning timeline (located at the bottom of the blog.) As an added special, I am offering $75 off of every coordinator package if it's added/booked before the end of January, and you mention this special.

 Look at you, reading a blog and saving money! ;) Seriously though, you won't regret it! We take the pressure off of your day, and I am there for you not only from vendor recommendations, timeline review, meeting with your photographer (and/or helping you find the perfect one) to make sure they know about all the hidden gems around us for pictures, and then the best part...we SET UP (and tear down depending on your package) every single decoration. That's right, you literally get to drop off everything, and we bring your vision to life! There's no more headache trying to figure out when it's all going to get done, while you're supposed to be with your glam squad, and your photographer is going to be here in 20 minutes and you haven't even shaved your armpits. (true story)

Your day should be stress free. Period.

Let's be real though, hiccups on your day are bound to happen. Cakes don't show up, your DJ forgot his table, you forgot to make a place card for your cousin's girlfriend, you didn't plan enough folding tables for your desserts, gifts, photo booth, memorial table, and you're 1 table short. You're off taking photos, and your aunt calls you to tell you that they got a folding table and put a bed sheet on it.. (also true story) This is something that no one should be bothering you with when you're about to marry the love your life, on what is supposed to be a perfect day.

So, let's do this. Let's outdo your Pinterest board, and help you relax with a mimosa or 3, knowing that everything is being taken care of. 

If you're way off from the checklist below (in a bad way), then maybe it's time to consider setting up a meeting sooner then later!  Email me right away (don't procrastinate) to get the $75 off any coordinator package. Your aunt will thank you! 

 

Mercantile Hall Planning Checklist: (A general list that pertains to your wedding at the Merc)

When you book with us:
___ If you haven't already, go through your budget and determine which areas mean the most to you. This may include flowers, catering, photography, videography etc.
___ Contact Caterers and setup tastings

___ Contact our bartending service to get on their calendar and to draft a proposal

___ Have a planning meeting (if you booked a coordinator package) to kickstart your planning process!

___ Setup an appointment at a bridal boutique, preferably our sister company, Bon Bon Belle Bridal, so you can get 10% off of your dress! ;)

 

11-12 months out:

___ Go dress shopping

___ Contact hotels in the area, and setup room blocks

___ Book your photographer

___ Book your videographer

___ Book caterer

___ Book ceremony location (if not at the Merc)

___ Finalize guest list

 

8-10 months out:

___ Create wedding website

___ Create registries

___ Book florist

___ Book officiant

___ Book DJ/band (if not using our MC service)

___Order your dress-woo hoo!

___ Get your girls to pick out their bridesmaid dresses

___ Send out Save the Dates

 

4-6 months out:

___ Setup logistics meeting with your Merc Girls! -Don't worry we'll contact you

___ Choose linens at logistics meeting

___ Organize the final details and decorations 

___ Pick out suits/tuxes 

 

2-3 months out:

___ Finalize suits/tuxes and get them ordered!

___ Send out invitations and have the RSVP no later than 1 month from wedding date

___ Send in final payment (due 90 days out)

___ Hair and makeup trials

 

1 month out:

___ Final timeline due-send to your Merc Hall coordinator

___ Finalize seating chart 

___ Go for a spa day and relax!!-This is mandatory

 

2 weeks out:

___ Final guest count and linen order are due

___ Final payment for linens and any additional add-ons due

___ If using WOW Wall- send in materials to your coordinator 

___ Confirm ALL of your vendors. Make sure there are no loose ends (i.e. they have directions, their load in time, and they have all that they need like tables, timeline etc.

___ Final hair appointment (coloring, style etc)

___ Have 4 gallery wall photos printed-must be 8x10 vertical

 

1 week:

___ No changes can be made to seating chart

___ Take care of yourself- get your nails done (bring your mom/sister/best friend to help you unwind)

 

Day of

___ Be happy

___ Feel beautiful

___ Smile till your face hurts

___ Kiss the hottie waiting at the end of the aisle

___ Dance your face off

 

This list is in no way EVERYTHING you need to do. It's just based on the important things to remember so that you don't fall too far behind.

If you're freaking out right now, and this list gives you anxiety. Email me, call me, let me help you ;)

xoxo

your new best friend, Stephanie

 

 Photo by C.Mae Design

Photo by C.Mae Design