Wedding Venue Blog | The Veranda
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Partners In Crime: Trendy Bridesmaids Gifts

So, you popped the question ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid?’


After you know your friends are going to be by your side for your special day, you need to ask yourself what am I going to give them as gifts?

At the Veranda, we came up with some gift ideas that will help you thank your friends:

If your bridesmaids have the same style dress, it might be difficult to decipher who’s dress is who’s. Here is a convenient gift for them to use on the big day:


Several versions of this can be found on Etsy.
By having these hangers as your bridesmaids gift, it gives a personal touch that will help your bridesmaids remember the special day every time they look in their closet.

Getting ready for a wedding can be a lot of work. Hair and make-up are two important aspects when being a bridesmaid. Aside from the bride, eyes are going to be on your bridesmaids a lot of the day, so you’ll want them to look their best. Here are a few gift items that will help the day of and long after:


Listed above are:
a) Totes your bridesmaids can carry all of their day of necessities.
b) Small cosmetic bags for their must have make-up.
c) Robes which the bridesmaids can wear while getting ready.
Robes are a great option because it helps prevent ruining hair and make-up.

(Each gift listed above is monogramed which makes it very easy to decipher them and it gives a personal touch.)

A gift that your bridesmaids can use on a daily basis is jewelry. Every girl loves jewelry, right?

Kate Spade has a bridal line that is perfect for your bridesmaids.
Each bracelet has a saying on it from “peas in a pod, partners in crime, birds of a feather,” etc.
Bracelets come in rose gold, gold and silver.


With this piece of jewelry by Kate Spade, your bridesmaids will always remember helping you ‘tie the knot.’
I am loving Kate Space’s bridal line and I will definitely be purchasing this for my bridesmaids….(whenever that time may be)

(The tie the knot bracelet comes in silver or gold.)

Happy shopping!


Purely Michigan: Special Treats For Your Special Day

St. Joseph, Michigan is a quaint town surrounded by sandy beaches on Lake Michigan. St. Joseph takes pride of being a part of the ‘Mitten State.’ To help capture the state we are so happy to be a part of, a downtown St. Joseph store, Purely Michigan, carries several Michigan themed items. Help your guests get a sense of the area by stopping by and grabbing your wedding favors at Purely Michigan.

Here are a few words from Lynne Christiano, owner of Purely Michigan:

Special Treats for Your Special Day

Purely Michigan would love to be invited to your wedding!  You don’t need to add us to your guest list, but what you do need to add is one or two of the delicious treats we carry for the guests that will be helping you celebrate your special day.

We offer a wonderful variety of party favors from the many flavors of Kalamazoo Kettlecorn,  to American Gourmet pretzels, Maple Coated Nuts from Jack & Jill’s Maple Hill Farm, Chocolate Covered Mints from Hanover’s of St. Johns, Trail Mixes, Granolas, chocolates from DW Hammond Chocolates & Fudge and the list goes on and on!


picstitch-2Make every guest happy with several flavors of kettle corn.
The flavors listed above include Buttery Caramel Corn, Praline Pecan, Chocolate Nut Avalanche and Toffee Cashew.

Please add “visit Purely Michigan for a taste test of treats” to your To Do List. We look forward to meeting you and helping you make your special day one your guests will remember!

Purely Michigan, 406 State Street, Downtown St. Joseph, 269-983-3300,, or visit us on Facebook – Where You Come To Experience What Michigan Has To Offer!

Let Purely Michigan show you what the Mitten State is all about.


Real Weddings: Summer Love

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The beautiful Lake Michigan beaches in St. Joseph, Michigan was a great choice for Laura + Rudy. Their summer inspired colors could not have been more appropriate for their July 2012 wedding. The Veranda captured summer colors by having lots pink, peach, and maize. The couple had an intimate wedding full of summer beauty.

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A St. Joseph beach was the perfect backdrop for Laura + Rudy’s wedding pictures.

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The bride carried a bouquet full of summer colors by Crystal Springs.

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Colorful Mini Cupcakes by Amanda Marie’s Bakery.
Make your wedding personalized by naming your desserts or drinks.

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The couple fulfilled their guest’s sweet tooth and pulled together their color scheme by having a colorful candy bar.

