Wedding Feature: John & Sarah

John & Sarah were married in Downtown Petoskey in August.

Their Story
John and Sarah both relocated in the Spring of 2009 to Atlanta. John and Sarah met in Atlanta, Georgia after their two friends set them up, Anthony and Kendran. Anthony was a fraternity brother of John’s and Kendran was a friend of Sarah’s when they worked together after college.

john and sarah 2John and Sarah first met at Anthony and Kendran’s home and later John took Sarah to an amazing restaurant called JCT kitchen for their first date.  The rest is history.
In 2012, John and Sarah then relocated together to Chicago, where they live now.  Anthony and Kendran, now themselves married, spoke at John and Sarah’s wedding in Petoskey.
john and sarah

The Proposal
John proposed to Sarah in Petoskey on a gorgeous fall day, out on the break wall in October of 2013.  Petoskey has always been a special place to Sarah, as her family visited Petoskey often and each summer.untitled22

john and sarah 4john and sarah 6Wedding Ingredients
Ceremony & Reception Location:
Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Jenna Shea Photography (Atlanta, Georgia)
Flowers: Kate MacGregor – Tag Along Farms
Color Scheme: Lavender, Mint and Teal
Dress: Sarah Seven

- Submitted by Sarahjohn and sarah 5untitled66

Wedding Feature: Patrick & Amy

Patrick & Amy were married in August in Downtown Petoskey.

Patrick & Amy were married in August in Downtown Petoskey.

Their Story

Patrick and I met at work in 2008! We are both Michigan State University grads and have quite a few friends in common, but we never met while we were at State. In our early years at Coyote, we worked together on a daily basis and over time our friendship grew into much more! In November of 2009, I was working from our Atlanta office for a week, where Patrick lived at the time. Blog 3He was pretty persistent about taking me out to dinner, I said no, but I ended up settling for a lunch date. To this day he still gives me a hard time about only going to lunch!   After a month of talking he won me over and Patrick flew up to Chicago to take me out on an official date and the rest is history!Blog 2

The Proposal
Today proposals can become so elaborate, with photographers, scavenger hunts and surprise trips, which are all amazing, but sometimes when it comes to the reality of a proposal they don’t always go as planned! After somehow sneaking away to northern Michigan in January of 2013 to officially ask for my Dad’s blessing, Patrick decided he was going to propose when we were in Montana on a snowboard trip. Well, the ring didn’t come in time, so he had to wait!

Once we were back in Chicago, I botched multiple proposal attempts (I had NO idea a proposal was coming) by making plans with my girlfriends. Early in the morning on February 23, 2013 I got up to go to the gym and Patrick was acting really unusual. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, he came in and splashed water on his face. I kept asking him what he was doing that day and he never gave me a response, which is VERY unlike Patrick. Slightly confused I went back to our bedroom where he walked out of our closet. He looked at me with this face I have never seen before, I will never forget that look, then he got down on one knee and said, “Amy this is not how I planned this, but I cannot wait one more day!” Then I looked down at the box in his hand and started screaming and crying and don’t remember anything else. The rest of the day we celebrated with my brother and friends in Chicago and the whole day could not have been more perfect!Blog 1

Why They Chose To Marry In Northern Michigan
Having our wedding in Petoskey was a no brainer. I grew up in Petoskey and we both love traveling to the area to visit my family. I always had dreams of having my wedding Up North and we are so happy we did! Stafford’s Perry Hotel was a stunning venue and months later we still have people telling us how much fun they had. We could not have asked for a better day!blog 4

