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real wedding | beth+cesar’s lake michigan wedding – part 2

Talk about an amazing location for your wedding—this tented wedding on Lake Michigan was absolutely stunning, from the beautifully draped tent to the lush florals by Modern Day Floral, to the incredible band, Maggie Speaks, out of Chicago. Talk about fun—the bride & groom even had their own custom tambourines to celebrate, and the night ended with a show-stopping fireworks display over the lake! It was most certainly a picture-perfect Lake shore wedding captured by Jennifer Mayo Studios!

real weddings::beth+cesar’s lake michigan wedding

There were so many things I loved about Beth+Cesar’s beautiful September wedding. The setting was amazing—-the brides parents home on Lake Michigan, under a gorgeous tent overlooking the lake. The view was absolutely stunning, the lush florals by Modern Day Floral were exquisite and there were some fantastic personal details tied in. There are so many beautiful photos from Jennifer Mayo Studios, we’ll be sharing them in several posts over the next few days!

After 3 days of some of the highest winds we had all summer, Beth+Cesar’s day started full of sunshine, and calm skies! I’m so thankful when that happens!  The photos speak for themselves on this one…a lovely couple, amazing location, tons of family & friends and lots of fun!

One of my favorite things about this wedding was how much attention Beth put into making Cesar’s family (flown in from Spain) feel included and welcomed, despite a language barrier. Every piece of stationery from invitations to table numbers, to the program, were bi-lingual.  During the reception, speeches were translated via small headsets. During the ceremony, readings and vows were also recited in both English and Spanish. It was something that struck me as extremely personal and such a beautiful inclusion.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

real weddings::brynne+bradys fall wedding at millcreek barns

I love a great Michigan barn wedding. The only thing better is a barn wedding on a gorgeous fall day, with a beautiful couple, super nice family and a rockin’ band. And that’s exactly what we had on October 9th….an absolutely gorgeous day for Brynne+Brady to tie the knot at Millcreek barns! I have to say, Brynne’s dress is one of my all-time favorites, and I absolutely loved that the bridesmaids were bundled up in matching boots, scarves, hats and sweaters—it was so adorable and kept everyone toasty warm and comfortable! Check out Brynne’s bouquet in the top right picture—-yep, those are buttons! Brynne’s crafty mom Melanie fashioned all of the bouquets and boutonnieres out of buttons and they were absolutely fabulous.

Another thing I loved was the coffee cart from American Espresso. We set them up right in the dining room and they provided guests with made-to-order coffees, hot chocolate, espresso, cappuccino, hot ciders, Italian sodas…it was a huge hit and perfect for a cool fall day! Every detail of this detail was beautiful, and lovingly created the mother of the bride, Melanie. She was a pleasure to work with and we were so happy to help her bring all of her details to life so she could relax and be the MOB for the day!

All of the beautiful images were captured by Lisa & Rob of Walcott Imaging! Here’s one more of that awesome bouquet and the bridesmaids attire—love it!

real wedding::tanya+jason’s st. joseph beach wedding

This summer was filled with beach ceremonies for us—ceremonies on the waters of Lake Michigan are some of our favorites and always some of the most beautiful!  One of those beautiful beach ceremonies was planned for Tanya+Jason on July 6th. They tied the knot right by the water, surrounded by their closest friends and family. Tanya+Jason planned their wedding in just a few months from out of state, and we helped them pull together everything they needed for their beach wedding ceremony—an officiant,  fantastic guitarist, photographer, bridal bouquet & ceremony decor, rentals, a trolley and a nearby restaurant for an intimate dinner reception after wards. They could not have asked for a more beautiful day for a Lake Michigan wedding, and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer couple to work with!

I think my very favorite thing about this wedding was the fact that despite threats of rain, we made it through the ceremony without a drop. Tanya walked through the dunes down on to the beach, said I Do, wandered the beach (and pier) for photos and just as they hopped back onto the trolley, the skies opened up.  The shot above was just before the storm rolled in.  We couldn’t have asked for more perfect timing!

Photography by Southwest Michigan wedding photographer Ben Pancoast

real wedding:: max+eunji’s anthropologie inspired wedding

Max+Eunji tied the knot at a private residence in Sawyer on August 28th. This couple was so fun, the property was amazing, the details were beautiful and they had so many personal, unique touches. The ceremony took place in the gardens, where family & friends gathered to hear the couple exchange vows under a beautiful lace chuppah. The aisle was lined with blue mason jars filled with baby’s breath and lavender and draped with colorful fabric bunting from etsy. After the ceremony, guests moved into another area of the garden for cocktails and h’ors doeuvres, before proceeding to the reception tent for dinner and dancing.

