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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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.

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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!

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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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One Year to ‘I Do’

Posted on by davepeterson



You’re engaged! Let’s take the bliss of a fresh engagement up a notch and set your planning to the tune of a whirlwind romance- Sinatra tunes optional. Your special day will be everything you’ve always dreamed on a timeline that leaves no room for the inevitable slump that comes with year long planning of festivities. Embrace the chaos, charm, and creativity that’s headed your way- you’re about to embark on a one-year adventure to last a lifetime; planning your perfect day.

A one-year planning process is all about the essentials, and you’ve got no time to waste. A year timeline is not only doable, it’s going to be a blast. Peruse our expert tips for maximizing your one year planning experience, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy. There’s a whole lot of fun to be had between ‘we’re engaged!’ and ‘we do!’.

First things first. You and your betrothed-to-be must decide on a budget and stick to it. It’s impossibly easy to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a wedding, but it can be equally easy to find the middle ground and throw an event that dazzles on a budget that doesn’t strand you financially. Next up- a proposed date or two, and your wedding party. This may require a degree of flexibility and resourcefulness. Pick out an ideal date for your wedding as well as a back up, and discuss which friends and loved ones are absolute necessities on your special day. Who can be available for your ‘I Do’s’ might dictate which date you opt for, and your date will be the number one factor in committing to a venue.

It is a good idea to book your venue around a year in advance. If you are running short on time, don’t stress; this is what your backup date is for. Keep some less traditional dates as a back up. Hoping for the Plaza in June? That may be out of the realm of possibility when if you are planning on short notice. Choosing a venue is just one of many big decisions, but is a key decision that may guide all of your wedding details. It is a good idea to consult with your venue of choice when it comes to planning your wedding. For example, at Pine Peaks, we have a long list of preferred vendors that will ensure your big day will run as smoothly as possible.


Once your date and venue are confirmed, it’s time to play with the details. Do you have a specific officiant in mind? This will require syncing their availability and your wedding date, and possibly committing to premarital counseling. In a jumble of madness and excitement, it’s now imperative that you find that perfect dress, debate roses and peonies, buttercream or fondant, ceasar vs vinaigrette, and the tone of your wedding photos. Your dress and cake may influence the theme of your wedding, so finding the dress of your dreams is an important first step when navigating the details. It can get pricey if not impossible to custom order a gown with less than eight months notice, so a great option will be designer sample sales and ready-to-wear shops, or consignment stores. While you’re on the hunt for your dress, scope out the offerings at local department stores. There are some surprisingly perfect bridesmaid dresses available at extremely affordable prices. You also need to be thinking about groomsmen; their suits will very likely need timely tailoring, and are every bit as essential as the bridesmaid dresses you select.

Call around to recommended local bakeries for openings on your big day. Have some fun and try out a cake alternative such as specialty donuts, cake pops, or cupcakes for a twist on the traditional. Booking a great photographer is also an imperative step in the planning process. Like venues, well known photographers tend to book a year in advance, so be prepared to call around a bit to find an opening with a photographer. Disposable cameras placed on tables to be used by guests and creating an instagram account for the photos your guests take are also wonderful ideas to capture moments on the cheap.

A caterer is one detail that you will want to book well in advance. Gone are the days of the meat and potato dinners, so delight in hors d’oeuvre options, culturally specific fares, or bountiful buffets. If you are in a pinch, many caterers don’t need a finalized menu until two weeks prior to your event, so the idea here is to get a caterer on the books, and finalize menu specifics later. You’ll need to think specifics in terms of your wedding flowers however, beginning with the season. For budget conscious planners, non seasonal flower choices become expensive and may not be your best bet. Consider calla lilies, orchids, roses or tulips, beautiful options that are available year round. Start with the bridal bouquet and make additional floral selections based on the arrangement that you’ll be carrying, and look into locally grown produce, or utilizing the blooms you’ve got in your own garden to brighten your big day.

10644497_753935777976292_2506144195845476464_nThe list for head-to-toe beauty tips can go on and on. Before you get too overwhelmed here, ensure you book your salon. Your beautician may be able to provide you with tips and answer any questions you have without making your head spin. After you consult with your beautician, feel free to take some time to ask your married friends or coworkers about their wedding day beauty routine.

All of your tireless planning would mean very little without the people that you love in attendance, so take extra care to send out save the dates and wedding invitations as early as possible. Wedding invitation etiquette suggests six to eight weeks before your confirmed date. Since you are planning a year in advance, it may be a good idea to consider sending out a save the date. A good resource for this would be your photographer, especially if you would like to incorporate photos from an engagement session.