Wedding Details

  • The Wedding Party: We had 24 total people stand up in our wedding. It was an absolute riot to have so many friends and family share our special day.
  • The Church: Saint Francis Church has been my Grandparents church for years and it was very special to have our ceremony there! My bouquet was entwined in a rosary my late God Mother gifted to me on the day I choose my wedding dress. It was so special to have her with me on my special day. The ring pillow was also made out of Patrick’s Grandmother’s wedding dress. The lace was brought over from Asia during WWII.
  • The Reception: The whole point of a northern Michigan wedding is for your guests to feel like they are on vacation and fall in love with the all-around beauty of “Up North” and Stafford’s Perry Hotel is the perfect place for that. We wanted our wedding to be casual but a huge party! We also wanted the décor to compliment the view and the Rose Garden Veranda. The venue alone is so naturally beautiful, it made decorating so easy! I made sure my color palette was subtle, with ivories, soft pinks and greens and used flowers that were also in bloom on the veranda.Blog 5

Wedding Ingredients
Ceremony Location: St. Francis Church

Reception Location: Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Lyzenga Photography & Design
Flowers: Tigerlilly’s
Cake: Cakes by Phyllis
Color Scheme: Ivory, white, blush, pinks and touches of green
Dress: Renee Austin, Grand Rapids; Designer: Enzoani, the Dakota Wedding Belt – BHLDN
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo525

- Submitted by Amy

Wedding Feature: Lori & John

Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0241

John & Lori were married at Stafford’s Bay View Inn in Petoskey in August.

Their Story
We met back in 1999 through a mutual friend. Long story short, our lives went on without each other and in 2011 we reconnected (thank you facebook) and knew we were meant to be together!Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0211

We got engaged on July 27, 2013. We were planning a summer party for that day. John seemed to be really concerned about the time it was taking me to get ready since I told him I’d probably just shower when he went to pick up his kids. He kept telling me that the time to get the kids was getting pushed back, so we had more time to prepare for the party, so I finally just went & took a shower. He finally leaves to get the kids and right after he left, he came back in telling me I need to keep my phone nearby because he just sent me a text that I needed to respond because he left something at the house. So, he leaves again and I get yet another text telling to me to respond when I’ve read it… I figured he was checking to make sure I had my phone nearby so I responded with “read,” letting him know I did in fact have my phone by me… just in case.Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0213

What he actually meant to say was to let him know when I finished reading the email he just sent me. It was the most lovely email about how we have reconnected, our journey together and what we have to look forward to in the future. As I am reading the email, there is a knock on the door and all I can think is ‘come on people, I’m trying to get ready here!’ I thought it was my mom or sister showing up early for the party, so I go to the door and nobody is there. I get a little closer and John is sort of hiding off to the side of the door. Of course I am confused wondering what he’s doing there. So he comes in the house, says some more lovely things and asks me to be his wife!

Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0215Apparently, that was his plan, to propose before the party and I was completely surprised! It was so nice because we were then able to share the news with our friends & family as they came over for the party.

Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0217

Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0218We chose to marry in northern Michigan because we both have been coming “up north,” since we were little – both our families have cottages up there. We knew our wedding would be on the smaller side and figured it would be nice to have a wedding in northern Michigan with our closest family and friends. Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0230Neither of us had been to Petoskey previously, but when we visited different cities and venues, we fell in love with Petoskey. Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0232

Wedding Details

  • I really had no idea what anything was going to look like, including my bouquet and flowers for centerpieces, as well as the arch for the ceremony. I was so excited to see the beautiful ceremony and reception set-up!Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0235
  • John and I decided to do a “first look,” and see each other before the ceremony. It was such a great decision! I loved it just being the two of us. Plus, we were able to go downtown and get some pictures in before the wedding.Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0236

Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0237Wedding Ingredients

Ceremony Location: Staffordshire Garden at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Reception Location:Howard Room at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Photographer: Meg Darket PhotographyBay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0246
Desserts: Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Flowers: Bloom
Centerpieces: Containers provided by bride accompanied with Bloom flowers, burlap and lace table runners and votive candles
Dress: David’s Bridal
Color Scheme: Mint & peach with burlap and lace throughoutBay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0248

Bay View Inn Weddings, Petoskey Wedding, Petoskey Wedding Photographer, Up North Wedding, Up North Wedding Photographer, Bay View Inn Wedding Photographer, Pure Michigan Weddings,_0244- Submitted by Lori

Wedding Feature: Emma & Daniel

Emma & Daniel were marred at Stafford's Bay View in May 2014.

