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Erica and Cory’s $40,000 Wedding – June 28, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Erica and Cory had the wedding of their dreams at Pine Peaks’ Retreat and Event Center on June 28, 2014!  Check out their amazing love story which is featured on our web site as Erica and Cory’s True Love Story.

They were the lucky winners of Pine Peaks’ $40,000 wedding giveaway!  With the generous help of numerous local vendors and the meticulous planning of the bride, the wedding weekend on was a SUCCESS!

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Cory is originally from Corcoran, MN and Erica is from Fargo, ND. They were able to plan a true destination wedding while being stationed in the military many states away from Pine Peaks.  The vendors were all available and eager to help the couple throw the romantic elegant affair they had always dreamed of.

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Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center was pleased to host the wedding of this wonderful couple. Family and friends arrived early with the couple to create a fabulous romantic décor unique to Pine Peaks.  Erica’s dad, Gary, made a custom wooden beam which was hung above the head table, and Kate, from Bloom Designs, hung a variety of candles and flowers which framed the head table with elegance and bling. Kate also decorated the tables with grand fresh flower arrangements and candles with a romantic mix of textures and colors combining elegance and class. The Bride’s bouquet was filled with vintage jewels which added bling to the fragrant floral mix.

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J.F Kruse Jewelers of St Cloud provided custom made jewelry for the bridesmaids and custom made flasks for the groomsmen. They also made stunning jewelry for the bride, Erica.  How fun to go jewelry shopping! We can never get enough bling! J.F Kruse Jewelers has new location in St Cloud is that is amazing!

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The bride’s dad also made a grand wooden arbor to surround the couple during their I DOs. The arbor was as finely finished as custom cabinetry. (They were generous enough to leave it for other brides and grooms to use!) Kate also provided fresh flower arrangements to enhance the arbor. A romantic flair was added with white draping to complete the romantic, elegant feel surrounded by Pine Peaks’ garden. The setting was perfect.


The Groom’s Dinner and rehearsal was held on Friday night. Kate of Maucieri’s Catering threw a fabulous celebration in the Pavilion. Chef Brian grilled steaks perfectly from Grand Champion Meats of Crosslake, MN. They were fabulous next to the corn on the cob, roasted garlic baby reds and prosciutto wrapped shrimp with baby asparagus.

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Saturday began with the team from Captivating-Beauty giving the royal treatment to the bride and all of her bridesmaids. They did hair and makeup right in the salon of the Retreat House. The women looked like they were ready for Hollywood! The groom and groomsmen were not left out as they were provided tuxes from Arlene’s Bridal and Tuxedo Shop. Each of the groomsmen chose their own shoes to make sure they were comfortable. Likewise, Erica had each bridesmaid choose their own dress and shoes to allow them to wear something they liked and to allow them to actually wear them again. This made for an interesting mix of designs and textures tied together with Kate’s amazing bouquets.

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Kelli of Kelli Engstrom Photography was there to capture the day. She has done numerous weddings at Pine Peaks and knows the property is a “photographers’ dream”. Kelli captured the essence of the day with candids as well as group photos around the whole property. See her amazing work at    Michael Girling, videographer of VidStar Productions also captured the whole day. Thanks to Kelli and Michael, Erica and Cory’s wedding memories will be recorded forever.

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If a sprinkle is an indication of good fortune, the couple will be RICH with a very blessed life! The ceremony was brief as it was shortened by a short but heavy rain shower.  Jim Olsen, an instrumental guitarist, started the ceremony with music for the processional. The Officiant, Lisa Cassman was able to ask the important question and get a quick answer. The ceremony was cut short, but contained the I DOs needed to seal the deal!


The reception was a GRAND affair and the guests were treated like royalty. A champagne toast was given in honor of the nuptials.  Good wishes and blessings were given to Erica and Cory by all of the guests. Kate of Maucieri’s Catering, along with her talented group, served butler passed appetizers.  To satisfy the guests’ sweet tooth, Party World provided a punch fountain as well as a chocolate fountain. Ole and Lena’s Sweet Revenge provided truffles which the guests could customize.


