Pine Peaks Event Center, Best Wedding Venues in Minneapolis - 2014 Couples' Choice Award Winner
Pine Peaks Event Center, Best Wedding Venues in Minneapolis - 2015 Couples' Choice Award Winner
2014 Pick - Best of Weddings on The Knot
2015 Pick - Best of Weddings on The Knot
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Let Us Rock your Reception – $timulu$ Package

Posted on by davepeterson

Ear Kandi, now known as $timulu$ Package, was founded as a small house band at Izaty’s Resort in Onamia, MN. Lead singer, Lisa Johnson, was the entertainment director of the resort at the time. Ear Kandi started out as just Lisa and her brother for about 6 years. Then in 2003, the duo put an ad in the Mille Lacs Messenger newspaper which resulted in two new members. The group started off low-key by playing for small events, like town festivals.

Ear Kandi took a break due to Lisa giving birth to a beautiful baby before regrouping in 2009 and changing their name to $timulu$ Package. The band excelled greatly at weddings and specialty events by letting their customers pick out their favorite songs. In 2010, $timulu$ Package played at a few club gigs and weddings, but not many. Eventually they doubled their gigs and have continued to do well.

When Lisa’s brother left $timulu$ Package, they were fortunate to find a new bass, keyboard and fiddle player. Having endless amounts of energy coming from five people makes every wedding and event they play come to life. The variety of instruments used by $timulu$ Package makes its very easy to market to weddings.

Meet the Band Members:



Lisa Johnson: Singer/rhythm guitar/percussion
You think Will Ferrell can rock the cowbell, well you better watch out for Lisa! When she’s got her “More Cowbell” tee shirt on, the crowd goes wild!

Mike “Thune”: Guitar/vocals

“Billy Base on the Bass Mark”: Bass/vocals

Jorge Martini: Singer/keys/fiddle
Jorge is a very talented writer. He has written 85 original pieces.

Mikey: Drums
He doesn’t have your average set of drums, Mikey’s got a rotating platform drum stage that used to below to Prince!

$timulu$ Package has an never ending list of cover songs. They live up to their motto, “classic to rockin’ country and everything in between.” More often than not, couples will introduce them to new songs that stay on their set list. Some of the most common music they play are:

  • Medleys(2 to 3 songs that are broken down into segments)
  • Friends in Low Places/Achy Breaky Heart medley
  • Country mashups
  • Play that Funky Music/BrickHouse/Rollercoaster of Love
  • “At Last” is one of Lisa’s favorite song to sing and people LOVE to slow dance to it.
  • Hokey Pokey and Polka music

$timulu$ Package met Dave and Julie through a bride and groom. This bride had remembered hearing the band at her coworker’s wedding and knew $timulu$ Package was the perfect band to make her wedding day memorable. When they performed at Pine Peaks, Dave was extremely satisfied with what the band had to offer. Dave and Julie were very accommodating to the band, especially since they are from out of town.

After hearing the band’s performance, Dave asked them to be a preferred vendor of Pine Peaks. They have such a great relationship and are more than willing to work with each others busy schedules. The combination of services Pine Peaks and $timuml$ Package each have to offer make for a perfect opportunity and atmosphere for the perfect event. We look forward to working with this amazing band at future events at Pine Peaks!

If you want $timulu$ Package to perform at your wedding or special event, contact them here.

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Keeping the Romance in Your Relationship

Posted on by davepeterson

It’s easy to think of romance as puppy love and grand gestures with a sweeping, dramatic soundtrack, but how do you sustain a healthy and satisfying romance with the person you love?

laughing couple

Communication is Respect

As one of the most important qualities for a healthy relationship, learning and maintaining healthy communication habits is essential for happy couples. Communicate through kind words, gestures, and actions. Healthy couples communicate through difficult times with as much respect as when they communicate through happier times. Be sure to listen without interrupting or without focusing on what to say next.

Speak up, and communicate often because harboring bad feelings leads to resentment. Don’t gloss over the uncomfortable discussions and realize that criticism can be a healthy practice as long as it is done constructively. Learning the phrase, “When ____ happens, it makes me feel ____” can be particularly helpful. And remember that honesty and transparency are essential.

