We're Elevate

What started as a side hustle for two creative, driven sisters has now become one of the Midwest’s premier event planning and design firms. At Elevate, we find pure, unbridled joy in celebrating all aspects of life - big moments, small gatherings and anything in between.

Why Midwest Really Can be Best: Inspiration from the Heartland

We’ll start by addressing the elephant in the room… pretty much our entire team is born and raised Midwestern – so of course we recognize our biases when it comes to loving this place! But it is also true that, when it comes to event and wedding planning, the Midwest often remains an underrated gem. We get it – Californian sunsets and golden hours are pretty tough to beat, the charm and history of the South offers rich, beautiful backdrops, and the shimmer of the big cities offer quite a draw of their own.

But from the clean, freshwater lakes to the cool and cozy evenings, our very own heartland can also offer a plethora of reasons to celebrate the beauty and charm of this region. In addition to being a little kinder on your pocketbook than coastal or big city weddings, we wanted to dive into a few reasons why we absolutely adore planning events here, and how the Midwest can truly be a dream destination for you and your loved ones!

Location & Environment: Where Serenity Meets Beauty

Our Great Lakes region is graced with an abundance of natural beauty, and one of the crown jewels is the clean, freshwater lakes that dot the landscape. These shimmering bodies of water offer a serene and picturesque backdrop for any special occasion. There’s a reason why lakeside ceremonies and receptions are such a dream to produce (particularly when the sun starts setting over the water). Our beautiful lakes effortlessly combine serenity with natural beauty, providing a tranquil backdrop just waiting to be dressed up and celebrated.

Embracing the Water: “Diving” into the Celebration

Whether you’re planning a multi-day wedding weekend, corporate retreat, or a simple family reunion, our lakes provide an enchanting backdrop that’s hard to match. Planning a lakeside event opens up so many door to unique themes and opportunities. If the occasion is casual enough, we fully support incorporating a fun twist by allowing your guests to take a dip! You provide thematic floaties and striped towels, cold drinks and delicious food, and as long as they bring their suit – they get to enjoy a refreshing swim during the celebrations! It’s a fantastic way to lean into our beautiful lakes and make lots of lasting memories. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a cruiser or wood-bottom boat – that, too, is a no brainer in our opinion – and allows everyone to stay a little bit drier!

Fashion: Embrace the Midwest Elegance

If you’ve been following us for any amount of time, you’ll know that fashion plays an important role in any event we plan. In our region, thankfully, you and your loved ones have the opportunity to embrace a unique blend of casual elegance! We fully support comfortable yet fashion-forward attire that complements the laid-back charm we’re known for. For lakeside celebrations, we’ll always adore flowing, patterned, highly textural dresses for the ladies, and smart-casual outfits for the gentlemen – think creative sport coats and chinos (ties optional). Floral and woven accents, stylish accessories, and impeccable hair and makeup are the perfect enhancements to your soiree.

Table Design: Rustic Elegance at its Finest

When it comes to table design, we consider our surroundings a gorgeous canvas, ready to be painted with our clients’ biggest dreams and desires. From “wild yet casual charm” to “quirky playfulness in the woods,” even down to “rustic elegance” at its most wholesome. (And let us just get on our little soapbox here for a moment to say that “rustic” gets a bad rap – we firmly believe that our environment absolutely lends itself to a “rustic” mentality – it doesn’t have to imply wooden barns and mason jars!).

Current table designs we’re loving: wooden communal tables adorned with meandering wildflower centerpieces, cozy-casual linens infusing a statement stripe or check, woven chargers and cut glass, and always, always those natural, inviting hues and elements.

Drinks: Sip on Truly Midwestern Flavors

For these special celebrations, options to customize are virtually endless. From lakeside ceremonies to beachside bonfires, the Midwest truly allows us to get creative and design an event that truly reflects your personality and vision. You can opt for elegant lakeside pavilions, vintage boathouse receptions, or, of course, tented affairs with waterfront views. And let’s not forget to celebrate our region’s flavors! We adore crafting a signature cocktail menu inspired by local ingredients. Think creative old fashioneds, cherry-infused cocktails, apple cider mimosas, or beer flights featuring local brews. Like pretty much everything surrounding a highly curated event, your beverage choices can pay homage to our region’s bountiful harvest and add such a personal touch to your celebration.

Details, Details: Crafting an Unforgettable Event

As you know, we believe that it is truly the little details that make your event special, unique and memorable. Given the chance, we would customize everything from drink stirrers to tote bags; creative programs to bar signs, but we also can appreciate that every event has a budget to consider! Whether you focus on (or ask your planner to produce) only a few or all of the details, we believe it is an important component to all unforgettable events.

For a more traditional touch, consider personalized lake-inspired favors like custom card decks, personalized mini paddles or engraved coasters. When it comes to paper goods, lean into the environment and incorporate lakeside illustrations, watercolors, or whimsical fonts reflective of our cozy Midwestern lifestyle. And when it comes to some unforgettable installations, consider a fish boil, bonfire, grazing table or s’mores station to keep the cozy atmosphere alive.

While we enjoy planning anywhere and everywhere, planning events in our heartland is a truly delightful experience, filled with natural beauty, charming themes, and endless customization possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to the clean, freshwater lakes, the cool and cozy evenings, or the opportunity to create a completely customized and unforgettable celebration, the Midwest really has something wonderful to offer.

All photos in this blog post were found on Pinterest.