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Images: Michelle March Photography

Details from Samantha on her pretty DIY wedding floral:

“Rather than spending thousands of dollars hiring a florist we ordered roughly 1,000 stems from Fifty Flowers & spent our bachelorette party night arranging them & drinking whiskey! I highly recommend other brides doing this, it saved tons of money & the flowers turned out to be one of my favorite details!   -Samantha

Please click here for the full gallery and check back on Friday for more details from Samantha & Donovan’s Cherry Basket Farm wedding! Read Monday’s Real Wedding feature here.


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Images: Michelle March Photography

Below are details from Samantha & Donovan’s Cherry Basket Farm wedding, as written by the bride.

“Growing up in MI, Donovan & I have always looked forward to Fall. It’s the time of year when we get to go to the apple orchard for fresh cider & donuts, take nice long drives to explore the countryside & cozy up in plaid throws! 

After searching the midwest for the perfect venue we stumbled upon The Cherry Basket farm in Omena, MI (only five hours North from our hometown). We, including our sheepdog, Otis, fell in love with every aspect of the venue at first sight. We wanted our guests to get an entire “fall weekend” experience during our wedding weekend. Driving to the venue you couldn’t help but get butterflies in your stomach while passing rolling green hills, birch trees with falling yellow leaves & pops of orange & vibrant reds. 

To get to the ceremony site you walked down a hill, through a field & sat down on a hay bale with a vintage throw to keep warm. There were cups of cider & donuts for refreshments & a copy of “our story” which acted as the programs. In our story we included details of personal adventures from our 9 year relationship & travels around the world together.  

Favorite memory-

Saying our vows was my favorite memory from our wedding (the bridesmaids & I were all barefoot). It was so magical looking around at the beautiful farm, seeing 70 of our closest friends & family & hearing the bagpipes in the distance. I noticed Donovan was wearing the tie clip I bought him after our engagement with the latitude & longitude of where we got engaged (Rock Creek, Montana); I touched it & he smiled so big… I could see everything from our relationship rush through both of our heads at the same time. Such a surreal moment. 

Random fact-

Shockingly one of the first things we crossed off our list was finalizing the menu. Food was a very important detail to us. We had all of our favorites and everything was local/farm to table. Starting with the most delicious pumpkin soup of all time! “  -Samantha

Please be sure to check back on Wednesday and Friday for more great details from Sam & Dono’s wedding, which was also featured on Style Me Pretty. Click here for the full gallery.

Venue & catering: Cherry Basket Farm / Wedding cake & desserts: Chimoski Bakery /  Vintage furniture rental: Fancy Fray / Flowers: Bridesmaids arranged all floral, flowers from Fifty Flowers / Wedding ceremony dress: 1930s from DearGolden / Reception dress: 1950s from Lived In/ Reception Belt: Bhldn / Shoes: Anthropologie / Photography: Michelle March Photography / Custom wedding bands & bridesmaids bracelets: Dallas Maynard / From the bride: “Veil: I found a vintage fascinator in a $1 bin at a rummage sale in Missoula, MT several years ago & knew I wanted to have it made into my wedding veil. My friend Sarah from went to school for hat design & made into my dream veil!”/ Grooms carbon fiber & wood wedding band: Hersteller ./ Brides engagement ring: / Ring box: End Grain Wood Shop / Vintage stamps: Darlingone Custom wedding invitations & guest book: / Grooms suit: Brooks Brothers / Groomsman suspenders: SunMark Studios / Groomsman bow ties & ties: Fox & Brie / Cake topper & bride/groom signs: First Snow Fall / Tie clip: Spiffing Jewelry / Videographer: Lonetree Productions / Pine tree favors: GreenWorldProject / Officiant: Kelly Lambert DJ: Eternal Entertainment Group   / Bagpipes: Jack Fellows


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The Bride wore her grandmother’s vintage wedding gown, which was purchased in 1956. Her grandmother and her grandmother’s sister wore the dress for their own weddings, and they will both be at the wedding. Amanda had the dress modernized with a tailor in New York, removing the original satin sleeves and bringing in the dress.