Fight Fair

Simply put, words hurt. Don’t let one bad argument become what defines your relationship. Set some boundaries on how you argue. Remain respectful and in control of your emotions, and keep in mind what you both are trying to achieve. Don’t fight dirty—this means no name calling, bashing, and threatening to leave the relationship as a means of “winning” an argument. Don’t dredge up past arguments. Be willing to compromise. Practice active listening, and paraphrase to make sure you understood what the other person said. Ask for clarification if there’s something that you’re not clear about. And remember that when you are in the wrong, a true apology is spoken and listened to with humility.

loveHealthy Boundaries

Spending time together is essential to building a relationship, but keeping your own interests and independence is vital. When couples spend too much time together, it can create an unhealthy, codependent relationship, and you can lose your identity as an individual. Continue to nurture your own interests, friends, and hobbies. No relationship can thrive if you don’t take care of yourself as well as each other.

Be Appreciative

You may know why you love your partner, but do they? Not feeling appreciated or needed by your significant other can be devastating in a relationship. Show them you care with compliments, tokens of love, and small gestures or daily habits that say so much—giving a nice foot rub at the end of a long day, splitting household chores and responsibilities, leaving small encouraging notes in their briefcase, or bringing home a favorite dessert. Don’t miss any opportunity to praise your significant other, and be proud of their accomplishments.

Older coupleQuality, Not Quantity

It doesn’t matter how much time you spend together as long as you really connect during this time. It’s fun to zone out together while watching hours of your favorite TV show, but it’s crucial to make sure you spend quality time together to maintain a deep connection. Have meals at the dinner table. Disconnect from the world together by turning off electronics. Ask each other about your days to show you care.

Be Romantic

After the honeymoon period fades or after years together, it can be easy to slip into a rut. Try out new food or cultural experience at different restaurants. Get active and try hiking, rock-climbing, or scuba-diving. Be spontaneous and go on a weekend getaway. Keep the spark alive by seeking excitement with adrenaline-inducing activities. Watch a scary movie, or spend the day at an amusement park to get your hearts racing.

Think about some ways to keep the romance- or discover a new flicker- in your relationship. For tips on keeping the spark alive, listen to some advice from couples who have been together for a long time- after all, couple that has spent the last 75 years together must be doing something right!


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Anelisa and Thom’s Wedding, August 15th, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Despite swearing off men and being new to Shanghai, China, Ana immediately embarked on a search for a tall, dark, handsome, modest and grotesquely delusional English gentleman to sweep her off her feet.

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After a week of searching for those seven key characteristics, she decided it was a hopeless quest. Instead, she settled for some guy she met at an open mic stand-up comedy night. When Ana, with one “N”, thrust her number into Some Guy’s hand as the subway door was closing, he told her his name: “It’s Thom with and entirely unnecessary ‘H.’” He had all the best lines. 

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They knew pretty early on that they’d have to do the world a favo(u)r and get married to each other. Thom wanted to surprise Ana with a proposal in the Boundary Waters, the same area she’d gone camping every year since she was a child. The night before their camping trip, Thom, the vegetarian veterinarian, asked to join Eric, Ana’s father on a trip to the meat market. They were loading up for that evening’s family BBQ. With beef mince ensconced between his legs, Tom asked Eric for his blessing to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The fact that their story continues tells you that it was duly granted.

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When they were finally on their way to the campsite, Thom, knowing that there was going to be canoeing involved, kept the ring in the pocket of his waterproof coat, which he insisted on either wearing or tying around his waist. The one moment he did set his coat down; Ana picked it up and felt something cube-shaped in the pocket. “What‘s this?” She asked.

Oh, that’s just my Rubik’s cube.” Thom improvised.

Ah right. Okay.” Ana wasn’t in the least bit perturbed.

Thom didn’t know whether to be relieved or crushed. Did his fiancée-to-be really believe it perfectly in character for him to bring a Rubik’s cube on a camping trip??

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It was while paddling to what would become known as Engagement Bay, that they were visited by the Engagement Eagle. The calm whooshing of this bald eagle’s wings helped settle Thom’s nerves (except for a very brief moment when those talons came a little too close for comfort, and Thom – ever the animal-lover – contemplated taking up his oar in defense).

