Twin Cities Wedding & Event Professionals (TCWEP) is celebrating 13 years of networking. TCWEP has been to 137 different venues across the Twin Cities. It has brought together over 4000 event professionals. And TCWEP could not be what it is today without the support of it’s 1,400 volunteers and sponsors.
900 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Parking: easy walking distance of the Hawthorne Municipal Ramp, the Hennepin @ 10th/FAIR School Ramp, LaSalle Plaza Parking Garage, and LaSalle @ 10th Ramp.
6pm – 9pm Wednesday April 13th
Cocktail attire, Cash Bar, Bring a guest and celebrate with us
Summer Succotash Shooters
Roasted and chilled succotash blend, combined with fresh salsa and served in shooter cups
Brisket Topped Cornbread
Bite-sized cornbread squares with BBQ brisket
Curried Potato Cakes
Served with scallion sour cream
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Stuffed with cream cheese and turkey chorizo
Herbed hummus, pita, and fresh cut vegetables
Beef or turkey meatballs in seasonal BBQ sauce
Blackened Shrimp and Cheese Grits Shooters
2oz of cheddar cheese grits in a shooter cup, garnished with a blackened shrimp
Artisanal Cheese Platter
A mix of premium hard and soft cheeses with spiced nuts, pickled veggies, and fruit compote. Served with assorted crackers
Mini Vegan Quinoa Bites
House-made bites with quinoa, black bean and sweet potato. Garnished with sunflower seeds, served with fresh chimichurri aioli
Mountain Mover Award
Criteria: Consistently impacts the successful outcome of events. A pivotal team member who goes above-and-beyond, making it all happen.
Mountain Mover Award Nominees:
Keyed Up Events
I’m Dana Allison, the driving force behind Keyed Up Events. I started this business in 2013 after working in project management and helping close friends plan their weddings. My favorite part about weddings is the ceremony when there are fun or touching moments, followed closely by the first look…with dad. Gets me every time. I currently live in St. Paul with my boyfriend, where when we can find some spare time we love going to events around town and trying new restaurants.
Being a part of TCWEP has been such a huge benefit to my business. Even when I first started coming before I got to work with many of the people, it helped me look better to my potential clients because of how many others in the industry I knew. Having been able to work with many of them now, it’s great to be able to count so many of them as friends and close colleagues.
CHARISMA weddings + events
Joining TCWEP has been the best career decision I have made so far! I have not only made several professional connections through networking, I have also made many good friends in the process! I block out that time and look forward to attending our meetings every month!
Ryan Veil – I love working in the wedding and event industry. Literally, it’s a party every time I go to work! Great food, excellent music and everyone around you is in a good mood. Even when I go into an event kind of tired and worn down, I leave energized and reminded why I love my job. It’s an honor to have served so many clients in this space and I don’t take for granted the trust and investment clients put in Studio Veil.
When I’m not working, I enjoy time with my wife and two children. When the weather is nice, you’ll often find us on a family walk or at the local water park during the day and then around the fire pit with s’mores in the evenings. Allie & I love traveling and have a goal of visiting all 50 states together as well as doing “the Europe thing.” When I have the time, I enjoy working in my wood shop. To date, I’ve made several furniture pieces around our house but I look forward to more time to tinker and make more artsy type things for fun.
TCWEP has been a game-changer. Meeting regularly with like-minded individuals and businesses in the events industry makes sense on so many levels. Our clients have benefited from the relationships forged. Our businesses have benefited through referrals to one another. Knowing the people you are working alongside increases our happiness while working events, our motivation to do a good job and make those around us look good, and our overall end product. I’m thankful for TCWEP and I’m excited to continue growing in relationship and business with those around me.
Rising Star Award
Criteria: Person or Business that’s grown with networking. A referral partner, they make an effort to really understand and know other’s businesses and refer business back-and-forth. They are really starting to shine in the event’s industry.
Rising Star Award Nominees:
Kahani Events & Design
I’m Reena Maheshwari. I own Kahani Events & Design – providing rentals, decor & design, and planning for cultural and multicultural weddings. I have been involved in the wedding industry as a henna artist for about 25 years. Much of my post-college career was spent in the kitchen & bath/construction industry, but in 2018 I felt a gap in this market and since I’d thought about starting my own business in the wedding industry since college – I decided to finally get going! I had my first few weddings in 2019. Along that route, late last year I also started another networking group, Colorful Weddings, which focuses on vendors who are BIPOC and/or serve the cultural/multicultural market.
