Before & After

Check out some great event-planning tips from our ISU Alumni Center team. This piece was written by Bry Cain, ISU Alumni Center Program Assistant. For more tips and assistance planning your wedding or event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Brooke, Bry, or Angela at (515) 294-4625 or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.


Do you ever walk into a venue, see a blank slate, and have trouble picturing what the venue could become? We’ve been there and we want to help! Below we have a before photo and several after photos to help you envision what you could create with the ISU Alumni Center as your wedding ceremony and/or reception venue!

First up, wedding ceremony locations –

Eggerling ISU Traditions Garden

There are three different directions you can face your ceremony within this garden to avoid the sun in guests’ eyes, to maximize shade, etc. — all depending on the season and time of day.

Before…

empty garden

After…

garden after

Before…

empty garden2

After…

garden after1

Before…

empty garden1

After…

garden after2

Mente Boyd Reception Area

Before…

empty MB

After…

MB after
MB after1

Next, we’ll explore the wedding reception spaces –

Reiman Ballroom

Before…

empty ballroom

After…

Ballroom after

Before…

empty ballroom1

After…

View More: http://senecaepley.pass.us/adambekah

Before…

empty ballroom2

After…

Ballroom after2

Before…

empty ballroom3

After…

ballroom after3

Cy’s Lounge & Burnet Alumni Living Room

Before…

building photos

After…

Cys after

Newlin Terrace

Before…

empty terrace

After…

photo 4

If you have an upcoming wedding and want to consider transforming a space in the ISU Alumni Center into a memorable event space that will look and feel fantastic for your wedding day, give our event coordinators a call today.

We can be reached at (515) 294-4625, or toll-free at (877) 478-2586. And be sure to ask about your ISU Alumni Association member discount, too.

See you at the Center!

What’s next?

Check out some great event-planning tips from our ISU Alumni Center team. This piece was written by Bry Cain, ISU Alumni Center Program Assistant. For more tips and assistance planning your wedding or event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Brooke, Bry, or Angela at (515) 294-4625 or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.


marry-me-1044416_1920

After saying “Yes!” and answering the easiest question of your life, a newly engaged couple is faced with one of the hardest questions: “Where?”

Picking a wedding venue is arguably one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the planning process, as the environment and the staff can really make or break the experience of the wedding for both the newlyweds and the guests. To guarantee the best experience we’ve created a handy PDF guide for you to take with you when you visit prospective venues. Download a free copy here!

We’ll start with the obvious here: availability.

It’s best to go into the venue with a date range or a season in mind. Going in with a specific date often leads to disappointment. You’ll have better success, and maybe even score a discount, if you’re willing to host your wedding on a Friday evening or the Sunday of a holiday weekend.

Next, what does the rental include?

Is this a reception-only venue or can you host both the ceremony and the reception in the same location? Is it an option for them to be outside? If so, is there a back-up plan? Will there be any other events booked on your day? If so, will they provide signage to direct your guests? What time are you allowed to get in to decorate and what time do you have to be out? Will you have to do any setup? Is there a bridal suite or groom suite you can utilize?

Okay, let’s talk money.

When is a deposit due? When is the final payment due? Do they charge tax? Is there a cleaning fee or other service fee? Are there additional fees or add-ons? Is there a fee if you need to change your date or cancel the wedding?

Lastly, vendors and logistics.

Are there approved vendors you must use? Do they have recommended vendors that can give you a discount? Is there an in-house catering service and is there a minimum? Is there a kitchen that a caterer can utilize? What’s the capacity of the venue? Do they offer any on-site coordination? Who will be your point person the day of the wedding? Are you able to meet with them? Is there parking on-site? Will guests be charged for parking? Do they offer any décor services and are there any décor restrictions?

Don’t forget:

Check out the whole venue – the bathrooms, the dressing rooms, the lobby, and even the kitchen! Take photos and save them in a folder named after the venue to help keep them all straight. Venues can start to blend together after three or four. Once you decide on a venue, make sure to get everything in writing! The date is not yours until you have a signed contract and most likely a deposit sent in as well.

planyourwedding

Of course we want Cyclones everywhere to choose the wedding venues right for them, but we’re a little biased toward one in particular that we’d love you to consider.

How does the ISU Alumni Center stack up when it comes to the categories above? Here are some highlights:

  • The Alumni Center has both indoor and outdoor ceremony & reception areas for your use! We also won’t book any other events on your wedding day. This allows us to always have a weather backup location if needed.
  • We have an approved list of caterers, and they are all fantastic! We do this because we want to guarantee you have the best experience possible.
  • We have a huge parking lot on site! Where else on a university campus can they say that?
  • We have event staff that will do all the set-up and tear-down of tables and chairs, empty trashes, coordinate with vendors, and more. You get to simply enjoy the day!
  • As a non-profit, we are tax exempt. If we don’t pay tax, you don’t pay tax! We also don’t have any service charges or additional fees. The price you see is the exact price you pay.

