Lodge and Legend - Wedding Issue

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Welcome to the Spring issue of The Lodge and Legend, our quarterly publication from Saskatoon Lodge. Our Saskatoon Lodge story is about you and our community. We appreciate you, our loyal customers. Without your continued support, we would never have made it these nearly 25 years, and we are so grateful you have allowed us to be part of your life. When we first started Saskatoon, our goal was to create a profitable business while offering a unique dining experience like no other. As our business grew and matured (along with the rest of us) we started thinking about impacting lives—the lives of our customers, our staff, our family, and everyone else we come in contact with. Because of that, we constantly ask the question, “Did we improve each and every customer’s life we served?” That can also be looked at in another way: “Did we give them what they were looking for or needed, be it a great meal, a break from a hectic day or a family celebration experience they will never forget?” Nine years ago, our business diversified by adding our Chef Prepared for you Paleo Weight Loss Meals. Since then, we have been blessed with so many hard working clients who have successfully improved their health and transformed their bodies.

Then, with the move to our new location over two years ago, we added an Event Center capable of hosting all kinds of special events: Corporate, Birthday, Celebration of Life, Retirement, Graduation, Rehearsal and Weddings. In this issue, we are focusing on some of the most joyous memories created in that Event Center. You'll find features about several of our customers who have allowed us to share the memories we help them create there. Whenever we are so fortunate to host events like these, we are humbled at being so blessed to be a part of such milestones of our clients’ lives, and as a part of this issue, we're featuring two of our team members who meticulously help our clients plan that perfect event: •

Angie Finazzo, a former fellow restaurateur and good friend and adviser who is now heading our Corporate Events and the menu planning for all of our parties

Jane Hanna, our Wedding and Rehearsal Dinner Planner Extraordinaire. Jane and I went to high school together! A wedding planner by profession, Jane has already planned 30+ stunning weddings and 60 rehearsal dinners since our move to our new location.

Thank you to each of them, the rest of our team and to you for your support and patronage. May your days be filled with blessings!

See you at The Lodge,

Edmund, Renee, and the family at Saskatoon Copyright @2020 by Saskatoon Lodge and The Brand Leader. All foreign and U.S. rights reserved. Contents of this publication, including images, may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. Published for Saskatoon Lodge by The Brand Leader.











On Occassion: Meet the Women Behind the Events at Saskatoon Lodge Weddings at Saskatoon Lodge F E AT U R E

The Top Four Requirements for Your Event Space (and How We Do It Best!)


rainy day wedding







Friends for Life

Before the Big Day Forever & Always





TRANSFORMING EVENTS INTO SPECIAL OCCASIONS From the moment you inquire about an event at Saskatoon Lodge, you’ll be in great hands. Professionals in every aspect of the word, Jane Hanna and Angie Finazzo bring the experience and the know-how that can truly transform your event into a special occasion.



When you’re considering hosting a Wedding or Rehearsal Dinner at our Saskatoon Lodge Event Center, your first contact is likely to be Jane Hanna. Jane’s passion is to make every aspect of your event run smoothly—from the moment you visit the Lodge to envision your event, to the time your last guest leaves the building. While her experience stretches over a full spectrum—from corporate events to graduation parties—Jane has a special place in her heart for brides. “I love meeting the bride and groom and their families, and listening to their ideas for their special day is always interesting, because some girls have been planning and thinking about their wedding day since they were little” Jane says. “For me, I enjoy working from Day One until Event day and seeing that vision become reality.” Jane is no stranger to events of all sizes—her event planning career started with AT&T planning incentive trips and awards banquets. After over a decade with the telecom company, she went out on her own, and has run her own event planning resources for more than 20 years. A couple of years ago at a class reunion for Parker High School, she reconnected with her high school friend, Edmund and heard about his plans for the new Lodge building, where now she serves as the Weddings/Rehearsal Dinner Event Development Planner. Jane focuses on making every detail memorable—helping select the right location for the event, weighing in on space needs, timeline and special requests.



