Rustic + Romantic Michigan Beach Wedding
November 2, 2015
Classic WeddingsBackyardOutdoor Weddings
First I fell for the Bride's dress - an Amsale masterpiece - then I caught a glimpse of the bridesmaids' bouquets followed by these pics of the newlyweds dancing on the beach, and oh well, my whole morning was out the window as I dove into Katie Kett's pics in our VAULT. They're packed with prettiness and bursting with smiles that can't help but make you fall in love with these cuties - see what I mean!?
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From the Bride... Ben's family beach house in New Buffalo, Michigan, fondly known as "Camp Holland," had been a special place for Ben and his family for nearly 30 years. Many of Ben's childhood memories were spent on that same beach, swimming in the lake, watching sunsets, and playing in the backyard. When I came into the picture, Ben quickly introduced me to Camp Holland, and our relationship flourished there. We built many memories at Camp Holland together - hosting our friends for long holiday weekends, sharing stories around the bonfire, walking on the beach, and falling in love.

When we got engaged, having a weekend-long, Labor Day celebration in New Buffalo, Michigan at "Camp Holland" was a no brainer. And since one of our favorite things to do together is host events and entertain friends, we simply envisioned our wedding to be the best party we could possibly throw for our friends and family at a place that carried so much meaning for both of us.

Our design vision was to let the beautiful setting - Lake Michigan, the beach, and its gorgeous sunsets - speak for itself. We selected a neutral, organic color palette of blush pink, sage green, soft whites and touches of gold. I wanted to keep my dress simple, classic and elegant - lending a swatch of my dress fabric for Ben to wear as a pocket square in his suit. Bridesmaids selected their own dresses in the same neutral, blush pink color palette for a cohesive look that still showcased their individuality. The floral complemented the natural aesthetic with blush pink roses and astilbe, white hydrangea, and seeded eucalyptus. Green garlands spanned the length of the wood farm tables with rustic candelabras and bud vases filled with single blush roses.

Since Ben and I both love to ride bikes in Chicago, the basket on my Linus beach cruiser held a floral arrangement, while escort cards were loosely tied to the spokes of antique bike wheels. Ben is also a bird aficionado, so antique bird cages served as the place for guests to drop wedding cards, and a handmade wood bird-shaped cake topper complemented our wedding cake. My favorite Wisconsin beer, Spotted Cow, was served throughout the night, while guests enjoyed a dessert bar from Ben's favorite Chicago bakery, Sweet Mandy B's.

With an entirely outdoor wedding, our planner advised that we tent our backyard reception. While we originally dreamed of a completely open-air, "California-style" wedding, we knew Midwest weather might have other plans. And boy, were we right. Two days prior to our wedding, two huge frame tents that covered the entire backyard were loaded in and set up. The following day, massive thunderstorms blew over the lake, literally lifting the tents out of the stakes, tearing them apart and throwing them on top of the house. After a little cry and a bigger laugh, Ben and I realized we'd get exactly what we wanted after all - an open-air wedding under the string lights and stars. The amazing night of speeches, eating, drinking and dancing was topped off with an incredible fireworks show, a late-night wood burning pizza truck, and a bonfire "after party" on the beach.

For future brides and grooms, our advice is to allow yourself to laugh and not take anything too seriously. Not everything goes as planned, but life is much more fun that way.

Peruse more Midwest weddings here!