An Intimate Garden Wedding at a Michigan Bed & Breakfast
In the fall of 2015, Matt's friend Tiffany showed him pictures of her single girlfriends on Instagram. Matt spotted Miya and became instantly smitten. As it turns out, Tiffany and Miya knew each other from childhood, but they hadn't spoken in nearly a decade. "Tiffany reached out to another mutual friend, who then texted me asking if I was interested in meeting someone," says Miya. "At first I said no, but she sent me a picture and then I said yes!" The pair connected over the social media platform. Eventually, Chicago-based Miya traveled to Matt's hometown of Indianapolis for a meeting with her boss. They took the opportunity to go on a blind date and hit it off. "I moved from Chicago to Indianapolis a few months before our wedding, and the rest is history!" says Miya, who works as an architect.
Miya dreamed of getting engaged on the beach at sunset, so she didn't think a proposal would happen in the middle of a Midwest winter. But her life changed forever on a vacation to Costa Rica with her family in the winter of 2017. "My dad had planned a family dinner right along the beach at sunset," says Miya. "Exactly when the sun was setting, someone tapped me on my shoulder, and to my surprise it was Matt! He got down on one knee on the most magical evening on the beach, with the sun kissing the horizon in Costa Rica, and asked me to be his wife. My family captured it on video and to this day I love to look back at and smile at how surprised I was," says Miya, who later learned that her parents helped Matt work out the details of the proposal.
On August 13, 2017, Miya and Matt tied the knot at Greencrest Manor in Battle Creek, Michigan. Fifty guests attended the garden ceremony, which had a neutral color palette, black-and-white dress code, loose flowers, and an intimate dinner.
The Stationery Suite
Miya operates a part-time calligraphy and design business, Layers of Loveliness Calligraphy and Design, so she created her own heirloom stationery suite with a custom typeface and wax seal. Details were written in romantic calligraphy and a stately font on feathery handmade paper. Silk ribbon from Stella Wolfe tied everything together.
Miya and Matt originally wanted a California wedding, but decided to stay closer to home so Matt's grandparents could attend the festivities. The pair love spending summers in Michigan and decided to tie the knot at Greencrest Manor, a bed and breakfast in Battle Creek. "It wasn't California, but it felt like France!" says Miya. "It was exactly what I wanted for the day." The venue was about three hours away from their home in Indianapolis, and the couple loved its beautiful architecture, flowers, and secluded setting.
Miya wore an Anne Barge wedding dress, which she found while shopping at Bella Bianca in Chicago. "I planned a fun day of wedding shopping and champagne drinking with my mom and sisters. After we finished all our appointments with nothing, we decided to see if we could make a walk-in appointment at Bella Bianca. We got in!" says Miya. "Still feeling down about my dress experience, we pulled some gowns and began the process with an amazing bridal consultant. My Anne Barge gown was unexpected yet perfect, picked out by my mom and sisters. I tried it on and immediately knew it was the dress and I cried!" Miya particularly loved the neckline, fit and flare shape, and Alençon lace detailing. She paired the dress with Badgley Mischka wedges and pearl jewelry from Tiffany & Co. Miya's sister, a talented makeup artist, completed the look with NARS lipstick in Afghan Red, which Miya wears on special occasions.
Matt wore a Bachrach tuxedo, Banana Republic shirt, Aston Grey shoes, and a bow tie and pocket square from Nordstrom. The duo set their dress code as formal wear in black, white, or a combination of both.
Kelly Lenárd of Intertwine created a large bouquet with garden roses, ranunculus, hellebore, and vines, tied up with ribbon from FrouFrou Chic. "I gave my florist full creative control because I love her work so much and trusted she would exceed my expectations," Miya says. "She executed my bouquet and the organic yet elegant floral details perfectly."
The Ceremony Site
The ceremony took place overlooking a lake at Greencrest Manor. Overgrown ivy, fountains, and gardens created a picturesque backdrop.
Miya's dad walked her down the aisle to "Now We Are One," a song based of the scripture at Genesis 2:23, 24, played by Spanish guitarist Steve Somers. The intimate ceremony was personalized to the couple and their relationship. "Our minister highlighted our favorite scriptures that would give us the tools to be a successful husband and wife, having God a main part of our three-fold cord," says Miya. "As we exchanged vows, we were surrounded by those people who were part of the love story that brought us together." Matt recalls seeing his eight-year-old daughter's face when the couple vowed their love for each other, saying it was one of his favorite moments of the day.
