MERC MONDAY....Goosebumps

MERC MONDAY....Goosebumps

When we talk about #smalltownlove these days we are almost always sharing an experience we've just had. It almost always is the kind of story that leaves us with goosebumps.

Well... for those of you in need of a little feel-good-love, this one's for you.

A few weeks ago we had the honor of hosting Kani & Richalde. These two (now newlyweds) are an amazing couple who weathered the heartbreak of losing their original wedding plans for a destination wedding in Key West, to the wrath of Hurricaine Irma last year. They took that opportunity to create a new plan for their dream day, and they chose Mercantile Hall. With a new script, new decor, and friends and family in tow, they hit Burlington to celebrate. The #smalltownlove came in to play as the groomsmen enjoyed themselves outside waiting for the ceremony to begin. They wandered across the street to a Burlington business that is near and dear to our hearts - Itzin's Shoes - where they were introduced to Tiffany Cramer & Dave Schmafeldt. They took a seat on Itzin's brand new community bench out in front of their shoe store, and Dave quickly came out to shine their shoes. The guys all lined up, feeling the love from Tiffany & Dave right on the spot. Watching this unfold you couldn't help but observe the fabulous service that was taking place while the air was filled with laughter. And that, my friends, is Exhibit A for this week of small town, downtown love. Small random acts of kindness for those visiting Burlington for the first time. If we only had a camera...it was authentic, spontaneous, and beautiful.

Fast forward to Sunday, July 1st. Our first (of hopefully many) community give-back events where we hosted a super fun Food Truck Festival. Graciously, Chase Bank allowed us the use of their parking lot behind Mercantile Hall, so we packed it full of scrumptious food options. 10 to be exact, all different cuisines, and so much yumminess to try. When we saw the first trucks (Yuppie Hill & Wilson Meats) arrive, we got excited. But when that 10th truck rolled in, we knew we had ourselves a big, awesome festival. Right from the start of the event at 3pm, we watched the people stream in, all smiles (which to us translated to 'who cares about a little rain?') to hang out & celebrate community. We opened up Mercantile Hall, provided a kickin' live band (they were awesome - AARPers Bizarre was their name), and served up a full bar & some tasty craft beers from Third Space, Central Waters, Bells, New Glarus, and Lakefront Brewery. We filled the seats, watched some dance, and most importantly, met a lot of new friends. THAT is what small town, downtown love is all about and gosh we're feeling lucky to live here. (...goosebumps...)

Thank you to those who helped Mercantile Hall bring the Trucks & Taps Food Truck Festival to Burlington:

Cupcake-A-Rhee, Matty's, Gypsy Soul, Blue Cow Creperie, Double B's BBQ, Yuppie Hill Farm, Wilson Meats, Sushi Go, Hardwood Cafe, Tropical Chill, Chase Bank, Mike, Laura, Abby & Kayla from Drink Inc., Elite Rentals, & AARPers Bizarre. And of course to Ashlee Herriges, Stephanie Heft, Abbey Robers, Chris Carlock, and our ever patient hubbies & kiddos - may we always be blessed with sharing moments like these.

XO 

Merc Monday 6/25/2018- SEAT Yo Self

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Merc Monday 6/25/2018- SEAT Yo Self

It's Monday, and that means I am here to offer you some tips and tricks for your planning process! This week we are diving in on the importance of having a seating chart. I've had so many couples go back and forth on if they even need a seating chart versus a full on table arrangement with place cards at each place setting.

So the question is, do you need one? The answer is and always will be...YES!

You may be thinking of not having one, because you envision your wedding to be less formal, carefree, and easygoing. However, what you're actually doing is creating chaos and stress for your guests. If there's one thing your guests actually care about at your wedding, it's their experience and who they're at a table with. There are literally movies about the awkwardness of going to a wedding and being seated at THAT table. I have yet to see the "non-seating chart" wedding go smoothly, so let me explain what actually happens...

Your guests walk in and start to ask staff if they missed the seating chart. Once they have realized that they have to claim a seat, they quickly start to walk around finding people they may know to agree to sit with them. Then instead of actually enjoying your cocktail hour, they spend the next hour (or longer) sitting at the table so that they don't lose their seat. You are 100% guaranteed to not only have 1 or 2, but several tables that are a hodgepodge of uncomfortable guests. They start to look around the room noticing various other guests that they would have much rather have sat with. Family and friends of all various ages are mixed together, and you may think that most people would start to make friends with the people at their table, but they don't. They may ask each other how they know the bride or groom, have a few minutes of small talk, and then are back talking to the person they came with. To make matters worse, some even start to move around chairs and place settings so they they're able to sit with friends, making it more chaotic for your caterer and event staff.

There is also the worse case scenario, which has actually recently happened. Additional guests that didn't RSVP show up, and now your actual guests are left standing by the bar for dinner. To make matters worse, family members and wedding party are left without a seat. This makes for an awkward situation, because how do you go to each table and call out the guests that aren't supposed to be there? Plus, in this same situation we had various tables with 1 random chair, because guests would rather stand at the bar with a friend, then sit at a table surrounded by people they don't know. 