There are a number of things unique to our Saskatoon Lodge Event Center when hosting an event, but none quite so unique as the food. And when it comes to food, Angie Finazzo knows exactly what you need for your big day. A restaurateur by trade, Angie is a longtime staple in the Upstate culinary industry, beginning with the Morris Street Tea Room in Anderson and growing into Peter David’s in downtown Greenville. As she became more and more known for great food and great experiences, her catering requests grew as well—leading her to be the go-to caterer for big events all over the Upstate, where she would serve Congressmen and corporate executives alike. A few years ago, Angie reconnected with Edmund, and that discussion soon led to Angie coming on board with Saskatoon Lodge as their Corporate Event Planner as well as overseeing the Event Center Food. Called the “menu guru” by her co-workers, Angie is adept at determining what food fits the event style and needs best—including appetizers, allergy requirements, and even signature drinks. Angie has even led the team in special requests—from special plates for the bride and groom to arranging tasting menus for guests who may want to taste something from the “wilder” side of the Saskatoon menu, Angie is attuned to making that great meal be the center of your great event. For Angie, there isn’t one type of event that is more important than another, and she strives to bring her best to every occasion that comes in the doors of the Lodge. “Every event is the most special event, and I love working with my clients,” she says, adding, “After all, our motto at the Saskatoon Lodge Event Center is ‘When only the best will do!’”


weddings at saskatoon lodge AWAY FROM THE BUSTLE OF THE CITY, A QUIET RETREAT SITS. Known for its focus on wild game and incredible service, Saskatoon Event Center provides an experience like no other for your wedding party. From Bridal showers, Bachelor parties, Rehearsal dinner and Receptions; from small, intimate gatherings of 12 to larger parties of 200, Saskatoon can host your event in its entirety, with a unique menu in a retreatlike setting.

OUR PROMISE TO YOU We built Saskatoon Lodge on the belief that your wedding—the ultimate statement of your eternal love—deserves an unparalleled

experience, where every detail matters. Your experience is our top priority—and we’ll

OUR VENUE Our brand-new event center was created with your event in mind—regardless of the size or needs. Our Northwestern design, situated on nine acres of wooded land, provides a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. From our romantic gardenwalk to our woodlandinspired conference room, we can accommodate parties of all sizes in a variety of landscapes in our 7,500 square foot restaurant and event center, determined only by your needs and desires.

attend to every detail you envision for your special event. From rehearsal dinners to

Bachelor’s Parties, receptions and more, our spaces are designed to provide the perfect

balance of intimacy and elegance for all of

your friends and family—from our picturesque [window] to our gardenwalk and our larger

Lodge Conference Center. Throughout your entire event, our staff is at your service,

focused on making every moment perfect.

And because we aren’t managing multiple

rooms and spaces with multiple events, our attention is on you—and on giving you the

best experience possible, not simply filling our conference center. Your food is prepared on-

site that day—no pre-prepared meals waiting

in warmers—providing an ideal, unique dining experience. At Saskatoon Lodge, we let you

focus on the biggest commitment of your life; we’ll handle the details. Trust us with your event, and let us take you to a piece of the Northwest, in the heart of the South.

OUR MENU With a unique take on fine dining, Saskatoon has become known for it’s presentation of wild game, including alligator, buffalo, elk, and even kangaroo. But for those less-adventurous, we offer “tame” game, with offerings like trout, salmon, Campfire chicken, and a ribeye that rivals the best in the Upstate. No matter your or your guests’ tastes, we at Saskatoon can offer a menu that is as unique as you are.


your event space must offer AND HOW WE DO IT BEST!


hen you’re planning a wedding, there’s a lot to consider, and few decisions can have as big of an impact as your decision on where to enjoy your big day. The space should be a reflection of who you are as a couple—your roots, your likes, and most of all, it should be a place where you can retreat from everyday life and truly celebrate your marriage. But there are other things your event space should provide, as well, that can make planning your wedding (or any other big event) a lot easier. To reduce stress and ensure your special day is every bit as gorgeous and fun as you imagine, make sure you’re keeping the following things in mind as you begin the process of searching out your “perfect space.”



First, you’ll want to find out if the location has the types of spaces you need. Does this event location offer spaces for all the different aspects of your wedding or celebration, like cake cutting, dancing, or special traditions you want to uphold? Will it fit the number of people on your guest list? When it comes to photographs, are there spaces that will make those lasting memories truly gorgeous?