Clyde, owner of Safe Ride Shuttle Service, escorted the bridal party around town to help celebrate after the ceremony. Clyde also shuttled family and guests to and from Pine Peaks Lodge and Suites of Crosslake who provided rooms to the lucky couple to share with some of their guests. Many of the wedding guests enjoyed the up north décor of the beautiful Pine Peaks Lodge and Suites in downtown Crosslake for the weekend and also enjoyed their pool and even a complimentary breakfast!

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Maucieri’s Catering plated a feast for the guests. Chef Brian out-did himself with fresh bread, a house salad, chicken parmesan topped with provolone cheese and gravy served over fettuccine, cheese tortellini with pesto cream sauce and Sicilian green beans. Amazing! As a Pine Peaks’ tradition, Kate later in the evening also baked fresh made pizzas in the wood fired oven.

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Doug Taylor of Action Entertainment and his team of gallant Percherons took the Bride and Groom on a sunset horse-drawn carriage ride around the 80 acre estate. Some of the lucky kids at the event were also given a ride around the farm. The couple appeared to be right out of a movie as they pulled up to the Event Center greeted by cheering guests.

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JP and Deandre of DJ Entertainment played all of the couples’ favorite tunes and the guests danced the night away. A very playful bride and groom enjoyed every minute of their dream wedding weekend! So many lifetime memories were made.

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We at Pine Peaks, along with all of the vendors, would like to thank Erica and Cory for their military service. It is people like you who help to ensure that we have the freedom to enjoy our lives as we know it.  We wish safe travels on your honeymoon provided by Bursch Travel and we also wish Erica and Cory the best of love and good fortune in their lives as husband and wife! Congrats!


-  Dave and Julie Peterson


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Meet Photographer Kelli Engstrom

Posted on by davepeterson

Kelli Engstrom might have grown up in suburban Ham Lake, but throughout her childhood, her family vacationed in Crosslake, MN – home of Pine Peaks. Her favorite thing about Crosslake is the area’s beauty and capturing it with her camera.


Today, she’s Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center’s preferred photographer,

Looking back, Kelli says she was always the one in her family taking photos and documenting memories. To hone her skills, she continued to practice and educate herself on the art of photography and sought artistic mentors. She’s never viewed photography as just “pointing and shooting;” for Kelli, photography is a form of storytelling, and that’s exactly what she tries to do with every project.


When she was 18, she decided to move to Crosslake and enrolled in Central Lakes Colleges Business program. A year later, Kelli got her first “real” photography gig, shooting a wedding. She didn’t know the couple – they hired her based on a referral. From that point on, Kelli had a grip on what it takes to be a professional photographer.

With Kelli’s strong ability to find the story using imagery, it was only natural that, in 1996, she would take her passion for photography and combine it with her business degree to start her own photography business, Kelli Engstrom Photography.


Fast forward to 2011 – Kelli attended a small wedding networking event in Brainerd, MN, where she met Dave Peterson, owner of Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center. They instantly clicked and discovered that they had many mutual friends – everyone knows everyone in the Brainerd Lakes Area! They became a referral source for one another and have watched each other’s businesses’ grow!

When Kelli isn’t busy capturing memories at Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center, you can find her snapping photos of family reunions, families, children, seniors and youth athletes. Her favorite photos to take are family portraits because of the variety in the shoots. She also enjoys wedding photography for the same reason; every couple is different and she loves capturing memories from their unique days.

Caitlin and Cody's Wedding at Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center - Kelli Engstrom Photography

Kelli says, at the beginning of a wedding photography partnership, she arranges multiple meetings to get a feel for exactly what style of photography fits the couple best. She recommends a mixture of traditional and fun wedding photos. She says, many times, couples come with hundreds of pins from Pinterest of photos as inspiration – inspiration to which they trust Kelli to add her own creative twists. And, after 19 years in the business, Kelli knows what she’s doing!

After each wedding, Kelli uploads all of the photos onto her computer for editing. At night she becomes  a “photo editing ninja” – mainly because her days are jammed with taking care of her kids, volunteering at their schools and going to hockey games.


