Our Privacy Policy will be updated 9/15/14.
By continuing to use AOL, you agree to the updates. More.
View All Weddings in The Midwest
Northern Michigan Destination Wedding

Exotic locales are always fun, but a change of scenery can also be closer than you think. Take this Chicago couple who decided to hold their nuptials at The Bay Harbor Yacht Club in northern Michigan. The result was a stunning and laid-back getaway for them and their guests. Weber Photography was there to captured some lovely moments, and make sure to catch the video from Epic Motion at the end.


From The Bride…Jay proposed the day he and I moved in together. There were moving boxes everywhere and one of the boxes held the ring. I had no idea until I saw him get down on one knee in the kitchen. Our engagement was a little over a year before our big day.

The vision of our wedding came from 3 places: attending countless friends and families’ weddings, hundreds of visits to StyleMePretty.com  and the help of our talented, professional vendors. Jay and I attended 9 beautiful weddings the year prior to ours and found that our true excitement and passion would be memorable food, a band that could keep the dance floor full all night and a talented team that could capture our special day.

Jay had spent his childhood vacationing in Northern Michigan and we both really found that area special. Although we live in a great city, we wanted a wedding location away from home that was fun, laid-back with a sophisticated vibe, surrounded by nature, water and sunset views. Picking Northern Michigan came naturally after we visited the Bay Harbor Yacht Club and the charming town of Charlevoix. The Bay Harbor Yacht Club view provided ambiance, class and an amazing outside terrace to enjoy cocktail hour and a Northern Michigan sunset. As an extra bonus it was away from a big city, traffic and crowds, which gave it a ‘destination-like’ feel without getting out your passport and still feeling homey.

We made the drive from Chicago on Thursday along with almost all of our guests to take full advantage of the luxury of time and a full weekend with our friends and family. On Friday, the men had a golf tournament while the ladies went to brunch, spa and relaxed at the hotel pool with live music. The wedding party reconnected at the rehearsal dinner that night to prepare for the wedding on Saturday. We were married by our priest who made the 7 hour drive from Chicago. It was very special to have a piece of home with us. Saint Mary’s was very inviting and helpful to allow us to bring our own priest.

The ballroom was a charming, open, bright space. We created a warm, romantic, inviting atmosphere by using whites, grays, metallic, and metals with a slightly rustic and eclectic look. I love mixing mercury glass and metallic with different candelabras heights, bowls and candles.

Our flowers were blush pink and ivory garden roses, with eucalyptus, white anemone, dusty peonies, hydrangeas, white freesia with a touch of accents of greenery.  StyleMePretty provided our inspiration to layer gray linens with lace. Our wedding planner and florist helped us find an amazing, fun, chic sequence linen to use for the highboy tables around the dance floor.

For a special touch we got 8 huge balloons for fun props in our wedding party pictures. The balloons were also a hit with the kids! At the reception we had an interactive candy station and late night food which was a lot of fun. Everyone got to create their own candy goodie bag for their drive home the next day. The wine and food was handpicked and created with local vendors. The catering team and head chief used all local food and produce which we loved supporting local vendors.  

We had an amazing wedding weekend and loved every minute of it. Our vendors were truly talented professionals that I would recommend over and over. They made planning from a long distance a piece of (wedding) cake!

Photography: Weber Photography- Cory Weber | Videography: Epic Motion | Wedding Coordinator: Merry Makers | Floral Design: Monarch Garden & Floral | Wedding Dress: Rivini | Cake: Bella E Dolce | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Hair & Makeup: Ilaria Hair Studio | Band: Joyride | Bridesmaids Dress Shop: Bella Bridesmaid In Chicago | Candy Table: SugarBritches | Church: St. Mary Of The Assumption, Charlevoix | Groomsmen Attire: Zeglio Custom Suits In Chicago | Groomsmen Ties: Hugo Boss | Papery Designs: Tableau Events | Stationery Design: Spark Print Solutions | Stationery Store: Paper Doll In Chicago | Transportation: Mackinaw Trolley Company | Veil: Nordstrom | Yacht Club: Bay Harbor Yacht Club

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls and Rivini are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Epic Motion is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Epic Motion


You'll love these vendors in Michigan

Kelly Sweet Photography
View Portfolio
The Traveling Photo Booth®
View Portfolio
Parsonage Events
View Portfolio
3rd Street Films
View Portfolio
Viva La Diva Events
View Portfolio
Gourmet Invitations
View Portfolio
Bliss Weddings & Events + A Discount

As a former Windy City resident, I’ve been following (and swooning over) stunning events and weddings crafted by Bliss Weddings & Events since forever. With over 20 years of experience in luxury event planning, floral design + interior design, the creative geniuses behind Bliss will make sure your big day is totally unique and perfectly planned from start to finish!

