Vendor Spotlight: b.invited

 Meet Brandi Bongers!! 

Meet Brandi Bongers!! 

  • Tell us about yourself. 

I have been crafting, creating and repurposing all sorts of things since I was a little tyke. I’ve also been a perfectionist since that same age. My first grade teacher once told my parents that I was “erasing holes in my paper, by trying to make my “B’s” perfect.”  And while I was growing up, I painted my bedroom so often that my dad would always remind me it was making my room smaller with each coat of paint!  

I grew up on a family hobby farm in Minnesota. I went off to college and graduated with an Advertising and Mass Communications degree from St. Cloud State University. From there, I went on to earn a Master’s degree in Sport Management from Minnesota State University- Mankato. Feeling a little lost, I bounced around between jobs in the sport and fitness industry, but continued with my hobbies on the side.

I’ve always thrived on a creative outlet in my life. Whether it’s repurposing furniture for our home, helping friends decorate their weddings, designing corporate holiday invites, handwriting event signage or creating birthday party details, I’ve always kept myself busy and fulfilling my itch.

In 2012, I met Ryan and a year later moved from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to be with him. I was afraid to leave my life-long friends and all things familiar to relocate to South Dakota.  Ultimately, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I have met the most encouraging and inspirational people on this journey. I have met women that have inspired me to take my talents to the next level and share them with more people.


  • How did b. invited get started?

b. invited evolved from my passion for creativity, perfection and all things pretty. Shortly after moving to Sioux Falls, I started a part-time job where I met other amazingly talented women such as Megan Randall of Gala by Megan and Jillian Gunlicks of Jillian Artistry. Between meeting over a lunch and chatting over a glass of wine, some ideas and words of encouragement were tossed around. Before I knew it, b. invited was born and I was launching my very own business.

From beginning to end, details and design are my thing. Leave it to me to proudly perfect any or all of the following for your big day: 

save the dates | shower invites | wedding invites | programs | place cards | coasters | menus | wedding favors | event signage | thank you cards | birthday invites | birth announcements | holiday cards | graduation invitations | business cards | hand-addressed envelopes | hand-written details | execution of your ideas. 

On top of that, b. invited happily designs all things “paper” for the following, but not limited to:  

holiday cards | baby shower invites | birth announcements | graduation invites | birthday invites | thank you cards | business cards | flyers | corporate mailings | and so much more!

 

  • What is one piece of advice you like to give couples/brides/etc?

Do exactly what you want. There are pressures and opinions coming at you from every direction and person in your life. Do not settle for anything less than exactly what you have envisioned; it’s your day, not theirs.

 

  • How would you describe your company’s style? 

Custom. I have been able to accommodate and thrill brides all over the board. From elegant to rustic, detailed to simple and low budget to high end. Every order is a custom design, created specifically for each individual.

  • What is the process of your services?

 I love to meet with each client in person to start brainstorming.  If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, I will utilize FaceTime or Skype to get the ball rolling! At the initial meeting, brides provide all the details (who, what, when, where, etc.) and often share their Pinterest boards with me for inspiration. From there, I jump in to designing and making things pretty. We can go back and forth as many times as needed to be sure every little thing is perfect, spelled correctly and exactly what they’ve always wanted! I send to my printer for a proof, share with the client to be sure it’s perfect, make changes if needed or give the go-ahead for printing and cutting!

  • What are your prices?

 It is difficult to put a price on what b. invited does. It depends on so many things: paper color, paper weight, colored ink vs. black ink, envelopes, size, details and more. However, with that said, I always provide clients with a quote before sending to print. There will be no surprises in that sense. As mentioned earlier, I can and have worked within all budgets.

  • What is your favorite thing about working with brides?  

I love that b. invited gives me the opportunity to meet new women and reconnect with others that I’ve lost touch with. I love living vicariously through brides and working to create exactly what they’ve always dreamed of.

  • How far in advance should your clients be looking into booking your services?

 Once you have your venue chosen, the contract is signed and your date is set you can start ordering save the dates. Invitations should be mailed 6-8 weeks before your wedding date, if your wedding will be local. Mail them 10-12 weeks before, for a destination wedding, to allow your guests time to arrange their travel plans. All other wedding stationery (ceremony programs, menus, table numbers, place cards, etc.) should be ordered 6-8 weeks before the wedding. A good time to place the order is when you are mailing your invitations.

  • What do you do in your spare time?

This is Harmon! 

I love to stay busy, spend time with Ryan and cuddle Harmon, our Miniature-Goldendoodle. We love the outdoors, sports and being with family and friends. I am also an Arbonne, Independent Consultant and love sharing the pure, safe and beneficial products with men, women and people of all ages to support happier and healthier lives. 

 - b.invited -

Email:  hello@binvitedbybrandi.com

Facebook Page: b.invited

Website: www.binvitedbybrandi.com

Phone: 651.600.5177

 

 

Get to Know: DJ Jer

Hello Uptown Blog Readers! As many of you know, Uptown Events has been going through quite the transformation. The changes of Uptown Events have been across the board, from renovating the studio space, adding new team members to revamping the website and a Re-Launch Party that took place in early June. I hope you were lucky enough to have enjoyed that evening with us! Along with all these changes, I plan to revamp The Blog as well. This revamp will entail numerous posts with information, news and trends that I hope will interest you.

This week, I will be introducing you to our newest team members with questions I asked and they answered. Now, Jeremy, also known as DJ Jer from DJ Jer Events and Lighting Design, was the first to get back to me so he is up! Jeremy is a fun-loving and welcoming guy and overall a pretty cool cat. His passion for music is only fueled by his desire to provide the best service possible and he goes beyond what’s asked of him to ensure that his couples are more than satisfied with their day. He is a nationally recognized entertainer-- which you will read about in his responses-- a father and a friend. We are so glad to have added his dynamic to the team!

