Katie and Christopher were married in a ceremony at Dimnent Memorial Chapel followed by a reception at Baker Events by Gilmore in Holland, Mich. on August 1. “Dimnent Memorial Chapel is breathtakingly beautiful,” Katie said. “We loved the detailed architecture of the building, and the elegant stained glass windows that surround the chapel from every side.” The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in an updo, floor-length veil, and a pair of wedges, while the groom wore a three-piece dark gray suit, accessorized with a tie. Bridesmaids wore short orange silk taffeta dresses and carried bouquets of roses, gerber daises, succulents, and silver brunia balls. The couple opted for a first look beforehand to calm any nervous jitters. “We wrote our own vows to each other, and it was the most heartfelt, intimate, and tender moment that we shared with each other,” she said. “A lot of tears were shed during the exchanging of vows, and it was the best part of our wedding day.” Once it was sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 135 witnessing. Cocktail hour began followed by the reception inside the renovated warehouse. Tables were decorated with white linens and napkins, mason jar centerpieces, and mercury glass votive candles, surrounded by chiavari chairs. “We incorporated a lot of small details into the day that meant a lot to us,” Katie said. “I carried my grandmother’s handkerchief in her memory, and the picnic basket that collected cards at the reception had belonged to Christopher’s grandparents. The party favors of chocolate-covered cherries was a nod to the groom’s hometown of Traverse City.” For extra entertainment, the newlywed shoe game was played. A three-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert concluding dinner. “The food at our reception was AMAZING!” she said. “We followed our taste buds and went with some non-traditional food selections. We do not regret it.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Do what feels like you and your fiance,” Katie said. “Get inspired by wedding magazines, blogs, and the internet but do not get hung up on trying to replicate someone else’s wedding day. You’ll rob yourself of so much joy on your special day if you spend too much time and energy comparing your wedding to what you’ve been elsewhere.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Hawaii.
Shelly and Jeff were married in a traditional church ceremony at United Methodist followed by a reception at Lincoln Hills Golf Club in Ludington, Mich. on October 25. “We were comfortable in the space; it was elegant but not too snooty,” Shelly said. “We loved that they were okay with our dogs making an appearance. Not a lot of places were flexible on pets, and our boys were a big part of the day.” The bride wore a strapless ball gown with a black bodice and silk skirt, accessorized with her hair in an updo and a pair of strappy high heels, while the groom wore a black tuxedo, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched long chiffon dresses in various necklines and carried bouquets of roses. “Archie, our 2-year-old yellow labrador retriever walked with the ring bearer and Bear, our 7-year-old black labrador retriever walked me down the aisle with my father,” she said. Once the exchanging of vows were sealed with a kiss, it was official, almost 150 witnessing. The ballroom was “spookified” for the upcoming Halloween holiday. Tables were decorated with white linens, feather centerpieces, black cobwebs, and candelabras, surrounded by upholstered chairs. Even paper bats hung from the ceiling! “My maid of honor’s speech,” Shelly said. “She has been my best friend for many years, and we are total opposites. She is very shy, and I was expecting her to be nervous and quick. It was so moving and hilarious. People who had never met her were crying and saying what a beautiful job she did. Leslie really nailed it.” A two-tiered fondant-frosted cake was cut and served for dessert concluding dinner. In addition, there was also cake pops, cupcakes, fruit tarts, and popcorn. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t get caught up in every little tiny detail,” she said. “Everyone kept telling us this, and it’s such hard advice to take. No one remembers all of the tiny details, they remember how happy you looked together. If you get too stressed out, it will be harder to relax and enjoy yourself.” At the end of the night, they jetted off to their honeymoon in Thailand.
