Roxy and Greg Gruber

Roxy and Greg Gruber

“Oh my, where do I start?? I am beyond thankful for all the beautiful and hard work that Donna put into our wedding. She’s a selfless, considerate and caring person that also has critical wedding planning experience that helped us immensely!

If you are looking for a well-organized, generous, would-do-anything-for-you kind of planner, you’ve come across the right person! My favorite experience with Creative Joy? Being able to bounce fun ideas of my own off of Donna, as well as acquire new, pertinent information.

Coffee dates encouraged :)”

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Amanda and Erik Janke

Amanda and Erik Janke

“Donna goes above and beyond. She would meet me for any little step in the process and drove from Madison to Milwaukee several times just to be there for every step of the process.

She puts in so much work, never complains, and makes you feel stress free for your big day as well as all the days leading up to it. And even better, she really becomes a part of your wedding and a person you know you can rely on for the biggest day of your life.

Can not recommend her enough!”

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Megan and Scott Smith

Megan and Scott Smith

“We cannot say enough great things about Donna! She does beautiful work and was absolutely amazing to work with. She was quick to get back to us and help throughout the entire wedding planning process. She truly embraced our wedding vision and turned it into a reality.

Thanks to Donna, we were able to fully enjoy our wedding day!”

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Lacey and Ryan Campbell

Lacey and Ryan Campbell

“CJES was perfect for our day-of wedding coordination! The price was unbeatable. Donna was very available for questions and concerns before the wedding day, and the day of went off without a hitch!

Donna and her team were on top of everything, and were very flexible and accommodating. I would highly recommend working with Creative Joy Event Solutions!”

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Megan and Brent Robinson

Megan and Brent Robinson

“Donna is a freaking angel. She and her sweet husband were worth their weight in gold for their help at our wedding. She is so fun and super chill, which is so key for the amount of stress a wedding can bring on. She was amazing leading up to the wedding - helping us focus our energy, create to-do lists and working with our vendors.

The day of the wedding, she and Brandon allowed me to truly relax (i'm a bit of a control freak) and knowing that she was handling everything helped me to just stay in the moment. I highly recommend CJES!”

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Kalia and Kirby Wright

Kalia and Kirby

“Donna from CJES is a pleasure to work with! There were many things I was unsure about during the entire wedding process, but she was able to answer all my questions and concerns, and was extremely helpful throughout the entire wedding weekend.

Donna and Brandon did such a wonderful job making sure the wedding went smoothly, took care of all my needs during the day, and helped me clean up all the decor at the end of the day! I had many compliments on how flawless the wedding went and I've got to say, if you want a team that delivers, Donna is your lady. She is by your side until everything is taken care of.

I am so happy to have Donna and CJES there for me. Thank you!”

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Michelle and Ryan Groth

Michelle and Ryan Groth

“Donna was a total Godsend for our wedding. She was worth every penny. Donna took the time to know the vision of our wedding, how we wanted things to look and feel, and what was most important to my husband and I in each stage of our day. Donna was organized, professional, positive and fun. She coordinated with all of the vendors, made sure things were in place, and when they were not, quickly came up with a solution behind the scenes to fix it.

I thought that I was on top of everything before the wedding but I can tell you - I was not - and the last thing I wanted to do while I was getting my hair and makeup done was put together place card holders, confirm vendors are where they are supposed to be, order food for our limo bus, get parking passes to people who forgot theirs, etc.

Donna did a great job of being proactive and keeping the overall wedding and reception on track while also putting out the million little fires that cropped up as well.

I highly recommend working with Donna!!”

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Lyn and Erik Sallis

Lyn and Erik Sallis

“Creative Joy Events was worth every penny!

Donna helped to create a magical day for my brother and now sister-in-law by offloading the stressful parts of planning on the day of the wedding. I believe I heard Donna on the phone with the DJ who was running late and I know that would have truly ruined my sister-in-law's day to deal with vendors and working with her made everything a breeze!

I highly recommend Creative Joy events for your future wedding or gathering!”

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Kelsey and Eric Stilson

Kelsey and Eric Stilson

“We hired Creative Joy Event Solutions as our "Day-Of" Coordinator for our June 2019 wedding. Donna and Tess were the single most important vendors on our wedding day. We met with Donna a few weeks in advance and she contacted and organized all of our vendors from there. Her monthly email check-ins kept me on track throughout the planning process. She ran the show at our rehearsal dinner and she made it so I didn't have to think or worry about a thing on our big day. I didn't even worry about what time it was or where to be because I knew Donna had everything under control.