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A favor of small jar of preserves were placed at each guest seat. What a great way to “spread the love!”
Having jars of summer preserves was a perfect way to complete the summer theme.

Check out their full photo gallery capturing their big day here! Congratulations, Laura + Rudy!

The Veranda is an ideal location to celebrate a summer party. Summer in St. Joseph is unlike anywhere else. The Veranda has breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and the St. Joseph Lighthouse.


Trolley: A Unique Wedding Transportation Idea

Are you looking for a fun and unique way to travel from point A to point B on your wedding day? Arriving in style is a great way to impress your guests while making a big statement. The Veranda @ The Whitcomb is a unique venue that offers a unique transportation option for your wedding day. If you want to avoid the typical limo transpiration option, try a trolley instead! A trolley is a unique alternative that will have your guests in awe.


Your wedding day is one of the most memorable days of your life. Make your wedding day even more memorable by using a trolley as your wedding day transportation. A trolley is an elegant and unique way to travel. Using unique transportation can be creative and add decoration to your wedding pictures and theme.


Your wedding day transportation can be a hassle when you have a large guest list. Free yourself of the hassle and consider Sunset Coast Trolley Company! The trolley is Southwest Michigan’s newest transportation and wedding transportation company.

Sunset Coast Trolley Company provides a completely unique, elegant and memorable way to travel for your wedding or special event. The 34-passanger trolley is a safe and stress free transportation option. Ride in style with Sunset Coast Trolley Company!

The trolley is a festive way to travel around town. Your guests may not be familiar with the area. What better way to show your guests around and travel from point A to point B than in a Sunset Coast trolley?

For more information about the trolley and how to book transportation for your wedding, visit their Website or like them on Facebook!



After Party Hot Spots in St. Joseph

Without a doubt, your wedding day is the biggest celebration of your life. You and your guests will probably want to continue the party even after your venue closes. The question on everyone’s minds is where to go after the party has ended at The Veranda @ The Whitcomb? There are several after party hot spots in St. Joseph, just walking distance from The Veranda @ The Whitcomb.

Check out some local hot spots that will continue the celebration:


Czar’s is Southwest Michigan’s premiere live band venue, featuring local, regional and national acts.The local underground hot spot has a new band each night with occasional themed nights that include comedy night, reggae night and country night. If you and your guests are looking to continue to dance the night away while listening to live music, this after party hot spot should be at the top of your list. Czar’s is located across the street from The Veranda @ The Whitcomb and is open until 2:00a.m., which is perfect for your after party celebrations.


Players Bar and Grille is a great lunch and dinner destination that has a bar atmosphere at night. Players Bar and Grille has several flat screen TVs and assorted games like pool tables and darts. This after party hot spot is located on Main Street downtown St. Joseph and is open until 2:00a.m.

557813_345650295488939_2023583793_nThe Buck is an American style restaurant. This hot spot is known for their assortment of beer and having 74 draft tap handles, which is the largest selection in Southwest Michigan. You and your guests can enjoy a drink while overlooking Lake Michigan on The Buck’s outdoor patio. The Buck is located on State Street downtown St. Joseph and is open until midnight on weekends.


Silver Beach Pizza is known for their delicious pizza and unique schooners of beer. Silver Beach Pizza is located right by Silver Beach in St. Joseph. This hot spot has a lakeside patio with a full bar that is open until midnight or later.

If you and your guests are looking to travel, many more hot spots can be found for an after party celebration. Wether you are looking for a drink or to dance the night away, there is a hot spot in St. Joseph that will be just what you are looking for.

If you have been to St. Joseph, what is your favorite hot spot?

Happy Celebrating!


The Veranda’s Lake View!

It’s so easy for staff here at The Veranda to talk about how amazing our venue is because we get to enjoy the awesome view of Lake Michigan on a daily basis. But recently we’ve had a lot of couples ask about photos of the lake view. Almost 90% of the couples married at The Veranda are out-of-towners looking to treat their guests to all that St. Joseph has to offer. But being from out of town, many couples find it difficult to make it here for a tour and therefore the need for awesome photos is that much greater.

