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Americana-Style Michigan Wedding by the Water

We might be headed into the cold months of winter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream of summer days spent on the water. In fact, that was exactly the idea behind Maryal and Chris’ wedding – who you might recognize are the bloggers behind Love and Specs – that played out as a small town, Americana-style celebration in Petoskey, Michigan. Pop to the gallery shot by Ashley Slater and don’t miss a look back at their desert chic engagement.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Classic

From planner Sarah Rhodes Boyce with Sincerely, Ginger Weddings… When I first spoke with Maryal, I knew I hit the bridal client jackpot! She’s enthusiastic, witty, smart, stylish and a little spitfire! This made planning with her and her lovely mother, Anna, all the better. After understanding Maryal’s vision for her big day, I couldn’t wait to get started!

At the very beginning of our planning together, she had some great ideas, but most importantly she was excited to show off her favorite place in the world to her family and friends: Walloon Lake in Petoskey, Michigan, the place where her family has had a home for almost 40 years and that filled her life with years of happy memories. Several of Maryal’s ideas and inspiration were derived from Petoskey, for it’s small town flair with local shops overflowing with cherry pie, fudge, local art and old-school soda pop – it all fit into her vision of a classic Americana wedding. With that vibe in mind, we went with a palette of soft white, blush, cherry lipstick red and royal blue.

The invitation suite really set the stage for for the theme the couple had chosen. The bride and graphic designer Ayofemi Creative Studio (who also happens to be Maryal’s friend) worked together to create a beautiful cherry-adorned, red, white and blue vintage-esque suite with watercolor details and blue gingham ribbon to tie it all together. The envelopes were addressed in red and blue watercolor by the insanely talented Michigan-based Sable & Gray to give guests a peek of what was to come.

The guys and gals in the bridal party chose their own suits and dresses with two rules in mind: stick with the color palette and have fun with it! To be completely honest? I wasn’t so sure it could be pulled off, but as you see in Ashley Slater’s photographs, everything was so classically perfect. Both parties got ready at the gorgeous Hotel Walloon right on Walloon Lake. Maryal went with a vintage wave for her hair and that iconic red lipstick we all wish we could pull off! And her shoes? Suede Carolina Herrera pumps in the same hue of red, of course. Her dress was a two-piece Monique Lhuillier stunner that incorporated a hint of blush in the skirt. Chris looked dapper as ever in a navy check Hugo Boss suit and a perfect chambray bowtie to top it off (that happened to match their dog Hamlet’s bowtie). They looked amazing.

After 8 months of planning together, the vision came together perfectly, the timeline was set, and Maryal and her fiancé Chris were more than ready to get married. We were all ready to pull off an amazing party. However, on August 20th the forecast was feeling a little less enthusiastic. We were looking at a 100% chance of rain for the entire day. Luckily, the bride and groom, their awesome bridal party and their amazing photographers walked into the day with a positive attitude.

We were lucky enough to get their first look outside when as the rain broke for 30 minutes, and my goodness are we ever thankful for that. The pictures were beyond perfect. From there, photos were taken inside and on the porch at the Hotel Walloon. Luckily, the interior designer and Maryal had a similar sense of style! Every detail in that hotel is incredible.

The ceremony took place at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Petoskey with Chris’s father as the Officiant, a string quartet and a surprise singer for Chris who played a special song on the guitar as Maryal walked down the aisle. As they kissed and hugged their friends and family as a married couple, Maryal’s father’s classic car in that glorious lipstick red was waiting for them. Maryal’s parents surprised the couple and adorned the car with tennis shoes and soda cans just like the good old days. The car also had a stunning floral display because, well, every detail matters!

The couple chose to have their reception at the Walloon Lake Country Club, where Maryal’s family have been members for many years and where they spend every summer of Maryal’s life. The space had been newly renovated which definitely worked to our advantage. Crisp white walls, tall ceilings and an out of this world wrap around porch overlooking the lake were definitely things we could work with! Even though the rain was still coming down, the guests were able to enjoy the Cocktail Hour underneath the porch listening to live music, enjoying a few fun signature cocktails and a stunning display of charcuterie and passed appetizers. Guests found their seats via the classic Coke bottle display adorned with the sweetest royal blue gingham ribbon.

Upstairs, for dinner and dancing, the Country Club has never looked better. La Tavola linens dressed the tables in white and blush and local florals from Bloom Floral Design knocked guests’ socks off. The dinner was as locally sourced as possible, with Whitefish from the Great Lakes and produce from farms just 10 miles away. Even the drinks were local: Mawby Sparkling, wines from Walloon Lake Winery and Michigan made Bells Brewery beers. Once dinner was finished, it was time for dancing! One of their must-haves on their big day was a killer live band and that killer band had to play Motown. Well, let me tell you – Soul Xpress was even more amazing than the couple had dreamed! Everyone was out on the dance floor dancing to Otis Redding, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye and more. It was the perfect ending to the most perfect day.