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Amanda and Dan’s elegant affair had nautical wedding elements that perfectly complimented the event setting surrounding them in Northern Michigan. The Jewish-Catholic ceremony at the Inn at Bay Harbor featured a Chuppah made by Amanda’s parents who used birch trees from their backyard. Amanda’s mother also made the table runners and designed the napkin ties. Small nautical wedding elements (anchors!) at their reception were a nod to the marina in the Village at Bay Harbor.  


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Amanda and Dan’s elegant Bay Harbor wedding had small rustic details that perfectly complimented the event and the area surrounding them in Northern Michigan. The Jewish-Catholic ceremony at the Inn at Bay Harbor featured a Chuppah made by Amanda’s parents who used birch trees from their backyard. Amanda’s mother also made the table runners and designed the napkin ties. Small nautical details at their reception were a nod to the marina in the Village at Bay Harbor.
See the complete gallery from Amanda & Dan’s wedding HERE, and be sure to return on Wednesday for more beautiful details.

Venue: ceremony – Inn at Bay Harbor / reception – Bay Harbor Village Hotel / Florist: Bloom / Papery: Tableau Events / Entertainment: JoyRide / Hair & Makeup: Talulu Beauty Lounge / Gown: vintage / Photography: Cory Weber, Weber Photography



We hear it all the time, “what about the guys?” Diego treated his groomsmen right and made sure that during the wedding day they had more to flash than just their devlishly good looks! The Groomsmen gifts were Cufflinks from each of their alma maters, Cigars and a smoking lounge fit for Mr. Havana himself, Diego and his groomsmen were not left out of the wedding activities and look quite comfortable and content enjoying the night their way.







Photos by Jen Kroll Photography


With classic colors of navy and white as the “anchors” for Lindsay and Diego’s beach side soiree, the bride wanted to bring a punch of color as an homage to her groom’s South American heritage to create Colorful Cocktail Hour. A tent draped in magenta was placed the patio of Lincoln Hills Country Club in Ludington for guests to enjoy the out door lounge and colorful parade of assorted cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. White leather sofas were topped with custom made pillows in shimmery metallics and fiesta tones with bold and graphic white frames as the bar backdrop and counter top decor with navy touches. 



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 Photos by Jen Kroll Photography


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Photos by Jen Kroll Photography

It was a picture perfect day in September when Lindsay and Diego said their “I Do’s” at their Ludington Beach Wedding.  The celebration took place along the shores of Lake Michigan at the bride’s family’s summer residence. A private community nestled along the dunes was the perfect back drop to a touching ceremony. Brought together by fate on, the couple celebrated with friends and family from all over the world. Diego was born in Chile and Lindsay from Ohio. They planned their wedding from Washington D.C. with the team from A Day in May Events with a focus on classic lake shore prints with bold accents in color and floral. Guests joined the newlyweds at Lincoln Hills Country Club for a night of celebration and joining cultures and traditions.

Please click here to see the full gallery.

Ceremony: Vespers at Epworth Heights / Reception: Lincoln Hills Golf Club / Event Planning & Design: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design / Rentals: Special Events Rental / Linen: La Tavola Fine Linen /Floral: Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood / DJ: 2Bays DJs: Scott Perry / Ceremony musician: Craig Avery, Pianist / Photography: Jen Kroll Photography / Officiant: Reverend Ed Emenheiser / Cake: Ruth Anderson / Hair: Safari Sun / Makeup: Nicole Budrys / Transportation: American Classics Corp., Luxury Transport

Northern Michigan wedding season is upon us!


Photo: Weber Photography

We’re back! You may have noticed we’ve been off-line for a bit, but while away we’ve been revamping a reorganizing Simply Blue Weddings to be a carefully curated wedding inspiration blog and resource for those of you planning your wedding in beautiful Northern Michigan. Not to mention, we are back just in time for the spring and summer which means wedding season here up north. It’s been a very long, cold, busy winter for us and we are thrilled for the warmer temperatures and change of season. Summer in Northern Michigan is a glorious thing; one we are happy to share with you!

With feedback from you, our loyal readers, we’ve beefed up our vendor guide and shifted our focus to Real Weddings, of which have been held in and around Northern Michigan. Join us as we feature new Real Weddings weekly with beautiful details and images- enough to make anyone swoon! We’ll be featuring one Northern Michigan wedding per week, with a heavy focus on details and fine art wedding photography.

