Rustic Chic Michigan Cabin Wedding
Would you believe me if I told you this piece of pretty was put together as Part Two of their Big Day? From their sweet City Hall nuptials to the sentimental cabin ceremony that followed, every moment...
Would you believe me if I told you this piece of pretty was put together as Part Two of their Big Day? From their sweet City Hall nuptials to the sentimental cabin ceremony that followed, every moment is sure to bring a sincere smile. Overflowing with lasting love, every detail Tuan B & Co captured is waiting for you in the gorgeous gallery, here!
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From the beautiful Bride... Elsie and I had the pleasure of having two weddings! Our big deal, giant party wedding we wanted to have at my family cabin in Northern Michigan. The spot we chose couldn't have been more scenic or ideal. It's a place I had been going since I was a child, and a place my father had been going since he was a child - so we're talking about 80 years of history there.

But, Michigan does not recognize same-sex marriages, so we got legally married a month before in Chicago (where we live). We planned to treat the ceremony in Chicago as just "completing paperwork" - but when we got there, we were surprised by our photographer who showed up to capture what we didn't realize would be such a moving day (How awesome is that!?). After waiting in a long line and a terrible government office basement, we were ushered into the judge's chambers, where the judge picked up his "Ceremony for Same-Sex Couples" cheat sheet and officially married us. That morning, we picked flowers from our garden and tied a ribbon around so I had a bouquet. We were joined by my parents and my cousin and then had a few friends over to our house afterward. I cried during the ceremony, and Elsie, excited beyond control basically couldn't stop giggling and smiling. After that day I thought, "Huh, maybe it can't get better than this." It was so simple, beautiful and emotional. But one month later was when we planned the "big event".

In August, just about 100 of our friends and family made a trek to a remote spot in Northern Michigan to celebrate with us. We did nearly all planning and preparation ourselves and it was SUPER stressful. We did everything - menus, ceremony programs, escort cards (including finding sticks in the woods, sanding them, varnishing them and slicing slats in them to fit the escort cards). Our "welcome bags" featured all Michigan products and included our own personal recommendations of places to eat and things to see in this tiny town. (Our friends, mostly from New York, DC and San Francisco, kept asking about cabs, not really knowing what they were getting into). But the care and the planning we put into all of these details made everything so special and perfect in the end. Our rehearsal dinner was one of my favorite moments; we had one long giant table and white linens running down the deck of the cabin with fresh picked wildflowers from the property that our friends had foraged that day. My mom and step-mom made the food, and after dinner I convinced a solid number of our friends to go jump in the lake with me off the dock at sunset. It was beautiful and magical, and again I thought, "How could it get any better than this?"

On the big day, we stood under a ceremony canopy made from Elsie's mother's veil and her father's Barong tagalog - a traditional shirt worn by Filipino men during special occasions like weddings. Both of her parents have passed, and so my 89-year-old grandmother, a seamstress her whole life, sewed the canopy together making it one of the most meaningful pieces of our big day. Two of our best friends - both musicians, played and sang "Here comes the Sun" as I walked down the aisle and other friends did surprise readings that fit the day perfectly. After the ceremony, Elsie and I walked down the aisle, married this time in front of all of our loved ones, and hopped on a John Deere gator decorated like a "Just Married" car for a quick round trip spin through the woods. Our food was made by one of our friends who is a Chef back in Chicago. The highlight was the whole roast pig that he stayed up tending to for 14 hours straight, but the entire menu was amazing and seasonal and from farms somewhere along the route from Chicago to Northern Michigan. My cousin made the wedding cake - a skilled and trained chef and baker himself. He made probably the best tasting wedding cake I've ever had.

While I could really go on and on about how perfect our day was, the one other moment I'll mention is our "first look." Tuan, our photographer, picked a trail that leads from our cabin to what was my great-grandfather's cabin next door. That trail is lined with tall old pines - pines that were planted by my father and grandfather. And the first look photo that Tuan captured was just so breathtaking. The biggest surprise of that day was how quickly we got overwhelmed (in a good way) by the sheer fact that so many people came from so far to celebrate with us. Ever since August, I've just wanted to have that day, that weekend, all over again (crazy, right?). I not only got to marry the love of my life, but we did so surrounded by so much love and meaning - I couldn't have asked for anything more.