They chose the perfect spot and set up camp and made dinner and settled in. When the moment felt right, Thom asked Ana to join him by the water’s edge. “Are we going to get married?” He asked.

Yes.” She replied.

When?” He continued.

Today.” She said matter of factly.

We can’t get married today. We have to get engaged first.” Thom reasoned.

When are we going to get engaged?” Ana picked up on the questioning.

Well…” Thom got on one knee and took what wasn’t actually a Rubik’s cube out of his coat pocket.

No! No! Stop!” Ana yelled, with her hand to her agape mouth.

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It was exactly the opposite of the response he’d hoped for. “You’re going to have to stop saying that…” With a red sun setting over his shoulder, Thom then said something terribly soppy, like “Anelise Wild Evenson, I love you more than anything else in this world, and I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?”

She said “Yes! Yes!”

After much contemplation, they decided that Pine Peak’s Event Center was a perfect destination wedding place for them. They would have the whole country estate to themselves for the weekend. Many of their favorite family and friends packed their bags and headed to Cross Lake, Minn. to witness this very important event in Ana and Thom’s life.

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Dave surprised the guests with a Union Jack flag which was hung in the garden. The “crew” arrived and transformed Pine Peaks into a colorful, magical space. An abundance of fresh flowers adorned the area inside and out. Tie-dye flags were hung for luck and badminton, bags and croquet filled the yard. The families coming from two continents loved spending the weekend together to get to know each other.

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An early 2:00 ceremony in the garden was planned as Thom could wait no longer to see his bride. A glowing Anelise was escorted down the aisle by her mother and father where Thom saw Ana for the first time that day. His expression was priceless. The joyful guests helped to celebrate with sing-alongs during the ceremony. You could feel the love in the air as they said “I DO!”

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In an English tradition, ice cold Pimm was served to the guests after the ceremony in the pavilion. After numerous family pictures to remember their time together, the guests joined the newlyweds for a celebration in the dining room. Many family members joined the couple at the head table. Cheers and well wishes were everywhere as the evening continued.

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Chef Brian and Kate of Maucieri’s Catering rocked the event with a fabulous feast. Later, the guests were served fresh baked pizzas in Pine Peaks’ wood fired oven. They all danced the night away and made lifetime memories…

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We at Pine Peaks were truly honored to host this destination wedding for Ana and Thom. We wish them luck and love in their future together and hope they continue to find humor in everyday life! See their Facebook wedding album here.

Dave and Julie Nyland Peterson


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Jena and Bill’s Wedding- August 22, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Jena and Bill had dreamed of having an outdoor wedding…then they met Dave Peterson of Pine Peaks Event Center. Dave made their dreams come true, providing a custom wedding ceremony area looking across the clover fields to the north.

4 Jena and BillThey brought in 100 hay bales to compliment Pine Peaks’ 14 church pews and decorated the rows with dried hydrangeas.

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The weather did not stop the show…just delayed it 15 minutes. (Lucky for the radar weather app on Dave’s phone). We waited for the drops to stop and the guys pulled off the tarp, realigned the hay bales, dried the pews and the guests, umbrellas in hand, and were escorted to the ceremony area. The sun could not have been more welcome. A quick sprinkle had a quick response with umbrellas, and then the show went on! Jena was escorted down the aisle by her mother and father to her soul mate at the arbor. A joyful “I DO!” was shared and the celebration begin at Pine Peaks Event Center!9 Jena and Bill

Jena and Bill’s love story will follow. See their Facebook wedding photo album here.

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Chris and Ashley’s Wedding – August 1st, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Ashley and Chris met their freshman year of college playing cards in a mutual

friend Katie’s dorm room. At the time, Ashley went to Concordia and Chris went

to Southwest in Marshall. Chris was visiting his brother who went to Concordia for

the weekend. When Ashley left the room for the night after playing cards, Chris

questioned Katie about her. When Ashley heard about this she found it surprising

because Chris hadn’t even made eye contact with her throughout the night.