These days, it takes Kelli between 20 to 24 hours to edit photos, and couples receive the finished product within two weeks after their wedding. She’s got an expert grip on it, but digital editing wasn’t always a part of Kelli’s routine. When she was a new photographer, she used good ol’ film along with film canister -  a set-up many youngsters might mistake for tiny tupperware. With film, there aren’t any second chances. There’s no previewing the photos or photoshopping them in post-production. You have one chance and one shot, and this is a craft Kelli has mastered.

Although she uses a digital camera today, she’s thankful that she first learned how to capture beautiful photos using film; now, she doesn’t need to second guess her camera’s settings, she just knows. It’s second nature to her.

Kelli has been working with Pine Peaks Retreat & Event Center from the beginning and our relationship is stronger than ever. Whether or not you are planning a wedding at Pine Peaks, we encourage you to stop by Kelli’s website, “like” her photography page on Facebook and connect with her on LinkedIn!


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Kari and Tyler’s Wedding – September 20, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Tyler grew up in Burlington Ontario, Canada with his two brothers Ryan and Adam. An avid hockey fan and referee, Tyler chose to venture to the States to attend St. Cloud State University for Sports Management and History. Upon his arrival, he joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity where he would meet many of his now close friends and his future wife.

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Kari grew up in St. Joseph, MN with her sister, Krista. She went to school at St Benedict’s for a year before transferring to St. Cloud State University for Film Studies and Creative Writing, where she honed her love of storybooks and film. There, she reconnected with an old friend who brought her out to meet some of his new fraternity brothers and her future husband.

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It was Wednesday, which usually meant Buffalo Wild Wings for the boys of TKE. That night, Kari’s friend Eric, a member of TKE, invited her to join them for wings. After a short while, a handsome stranger walked through the door. His dark hair and strut caught the eye of Kari immediately. She leaned over to Eric and said, “Please tell me he’s coming over here because I may have to marry that man.” Eric looked over, laughing, and said, “Yeah, that’s Canada, but you might have to fight for him!”

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The boy known as Canada came right over and sat at Kari’s table, handing out greetings to his friends. Finally, she introduced herself. “Hi, I’m Kari.”
“Hey,” he replied, quietly. “Canada. Well, everyone calls me Canada.”
She smiled. “Does Canada have a real name?”
“Tyler Harrison.”

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Two weeks later, Tyler skipped out on a party to see Kari again. They talked, danced, and he walked her and her friends back to campus. One week later, on October 15, 2007, he asked her to be his girlfriend.

On June 11, 2011, an 80’s themed party was thrown for Kari’s college graduation. About two hours into the party, Tyler brought in a large box. He made her open it right in the middle of the party. Inside the first box was another box. Then another. Then another and so on.


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On each box, a line of a poem was written. On the last box, just a question mark was drawn. Then, on the inside of the box that held the ring, there was a note that said “Marry Me?” Of course she said YES!

Kari and Tyler chose Pine Peaks as a destination wedding venue nearly 2 ½ years ago and were thrilled with all of the additions and improvements that were made to the property since that time. A pavilion, prep kitchen and buffet area were added to the Event Center. The master suite in the Retreat House now had a Salon!
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They fully enjoyed the entire Country Estate especially the use of the house which allowed their family and friends to come together for the whole weekend. They arrived early and used many of Julie’s collection of decorations to make the space their own.

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The rehearsal and Groom’s dinner were held on Friday night in the Pavilion. A gathering of family and friends from two countries broke bread and told stories of how they knew the couple. A fabulous feast was enjoyed.

On Saturday, the wedding was held in the garden before the rain blessed the couple with “good luck”. Tyler saw his bride for the first time that day as she walked down the aisle all smiles escorted by her father. They recited their own vows of commitment and then excitedly said, “I DO!”

Very quick outside photos were taken prior to the skies “blessings” and the party began! Fabulous appetizers were served in the Fireside Room by Maucieri’s Catering. The guests enjoyed Italian sausage with cheese on rye, fresh made bruschetta and deviled eggs.