Maryal and Chris’s day was so perfect because they allowed it be perfect. They trusted their vendors and when clients can let go and trust that everything will go well, an unforgettable day is bound to follow!

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Photography: Ashley Slater | Cinematography: The Compass Points Here | Event Planning: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Bloom Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cakes: Simply Sweet By Jessica | Invitations: Ayofemi Creative Studio | Ceremony Venue: Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Petoskey | Reception Venue: Walloon Lake Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Carolina Herrera | Engagement Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Rings: Sedgwick Design | Hair + Makeup: Vogue Salons | Calligraphy: Sable & Gray | Band: Soul Xpress | Favors: Murdick's Fudge | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss Red Label | Ceremony Music: Festival of Strings | Accomodations + Getting Ready Venue: Hotel Walloon | Ceremony Music (Bridal Entrance): Dylan Holmes | Dog's Bow Tie: Rover Boutique | Groom's Bow Tie: The Tie Bar | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Pies: Jesperson's Restaurant | Place Settings (Flatware, Glassware, China): Gigi and LaClede | Vintage China: Vintage Place Settings

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English Garden Style Wedding Set in Michigan

You know what I really, truly love about this wedding? These college sweethearts managed to bring an English garden vibe to the bride’s home state of Michigan. Think summertime romance set at an elegant manor, with ‘maids dressed in the prettiest pink gowns by twobirds Bridesmaid. Amy Carroll photographed and there’s much more this way.

From the Bride…Jake and I have been together for eight years, since our freshman year in college. I knew he was the love of my life as soon as I met him and I could not wait to marry him. We got engaged in New York City, where we live, and always knew we would tie the knot back home in Michigan. While that definitely came with challenges, I absolutely loved planning our wedding. I found our venue, Greencrest Manor, on a photographer’s blog and instantly fell in love. It’s set in the middle of nowhere and out of 200 guests, only a couple had ever heard of it. It was perfect for the casual-yet-elegant garden wedding we envisioned.

The amazing and slightly difficult part about our venue was that we needed to bring everything in, from the tent and tables to the catering. We spent hours doing research online and speaking to different vendors to find exactly what we wanted. It was tedious and time consuming, but we ended up with a team of vendors that we adored. About three months before the wedding we realized we really needed a day of coordinator. Hiring Emily and Claire from Polished Events and Celebrations was one of the best wedding planning decisions we made.

Because we planned from a distance, we tried to keep the DIY projects to a minimum, but thankfully my family helped a lot. My mom is an angel and spray-painted all of our candelabras gold and spent hours at flea markets looking for vintage cake stands and pie plates for the dessert table. My dad made a rustic set of cornhole boards, my sister made banners and a bunch of other decor, my lovely husband attached 150 envelope liners for the invitations, and I spent the nights leading up to the wedding hand-assembling 200 program fans.

One of my favorite parts about planning a wedding was finding ways to incorporate personal details. Our officiant was our favorite professor from college—he got ordained just to perform our ceremony and it could not have been more perfect. Part of my bouquet ribbon came from my mom’s wedding dress, which my grandma handmade. She passed away a couple years ago and she always wanted me to marry Jake, so I loved having part of her with me. My headpiece and earrings were custom-designed by my favorite jeweler, Lulu Frost. She also designed earrings for my mom and sister, which we plan to pass down to our daughters. The donuts and bagels (which we served as a late night snack) came from a bakery Jake used to work at, the cake was made by a childhood friend—I could go on and on!

The smartest thing we did was a first look. We took all of our photos before the wedding, and then as the shuttle pulled up to the venue with our guests, every bride’s nightmare came true—it started pouring. I’ll be completely honest, I was really, really sad at first. But Jake took charge and decided we should start with cocktail hour and see if the rain let up. We had a “grand entrance” down the spiral staircase, ate a few hors d’oeuvres and, thankfully, it stopped raining so we could get married outside.

Even with the rain, it was the perfect day. Our guests had so much fun dancing to the Bluewater Kings Band, our dessert table was nearly empty by the end of the night and it was amazing to spend an evening with our closest friends and family. The dress and Manolos may have ended up covered in mud, but I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.

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Photography: Amy Carroll Photography | Cinematography: .Vintage Storybooks | Floral Design: Park Place Designs | Wedding Dress: Berta | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Jewelry: Lulu Frost | Bridesmaids' Dresses: twobirds Bridesmaid | Catering: Adeline Leigh Catering | Hair + Makeup: Cheeky Strut | Band: Bluewater Kings Band | Venue: Greencrest Manor | Bride's Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Cake + Cupcakes: Fox Trox Baking | Day of Coordination: Polished Events & Celebrations | Donuts + Bagels: Johan's Pastry Shop | Farm Table Rentals: Fancy Fray | Invitations + Stationery: Centennial Avenue | Tent + Chair Rentals: Rentalex

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Are Palm Leaves the New Peony? For This Chic Celebration, They Are!

