Ross and I knew some of the same people but had never met until I was home for the summer during college (I was going to school in New York City). He asked for my number from one of my friends and texted me out of the blue one day and asked me to hang out. We spent everyday together that summer and I never went back to New York. Instead, I transferred to Michigan State University so we could be together and we have ever since!
Ross proposed on Oval Beach in Saugatuck. MI. He surprised me, both of our parents were there to celebrate and go out to dinner. He had made reservations at a hotel and packed us an overnight bag in the trunk of our car. The next day, he planned a big engagement party at my parents house.
There is no where more beautiful than northern Michigan. We wanted to get away and make an entire weekend of our wedding. My sister was married at Stafford’s Bay View Inn and my step-sister was married at Stafford’s Perry Hotel - so it’s a family tradition!
Ceremony Location: Bayfront West Park
Reception Location: H.O. Rose Dining Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Lindsey Kay Photography
Cupcakes: Sweet Maria’s Confections
Flowers: Ceremony flowers created by the bride and her mom from Bill’s Farm Market
Bouquests & Centerpieces: Nature’s Garden
Dress: Lace backless fit and flair by Casablanca Bridal from Renee Austin in Grand Rapids
Color Scheme: Neutrals
Wedding Favors: Cookies from Tom’s Mom’s in Harbor Springs, MI
Make-Up: Talulu Beauty Lounge
Aaron and I are both originally from the metro Detroit area, but we both moved to Chicago after graduating from college, and ended up working at the same investment consulting firm in Chicago. We were always friendly as coworkers and our firm had many happy hour events and outings that allowed us to begin to get to know each other a little better outside the office. From there, our relationship grew closer and we’ve never looked back!
Aaron pulled off the ultimate surprise for our engagement – I had absolutely no idea it was coming, which made it so fun. It was my 25th birthday and we were having a drink on our rooftop and opening my birthday gift before going out to dinner to celebrate. One of my gifts was a book titled “The Things To Do Before the I Do’s,” which I did not understand until I saw Aaron down on one knee. My first reaction was total shock and the words “SHUT UP,” but eventually I got the “yes” out amid happy tears. We had a great time sharing the news with all our family and friends and celebrating in the weeks after.
Details of the Big Day
We tried to incorporate some fun Northern Michigan-type things for our guests, for some of whom it was their first trip there, whether it was mini Adirnodack chairs to hold our escort cards, or Taffy Barrel taffy in their Welcome Bags. We also tried to add some personal touches, like “his” (Kentucky Mule) and “her” cocktails (Moscow Mules), which were a big hit. But mostly, we just tried to have fun in the whole wedding planning process, and not get too stressed out about the little details, because at the end of the day we were going to married surrounded by all of our family and friends and that’s all that really mattered.
Planning a destination wedding isn’t always the easiest, and we could only squeeze in one trip to Petoskey between booking our venue and our wedding week, but Angie, Lauren and the rest of the staff at the Perry made it so stress-free for us. I didn’t have to worry about anything, and you could tell they have run their fair share of weddings. We already look forward to returning to Perry and reminiscing about our wedding day!
Ceremony & Reception Location: Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Christopher Belli Photography
Videographer: John Curtis Videography
Cake: Sweet Maria’s Confections
Centerpieces: Monarch Garden & Floral
Dress: Augusta Jones
Color Scheme: Soft peaches and coral
Make-Up: Simply Be-YOU-tiful
Hair: La Dolce Vita Salon
Watch their wedding video: Aaron + Michelle – 8.3.13 – Petoskey Michigan Wedding from JohnCurtisphoto&Video on Vimeo.
Congratulations Aaron & Michelle! Best wishes from all of us at Stafford’s!
Taylor and I met in Chicago through a mutual friend, Matt. I had gone to high school with Matt, and when he and Taylor moved to Chicago he introduced Taylor to me at his own birthday party. Four years later, Matt was a groomsman at our wedding.
Taylor proposed after a 15-hour day of moving us into our new apartment. When we had finally moved everything in and returned the U-Haul, it was 2 a.m. and right when I was about to fall asleep Taylor got down on one knee and proposed! I had no idea it was coming and was very surprised.
We got married in Northern Michigan because I grew up in Petoskey and Taylor grew up in Charlevoix. I have always lived very near Lake Michigan, and still do in Chicago, so we wanted to get married on the lake. Stafford’s Perry Hotel was perfect for us because it has a gorgeous garden with a magnificent view, and it is an elegant, historic building deeply ingrained in the community, and it is just four blocks from the house I grew up in.
Details of the Big Day
A few extra things that were especially fun at our wedding were the band and the photo booth. The band was Trilogy from the Detroit area. They were excellent – they played a wide range of genres and kept the dance floor lively all evening. Taylor and I danced our first dance to The Beatles’ I Will (which Trilogy learned for us), and they played Take Me Out to the Ball Game for my dad’s and my dance. And from what I heard, guests loved the photo booth. It was from Up North Photo Booth and Kristen Richardson did a great job running it. And at the end of the night Taylor and I got an album with all the photo strips in it.
- Submitted by Amy F.
Ceremony & Reception Location: Stafford’s Perry Hotel – Rose Garden Veranda
Cake: Julienne Tomatoes
Flowers & Centerpieces: Monarch Garden & Floral
Photography: Stephanie N. Baker Photography & Graphic Design
Photobooth: Up North Photo Booth
Color Scheme: Navy Blue
Congratulations Amy & Taylor! Best wishes from all of us at Stafford’s!
Robert and Michael met in June 2005 at the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC. Michael was Rob’s mentor when he first started working at the firm. We quickly became friends and began dating in October that year. Since then, we’ve adopted two dogs, Finnegan and Reba, and have renovated a town home in downtown DC.
