You’re engaged! Congrats! Now what?


Your wedding day is something you’ve been looking forward to since you were a little girl. And even though the groom probably hasn’t done the same, it’s still a very special day for him, too. For 25 years, we’ve been here to help the happy couple have the kind of day they won’t soon forget.

It starts with the dream, proposal, and of course, the beautiful ring. But what’s next? To help you out, here are two websites you can visit. Each one has a special checklist that will aid you in planning your special day. They’ve both been great partners for us for years and I think they’ll be just as great for you.

The Knot  has a “Planning 101” list that covers everything from wedding flowers to reception songs. I would start at the planning basics and budgeting sections, and go from there. (Just a little side note, my wife and I used their list in 1988 when we got married from the massive magazine she carried everywhere!) It might be a little shocking when you first start looking at all the costs involved, but fret not; that’s why we are here to help you.

The WeddingWire has an area called “Planning Tools.” The checklist is great and helps keep you on schedule. Additionally, it has a pretty incredible seating chart program, budget and a tracking list for your guests. This guest list helps with things like notifications, RSVPs, meals and gifts. Keeping meals and special requests straight isn’t easy, but this guest tracking list avoids those issues.

Hopefully these links will help you plan your special day. And remember, we are here to help make your wedding unforgettable and create a memory that will last forever.

And now it’s time for some delicious white raspberry cake.

Happy planning!

Come Enjoy The Chef Experience


Love gourmet food?

Love a night out with friends?

Love learning more about cooking?

Yes, yes and yes? Well you’re in luck, because you’re really going to love The Chef Experience. Our brand new tasting club is like nothing you’ve been a part of. Small plates, great conversations and plenty of tips and tricks from the chefs who cooked your dishes.

Speaking of those small plates, you’re going to absolutely devour them. Prepared by our award-winning chefs, each small plate will tantalize a different tastebud on the way toward a one-of-a-kind gourmet meal. And since I’ve been lucky enough to taste most of the deliciousness that comes out of our kitchen, I can unequivocally say that the small plates you’ll enjoy will be nothing short of amazing.

But The Chef Experience event is more than just tasty small plates. It’s a fun night out with friends and family, where the conversation will be anything but small. Not only will you surely be discussing the lamb meatball, roasted carrots, lemon mousse or any of the mouth-watering flavors that make their way to your table, but also the chefs who cooked the food will be on hand to answer questions. That’s right, you can ask about the dish, a technique or any tips the chefs have for, say, making your own ricotta.

Simply put, The Chef Experience is an interactive, gourmet tasting event where you’ll walk away full of delicious food in your belly and a host of new knowledge in your head. It’s something you’ll need to experience for yourself.

The Chef Experience events will occur quarterly, with the first event happening on June 17th. Tickets are available by calling us at 763-569-6300. Click here to learn more about The Chef Experience or by emailing us at

Oh, would you look at the time. Almost late for my official taste test!

Tips for making your perfect day a little more perfect


Planning a wedding can be stressful, but not every part of it needs to be.

Something you can do to create lifelong memories is to make a list of fun activities you can do before and after your special day. This list is just to get you started. There’s a lot more you can do!

  • Before you head out on to the dance floor for the first time as a married couple, take dance lessons and really show off your stuff.
  • Create a signature drink with a group of friends or as a couple. Make sure it’s something that really says something unique about your relationship.
  • Dream up a post-wedding bucket list. And not the honeymoon, either. These should be things that you can check off as you spend the rest of your life together.
  • Take your personal attendant to a spa day. She is going to be helping you on your day so treat her to something special as well.
  • Have a game night with the friends that make you laugh and forget all about the stress that comes with the lead up to your big day.

The planning of your wedding day will be filled with many emotions and details. Take some time to have fun, laugh and talk about your new life together. Just enjoy the ride!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s some wedding cake I need to go and sample now. Until next time!

Earle Brown’s 25th Anniversary

Earle Brown Heritage Center started hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions shortly after we opened, in the summer of 1990. Fast forward twenty five years and it’s striking just how much things have changed. And before this year’s weddings are in full swing, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of our successes over the past year.badgesm_148x150

In addition to hosting hundreds of weddings and receptions that are all amazing in their own right, we’re especially proud of the WeddingWire Couples Choice Award we received. This prestigious award is given to only the top 5% of wedding professionals nationwide by the couples who rated Earle Brown Heritage Center following their wedding.