When that special day comes, it won’t matter which venue was unavailable or how many centerpieces you had to downsize. It will be a momentous affair to remember, a success of a year-long whirlwind of planning and prepping.


- Dave and Julie Peterson

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Katie and Tyler’s Wedding – January 24th, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Katie and Tyler met when they were 13, becoming good friends through junior high and high school. They lost touch for several years as Katie went to college and Tyler joined the Army. In the fall of 2011, Katie visited Tyler while he was on leave from his deployment in Kuwait. When he returned overseas, they talked every day. They started dating in June of 2012 and became engaged July 3, 2014. Tyler proposed on the end of the dock at her parents’ house! SHE SAID YES!


They picked a day to go look at venues and almost skipped Pine Peaks Event Center because they were running behind. Tyler convinced Katie to tour Pine Peaks and they both immediately fell in love with the venue when they saw it! They loved the whole weekend experience they could have for their wedding celebration and the fact that so many family and friends could stay right on the property in the Retreat House.


Their weekend had finally arrived. Katie and Tyler, family and friends arrived early to decorate Pine Peaks Event Center to create their own unique and romantic woods décor. Navy lace with centerpieces of cut wood with ball jars and candles were accented by fresh flowers in the Dining Room. Fresh flowers also lined the aisle runner in the Pavilion bringing life to the winter wedding. Beth, one of Pine Peaks’ wedding coordinators, was on site to assist with the set up.


The couple made numbers for the tables which they kindly left for future couples. They have already been used by another couple. (Thanks guys!) Custom shot glasses had name cards and designated tables waiting in the Fireside Room for the guests. Beautiful pictures were generously shared by Bella Vita Photography and are featured here in this blog.


The bridal party had their hair and makeup done in the Retreat House Salon by the masters of Creative Beauty who are regulars at Pine Peaks. The ladies looked fabulous! A private “first look” was done offsite with the photographer and the couple alone. Very romantic!


It was 4:00 and time for the long anticipated ceremony! The Pavilion was filled with family and friends who had traveled to witness the vows of Katie and Tyler. Katie walked down the aisle to her groom ready for happily ever after. THE HUNT WAS OVER! Pastor Jim Raisanen officiated and blessed the marriage of this delightful couple. They said, “I DO!”


The Guests of Honor were introduced as the new Mr. and Mrs. by Jeremy of DJ Entertainment followed by a fabulous dinner by Kate of Maucieri’s Catering. Chef Brian started with a plated house salad with Romaine lettuce, loaded with tomatoes, peppers, onions, cucumbers and croutons with Ranch, French and Blue Cheese dressings on the tables. Then a fabulous buffet was served with fresh bread, Sicilian green beans, Three Cheese Au gratin potatoes, Italian Stuffed Chicken-tenderized chicken stuffed with prosciutto ham and three kinds of cheese, then lightly breaded. Also served was Slow Roasted Beef with mushroom demi glaze. Chef Brian rocked it!


The guests were treated to a cookie bar, s’mores at the camp fire and later in the evening Kate baked fresh Maucieri’s pizzas in Pine Peaks’ very own Mugnaini Wood Fired Oven. The guests danced into the night with DJ Jeremy leading the way.


The newlyweds live in a small town called Nowthen with their three year old yellow lab, George. Tyler is an electrician for Premier Electric and also a lieutenant firefighter for Ramsey Fire Department. Katie is a registered nurse and works for Fairview Clinic in Elk River. They love to be outdoors, go hunting, fish and work on projects around the house.


We, at Pine Peaks, wish Katie and Tyler the best of luck and love in their journey as husband and wife. We thank them for choosing Pine Peaks for their perfect destination wedding celebration!


See the rest of their Facebook Wedding Album here.

- Dave and Julie Peterson

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Stephanie and Andrew’s Outdoor Wedding – January 3rd, 2015

Posted on by davepeterson

Stephanie and Andrew had a dream of having an outdoor winter wedding and their dream came true at Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center! Stephanie prayed for snow, and she was blessed with a sparkly dusting of gorgeous snow which fell on Saturday morning giving the Country Estate a magical feel. The groomsmen set up chairs as the snow fell around them. ABRA Snow Removal later appeared and blew a path around the ceremony area.

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Stephanie and her bridesmaids enjoyed doing their hair and makeup in the Salon in the Master Suite of the Retreat House. I love taking candid photos of bridal parties getting ready and this day was a special treat as many giggles and a lot of laughter were shared amongst the guests. The whole group was playful and truly enjoyed their time together in the Retreat House.