My passions include advocacy work – and I currently serve as co-director for SAFA-MN – creating Democratic Community engagement amongst South Asians in MN . I love to travel, some of my favorites include Peru, Cambodia, and Portugal, but I still have not been on my honeymoon! (thanks Covid..) I will watch any sort of fantasy genre show/movie. AND I take on lots of DIY house projects which tend to stay unfinished for months!
The members of TCWEP made the transition for me into this industry so much easier. I feel like so many connections I made led to other connections or opportunities. AND just being able to make friends in this industry is amazing. Anyone I have reached out to from this group has been so willing to help with anything, so nothing feels competitive.
Empowered Lotus Photography
My name is Kjerstin. I’m the owner and creative behind Empowered Lotus Photography which has seriously grown from the mud and turmoil in my life, into something very special and uplifting. I can’t wait to share this passion for wedding and portrait photography and help empower others to feel better about themselves.
I’m so excited to bring my 10 years of photography experience and help empower more women to see how beautiful they are and feel amazing in their own skin. My goal is helping capture stunning portraits of my clients that will take their breath away. Clients are always raving about how comfortable they feel in front of my camera while having fun and in a very relaxed environment.
My education and technical skills will insure that your images will be sharp and beautifully lit, no matter the environment. My photojournalistic style will ensure I capture not only the traditional shots, but also the moments and emotions as they happen. I have a degree in Photography and keep building my skills with continuing photography and business education.
With my extreme passion and love for photography, I have created vibrant portraits for women of all ages, boudoir, glamour, business professionals throughout the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area, Minnesota and Western Wisconsin and now excited to include destination weddings.
This amazing group of professionals has been supportive in my own personal and professional growth and have become a great group of friends.
This has been the greatest step that I’ve made for my business. I can’t wait to connect with more wedding vendors soon and have an amazing year together while helping each other grow in this industry.
COMPLETE Weddings + Events
My DJ career first started off as “The Voice of the Adams City Eagles” announcing high school sporting events for 3 years while teaching and coaching wrestling. In 2019, I lost my father and was struggling. My sister recommended that I try DJ’ing with the company she worked for, Complete Weddings & Events. After taking her advice, I could not be happier as that is when DJ named Todd was created. I began working for the Complete franchise in Denver as a DJ and knew I found a new passion. 2020 brought me back to Minnesota and I transferred to the Minneapolis franchise where I was really able to grow my talents. There is so much joy and love all packed into one day and I get to see it every time I work. My goal is to make sure everyone in attendance will walk away saying “Now that was an AMAZING night!!!” and they will talk about it for years to come. The end result is even more gratifying. From the 12:01 a.m. compliments for making the day something to remember to the reviews of pure satisfaction. This is why I LOVE my job! As my bride KC Jerde said in her review from 10.2.2020 “Everyone needs a Todd at their wedding.”
I enjoy working events with professionals who I have met through TCWEP. The connections create a more effective team all working to make our clients happy. This makes for some fantastic events from start to finish with a comfort and flow between vendors making the special day for our client flawless. I am still new within the industry and am learning so much from each and every one of the amazing people that I have been able to connect with. Each conversation has such an infectious energy with passion and drive and encouragement, it excites me to go to each meeting. Each event is an amazing opportunity for myself and I know that it is helping me become a stronger DJ.
Criteria: Has the industry “it” factor. They get it, they show it, they share it, they are it! The crème de la crème.
Diamond Award Nominees:
DJ Greg Ellis
Dj Greg is Minnesota’s most energetic Wedding Dj. He will excite and ignite the crowd while keeping them on the dancefloor.
TCWEP has had an impact on my business. Matt, Michele and Elizabeth created an environment where all of us wedding vendors can meet , collaborate and push each other.
Jeannine Marie Photography
Jeannine is a wedding photographer who has been documenting epic memories for fun couples since 2007. She has photographed close to 1000 weddings for couples of a wide variety of religions and relationships. She works to be inclusive and enjoys building connections within the community. When she isn’t with her camera she can be found with her family at baseball games, eating at restaurants, or traveling.
TCWEP has made weddings a better experience for my couples through trusted referrals. Weddings are way more fun and less predictable with people I know and trust. Best of all I’ve met some of the best people in the Twin Cities that I’m thrilled to call friends. I’ve had a front seat on live events in fiendors’ lives from weddings to births and the loss of loved ones. It really is an extended family and I’m so grateful to have this community.
Amy Rachael – Makeup Artist
Amy is an accomplished professional bridal makeup artist and educator that has been happily serving brides in WI and MN since 2016. Her ultimate goal is to offer her clients an experience that is luxurious, unique, beautiful, stress free and most of all – fabulous!
