When Denise Ellenbecker was a little girl her mother took her to see her first movie in a theater. The Sound of Music. When Julie Andrews walked down the aisle wearing a dress with a train and veil that would go down in history as beyond remarkable, she didn’t care about the history being made. She was a little girl in Racine, Wisconsin who fell in love with weddings as she watched this dream wedding unfold in a magnificent church. That dress changed her life.
From that moment on instead of playing house and having baby dolls like most little girls, Denise played ‘wedding day’. She would sneak into her mother’s bedroom, rummage through the drawers until she found the perfect full body slip and then scour the house looking for the longest veil or train she could find. A set of used lace curtains was often the solution…they were white and pretty; one for her waist and one for her hair…what could be more perfect?
Is it any doubt that Denise would grow up to be one of the leading wedding planners in her market?
After wearing the dress of her dreams at her own wedding — and yes, it had a very long train—she moved to the Fox Valley area of Wisconsin. Within a short period of time Denise realized that she wanted to be involved with weddings on an intimate level and started working with brides to create the reception of their dreams.
Denise explained how she decided on the swan to represent her company. “As I stood atop a ladder hanging lights while preparing a five-tent wedding site, a pair of swans glided by seemingly effortlessly upon the water. They were elegant, peaceful, and content. It was then I realized the swan was what I wanted to represent my company. Swans mate for life and a bridal couple publicly exchange vows to announce their commitment to do the same. As we have no ability to see the moving webbed feet under the water—the same should be true of all wedding professionals on wedding day.”
From ‘dreamstorming’ to laying out the timeline for the event, setting up centerpieces at the reception site to a full day of personal services that start before the ceremony, creating a custom card box to designing a five-tent extravaganza complete with chandeliers and multi-layered linen tables, Denise and her team at Elegant by Design do it all.
Denise became a certified wedding planner in 2004 and is currently working on achieving the next level of accreditation. In 2010 Denise took a huge step by opening a commercial studio space in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Her interactive showroom showcases unique linen samples, chair covers, and her collection of over 25 different types of glassware for centerpieces.
Elegant by Design has become the leading resource for brides in the Fox Valley region to access products that were otherwise only found in major metropolitan areas. Denise’s attention to organized detail helps couples pull together all of the various aspects to make a memorable event. For Denise it is a personal experience each time she walks into a plain reception hall and by the time she leaves with her team, they have transitioned that space into a beautiful fantasy setting with colors that match the bridal party and candles that glitter as they glow. This is what makes an event Elegant by Design.