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An enchanted first look was shared by Stephanie and Andrew with tremendous snowflakes falling all around. The moment was magical and the gorgeous, smiling bride was glowing as she stepped closer to her groom who anxiously waited. The couple did not wait for the photographer to ask them to kiss. Their love was evident in their reaction to seeing one another for the first time on that very special day.

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This was the first Wedding celebration held at Pine Peaks in 2015 and the VERY FIRST EVER “WINTER OUTDOOR WEDDING”!  An amazing energy surrounded the ceremony as the guests cozied together and warmed themselves with blankets. Stephanie was escorted down the snow sprinkle aisle by her father to a smiling Andrew. Tears of joy were shared by the couple during their vows to love each other forever.

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After the ceremony, the couple led their family and friends into the warmth of the Fireside Room waiting with hot coffee, hot chocolate and hot cider, and a roaring fire.  The room was previously decorated by the guys with a rustic, outdoor feel. The candle lit Dining Room had Stephanie’s hand in the décor with a touch of bling and elegance. The couple and decorating entourage arrived early and enjoyed using Pine Peak’s many decorations to achieve both of their visions of a dream wedding under one roof!  Rustic and Elegant!

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An early dinner was served by Kate of Maucieri’s Catering and Chef Brian once again did a fabulous job of satisfying the hungry guests! They started with a House salad, Sicilian green beans, antipasto, a generous sampling of prosciutto ham, pepperoni, salami, capicolla, Italian cheeses, tomato relish and pepperoncini drizzled with Italian dressing. The entrees were the ultimate comfort food on a cold winter day with Jumbo Stuffed Shells filled with Maucieri’s handmade Italian sausage, fresh spinach and three cheeses, topped with gravy and baked to perfection.  Also, Chicken Parmesan which was lightly breaded then grilled chicken topped with provolone cheese and gravy and served over fettuccine. Thank you Maucieri’s for a fabulous dinner!

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The celebration continued with toasts of good luck to the couple and the guests danced the night away! For those with a sweet tooth, many choices were available at the Dessert Bar. Kate of Maucieri’s later treated the guests to a late night snack of Maucieri’s hand made pizzas in Pine Peaks’ very own Mugnaini oven.

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The couple met while going to North Central University through mutual friends. Nine months later, Andrew went down on one knee at his parent’s house with family and friends surrounding them and asked Stephanie to marry him. SHE SAID YES!!! The newlyweds reside in Minneapolis and the rest of the story is to be continued…

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We, at Pine Peaks, truly wish Stephanie and Andrew the best of luck and love in their journey together as husband and wife. We hope the genuine sparkle that they shared on their beautiful wedding day remains forever. We thank them for choosing Pine Peaks!

- Dave and Julie Peterson

See the rest of their Facebook Wedding Photo Album here.



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Mestad’s Bridal & Formal Wear

Posted on by davepeterson

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Last Summer, Mestad’s Bridal & Formal Wear provided and delivered tuxedos at a wedding held at Pine Peaks. Their services were so extraordinary that we have asked them to be a preferred vendor for us, and they agreed! Mestad’s is our one and only vendor in the tuxedo rental category.

Mestad’s is located in St. Cloud, Edina, and Rochester, MN. They offer dozens of tuxedos in both classic and trendy styles as well as hundreds of different vest and tie combinations. You can create the perfect look for whatever event you’re dressing up for! Let’s not forget about the huge variety of wedding and bridesmaid dresses too. They carry gowns in sizes 2-28 and have a wide range of prices points that will go over well with all sorts of brides.

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What does their delivery service have to offer you may ask? Mestad’s has a van that will deliver the tuxedos to Pine Peaks either before or after the rehearsal dinner. The delivery vans are fully equipped with sewing machines and extras of everything just in case. The guys will then try on their tuxedos and make any alterations and adjustments right on the spot. Tuxedo delivery services cost $14 per tux. Mestad’s is willing to offer our grooms and groomsmen delivery for only $10 per tux!

We are so fortunate to have Mestad’s as our preferred vendor. With their generosity, kindness, and efficient services, we believe that Mestad’s will help our married couples have a beautiful and stress-free wedding.