So how can you avoid this?

1. Tell your guests which table they're at.

Arrange your guests so that they are at least grouped together at their specific table. Here at the Merc, you can go up to 10 at a round, or 20 at 2 farm tables together. The farm tables are a great option if you have a group of family or friends that would be weird to split up between tables.

2. Keep your family close.

Make sure your parents and immediate family are surrounding you. Your family wants to be as close to the head table as possible. Plus, your friends expect to be seated the furthest away, and won't take offense to not being able to reach out and touch you.

3. Consider the floor plan.

If you're removing tables for the dance floor, put your friends or "dancers" at those tables. They won't be offended, and I can easily persuade them to head to the bar for another drink.

4. Use your 3D seating chart!

At the Merc, one of our perks for you is a 3D seating chart. You are able to handle RSVPs, as well as all communication to me about your layout through this program. You're literally able to assign your guests to specific tables, as well as arrange them in the order you would like them sitting. This is a great way to navigate through your guest list to determine who should sit next to who.

Most importantly, having assigned tables ensures you have checked your list multiple times, and have a seat for everyone that RSVP'd. It may be inevitable to have "wedding crashers," but at least this way they aren't stealing seats from your actual guests. 

 

So please, do yourself and your guests a favor, and have a seating chart! You don't necessarily have to be as strict as telling them which specific seat, but at least put them with some people they may know or like!

Here are some examples of some beautiful seating charts, but get creative and find a way to incorporate your own wedding style!

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!

xoxo

Stephanie

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Merc Monday-6/18/2018-Stay sane, stay in love

Merc Monday-6/18/2018-Stay sane, stay in love

Hey Monday Lovers!

So there's been something on my mind lately, and it's come up after meeting with so many couples leading up to their day. The issue I see over and over again with the planning process is that too many couples are not taking the time they deserve to really take care of themselves and their relationship.

The planning process is stressful, hard, and drains you mentally and sometimes financially. So it's important to show each other that you care, not only about the process but about each other. I'll leave my tips on how to help each other through the process for a different post, because this week I really want to focus on ways to strengthen your relationship.

1. Take 2 days off a week where you DO NOT talk about anything to do with the wedding!

Seriously, you can't talk about how your cousin is bringing a random date, or how one of your bridesmaids can't come to your bachelorette party. You need to block it out of your mind, and go back to focusing on how your relationship was pre-wedding. 

2. Date night!

Whether you can afford to do something once a week, every other, or even just once a month. You need to reconnect, get dressed up and head out for drinks, dinner, and/or a movie. Just remember to keep the wedding talk to a minimum and remind yourselves how it used to be when you first started dating. 

Something silly that I've actually grown to love is when my husband after 12 years of being together, pretends like we're on a first date. It's not as suave as in the movies where you're at the bar and he walks up to you and offers to buy you a drink. No, it usually starts off with "So what do you do?" I can't help but giggle, but I love to play along because we get to be goofy and remind each other that we need to talk about ourselves and our lives as if the other isn't in the know all the time. It's also pretty entertaining to see people, servers included, eavesdropping on your conversation, hoping to figure out how the "first" date is going.

3. Taking care of yourself

This one is huge! Please, take a day to pamper yourself at least once a week. Whether it's getting your nails or hair done, going for a walk, getting a massage, going to a yoga class, grabbing some Starbucks on your Target run (my fav), or simply to stay in to binge watch a show with a glass (or bottle) of wine. Whatever it is that helps you unwind and recenter yourself, do it! It's so important to take care of YOU, so that you can be a better person for your partner. Everyone needs "me" time, and this should be something that you adopt for the rest of your life. A healthy marriage starts with a healthy relationship with yourself.

4. Take a load off!

Delegate! Do not even think about trying to do this all on your own. You will lose your mind, and start to resent your family and friends, or worse your partner, because they "just don't understand what you're going through." Your wedding party, and family typically want to help you throughout the process, so start to ask for it. You don't have to be afraid of turning into a "Bridezilla," if the list is reasonable. Some things to have them do...

A. Help stuff envelopes-get that assembly line going!

B. Put together centerpieces-Label each table separately, so it's easier day of

C. Organize decorations- Because all those months of hitting up flea markets, and Hobby Lobby, add up to a hodgepodge of boxes and bags.

D. Put together favors-it's repetitive and should go fairly quickly

E. Ask your most organized family member or bridesmaid to be the point person for information. Even if you have a wedding planner, things come up throughout your day, and you don't want to constantly have people hounding you for information. Pick someone that can handle the added stress with ease.

5. Just be there for each other

Even if you don't care what color your napkins are, or what the font is on your invitations, act like you do. It's hard to put all of this on your partner, and it's weird how all those little things start to really mean something. There will be tears shed over the silliest things, so just be there for one another, and remind each other that it's all going to come together. 

 

So lovers, stay sane, stay in love, and don't forget at the end of the day it's about the two of you getting married. Everything else is just part of the celebration. 

xoxo

Stephanie

 

 

 

 

 

Merc Monday-6/11/2018- Let's get Nudie!