You’re going to be doing enough planning on your own, so be sure you find a true planning partner in your event space who will help you walk through your event in detail, thinking through every step of each moment. What time do you want to start? When will people arrive? Where will vows take place? All of these things matter, so to have someone else who is thinking about making every aspect of your day perfect reduces the stress and puts you a step ahead.

HOW WE DO IT: At the Saskatoon Event Center, you’ll find a variety of spaces, sizes and locations that can make your vision a beautiful reality. From our outdoor spaces like our garden archway or pondside pergola to our indoor sunroom or open Lodge room—we have all the spaces you could want, and can house up to 200 people comfortably for the celebration of your life. 6

HOW WE DO IT: With two event planners on staff, our goal is to ensure every detail is covered and accounted for. And not only will we help you think through the moments and plan out what should happen when, and where—but we will be there the day of the event to make sure that everything goes according to plan.

A MENU THAT FITS Weddings can take up most of a day—especially for the wedding party and closest guests. Food plays a big part of every celebration. When you’re looking for an event venue or a caterer, make sure they are flexible enough to cater to all the many needs you may have to provide for. Will anyone in your party have allergies that should be considered? Are kids on the invite list? Will you have an open bar or go dry? And finally, is that food—once you finally have a chance to sit down and take a bite—going to be memory-making all on its own? HOW WE DO IT: We have this one in the bag. Saskatoon has long been known around the Upstate for our great tastes and memorable menu. While we became famous for wild game, we can adapt any menu for any one—even the tamer diners. Add to that our wide array of bar offerings, signature drinks and incredible desserts, and you’ll have an event no one will forget.

COMMUNICATION The worst thing that can happen is that you book a location and then don’t hear from them again—maybe even until the week before the wedding. So while you’re on the search for the perfect venue, make sure to inquire about their communication policy. Get on the same page as to how often there should be contact and who you should talk to for what, and when. HOW WE DO IT: Communication is of the utmost importance. Early on—depending on your initial timeline—you’ll hear from us at least once a month to just touch base and ensure everything is on track in the right direction. Closer to your event, we’ll connect with you more often, answering questions and making adjustments up until the day of the event. Regardless of how often we connect with you, please know that our wedding planners are here for you. Feel free to phone, email or text us with questions or concerns as they pop up so we can help you make decisions quickly and easily.

As you go about planning your next event, we hope these guidelines will help you find a perfect space to hold your big celebration. One last thing to consider: make sure that your event venue is focused on service. Challenges often come up in the planning. Finding someone who can be flexible and commit to excellent customer service is key. If we at Saskatoon can be of any service to you, we hope you’ll let us have that opportunity. Contact us today by calling 864-297-7244 to find out more about how we can plan the celebration of a lifetime with you.



carrie and kevin ballenger’s wedding The Opportunity When the weather threatened to wash out their outdoor wedding, the Ballengers had to make a big switch—and fast. Together with the event team at Saskatoon and some quick thinking, they were able to celebrate their big day in style. Date: June 2019 Event Type: Wedding & Reception

Why They Came: “Kevin has some property on a farm, and we were going to get married on that property and then have the reception at Saskatoon... We changed it really quick, but they were super easy to work with.” - Carrie Ballenger

Lodge Location: Sunroom, Outdoor Pergola

THE FOUNDATION The biggest worry for any wedding is that something will go wrong. In the South, one of the biggest challenges is the constant change of weather. For Carrie and Kevin Ballenger, their outdoor wedding took a turn when a few days before the big day, the weather called for rain. “Kevin has some property on a farm, and we were going to get married on that property and then have the reception at Saskatoon,” said Carrie, of their plans. Having been long- time customers of the Lodge, they had selected the space for the reception after seeing the new event space. “We liked the lodge feel, and when we looked at the event center there it was just perfect.” Edmund and Kevin had been workout partners for years (Kevin owns and teaches at Hurricane Martial Arts on Haywood Road). Before Kevin and Carrie

even started dating, they were both customers at Saskatoon—Kevin was even one of Saskatoon’s first Paleo Meals clients. Carrie is a nurse practitioner which proved lucky for the Woos this past Valentine’s Day, when Ayden (the Woo’s younger daughter) fractured her wrist in two places all the way through in an intermediate gymnastic tumbling accident. “Carrie was there and made sure Ayden got the best care and help her through a very traumatic experience,” Renee says. “We love her!”