After the ceremony, Miya and Matt took photos with Clary Pfeiffer in the formal gardens and meadows of the manor, where the sunset created a golden light. "The moments we spent with Clary were so serene and relaxed, giving us a momentary respite from all the action to reflect on and appreciate being husband and wife!" says Miya.
Guests walked through a formal garden to cocktail hour, where they enjoyed Champagne and other beverages, passed appetizers, and music by guitarist Steve Somers. Miya sourced all of the coupe glasses herself at a Goodwill store in Chicago, where she found them for $1. "As guests ordered drinks, they were able to wander through an organic vegetable garden with the most beautiful free-roaming chickens!" says Miya. The Farmhouse Deli catered the hors d'oeuvres, which consisted of Maryland crab cakes, scallops with pesto, fresh spring rolls, and stations of smoked salmon and flatbreads. Since Miya and Matt love bourbon beer, they ordered a keg of "Dragon's Milk" from local New Holland Brewing Company.
"Because we have a huge family, we couldn't invite everyone and didn't want to choose, so we opted to invite immediate family and close friends who have been an integral part of our lives separately, together, and into the future," says Miya. Guests wore black and white formal attire, while Miya's sisters stunned in rose gold Sorella Vita gowns from Bella Bianca.
The Escort Cards
Miya calligraphed guests' names on handmade paper, then stuck them in vintage sewing drawers with overgrown moss and loose organic blooms. "That was one of my favorite details!" she says.
Dinner took place on a stone terrace decorated with bistro lights and lush blooms. Guests sat at long tables during the al fresco meal. "We chose a neutral color palette headlined by whites and creams—a perfect complement to the flourishing gardens, stonework, and vast meadows," says Miya. "We had the goal of highlighting the intimacy of the day without taking away from the beauty of the French Normandy-style manor."
For an organic and elegant appearance, tables were decorated with loose-form blooms and trailing smilax greenery arranged by Intertwine. Cream-colored linens, candles, and handmade Italian ceramic lace-style chargers completed the tablescape, and wooden chairs catered to the neutral color palette. Miya says the reception was one of her favorite memories: "We saw our friends and family sitting at dinner together, most who had never met each other laughing, taking selfies, hugging, and dancing—that touched me deep in my soul," she says.
Miya created a custom menu printed on handmade paper. It was placed atop a napkin and lace charger at the dinner table, with a sprig of greenery adding a pop of color. The meal, catered by The Farmhouse Deli, started with an organic arugula salad served with burrata, heirloom tomatoes, basil, pickled onions, and a white balsamic vinaigrette. For the main course, guests chose between rosemary garlic petite filet, grilled salmon, or stuffed red peppers with a summer risotto and grilled vegetable stacks. The couple is extremely conscious of what they eat and where it comes from, so their menu was local, organic, and farm-to-table. Bringing in their love of California, the couple's favorite pinot noir and pinot grigio coordinated with the menu items.
Pear trees surrounded the reception site at Greencrest Manor. They fit perfectly with the natural aesthetic of the wedding day, and some of the fruit was used to accent the couple's table at the reception and the cake table.
Sweet Heather Anne created a display cake based off the detailed lace work on Miya's dress, and a strawberry Champagne sheet cake by The Cakabakery was cut and served to guests. "I didn't want anything related to the weather to ruin my cake, so we opted to include two of our favorite cake vendors in special ways," says Miya.
The First Dance
Miya and Matt danced and sang to "I Swear" by All-4-One. DJ JWill4Real played "My Girl" by The Temptations for the father-daughter dance and "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Randy Newman when Matt danced with his daughter. "A very special moment was when our guests joined us in a soul train line led by dad with 'Atomic Dog' by George Clinton playing. So much fun!" says the bride.
As a sweet ending to a new beginning, guests left with Sweetwater's Donut Mill—a favorite from the bride's childhood. After the wedding, Miya and Matt ventured to a private villa perched on the cliffs of the Caribbean Sea in St. Lucia, where they celebrated their beautiful big day. "Matt and I didn't want the pomp and circumstance of most traditional weddings; we didn't have a wedding party, a first look, or cake cutting. We focused on our marriage ceremony and the little details that collectively created an experience for our guests and highlighted the laughter, joy, and memories made that we would cherish forever!" says Miya.
Photography, Clary Pfeiffer Photography
Location, Greencrest Manor
Catering, The Farmhouse Deli
Hair, Hannah Wagner Design
Makeup, Kiss of Beauty Makeup Artistry
Groom's tuxedo, Bachrach
Favors, Sweetwater's Donut Mill