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Merc Monday-6/11/2018- Let's get Nudie!

Ok, not literally!! 

I haven't done a color palette blog in a while, and I've actually been pretty excited for this one! A popular color choice this year, besides burgundy/Merlot, has been to simply use greens and white for flowers. It's understated, classic and simply gorgeous, but how can you make it fresh and unique?

A new and fresh twist has been to incorporate soft tones like beige, taupe, and a subtle blush or antique rose. It feels extremely bridal, and can be used for a number of styles, various dress tones, and look amazing in our space with our dark blue and grey walls, and of course our Chicago pink brick!

Here are just some of the amazing examples that I found, and I have my fingers crossed that one of our couples will choose to incorporate some of these into their own color palette. I can assure you that it will be stunning!

 

I don't know about you, but I am super obsessed with this, and there are so many ways to make it your own!

Is anyone doing something similar? I would love to see one or a few of your favorite inspiration finds, so comment below!

xoxo

Stephanie

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Merc Monday-6/4/2018-Come enjoy the summer with us!

Merc Monday-6/4/2018-Come enjoy the summer with us!

We're back! After a 1 week hiatus with Memorial Day (however I did post I preetttyyy adorable wedding video on our facebook page), we are back and ready to dive into Merc Monday!

Can you believe we are already in June?! Memorial Day always signifies the start of summer, and I couldn't be more excited for the amazing events and weddings that are going to happen over the course of the next few months!

One that I'm super pumped for is actually THIS Thursday! We are opening our doors to the public after the Burlington Farmers Market, and offering an amazing cash bar, corn hole/bags, board games, music, and more! I have actually been so excited that it's coming up, that all day today I've thought it was Thursday and even packed my farmer's market tokens in my purse. (Don't judge me) ;)

Being in the heart of downtown Burlington, we have always been community driven. So this is a great opportunity to bring some goodies you found at the market, order some food and just hang out with friends, family, or us Merc Girls!

Next up we have our much-anticipated Trucks & Taps on July 1st from 3:00-8:00!  It's a great opportunity if you're an engaged couple, to test out some food for a potential late night option! Plus, you can bring your family through Merc, listen to live music, enjoy a cold craft brew and challenge your fiance to a fierce game of corn hole.

Plus, to sweeten the deal, even more, I am offering an amazing prize after each event that we host! You do not need to be a future bride or groom, this literally applies to ANY attendee to our events this summer. So how do you win? All you have to do is post a photo on Instagram of you enjoying some of the goodies at any of our events with the hashtag #mercgirlchallenge. (1 entry, per event.) Prizes will range from discounts on future events, free drinks or food, "Merc Merch," a special gift on your wedding day (if celebrating with us), or a gift certificate to our sister company, The Hive. I'll announce the winner the following Merc Monday, so make sure to stay tuned!

I hope you'll come enjoy the summer with us!

xoxo

Stephanie

 

 

Bringing a little Portland, OR to Burlington, WI

Bringing a little Portland, OR to Burlington, WI

Every time I visit my incredible niece Kaelie in her hometown of Portland, OR I get inspired by its vibe.

If you have never been to Portland, let me take you on a 30 second adventure...

Situated right on the water, the mouth of the Columbia River (where Oregon meets Washington) to be exact, Portland is a thriving eclectic scene where weirdness (individuality) is celebrated and revered and this electric energy is abundant. You literally feel like you can do anything there and thrive. Culture is celebrated, dogs are worshiped (almost literally) and every weekend you see families engaged in some type of activity loving the outdoors and all that Portland brings to the table. There is a phenomenal food & beer scene, with inspired chefs and cicerones (beer sommeliers) and the hilly landscape and waterfront are the perfect backdrop.

So it's not lost on me each time I visit, how inventive Portland is when skewering new ideas. On a visit a few months before Mercantile Hall was born, Kaelie took me to a "food truck pod" that was pretty spectacular. Coming upon a gate you see a huge building with a large lot behind it. Food trucks pull up to the building surrounding it like circled wagons. They then park, throw out their shingle, and start cooking. Then, with a swing of a gate to the lot, cars start streaming in. You see people getting out of their cars, strolling around to find the truck of their dreams, and then they head with their bags of food into the building. Once inside, there were several craft brews to choose from, excellent music, and giddy happiness on people's faces everywhere. 

Mercantile Hall is taking a nod of inspiration from Portland's Food Truck Pod scene and is opening up our back patio & lot to several food trucks. From sushi to BBQ, there will be quite a bit to choose from for the entire family. Inside, we'll be featuring several craft beers to choose from, have tunes playing, and we'll be welcoming anyone and everyone to come on in and hang out. If you bring your pup, we'll have water bowls and picnic tables outside.

Come try some new food, new brews, and enjoy meeting some new friends.

Mercantile Hall is open to the first 300 people who want to come and hang out & drink some pretty epic craft beers. And if you want to grab some food and head to Weimhoff Park, you got it. It's all about community, fun, and breaking bread with those we love and those we have yet to meet. Cheers!

Mercantile Hall - Sunday, July 1st in the afternoon

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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