From time to time and in addition to Real Weddings, we’ll also be featuring the work and side projects of some of the Northern Michigan’s most fabulous vendors adding inspiration, ideas and resources galore for you to assist you in planning your dream day.

We look forward to connecting with you through our blog, vendor guide and social media sites. Thanks for stopping by, be sure to check back next Monday for a fabulous Northern Michigan wedding!

Real Wedding: Kate & Brian, Leland, MI

There’s something about the August 28, 2009 wedding of Kate and Brian that is oh-so-Northern Michigan.  This wedding started to come together following the selection of the wedding venue, Leland’s Old Art Building.  With it’s white washed siding, bold green trim, and perfectly imperfect interior (think paint splattered walls and rustic wood flooring) the Old Art Building provided the backdrop for Kate and Brian’s Wedding.  An eclectic mix of uptown and down home is exactly what the couple who grew up in Northern Michigan and resided in NYC wanted.  Flowers from the farmer’s market and a fabulous band only helped to enhance that vision.  Head on over to the Real Weddings page to see the photo gallery from Kate and Brian’s wedding, and be sure to see below, for all the talented vendors that took part in their big day.

Photo by Weber Photography

Cake: Moomers- Ice Cream Cake/ Caterer: Catering by Kelly’s/ Ceremony & Cocktail Musicians: Ron Getz Band/ Ceremony & Reception Location: The Old Art Building, Leland/ Decor & Rentals: GJ’s Rentals and A Day In May, Event Planning & Design/ Entertainment & DJ: Ron Getz Band/ Fashion: J.Crew and BCBG/ Florist: Meadowlark Farm/ Photography: Weber Photography/ Planner: A Day In May, Event Planning & Design

A Lovely Palette: Mint for Each Other

Photo courtesy of Pomp & Plumage

The color mint has become a favorite amongst wedding palette choices and for very good reason: it can represent any wedding season flawlessly, as well as stand supported by other colors, or completely by itself. Pairing mint with additional bright colors like tangerine and berry can both create a feeling of nature as well as whimsy, yet mint popped by white decor is refreshing enough to excite the most seasoned colorist. Pomp & Plumage’s use of these colors tied to feathers and twigs of sort is pulling at our heart strings and making us all say “is it wedding season yet??” We love mint this week and we hope you do as well!

Real Wedding: Jill & Brian, Mackinac Island, MI

Wanting to create a unique guest experience, Jill and Brian chose Mackinac Island as the location for their August 28, 2010 wedding.  While being ferried across the Straits of Mackinac, their wedding guests were transported back in time to the island where the two main forms of transportation are bicycles and horse drawn buggies.  A variety of guest activities were held at Mission Point Resort including a “Welcome Barbeque” and a “Send-off Brunch” with the wedding ceremony and reception being the main event.  The wedding design incorporated bright colors, exotic patterns and sculptural floral.  Head on over to the Real Weddings page to see the photo gallery from Jill and Brian’s wedding.  Be sure to see below, for all the talented vendors that took part in their big day.

Photo by Blaine Siesser Photography

Cakes & Desserts: Bella e Dolce, Cheboygan/ Caterer: Mission Point Resort/ Ceremony & Reception Location: Mission Point Resort/  Decor & Rentals: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design and Special Events Rentals/ Entertainment: The Simone Vitale Band/ Florist: Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood/ Health & Beauty: Bellisima Salon & Spa, Emily Wiegand/ Photography: Blaine Siesser Photography/ Planner: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design/ Videography: Steven Kaufman Photography

A Lovely Palette: Garden Palette

Photo courtesy of Coco Kelley

In the renewal of vows, great care is taken when choosing the decor. It’s not the wedding that started a lifetime together, but it’s a representation of where time and adventure has taken a couple since their nuptials. In today’s Lovely Palette, we explore a garden-inspired dinner design – full of blossoming colors sure to breathe a fresh vitality into the reaffirming life a couple has already journeyed. Slight pinks, brown paper, muted rust, soft mint and a pop of fuchsia is firmly planted in our hearts as a perfect garden-inspired palette.