Alyssa and Andrew were married in a traditional church ceremony at Cascade Christian followed by a reception at the Bissell Tree House at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mich. on September 14. “I picked the Bissell Tree House mostly because it was brand new,” Alyssa said. “When I booked it, there had never been an event in the building. I actually didn’t even get a tour of the inside before I booked it because I LOVED the view of downtown Grand Rapids from the tree tops. I also couldn’t resist the rustic yet industrial look of the outside. The finicular that all the guests had to take to get to the tree house was pretty neat too.” The bride wore a lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with an illusion bateau neckline, accessorized with a white sash, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a black button-up shirt and tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple dresses and carried bouquets of green tricks, succulents, scabiosa pods, and fern curls. “My flowers were my absolute favorite detail,” she said. “I love plants and our florist did a fantastic job with all the bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres. She went above and beyond with everything.” During the ceremony, the officiant said a prayer. “It made me realize how blessed I was able to marry Andrew and spend the rest of my life with him,” Alyssa said. “It brought me to sobbing tears, and I don’t think I will ever forget it.” Guests were escorted to their seats via cards atop branches, tables were decorated with birch centerpieces atop wooden slices and burlap numbers, and succulent favors were given out to let love grow. “My favors were another favorite,” she said. “This was a do-it-yourself project. My mom and I grew the succulents all year long and then planted them in mini jelly jars.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Let people help you with the planning and projects,” Alyssa said. “And mostly enjoy your day because it goes by so fast. I know people always say that, but I didn’t realize how fast it would actually go by.”
Ana and Cliff were married in a traditional church ceremony at Kentwood Community followed by an outdoor reception in the bride’s parent’s backyard on April 26 in Wayland, Mich. “It was my grandfather’s house,” Ana said. “He bought 30 acres and built a house when my mom and her siblings were growing up. After my grandfather passed, my parents bought the house to keep it in the family. I called ‘dibs’ on being able to have my wedding there for a LONG time.” The bride wore a v-neck lace wedding gown with capped sleeves and keyhole back, accessorized with an ivory sash, while the groom wore a light brown three-piece wool suit, accessorized with a denim button-up and striped bow tie. “All their suits were thrift store finds with some flare and added personal style,” she said. “We basically gave them the color scheme and told them to do their thing.” Bridesmaids wore long chiffon dresses and carried do-it-yourself bouquets. Before the ceremony, the couple opted for a first look. “But when we said our vows, I was astounded that we got through them without crying,” Ana said. “That moment, when time stood still, and I looked into Cliff’s eyes to profess my love to him — it’s engraved in my heart forever.” Reception tables were decorated with antique vases and vessels centerpieces, picture frames, handkerchief runners, and kraft paper bag thank-you notes at each place setting. “My mom crafted nearly every single decoration,” she said. “Everything was that much more amazing because of the extra love put forth.” In addition to a mini cake that the newlyweds cut, there was also a popcorn bar with all the toppings like M&M’s, peanuts, and cinnamon sugar and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for guests to snack on. Yum!
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
When we first started looking at reception venues, we began with a few of the most common in our area. Although they were all beautiful, we just couldn’t envision ourselves celebrating there on our wedding day. We then decided to go and look around the campus of the University of Michigan where we had met and began dating four years earlier. We walked into the Michigan League ballroom and knew instantly that it would be the perfect venue for our reception! We both had been in the Michigan League many times before for different undergraduate events and the thought of having our wedding take place on the very campus where it all began just seemed too perfect to pass up!
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. Our wedding cake was something we looked forward to seeing from our very first meeting with G.M Paris Bakery. The sketch they drew was just what we had in mind, and the finished product was more beautiful than we ever could have dreamed of! It was a focal point for our cocktail hour and was delicious tasting as well!
2. Bridget grew up Irish dancing, so we planned for an Irish dancing surprise at our wedding for all of our guests. It was so much fun incorporating an important piece of her heritage in to our wedding day and to witness the excitement for all of our friends and family. We also made homemade Irish short bread with an Italian thank you message for our favors and had cannoli filling in the cake to incorporate Jordan’s Italian heritage!
3. When we began planning our wedding, we both really wanted to have live music. We were so excited to find the band Cancel Monday and to have them perform at our reception. They are amazingly talented, kept the dance floor full all night and people are still talking about how great they were!
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
Bridget- The moment that I can’t stop thinking about is when Jordan and I were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. into our reception with the Michigan fight song! We hadn’t seen the ballroom yet so to finally see everything all come together with all of our friends and family cheering for us was a moment I will remember forever!
Jordan- The one moment I still frequently think about from our wedding day is the look on Bridget’s face when she was walking down the aisle. It was such a special moment and one I will never forget!