This Couple Made It Official with an Organic, Vintage Wedding in Michigan
Maggie and Zach
Maggie and Zach met one summer day on a boat belonging to a mutual friend. They didn't pursue anything because they were going to different schools at the time, but when they saw each other again months later, their fate was sealed. After a few years together, the couple had just closed on a lakefront house and Maggie was jetting off for a friend's bachelorette party. Upon her return, Zach took the day off and surprised her by cooking her favorite breakfast and setting it up with a view of the water. Maggie came down the stairs and followed roses Zach had positioned in the form of arrows, directing her towards the table. "It was our first day in our new house, and seemed like the perfect time to take that big step," he says of proposing.
The two-year engagement culminated with a July 15, 2017, wedding—more or less exactly six years from that first encounter. With the help of their event planning team Ines & Marie, they drew inspiration from their travels (Zach is a professional hockey player and his job has taken the duo to two countries, three states, and eight different cities), and created a day that was natural, organic, romantic, and refined. The celebration, which included 160 loved ones, was designed in neutral shades of gray, white, and blush pink and took place at Sundance Studios in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
The Stationery Suite
The invitation and day-of paper goods were designed by Ines & Marie's Justyna Payne, and incorporated artwork inspired by the greenery that would play a big part in the day's décor. The mix of script and clean fonts made the design fell timeless and organic and the textured ivory paper matched the ivory linens used at the reception.
Welcome to Michigan
Maggie, with help from her bridesmaids and family members, assembled the welcome boxes to greet all of the out of towners. The goodies inside included local snacks (Great Lakes potato chips and Benjamin Twiggs chocolate cherries), ibuprofen, water, and a note that matched the rest of the stationery.
The First Look
Maggie loved the idea of not seeing Zach until she walked down the aisle, but they ultimately decided to do a first look for logistical reasons. In the end, she was so happy they did. "Seeing him calmed my nerves, and I loved not having to take two hours for photos after the ceremony," she says.
A Special Photo Op
Maggie's grandpa's convertible (known as "Big Blue") holds a special place in her heart because she's been riding in it ever since she was little. As soon as the wedding venue was nailed down, she knew she wanted to incorporate the car into their first look photos.
The Bridal Party
The Bride's Bouquet
Zach's brother, brother-in-law, childhood friend, pal from hockey, and three buddies from college stood by his side on the big day—and were all smiles in their black suits.
The 4:30 p.m. ceremony took place in the backyard garden of Sundance Studios, under an arbor decorated with southern smilax, eucalyptus, Italian ruscus, and huckleberry to create a loose and romantic base, with white dahlias, garden roses, and spray roses to soften things up. Simple pots of baby's breath dotted the aisle, and linen market umbrellas set throughout the seating helped provide some shade.
The bride entered on the arms of her parents as "Stand By Me" by Bootstraps played. Zach chose 1 Corinthians 13:2 as a reading, the officiant spoke on love being the great unifier and what everyone in attendance shares, and the bride and groom lit a unity candle. "It had been raining all week and the morning of the wedding everything cleared up," Zach says of the lucky circumstances for their beautiful day with temps in the high 70s.
The couple recessed as Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne's "Real Love" played.
Cocktail hour in the garden boasted fresh oysters, charcuterie, sushi tacos, Caprese bruschetta, and chicken fingers.
A Cigar Table
With quite a few cigar aficionados in the family, the couple knew they had to incorporate a cigar table at the reception. A sign sporting a Ben Harper lyric, the couple's initials, and wedding hashtag was set out with matches and a box of Double Coronas.
Your Seat Awaits
White Buffalo Designage also made the seven-foot tall seating chart, which was topped with an asymmetrical swag of greenery.
Guests ventured inside for the seated dinner, where they found a mix of tables decorated in different styles. The couple shared a sweetheart table that was set beneath an installation of candles and greenery. The look was inspired by a scene Maggie loves from Phantom of the Opera, where hundreds of candles are lit.
"Sitting at the head table next to my new wife, surrounded by my best friends, and looking out at all of my family and friends that I love most in the world was a rare moment and it was truly amazing," Zach recalls. Maggie agrees. "When we sat down for dinner together, I looked at him and smiled, and then looked out to everyone we love so much and knew this was exactly where we were meant to be," she says.
While some long tables featured just trailing greenery and candles, others were topped with tall arrangements of maple leaf branches, mercury glass vessels holding candles, and bud vases with a few white blooms.
Seating in the Round
Round tables dressed in ivory linens were anchored with footed urns holding all-white floral arrangements of roses, dahlias, ranunculus, tulips, and scabiosa, interspersed with greenery. Table numbers and menus were printed on the same paper as the invitations. The meal began with an organic green salad with quick-pickled beets, shaved radishes and carrots, and basil balsamic vinaigrette. Braised short ribs, cherry-brined chicken, and balsamic-smoked mushroom skewers were served as entrees, with a Moroccan sweet potato salad and grilled veggies on the side.
A Little Cake
Zach's cousin Karli made the petite funfetti cake with buttercream frosting that the couple cut into while "Cake" by Flo Rida and 99 Percent played.
Gimme Some Sugar
Mini jars of peach cobbler were set out on a table with a thematic sign. There were also shot glasses of milk topped with small chocolate chip cookies.
Ready to Dance
Maggie slipped into Converse wedge sneakers so she could dance all night long.
The First Dance
Ellie Goulding's "How Long Will I Love You" played while the newlyweds hit the dance floor for the first time under the large vintage chandelier. The lyrics resonated with the couple and their story. Maggie then shared a dance with her father to Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely," with Zach and his mother following right after to Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind."
Everyone then moved to the dance hall and back garden to party the night away.
Photography, Vienna Glenn Photography
Location, Sundance Studios
Event planning, flowers and stationery, Ines & Marie
Catering, The Farmhouse Catering
Calligraphy, Jason Payne of White Buffalo Designage
Bride's gown, Tara Keely
Makeup, Sadie Mahrle of Bare Beauty Bar & Spa
Bridesmaids' dresses, Lulus
Transportation, First Student Charter Bus Rental
Bar service, The Liquor Cabinet