THE CHALLENGE Coming up on the Wedding Day, the forecast, however, had them scrambling to make new plans on short notice. Fearing the worst, they called Jane Hanna (Saskatoon’s Wedding and Rehearsal Dinner Events Planner) and Edmund a few days before the wedding and asked if they could move the ceremony there, as well. The staff came together to adapt the rooms for what was needed. “We changed it really quick, but they were super easy to work with,” Kevin and Carrie agreed. The couple opened up the sunroom—which would later be used as a dance floor—to host the nuptials, and even found the perfect location for what Carrie calls “gloomy weather photos” (take a look at their wedding photos... aren’t they great!?!)

THE EVENT In the end, the rain held off long enough for the wedded couple to grab photos outside the large bay window in the floral archway, before the reception proceeded as planned. But even with rain, the Ballengers knew they had had the perfect day. “It was a very special day,” Edmund says. “It was a beautiful wedding, a great reception and made all the better that Carrie and Kevin are such dear friends and patrons!” The Ballengers says, “We were overwhelmed with the Saskatoon staff and their professionalism; there wasn’t a thing we could have asked for that they didn’t provide. We left that day thinking that we don’t think that this day could have gone any better.”



We were overwhelmed with the saskatoon staff and their professionalism. There wasn’t a thing we could have asked for that they didn’t provide. We left that day thinking that we don’t think that this day could have gone any better.





F3riends f3or L3ife The Opportunity The Goldman family had a short timeline to host an event celebrating the marriage of Daniel to Chelsea. In only one month, Saskatoon delivered— a Jewish reception that pulled out all the stops. Date: August 2018 Event Type: Wedding Reception Lodge Location: Event Hall, Sunroom Why They Came: “My son’s favorite restaurant forever has been Saskatoon.... we’ve been eating there for many years, and my parents did prior to that. Even when the new location first went up—before he even proposed—we always thought it would be a great place to celebrate his wedding.” — Ellen Goldman

When Ellen Goldman’s son, Daniel, married his girlfriend Chelsea Fetterhoff in a quiet, private backyard wedding, Ellen knew she wanted to do something special to welcome the new couple to the family. With only about two months to plan, she set out looking for the perfect venue, and found that at Saskatoon. “My son’s favorite restaurant forever has been Saskatoon.... we’ve been eating there for many years, and my parents did prior to that,” says Ellen. “Even when the new location first went up—before he even proposed— we always thought it would be a great place to celebrate his wedding.” So, after the quiet backyard wedding, the Goldmans decided they would host a larger reception to celebrate the new couple in a more public fashion, with friends and family in attendance. One Monday, Ellen dropped by the Lodge—at that time bustling with the Monday rush of pickups for Paleo meals. In the rush, it would have been easy to be overlooked, but when Kate (one of the Saskatoon managers and featured in the inaugural issue of Lodge and Legend) saw Ellen there, she jumped in to show her around the space and build some ideas for the perfect event.




Daniel and Chelsea got married in June. Ellen contacted Saskatoon in July to plan for an August event. They made an appointment with Jane, Saskatoon’s Wedding and Rehearsal Dinner Coordinator, and she sprang into action to get everything rolling: event spaces, food, drink, music and decor.

Within a month, the perfect event sprang to life on August 18—a party for 140 of their closest friends and family that spread throughout the bluetrimmed event space and spilled into the outdoor area. Beautiful lights lined the areas, while Saskatoon’s own tastings filled the menu of heavy hors d'oeuvres in different stations around the room.

“It was just an easy process,” Ellen says. “Whatever you want to happen, they can make happen!” With a tight deadline and a new space, there were plenty of opportunities for mistakes, but the synergy between the event team, the restaurant staff and the Goldman family was immediate, and unmatched. “The best part of it was that I could ramble in the way that I do and they still understood what I was looking for,” says Ellen. “Jane could read my mind in certain areas...It was just an easy process.”

