27 Feb Tracy & Andy: Sunny Lakefront Wedding
What’s not to love about a lakeside wedding? This sunny wedding at the bride’s family cottage on Burt Lake was perfectly designed and impeccably executed. Planning an outdoor wedding comes with its own set of anxieties: will it be sunny? Is it going to be warm? What happens if it isn’t? This wedding had its own set of challenges aside from the weather, as the cottage needed to be built before the wedding could take place! We’ll let the bride fill you in:
Andy and I started dating in high school and dated on and off through college. I set up a surprise birthday weekend for Andy in Traverse City, Michigan. We spent the day on our bikes on Old Mission Peninsula, one of the region’s beautiful wine vineyard areas. It rained… which is an understatement, but it didn’t matter; we had a blast and it was obvious to both of us, this was it. Our shared love of each other, the state of Michigan and being outdoors was more apparent this weekend than ever. The following summer, July 2010, we repeated the trip, and while on the beach, Andy got down on one knee.
My parents purchased a lot on Burt Lake, in Northern Michigan, over ten years ago, with plans to build their dream cottage someday. They purchased a smaller house off the lake, which was planned to be our temporary cottage during the build. The summer I lived up north I fell in love with the idea of having a backyard wedding at this imaginary cottage, which was still at the pre-blue prints stage. After years of talking, thinking and planning for this house, in November 2010 we finally broke ground. When we started thinking about venues, I was having a hard time giving up the idea of a backyard wedding – at a house that did not even have walls yet. We toyed with different venue options up north, but knew we wanted something laid back and the house (again, it did not yet exist!) would offer the type of feeling we planned for the wedding.
The morning of the wedding, I took the dog outside for a stroll, I looked up at the blue sky with wispy white clouds through teary eyes and smiled: it’s wasn’t going to rain, I was going to marry my best friend in a few short hours, and it had all been worth it. The day was full of emotion, from touching gifts from my family, family friends showing up early to help set up, Andy and I’s first look and the unexpected emotion of my dad seeing me in my dress for the first time. So much planning and so many details were planned and seeing it all come together and being better than we ever could have imagined was overwhelming. When I reached Andy at the end of the aisle, I knew we were both thinking the same thing: we pulled off this wedding and the sun was shining. We could not ask for anything more.
I wanted the day to be natural, classic, and, most importantly, I wanted our wedding to reflect Andy and me. We wanted to blend the lake, the woods, and one of my first loves, horses. We were able to tie in our neighbors’ horses and their beautiful barn and even my horse, Maple, made the 4 hour trip from downstate to be there on the big day. I even had a handful of guests comment to me how much the wedding reflected Andy and me as a couple, I had attained my goal!
I have to admit it wasn’t easy; I’m pretty sure most families do not physically work this hard to make their wedding day possible. The house sits on 2 acres and after the house was completed, the yard was an absolute mess. It took 50 yards of sand, 45 yards of dirt, over 45 yards of mulch and an unbelievable amount of grass seed to get the yard in shape. Most of this we moved by hand, shovel full by shovel full, during one of the hottest springs and summers Northern Michigan has ever seen. I became a grass growing-obsessed bride.
We are so thankful for what so many did for us. Of course a huge thank you to our amazing vendors and all the family friends for their help and believing in our vision. Most importantly, thank you to my Mom and Dad, most amazing maid of honor and sister, Diane and my now husband, Andy. My Mom and Dad for listening to endless Pinterest ideas and not thinking I was totally crazy for wanting to transform a garage into a reception space ourselves and letting their new home become wedding central . All of the wood details my sister hand-painted; like I said, so lucky to have her as my MOH. Andy, thank you for supporting my crazy ideas and all your hard work, 156 hand sawed place cards slots, drilling holes in the wood slabs to hold centerpiece vases and always sarcastically pretending you were happy to be moving dirt and sand next to me rather than boating. I promise you all a summer full of boating… next year! The realization that all of us together made the impossible, possible still overwhelms me. The day was perfect, even more perfect are the memories we made at our new lake house, the most amazing house-warming party we could have hoped for!
Tracy and Andy also had a lovely trailer put together of their wedding by Owen Video.
Caterer: Gregg & Ginny McCallum, A Matter of Taste // Photographer: Andrew Williamson Photography // Videographer: Andy Owen // Florist: Mickey Dunlop, Dunlop’s the Art of Flowers // Paper: Jessica Smith, Peace.Love.Design // Cake: Sweet Maria’s // Wedding dress: Paloma Blanca from B. Ella Bridal Salon // DJ: Avatar Media Productions // Guitarist: Music by Gael // Make-up: Julie Funkey // Transportation: Mackinaw Trolley // Bride’s Jewelry: Dearborn Jewelers of Plymouth // Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Jess L.C. // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew // Hair: Nina Tim Danielak // Rings: Miner’s North // Rentals: Rental Express