Another award we’re very proud of is The Knot’s Best Of Weddings. It’s an award that’s given to just the top 2% of wedding professionals nationwide. And, like the WeddingWire award, this is also based on couples who had their ceremonies and/or receptions at Earle Brown and rated us following their experience.

These awards are very important to us as they represent industry success but, more importantly, they mean a successful evening for you; our couples and their families. This is a day that’s so very special for you. And by choosing a facility that has stood the test of time, delivered extraordinary food and provided outstanding service, your special day becomes our special day as well. Because creating memories for our couples that will be with them for all their years is the greatest award we can receive.

For ideas and inspiration for your wedding or event, check out our Pinterest page.

Until next time! (There is a piece of chocolate cake with raspberry filling waiting for me.)


Timing is everything

Having your meeting start on time, end on time and have everything else simply happen on time is paramount. Here are some things I’ve learned over the past 25 years at Earle Brown to help you execute a punctual and effective meeting.

The first area dealing with timing is on the contract of the facility you are securing. You might not always know how much move-in time you need, but if you can explain to the salesperson what your needs are before your registration opens, they can help you figure out. If you hire an audiovisual company and they need to set up sound, projectors or screens, it can take a couple of hours. If the facility is providing those services for your meeting they should be set before you arrive. On the contract there will be a line for move-in time, event time and move-out time.

Closer to your event, the banquet event order should be completed that will list all the details thereof. You should take another look that the listed move-in time, registration time, event time, food service, event end time and move-out times are listed in this document. Now, depending on the building size, the staff will be scheduled for enough time to open doors, turn on lights, check temperatures and the room sets before anyone arrives.

Here are some other items to consider with timing: if the main contact listed on the event order will be in later than vendors or sponsors, make sure someone else is there to greet them from your staff other than the facility staff. Otherwise they might not spend their money with your organization next time. (I can share many stories of unhappy sponsors deciding to pull their dollars from shows all because of move-in issues.)

Another item to consider is the savings you will get by not going over your contracted time with either early move-in times or late move-out times. Each facility has different policies for extra time outside of your contract. Lastly, a possible money saver is to take only the time you need for your event. If a facility can book another group before or following your meeting, the price for the space will go up or down.

I know these items will help make your next event a success, and if you have any questions or comments please reach out. Or, if you have a story to share from your event on timing I’d love to read it!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and tend to the chocolate angel food cake with berries.

Bruce Ballanger, General Manager, Earle Brown Heritage Center

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Welcome to Earle Brown Heritage Center’s new blog, “Eventisms!” This year, being our 25th Anniversary, we thought it was time to share our wisdom and expertise on events—something we refer to as Eventisms.

We are going to talk about corporate events, meetings, tradeshows, weddings and ceremonies. We’ll share stories of events past, upcoming trends in the industry and even discuss behind the scene nightmares we have been witness too. Any topic we find helpful for the event business, we hope to share with you, our friend, colleagues and planners.

As General Manager of the Earle Brown Heritage Center, I have been employed here for 26 years. And, wow! Have we come a long way in those years! The experience of opening a new building without staff, equipment and tools was quite challenging, to say the least. Our chalkboard reservation system has been replaced by state-of-the-art computers. Meeting Planners were few, and the wedding planner was always someone from your local church who volunteered to help. Today, industry trends come and go faster then I rotate my tie.

I have spent many years wondering WHY I am still here. I’ve experienced countless sleepless nights, frantically working around the clock to kick off an event, totally exhausted by every detail in my head. Only to run home, catch four hours of sleep and do it all over again. WHY am I in this business? Well, I can’t imagine doing anything else that is so much fun and so rewarding. The industry changes its focus often and you have to be ready to hop on board and get ready for the ride.

“Eventisms” will mainly be written by myself and, from time to time, others on our staff. Our hope is that you can learn something from these posts that will help you with your event. Please feel free to share your comments or thoughts about any post. If there is anything you would like us to cover in this blog, let us know. We hope you are ready to hop on board with us as we journey together through tips of the trade you can apply to your next meeting, wedding or show.

Please excuse me, I have to go now; there is a passion fruit tart calling me.

I LOVE this business.