When the bridesmaids arrive by boat, you know it’s going to be a great wedding – and when the bride happens to be a wedding planner we love, you know it’s going to be a pretty wedding. And pretty it was! Add to the fact that Vrai Photography was on board to capture all of the super special moments, and we have a wedding you’ll want to spend some serious QT with – be sure to check out all the perfectly pretty details in the full gallery of images!
From the Bride…As a Wedding Planner in Chicago, planning my destination wedding in Spring Lake, Michigan seemed like a breeze, at first. I absolutely love my job as a wedding planner and I am so blessed to be able to do this for so many beautiful brides, who I become dear friends with throughout the process. However, planning a wedding for myself, was not easy. I was engaged two years ago but didn’t start the planning process until a year out. That gave me time to really think about what I wanted to do, how I wanted to do it, and focus on my companies’ first year in this business.
I am so fortunate to be able to work with incredible vendors in Chicago and I learned very quickly, that I had to start from scratch to find vendors in Michigan. After a few months of research, I was so fortunate to have found the most amazing vendors to work with. On the other hand, I am extremely lucky that they chose to work with me! It’s not easy working for someone who does what you do. I have the utmost respect for anyone in this industry and that made me enjoy the process even more. I will be life long friends with all of my vendors.
Needless to say, I realized I needed some additional help. There was no way I could do this all on my own….and actually enjoy my wedding weekend. I was able to find an incredible planner who came in and pulled everything together for me. Without her, I could have never been able to relax and enjoy the wedding weekend. A few of my other vendors were from Chicago: The Deja Vu Band, managed by my sister, Jen Knuepfer Kenny, Vrai Photography, I Do Films and HDO Tenting. To spend a weekend as a bride with these vendors, whom I have worked with many times throughout the past few years, was just a blast!
I knew I wanted something different for our Michigan wedding. I see the most beautiful weddings in Chicago and I get to be a part of so many wonderful moments and memories and I knew that was what I wanted for Bryan and myself. Spring Lake is a dear place to us and our families. My Dad enjoyed many summers here growing up, and my family spent many summers and weekend visits together here. It is a place we will be coming to for many years to come. I knew since I was a little girl, I wanted to have my wedding in Spring Lake; the most beautiful place on earth to me. That also meant designing a tent, from scratch. We don’t do many tented weddings in Chicago, so this was new territory to me.
Bryan and I love being near the water, love boating and all the activities that come with it. We also love warm weather and spending time outside. I knew I wanted a nautical feel, to reflect the place we were at, but also a comfortable, casual, warm and intimate setting. I absolutely love lanterns, candle light, hydrangeas and everything navy! Since flowers don’t come in navy, we kept them light and natural and used the navy in other accents. I also wanted the floral to look as though it was picked from our garden; blue and clear hanging mason jars filled with wild flowers throughout the ceremony and reception provided the natural feel I was looking for. I mixed and matched patterns and designs, to create a nautical, but elegant look.
Food was extremely important to me as well and I really wanted the farm to table presentation and quality with local ingredients. Our caterer presented the most beautiful food that was in season, locally grown and absolutely delicious! Of course, we had to end the meal with blueberry and peach pie – a perfect way to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Our bridesmaids arrived by boat, and walked off the dock while the groomsmen lined up at the altar from another side of the yard. It was breathtaking. I walked down the steps from our house on a small hill, facing the lake. It was the most surreal moment walking down that aisle. All I could think was “this is actually happening!” It was the greatest feeling in the world.
Cocktail hour was next to the ceremony site, overlooking the small beach and the waterfront. The bridal party went on a boat ride immediately following the ceremony, while guests sipped “Lake Breezes” in Mason Jars, munched on passed hors d’oeuvres and enjoyed a fabulous cheese station, by “The Cheese Lady.” We were then invited up to the dinner tent by the harmonious sounds of a Bag Piper, which got guests moving! The dinner tent was stunning; Hanging lanterns, beautiful floral, soft lighting and just an overall romantic and intimate feeling.
My grandmother passed away days before our wedding, so it was a blessing to have my entire family with me, to celebrate her and we felt her presence all weekend long. It was a very emotional week leading up to it, and of course the wedding day was filled with tears and laughter; but all joyful. It down poured all morning – and even though my entire wedding was outside, somehow it cleared up an hour before the ceremony and we were able to do everything, just the way it was planned. She was my Angel in the Outfield.
I will always remember this day; not only because of the beautiful details and the hard work the vendors put into the production, but because we were so fortunate to have all of our family and friends travel to Michigan to celebrate with us. My parents worked so hard to create the perfect wedding for us and I am truly grateful for their support. Bryan and I didn’t leave the dance floor all night (we owe that to our band) and to my surprise we ended the night with a firework show! It was truly magnificent and now I know how all of my brides feel on their wedding day, loved and so blessed. It was magical!
Wedding Photography: Vrai Photography / Wedding Cinematography: I Do Films / Floral Design: Modern Day Floral and Event Design / Event Design: Modern Day Floral and Event Design + HDO Tent / Event Planning: Turn Key Management / Tent: HDO Tent / Catering: Christine Ferris Catering / Ceremony + Reception Location: Private Residence / Invitations + Paper Goods: Magnificent Milestones / Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch / Wedding Dress: Ann Barge / Music: The Deja Vu Band
Anne Barge is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.