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The Grand March was held as the bridal party was introduced to the crowd in the dining room. The guests of honor where then introduced as the newly married Kari and Tyler! They shared their first dance together as husband and wife in front of the whole crowd.

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Dinner was served by Maucieri’s Catering with Chef Brian at the helm. Everyone enjoyed Slow Roasted Beef with mushroom demi-glace’ sauce, Maple Leaf Chicken stuffed with Canadian Bacon and provolone cheese, Green Beans Almandine, Three-Cheese Au gratins, Caesar Salad and fresh bread. Way to rock the meal Chef Brian!

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The evening cleared up and a happy couple walked into the sunset! The celebration continued with dancing and fun. Beth of Maucieri’s Catering later served a Pine Peak’s tradition of fresh pizzas in the wood fired oven.

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We were truly honored to host the wedding celebration of Kari and Tyler and wish them a fairy tale life of luck and love! Stay true!
- Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to view Facebook for Kari and Tyler for September 20, 2015

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“I Now Pronounce You” – A Wedding Officiant Interview

Posted on by davepeterson


With everything that goes into a wedding, it can be easy to overlook the person who makes the official moment when two people are officially married a reality – the wedding officiant.

Today, we’re going to turn the spotlight on Lisa Cassman, our distinguished minister who performed our $40,000 wedding winners’ ceremony.

From the time she was a teenager, Cassman was compelled to join the ministry. After high school, Cassman realized this dream by getting her pastor’s license, and then enrolling in college to obtain a BA in Christian Counseling. Cassman describes herself as non-denominational.

When it comes to officiating marriages, Cassman says her favorites are destination weddings. She has a passion for travel, and finds each of these unique sites to be especially rewarding.

Part of Cassman’s duties as minister involve arranging the order of her ceremonies, decisions which rely heavily on constant communication and idea swapping with couples.

She stresses the importance of a rehearsal the day before the wedding; that way, everyone from future spouses to wedding party to minister are on the same page, and the possibility of anything surprising or challenging on the big day is significantly diminished.

With regard to Erica and Cory’s wedding, held here at Pine Peaks on June 28th, 2014, Cassman didn’t have a whole lot of face time with the couple prior to the big day. She was, however, in touch with them on a regular basis beginning in February.

She says, without a doubt, the best part of the entire process was finally getting to meet the couple face to face.  “I didn’t meet them until about an hour before the ceremony,” Cassman explains. “But, they were very easy going and cooperative with getting the ceremony together.”

We here at Pine Peaks tip our hats to Cassman, and those like her, who play such a special role in making dreams come true!



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Kari & Matt’s Wedding – September 6, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Kari and Matt met in Homer, Alaska in July 2012. Matt was there working during the Summers on a halibut charter boat and Kari was visiting with her friend and her husband as well as Kari’s sister. Kari not only caught monster halibut and tons of salmon, but also caught the love of her life.

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They returned to Alaska the next year in July 2013 and everyone thought Matt would propose but he held out until September when he brought her fishing at the Kenai River. Matt pretended that his lure kept snagging and that he needed to change it. He pulled out the tackle box and handed it to Kari to choose a new lure. Inside buried in the lure beads was her RING! SHE SAID YES!

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Kari and Matt knew they wanted an outdoor wedding and a special place where all of their friends could gather and hopefully enjoy the outdoors as well. Since they were interrupting most of the groomsmen’s hunting season they chose “we interrupt hunting season” as their theme.

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The couple arrived early at Pine Peaks and quickly transformed the Event Center into their own. The groom’s mom, Kim, picked flowers from her garden for the tables which brought the room to life! The mix of colors and textures complimented the rustic theme.

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The Groom’s dinner was held Friday night “picnic style” with full utilization of Pine Peak’s prep kitchen and pavilion after a run through of the ceremony. Family and guests enjoyed a full night of getting to know each other and reminiscing about how they knew the couple.