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It wasn’t until two years later when Chris came up for another visit to Concordia

when he finally spoke to Ashley. They began to talk and got to know each other

over the next couple months, mostly on the phone because Chris was living in

Alexandria at the time. They began to date long distance for a year and Chris

decided to continue his education in Fargo where Ashley was. After they both

graduated they decided to move closer to family in Central Minnesota.

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Ashley and Chris were engaged February 15, 2014. They decided they wanted an

outdoor ceremony and loved that Pine Peak’s Event Center offered a whole

weekend on the country estate to throw a celebration of a lifetime with all of

their closest family and friends.

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The day was perfect with a slight refreshing breeze and a royal blue sky and

evergreens as a back drop for the garden ceremony. Chris did not see his stunning

bride until Ashley’s father walked her down the aisle. In front of family and

friends they said “I DO!” and the celebration began.

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The outdoor reception was held in Pine Peak’s Pavilion with acoustic guitarist Jim

Olson playing for the guests. The guests then moved into the candle lit Dining

Room filled with fresh flowers and bling. DJ Paul of “All Tuned Up” DJ entertainment

announced the wedding party and the new Mr. and Mrs. Hanson!

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Catering manager Kate and team along with Chef Brian of Maucieri’s Catering did

an amazing job with the wedding feast. They started with a Caesar Salad, an array

of fresh breads, Bacon/ Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes (our favorite), mixed

vegetables with Green Beans, Wax Beans and Julien Carrots, Italian Stuffed

Chicken with spinach and three cheeses served with white sauces and red gravy

AND Slow roasted Beef carved by Chef Brian and served with a

brandy/peppercorn sauce. OMG! Fabulous!

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As a late night snack, complements of Maucieri’s Catering, to the guests’ delight

Kate baked fresh pizzas in Pine Peak’s very own Mugnaini wood fired oven. The

delicious wedding cake was made by Jenny from Reed’s Bakery of Cross Lake. DJ

Paul rocked the night away with the couples’ favorite songs well into the night.

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Ashley and Chris presently live in Baxter, MN. Ashley is a Registered Nurse and

Chris is currently working as a Medical Fitness Specialist.

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We, at Pine Peaks, were delighted to host the wedding celebration of Ashley and

Chris and wish them the best of luck and love in their journey as husband and

wife. Enjoy the ride!

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Enjoy Julie’s Photos of Chris and Ashley’s big day here.

- Dave and Julie Nyland Peterson

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Tasha and John’s Wedding – May 2nd, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Dave and Julie are so pleased to announce that Newlyweds Tasha and John have agreed to share their newly found knowledge on how to throw the perfect wedding to help us host future weddings at Pine Peaks Event Center! They have amazing organizational skills and will help coordinate the last minute details of your wedding to help make your day perfect. Welcome to our team Tasha and John!

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This is their love story: 

It was a scorching hot day in the Nevada dessert when John proposed to Tasha. He had been nervous and she had been surprised. They were both excited to start the next chapter of their lives together. John and Tasha had been dating for nearly three years but their friendship started much earlier than that. Their story really starts ten years earlier with Tasha impatiently waiting for her new co-workers to arrive. She was 17 and anxious for her first day at her new summer job at Valleyfair Amusement Park. As she thumbed through the employee handbook, memorizing it cover to cover, the door burst open and a blue-eyed, blonde teenager announced his arrival with a gigantic, toothy smile. He was late, and proud of it! Sensing her annoyance, John tried to break the tension with jokes and eventually provoked Tasha to smile. They became close friends, although there was always a hint of something more.

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They maintained their friendship through college and into adulthood, even planning to make a cross country move together as friends. After a typical night filled with drinks and laughs, John looked at Tasha and informed her that he no longer wanted to be her friend! Tasha was startled, wondering what she had done to make him want to end such a close friendship. He elaborated. “I have cared about you for a long time and I can’t wait any more,” he explained. Tasha agreed to give John one date to show her their relationship potential. John planned a perfect date, but unfortunately it was rained out and he had no back-up plan. They greatly enjoyed their evening in the rain and Tasha introduced John to her favorite burger place. They were completely committed to improving both their friendship and their relationship from that point forward. To this day John still insists that he will never be Tasha’s friend because they are so much more than that.  As Johnny Cash wrote, “Love is friendship that caught fire”.