She took all of my crazy ideas and offhand comments, remembered everything, and made it all reality. Everything from cue-ing the processional to gathering family members for photos; from setting up our outdoor ceremony to grabbing my deodorant mid-dinner; from handing out vendor payments to managing family dynamics; from tearing down the reception to just being a great friend and helper.

Donna (and Tess) were absolutely the glue that held our wedding day together and kept me from stressing about a single detail. If you are on the fence about hiring a coordinator - do it! And definitely hire Creative Joy Event Solutions!”

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Claire and Daniel Grant

Claire and Daniel Grant

“CJES was exactly what we were looking for as a day-of event coordinator. We met with Donna a couple of times before the wedding and talked through all of the specifics. She also worked on coordinating vendors in the month leading up to the wedding.

On the day-of, she did an excellent job making sure all the details were taken care of so that we didn't have to think about any of them, including making sure that everything was cleaned up at the end of the night.

Donna was prompt, flexible and willing to listen to our vision and then implement it. We highly recommend CJES!”

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Samantha and Dalton Rahl

Samantha and Dalton Rahl

“I don’t think there are actual words to describe how delightful it was to work with Donna at Creative Joy Events. We chose to go with her full service offering, and it was honestly the best thing to happen to our June 2019 wedding.

Throughout the process Donna listened to what we wanted as a couple and helped make our visions come to life! She never hesitated to go above and beyond to make sure our day was exactly how we wanted it. Whether that meant fielding the million questions/texts I was sending her way (it was seriously a lot), or handling any curve ball in the planning process like a pro – she was there and ready to make things go smoothly (which she did, every time). On the day of the wedding, I was not stressed AT ALL because I knew Donna & Brandon had everything covered from the décor to keeping us all on schedule.

Everything came out beautifully and it was all because of CJES. So thank you Donna, for making our wedding vision come to life and for taking something traditionally stressful and turning into something wonderful – you are a ROCK STAR. I HIGHLY recommend going with Donna and the CJES team for your wedding, you definitely won’t regret it (especially for her extremely reasonable & fair pricing).”

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Ania and Christian Gunderson

Ania and Christian Gunderson

“When we first started planning a wedding, we were on the fence about a wedding planner. Being new to wedding planning, we kept asking ourselves, “should we get one?” and “do we need one?”. We asked ourselves these questions over & over, and then we met Donna. There are NOT enough good words to describe Donna but I will start with what we think describes her best and that is genuine. When I first started reaching out planners, Donna was the first I talked to and the last – the moment I talked to her we knew instantly that this girl and company would make our dream become a reality and she did.

Donna truly cares about you and your day just as much as you do. It was evident when planning for our special day and evident the day of. She came in ready to go and held our hand throughout the entire process – I was definitely freaking out a few times (and that’s an understatement!) and every single time she was there cheering me on, supporting me, getting me whatever I needed, etc. During our rehearsal dinner, Donna stood in front of our families and bridal party and said “Starting right now, Ania & Christian know nothing, and I know EVERYTHING!” I didn’t that we could love her more until she said that. It was SO evident how much she wanted us to enjoy our day and how stress and carefree she truly wanted to make it. It was SO evident that our family and friends noticed it too.

Before Donna left for the night, my dad went up to her as well and thanked her. He told us that night “She really cares about you I saw it all night” and we knew that too ☺ The whole day and night when smooth and I owe it to Donna. A wedding is scary, nerve wrecking, and stressful. With Donna, all of that is gone. We are truly sad that our wedding is over because that means we won’t be talking to Donna as much although I am positive we will remain friends as she was just too important to us for us to let her go!

For all the brides and grooms out there, your wedding is your one special day where everything is about you and there should not be ONE thing getting in your way – Donna will ensure that happens. We love you Donna!!!

Love always, Ania & Christian”

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A Summer of Opportunities

This summer has been amazing for Creative Joy Event Solutions! We are growing and growing and the opportunities are flowing. (See what I did there!) I am absolutely so grateful for the folks I've been working closely with. The couples, the vendors, the venues, and everyone in between have been wonderful and so unbelievable trusting.