The wedding day was “ROYAL” inside and out. The early Fall day was 70 degrees with a bright royal blue sky which matched the Wedding Party’s attire! The colors of the earth and sky came together with their beautiful flowers.

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The joyful I DO’s where shared in the garden with a clear blue sky overhead. To signify their union, the couple watered a “Unity Tree” together which they will plant and watch grow together. Family and friends cheered as the newlyweds were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. and the celebration began!

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The reception was held in the Event Center and pavilion. The dinner followed with Chef Brian of Maucieri’s Catering stealing the show with his fabulous Italian buffet dinner. The guests enjoyed a house salad with fresh bread, Sicilian green beans, Rose’ pasta, slow roasted beef with brandy peppercorn sauce topped with fresh parmesan cheese. Wearing one of his many hats, Tony Maucieri Sr. served the tender beef to the guests.

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The couple decided to forgo the traditional wedding cake and served a Crosslake favorite “ice cream cake” made by Lake Country Crafts and Cones. The choices were white chocolate raspberry truffle fudge or French silk pie ice cream cake which was served butler style by the Maucieri’s team to the delighted guests. The celebration continued with a dance that went well into the night. Kate of Maucieri’s Catering made her specialty fresh baked pizzas in the wood fired oven. The guests are still talking about the wonderful food experience this wedding offered!


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Along with being a fishing guide, Matt also has a business in the spring guiding snow goose hunts so they chose a snow goose as their mascot for the fireside room. We wish the Newlyweds a lifetime of adventures and hope that they enjoy the hunt together. May they forever “catch” all of life’s blessings with the same enthusiasm and love that they shared with each other today!

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- Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to view Facebook for Kari and Matt September 6, 2014

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Maggie & Jeremy’s Wedding – August 23, 2014

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Maggie and Jeremy were set up by a mutual friend in February 2013. Their first date was on Valentine’s Day and Jeremy drove the two and a half hours down and back just to spend three hours with Maggie in the cities! Living in two different cities presented its challenges, but when it comes to true love, no distance was too far for them.

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Seven months later, Jeremy proposed to Maggie in his living room as they sat down in their pajamas to watch a movie. SHE SAID YES! Those who know Maggie know that it was the most perfect proposal she could have asked for! 2014-08-22 22.53.04

The couple came across Pine Peaks in a magazine pointed out by a friend. They were so happy that they found a place where they could celebrate a whole wedding weekend, not just a wedding day. They especially enjoyed having the whole bridal party stay together in the Retreat House to allow the couples’ friends to get to know each other. They arrived on Thursday and used many of Pine Peaks’ decorations to customize the Event Center and make it their own. The assortment in Julie’s decoration room is so extensive that no two weddings have ever looked the same at Pine Peaks. (Julie especially liked the Jade color that accented the entire décor. Great choice Maggie!)

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The rehearsal and groom’s dinner was held on Friday at Pine Peaks. A fabulous meal was enjoyed in the pavilion. On Saturday morning, many of the guys enjoyed golfing at one of the many beautiful local courses while the ladies got ready. The guys returned in time to set up the ceremony chairs in the garden and prepare for the I Do’s.

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It was a beautiful over cast day which all photographers’ know makes a picture perfect day! Jeremy had the first look at his beautiful bride before the ceremony next to Pine Peaks’ oldest tree. His response was “You look beautiful, but you always do”. Many photos were taken on the property with the stunning natural green backdrop everywhere you looked!
The ceremony was held in the garden with a very happy couple saying “I DO!” The wedding guests all rang bells as the couple walked down the aisle as husband and wife.
The reception and dinner followed in the Event Center after the hugs and congratulations were given. The couple asked the wedding guests to write a special note of advice and place it in bottles to be opened at their anniversaries. Very cool to be getting advise 50 years from now! As a special treat, the bride and groom put together the S’mores favors for the guests and many toasted marshmallows in the roaring fire pit later in the evening!