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John and Tasha knew they wanted a wedding up north and close to John’s family cabin. They looked at dozens of venues, but weren’t finding the original wedding site they so badly wanted. Tasha found Pine Peaks Event Center on a wedding planning website and was surprised by the overwhelming positive reviews. Upon visiting the site and getting to know Dave and Julie, they were struck by the endless possibilities for their wedding day! They were also very impressed with the phenomenal customer service and preferred vendor list. Both John and Tasha really wanted their wedding to be a celebration of friends and family. Having the venue for an entire weekend was a perfect fit. Their search for a unique wedding venue was over. John and Tasha were married at Pine Peaks Event Center during a beautiful outdoor ceremony on May 2nd, 2015.

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-Dave and Julie Peterson

See their Facebook Wedding Album here.

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Emma and Tyler’s Wedding – June 6th, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Tyler took the time to write this blog about his wedding at Pine Peaks. Here is their love story:

Emma and I met about 8 or 9 years ago when we both started attending Brainerd High School. We had the same group of friends, but never actually talked or hung out together. After graduating high school, Emma went to St. Thomas University in St. Paul and I went to Fargo to attend NDSU. It was at NDSU that I became close with one of Emma’s best friends from high school, Lexie. During our first year at college, Emma and I started talking during her visits to NDSU to see Lexie. It was the summer after our freshman year of college when we both moved back to Brainerd for the summer that we really started to date. Emma always said she saw me as “just a friend” but finally my great looks and charm convinced her to start a new kind of relationship with me.

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It was the smooth transition from “just friends” to dating that really let me know we had something special together. We already knew a good bit about each other and never had to hide anything from one another. We truly were not just a typical boyfriend/girlfriend couple, she was my best friend, and I was hers.

2015-06-05 20.15.22We had been dating for just over 3 years when I decided that I was ready to propose to Emma. It was Labor Day weekend and I was home visiting family while Emma had to stay in Fargo for work. At lunch on that Monday, I told my parents that I wanted to marry Emma. They both smiled and said they knew that was coming. After lunch I went to ask Emma’s parents for their blessing. Ron was up in the boundary waters and unreachable, but Donna said she spoke for them both of them when she told me that she was excited for me to join the family. I went and bought the ring that afternoon in Brainerd, and then drove back to Fargo.

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That night I took Emma out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We ordered some food and a bottle of wine and enjoyed what I told her was a late anniversary dinner. We finished eating and drove back to our apartment where I finally worked up the courage to ask her to be my wife. After questioning me if I was serious or not about 5 times she finally said yes!

2015-06-06 04.14.02We started slowly planning our wedding from that point on. That fall we started looking at venues to get married at when Emma’s mom, Donna, came across a place called Pine Peaks. We went and toured the venue and immediately knew that was the place we wanted to get married.

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Not only was it beautiful, but we had heard nothing but great things from previous couples that got married at Pine Peaks that Dave and Julie and their staff were very friendly, accommodating, and amazing people to work with. They did not come up short.

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Our wedding, just like all weddings, had a few challenges that we had to overcome. This
was difficult, especially considering we had 220 guests, and an additional 100 guests joining us after the reception dinner. Dave and Julie and the Pine Peaks staff were great. They went out of their way to make sure our day was how we always dreamed it to be.

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Emma and I had our hearts set on getting married outdoors in the garden. This proved to be more difficult than we thought when it started raining. We decided not to let a little rain ruin our dreams of our big day and to go through with our ceremony outdoors. Dave and Julie made sure to do their best to keep our guests comfortable by supplying umbrellas, and made sure that Emma and I were happy and had everything we needed for a wet wedding. Julie even stayed out in the rain snapping pictures for us and we are so thankful to have those memories.

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The rest of the night went very smooth. The food (catered by Maucieri’s) was amazing. We had many guests come to tell us that they had the best chicken in their life that night. The DJ recommended by Dave and Julie, JP Premiere, was also amazing. He played the songs we wanted and kept the dance floor busy all night. He also did a great job playing our ceremony music for us in the rain, which actually damaged some of his equipment. That, to me, shows how much the staff at Pine Peaks cares about your day. They will sacrifice themselves, and their equipment, for your special day.

