My name is Kelly Newell and I’m the owner of Serradella Vintage. I call Northern Michigan home and love to roam its woods and rivers with my husband and two crazy dogs, no matter what the season. I’m also the consummate treasure hunter and have spent my life hitting the brakes for every estate sale, auction, and good deal I can find. My collection of cool stuff eventually became a rental and staging company I call Serradella. We offer a carefully curated collection of vintage goodies for couples to use to bring a vintage vibe to their event. It saves people the hassle of sourcing and transporting items and wondering what to do with them afterward. We offer tables, chairs, benches, and many one-of-a-kind furniture pieces like buffets, bars, lounge areas and more. We also offer styling and staging services for those that need help pulling it all together and/or setting up.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
Serradella started out as a way to indulge my passion for all things vintage. I had always collected things for my own use and pleasure, but when my husband went from asking “what are you going to do with that?” to asking “where are you going to put that?”, I knew I needed to do something. So I started out doing the flea market circuit—hit the road with my trailer during the summer and set up at various shows around the state. Then, as luck would have it, I met a girl who was looking for things for her wedding. She introduced me to sites like Pinterest, Wedding Wire, and the Knot. I learned that vintage connoisseurs like me were incorporating items they loved into their event . . . and I was smitten. I transformed Serradella into a rental company and have been sharing my collection with others ever since.
How would you describe your style?
I’ve found that, if given free rein on a project, I tend to make it pretty complex. I like things that are elaborate, intricate, and filled with detail. I like doing a design that gives the eye lots to take in and it’s just fun to take something ordinary and turn it in to something unexpected. I also get a kick out of using pieces that people identify with. Statements like “my grandma had one of those” or “that looks just like my mom’s” make me smile.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
The flowers!! I know that probably sounds strange coming from someone other than a florist but, to me, the florals are always the frosting on the cake. My best friends in the wedding industry are florists because everything they do makes what I do look that much better. Garden roses, peonies, ranunculus . . . Yes, please!
What are some of your favorite trends from this wedding season?
I’m really happy to see blue make a return and I love love love the new “silent DJ” craze . Also love the idea of declaring your event “unplugged” and not allowing personal cameras and/or cell phones during the ceremony and key points in the reception. (They’ve hired a professional photographer, people! Let them do their work unhindered!) Lastly, although it’s not a super new trend, I really like it when couples forgo a seating chart. While certainly not always possible, for those times when it is, I wholeheartedly advocate letting everyone make up their own mind about where they want to sit and with whom.
What advice do you have for couples about choosing a venue?
Once thing that always makes me cringe is when a couple chooses a venue and then has vendors work really hard to make it look like something else. Don’t pick a barn unless you’re comfortable having a barn wedding! Don’t pick a country club setting and try and make it look like a barn! I once had a client who chose an old warehouse with lots of industrial elements and then brought in miles and miles of pipe and drape to cover the walls and windows. Choose a venue you can embrace!
How far in advance should a couple look into booking your services?
Because we operate on a first-come-first-served basis , earlier is better, particularly if the client is getting married in the prime months of August and September. For services and rentals, these dates book up as far as a year or more in advance. Never hesitate to call and inquire though, even at the last minute, particularly if you only require rentals and aren’t in need of styling or staging. We have enough inventory to service two, three and even four events per weekend.
What advice do you have for couples about the planning process?
I’d tell them to think about not biting off more than they can chew when it comes to determining their capacity to DIY – especially on the day of their event. Social media and Pinterest make everyone think they can do it all. The last thing you need is frazzled and exhausted family and friends when everyone should be having fun. Plus – do you really want your closest peeps being responsible for something so important? That’s a lot of pressure! Cut back or hire professionals to take on the burden of the work so you and your guests can relax and enjoy your event.
What do you love about living and working in Northern Michigan?
What I love best about living and working in Northern Michigan is the change of seasons! Whether I’m fly-fishing a river in June, styling a wedding in September or snowmobiling some trail in January, being up here means I’m assured that something different is just around the corner! The variety provided by the setting means the possibilities for weddings are absolutely limitless. Take it from me—someone who was married in Northern Michigan. Outside. In February. It’s an amazing place and I’m SO lucky I get to call it home!