When Suzy + John first got engaged and started talking about their wedding, they quickly decided they really wanted to have a smaller wedding with the people they are closest to. They slowly formed this idea of a relaxing getaway for their closest friends and family. After a road trip through northern Michigan, their first stop was at the beautiful Chateau Chantal in Traverse City. After wine tasting and touring around they thought, “Wow, it must just get better from here!” Low and behold, after seeing at least 15 wineries, B&Bs and club houses they realized they had already seen their perfect fit and booked their location. And their gorgeous location really set the tone for their relaxing wedding weekend. :) Thanks so much to Katie Day Photography for the gorgeous photos!
Suzy wore her mother’s wedding dress! Isn’t it just gorgeous?!!
Most memorable moment of your wedding day?
Suzy: I didn’t know this would have the impact it did, but the most memorable moment was when I saw John for the first time after being all dolled up. It really is surprising it had such an effect on me, because I had even seen him that morning. I guess the impact of what we were about to do didn’t hit me until we were standing there together dressed up like a bride and groom.
John: The most memorable moment for me was our first dance. All the stress and worry of planning was washed away when the band played “Picture in a Frame” by Tom Waits and we danced.
Isn’t her hairpiece stunning??!! It’s from our lovely sponsor Twigs & Honey.
What was most important to us was that once we all got to the Chateau, there be as little stress as possible. On Friday night we uncorked some wine, rounded up the troops and set up all the inside decorations. It only took a couple hours, and was actually a lot of fun. So Friday afternoon and Saturday, all the way up until the actual 7:00 pm ceremony we were relaxing, wine tasting, hanging out at the beach, touring the town and just spending wonderful quality time with each other. When 7:00 rolled around, the guests just strolled outside, with their sun-kissed cheeks and half-empty glasses of wine and John and I got hitched! It was pretty amazing how perfectly everything just fell into place.
Any advice for those planning now?
Suzy: My advice would be to start planning and making whatever DIY decorations you want early enough that you don’t feel the stress of crunch time. For me, the hardest thing was picking a theme. However, if you can do that early (and stick to it) you will be happier. Because I had an eight month engagement, I had time to make a lot of decorations myself. I made every single one of those hanging puff balls by hand (crazy!). Most people would think that’s nuts (probably because it is), but I’m so glad I did it because I was happy with the end result and the process was relaxing and enjoyable. After a long day at work I could just zone out with a movie and a hot glue gun.
John: Remember it is supposed to be a party and not a point of contention or stress.
Also, you should hire Katie Day to take your photos. We could have gone with a local photographer, but instead we flew Katie from Springfield, MO to Traverse City, MI and I am SO GLAD we did. I won’t gush, and embarrass her, but I must say she not only takes rockstar photos, she also is wonderfully encouraging and makes you feel so relaxed behind a camera.
photography: Katie Day Photography // venue: Chateau Chantal, Traverse City, MI // event planner: Ann Pettyjohn // floral design: Premier Floral Design // wedding dress: my mom’s // hairpieces: Twigs & Honey // shoes: Steve Madden // bridesmaid dresses: An assortment – Ann Taylor, Nordstom Rack, Anthropologie, Macy’s and one friend made her dress // hair + makeup: Salon 804 // groom suit: Hugo Boss // invitations+ paper goods: me! Suzanne Williams Design // catering: Catering By Kelly’s // cake: Cake Connection TC // music: Chicago Deep Rhythm Owls – John wants to add that they play at the California Clipper in Chicago every month….and you should go see them :)