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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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.

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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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