Lake Bellaire has been a longtime vacation spot for the Zimmerman family, so no one was surprised when Anna and Ben chose Shanty Creek Resort for their destination wedding. The Ohio couple had already begun to make their own Up
North memories the previous summer when Ben proposed to Anna on the sweet little bridge that spans Elk River in the
nearby town of Elk Rapids.
Melissa Fischer, wedding sales manager at Shanty Creek, worked with Anna and Ben and their families to plan the special day. Only four of the 96 guests who attended the wedding were local, so guests rented cottages on Lake Bellaire and rooms at Shanty Creek—some of the guests stayed as long as a full week before the wedding day. Pre-wedding festivities included a floating bachelorette party on Lake Bellaire.
A few days before the wedding, Anna, along with her mother, Barb Zimmerman, and family friend, Barb Heuerman, picked
six five-gallon buckets of fresh wildflowers at a private farm near Traverse City for the bouquets and centerpieces. Made from fresh-picked wildflowers, no two bridal party bouquets were exactly the same and the bride’s father, who cans everything from mustard to peppers, contributed some of his beloved Mason jars for the wildflower centerpieces. Wildflowers tied to the chairs at the wedding ceremony made a simply elegant statement.
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The outdoor ceremony took place at Cedar Bend Farm, a scenic 112-acre retreat near Shanty Creek equipped with a rustic white chapel that the bridal party used for staging. From the chapel’s hilltop perch, Anna and her bridesmaids watched as the guests arrived to the ceremony. Anna chose a classic dress made by Allure and veil by Sympathy that she found at Lillian’s Bridal Boutique in Dayton, Ohio. She kept her accessories simple, wearing pearl earrings and a natural pearl bracelet. The bridesmaids wore nontraditional light blue dresses by Maggie London, while the groomsmen wore green shirts and khaki pants—an ensemble that the groom gifted to them. Anna’s godfather and a close family friend strummed on their guitars as a warm-up for the violinist and cellist who played during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, a Shanty Creek Resort shuttle transported guests to the reception at the resort’s Cedar River Village—a simple but elegant venue set on the rolling greens of the Cedar River Golf Course. Anna’s sisters helped make the table numbers— each with a different New York City theme since the couple had planned to honeymoon there. A lovely, plated dinner and Shanty Creek Executive Chef Andrew Reh made the heavenly raspberry-filled vanilla cake with butter cream frosting. Anna found the cake topper at a dollar store in Ohio even before she was engaged. Dinner was followed by dancing to music by DJ Josh Poley on the porch under the stars.
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