Bay View is Katee Franson’s most favorite cherished place. Since she was born, she has come up from Albion with her family every summer to their cottage in this historic Chautauqua community on Little Traverse Bay. Sunday brunch at Stafford’s Bay View Inn was a tradition in her family, and the 1886 country inn was a natural choice for her wedding ceremony and reception.
A white tent in the garden served for the ceremony site with the bay as the background. Because it was an outdoor wedding, Katee and Scott chose to omit the traditional unity candle, and instead performed a sand ceremony, each one pouring sand into a glass vessel.
Guests toasted the couple with their signature cocktail creation, the Fransontini, in the garden, then shifted inside to enjoy dinner and dancing to Traverse City band Eminence. Friends and family rented out the entire inn for the weekend, so after lingering in the glow of the inn’s porch post-wedding, guests had only a short stroll to their beds.
Katee found her dress by Italian designer Le Spose Di Gio at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York City. Graphic Printing in Petoskey printed the programs on paper Katee found on the New York trip. A veil felt awkward to Katee, so she chose flowers for her wedding day ’do, styled by Tracy Lee Salon in Petoskey. The historic Bay View Association has a thriving music program, and Katee was able to book a brass trio from the Bay View Musicians for the ceremony.
Katee worked in catering one summer at another Stafford’s inn, the Perry Hotel, and knew she wanted their signature sugared bacon appetizers passed on her wedding day. Tyson, Katee and Scott’s boxer, stayed at Wags and Purrs in Petoskey for the weekend but made a cameo at the reception.
Individual wedding cakes from Sweet Maria’s Confections in Petoskey and New York Cakes in Atwood were the table centerpieces—each was a different flavor, and guests had fun trading tastes. Flowers from Sky’s the Limit in Petoskey created the wedding bouquets. Scott and Katee spent many fun nights coming up with the recipe for the Fransontini, which they had butler-passed to all of their guests.
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Photos from the Starkey/Franson wedding at Stafford's Bay View Inn in Petoskey. Photography by Jerry Martincheck; additional photos by family friend Morris Arvoy.