Made up of a group of uber-talented planners and designers, the Bliss Weddings & Events team is as stylish as they are creative and fun! And that, my dears, comes shining through in each and every one of the high-end events they design and orchestrate. With a focus on personalizing every event with impeccable style, clever touches and creativity, not a detail is left behind. Guiding couples through the sometimes overwhelming process, Bliss will design every last detail of your event, from florals to lighting to paper goods. Chock full of inventive ideas and contemporary charm, a cookie-cutter event is simply not an option when working with Bliss.

Offering both full planning as well as month-of planning by their fabulous Month-Of Mavens, the Bliss team helps couples create streamlined and specialized events that will have your guests in awe. SMPers, the Bliss Belles and Beau are simply the answer to your event design + planning worries! Ready to get started on your big day? Now’s the time, because Bliss is offering $150 off  contracted month-of planning packages! Simply mention SMP in your email inquiry to redeem discount. 


Bliss Weddings & Events is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Bliss Weddings and Events

Rustic Elegant Wedding at the Forest Dunes Golf Course

I adore this Bride’s approach to planning - she said, “I simply chose elements we liked, and it seemed to work.” And boy did it all work. With the help of Parsonage Events, all of the pretty little pieces fell perfectly into place, so when Lux Light Photography stepped behind the camera to capture it all, magic happened. It leaves us with a gallery too fabulous to miss, and you can see it all here.


From The Bride…For Dane and I, the great thing about dating for 13 years before getting married is that we had subconsciously already started thinking alike and had merged our two styles. You know, that thing that thing that usually happens after you’ve been married awhile…This, along with my event planning background, gave way to swift and painless decision making.

Our fabulous florist and design consultant, Parsonage Events, coined our wedding style as “Rustic Elegance”. Conscious that sometimes following a theme can come off a little too contrived, I simply chose elements that we liked, and it seemed to work. For example, Dane is an avid deer hunter, along with a number of guests at our wedding. Being that our wedding date was during MI bow season, and that the Forest Dunes logo included a deer with antlers, I chose an antler motif for the letterpress invites, by Something Fabulous, and engraved pint glasses (favors). We also chose venison as an appetizer and walleye as one of the dinner options, both indigenous to Northern MI. Inspiration for the ceremony came from our shared love of fishing, kayaking and camping on the Ausable River, as well as an image of the large cross I found on SMP. My design obsession of combining different materials was evident throughout our reception. To maximize space and for cost efficiency, we used both existing wooden tables and rented rounds. A combination of tablecloths, runners and place mats gave the room depth, and all linens were sewn by my mom, as a true labor of love! Soft feminine floral was housed in a mix of clear and colored vintage glass and pewter pedestal bowls; and they were balanced by the dark wood and masculinity of the room. Each setting included a vintage metal napkin ring, which I collected for months before the big day. Because we love a good bonfire, and Forest Dunes has a great bonfire pit on their back patio, we had to include smores. True to our childhood, the sticks had to be found in the woods and whittled down (thanks to my brother, Luke)! Inspiration for the traditional cake from Bella e Dolce, came from the lace detail of my dress. Proud and excited by our new monogram, seen on the cake, I painted the large wooden letters that hung from the loft and my mom surprised us by having it embroidered on the head table runner, which we now use in our home. Afterwards, many of our guests commented that they could really “see Dane and Emily” in each of the special touches of that day. To us, this meant success!

For love of early to mid 20th century fashion, I was drawn to the Ivy and Aster Collette gown, and the Elizabeth pumps by Emmy Shoes. A pearl necklace and bracelet were passed down to me by great grandmothers on both my mom and dad’s side. The costume broach seen on my bouquet was once Dane’s great aunt’s, accompanied by a hankie that was tatted by yet another of my great grandmothers. The satin clutch I used was made by my mom, using fabric from my grandmother’s wedding dress. Bridesmaids chose their own dress and color, which happened to be from both JCrew and Ann Taylor, necklaces by JCrew and Bagley Mischka pumps. Guys suits were custom Joseph Abboud from Nordstrom and sage trout ties from Buffalo Jackson.

Photography: Lux Light Photography | Wedding Planner: Something Fabulous | Flowers: Parsonage Events | Dress: The Gown Shop | Cake: Bella E Dolce | Invitations: Something Fabulous | Reception: Forest Dunes Golf Course | Band: Sweet J Band | Getting Ready: Forest Dunes Gold Course | Limo: By The Bay Transport

Parsonage Events and The Gown Shop - Ann Arbor are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Parsonage Events

The Gown Shop