Centerpieces were set atop of wood slices and included vintage tea tins and glassware collected by the bride and filled with sprigs of hydrangea, lavender and baby’s breath. Napkins were crafted from paled shades of calico fabric and the whole look was eclectic and absolutely adorable. The dessert table was filled with cake stands made from vintage china plates set atop candlesticks. Friends & family brought handmade desserts including cupcakes, tortes, delicious mini macaroons, cookies, and more delicious sweets than I’ve seen in my life!

Max & Eunji, thank you for letting us be a part of your very special and beautiful wedding day!  Beautiful photos by Belle Rempert Photography

real weddings::brigid+benjamin’s south haven wedding

On September 18th,  Brigid and Benjamin tied the knot in South Haven, Michigan.  Although it rained off and on all morning, the sun came out just in time for the outdoor ceremony at Stanley Johnston Park.  The reception was held at Foundry Hall, just minutes from the ceremony site, and the close proximity of the two made a “wedding parade” possible.  Guests walked from the park to Foundry Hall waving colorful ribbon wands as an accordion played and  Brigid and Benjamin led the way with a “Just Married” sign. Absolutely adorable (not to mention an eco-friendly way to get guests from point A to point B!  The little details made this wedding one-of-a-kind!

From the bunting that was hung at both the ceremony and the reception to the gladiola arrangements placed on the bar in memory of Benjamin’s grandmother, to the hand-crafted guest book and escort cards to the ceremony music written by the groom himself, this event was both unique and personal.

It was truly a pleasure to be a part of this special day.  Thank you Brigid and Benjamin! Photography by Jason Lazarus

Coordinated by Brittany Johnson

real wedding:: brittany+scott’s lake shore wedding, part 2

After a beautiful ceremony at Shadowland Pavilion, guests were invited to enjoy a beautiful tented cocktail hour on the lawn of the Silver Beach Center, before heading inside to Shadowland Ballroom. Escort cards were nestled into wooden trays filled with pebbles and succulents, and the tables were beautifully appointed with gorgeous centerpieces from Modern Day Floral. When I first sat down with Jenn at Modern Day and we talked about Brittany+Scott, what they were like, their style, and the concept I had in mind, she not only got it, she made it even better and she is so much fun to work with! Beautiful manzanita (very reminiscent of driftwood) was used in several of the reception centerpieces and focal pieces, and the bright white flowers with all of their beautiful fresh green stems paired with tons of candlelight were just perfect! I loved it not only because it was beautiful, but it was absolutely perfect for Brittany+Scott—elegant, natural and reminiscent of the beach, but not overdone!
And the dessert table? One of my favorites! There were 6 different cupcake designs in 4 delicious flavors, whoopie pies, blue gummi bears (the brides favorite) and other assorted bites of goodness! A huge thanks to Dee’s Specialty Cakes for the delicious cupcakes and whoopie pies! Brittany+Scott had a fabulous band, the Dave Ivaz Orchestra who had people dancing all night…and boy did they dance…this group got right out on the dance floor at the first song and never left—it was a great party!

Brittany+Scott, thank you so much for trusting us with your special day, and for being such an absolute pleasure to work with! If you’re curious about their sailing adventure, you can live vicariously through them (like I am!) by following them on their blog at!

If you missed Part 1 of Britt+Scott’s wedding, check it out here! All photos are by talented duo Ben+Mindy Peterson of Studio623

real wedding:: brittany+scott’s lake shore wedding, part 1

We plan several full-service weddings each summer…these are couples we get to work with from start to finish to plan every detail and aspect of their weddings, and we usually get to work with them for 6-12 months! When I met Brittany+Scott for the first time last November, I knew this was going to be a fantastic wedding with a fantastic couple, and it was going to be so fun to plan! Brittany+Scott are from Chicago, but they’re 2 sailors who happened to meet in St. Joseph during the Tri-State Regatta, so having the wedding in the same city where they met was the perfect choice for them. They wanted a beautiful wedding that was elegant but casual, beachy but not overdone. Working with Brittany was amazing, because she gave me direction and an overall feel, and she let me run with it! (I’ll be sharing another post later this week showing how a wedding develops from inspiration to the finished product).