A Lovely Palette: Color of the Year

Photo courtesy of Ruffled

If you’re as excited about Pantone’s announcement of Emerald being the color of the year as us, then you’re going to love our Lovely Palette this week. Emerald has shown its face more and more throughout the years but it’s certainly going to be seen a lot more now that it’s been officially named by Pantone. The emerald in this cake is gorgeous against the stark black and fresh white. Adding in a hint of royalty with the gold stays true to thought that Emerald reflects somewhat of a kingly presence at any event. We love Emerald, and we hope you love it too!

Real Wedding: Lauren & Erwan, Traverse City, MI

The bride’s childhood home on West Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, proved to be the perfect location for Lauren and Erwan’s August 14, 2010 wedding.  The wedding design- another masterpiece of A Day in May, Event Planning and Design- is consistently one of my favorites!  Following the beach ceremony, guests were treated to an extended aperitifs hour on the back lawn, while the newly married couple toured the bay in a vintage Chris Craft.  The design was a mix of all things French.  Layers of detail combined to create an aesthetic that was vintage and eclectic with a contemporary flare.  Shades of green, ivory and white complimented the neutral linen.  Succulents and greenery paired with hand painted wooden signs and lavender accents completed the tablescape.  Head on over to the Real Weddings page to see the photo gallery from Lauren and Erwan’s wedding.  Be sure to see below, for all the talented vendors that took part in their big day.

Photo by Jen Kroll Photography

Cakes & Desserts: Trattoria Stella/ Caterer: Trattoria Stella/ Ceremony & Reception Location: Private Residence/ Ceremony & Cocktail Musician: Matt Hathaway/  Decor & Rentals: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design and American Rentals/ Entertainment & DJ: 2Bays DJs/ Florist: Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood/ Health & Beauty: Cheeky Strut (hair) and Venus (makeup)/ Photography: Jen Kroll Photography/ Planner: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design/ Stationer: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design

A lovely palette: Five Shades of Grey

Photo courtesy of Katie Kett Photography

I had to chuckle when I came across this photo as I’m thinking to myself ‘I’ve totally been there!’.  Having been a bridesmaid a couple of times now, along with working in the wedding and special event industry, wedding gowns sometimes resemble an impossible to unravel knot rather than a beautiful French bustle or dramatic lace-up-bodice.  While not always a glamorous job, someone has got to do it, and these five wonderful bridesmaids were up to the challenge.  Dressed and surrounded in multiple shades of cool bluish grey, I found this color story to be truly inspirational.  I’m usually a sucker for bold color but love the simplicity, depth and chicness of this palette.  These dresses are just asking to be embellished with bold, punchy floral in hues of fuchsia, orange and burgundy.  For a softer approach you could proceed with rich greyish greens such as seeded eucalyptus, lambs ear and assorted succulents.  Dare to be different, simple and clean.  A model to live and design by.  Happy Friday all!

Real Wedding: Tricia & Dave, Empire, MI

The groom’s childhood summertime retreat in Empire, Michigan on Glen Lake provided the striking backdrop for Tricia and Dave’s July 31, 2010 wedding.  The couple’s poetry laced vows were recited under a handmade arbor constructed from birch branches and draped with morning glory.  For the literary passionate bride and groom, it seemed like second nature to take inspiration from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.  Our very own Alicia with A Day in May, Event Planning and Design guided the couple in their selections, incorporating shades of blues and yellows with multicolored floral.  A bit of whimsy was present throughout the day with a recurring bluebird graphic and faux insects scattered about the centerpieces.  Head on over to the Real Weddings page to see the photo gallery from Tricia and Dave’s wedding.  Be sure to see below, for all the talented vendors that took part in their big day.

Photo by Melisa McKolay Photography

Accommodations: Thyme Inn/ Cakes & Desserts: Aunt B’s Cakes & Desserts/ Caterer: Grandview Catering/ Ceremony & Reception Location: Private Residence/ Ceremony & Cocktail Musician: Festival of Strings/ Decor & Rentals: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design and Special Events Rental/ Entertainment & DJ: 2Bays DJs/ Florist: Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood/ Health & Beauty: Salon 804/ Photography: Melisa McKolay Photography/ Planner: A Day in May, Event Planning & Design/ Rehearsal Dinner Location: Thyme Inn/ Transportation: Great Northwest Travel and Celtic Shuttle

Ask the Expert | Kristin Karam: K2 Edibles

Catering industry veteran and Chef/Owner of K2 Edibles and Events, Kristin Karam lends us her helpful advice in regards to wedding catering…it must be Ask the Expert Wednesday! This woman is a pro and as a caterer myself, I really enjoyed interviewing her about the craft. Enjoy!