Over the past 6 years Amy has been published multiple times locally and nationally (featured in Minnesota Bride Magazine, Lake Bride Magazine, The Knot, Brides & Weddings Magazine, etc); is in The Knot Hall of Fame and has been named one of the top local makeup artists through Twin Cities Collective; is a featured Sota Brides Member and proud member of Twin Cities Wedding and Event Professionals.
When she’s not rocking the makeup game, Amy can be found with her beautiful horses. From barrel racing, to trail riding, she has been horse obsessed from the tender age of 5.
TCWEP has had an amazing impact on my life and business. When I started specializing in weddings, finding a community was really important to me. My first TCWEP meeting was a breath of fresh air. I was welcomed with open arms and have met so many amazing and impactful individuals over the years. People that run amazing businesses of their own, are so generous and kind and truly elevate the industry. I’ve made amazing friends and connections, have gained wonderful opportunities, and am so grateful to be a part of this amazing group!
Member of the Year
Criteria: exemplary current TCWEP Member, supports the vision of networking, collaborating, supports fellow businesses.
Member of the Year Nominees:
Studio B Floral Designs
Tami’s interactions with flowers & design began at an early age in Idaho where she watc
hed her mother tending their flower gardens on the family farm. Tami even recalls getting scolded when she cut her mother’s flowers to make arrangements out of them. Her business really got started in 2003, when Tami decided she would create the flowers for her own wedding. Never being one for doing things halfway, she took professional floral design courses and fell head-over-heels in love with everything about the floral business. Tami is much more than just a florist. She treats every wedding as her own! She limits the number of clients she takes on per week, in order to provide individual attention to each couple’s weddings. Couples love her calm demeanor, attention to detail, creative ideas and her expertise to pick the perfect flowers and décor for their weddings.
TCWEP is a very accepting and supportive group. I am an introvert and being a part of TCWEP has helped me learn how to network with other wedding professionals. This group has introduced me to a lot of great people that have become my ‘friendors’ that I can call on for business questions in the wedding and events industry and to lean on when I need something. Having so many great wedding professionals to refer to my couples makes me look more knowledgeable in the industry to my clients. I refer people from this group and in turn they refer me which has helped build my business.
Ari Reynolds Photography
At each and every TCWEP meeting I met wedding and event professionals that I add into my personal rolodex of vendors. I am able to then refer them to clients and fellow vendors. I can trust that they share the same integrity and professionalism that I do. When working events with vendors I have meet within the group, execution is flawless. Every month I send 10+ new vendors to TCWEP events, I know the events are a comfortable environment where all vendors are welcome and can blossom into their true potential with the guidance that TCWEP brings to the table. Not only does this help my clients but the group helps my business look even better just by being a part of such a great organization. I am thankful for the knowledge I gain from our monthly meetings and the content share by the group. The second Wednesday of every month is my favorite day. I make these meetings a priority by blocking off time in my calendar because is my most productive day!
Northern Stacks Events
Northern Stacks Events is a wedding venue located in Fridley, MN. This industrial-chic destination has been refurbished to a contemporary finish while retaining the building’s original historic structure. Here, you can curate the day of your dreams, with 3,100 square feet available for everything from small gatherings to large scale soirées.
Situated in the same building as the Forgotten Star Brewery, Northern Stacks Events is steeped in historic details. The exposed brick walls pre-date World War II and blend perfectly with the upscale urban style of this exciting new venue. The eye-catching old factory towers provide the perfect backdrop for photographs that exude a vintage city feel. You can host your wedding day here surrounded by up to 125 of your nearest and dearest. Should you wish to celebrate your ceremony on-site, you can exchange vows in a room characterized by yellow brick walls and polished concrete floors. The high ceilings and large windows create a bright and airy atmosphere, allowing abundant light to pour over your guests.
The community that is TCWEP has helped me from day one. From styled shoots, referral partners, and moral support, everyone I have encountered at TCWEP has been incredibly willing to help and welcomed me to the wedding community!
Wed Strong Award
Criteria: Person or Business that not only survives, but thrives in the midst of change and uncertainty, able to pivot and adjust, creates opportunities, gives hope to those around them, inspires innovation, adaptation and leadership.
Wed Strong Nominees:
Jenna Culley Events
Jenna Culley is a born and raised Wisconsin girl but began her career in New York working at high end, private clubs learning how to plan, execute and design over-the-top events. When she returned to the Midwest, she launched Jenna Culley Events (previously known as Jenna A Events) in the Minneapolis – St. Paul area and brought all of that big city experience layered with her small town smile. She now has a team of planners that hold her same service-driven values and perfectionist tendencies.