The ceremony was held at Shadowland Pavilion on Silver Beach, which overlooks the St. Joseph River and lighthouse, and is right across the river from the yacht club where they met—the perfect place to tie the knot with sailboats drifting by behind them! The photo lower right shows Brittany opening her wedding present from Scott—a flag for their sailboart, named Rasmus! Just a few weeks ago these 2 embarked on a sailboat trip around the world which will keep them out on the water for several years—-a pretty incredible journey for these adventure-seeking newlyweds!

Despite torrential rain the entire morning of the wedding (and I mean serious, ‘will it ever stop?’ rain) the storm clouds parted and the skies were dry and blue for their afternoon ceremony. They walked down a gorgeous custom aisle runner adorned with a dune grass pattern that coordinated with all of their stationery items from Save the Dates to Welcome Bag maps! The father of the bride surprised them with personalized golf umbrellas for guests in case of rain, and also, to stay optimistic (which paid off) hand held motorized fans with the couples names! It was blazing hot by the time the ceremony came around, so guests were so appreciative and they were a great little memento!

I’ll share more on the florals and decor in the next post, but check out the ceremony arrangements and those gorgeous bouquets! The amazing team at Modern Day Floral absolutely rocked out these bouquets—-elegant, earthy and unique—just like this couple! Stay tuned later today for more on their reception and details!

All photos are by talented duo Ben+Mindy Peterson of Studio623!

real wedding::kate+brett at millcreek barns

I think the pictures say it all with this wedding—-super crafty, talented bride with an amazing vision. Check! An amazing location. Check! Beautiful flowers and an AMAZING color palette. Check! Kate+Bretts labor day weekend wedding at Mill Creek Barns was absolutely stunning and the credit on this one all goes to Kate—a beautiful bride with an eye for beautiful details, and some amazing DIY skills! Mary had the pleasure of coordinating this wedding and helped to pull together all of the details.  And there were A LOT of beautiful details—-check them out below!


The bride did a great job of mixing modern design elements with country details, and everything was a perfect fit in the beautiful MillCreek Barns! Flowers were crafted by the very talented Sheri Beikmann of Beikmann Associates, and the buttery yellows were just delicious! A delicious meal was provided by CK Catering (we love those guys!), the beautiful cake was crafted by Bit of Swiss Pastry Shop in Stevensville, and all of this lovely eye candy is courtesy of Miss Cindy Corstange at The Open Shutter! This post is long, but it was hard to narrow down the pics—I could have done 3 posts!
Kate+Brett, congratulations on your special day, and thank you for allowing us to be a part of it! We wish you many more beautiful days as you start your lives together!

real wedding::michele+john at mill creek barns

September is one of my favorite months for weddings—especially outdoors! The weather cools down, beaches clear out, and fall weddings lend themselves to so many rich and vibrant color choices! When Michele+John decided to host their ultra-relaxed and intimate wedding at Mill Creek Barns on September 25th, I knew it was going to be fantastic. They are a laid back and super sweet couple, and I could tell from their first email that I was going to enjoy working with them!


We plan a lot of beach weddings throughout the summer, but September is my favorite month for lake shore nuptials! With kids back in school, the beaches are deserted and we are able to have a pristine, beach go-er free backdrop for ceremonies on Lake Michigan! Michele+John had a beautiful ceremony, with beautiful crashing waves, and despite just a bit of chilliness, it was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon! Guests were greeted with baskets of flip flops so they could slip off their formal shoes before hopping in the sand and Michele’s dress….absolutely gorgeous! Instead of a unity candle or sand ceremony, they planted a rosemary bush, adding soil and water from vintage blue mason jars, symbolizing the love they will nurture and help to grow.


After the ceremony,  guests headed over to Mill Creek Barns where they were greeted with passed h’ors dourves, lemonade and iced tea, hot cider , delicious apple donuts and old-fashioned yard games like croquet and bocce ball! Vintage blue mason jars filled with bright and cheery sunflowers adorned the tables, and guests were given tiny glass jars filled with orange, yellow and green chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. A vintage window pain strung with twine and clothespins held “wishes” from guests…so many adorable details

Friends and family enjoyed a delicious family-style meal before dancing the evening away and enjoying a lovely bonifre. All of these lovely photos were captured by Amy Carroll (who we were so excited to get a chance to work with!) and you can see many, many more on her blog!

Michele+John, thanks for letting us be a part of your special day—it was a personal and beautiful day and we were so happy to be there!