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Our wedding did not go exactly how we wanted it to, or how we envisioned it. With that said, there is not one thing Emma or I would change about our day. We are able to look back now and laugh at all the small issues, they just become funny memories that makes our day unique. The most important thing is that we said “I do” and our friends and family were there to witness that.

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I want to give a huge thank you to Dave and Julie, their staff, Maucieri’s, JP Premiere, and everyone else that helped us to make our day so great. We love you for that and wish you all the best!

- Tyler

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We, at Pine Peaks, were so honored to share in the glorious wedding of Emma and Tyler. I had the opportunity to take some candid photos and captured some timeless memories for all who attended. Emma had the brightest smile under her white umbrella as the rain came down. She was about to walk down the aisle to the rest of her life with her best friend. I was captured in the moment and just could not put my camera down! I had given out all of our umbrellas and decided to continue taking photos. When my lens started getting wet, I borrowed an umbrella from a guest who graciously shared hers with me. Then another guest ran to hold the umbrella for me to make sure I got the photos. Everyone understood that we needed to capture these memories for Emma and Tyler!

Dave and I wish you the best of luck and love in your lives together as husband and wife. Be happy and enjoy the special bond you two have.

View their Facebook Photo Album here.

- Julie Nyland Peterson

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Brunch Wedding Bliss

Posted on by davepeterson

Ever dream about having the kind of  wedding that you and your guests will remember forever? Then it’s time to think about having a brunch wedding! Brunch weddings are a trendy and less expensive way to create that one of a kind day for both you and your guests. Here are some reasons why brunch is the way to go:

Budget Friendly

There is more flexibility in the food you serve at your brunch wedding, meaning you can usually opt for a cheaper choice. Breakfast food tends to be an inexpensive way to feed a great quantity of people.You can also save money ondecorations with a simple and chic style. DIY decorations are also great for this kind of wedding, making it a fun way to design your perfect wedding and save money all in one.

pine peaks- ceremony

Style is Limitless

With a brunch wedding there is not much pressure for you or your guests. You can dress up or you can dress down creating a relaxed and fun environment. The style or theme of your wedding is limitless as well. Colors are good when it comes to a brunch wedding so don’t be afraid to show off your personality.

Great Variety of Food

Really, who doesn’t love brunch? Pancakes, waffles, muffins, BACON? The possibilities are endless! You can have a variety of breakfast foods and lunch food to cater to everyone’s taste and, like we mentioned before, brunch is going to be a lot cheaper than that three-course meal everyone expects for dinner.

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This could be your one and only reason to have a brunch wedding. Set up a mimosa bar with a variety of juices and champagne so your guests can mix and match whichever flavors they would like. If you want to go a bit more extravagant, try setting up a bloody mary bar with all the fixings!

Perfect for Morning People

If you are a morning person, brunch is the best time to have your wedding. It is when you will have the most energy and you don’t have to worry about staying awake and entertaining your guests well into the late hours of the night.

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More activities for Guests

Brunch can be a great way to get your guest more involved. At a nighttime reception, the most you can really do is dance and socialize. During the day you can set up different lawn games for your guests to play, dance, and also create a great and unique social atmosphere with lawn furniture spread about. This caters to all of your guests needs and can make a really fun environment for everyone!

pine peaks bean bag

Your wedding day will be special and memorable despite the time of day, but if you want to try something new and exciting to change things up, brunch is the way to go! For more wedding inspiration, visit our Pinterest page.


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Sable and Jesse’s Wedding – December 13th, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Sable and Jesse met on July 7, 2007 at their friend’s wedding. He was friends with the groom and she was friends with the bride. It was the hottest day of the year, over 100 degrees. It was an outdoor wedding and Sable almost didn’t go! The bride had wanted Jesse and Sable to meet for quite some time. They both sat on opposite sides during the ceremony, but noticed each other from across the aisle. They ended up hanging out the entire night and had their first kiss on the 18th hole at the golf course. Straight out of a movie, during their first kiss the sprinklers suddenly turned on! So romantic!