Tell us about DJ Jer Event Lighting + Design and where the concept and passion began?

When I was young I was the kid in school who was always getting in trouble because I was the class clown. I loved entertaining people and making them laugh. Apparently my teachers didn’t agree with me. I always loved music and have an appreciation for all genres. When I was 15 years old, I went to a middle school dance and completely fell in love with the idea of entertaining people through music. I love watching people enjoying themselves and dancing. So I saved up all my money over the summer and created what we are today. When I was young and naïve I had to have a “cool DJ name” and since everyone called me Jer back then I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Now I can’t rebrand because we have built such a reputation as DJ Jer so I am stuck with the name.

What services do you offer?

We specialize in top scale wedding receptions. When it comes to a wedding we make it about so much more than just a dance. It is a celebration where your guests will be a part of an experience from the moment they walk through the doors. As the Master of Ceremonies, our job is to make sure that guests stay informed, announcements are made, things stay on schedule, but most importantly peace of mind for the couple. We offer creative ideas and lighting design that has been recognized across the nation. We have Audio Visual components for our couples as well as assistance with ceremony sound and more. When we listen to our clients’ needs, we can create large and small productions specific to them. We also offer education and private consultations to brides, grooms and their families to create the best wedding reception ever!

What sort of things should couples take into consideration when booking their entertainment?

Instead of price shopping you should be talent shopping. Remember, you get what you pay for. The next biggest thing a couple should take into consideration is does the DJ really care about us as a couple and do we mesh. Every couple should make sure they setup a meeting with their potential DJ because the DJ is the make or break for a successful wedding celebration. If the DJ doesn’t care about the couple enough to meet with them face to face to make sure they are good fits for each other, then the DJ isn’t going to truly care about their wedding day. If a couple and a DJ don’t mesh, they are guaranteed failure. Consider a DJ that is creative, cares about you, your guests, the overall success of your wedding day, and won’t create the cookie cutter wedding. Find a DJ that has proven themselves and continues ongoing education to improve their craft.

What sets DJ Jer apart from other entertainment options in the region?

The passion and hard work I put into weddings will show I truly care about the success of my couples celebrations. When I am in front of all your guests, they will know that what I am doing up there, on your behalf, is completely real and not a routine. I “Jeremy Brech” have achieved the certification of a Wedding Entertainment Director® being 1 of 24 in the world who have been accepted into the vigorous application process. I have also been asked to sit as 1 of 6 Board of Directors for some of the best entertainers in the nation. I travel the country speaking at large conventions educating hundreds of DJs around the world on who they can make amazing results for their wedding couples. We have been awarded: “The Best of the Knot”, “Wedding Wire Couples Choice Award,” “The Local Best Event DJ and Event Entertainment” and write for national publications across the country. The biggest thing that separates us are the “Results!”

What trends are you noticing for the upcoming 2015 season?

In 2015 you will see lighting design becoming more creative and our events becoming more production based. I think Brides and Grooms in this day in age are seeing the importance of their entertainment and are focusing more on quality entertainment to create amazing results for their celebrations.

What can couples and guests expect to experience when choosing DJ Jer?

From the first meeting with us you will know that we truly care! When working with DJ Jer couples and guests will experience a wedding celebration they will remember for a lifetime. Our team will help you discover your theme (and yes, you have one) while creating personalization and detail with a level of service you wouldn’t expect in the Midwest. All the preplanning we do with our couples allows us to always be in the moment to create opportunities of happiness, laughter, and tears. We can truly provide and experience so when your guests leave the night after that last song they know they were a part of something truly special.

When should couples begin looking into entertainment services for their wedding?

That depends on how much of a priority the success of their reception is. People who know what they want will change their date to get great entertainment and not settle. If entertainment is your biggest priority, it should be booked right away. We get bookings over two years in advance, but don’t rush into a decision until you have had a one on one meeting with your potential DJ. Don’t ever feel pressured into your decision. Just like marrying the love of your life, when you know you know!

You’ve been nationally recognized by the International Wedding Industry Organization, The WED Guild®. Tell us more about this?

The WED Guild was established by fellow Wedding Entertainment Director® and author of the best Wedding Reception… Ever! Peter Merry. The WED Guild® is an elite group of highly trained professionals who are committed to delivering the best quality Music (whether they be a Band or a DJ) and Master of Ceremonies services for their clients. Every WED Guild® member has earned their place by going through a rigorous application process verifying the caliber of services they are currently providing. It is about exceeding expectations for their couples and their guests.

As previously stated: I “Jeremy Brech” have achieved the certification of a Wedding Entertainment Director® being 1 of 24 in the world who have been accepted into the vigorous application process. I have also been asked to sit as 1 of 6 Board of Directors for some of the best entertainers in the nation.

DJ or Live Band?

Both have their place. There are great DJs and Live Bands and there are terrible DJs and Live Bands. The key is to find a “professional” who can provide the services and create amazing results for the client. Typically a great DJ will also provide crowd involvement and professional Master of Ceremonies services.

Three fun facts about you:

1.       I have 3 amazing young girls and a very understanding wife who puts up with my overly crazy schedule.

2.       My most over the top wedding I ever did was a full out Alice in Wonderland wedding that got tons of national publicity!

3.       And yes, I am still a class clown who loves to entertain and watch people have an amazing time.

Check out Jeremy’s website, www.djjer.com. Keep up with Uptown this week to read interviews of Angelique (Platinum Imagination) and Anne (The Photography Shoppe).