Jenna Culley Events plans weddings and personal celebrations as well as corporate, nonprofit and foundation events and they specialize in Event Design. Jenna lives in Oakdale with her husband, Justin, and their three children, Cate, Ava and Wyatt.
I joined TCWEP when I was about a year into my business. Through it, I made countless professional relationships as well as numerous friendships that have lasted throughout the ten years I’ve been in business. As a planner, knowing quality vendors who will not only show up and do their job but will go above and beyond for our clients is essential and I’ve met some of the best vendors through TCWEP. They are the type of vendors that I can call and I know they will jump in if I need them to whether it’s a difficult situation or a last-minute need. This group attracts warm people without egos and a “let’s get this done and done well for our clients” mentality and that’s the reason I’ve been involved with TCWEP for so many years.
Positively Charmed Custom Ceremonies & Boutique Decor
My primary creative expression is writing, which is part of why couples enjoy collaborating with me; I “translate” their story, their outlook on marriage…their life together, into a custom expression of their love in their marriage ceremony. My vocation as a celebrant/officiant called me to pursue an MA in Religion & Theology from United Theological Seminary as well as certification in Premarital Counseling.
I come from a fine arts (BFA from MCAD) and theater background. My artistic sensibility draws me to “set the stage” through styling with selections from an exclusively curated decor collection…while my history in theater and event management bring the gift of calm direction and orchestration to ceremonies and events.
When the pandemic hit it called on all of us in the wedding & events industry to find ways to sustain our businesses during the shutdown of gatherings. We also needed to communicate to society that we were in trouble; at the outstart in 2020 we had discovered that we were, collectively, somehow invisible. One effort I made was the creation of a petition to the Governor’s office, requesting that all of us involved in the production of events be included on the list of affected businesses. I became a member of groups who held check-ins and support for varying aspects of the events shutdown, including how to best assist clients at such a terribly challenging time.
As part of a sustainability effort, I accepted the role of designated officiant and ceremony coordinator for some of the amazing packages offered by larger venues in town. While I have offered petite weddings and elopements in my office since 2014, 2020 saw the creation of these offerings increase exponentially throughout the metro area and nationwide. I officiated for SO many couples in 2020 and 2021 because, Love Wins! 2020 also called me to develop a personal coaching platform and conflict resolution sessions for couples having difficulties during quarantine. And along the way my portfolio of petite wedding options has developed, including becoming the venue coordinator for weddings at The Southern Theater. In 2021 I outfitted and opened a new petite event space in uptown called Saffron. All this diversification has been quite a ride, but the entrepreneurial spirit can’t be held back when a passion for creating celebrations of love is the motivating force.
I am an introvert…which works amazingly well in my role as an officiant…it’s all about the couple and their gathering! However, my desire to be more open and social in the role of collaborating with fellow vendors was an area that learning to network has greatly improved. In short…TCWEP helped take the hesitancy out of meeting other professionals and has facilitated so much fun in the process. The group really embodies a collaborate vs compete ethos, there is a lot of laughter, story telling, and skill sharing. Best of all, I so enjoy the friendships that I have found in the fellowship.
Silks & Images Florals LLC
I started Silks & Images after encouragement from friends. This was in the teeth of the 2008-9 Recession, which was not an auspicious time, if you recall. Using decades of experience in floral arranging, my focus was on home decor: realistic silk floral arrangements and original photographic prints (that’s the “Images” part). Given sage advice about Recessions in our history, I shifted my focus to weddings, funerals(!) and other events, in fresh flowers as well as silks, sometimes using both in the same bouquet. I’ve kept a high standard for the silks flowers. They have to be realistic enough in form, colors, and texture, to have you mistake them for their fresh cousins. But these lovely silks can be kept as a memento of your beautiful day. And yes, through all of this, I have a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, and a 30-year career as a professor behind me. Creativity can take many forms.
Becoming a part of TCWEP in 2009 was one of my best decisions. The marvelously kind, knowledgeable, friendly people who make up this “grass-roots” organization have been so helpful in understanding the many “moving parts” of the entire events community. The way we see everyone supporting and working together in TCWEP is superior to any other kind of business-support groups out there.
Thank You Sponsors
The Hennepin is an extension of Hennepin Theatre Trust and serves as our event center located in the heart of the Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis. It is a place for people to come together. In addition to hosting our own educational and Theatre District programming, we use the building to support other nonprofits and groups creating positive change in our community. The Hennepin is ideal for weddings, corporate functions, social events and conventions or seminars.
Mission Driven Cuisine. When you share Breaking Bread Catering with your guests, you directly support Appetite For Change, a community led nonprofit using food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change.
Be sure to Listen to Wedding & Event Insider Podcast