12 Wedding Planning


12 Wedding Planning

Congratulations to those of you that recently got engaged over the holiday season! You are probably still in shock and wedding planning may seem overwhelming. Stay calm, we are here to help! Here is a 12-month wedding plan guide:


12 months before – Time to get planning

  • Decide your theme and overall vision for your wedding
  • Pick your wedding date
  • Create your guest list
  • Book ceremony and reception site
  • Book your caterer (tip: find a venue that has onsite catering, it’s one less thing you have to worry about booking!)
  • Find a meaningful way to pick your bridesmaids

8 to 10 months before – Get Organized

  • Research, shop for, and order your wedding dress (Tip: create a collage of wedding dresses you like. It will help you feel less overwhelmed when you are in a sea of white dresses)
  • Find a photographer and videographer that fits your wedding style
  • Purchase a wedding insurance policy to protect your deposits
  • Reserve hotel accommodations for out of two guests
  • Create your gift registries at all of your favorite retail stores

6 to 8 months before – Round up your maids

  • Pick out and order bridesmaids dresses (tip: Don’t let your bridesmaids take over the bridesmaids dresses appointment, it’s your day and you get to choose the dress!)
  • Start planning your honeymoon (look up deals on flights and hotels)
  • Contact rental companies about chairs, tables, tents, dance floor, linens, etc. (tip: Find a venue that has these items, it saves time and is less of a hassle!)
  • Send out your save the date cards

4 to 6 months before – Here comes the sparkle

  • Choose your invitation design or make invitations yourself and get them ordered.
  • Pick out your wedding rings (Tip: if you buy them together, you may get a better deal).

3 months before – Here comes the fun

  • Order your wedding cake
  • Have a bridal shower
  • Have the groom and groomens rent the men’s formal wear
  • Hire wedding day transportation (limousines, town cars, etc.)
  • Mail invitations

2 months before – Get your bridal style

  • Design, purchase and print wedding programs
  • Book your hairstylist and decide on a hairstyle
  • Book a make-up artist and test some romantic looks

1 month – It’s crunch time

  • Apply for a marriage license.
  • Have a final gown fitting (tip: bring your maid of honor along to learn how to bustle your dress)
  • Make sure the bridesmaids have their gowns ready for the wedding
  • Contact vendors and confirm that everything is on schedule
  • Purchase gifts for your parents, bridal party and each other

2 weeks – Down to the details

  • Finalized the RSVPs and call guest who have not yet to send a response
  • Determine poses for portraits and send a list of shots to the photographer and videographer
  • Plan your reception-seating chart
  • Get final pre-wedding haircuts and colors

1 week – Make a list and check it twice

  • confirm final details with all vendors
  • Confirm pickup times and locations with car rental or other transportation company

The day before – Time to relax

  • Write and pay off all balances with vendors
  • Rehearsal ceremony and rehearsal dinner
  • Give your marriage license to your officiant

The big day

  • Give wedding bands to the best man and maid of honor to hold for the ceremony
  • Introduce the reception site manager to the maid of honor for questions or problems
  • Present gifts to your parents
  • Get married!

No matter what stage of your wedding planning you are at our wedding planners at Black Bear Crossings Café and Banquet Center are here to assist you!


Radiant Orchid Wedding Ideas


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Every year the color experts at Pantone embark on a journey to select one color as “the color” for the upcoming year. The 2014 color of the year has been announced. It is a color that evokes creativity and innovation, and can be described as charming and magical. This year’s color is: Radiant Orchid.


The color has already made its way onto the catwalks of top fashion designers and is certain to be trending—especially as spring approaches. We think those who are planning a 2014 wedding have lucked out when it comes to incorporating this year’s amazing color into your wedding palette.

Radiant Orchid is a highly versatile color making it wedding plan friendly. From how to wear it to how to pair it, here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate this beautiful purple hue into your big day.

How to wear it: The best thing about Radiant Orchid is how user-friendly it is. Picking a color that looks good on your entire wedding party can often be a challenge, but Radiant Orchid puts the bickering to rest. As the name suggests, rosy undertones radiate on the skin producing a healthy glow. And with its combination of warm and cool undertones, it flatters an array of hair, eye, and skin tones.


