Castle Farms is an historical event venue in Northern Michigan. It was built in 1918 as a model dairy farm for the Sears and Roebuck Company. Over the years the buildings fell into disrepair. Linda Mueller purchased the property in 2001 and began an extensive restoration. Today, Castle Farms is restored to its original glory and is a premier wedding venue, while also hosting historical tours and corporate events.
How would you describe your style?
The unique thing about Castle Farms is that so many wedding styles fit with our venues! Our venues are quite characteristic on their own, yet also lend themselves well to extensive decorating. We see a lot of couples choosing a rustic-elegance theme or pulling in a lot of neutral colors and floral work. We have also seen weddings featuring metallics and glitz! We can accommodate many styles and always love seeing what couples create for their Castle wedding.
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
Can we say all parts? Being a venue, we get to see everything come together – all of the couples planning and the vendors work, topped off by the guests enjoying the celebration! It’s so rewarding to be the place hosting such wonderful events, and seeing how the rooms are transformed wedding-to-wedding. We get to meet with couples when they are first starting out and still choosing their vendors, help them throughout the process as they finalize their ideas, then see it all happen. It’s fun to see how the table décor goes with the cake design, or how the DJ entertains the group late into the night.
What are some of your favorite trends from last wedding season?
Again, can we say all? We really do love seeing what all of our couples bring in! We did enjoy seeing natural elements that became a trend last year – succulents, greenery, even faux fur or antlers. We also have enjoyed seeing couples incorporate multiple colors into their wedding. In the past there seemed to be the trend that a wedding would have two or three colors together, where now we see couples having color schemes instead of a few set colors.
What advice do you have for couples about choosing a designer?
Our suggestion would be this: while planning and designing your own wedding can be fun and exciting, it can also be a lot of work and very time consuming. Everyone has different strengths and talents, so it is possible that designing a wedding is not a desire or a strong-suit for every bride. Some couples excel at the logistical aspects of a wedding, while others excel at the visionary aspects. Hiring a planner or designer can help fill the side that needs strengthening, and save you the headache of trying to plan something that is personally not as important of an aspect for you as a couple.
How far in advance should a couple look into booking your services?
Most of our reservations come in 8-14 months out. We recommend contacting us and reserving your venue with us within that time period. Looking further out will give you more options for available dates and rooms, while looking closer to the wedding date may leave a smaller selection to choose from. We begin accepting reservations two years out (for example, in January of this year we began accepting reservations for all of 2018; in January of 2017, we will begin accepting reservations for all of 2019), and we can still accept reservations two months out from a wedding date.
What advice do you have for couples about the planning process?
Trust your vendors and their knowledge of having many years providing their services. Get help where you need it by hiring a planner, designer, or other vendors, and do not spend time worrying about the details that you are hiring vendors to handle. And… enjoy it! It can be stressful, but that is when you lean on each other for support and can truly appreciate the fact that you are about to begin your journey together as a married couple.
What do you love about living and working in Northern Michigan?
Not only is the scenery and setting beautiful, but the people are too. There is such a great community of wedding vendors in this area. Since we are a relatively small area compared to places like Detroit or Lansing, we really do rely on each other for business reputations and advice. We all get to know each other and our services well through working weddings together or attending networking events, and it just makes running weddings together that much more enjoyable.