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Chef Brian of Maucieri’s Catering treated the guests to a fabulous buffet dinner that everyone raved about! It started with a Caesar salad and fresh bread, green beans, au gratin potatoes, chicken parmesan and slow roasted beef. Great job Maucieri’s team! In a Pine Peaks tradition, Kate later made fresh pizzas in the wood fired oven. The guests danced the night away in celebration of their new life together.

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It was truly a wedding weekend, not just a wedding day for Maggie and Jeremy. The couple stayed in the Retreat house Sunday night for just one more night. Maggie said “It was an amazing way to unwind without returning to the real world and neither of us wanted to leave!”

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We, at Pine Peaks were honored to host the joyful wedding of Maggie and Jeremy and wish them the best of luck and love in their lives as husband and wife. Stay true to each other!

- Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to view Facebook for Maggie and Jeremy on August 23, 2014

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Beth and Derick’s Wedding – August 30, 2014

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Beth and Derick met at a friend’s wedding almost 3 years ago. They had a little rap battle to a Nicki Minaj song and the rest is history! Beth is a Pediatric nurse and Derick is a welder. They moved to Fargo, ND a year into their relationship. A year ago in October 2013 Derick asked Beth to join him on the dock at the family cabin. To her surprise, he dropped down on one knee and asked her to spend the rest of her life with him! SHE SAID YES!

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Beth and Derick arrived early and completed the fun task of decorating in no time. The tables in the Event Center had antique bottles which they later filled with beautiful wild flowers that Beth’s older brother and mom grew just for the occasion at their nearby lake home. The room was white, which made the colors of the wild flowers pop! The arch and vining flowers were also planted and cared for by the two.

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The couple held the rehearsal and Groom’s Dinner in the Retreat House and porch on Friday night. The evening was a perfect night to enjoy the outdoors with their closest family and friends. The tables inside and out were decorated with Ball jars decorated for the occasion.

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Beth and Derick said their I DO’s with a 6:00 ceremony in Pine Peaks Garden in front of their family and friends. A reception and dinner was held in the Event Center followed by a dance with a special dance by the groom to “Too Sexy for my Shirt” before taking new wife Beth’s garter! The crowd went wild!

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The Groom’s brother is a chef in Alaska. The groom asked him how the food was and to the groom’s surprise, he stated “Best wedding food he has ever had!” Great job Chef Brian and Maucieri’s Catering! The lucky guests were served a house salad, asparagus with hollandaise, three cheese Au Gratin, maple leaf chicken and stuffed shells!
This was the 8th wedding this year for Beth and Derick and their friends. All of the other couples were in attendance at this wedding. One of the guys stated “this was the best wedding of the eight because of the location”!

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The Newlyweds will be moving to SW Florida in October. The bride started Grad School this summer and plans to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. A busy schedule to start out their lives as husband and wife!

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The couple did a number of sentimental and unique things at their wedding. The lace around the ladies bouquets was from Beth’s mom’s wedding dress. Beth wore her Grandma’s wedding ring on her right hand. The box that held their “unity plant” was from the bride’s Great Grandpa’s welding shop and the box the ring bearer walked down the aisle with was Grandpa’s tool box. The table cloth under the cake was made by Beth’s Grandma. She started crocheting it before she had children, and completed it long after the seven children were born. Beth’s mom Lynn is also crafty and sewed a heart from her dad’s dress shirt on to the inside of her wedding dress.

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The dessert bar in the Bonus Room was filled with yummy homemade bars with favorite recipes from the family. The couple’s Aunts and Grandmothers made the fabulous treats.
Monday after the nuptials was Labor Day, a bonus day. Family and friends spent the day together and continued the celebration by renting a pontoon and enjoying Cross Lake on the beautiful blue sky day.


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We, at Pine Peaks would like to thank Beth and Derick for choosing us to celebrate the start of your new lives together. We wish them a lifetime of luck and love and adventure together.
- Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to view Beth and Derick’s Wedding Photos on Facebook!

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The More The “Marrier” – A Wedding Study

Posted on by davepeterson

Thinking about running off to Vegas to get hitched? Before you buy your plane tickets, you might want to know about a recent study linking marital success and large weddings.