The Bride: The best way to incorporate Radiant Orchid into your look is with accessories. If you’re planning to wear a sash with your wedding dress, try something in the purple family. Jewelry, shoes, or a hairpiece are other great ways to wear Radiant Orchid. To really embrace Radiant Orchid into your wedding look, have it be the color of your bridal bouquet!  A variety of flowers come in radiant orchid, so the possibilies are endless! If you are feeling extra creative, design your bouquet out of Radiant Orchid jeweled brooches.


The Bridesmaids: Here is where you can have some fun. Ombre bridesmaid dresses can be a beautiful way to change things up from the traditional monochromatic dresses. With the plethora of undertones Radiant Orchid provides, the color lends itself perfectly to the ombre look.


The Groom and Groomsmen: One of our favorite ways to tie—pun intended—Radiant Orchid into the groom’s look is by paring a purple hued tie with the boutonniere. We love this look with a gray tuxedo, but also looks great with white, black and even more neutral colors like taupe.


Décor: Add a pop of color to your wedding décor with Radiant Orchid! Have your napkins, table runner, centerpieces, or up-lighting be Radiant Orchid. Once you have decided where to include Radiant Orchid in your wedding décor, the next step is to pair it with an accent color.


How to pair it: Radiant Orchid pairs beautifully with a variety of colors. Whether they are in the same color family or come from across the color wheel, Radiant Orchid is truly versatile.

·      Same color family: think shades of purple and pink.

·      Red: for a more seductive feel add red

·      Turquoise: for a fun, fresh pop of color.

·      Green: gives a lively organic feel, perfect for an outdoor wedding.


From table settings to desserts, Radiant Orchid can be incorporated to any extent. Here are some ideas for how to use the color throughout your wedding décor.

So, will Radiant Orchid be a part of your big day? Whether or not the color of the year is part of your wedding day vision, the professionals at Black Bear Crossings have the knowledge and experience to help make your dream wedding come to life. We invite you to visit our website, or contact Shannon at 651.488.4920 for further information.

Long Wedding Table Décor Ideas



Using long banquet tables in addition to traditional round tables is a great way to add visual impact to your weddings’ reception room. There are many different ways you can decorate your long elegant rectangular tables. Here are some of our favorites:

Flower arrangements with varying heights

One way to decorate a long table is to have flower arrangements that vary in height. The best way to achieve this look is to have the taller flowered centerpieces be the focal point of the table. Between each focal point is where you place the smaller flowered centerpieces. The key to mixing two centerpieces together is to make sure each centerpiece shares one element. The element could be color, flower, or pattern of the vase. It’s important to not have two centerpieces that look too similar. This will make it look like it is a mistake. A good rule of thumb is you want them to look like they are in the same family but not like twins.


If flowers aren’t your thing

If you are more into candles or feathers the same principles can be applied as above. You can have tall candles in candleholders, tall feather centerpieces, or tree branches as your arrangement focal point.


Use flower centerpieces to act as a table runner

To execute this, choose one simple flower centerpiece design and place each centerpiece right next to each other. To make this table décor less flat, add a few tall centerpieces in the mix.


Decorative table runner

Choosing a decorative table runner is another way you can add interest to your long banquet table. When choosing a pattern, there are three things you must keep in mind: pattern size, color and width of the table runner. It’s important that the table runner you choose has a big pattern. Choosing a small pattern on a long table can often times make the table look too busy.  Choose contrasting tints. Make sure the color you choose for the table runner won’t blend in too much with your centerpieces.


At Black Bear Crossings Café and Banquet Center we have experienced wedding planners that can help you choose your wedding décor. If you have any questions contact Shannon Lovejoy at 651. 488. 4920.

Give Your “Sweetie” Something Sweet


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Valentine’s Day is only a couple weeks away! What better way to rekindle your love then by sneaking away from work to enjoy a beautiful day at Como Park. You and your loved one can walk around the Como Zoo Conservatory and then grab a bite to eat at Black Bear Crossings Café.