They ended up getting together for dinner the day after the wedding at what is still their favorite restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings and have been together nearly every day since! Sable was in school and they knew they would be married when she was finished. While they were talking about getting engaged, they became pregnant and decided to put off the wedding for a while.



Sable and Jesse where camping in September of 2013 as one of their last “pre-baby getaways.” They were sitting around the campfire in the pitch black when suddenly she heard barking and growling and Sable jumped up from her chair and ran to the camper! Turns out it was their basset hound, Charlie, running up with a box and a bow tied around his collar. It took Sable a second to realize what was happening! So, in the dark with just the light of the campfire and their dog running around in circles, Jesse untied the box from Charlie’s collar, got down on one knee and popped the question! Of course SHE SAID YES!!


Their beautiful daughter was born in December of 2013. Once they began planning the wedding, they knew they wanted a destination wedding and wanted something different. They wanted to do a romantic and intimate wedding and chose a December wedding date because they love the glistening snow and neither of them had ever been to a winter wedding before. They enjoy the outdoors and love being up north. so Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center was the perfect venue for them!


They arrived early and turned the Event Center into a winter wonderland! They prepared a candle lit dinner setting with bling draped white trees surrounded by snow and lots of blush bulbs, ornaments and bows. The draped Pavilion was set with ice candles and snow around the aisle runner leading to the birch arch. They were ready!


It was a hazy, white December day with a sprinkling of snow covering the ground. The bridal party was up early and used Pine Peak’s hair salon to get ready. Family and friends milled around the Retreat House enjoying the morning together and got ready for the celebration. Kate Koopers of Bloom Designs brought the romantic look together with stunning roses for the bride to complement the sparkly bling of Sable’s beautiful dress.


The romantic first look by the couple was done in the enchanted woods nearby with the bridal party close at hand. The scene was right out of a fairy tale as Sable walked through the snow to her groom.



Finally, the time had arrived; it was 4:30 and time for Bruce to walk his beautiful daughter down the aisle to the rest of her life. His top hat completed the enchanted look as the two walked through candle framed family and friends who were there to witness the marriage. They recited their romantic vows with officiate Lisa Cassman and they were married!



The celebration continued in the Event Center with Maucieri’s Catering and Bar ready for action. Stockings were hung by the roaring fire in the fireside room and Wes of Maucieri’s was ready for action. A coffee and hot chocolate bar was also set up to warm the guests. JP of DJ Entertainment introduced the bridal party along with the new Mr. and Mrs. Gass and the party began!



A fabulous plated dinner was served by Kate, Chef Brian and the Maucieri’s team. The wedding feast started with a House Salad followed by Steamed Broccoli and Cauliflower with hollandaise sauce, Bacon Blue Cheese Scalloped potatoes along with Italian Stuffed Chicken with White Sauce and Slow Roasted Beef. For those with a sweet tooth cake by Reed’s was enjoyed. The guests were also later treated to fresh handmade pizzas baked by Kate of Maucieri’s made in Pine Peak’s very own Mugnaini Wood Fired Oven! JP kept the party going and they danced the night away!


These pics were taken by Photographer Tim Larsen which captured the essence of the glorious day for Sable and Jesse. They had their sparkly, romantic destination wedding celebration and wouldn’t have changed a thing!


The couple resides in Ramsey and recently moved into their newly built home. We, at Pine Peaks, were honored to host the beautiful wedding of Sable and Jesse and wish them the best of luck and love in their future as the new Mr. and Mrs. We thank you for generously leaving so many fabulous decorations for future couples to enjoy!



See the rest of their Facebook Photo Album here.

- Dave Peterson and Julie Ann Nyland Peterson

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Tyler and Kristine’s Wedding – February 7th, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Tyler and Kristine began their love story in the fall of 2011, when a mutual friend saw their potential compatibility and introduced them.  After the first date, both of them knew there was serious potential for their budding relationship to grow into a loving marriage. Throughout their time as a dating couple, many hours were spent going on walks, exploring the woods and relaxing on the Whitefish chain of lakes near Tyler’s hometown of Pine River in northern Minnesota.  As an outdoor enthusiast, Tyler knew Kristine was “the one” as she willingly sat by his side time after time in the stand during the chilly mornings of deer hunting season!

