Bride School Workshop

You’re engaged, congratulations!

First comes love, then comes Bride School!

After the confetti settles, wedding planning begins and we’re here to teach you how to do it!

Wedding planning is not as easy as putting together a typical dinner party, it’s more like conducting an orchestra …. coordinating layers and layers of elements that add up to one big, beautiful day. And let’s be honest, wedding planning comes with a lot of pressure, expense, and options. And with a busy career and personal life, you may not have the time or resources to spend countless hours researching how to pull it all together.

Bride school is for the bride determined to plan her own wedding. The gal who’s going to do it herself, but wants to know what to expect and how to streamline the process to help ensure the best day possible, all while maximizing the budget.

Bride school is a one day workshop, where local experts give brides the cliff notes on planning so that you can create the wedding that you have been dreaming of, on the budget that you have allotted. You will leave bride school with the confidence and ability to effectively plan that wedding you’ve been daydreaming of (and pinning about).

As seen in:

Spring 2015 Workshop

Spring 2015 Workshop
Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The Cheney Place
1600 Monroe NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49505

8:30am – 9:00am
Welcome / Orientation with Donuts + Coffee

9:00am – 9:45am
Planning + Budget

Layering of the planning process. Budgetary planning based on priorities and focus areas

Professors: Jamie Kirby and Kaci Muller

9:45am – 10:30am
Recess / Demo Calligraphy & Stationary

Interactive session where students learn techniques for handsomely lettering their envelopes. Lessons on the invitation suite, wedding website, etc.

Professor: Emilie Tromp

10:30am – 11:15am

How to plan amazing entertainment, playlist building, appropriate music for different portions of event, live music vs. DJ, etc

Professor: Adrian Butler

11:15am – 12:00pm

How to pose, and look your best, and how to maximize spending, We’ll also have a photobooth to practice what we learned.

Professor: Samantha Vanderlist

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Recess / Lunch Catering

Creative ways to serve amazing food and get the most from your money.

Professor: Shane Philipsen

1:00pm – 1:45pm
The Dress(es)

Picking the perfect dress! And dressing for your body type

Professor: Shannon Gales

1:45pm – 2:30pm
Experience Design

Identifying the key elements that are important to you, mapping a successful event and considering all touch points, creating spaces with event unique props, seating chart planning, signage & wayfinding.

Professor: Jamie Kirby and Mindy Peterson

2:30pm – 3:15pm
Wedding Cakes + Dessert Display

Tips and techniques for better desserts, and eye-catching displays.

Professor: Jason Kakabaker

3:15pm – 4:00pm
Recess / Demo Florals

Interactive session where students learn to arrange a lovely loose centerpiece. Lessons on how to maximize spending.

Professor: Kaci Muller

4:00pm – 4:45pm
Day of Coordination

Timeline planning and flow of day

Professor: Katie Ngyuen

4:45pm – 5:15pm
Recess / Photobooth + Cocktails

Celebrate a great day!

Fall Semester 2015 — enrolling soon
Date to be Determined // 8:30AM – 5:15PM
Location TBD Grand Rapids, MI

Meet your professors!

They’re a team of our favorite local experts who’s lesson plan includes tips, tricks, and secrets to ensure that you leave bride school with the confidence and ability to effectively plan an awesome wedding!

Kaci Muller

Founder, Professor of Floral Design and Planning

Fabulous parties, fresh flowers, fun ideas, and authentic experiences are what it’s about! I am passionate about an event where we bring together all the details to ensure that the only thing a guest can say at the end of your party was that it was just delightful.

As sappy as it sounds – to me, the way we do hospitality is a window into the way we go about loving, living and celebrating. What I love most about event planning is that I get to help craft spaces where people are the focus. I like this quote from Shauna Niequist: “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved.” I look forward to making spaces where people can develop and maintain relationships, and celebrate life’s joys.