To celebrate the season of love we have a sweet Valentine’s Day special for you! Our special includes a piece of decadent chocolate cake and a glass of smooth Merlot. After you have wined and dined with your honey, give them that one-of-a-kind gift they were hoping for!

Not sure what to one-of-a-kind gift you should give? At Black Bear Crossings Café and Banquet Center, we sell beautiful hand made Native American jewelry and crafts.

Jewelry: Your sweetie will adore our Native American jewelry! Whether you pick out a beautiful bracelet or pair of earrings each piece of piece of jewelry is inspired by Native American culture and style.


Porcupine Quillwork: If your honey is someone who loves intricate details, they will love Quillwork. It involves softening and dying stiff porcupine quills and weaving them onto leather or birch bark.


Moccasins: This warm and comfortable gift will be most appreciated with the cold weather we have had! A sturdy slipper-shaped shoe that is traditionally made out of tanned leather. Not only are moccasins still being made and worn in many Indian tribes, but they have also become popular in modern American style.


Vases: We have a variety of vases with beautiful hand painted designs. These are great to freshen up a home’s décor and is a perfect gift to share!


Whether you have been in a relationship for one day or 50 years, celebrate Valentine’s Day with passion, love, and show appreciation for each other!

Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clues




The St. Paul Winter Carnival is here to brighten up the cold winter days! Enjoy food, snow art, entertainment and so much more. Along with the Winter Carnival is the search for the Pioneer Press medallion! Click here for the official rules.

“If you find the Pioneer Press medallion, PROMPTLY return it to the Pioneer Press, 345 Cedar St., St. Paul, to qualify for the $2,500 initial cash prize. Win an additional $2,500 for bringing in all of the published daily clues, clipped or copied from the Pioneer Press or printed from TwinCities.com, and providing them along with the found medallion.”

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 1

POSTED:   01/18/2014 05:29:00 AM CST

Boreas roared and blew winds from the North —

A Polar Vortex then snow he brought forth.

So hunters take heed — bundle up in warm dress

While awaiting your clue from the Pioneer Press.

Winter Carnival treasure is part of our genes,

Search out a new puck and pocket some green.

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 2

POSTED:   01/19/2014 11:29:00 PM CST

The treasure’s in Ramsey; public land, search it all —

Suburbs and neighborhoods and throughout St. Paul. Don’t dig up the ground. Thin ice — stay away!

Courses for golf are all out of play.

You won’t find the puck by a private home —

Across private land is no place to roam.

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 3

POSTED:   01/20/2014 11:24:00 PM CST
Down by old sandy

You’ll find this quite handy:

After giving them fits

He was mired in the pits

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 4

POSTED:   01/21/2014 11:25:00 PM CST

Rainbows lead you to the puck.

Thinking it over will bring you luck.

Is it far away or where you’ve been?

If fooled, just begin again.

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 5

POSTED:   01/22/2014 11:25:36 PM CST

Moving from star to star,

Beckoning to you from afar

From the splendid mansion’s door

A vision causing soul to soar.

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 6: Scrambled

denying rail will more some no some

once deplore the was which what cheer

historic there’s is some beam once will

euphoric site’s but new old and some

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt Clue 7

“No time for cold feet” is the Boreas creed,

But if warmer weather is what you should need,

Riddle this clue and don’t get it wrong —

Vulcans’ vision is summer all year long.

2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt clue 8

Far from the pitches

In long hair and britches

He stood through the storm

And to joy he gave form

Though a bust on TV

Deep thoughts has he

Turn his head just a ways

At the treasure he’d gaze.


2014 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt clue 9

Tech has changed this annual gig

And your next login could hit it big.

Remembrance for those who died below,

Points to the puck submerged in the snow.

Winter weddings Are Absolutely Stunning



Winter weddings are absolutely stunning!