Emma & Daniel were marred at Stafford’s Bay View in May 2014.

 

Their Story
We met at work, we were both swim coaches at the time – and Dan and I became good friends. After six months of working together, he asked for my number we started dating officially on May 23, 2012! Untitled-2

A year later on May 23, 2013, we went to our favorite fine dining restaurant (where we had our first date) for a combination of our 1st Anniversary/Dan’s birthday. Dan totally surprised me (and himself!) by proposing completely out of the blue at dinner. We went to get my parent’s blessing, made LOTS of phone calls and started planning!Easter Blog3

Why We Married In Northern Michigan
We love water, it has always been a big part of our lives as swim coaches and have both lived in Michigan and loved it! When we started talking about having a smaller destination wedding, we looked at a few places, decided on northern Michigan and fell in love with the Bay View Inn.Easter Blog4

Easter Blog6Wedding Details
There were so many little details to our wedding that made it special!Easter Blog2

  • I carried my family’s prayer book, which the women on my mom’s side have carried on their wedding day for generations, since the late 1800s.
  • I also carried images of my grandparents who could not be there in person to keep them close.
  • Dan’s favorite color is “hi-lite orange,” so we used that and the color of water as our inspiration.
  • Dan gave me a traditional Irish (we both have Irish heritage) Claddagh ring with aquamarine (water again!) for Christmas. I loved it so much, I picked an aquamarine for my engagement ring!Easter Blog7

Wedding Ingredients
Ceremony Location: Staffordshire Garden at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Reception Location:Howard Room at Stafford’s Bay View Inn
Photographer: Katie Johnson of KatieJ Photography
Cake: SugarBean Cupcakes
Flowers: Flowers from Nature’s Garden
Centerpieces: Made by the bride and mother of the bride
Dress: Blu by Mori Lee from Touma’s Bridal in Fort Wayne, IN
Color Scheme: Light orange, dark aqua, spring green and white
Easter Blog 1

-Submitted by Emma

 

Wedding Feature: Shannon & Jared

Shannon Jared -3485

Shannon & Jared were married in June in northern Michigan

Their Story
We first officially met in Algebra II class at Charlevoix High School. Jared was a junior and I (Shannon), was a sophomore. Jared had just moved/transferred to Charlevoix from nearby Wolverine, MI. He sat in front of me in class, and along with several of our other classmates, we often worked together to complete our daily algebra assignments. Though we did not start dating until 3 years later when we were in college, I was instantly intrigued by his ability to make me smile and laugh – an attribute of his that continues to make me fall more in love with him every single day. It is possible that we may have crossed paths during a summer Wolverine Basketball Camp during our middle school days, but the first official introduction occurred in this Charlevoix math class. Dibble Collage3

The Proposal
Jared had quite an intricate, surprising proposal! We had discussed getting engaged for several months, and I was definitely starting to get a bit impatient! Little did I know, but since November 2012, Jared had been planning to surprise me by proposing on his birthday, February 15, 2013. I am a difficult person to surprise, and Jared thought that the only way to pull it off would be to propose on a day when I would be completely focused on him and not expecting anything – thus, his birthday!

Jared’s best friend (and the Best Man in our wedding), Scott, was crucial to the proposal plan. I received a text message one night from Scott asking if I had thought about what I wanted to get Jared for his birthday. I replied that I had been thinking about getting him golf shoes. Scott then responded that he knew exactly which shoes Jared wanted, his shoe size, and even had a coupon to the PGA Superstore. He then offered to purchase them for me.

Over the next month, I could never seem to get a hold of the shoes. Either Scott was traveling on business or he had forgotten the shoes in his car or at work. The week before Jared’s birthday, I still had not even seen the shoes! Scott told me that after getting them “gift wrapped at work” (i.e. Scott wrapping them himself), he would hide them in the back of Jared’s Explorer for me to retrieve later on. Dibble Collage4

Meanwhile, Jared had been planning a big Valentine’s Day weekend in downtown Chicago for us. Since I had to work overnight at the hospital on February 14th, we were planning to celebrate on Friday, February 15th by staying overnight in a hotel downtown and going to dinner at my favorite restaurant, McCormick and Schmick’s. Jared picked me up late Friday afternoon to drive downtown, and somehow, no matter how many times I asked Jared to open his present, he avoided it.