Jason Kakabaker

Professor of Wedding Cakes and Dessert Displays

Jason Kakabaker owns the Cakabakery in Grand Rapids, MI. The first job he ever had was at a 31 flavors ice cream shop. He was thrilled with the idea of learning how to decorate cakes – ice cream cakes no less, how exciting! This was not a job he thought he’d keep forever but the basic skills he learned at that shop instilled in him the love for decorating cupcakes and cakes.

For 20 years he has created birthday cakes and specialty desserts for family and friends. Baking is something he has always done part-time but since 2010, it has become his fulltime passion. He feels so lucky to be able to create wonderful treats all day and always smell of buttercream. Baking is his life and life is good!

Samantha Vanderlist

Samantha Vanderlist

Professor of Photography

Sam has this uncanny ability to make you feel comfortable in from to the camera. Her easy laid-back approach to photography is one that she carries throughout everything in her life. She is drawn in by your emotional connection as a couple, and using that organic pull she can create images that reflect who you are. In her 11 years of shooting she still gets butterflies before each wedding.

Mindy Peterson

Professor of Rentals and Accessories

Little House on the Prairie meets Madonna. Lace meets Graffiti. Whimsical meets Modern. Glitter meets Burlap. Organized meets Chaos. Beauty meets Decay.

Mom, wife, photographer, designer. Flea markets, paint swatches and gas station cappuccinos. So fabulous to meet you.

Shane Philipsen

Shane Philipsen

Professor of Food and Catering

Currently the Sales and Special Events Manager for BarFly Ventures (HopCat GR, EL, BR, Grand Rapids Brewing Co, Stellas, McFaddens). BarFly Events is a full service event arm of BarFly Ventures specializing in event organization, menu design/engineering and execution.

Originally from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Sports Management and found my heart in the hospitality industry at the age of 18. Career developed through the Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts Group, started managing hotel banquet food & beverage operations at 21. I have held many positions within the hotel industry and all have broaden my knowledge and experience. Grand Rapids is where I have hung my hat the last 10 years and I love the ever so changing style of this business. I tell everyone I have the best job within the company.

Shannon Gales

Professor of Wedding Dress Design

Vue Design is an unparalleled design experience for today’s discerning woman, with over 25 years of experience. Imagine building your dream dress and being a part of the process down to the last stitch. Choose available designs from the collection, or have yours created for you – a reflection of the unique you.

While Vue specializes in custom wedding gowns, expert craftsmanship is utilized for prom gowns, Mother of the Bride attire, bridesmaids, and formal gown design.

Book a consultation at Vue Design for the next special occasion in your life.

Rebecca Dexter

Rebecca Dexter

Professor of Wedding Videography

We aim to take the “boring” stereotype out of wedding videos. You could say our mission is to make your wedding video so entertaining and breathtaking that a complete stranger will be just as interested in watching it as you are. Your story is worth re-living forever through video.

By infusing a creative balance of cinematic compositions and movements with a passion for storytelling, we approach the wedding day as unobtrusive filmmakers. With an education in film-making, and extensive experience in wedding photography, the Coastline Studios team is equipped and excited to create a one of a kind film of your wedding day.


Sign up now!

No matter where you are in the planning process, whether you’re searching for trustworthy vendors, negotiating contracts or organizing timelines our hope is that Bride school workshop is for you! We hope that by investing of a small portion of your wedding budget into Bride School, you’ll enjoy the benefits of time savings, reduced stress, decoration ideas and budget management. Our goal is to make sure each bride-to-be will leave with the confidence and ability to effectively plan the wedding, plus find a community of other brides. Come enjoy a day in Bride School!

Each ticket includes a full day of lessons from expert professors, continental breakfast, a yummy catered lunch, a champagne reception to end the day, and a fabulous swag bag.

“The best thing people can do to make wedding planning easier AND save a lot of money is do a few hours of consulting with a planner up front. That often ranges from $70-$150 an hour, and I think it’s worth EVERY PENNY. If we’d done that, we probably would have paid $300, and I’d guess we would have saved about $5,000. Why? We didn’t know the local lay of the land, and we didn’t know what all our options were.” – Meg Keene, Editor-and-Chief of A Practical Wedding

  • $125
  • Bride School Workshop Ticket

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