Oh the woods of Northern Michigan. They’re magical, poetic, rustic and elegant all at the same time. They form a picturesque backdrop, allow beams of enchanting sunlight to pop through and form the most natural carpet of ferns and forget me nots on their floors. The dancing leaves host the perfect celebration.
This quiet morning began in the family’s cabin in Frankfort, Michigan. A scenic little drive and cozy cottage perched on a hill. I would have been content to stay there all day with the bride’s two little dogs and delightful family. However, the progression of the day certainly did not disappoint, as the ceremony lead the guests to a chapel in the woods, The Meeting House. Oversized windows letting in the most perfect breeze and rustic wooden benches filled the space, Crissie described it as an enchanted fairy hideaway. An chuppah adorned with Grandpa’s prayer shall and native ferns signified that Crissie and Mike’s home and hearts will always be open to the ones they love.
The day’s festivities then moved a little closer to the lake. Crissie drew inspiration from all her environment, from the ferns of the forest, to the white birch trees to the cool purples and blues of the lake. The tented reception at Elberta Lifesaving Station added touches of art deco and a watercolor display. While they wanted the woods and nature of Northern Michigan to very much be the focus of the day, they also wanted to remind guests that it’s not a completely rustic and unpolished place, but rather it’s enchanting and organic.
So many personal details surrounded this day. Crissie did all the calligraphy herself and hand-painted the signage, place cards and escort cards. One of my personal favorite details were the dinosaur escort cards and table numbers, which surprisingly felt right at home in Northern Michigan. This whimsical little touch was in nod to a conservatory garden in Chicago (where they currently live). This garden has a fern room. It’s explained that ferns are an ancient plant and have been around since the time of dinosaurs. As you make your way throughout the fern room, one can find small plastic dinosaurs hidden among the plants. There was such a huge focus on the ferns for this day that the dinos migrated from Chicago to Elberta and I dubbed this the “Ferngully Wedding”.
Photography: Samantha James Photography | Floral Design & Day of Coordination: The Day’s Design | Ceremony Venue: Congressional Summer Assembly Meeting House | Reception Venue: Elberta Life Saving Station | Catering: Catering by Kelly’s | Cake: Crescent Bakery | Rentals: GJ’s Rentals | Hair & Makeup: Memorable Occasions
This wedding was also featured on Grey Likes Weddings, you can see that feature here and you can read a little more about the inspiration, including the beautiful poem Crissie sent me as her first source of inspiration here.