When we arrived at the hotel, I made Jared sit on the couch, set the present in his lap, and told him he had to open it right then. He unwrapped the present, got extremely excited when he saw the golf shoes, and knelt down to “try them on.” I then walked over to the window to look at the river below, and when I turned around, Jared was down on one knee and pulling a ring box out of one of the golf shoes. He then proposed! I was completely blown away.

About an hour after the proposal, as we continued to call all of our closest family and friends, there was a knock at the door. It was my parents! Jared knew how much it would mean to me to share this exciting day with my mom and dad, so he asked them to drive to Chicago for the weekend. The four of us then went out to dinner together. After dinner, we returned to the hotel and had birthday cake that my mom had brought for Jared. It was an incredibly romantic, beautiful moment for Jared and I, and it was filled with the love and support of our families as well. Dibble Collage6

We chose to marry in northern Michigan because Jared and I both have many cherished memories from growing up in northern Michigan, and we have always loved its extraordinary beauty – the blue water of the many lakes, the beaches, the gardens, the forests, parks, the night skies, etc. We deeply appreciate the sense of community, values, and work ethic that smaller, more rural towns tend to offer, and it is still where many of our family and friends live. Growing up in northern Michigan helped shape us into the people we are today, so we could not imagine celebrating our wedding day anywhere else.

Wedding Details

  • “Something Old”: Flowers from the lace sleeves of my mother’s wedding gown were sewn onto the back of my dress to be used as the landmarks for the bustle of my gown.
  • “Something Borrowed”: Tradition of the “Lucky sixpence for your wedding day.” During the wedding ceremony, I walked down the aisle with the same dime and penny in my shoe that Jared’s grandmother, his mother, and his two aunts had worn in their shoes on their wedding days. Jared’s grandma had just passed away last summer, and not only was it an honor to be a part of this tradition, but it was also a beautiful way to incorporate her memory into the day.Dibble Collage5
  • Tradition: “Once upon a time, on her wedding day, it was customary for the bride to place a shiny silver sixpence in her slipper. Good fortune would then be hers, not just for one special moment, but throughout the voyage on the sea of matrimony”
  • “Something Blue”: I wore an aquamarine ring that was passed down to me from my grandmother, Barbara. My middle name is Barbara after her, and the aquamarine represents our March birthdays: Mine on March 20th and hers on March 19th.DibbleCollage8
  • Wedding Invitations: Replica of my parents’ invitation. “This day I will marry my friend. The one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love.” I grew up looking at my parents’ wedding invitation on display in our house, and I have always loved its elegance and beautiful message. It was very important to me to re-create a wedding invitation that would be very similar to theirs.
  • Maple Syrup Table Favors: The syrup was made by Jared’s dad, Lindy, and his Uncle Luke (and their business Mackinac Bluffs) and designed/packaged by his Aunt Lynelle. We actually got to watch the manufacturing process and taste the actual syrup that was used for the table favors. We have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for the hard work and passion that his dad and uncle have put into building this business. Dibble Collage7
  • Driving Away From The Church In My Dad’s Cadillac XLR: Going to car shows, cruising through town in my dad’s special cars, stick-shift driving lessons with my dad, and having him drive me in one of his cars for the homecoming court parade in high school have been special, meaningful memories and bonding moments that are extremely important to me. Being in one of his cars with the Just Married sign on the back was another special element of the day.Dibble Collage 1