How long have you been cooking and what got you into the wedding industry in the first place?

I have been cooking for well over 12 years. I was initially introduced to the wedding business as an innkeeper at a beautiful venue. Weddings fit very naturally in the space and I began selling the Inn as a wedding venue.  The experience was priceless. I learned every avenue of the party from planning through execution and clean up. I did find myself most drawn to the kitchen, and knew eventually I would be in the heart of the house.

What are some of your favorite items to serve at a wedding?

I like to see the couple take a chance with ethnic food. Wedding menus are often very alike, I think it add to the social aspect of a wedding when the guests are tempted to try something they may not have had before. It brings a conversation and guests usually walk away with a new favorite. Bringing in the couples couples ethnicity to the menu puts a personal stamp on their menus.

How do you help engaged couples navigate through the process of writing a menu that will fit their event?

There is always some volleying back and forth until they are happy with the offerings. During this process, I must remind couples of the logistics of getting the correct food that fits with the venue where the event is being held. Some things might not work and there is always an option to fit their theme and budget.

What are some must-do’s or must must-have’s in regards to catering at a wedding? Don’ts?

You must overstaff. Having plenty of hands on deck allows the night to run smoothly. A caterer must hire a staff that is experienced and open to performing tasks which might not include a “normal” service routine. Organization is the key to a good production. Lists, lists…and more lists!

One big “don’t” that comes to mind as a caterer is making promises that can not be kept. Couples provide many ideas…and as a caterer I must be honest and straight forward when I get a request for something that logistically will not work. Usually this happens when there is a strict budget involved in which we are unable to hire the additional people, equipment, etc… to carry out the task. For a simple example, a wedding in August in the summer heat, outdoors in the middle of a vineyard, would not be conducive for an ice cream cake that was to be delivered before the ceremony with no where to freeze before cutting. The logistics of this request would have to be considered, and more likely than not, the cake maker would have to deliver that cake right before service. The couple would have to recognize that there would be no cake on display, and also the extra charge for this service.

If you could give engaged couples one piece of advice in regards to catering on the big day, what would it be?

My best advice is to hire a caterer with a good reputation, and also one that you trust. Just because a chef has a successful restaurant, does not mean that they will be a successful caterer. Catering is a another animal. Hire a professional with experience, and then let them do their thing. I have found with experience in my “planning” years, that if you give the vendor some space in management after your vision was agreed upon, they will do a much better job for you than if you micromanage their every detail. Some freedom in creativity leads to great surprises for you and your family on this special day. It also alleviates the stress for the couple! Let it go and have a great time! You have spent a lot of time and energy in the planning process. Your wedding day can now be an enjoyable experience.


K2′s baklava, photo: Cammie Buehler


Real Wedding: Rachele & Dan, Omena, MI

The July 10, 2010, wedding of Rachele and Dan was one filled with fun, games, and personal touches galore.  Inspired by the surroundings of their venue, Cherry Basket Farm, the couple certainly took a cue from nature when planning their wedding.  They incorporated the beautiful blue colors of Lake Michigan into both their floral and linens and used local food and beverage products when possible.  To keep their guests entertained, local entertainment, lawn games, and a sparkler sendoff were all part of the evening.  Head on over to the Real Weddings page to see the photo gallery from Rachele and Dan’s wedding, and be sure to see below, for all the talented vendors that took part in their big day.



Photo by Jacqueline Southby Photography

Cake: Grand Traverse Pie Co.- Pie/ Caterer: Epicure Catering/ Ceremony & Cocktail Musicians: Miriam Pico/ Ceremony & Reception Location: Cherry Basket Farm/ Entertainment & DJ: Northern DJ Connection/ Fashion: Bride’s Gown- J.Crew, Groom’s Attire- Burberry/ Florist: Field of Flowers Farm/ Health & Beauty: Epiphany East Salon & Spa/ Photography: Jacqueline Southby Photography/ Stationer: Colleen Zanotti