Contact us today at (515) 294-1710 for more detail and to schedule a venue tour!

We look forward to seeing you soon,

sig-isuac

(Your event here)

Uelner Executive Board Room

By Bry Cain

While the ISU Alumni Center is the forever home of Cyclones everywhere, many people who visit don’t realize we can also use the building to host your events! Both alumni and friends can rent the ISU Alumni Center for an event of their choosing – and members get a special discount!

The professional event coordinators at the ISU Alumni Center (Brooke, Bry, and Angela) have done a wide range of events — from weddings to memorials, tailgates to career fairs, graduations, meetings, showers, conferences, and holiday parties.

One of our building’s biggest draws is the art and memorabilia we have. If you haven’t been here for an event, you NEED to stop by the next time you’re in Ames. We have ISU fun facts lining the walls, and there’s donated art memorabilia on every floor. Many of our items are things you won’t see anywhere else! A few of my favorites are the Spirit of Iowa State mosaic mural, the pillars in the Eggerling ISU Traditions Garden, and Cyclone Tower.

building photos

Spirit of Iowa State, by Clint Hansen ’87

The Spirit of Iowa State mural can be found on the third floor in the Mente Boyd Reception Area; the Eggerling ISU Traditions Garden is located on the northwest side of the building; and Cyclone Tower is outside the building on the west side in the Slater South Garden. On football gamedays you’ll see it spin and play music. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the lighting effects and hear the thunder!

Print2018 marks our 10th year in this beautiful building donated by ISU alumni and friends, with special thanks to Roy & Bobbi Reiman. Since we opened, we have done more than 5,400 events in our 10 rental areas. These events have resulted in more than 290,000 guests through our doors!

Will your event be next? Call us at (515) 294-4625 and we will take it from there!


Bry Cain is an ISU Alumni Center Program Assistant. For tips and assistance planning your wedding or event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Brooke, Bry, or Angela at (515) 294-4625 or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.

Meet your wedding planner!

Stay tuned to the ISUAA blog for some great event-planning tips from our ISU Alumni Center team.

And for assistance planning your wedding or event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Brooke, Bry, or Angela at (515) 294-4625, email alumnicenter@iastate.edu, or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.


acstaff

Left to right: Angela Horner, Brooke Lents, Bry Cain

Meet the Alumni Center team

Your wedding planner is going to be your right-hand man (or woman!) as your big day approaches. Because of this, it’s extremely important that your planner is someone you know and trust. That’s why, today, we’re kicking off our latest event-planning series by introducing Cyclones everywhere to our three Alumni Center Event Coordinators. They have more than 28 years of experience in the wedding industry!


Brooke Lents

lentsbrookeWhile Brooke was a student at Iowa State University, she started her first job in events, which would lead to many years of rewarding experiences. She was a member of the summer conference staff for the ISU Department of Residence, where she worked with all the summer conferences that stayed in ISU’s residence halls. She switched over to catering events for Hickory Park, and eventually moved to the position of catering director at the Holiday Inn and Suites Des Moines Northwest before she found the perfect job at the Alumni Center.

She loves the different clients and variety of events with which she now gets to work. Learning from this client about what’s most important to him or her is one of Brooke’s favorite parts of the job. The people by whom she is surrounded, both clients and coworkers, are what keep her motivated — as well as the high she gets after coordinating a couple’s perfect wedding day! After the drive home, she loves playing with her little toddler. who helps Brooke relieve any stress from the day.

Get to know Brooke:
  • What was your first car? 1988 Buick Century
  • Most unusual item in your desk/purse/backpack? A cell phone from 2005. I have a 2-year-old, so we have dug out old cell phones for her to play with!
  • What’s on your Bucket List? watching ISU play for a national championship
  • Strange phobias? popping noises, like a balloon popping or opening a tube of biscuits
  • Favorite sound? the Cyclone siren
  • Movie that always makes you cry? Marley & Me. It was one of the first movies my husband and I watched when we were dating. He thought I would like it because I love dogs. I bawled. A lot. Ha!
  • Worst song to have stuck in your head? If I tell you, then I will get it stuck in my head and I will be mad.
  • Is there a song that you know all of the words to? There are many songs, but the first one that came to mind was “Ice Ice Baby.”
  • Favorite children’s book? Hop on Pop
  • Biggest pet peeve? my husband biting his nails
  • Food that you have never liked (and will never like)? mushrooms
  • Favorite place on Iowa State’s campus? It’s really hard to pick! I would probably have to say the Gerdin Business Building. I spent a lot of time in that building and when I walk in there now, the smell of the building takes me back to college. It makes me think of my friends and all our classes in there. It makes me miss college!