Since Danielle and I haven’t mastered the art of capturing a beautiful lake view with our phones, we enlisted the help of a professional photographer. Andy Zachary from Zachary Photography was kind enough to take these shots from inside The Veranda. And I have to say they blow our phone photos out of the water (my attempt at a clever lake pun!). If you are in the market for a great photographer please stop by Zachary Photography’s website – he’s got the patience of a saint to put up with us and our crazy ideas and he takes some pretty fantastic pics! Thank you Andy!



[caption id="attachment_1949" align="alignnone" width="569"]2013-05-08 05.20.00-2 Maids of the Mist Fountain[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1948" align="alignnone" width="614"]2013-05-08 05.19.21-2 Looking North toward St. Joseph River[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1947" align="alignnone" width="614"]2013-05-08 05.16.27-2 View of the bluff and old train bridge.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1946" align="alignnone" width="614"]2013-05-08 05.12.21-2 The Lighthouse (sigh – so pretty!)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1945" align="alignnone" width="614"]2013-05-08 05.10.50-2 Maids of the Mist Fountain on the bluff.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1944" align="alignnone" width="614"]2013-05-07 20.35.32-2 The Garden Patio[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1943" align="alignnone" width="614"]2013-05-07 20.32.39-2 You can’t beat this view![/caption] [caption id="attachment_1942" align="alignnone" width="602"]2013-05-07 20.31.58-2 St. Joseph Lighthouse on Lake Michigan![/caption]


Morgan Schaefer: The New Veranda Intern

Each year at The Veranda @ The Whitcomb, we bring on several interns eager to learn the wedding business.  One of our fresh crop of interns this year, Morgan Schaefer, is a public relations major.  We welcome Morgan to the team and hope you do too!

Here’s Morgan, in her own words:


I was born and bred in Arizona & now live in the beautiful Southwest Michigan area. I am a soon-to-be Central Michigan University graduate with a degree in Integrative Public Relations and minor in Communication. Throughout my education, I realized I could do anything with a public relations degree, so I had to narrow it down.

My dream was to do sports PR and I followed that passion by interning with the Lansing Lugnuts. Out of all places, working in sports is where I started to fall in love with weddings. How on earth is it possible to fall in love with weddings working in sports?

Well, several fans throughout the season would utilize the games and stadium to propose to their loved one. Whenever I was told there was going to be an engagement during the game, it was all I could think about. It was then that I saw my dream for sports slowly turn into something a little more girly. My new dream was to work in the wedding industry. In my free time, I found myself pinning all things wedding and searching for internships in the wedding industry.I am now following a new passion by working at The Veranda @ The Whitcomb.

I have experience in event planning, assisting in wedding planning, public relations, marketing and design.

One of my tasks as a marketing intern is to blog alongside Kristin and Danielle. As the summer goes on, you will see me blog about various subjects such as popular trends, beach weddings, tips and ideas, as well as featuring real weddings.

Give me some ideas! What topics would you like me to blog about?

I am grateful for this experience and I hope you enjoy the blog posts as much as I do!

Affordable Destination Weddings in Michigan

Affordable destination weddings are the dream scenario for couples who want their big day to be unique and involve travel.  Did you know that this can be done in beautiful locations (like St. Joseph, Michigan) that truly aren’t that far away or expensive to travel to?

Planning affordable destination weddings in Hawaii or Cancun isn’t very feasible, since the distance means a lot of remote planning, and cost much more than regional destination wedding venues.  “Affordable” goes right out the window.

However, if you’re located in the Midwest, you can reach one of the most popular destination wedding venues within just a couple of hours.  On top of that, the pricing of destination wedding venues in the St. Joseph area is usually much less expensive than big-city counterparts.

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St. Joseph. Michigan has been growing as a location for affordable destination weddings over the past few years for just this very reason.  When you combine short travel times, gorgeous beaches, convenient hotels and a quaint downtown shopping district,  you can treat your guests to a weekend full of fun and memories.

destination wedding venues

Pictured above, The Veranda @ The Whitcomb has become one of the most popular wedding venues in Michigan, being just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago and Grand Rapids.  In a few hours, you can make it from Indianapolis and Detroit.

It’s an outdoor venue, yet protected from the elements by an ornate roof and majestic Mediterranean columns.   Michigan’s famed sunset on the water are visible to your guests as they dance the night away in celebration of your new union.