When I officially began CJES last year, I had no idea what would come of this small business. But I did know that I was passionate and would be fierce in my pursuit of helping clients have beautiful, dream-worthy, and stress-free weddings.

Some of my couples ask why "Creative Joy Event Solutions"?

  • Creative: This is my creative outlet. With my technical background, I knew there was a large part of my life and ability that was untapped. 
  • Joy: It's not an emotion, its a choice to be joyful and it's a gift to have something to be joyful about. So, it's my absolute joy to work with loving couples to make their wedding day stress-free and hopefully make new friends in the process.
  • Event: Surprise! I plan events of all types.
  • Solutions: I like to combine this word with creative to make creative solutions. A lot of event planning is just problem solving to make an outcome happen when you're facing challenges. That's what gives me pride with my couples, facing an obstacle and finding a solution that is in budget, because that is key.

If you're reading this and wondering if you truly need a wedding planner or coordinator, I get it! This is your day, maybe your budget is tight or you don't want to relinquish any control. With my process, you make all of the decisions with none of the stress, and I think you'd be surprised with how budget-friendly my packages and services are. Reach out today to set up a free consultation.

Megan and Scott, Twenty Years of Love, and Wedding Etiquette

Twenty years is a long time... think about your life twenty years ago or maybe try to predict where you will be twenty years from now. It's hard to do that, there are so many variables that make life unpredictable. Megan and Scott have known at least one constant over the course of the last 19 years and on their 20th anniversary as a couple, they will be tying the knot.

An intimate, formal wedding will mark their 20th anniversary as they celebrate their past and look forward to the future. In order to keep their guest list small (and the feel a bit more formal) they've decided not to invite kids. This is one of many ways to keep the guest list more private and the budget more cost-friendly. Plus, smaller guest lists call for more intimate venues to really make your event special. Megan and Scott have chosen the beautiful Gates of Heaven on the edge of Lake Mendota. This historic Madison-proper synagogue has been restored and maintained by Madison's parks department as an events venue. 

You may be thinking, what's the etiquette around not inviting kids to my wedding? How are my guests going to react to that request? And most importantly, how do I tell them? These are tough questions but the thing to remember is that your guests are coming to celebrate you two as a couple to help you start your married life together. Hopefully, it is clear to them that you are not trying to put them out, but rather, create a special atmosphere for your big day. 

Below are a several recommendations for communicating your adults-only request to guests:

  1. Make sure to only address invitations to the actual guests invited. Don't address your invitation to "The Smith Family" if only "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" are invited. Also, try to include an "Adults-only reception" tag in the corner of your invitation if possible.
  2. Update your wedding website to reflect those general guest-list details. A note that reads: "The reception will be adults-only" in a public place will go a long way. This is also a good place for details about dress code.
  3. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. If your close family knows that you're having an adults-only reception, whenever they have conversations about your event, they will help spread the word informally.
  4. If you have out-of-town guests and you want to be extra accommodating, think about hiring a babysitter to watch kids during the event to make sure adults can relax knowing their child is being taken care of close by.

Ultimately, you will want to read your families and determine the best way to communicate sensitive details. If you have wedding etiquette questions, or want to know how to navigate a tricky situation, reach out to me personally via phone or email, I'd be happy to talk through any questions you may have.

Welcome to the CJES Family Kalia and Kirby!

My design home base.

My design home base.

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Kalia and Kirby have joined the Creative Joy Event Solutions family for their fall 2018 wedding! They are a wonderful couple who want a simple, elegant, and joy-filled day that won't break the budget. Pinterest has been my home-base for collecting ideas and keeping track of theming options for each of my CJES couples.

Kalia and Kirby want to focus on greenery to enhance the natural beauty of their venue. This will be easy-peasy because they are getting married at Sugarland in Arena, WI. The centerpiece of the 19th century country estate is a giant oak tree where Kalia and Kirby have decided to share their vows. 

Do you have upcoming nuptials? There is no shame in needing help with the wedding planning game. I am here to help couples enjoy their unique engagement period and most of all, their wedding day. No one should fret (yes I said fret, I'm from the south) on one of the most important and memorable days of t heir lives.

Reach out anytime via my contact page to schedule a free consultation! I would be happy to talk through my services, packages, and pricing.

The majestic oak.

The majestic oak.