Leave it to the good ol’ stripes and stars to lend itself as the perfect wedding inspiration. And while this USA-inspired “I do” was technically held on August 4th, it’s still perfectly patriotic in our book. Morgan Matters captured every last bit of this Michigan beauty, the full gallery? It’s the best place to be.
From the Bride…Even though our wedding took place on August 4th, we incorporated my love for the USA – complete with both the American flag and a firework send off! When Max proposed at sunset on the dock of my family’s summer lake house, we didn’t have to think twice about where to celebrate our Wedding Day. Walloon Lake, located in Northern Michigan, has always been my second home and the most special place to me, and my family – both immediate and extended.
Since I grew up in Carmel, Indiana and Max is originally from Rye, New York the majority of our guests were traveling from out of town. With that in mind, we wanted to make the weekend’s festivities as memorable as possible – to say thank you for the continuous love and support our guests have provided us over the years. Therefor, choosing the band was one of our biggest priorities. Endless Summer Band (absolutely fitting name!) rocked the dance floor and kept everyone on their feet all night! We also incorporated small touches to make the weekend special for guests: a welcome letter, map of the area, and a bottle of wine greeted each guest in their hotel room. I also had plastic sunglasses made with our initials and the logo of the lake, for guests to wear at happy hour during sunset on the lake. A cigar bar made for a nice escape for the gentlemen. Earnest Hemingway spent his summers on Walloon Lake, so a biography about his summers was on display with stocked Hemmingway Short Story Cigars and custom made pink matchboxes with gold Walloon Lake logos.
My wedding dress was designed by the amazingly, talented Oscar de la Renta. It was technically two pieces – a lace top with a silk taffeta skirt. It was everything I had dreamed of, and more! Since our send off included sparklers and hoping in a woody boat, I had a custom shorter skirt made to wear to the after-party. A pink sash and bow, matching the bridesmaids, tied it all together! I wanted our wedding day to be romantic, elegant, but with a touch of nautical summer fun! Our “logo” on the invitations, welcome letters, etc. played off the idea of a monogram – except the middle initial was replaced with the logo of the lake. After the ceremony, the logo of the lake was replaced with our new-shared last name – B for Byrne. It was placed on items such as cocktail napkins and dinner menus. It was a small detail, but yet such a lovely touch… I think particularly for me because I was so excited to take the last name of the person I love the most.
I adore pink – so naturally the color scheme included pinks, blush tones, creams, whites, and gold accents. We both have such a sweet tooth, so the cake was very important to us. Not only did I want it taste good, but I wanted it to look fabulous. Our cake was created the way I envisioned, to perfection – complete with pink ombre cake tiered on the inside! My grandmother passed away just a month before my wedding, so I had her hankie wrapped around my bouquet as my “something old.” It was a nice way of not only honoring her, but a reminder that she was still there that day.
Since Max and I live in San Francisco, planning a wedding in Northern Michigan made for a bit of a challenge. We had to get creative in some regards – ie I created a Pinterest board for my florist to look through. In all honestly, my mother is the one who really helped bring everything together so perfectly. From the bigger picture decisions to the little details, my mother was able to help bring my visions to life. No matter who your support system is, planning a wedding is no one person’s job – so when the decision making process starts to get overwhelming, it helps to rely on the people you care about the most to help make those decisions for you. It will all come together perfectly!
My advice to any Bride & Groom: Immediately after the ceremony, before you leave the altar/chuppa/podium/front area…take a moment while you are standing up in front of your guests to really look out at the crowd. You will see a room (or area) entirely full of people you love, and who love you, and who at that moment are only focusing all their love and attention directly at you. It was one of the most wonderful feelings I’ve ever had, and my husband agrees. Don’t just exit or run down the aisle right away, savor that exact moment. It’s absolutely perfect.
Photography: Morgan Matters | Floral Design: Monarch Garden and Floral Design | Wedding Coordinator: Rayna Traylor | Ceremony Location: St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church | Reception Location: Walloon Lake Country Club | American Flag Dock Location: Bride’s family lake house | Invitations: William Arthur | Hair + Makeup: ilaria hair studio | Band: Endless Summer Band | Cake: Bella e Dolce | Exit Sparkler Tags: Custom, Mother of the Bride | Custom Hankies: DesignsbyGloria | Shoes: BHLDN | Dress: Oscar de la Renta | Exit Dress: Custom Skirt | Exit Shoes: Valentino | Handbag: Kate Spade | Bridesmaid Dresses: Coren Moore | Groom’s suit: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Suits: Bonobos |