In June 2011, on our balcony overlooking the Hanalei Bay in Kauai, we both brought up the idea of marriage and our commitment and love for each other. It was a special moment when the two of us were thinking the exact same thing, and we decided to get married.
Ceremony and Reception Location: Stafford’s Perry Hotel Rose Garden Veranda
Desserts: Simply Sweet by Jessica
Color Scheme: Hopeful Pink and Fresh Greens
Congrats Michael & Robert, best wishes from all of us at Stafford’s!
I (the bride) had always gotten 2 tickets to University of Michigan home opener football games to take daddy. But this particular year, daddy could not go-it was Labor Day weekend and he and mom were planning a camping trip. So I was going to just give the tickets away. Dad had other ideas and dialed the phone and then handed it to me. Here talk, To whom? He said it was Gary. I didn’t know Gary, but we began to talk and I asked him to the game. He said yes and there it began. Set up on a date by my dad! (Gary was a former neighbor of my parents). To my chagrin, I later found out he cheers for Michigan State. I am a University of Michigan Graduate.
How He Proposed
On Christmas morning before church, just the two of us, when I thought all along I was getting a pair of earrings to replace ones I had lost. I was so surprised! I asked him if he asked my dad and he replied, “I already had his approval from day one!” Then I grabbed my phone to send my baby boy an email-he is a Marine who was deployed overseas at the time, and I wanted him to be the first to know. Then, I messaged my other Marine son who was in California-too early to call and ran to the basement apartment to tell my daughter. We told my parents at church and called his parents later that morning. He says he waited 50 years to find the right lady to marry and once he found me, he knew I was the one he waited for.
We chose northern Michigan as our wedding destination because we wanted to place that was about halfway between our home in metro Detroit and his family’s home in Crystal Falls (western U.P.). We searched for a smaller quaint venue that was near the water and had facilities indoors and outdoors for our ceremony and reception. We found Stafford’s Bay View Inn and after several inquiries and speaking with the staff, we decided to book our venue and reception here. We talked about it afterwards with friends and found out that a few people had actually been to weddings at the Bay View Inn previously. They talked about how beautiful it was and how delicious the food was. We felt we couldn’t go wrong. We met with Debbie and everything fell into place.
The staff was amazing from the moment we walked into the Inn on the 4th of July. Everything was perfect – our room, the exquisite service, the friendliness of the staff, the view, the gardens, etc. We loved being able to get on a bike a tour the city and the sites, too! Rachael and Lisa were so much help! We loved how they were so attentive. Funny part was that Gary’s sister, Susie Simeoni who lives in Crystal Falls, was commenting on how friendly and helpful both of the girls were. Rachael, as it turns out, is from Crystal Falls, too! How fun it was to discover that Susie was Rachael’s kindergarten teacher!
Our DJ, Mike Valliere, was impressed with the helpfulness of the staff and how kind everyone was. He mentioned that he would love to be at the Bay View Inn again. He kept our small party lively and fun. He included everyone from the young children to the elderly. Stafford’s Bay View Inn Staff, we cannot express how beautiful you helped make our wedding day and our stay! Thank you!
- Submitted by Bernadette
Ceremony Location: Staffordshire Garden at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Reception Location: Howard Room at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Dress: Oleg Cassini – A champagne beaded, lace trumpet gown
Dessert: Cake and Cupcakes from Walmart Bakery
Flowers & Centerpieces: Tall Vases with blue beads, babys breath and lighted branches
Photography: Derek Dechy (family friend)
Bobby and I met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in January 2008. Twenty-eight months later we traveled to Carmel, CA to celebrate Bobby’s 30th birthday. On our walk home on the empty streets of Carmel by the Sea, Bobby asked a very important question, and I said Yes!
Our choice to marry in northern Michigan was an easy one. My family has been vacationing in the Petoskey area since I was born. Bobby’s family has always been drawn to the water and Petoskey is one of their favorite ports. Our northern Michigan experiences and happy memories led us right to Petoskey for our Wedding Day, and Stafford’s Perry Hotel was the perfect fit!
August 20, 2011 was a perfect day to celebrate the time of our lives. The warm August sun and gorgeous sunsets over Little Traverse Bay from the Perry Hotel’s Rose Garden Veranda contributed to making our day unforgettable.
- Guests enjoyed our signature “Mary’s Martini” and “Bobby’s Beer”
- Tables were identified by photos of us hand made by Bobby’s mother
- Bomboniere – Italian wedding favors handmade by my mother featured elegantly wrapped almonds in a lace netting to wish health, happiness, prosperity, fertility, and a long life were given to our guests
- Our first dance was a re-creation of the famous Dirty Dancing “Time of my Life” dance routine
The staff at Stafford’s Perry Hotel were extremely helpful and accommodating. The level of service by all at Stafford’s Perry Hotel was first class. The food was amazing and flavorful. We continue to visit Stafford’s Perry Hotel multiple times a year.
Another key element to the success of our day were our photographers, Scott and Mary Paquette. They provided excellent service from the beginning of our day to the end. They did a fantastic job capturing meaningful moments throughout our special day. They recommended picture perfect outdoor spots that led to beautiful wedding day photos.
-Submitted by Mary D.
Ceremony Location: St. Francis Xavier held by Fr. Thomas Firestone
Reception Location: Stafford’s Perry Hotel – Rose Garden Veranda
Dress: W too Brides by Watters
Dessert: Stafford’s Cookie Bar and Kilwin’s Ice Cream
Flowers & Centerpieces: Nature’s Garden
Band: The Groove Party
Hair & Make-up: La Dolce Vita Salon
Photography: Photography by Paquette