At Black Bear Crossings Café and Banquet Center you get a magical “Snow Globe” view of beautiful Como Park blanketed in snow.  We have put a list together of some of our favorite winter wedding ideas:

Color Scheme

Winter weddings can be any color scheme you choose.  We especially like dark jewel tones and metallic colors for winter rather than bright vibrant colors. We recommend choosing one main color (most often a jewel tone), a neutral, and a metallic. Some of our favorite winter weddings color schemes include: Burgundy, Cream and Gold; Silver, Navy and Cream; Icy Blue, Silver, and White; and Emerald Green, Gold, and Brown.






Wedding Dress

Winter wedding dresses often have stunning lace sleeves. Don’t want to commit to sleeves? Another popular option is wearing a bolero jacket. These dresses are usually filled with sparkle and beading to resemble snow. Winter wedding dresses are often the most dramatic. Add drama to your gown by choosing a long train, some extra sparkle, a long cathedral style veil, a ruffled skirt, or a dress with multiple pick-ups.




To add to the drama your bridesmaids’ dresses should be in the primary color of your color scheme (not an accent color). For example in a burgundy, cream and gold color scheme the bridesmaids would wear burgundy with gold and cream accessories. This allows your whole wedding to look more cohesive.


Traditionally the bride and her maids carry a flower bouquet down the aisle, but if you really want to embrace the winter wedding theme consider something a little different! This could be anything from pinecones, berries, bells, branches, Christmas ornaments, or a fur muff instead of flowers!

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 11.52.44 AM


We have two favorite winter wedding centerpieces; the lantern and snowflake sparkle. If you are more into the nature & rustic look we recommend the lantern centerpiece paired with pine tree branches, pinecones and roses! If you’re more glitz and glam, we recommend going with a centerpiece like the snowflake sparkle. This centerpiece has snow lit tree branches with white roses, white candles and of course sparkles.  




Winter wedding cakes are often white with sparkly snowflakes and white flowers; decorated red and blue berries; or metallic with jeweled snowflake edible decals.


Hot Chocolate Bar

Keep guests of all ages happy and warm with a hot chocolate bar! Have marshmallows, caramel, peppermints and whip cream a on the station! To personalize your hot chocolate bar, order or make customized hot coco sleeves with you and your significant other’s name or initials. This will not only make sure your guests don’t burn themselves, but they can also be a fun keepsake.


Whether you decide to have a winter, spring, summer or fall wedding, Black Bear Crossings is here to help you make your wedding day special. If you would like to have a tour of our banquet room and meet our wedding planners please call Shannon at 651. 488. 4920.

Warm Up with Moccasins


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Traditional Native American clothing varied widely from tribe to tribe, but one nearly universal element was the moccasin, a sturdy slipper-shaped type of shoe sewn from tanned leather. The word “moccasin” comes from an Algonquian word (also spelled mocasin, mocassin, moccassin, or mocussin, depending on the language and transcriber), but that is only because Algonquians were the first Indians encountered by Europeans–they were used as footwear from Sonora to Saskatchewan, and though “moccasins” may be understood and accepted by all of them at this point, most Indian tribes have their own native word for them. Moccasins were originally made of soft leather stitched together with sinew. Though the basic construction of Native American moccasins was similar throughout North America, moccasin patterns were subtly different in nearly every tribe, and Indian people could often tell each other’s tribal affiliation simply from the design of their shoes. Native American moccasin design has stood the test of time; not only are moccasins still being made and worn in many Indian tribes today, but they have also passed into the American mainstream, and both hard-soled moccasin shoes and soft-soled moccasin slippers are mass-produced by hundreds of non-native shoe stores now.

2014- The Year of The Great Gatsby Themed Wedding



2013 was all about the Rustic Chic trend. Say good-bye to the cowboy boots and distressed décor because 2014’s popular theme looks to be all about the fun and glamour reminiscent in The Great Gatsby. Here are six elements every Gatsby themed wedding should have.

Color Scheme

The most common color scheme of a Great Gatsby wedding is gold, black, and cream. But don’t be afraid to ad pops of color. We suggest light blue, pink or mint green as your accent colors. If you want to have a more romantic color scheme add pops of red in your wedding décor.