Bry Cain

wisecup_bryannaBry graduated from ISU in 2017 with a degree in event management and marketing. Her first job in events was an internship coordinating weddings and events, as well as marketing, for Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Okoboji. After that, she started on the student event staff for the Alumni Center, where she moved up to the intern position and, with a little good timing, was able to apply for and be hired into a full-time position after graduation. She also has experience in coordinating concerts and working with floral arrangements and other décor — all experience she gained before starting at the Alumni Center. Scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, and email subscriptions are what help her stay on top of all new and upcoming event trends. When asked about her favorite part of events she said: “Satisfied clients!” She loves to watch the client relax more and more throughout the planning process and the event and knowing that she helped them feel confident. When it comes time for her to relax, she loves to walk her Golden Doodle puppy or play volleyball.

Get to know Bry:
  • High school superlative? best smile and second in prettiest eyes
  • What’s on your Bucket List? Travel to all seven continents. I already crossed off skydiving, bungee jumping, and canyon swinging!
  • Strange phobias? Empty pop cans. Yuck!
  • Worst song to have stuck in your head? “Friday,” Rebecca Black
  • Is there a song that you know all of the words to? Anything Britney Spears or Shania Twain!
  • Favorite infomercial product? Or infomercial product you have been suckered into buying? A watermelon slicer with tongs. Just don’t do it.
  • Favorite Olympic sport to watch? All the summer Olympic sports, especially sand volleyball!
  • If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life which would you choose? Target – no question.
  • Food that you have never liked (and will never like)? PEAS.
  • Favorite YouTube video? “Walk on the Wild Side” animal videos
  • Favorite place on Iowa State’s campus? Lagomarcino courtyard
  • Guilty pleasure music/TV show? all things within the “The Bachelor” franchise
  • Describe the perfect pizza? (crust type & toppings) Ooooh…I would love to combine stuffed crust pizza with Jeff’s Pizza Smotherella Sticks with garlic dipping sauce. Anyone else hungry?
  • Go-to karaoke song “Wannabe,” Spice Girls

Angela Horner

hornerAngela has worked in food and beverage for the majority of her 15-year career, from baking cupcakes and cakes for weddings to a hotel restaurant that led her to first “official” job in events at the Courtyard and Residence Inn Austin (Texas) Downtown. While in Austin, she decided it was time to move home to Iowa. She landed the program coordinator position at the ISU Alumni Center, was promoted to Alumni Center event manager, then stepped down to a part-time event coordinator position after her first child was born. She knew she had to stay in the events world, even after having a child, because she loves seeing people enjoying themselves at an event she helped plan. Loving what she does keeps the motivation flowing and the lists coming. When Angela’s not making lists, she loves to browse Pinterest to stay current with trends. When it’s time for some down time, she loves to read and work in her garden.

Get to know Angela:
  • What was your first car? 1989 Chevy Cavalier Z24
  • Most unusual item in your desk/purse/backpack? toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Favorite smell? warm vanilla sugar
  • Favorite sound? babies
  • Something you have always wanted to learn how to do? Farm.
  • Worst song to have stuck in your head? “Barbie Girl,” Aqua
  • Favorite children’s book? Bunny’s Book Club
  • Favorite Olympic sport to watch? swimming, volleyball, and gymnastics
  • Food that you have never liked (and will never like)? chicken-fried steak
  • Favorite YouTube video? any with baby goats
  • Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving
  • Guilty pleasure music/TV show? “McLeod’s Daughters”
  • Favorite Disney movie and song from that movie? Moana, “We Know the Way”
  • Article of clothing that you are embarrassed to say that you have owned/worn? MC Hammer pants

 

We’d love to learn more about YOU!

For more information about booking your next event with us, please call (515) 294-4625 or email alumnicenter@iastate.edu. We look forward to working with you to plan your special day!

Catering Spotlight: Valentino’s

angelaCheck out some great event-planning tips from our ISU Alumni Center team. This piece was written by Angela Horner, ISU Alumni Center Program Assistant. For more tips and assistance planning a special event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Angela, Lexi, or Brooke at (515) 294-4625 or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.

Over the next several weeks, we will be putting each of our approved caterers in the “spotlight” and giving them a chance to answer a few questions about their food, beverages, and services. This week we are putting Valentino’s in the catering spotlight. Who’s hungry for pizza?

  1. Who or what influences your catering?

Our catering goal is always to provide exceptional service, fresh food, and plenty of it. We always overestimate your numbers and bring more food than we need so we don’t run out.

  1. What sets your catering business apart from others in the industry?

A personal touch and the ability to truly cater to your needs (we do far more than pizza and pasta! We can do a carving station, full breakfast or brunch cater, box lunches, baked chicken dinner, mashed potatoes and sides, desserts and more).