“When we walked in that night it was perfect,” Ellen notes. “It was exactly the way we wanted it and exactly the way I envisioned it. They had brought my vision to life.” From the fast-paced beginnings to the very last call, the Goldman wedding was a success, and pulled everyone around into the festivities—even some of the Saskatoon restaurant staff. “We’re Jewish, so when we did the Horah (a traditional Jewish wedding dance), a lot of people had not seen that before,” said Ellen.”They even pulled Renee and Edmund's daughter into the circle to dance.” But really, Ellen notes, what made the event with Saskatoon so special, even from the beginning, was the way they felt: “The personal touch was amazing,” she says. “They’ve known us for years, but Renee and Edmund have this ability to become your family friend throughout the process. It was always “hug you in and hug you out”, and Jane was the same way. I didn't feel like it was a business transaction— although it was. Instead, I feel I have a friend for life.”

when we walked in that night, it was perfect. It was exactly the way we wanted it and exactly the way I envisioned it. They had brought my vision to life. ELLEN



A N N E & S T E P H E N PAY N E ' S R E H E A R S A L D I N N E R

before the big day

The Opportunity The Paynes had already chosen their wedding space—a venue they own and operate. But they wanted something unique for the rehearsal dinner, and a place where they could truly relax before their big day. Date: April 2019 Event Type: Wedding Rehearsal Lodge Location: Event Hall, Sunroom, Outdoor Pergola Why They Came: “We wanted the food to be something that people hadn’t experienced before, and would be totally different than what they would have the night of the wedding. And, we needed a room layout that would fit with the layout of the wedding so that we could still have the rehearsal.” - Anne Littlepage Payne

THE FOUNDATION When Anne Littlepage and Stephen Payne began building their dream home together on an old farm in Laurens County, they knew that it would be the perfect place to host their own wedding. And while they loved the feel of that space—a rustic, outdoorsy event space that they named Ole Blue Truck Farm—they knew they would need something different for their wedding rehearsal and dinner. Because most of the wedding party was from Greenville, they wanted a change of scenery, to keep the wedding party from having to drive the long distance two nights in a row, effectively keeping them from rehearsing in the same space that they would be using for the wedding itself. But that presented its own challenge: to find a location that was set up similarly enough to the actual wedding venue to allow a similar rehearsal. Anne also knew that she wanted a menu that complemented the same style of the wedding, but provided a different flavor palate as well. “We wanted the food to be something that people hadn’t experienced before, and would be totally different than what they would have the night of the wedding,” Anne said. “And, we needed a room layout that would fit with the layout of the wedding so that we could still have the rehearsal.”



It was for all these reasons that Anne and Stephen chose Saskatoon for the event. The Littlepage family were longtime customers of Saskatoon, having dined there since it’s early beginnings in the ‘90s. “I think we first went there for their original opening, or close to that,” she said. “I remember going there very shortly after they opened, and we’ve been going there for family dinners and special occasions ever since. And, with their new event space at the Lodge, it was an easy decision to make.” It made sense that the restaurant that she had grown up with was where she would choose for the “night out” before the wedding, and the new event space offered the perfect solutions for the very specific needs she faced for her rehearsal.


Because of the easy access between the event space and the outdoor section, Anne and Stephen found that it easily translated to the same layout they needed for the wedding— they simply traded out their handmade arch (one that the brides’ family made especially for the wedding day) with the pergola that overlooks the outdoor fountain. The younger members of the party played cornhole outside and walked around the gardens. After the practice runs were made, the guests dined on a buffet that encompassed all tastes— with chicken, fish and even elk— in an environment that complemented the many family paintings and farm-style décor they had chosen to use. All along the way, Anne said, the staff at Saskatoon kept proving she had made the right decision. From the décor to the bar staff, and everything in between, the event was a night she will always remember.




“The staff was incredible,” Anne said. “They made sure we had everything we needed at every step along the way. They even made sure that the few kids in the wedding party had access to a menu they were comfortable with, although I think most of them ended up eating the elk anyway.” Jane Hanna, Saskatoon’s Event Planner for weddings and rehearsal dinners, was excited to play a part in the event, too. “It was an honor getting to host Anne and Stephen for their big day,” she said. “Not only because they were customers who had grown up with Saskatoon, but also because they, as owners of a fellow event space, trusted us with such an important event of their lives together.” While that evening may have simply been a precursor to the main event the following night, the rehearsal dinner— and the Lodge—will forever hold a special place in their memories. 15




681 Halton Road Greenville, SC 29607 (864) 297-7244


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