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- Dave and Julie Peterson


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Danae and Catlan’s Wedding – December 20th, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Danae and Catlan met through Catlan’s sister Carley. Danae and Carley had been friends for a couple of years before he requested her phone number. Luckily, she shared Danae’s number! They dated for about eight years before he popped the question. They were on their annual sweetheart snowmobile trail ride last February 22nd when they stopped along the trail and Catlan got down on one knee and asked if she would marry him. SHE SAID YES!! 2014-12-20 03.44.33 Danae and Catlan live in the middle of North Dakota and wanted a destination wedding within driving distance so many of their family and friends could witness their vows. They chose Pine Peaks as it had everything they needed right on the property and loved that no other events would interrupt their day. They filled the Retreat House with family and friends for the whole wedding weekend! Many came early to decorate on Thursday. A light layer of snow covered the country estate making the space magical. They loved that Pine Peaks had so many decorations to choose from to transform the Event Center into the wedding of Danae’s dreams with an elegant and classic décor. 2014-12-19 21.28.37 The bride went with black chair covers and linens covered with maroon organza table covers and champagne bows. The guests of honor at the head table had sparkly chair ties and gold chargers which added an elegant touch! Various combinations of decorations were used throughout, which added a festive bling. Dave made ice candles to add sparkle outside on the walk way. They completed decorating on Friday and then held the rehearsal in the Pavilion. The Groom’s Dinner was held at Zorbaz Restaurant in Cross Lake. 2014-12-20 02.25.31 Saturday arrived and it was THEIR day! Catlan had requested that he not see his beautiful bride the day of the wedding until she was walking down the aisle. Danae stated that he had so few requests for their day and she couldn’t say no. (He was a very romantic groom) 2014-12-19 22.48.37   The wedding party got ready in the Retreat House in separate quarters. The Master Suite with its own salon was the hangout for the Bride and her entourage. The guys were allowed the use of the rest of the house with the lower level being their main domain to get ready. 2014-12-19 22.09.40 The bride was radiant in her strapless gown adorned with sparkling jewels that matched the twinkle in her eyes. Her laughter was contagious as she shared the day with her mom and bridal party who wore stunning cranberry red satin dresses. Their unique bouquets were an arrangement of Christmas bulbs! 2014-12-20 01.30.39 It was 4:30 and it was time for the Groom to see his Bride! Danae wore the orange sandals she had worn to prom with Catlan years before as she was escorted by her father from the Retreat House and down the aisle. An emotional  Groom waited as Danae made her way toward him. Loving vows were witnessed by all who had traveled to share their wedding day. A Unity Cross was assembled by the Bride and Groom as a symbol of two becoming one. They were introduced as Husband and Wife and they joyously walked hand and hand up the aisle ready for the rest of their lives! 2014-12-20 03.54.35 After the ceremony, a roaring fire awaited the guests in the fireside room and Toni Maucieri Sr. and Wes were ready at the bar. Kate of Maucieri’s Catering and her team went to great lengths to make sure all of the guests were taken care of for the entire evening. Rob the DJ introduced the wedding party and the new Mr. and Mrs. and the party began! 2014-12-20 04.25.16 A Pine Peak’s tradition, Dave introduced Maucieri’s team and announced the menu chosen by the couple. Chef Brian outdid himself with a Ceaser Salad, fresh bread, Antipasto, Asparagus, Chicken Parmesan which is lightly bread, then grilled chicken topped with provolone cheese and gravy and served over fettuccine. The guests also enjoyed Stuffed Shells of jumbo pasta shells stuffed with handmade Italian Sausage, fresh spinach and three cheeses, topped with gravy and baked to perfection! Fabulous!!! 2014-12-20 04.32.07 Reed’s Bakery created a beautiful sparkly two tiered cake for the newlyweds to cut and Maucieri’s cut the sheet cake for the guests who had a sweet tooth. S’mores where also provided for those who wanted the classic chocolate gooey treat! 2014-12-20 04.12.37 As a special late night snack, Kate baked fresh made pizzas in Pine Peak’s very own Mugnaini Wood Fired Oven. The guests danced the night away with Danae and Catlan. 2014-12-20 06.03.22 The Newlyweds plan a Honeymoon in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic followed by a long weekend snowmobiling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Danae is a Dental Hygienist and Catlan is a farmer. They share their happy home with their dog Gus and four cats! 2014-12-20 04.55.46 We, at Pine Peaks, were delighted to share this joyful wedding weekend with Danae and Catlan and their fun wedding guests! Their love for each other was contagious! We wish them the best of luck and love in their HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

See the rest of their Facebook Wedding Photo Album here.