When clients seek to plan affordable destination weddings, it’s nice to save guests travel time and gas by choosing a destination wedding venue that is near to all of your most important wedding elements.  The Veranda @ The Whitcomb is located in downtown St. Joseph, within walking distance of beaches, hotels, restaurants and shopping.

If you’re planning remotely, our onsite wedding coordinator Danielle Monte can assist you with all of the details.  She offers full-service wedding planning and day-of coordination, to make your day a seamless breeze.

If you’d like to learn more about planning affordable destination weddings in Michigan, please give us a call at (888)785-6377 or contact us via the web.

Real Weddings: A Pop of Color & A Whole Lot of Love!

There were so many things that made Dan + Katey’s September wedding a talking piece and a beautiful wedding celebration! With a vendor lineup made up of some of the best in our area, along with decor and ambiance that spoke romance and really brought to life the natural beauty of The Veranda, this one is for the books!

Their bright color scheme consisted of gray, mustard yellow, and shades of green popping here and there in the table decor and linens. One-of-a-kind centerpieces from Crystal Springs Florist were so unique and added height and depth to the guest tables – something we love to see at Veranda weddings!


{ All photography courtesy Jennifer Mayo Studios }


Every last detail was thought through, from the framed wood table numbers, birdcage card box, and menu presentation for guests. I’ve seen my fair share of inserts for the menu napkin fold…. but this one is a first! A tri-fold wrap-around menu, easily readable by guests against our gray napkins really stood out on the tables!


Assuming you just took the time to read through the delicious dinner menu they had that night by CK Catering, please tell me your mouth started watering especially when you read the dessert! Truly unrivaled cake baking and design by Dee’s Specialty Cakes ended the night on a sweet note!


When you feel the love of family and friends from the beginning of the wedding to the very last dance, it’s something we remember! Mark Durocher of Sunset Coast DJ kept the guests moving all night on the dance floor and was a great host for the evening!


We had a blast getting to know Dan + Katey and helping to make their big day all that they hoped it would be! Check out their full wedding gallery here!


Happy planning!



The Wow Factor:: Fun Wedding Ideas

What makes a “fun wedding”? Is it the music? Food? Entertainment? All the above? We’ve said time and time again that every wedding is entirely different, but no matter what, everyone is looking for the thing that makes your guests go “WOW”! Here are some fun wedding ideas we have accommodated at The Veranda that made these wedding celebrations loaded with excitement and a true fun-factor element!

There’s nothing more unique from a venue’s perspective than bringing in St Joe’s finest food carts to the party! This fun wedding idea is a great surprise for guests that they’ll never expect! We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Gelato Smith’s Cart and The Hot Dog Cart for past weddings and always welcome food carts or trucks at The Veranda to add to the celebration!

fun wedding ideas

Turn your wedding reception into a wow-factor reception with some more fun wedding ideas! Show off with some live entertainment! This can be any number of things, and between what we’ve seen in the past and what is upcoming for 2013, we keep getting surprised at what’s popping up next! Live bands are always a sure hit – keeping guests out on the dance floor all night long. Big Al Wetzel Band, Jedi Mind Trip and Green Thirteen have rocked out in The Veranda and we are looking forward to Dueling Pianos and a Mariachi Band in 2013! Did I mentioned we once had a professional fire dancer entertain during a reception? If that doesn’t make your guests say, “WOW” I don’t know what will!

fun wedding ideas

fun wedding ideas

{ Big Al Wetzel Band | Courtesy Ben Pancoast Photography }

Giving your guests something to do throughout the night will ensure guests stay longer and enjoy themselves. Take a spin on the ole photobooth that crammed 4 people in a tiny space! Check out this much more interactive photobooth with tons of props, backdrops, and space for all your friends! Ben Pancoast’s Photobooth tops my list of ultimate fun wedding ideas that guests are sure to love! As mentioned in my previous posts, having a cigar and whiskey bar for guests, a DIY cupcake bar, or a chinese lit lantern sendoff creates interaction for guests and gives them something to do and have fun with! Try something new – they are all great memories for the reception!

fun wedding ideas

For more big impact, fun wedding ideas, check out Kristin’s blog here! We’d love to hear what you’ve got specially planned for your reception! Feel free to share!

Happy planning!