According to the findings of research group National Marriage Project, couples who get married in large ceremonies in the presence of family and friends tend to have more successful and long-lasting unions.

The study was simple; the group asked 418 recently married couples a series of questions related to the strength of their marriages – length of partnership, ease of communication, desire to remain together, etc. They then compared those answers against the style of the couples’ weddings.

The results? Couples who hosted large, formal weddings tended to respond more positively. In fact, 41% of couples who threw lavish ceremonies were happy with their marriages, compared with 28% of those who had simple, private ceremonies.


What’s more – the happiness quotient for couples tended to rise with the number of guests. Of that 48% of happy couples, 47% reported a guest list of 150 people or more.

So, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Are happy couples more likely to throw a big wedding in front of family and friends, or do big weddings generate post-ceremony happiness?

Frankly, there’s no real way to know – every couple is different.

One thing we can all agree on – when you find the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, you probably want to share the joy with the people you love!

-Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to learn more about this study.

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Chelsea and Nate’s Wedding – August 16, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Chelsea and Nathan met at Winona State University where they both went to college during their junior and senior years. Nathan had caught Chelsea’s eye during intramural basketball and she loved the fact that he worked extremely hard on the court and always seemed to get the “hustle” plays. Nathan and Chelsea are huge sports fanatics, even though Nathan is a Minnesota Vikings fan and Chelsea is a Green Bay Packers fan. (I see some fun conflict in their future.

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Chelsea was formally introduced to Nathan in the library by a mutual friend and “matchmaker”. They stayed up late chatting online until 2 a.m. both with finals the next day. One thing that Chelsea instantly fell in love with about Nathan was how their values and vision for the future matched perfectly. It was as if the stars had aligned and neither of the m new it yet.
The day Nathan proposed, he arrived home from work early with TWO surprises. While Chelsea was getting ready for Nathan’s parents to come to the house for the evening, Nathan managed to sneak their future puppy INSIDE A BACKPACK and then downstairs.
Chelsea was surprised to see Nathan home early from work, but didn’t become suspicious until she heard a high-pitched “yipp” coming from their basement. Chelsea had been highly anticipating picking out a dog together, so she thought for sure the surprise was some sort of prank. At the bottom of the stairs, waiting in a kennel was the most adorable yellow lab puppy! Overwhelmed with excitement, Chelsea ran over to the kennel and as quickly as she could scooped up their new puppy. Holding on to Remy and smothering him with kissed, Chelsea turned around to give Nate a huge hug and a thank him only to see Nathan down on one knee! A double surprise! A very astonished Chelsea said YES and YES!

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The rehearsal and Groom’s dinner was held at Pine Peaks with the dinner in the Pavilion. The guest of honor was the father of the bride so a special cup cake was made for him. Family and friends enjoyed a perfect evening.
The outdoor ceremony was held in the garden surrounded by family and friends. The couple was the first to use Pine Peaks new birch arch and decorated it with a fabulous chandelier. The Officiate of the ceremony, Steve Norduke gave the couple a Lego set with instructions for their marriage. The Legos came with instructions that showed how 3 different structures could be built. He stated that Nathan with his engineering background would likely use the instructions and figure out how to use all of the pieces to their fullest. Chelsea with her teaching background would like the instructions, however would likely look at the project from an emotional stand point and suggested that she would build something that made her feel good, and looked good. The suggestion that the same pieces could be used in a multiple of combinations is similar to many situations in a marriage. He challenged the couple to work together to build their future.

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Both families came together with a Unity Plant. The parents combined dirt from each of their homes and combined them together into a plant for Chelsea and Nathan. The happy couple said IDO and the celebration began! An outdoor reception was held in the Pavilion with pianist and vocalist Jack De Sousa in the background. Yard games were enjoyed on the perfect summer night.

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Clyde from Safe Ride shuffled the bridal party to our lake home a few miles away for photos by the vintage stacked stone gate as well as by the lake. Their photos were fabulous with many different backgrounds at Pine Peak and the lake. Clyde even stopped on the way for a photo op next to a bale of hay!
The dinner was held in the Event Center with Chef Brian of Maucieri’s Catering serving the guests a fabulous buffet of house salad, antipasto, chicken fettuccine and cheese ravioli. Kate later baked pizzas for the guests in the wood fired oven during the dance. Great job Maucieri’s!