Wedding Ingredients
Ceremony Location: First Congregational United Church of Christ in Charlevoix, MI
Reception Location:Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Paul Retherford Photography
Cake: Cakes by Phyllis – A four tier classic vanilla cake with homemade raspberry filling, buttercream frosting with coordinating fresh flowers by Bloom
Flowers: Bloom
Centerpieces: Bloom – Bouquets and floral arrangements of peonies, roses, tulips, lisianthus, succulents and seeded eucalyptus
Event Papery/Accessories: Sheila from Tableau Events
Dress: Maggie Stefan Jolie – Bijou Bridal
Color Scheme: Soft tones of pink, peach, caramel, mauve, dusty greens and gray/silver
DJ: Harbor View Entertainment
Videographer: Creative Image
Transportation: Mackinaw Shuttle
Hair Salon: La Dolce Vita
Shannon Jared -3499

- Submitted by ShannonShannon Jared -2289

Wedding Feature: Molly & Craig

Molly & Craig were married in Downtown Petoskey

Molly & Craig were married in Downtown Petoskey

Their Story
Craig and I met while we were working at the Antelope Valley Press newspaper in CA. He was a sports reporter and I was a photographer. We both remember talking for the first time while covering a high school girls soccer game in the rain.

He proposed on a picnic at a local park and had a very sweet speech prepared. We called our families immediately afterwards.

We chose to marry in northern Michigan as my family has a cottage in Bay View and I’ve always thought the area was so beautiful. It was a good meet up point for our families. My family is from Michigan and Craig’s is mostly in Chicago now.Collage 1

Wedding Details

  • We went non-traditional with our wedding party. My brother was the Man of Honor and my best friend, other brother and sister stood up with me. Craig had two friends, his sister and brother-in-law.
  • Our wedding guests took the Noggin Room challenge for us (the Hall of Foam) and drank all the beers on the list to earn a mug. We are going to have Mr. and Mrs. Currier printed on it to commemorate our wedding.
  • While we were planning the wedding in California, Craig got a job as a reporter at the Petoskey News-Review and now we live in the area!Collage 2

Wedding Ingredients
Ceremony Location: Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Reception Location: H.O. Rose Dining Room at Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Photographer: Jesse Strigler and Theresa Hoey
Cake: Johan’s Bakery
Flowers & Centerpieces: Flowers from Kegomic
Dress: Panache Bridal Salon
Color Scheme: Spring colors – pinks, light green and whites

- Submitted by MollyC&M_0288 copy

Tying The Knot! Literally!

When it comes to Unity Ceremonies there are endless possibilities!  Apart from the traditional Unity Candle, we’ve compiled a few popular ideas we have seen our couples do.

Sand Ceremonies
A very popular one is a Sand Ceremony. We have seen this done multiple ways. The couple mixes their two sands together; the couple along with the officiant can mix three sands; or the two families can mix multiple sands together.

Sand Ceremony

Tying the Knot
When tying the knot, most couples opt to use the fishermen’s knot. It’s the strongest knot, the rope will break before the knot comes undone and the knot only gets tighter with pressure, similar to a marriage where it should only get stronger when going through hard times.

Handfasting
Tying the couples hands together symbolizing a binding union. The cords used vary in type, color & length, whatever the couple desires!

Couples Cocktail
The couple creates a cocktail together to symbolize the merging of their lives. It’s often featured as their special drink at their reception, too.

Bread Breaking
After the couple each has a piece of the bread, than they may share with their friends and family to symbolize their unity and future as a family.

ColleenBruce-0091

Lock Boxes
This is a new, but very popular idea. Couples lock different mementos in the box to be opened up on a later anniversary. Items may include a bottle of wine, love letters, CD’s, pictures, and any other items that would bring back a smile.

Foot Washing
This ceremony shows a physical commitment of service to your husband or wife. It’s a lovely way to show humility, devotion and complete surrender to your spouse.

Jumping the Broom
Jumping the Broom can symbolize many different things, but the main meaning of the ceremony is the old being “swept away”, and the welcoming of a new beginning!

Do you plan to use these during your special day? Or, did you? Share your story with us at eclub@staffords.com. Find more inspiration on our Pinterest Boards.