Touches of birch bark and fall leaves set the tone at the early fall wedding reception of a Traverse City couple who loves autumn Up North. After a Saturday afternoon ceremony at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Traverse City, the wedding party and guests headed to the Great Wolf Lodge, a venue Heather says she and Matt chose for its rustic ambiance and hilltop view of Traverse City.
The bridesmaids and groomsmen—in brown silk taffeta dresses with camel sashes and burnt orange ties, respectively, harmonized with the autumnally decorated lodge ballroom. In her ivory gown, Heather was the stunning focal point. The bride’s hair was done at Vision Modern in Traverse City. Her Jasmine Couture silk taffeta gown had a ruched top and full skirt.
The couple’s rings nest in the bride’s bouquet, a medley of hypericum berries, orange ranunculus, mums and variegated leaves. Birch bark–covered vases tied with raffia were filled with bouquets of flowers in autumnal colors. Cherryland Florals and Gifts provided the flowers for the wedding. The bride’s grandmother sewed the chocolate-brown fabric squares that embellished the white table linens. Table numbers were made from chunks of birch with the numbers burned into them. Each guest received a pencil made from a rustic twig as a wedding favor.
A special cider bar, set next to the traditional bar, served up hot, cold and spiked (with Captain Morgan rum) cider, filling the room with the sweet autumn scent of apples. “It was the chef’s idea—it smelled wonderful,” Heather says. The lodge-catered buffet dinner was elegant and included prime rib, Parmesanen-crusted chicken, roasted vegetables, fingerling potatoes and Caprese skewers. Smoked cheddar macaroni and cheese was a hit with the younger guests.
The three-tiered wedding cake by Kingsley Cakes was decorated to look like birch bark. The faux fall leaves, pinecones and acorns play out the wedding’s fall theme. The bride’s father made the bark-covered cake stand.
The bride and groom entered the reception to the Blues Brothers theme song—the sunglasses were only fitting. Dancing was to music provided by BDJ’s DJ’s. Guests mingled easily at the reception because many of them—both from out of town and Traverse City—had checked into the Great Wolf Lodge on Friday evening, then spent Saturday playing in the waterpark together. The adults headed for the hot tub, the children hit the slide, and everyone loved the Lazy River, Heather says. Other guests toured the wineries of Old Mission Peninsula before the wedding.
After dancing until the early hours of the morning, the DeFers retired to their room in the lodge to find that their friend had spread rose petals over the bed and floated candles in the Jacuzzi.
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