After seeing endless celebrations as a wedding photographer herself, this Bride-to-be knew she wanted something a bit different for her own big day. Think chic and modern, and with palm leaves and stylish black and white decor, she got just that. This urban loft wedding is a breath of fresh air for those Pinterest boards of yours all thanks to Emilia Jane for capturing every bit! See it all this way!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Urban Space
Styles
Modern

From the Bride… Brian and I are originally from Bay City, Michigan but currently live in Chicago. When we walked into Loft 310 in Kalamazoo, Michigan (halfway between our two homes) we gasped. The first thing I noticed being a wedding photographer was the beautiful sunlight coming through the windows and I could instantly envision our wedding there. It very much had that Chicago loft feel and the rooftop overlooking downtown Kalamazoo was perfect for cocktail hour. Not to mention a gorgeous penthouse space in the same building that you can rent for the weekend. Once we saw that, we were sold! Nothing like taking the elevator up a quick two floors after your wedding.

As a wedding photographer who has seen dozens and dozens of weddings, I knew I wanted our decor to be a little more bold than the traditional wedding. We had decided on a black and white theme early on, but the inspiration started flowing when thinking about the florals… or really lack there of! I wanted the centerpieces to be a focal point when you walked into the room, as well as have some vertical height. As our guest list was only 115 people, I worried that without tall centerpieces the room would feel too large. We ended up using a mix of banana leaf palms and large ferns as our centerpieces and I loved the big visual impact they had on the room. When someone mentions seeing our wedding photos, they almost always comment on the palms! They were such a fun element to our summer wedding and fun surprise to our guests. Fond of Florals really made our vision come to life! There were however flowers in my bouquet – white ranunculus, white garden roses, sword fern, and of course palms. For the bridesmaid bouquets, they used hostas and geranium leaves, with a little sprinkle of white lilac.

In addition to the palms on the tables, we also placed potted ferns around the room to help make the space feel more full. Our florist kindly planted two of them in gorgeous gold pedestal vessels that anchored each end of the bar along with two candelabras. It made the bar feel so dramatic! My mom added some fun and unexpected accents to the bar. I’m a huge lover of dachshunds (Brian and I got our sweet dachshund pup Millie about eight months after the wedding) and it was a fun surprise to see a gold dachshund figurine amongst the bar decor.

To carry the black and white theme throughout the room, we purchased handmade black and white striped chargers from a previous bride, which we layered with a black napkin, menu card, and a fern spring to accent. We also purchased black and white striped runners for the tables, and had gold candelabras and candles throughout.

As for the dress, well, at one point I thought I wanted a black dress! I was looking for a dress that was elegant and stylish. But ultimately I knew I just wanted something that I felt absolutely amazing in. Once I put on my Blush by Hayley Paige dress I knew it was the perfect fit – classic yet modern. I loved the romantic waves of the skirt and the matching veil with the horsehair hem completed the look. I also purchased an adorable strapless white jumper from ASOS that I changed into after the first dance. The belt I wore with my bridal gown was the perfect addition to my jumper to make it feel more bridal. I had high hopes of also showcasing my gorgeous Badgley Mischka heels with the jumper, but by the time I changed I was ready to kick off my heels and dance. The jumper gave me more freedom to move and my guests loved that I had an outfit change!

One of the smallest, but most important details of the day, were the rings. Brian decided to wear his dad’s wedding ring, who passed away from cancer when he was 15. His parents, Jan and Fred, had a beautiful marriage and one to be admired. I know having a piece of his Dad with him not only on our wedding day, but everyday, was really special to him and myself. The ring is classic – a yellow gold band that has some light etching to it. Between the original etching and the slight scratches from the years of wear, the ring has so much character. As for me, I love the look of stacking rings, so I decided on two wedding bands – a skinny diamond band and a yellow gold band. I love being able to switch up the order of the stack or wear just the bands or the engagement ring some days.

Emilia captured the day so beautifully and we feel extremely lucky to have had such a talented photographer, and close friend, capture our day. Our wedding day was everything we hoped for and so much more, and we are so thankful to our friends and family for celebrating with us!

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Photography: Emilia Jane Photography | Floral Design: Fond Of Florals | Wedding Dress: Birmingham Bridal Couture | Cake: Mackenzie's Bakery | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Jewelry: Bauble Bar | Hair + Makeup: Pomp and Artistry | Venue: Loft 310 | Bridal Boutique: Birmingham Bridal Couture | Day-Of Coordination: Julie Gregory-Cupps | Menu Cards: Wedding Paper Divas | Rentals: Events By I. Candy

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