My Lovely North: Three Brides Conclusion

Drawing a beautiful end to our three-part series of Three Brides, is the wedding of Nichole & Shane. I've known both of these amazing people for several years, and it makes my heart burst to think that two such incredible people found their way to each other. Read on for Nichole's memories and advice on the process of planning her wintery, Northern Michigan wedding.

1. How do you feel your wedding encompassed Northern Michigan?

Our wedding encompassed Northern Michigan in small doses. We wanted to embrace our beloved winter, which not only was our season, but our outdoor photos as well. We also included the use of branches, curly willow and candle light to show off a touch of those winter nights.

2. How long was your planning process and what portion was the most stressful?

We planned this rather quickly. We were engaged in mid May and had selected our December date in June. The most stressful piece we experienced was selecting a venue. Between space, location and decoration guidelines for each place, it was hard to balance the things we wanted and needed in a vendor. Making realistic decisions were also stressful at times. We grow up wanting certain things in a wedding, but the season, venue and other factors can deter some of those ideas. It challenges you to re-evaluate the things you want most and what you can make work.

3. How was your venue selection and what determined your final selection?

Our venue selection came down to guest count and overall accommodation. The space was a canvas that we could decorate and play with, food and drink needs were taken care of, as well as guest accommodations and other activities available for our guests throughout the weekend.

4. Knowing we live in a crazy land of unpredictable weather, was this a concern for your wedding?

We chose winter, knowing we wanted the snow, but there was always the concern for bad travel conditions as we had many guests coming from out of town. As for the falling snow, we embraced that on our wedding day!

5. Would there be any advice for future brides in regards to communication with your vendors?

The biggest things we learned were to be as clear as we could for the things we wanted, but also open to the vision of the specific vendor as well. For our florists, they tend to know what works best, and what’s available, but you want it to be as close to your vision as possible. For the photographers, make a very detailed list if there are specific pictures that you want. Don’t depend on yourself to remember each shot you were hoping for, it’s too much to remember in the midst of your big day.

6. Describe your favorite moment during your wedding.

I had two. I loved having time with the ladies in the morning, eating breakfast, getting ready, and dancing around the hotel room. They kept me distracted from my emotions that morning and filled my heart with joy. My second was finally turning the corner and seeing my groom at the front of the room. Since we’ve been together I had never gone that long without talking to him, and not being able to see him, hug him or talk about what I was thinking was the hardest thing ever. Though I had tears rolling down my face when I saw him, they were such happy tears and I knew I would be holding his hand again soon.

7. In closing, what final, general advice would you give brides-to-be?

Stay true to yourselves and enjoy the process. There are stressful moments but you are in it together as a couple and with communication and the occasional glass of wine, you can figure everything out together. If there are others contributing, make sure their opinions are heard but that you end up with something you’re happy with as well.

Happy planning, and as always, cheers!