Follow along with our guest blogger Kelly as she shares the story of her fairytale wedding and reception on beautiful Mackinac Island.
Every girl grows up dreaming of having a fairytale wedding, and I was no different. Over the years I imagined everything from a formal church ceremony to a wedding on the beach, but always surrounded by family and friends. Two years ago when I met the man I knew I was destined to spend the rest of my life with, my thoughts returned to my dream wedding. Growing up in Michigan I knew my wedding, or at the very least the reception, needed to be near the water.
With my soon-to-be-husband’s connection to Mackinac Island – he spent summers working at Horn’s Gaslight Bar – not to mention the summers my parents spent working on the island, later followed by my brother, Mackinac Island was the perfect destination for my fairytale wedding.
Wedding planning started shortly after we were engaged, and took almost a full year. Based on recommendations, and research, we chose Weber’s Floral, in St. Ignace, with their gorgeous selection of wedding flowers, and a pastry chef to make (and deliver!) a cake to the island from Bella e Dolce. Everything was coming together. Once we decided on the Carriage House at Hotel Iroquois for the reception, the remainder of the planning was made simple by their fabulous wedding coordinator.
Having to plan everything so far in advance was a blessing as the weekend of the wedding came around. I felt as if everything was taken care of and I could celebrate with my family and friends. Guests started arriving on Mackinac Island Friday afternoon, checking in at Windermere Hotel for the weekend getaway. After the rehearsal on Friday, the family gathered for a privately catered dinner with a spectacular view of the Mackinac Island Harbor and Marina. Later that evening, the groom-to-be and I were able to catch up with many of the wedding guests at Horn’s.
Saturday morning started a little overcast and grey, but by the afternoon, it was a sunny, beautiful day on the island. With 125 of our closest family and friends, Andrew and I said ‘I Do’ during an unforgettable ceremony in Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church, built in the 1870’s. (Note – if you are a history buff, this church, along with the island, has a remarkable history.)
After the ceremony, the groom and I were swept away like royalty in a horse-drawn carriage. Along with our photographers from Yeoman Photography, we spent the next hour taking in the island and capturing memories I will cherish forever. Our family and friends headed to The Carriage House restaurant at the Hotel Iroquois for our celebration. We joined them for an outstanding evening of dinner, drinks, speeches and, of course, more pictures.
After dinner and the reception, we invited our guests to join us on a sunset cruise aboard Shepler’s Ferry. Watching the sun set into Lake Michigan from the middle of the lake was the picture-perfect ending to the day.
With the evening drawing to a close, the groom and I headed to the Harbor View Inn as husband and wife. The next afternoon, on the recommendation of the photographer and much to the chagrin of my husband, we met for a second round of pictures. As I mentioned before, Mackinac Island has some spectacular views that set the scene for amazing photography.
Planning is already underway for our return trip to Mackinac Island to celebrate our anniversary!
Andrew and Kelly
August 21, 2010