Interview with Kim Bunbury, Tasting Room & Event Manager at Aurora Cellars
I manage the tasting room and two wedding and reception venues at Aurora Cellars Vineyard and Winery in Leelanau County.
The Terrace includes a bridal suite, unique Tuscan Garden ceremony and cocktail hour site, and Old World Winery reception which includes beautiful farm tables, Aurora Cellars wine, and a complete authentic Tuscan meal by Fogarellis Market of Traverse City. This venue is perfect for weddings or rehearsal dinners up to 75 Guests.
The Estate sits on two level acres between our vineyard and a large romantic pond. An enormous willow tree is a perfect ceremony backdrop. The Grand lawn runs between our newly remodeled Victorian Farmhouse and the High Peak Tent on the patio. The package includes 4 nights at the 3 BR/2BA Farmhouse, Wine, Beautiful Wood Farm Tables, Chairs, and Tent. Our bonfire is surrounded by Adirondack chairs. Up to 300 guests.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
I managed large real estate events for many years. The attention to detail is much the same for buying real estate or having a wedding. Two of the most significant events in a persons life. I understand the financial commitment and the high level of expectation associated with a wedding.
How would you describe your style?
Accessible, Organized, and Friendly are three important values of our team. We believe in being prepared so that the event is on solid ground from the start. We are not a hectic environment. The wedding package here reflects that as the couple has the farmhouse from Thursday to Monday to provide the time to make it a delightful, memorable event.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Definitely the bride's entrance. At the reception it's the toasts. I just love hearing the heartfelt, personal anecdotes.
What are some of your favorite trends from this wedding season?
I do not really pay that close attention to trends. We are a vineyard setting and that is the main appeal for our couples.
What advice do you have for couples about choosing a venue?
Make appointments ahead for tours. Expect excellent communication from the venue.
How far in advance should a couple look into booking your services?
A year is just about right. After that the date choices will be minimal. We offer weddings on Saturdays mid-May through mid-October.
What advice do you have for couples about the planning process?
As soon as you choose your date be sure to tell your guests to make lodging reservations. This area is so very popular that there will not be last minute rooms available.
What do you love about living and working in Northern Michigan?
I have lived in Leelanau County for 37 years. The landscape, sunsets, small towns, and amazing water first drew me here but the people that have become friends are the best part.