  1. What is one thing most people do not know about your business?

side-image-foodMost people don’t know that 99% of the items on our menu are made from scratch…including our pizza dough that is made by hand. We use 100% real cheese and make all of our sauces and other buffet items ourselves. This is unusual in the pizza industry. We could cut our food costs by using pre-made items but we won’t.

  1. What is your chef’s favorite entrée to make?

Our incredible cherry dessert pizza….it’s addictive!

  1. What is your most popular menu item?

It’s a toss-up between our Mac & Cheese pizza and our Bacon Cheeseburger pizza. Both are unique and so delicious!

For more information about ISU Alumni Center approved caterers click here.

Wake up & Wed

angelaCheck out some great event tips from our ISU Alumni Center team. This piece was written by Angela Horner, ISU Alumni Center Program Assistant. For more tips and assistance planning a special event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Angela, Lexi, or Brooke at (515) 294-4625 or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.

The Alumni Center kicked off the spring wedding season this past weekend with a morning wedding. Let me share with you some reasons why I think morning weddings are the hidden gem in the realm of weddings.

Coffee. Need I say more? Who doesn’t love a big morning cup of coffee? And why not incorporate it into your special day? Not only can you have a delicious cup of coffee in your special wedding day mug while getting ready for your ceremony, but you can also have your caterer set up a full-service coffee bar at your ceremony or reception for all guests to enjoy.

pancakesBrunch. I love everything about brunch from the juice to the muffins, to the egg casserole, to the bacon, to the smoked salmon and bagels. Right now food stations are the trend, so having an omelet or waffle station is the perfect way to add fresh, made to order food items to the brunch menu.

Orange and tomato juice. With champagne and vodka, of course! Mimosas made from fresh squeezed orange juice are a delicious and sweet morning treat, and you can’t go wrong with a Bloody Mary bar. Don’t forget to include all the fixings like Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, pickle spears, celery stalks, salt, pepper, and lemons.

Lighting. Beautiful sunrises speak for themselves, especially if you are having an outdoor ceremony. Not to mention how incredibly romantic it is to get married in the morning light. Photographers appreciate the lighting and it gives way for amazing wedding photos.

Afternoon. After a morning wedding you have the ENTIRE rest of the day to spend with your new husband or wife! You can just hang out at the hotel or bed and breakfast and relive the beautiful ceremony, talk and laugh, or take a nap. You could take a stroll at the park and end up enjoying a delicious evening meal and glass of wine or two on the patio of your favorite restaurant. Or you could make final preparations for your honeymoon if you are leaving the next morning. And don’t forget about the fact that you have all afternoon to let the effects of your morning mimosas or Bloody Marys to wear off so you are ready to greet the next day as a happily married couple instead of a hung over married couple.

Now I can’t pretend everything about morning weddings is perfect or even better than evening weddings. Getting up before the sun rises is hard on a normal day let alone your wedding day. Feeling rushed because you only have the morning to get ready and not all day can add a lot of stress to some couple’s wedding day. If you are expecting to spend less on your wedding because you are having everything take place in the morning, think again. You will most likely spend the same or even more.

Morning or night, at the end of the day, you are marrying your best friend. Isn’t that all that really matters? Happy Planning!

Catering Spotlight: Cookies, etc.

angelaCheck out some great event-planning tips from our ISU Alumni Center team. This piece was written by Angela Horner, ISU Alumni Center Program Assistant. For more tips and assistance planning a special event at the ISU Alumni Center, call Angela, Lexi, or Brooke at (515) 294-4625 or visit www.isualumnicenter.org.

Over the next several weeks, we will be putting each of our approved caterers in the “spotlight” and giving them a chance to answer a few questions about their food, beverages, and services. This week Cookies, etc. is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

  1. Who or what influences your catering?

As a specialty caterer we love sharing our made-from-scratch cookies!  We use family recipes to make our ¼ lb. cookies and cater them fresh from the oven.  The lessons I learned in my mom’s kitchen influence me daily: “Always try to improve on what you did yesterday”; “You eat with your eyes as well as your stomach”; and, one I tell my employees, “If you say that’s good enough, it isn’t.”

  1. What sets your catering business apart from others in the industry?

We’re unique in the industry—scratch made items that are incredibly fresh.  It is our policy to sell our products the same day they are baked.  We want customers to get the best quality product we can make.  In addition to our ¼ lb. cookies we also make large decorated and mini cookies by special order along with muffins and cinnamon rolls.

  1. What is one thing most people do not know about your business?

Many people think we are a franchise business.  My family started our business 30+ years ago using our own cookie recipes and family members continue to own/manage 3 locations along with a national mail order business today.

  1. cookiesWhat is your most popular menu item?

Chocolate chip cookies have always been #1.

For more information about ISU Alumni Center approved caterers click here.