Wedding Dress

Great Gatsby inspired wedding dresses are filled with jewels and beads. Many 1920’s glamour dresses have gold and sliver accents. Great Gatsby wedding dresses are sheath cut but if you want to modernize your Great Gatsby wedding look find a dress with all the glamour but in a fit in flair style. Finish your wedding ensemble with a jeweled & feathered headpiece!



Have your bridesmaids embraces the 1920’s flappers style; short dresses with a drop waist with long pearl necklaces. Be careful not to get too retro with your bridesmaids, you don’t want them to look like they are wearing a costume! To avoid this, have their headpiece be a simple barrette with a few small feathers and jewels (not a whole headband like flappers wore).



This is where you can really have fun! Centerpieces are usually tall with white feathers and roses being the main focal point. Jewels hang from the tall gold or sliver vase that the flowers and feathers are in. These glamour centerpieces are easier to DIY than they look!



Great Gatsby themed wedding cakes are usually cream with gold shimmer. Instead of traditional flowers, Gatsby themed cakes have art deco shapes.


Candle Light Receptions

A candle light reception is one of the most popular trends of 2014 and it fits into the Great Gatsby theme perfectly! Candle light receptions bring a glamorous and sophisticated atmosphere to a wedding. Black Bear Crossings’ candlelit package includes ceiling draping with twinkle lights and twinkle lights behind the skirts of the head table and a beautiful floral centerpiece with votive candles.


Whether you decide to go with the Great Gatsby theme or not, our wedding planners at Black Bear Crossings are here to help you every step of the way. If you would like to get a tour of our venue, please contact Shannon at 651.488.4920. We would love to show you our simple & elegant venue that has a beautiful view of Como Park, all year round!

Click here to view our wedding services.

December Native American Crafts



Black Bear Crossings offers a wide range of unique and one of a
kind Native Made arts & crafts for sale; dream catchers, birch bark
baskets, moccasins, hand-harvested wild rice, zuni fetish carvings,
hopi kachinas, porcupine quill jewelry, intricate beadwork, wedding
vases, a variety of jewelry, and more.


When looking for something special, please think of Black Bear
Crossings this holiday season. When you purchase $100 or more
of arts & crafts, you will receive $10 in Bear Bucks to spend in our

This Is Why We Love What We Do!

Dear Pam and David,

I am still coming down from the beautiful reception held in my daughter and her now husband’s honor Saturday November 9.

From the beginning Kathy and Shannon were the epitome of professionalism and fun. My daughter attended the open house for vendors at Black Bear several months ago and was impressed from the start. We used many of the resources you offered and it helped cut the stress of finding vendors to help coordinate. We used the linen company you work with and Flower Rama. Both excellent choices.


When we first arrived after the wedding it was a visual feast to see the room and I was immediately aware of the welcoming feelings, intimacy and color without over kill. Pattie’s theme was the peacock and her color palate for the reception was in those tones. It was tastefully done and created a mood they were hoping for. It was an expression of who she/they are and as they stopped by each table to greet their guests the colors they were wearing made the room pull together like a piece of art.


The food was excellent. I have had more positive feedback about the food  than most events I have hosted combined. The staff was excellent in keeping time managed well and there were no outbursts from hungry kids or adults! The cake was beautiful and delicious. Service was unobtrusive and organized.


The music by Terzetta String Trio was lovely and fit the mood of the evening to perfection. Not only are they a talented trio they were also gracious and celebratory. It was fun to have a moment to talk with at least two of the three! The DJ was outstanding. Very friendly, great music, in the mood for the evening. Very charming and professional.


The personal touch and interest from Kathy and Shannon was exceptional. It was so helpful to me, my friend who helped coordinate the wedding Sheree Vincent and my daughter Pattie to have people who know what they are doing, respond promptly and are willing to give suggestions and ideas as needed.  I spoke with Kathy and Shannon multiple times and always felt my questions and concerns were received with respect and dealt with immediately.


I would like to thank you, Shannon, Kathy and the staff at Black Bear for the beautiful, meaningful experience we had in honor of my daughter’s marriage. I believe she was ushered into married life with love, support and style. Thank you for being a part of the beginning of a new stage of life for Pattie, Kyle and our family.


Becky Anderson