A few years back, I visited Mackinac Island and instantly fell in love with the old world charm. It’s the loveliest little spot for a handmade wedding, and that’s exactly what we’ve got on the agenda this fine Thursday morn’. Justine Montigny snapped every DIYed detail, and there’s lots more to be swooned right over here!
From the Bride… Nathaneal and I are currently living in Australia working as missionaries with the organization Youth With A Mission (YWAM). We came home to the US to plan the wedding and get married. I am from Washington State and Nate is from Michigan. We chose Mackinac Island as our destination because Nate spent his summers vacationing in Northern Michigan in Mackinac.
The island will forever hold sentimental value and it was a dream to get married there. The island is set apart by its “no car policy.” Your only means of getting around is by horse carriage or bicycle, which brought such character to our wedding. Having our guests take ferry boats and carriages to our ceremony added quite a unique experience. We booked our venue after falling in love with the lush “woodland grotto” ceremony site at The Inn at Stonceliffe. We wanted to have a small, intimate wedding, very woodsy with lots of greens and hints of gold – a real organic feel. So an outdoor ceremony tucked back in the woods was perfect. Because we opted for a small wedding we wanted to spend every moment we could with our guests who had made the trip up. So Nate and I chose to have a “first look” and pictures before the ceremony. We found a GORGEOUS look out point called “Sunset Rock” with a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and the Mackinac Island Bridge. It was a perfect moment filled with excitement, anticipation, tears and joy!
I am a lover of all things handmade and “Do It Yourself.” I couldn’t jump on Pinterest fast enough to get the creative juices flowing. For the stationery, one of the groomsmen and bridesmaid helped me put my ideas into an actual design and we had them printed at Office Max. With the stationary I wanted to incorporate all things Mackinac Island such as bicycles, horse carriages and the Mackinac Island Bridge. I bought all the flowers locally and my mother-in-law put them together. Our ceremony decor was quite simple because we didn’t want to take way from the beauty of the Woodland Grotto. I bought a pine tree Christmas wreathe, bent the wire into a heart shape, and covered it with seeded eucalyptus and white berries. I am obsessed with all things wood and it played a big part in our wedding decor. I really wanted each guest to have a cutting board as a place mat and take-home wedding favour, but on our budget we didn’t know if we could afford it. While still in Australia I found some at IKEA for $4 each! I was on the phone with different US IKEA’s to see if they carried them and turns out only the Asia/Pacific stores did. So what did I do? I bought 40 cutting boards and filled one of my checked bags weighting over 50 pounds and brought them home!
Living in Australia and being from two different states we had guests come from all over the world. We wanted our guestbook to reflect that, so we bought a scratch map and asked our guest to scratch and sign where they were from. It was so cool to see it fill up all over different places in the world. One of my favourite things about the wedding was our dessert table and all the goodies. We wanted to support Michigan locals so we had fresh Michigan cherries, blackberries and fudge – all delicious things Northern Michigan and Mackinac Island are known for!
All in all our day turned out more perfect then we could imagine and I wouldn’t change a thing. My advice for all brides is don’t sweat the small stuff – when you look back on the happiest day of your life, you’ll realize it’s all small stuff.
Photographer: Justine Montigny | Dress: JCrew | Shoes: Forever21 | Ceremony, Reception and Catering: The Inn at Stonecliffe | Everything else: DIY by the Bride | Paper Goods: Brent French + Cassandra Pinter + Office MaxJ.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.