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Chelsea and Nathan will be traveling to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) in December for their honeymoon. We at Pine Peaks are so very happy for the newlyweds and wish them a fabulous future of great surprises together! We also challenge you to work to build your future “together”.

- Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to view Chelsea and Nate’s Wedding Photos!

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Caitlin and Cody’s Wedding – August 2, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Caitlin and Cody met five years ago through mutual friends. Although they were seeing other people at the time, they both knew in their hearts it was love at first sight. Almost a year later the time was right and they started dating. Needless to say, their initial feelings were spot on. On July 19th, 2013, Cody proposed on Artist’s Point in Grand Marais, MN, their favorite spot to travel to. SHE SAID YES!

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They chose Pine Peaks Event Center for the biggest day of their lives because it had everything they dreamed of. As they came for their initial tour, they were there for merely 5 minutes and both knew it was the exact place for them. In Caitlin’s words Pine Peaks Event Center gave them “a STRESS FREE 4 day wedding extravaganza”!
Cody and Caitlin arrived early Thursday to decorate and made the place uniquely their own. On Friday the guys went golfing and the ladies went to the Wharf in Crosslake and enjoyed lunch by the water. The rehearsal and Groom’s Dinner was held on Friday night with their closest family and friends where they enjoyed grilling on a perfect summer night in the Pavilion.

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They chose a Regal Setting for the head table which put them right in the middle of their family and friends for the reception. As a center point of room the wedding cake, made by Reed’s Bakery was set atop a fabulous cake stand made from a 140 year old tree which had fallen a couple of weeks before. The couple loves music and had unique “guest book” ideas with signatures and best wishes placed on record albums and a guitar.

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The outdoor ceremony was held in the garden which was in full bloom with yellow lilies which accented the bouquets of yellow held by the bridesmaids. A crew of young men from the “Secret Service” delivered the rings to the best man to the tune of Mission Impossible. This was a hit with the crowd! The distinguished Dr. Harry Olson
officiated the ceremony and the Mission was complete with the saying of I DOs!

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A very happy couple greeted their guests after which Kate of Maucieri’s Catering held a champagne toast in honor of the joyous occasion. Hors d’ oeuvres were served in the Pavilion for an outdoor reception. Hula hoops, bubbles and corn toss games were enjoyed in the yard.

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The reception was held in the Event Center with a fabulous plated dinner by Chef Brian of Maucieri’s Catering. Kate and her team delivered a house salad, then slow roasted beef with marsala mushroom sauce, stuffed chicken with baby reds and green beans. Fabulous food and service. Kate later baked fresh pizzas in Pine Peaks’ wood fired oven for the guests. Thank you Maucieri’s!

Speeches were made and a special performance was given by the Groom’s mom and groomsmen. They did a rap about the couple which thoroughly entertained the crowd! The celebration continued and they danced the night away!

Cody and Caitlin enjoy cheering on the Wild, watching comedies, discovering new music while also enjoying the classics, being super lazy but also doing anything and everything outdoors. Caitlin has obtained her dream job as a teacher. She is entering her third year, where she will be embarking on a new journey teaching third grade. Cody is also doing exactly what he loves working for Three Rivers Park District. They currently live in a townhouse in Prior Lake, MN and are hoping to find a home soon in the same area as well as add a dog (and babies!) to start off their family together.

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Their quirkiness, humor, spontaneity and outlook on life are what make Caitlin and Cody two peas in a pod. They love each other with more passion, heart and soul than imaginable and are so happy to begin their new journey together.

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We at Pine Peaks truly enjoyed Cody and Caitlin and thank them for choosing us! Their passion for life and optimism are contagious! The best of luck and love to the happy newlyweds until your Mission is complete!

- Dave and Julie Peterson

Click here to view Caitlin and Cody’s Wedding Photos!

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