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He finally decided it was time to pop the question after two and a half years together.  On a warm spring afternoon in May of 2014, Tyler surprised Kristine with a picnic outside at their favorite park in St. Cloud after attending Sunday mass. With the backdrop of the Mississippi River and budding trees, Tyler got down on one knee asked Kristine to be his wife! SHE SAID YES, and the rest was history!

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The couple knew they wanted a wedding that would reflect their love for God, one another, and the Northern Minnesota outdoors. Since Tyler was from the Pine River area, they choose to begin their search for a venue in the Brainerd Lakes region. After touring Pine Peaks Event Center, no other place could compare! The venue fit everything they were looking for—a space large enough to hold all of their family and friends while still keeping an intimate, inviting feeling.

2015-02-07 03.49.59The wedding weekend went off without a hitch after spending all of Thursday and Friday morning decorating and getting all of the final details in place. The Bride and Groom planned a cozy winter wedding by bringing a little bit of the outdoors inside. They filled the event center with twigs, hydrangeas, lanterns, candles and vases containing Epsom salt to emulate snow, as well using an array of gray, blue and cream décor. The bride even created candle holders from old sweaters to add a unique touch and to bring a sense of warmth and intimacy.

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Ceremony rehearsal was held just down the road at Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Crosslake on Friday evening, and the rehearsal dinner followed at the Pine Peaks Retreat House. Tyler, Kristine, and their guests enjoyed the use of the spacious kitchen and dining room to share a homemade meal for over 30 people. There was plenty of socializing and enjoyment had, including the use of the upstairs for games and the downstairs for drinks and pool. A memorable time was had by all!

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Bright and early on Saturday morning everyone was up and about in the Retreat House preparing for the “big day”! The groom and his groomsmen made use of the basement to get ready and relaxed before the ceremony, while the bride and her bridesmaids enjoyed the use of Pine Peak’s Hair Salon, with hair professionally done by Bliss Spalon of Nisswa, MN.

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The entire Bridal Party headed into Cross Lake to the beautiful Immaculate Heart Catholic Church to get dressed and get ready for the ceremony. The couple exchanged a very romantic first look at the front of the church where Tyler was in awe and Kristine’s smile had never been brighter.

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A few photos were taken outside in the brisk February air with the couple barely able to take their eyes off each other. The Church grounds offered a fabulous backdrop for the wintery outside photos. Tyler & Kristine exchanged vows with a full Catholic mass in front of their dearest family and friends. They did it, they said “I Do!”

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Although it was early February, the sun was shining bright as the new Mr. & Mrs. Johnson and guests made their way back to Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center to celebrate their union! Everyone enjoyed the delicious meal and bar service by Maucieri’s Catering. Chef Brian prepared a feast starting with a house salad with various dressings on the table, asparagus with sauce on the side, garlic mashed potatoes, chicken Florentine and pork prime rib. The kiddos were treated to chicken strips, tots, veggies and fruit. YUM! Great job Maucieri’s! This was followed by dessert which consisted of each of the bride and groom’s favorite treats—Tyler’s being strawberry rhubarb pie, and s’mores roasted at the outdoor fire pit for Kristine!

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The rest of the evening was spent socializing and dancing the night away with entertainment and music by Quality Sounds & Entertainment. They even had a late night snack consisting of Maucieri’s handmade pizza cooked in Pine Peaks very own Mugnaini Wood Fired Oven.  After reflecting on the day, the newlyweds couldn’t have dreamed of a more wonderful and meaningful day spent with family and friends!

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After returning from a relaxing, week-long honeymoon in Riviera Maya, Mexico the couple settled into their new home in Sauk Rapids, MN.

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Dave and Julie’s message to the Newlyweds: We, at Pine Peak’s Retreat and Event Center, were honored to host the wedding celebration of the delightful and organized couple, Kristine and Tyler. We wish you the best of luck and love in your journey together. Always remember to keep each other as BEST friends. Love is easy, friendship needs to be nurtured, and respect earned every day. Be HAPPY and ENJOY THE RIDE!

See the rest of their Facebook Wedding Album here.

- Dave Peterson and Julieann Nyland Peterson

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