- Dave and Julie Peterson

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Catrina and Tyler’s Wedding – November 22nd, 2014

Posted on by davepeterson

Catrina and Tyler met through mutual friends while attending college at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Catrina distinctly remembers meeting Tyler at a local bar and recalls him being loud, crazy and way too outgoing for her taste! Ha! They all started hanging out together quite regularly and Catrina realized that if she was going to run with this crowd, she was going to have to step out of her comfort zone and join in on their antics. So she joined them!

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Tyler was the leader of all possible ways to have fun and she found herself really enjoying how fun and spontaneous he was. It was hard for her to say no to dating him, so she finally said YES! They dated for a year and a half before he proposed.

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While Tyler and Catrina were dating, she spent her summers out in Yellowstone National Park working as a general ranger for the Park Service. The second summer she received a care package from Tyler with instructions to open one package a week for each week she was there. In each package was a love note with little things such as candy, a book to read, bug spray and a movie for them to watch on their Skype date night that they had once a week. This made the summer and their long distance much more tolerable!

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At the end of the season in September of 2013 Tyler flew out to Bozeman to keep her company on her trip back to Grand Forks, ND. They drove straight through from Bozeman to Grand Forks and decided to go out to dinner and have a date night that night. Catrina jumped into the shower and when she opened the door of the bathroom into the hallway the lights were out and there were rose petals, tea candles and all of the love notes that he had written for her that summer laid out down the hall and around the corner! Each letter of the first word in every love letter was circled. As you put them together it spelled out WILL YOU MARRY ME? She opened the door to the bedroom and along with dimmed lights and more candles, there was Tyler down on one knee with her ring in his hand!  He kept the proposal short and sweet telling Catrina he loved her more than anything and asked her again in person this time to marry him! SHE SAID YES!!

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Catrina and Tyler decided on a church ceremony in Hackensack, MN where Catrina is from. They wanted a new experience for their family and friends so they chose Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center for their wedding weekend. They loved that so many family and friends could stay right on the property and get ready for the wedding in the beautiful Retreat House.

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They arrived early and put together a unique combination of decorations which made the space their own. Dave had freshly cut pine for their centerpieces which were topped with Ball Jars, candles and baby’s breath and pink flowers. Tyler and Catrina had made and designed a cake and cupcake display that was spectacular! (They kindly left that for other couples to enjoy! Thanks guys!)

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On Friday, after the rehearsal at the Catholic Church in Hackensack, Catrina and Tyler hosted the Groom’s Dinner in Pine Peaks’ Pavilion and utilized the prep kitchen and buffet room to put together a feast! A great time was had by all!

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It was finally Saturday and it was time for the WEDDING! It was a crisp November day with a crystal blue sky and the grounds were sprinkled with white snow. The bridal party of eighteen enjoyed getting ready at the Retreat House and many fabulous pictures were taken to create forever memories of this beautiful day.

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The 2:00 ceremony was held at the Catholic Church, they said “I DO!!!” and THE PARTY BEGAN!  Light snacks were there along with Wes at Maucieri’s Bar to greet the guests at Pine Peaks Event Center. The roaring fire and beautiful rustic décor made everyone feel welcome! The couple LOVES to travel and had guests sign a globe with well wishes in lieu of a guest book!

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Kate of Maucieri’s and her team did a fabulous job taking care of the guests. Chef Brian prepared the Couple’s Choice of Caesar Salad, fresh bread, Ratatouille, Bacon Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes, Slow roasted Beef with Mushroom Demi-Glace’ Sauce, and slow roasted Rainbow Trout Oscar, pan fried, with onions, mushroom, bacon hollandaise and corn meal breading! OMG! Great job Chef Brian!!! Kate later made her specialty fresh baked pizzas in Pine Peaks very own Mugnaini Wood Fired Oven!

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The Newlyweds just returned from their honeymoon. They went to Couples Tower Isle in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. They made friends with other guests and enjoyed many great dinners, climbed up to the top of the Duns River Falls, swam with dolphins, and went horseback riding! What a memorable honeymoon!

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Catrina and Tyler reside in Grand Forks, ND and would love to move to Arizona in the future. We, at Pine Peaks, truly wish this delightful, adventurous couple the best of luck and love! May you always enjoy life’s surprises and enjoy fabulous travels together! Enjoy the ride!

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Julie (Nyland) found out at the end of the evening that many of the guests were from her home town area of Stephen, MN! We know these guests knew how to have a great time and celebrated well into the night! A special thank you to all of your Northerners who ventured south to have a great time!

See the rest of their Facebook Wedding Photo Album here.



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