Black Star Farms Wedding
Black Star Farms is a working farm in the middle of the Leelanau Wine Peninsula infused with romance, elegance, and uniqueness. In a custom J'Aton Couture Italian lace dress, the bride rode through the vineyard hills on the back of her father's classic 1964 Buick LeSabre with a license plate bearing her maiden family name. She carried with her a cascading bouquet that held a prayer book gifted to the groom's grandmother by his grandfather on the day of their own wedding. At the top of the ceremony site, the groom waited under a wooden arch that once held his childhood porch swing, fully transformed with greenery, drapery and a glamorous crystal chandelier. There the couple were married with a wine unity ceremony performed by the bride's uncle, ordained for the occasion. The venue's first farm-to-table wedding dinner in the vines followed, blending rustic wooden captain's tables with romantic pink goblets and gold flatware. An upscale barn reception ended the day, complete with a pink flower wall, custom wood keg, and the couple leaving in a dramatic sparkler exit with the bride in a one-of-a-kind party dress she designed. From start to finish, the day struck an inspirational and personalized balance of simple and sophisticated, modern and vintage, and elevated rustic romance.
Tell us about your attire choices.
I wore a custom Jaton Couture Italian-lace dress with long-sleeves (complete with finger loops) a low back, and a long train (with an even longer veil), given that September in Northern Michigan can be cold, along with nude Jimmy Choo shoes. I wanted my ceremony look to be elegant, traditional, and dramatic. My veil was cascading (blush-tones), and held a prayer book carried by Mike's grandmother and his mother at their weddings. For the reception, I did a full outfit change into a gown that I personally designed (design carried out with the help of the Dress Doctor in Chicago), taking a full-length, multi-tier tulled wedding dress and transforming it into a short party dress with beaded bodice, matching tiara, and jeweled Christian Louboutin pumps with ribbons.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Instead of the traditional first look with the groom, I did my first look with my dad, and the image of him crying as he drove up in his classic car and driving hat (then driving me to the altar) is something I'll always treasure. We had a second videgrapher at the groom's house while Mike opened a letter I wrote him the day before, and the live edit video we showed at the reception showed him crying (happy tears) as he read my letter, a reaction I never would have been able to see otherwise. I also loved how personal we made so many parts of the wedding and how we involved our families to symbolize the joining of both families in marriage. From his grandmother's prayer book in my bouquet, to both sets of parents taking part in the wine ceremony at the altar, my grandmother and his great uncle walking in as flower girl/ringbearer, our friends and family contributing personal music, our uncle as our minsiter, and writing our own vows. It was full of personal touches from start to finish.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
My flowers were blush-themed, I carried a cascading bouquet and my 8 bridesmaids were allowed to pick their own dresses (with the help of my friend and Stylist Carrie Glosniak assisting) within a range of blush and neutral colors, so the bouquets incorporated the entire palette to tie them together in a beautiful way,
Tell us about any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
We had a lot of them! I regularly travel to Shanghai, and purchased 100+ cashmere scarfs on my last trip in all of the blush-neutral tone wedding colors that were beautifully displayed on a wooden tiered structure as guests walked in so that they had a warm scarf on hand during the outdoor ceremony (along with a glass of champagne), and could take home with them afterwards
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We wanted our guests to have an experience from start to finish. We splurged on a Welcome Party the day prior to the wedding, instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner. Since nearly all of our guests were from out of town (I am from Chicago, Mike from Iowa), we wanted those coming in the night before to be able to celebrate with us. We had a live fire bbq pitmaster serving up food, local cider from Suttons Bay Ciders, and brought in dueling pianos. We also wanted our guests to experience the beauty of Northern Michigan and show them all it has to offer, taking them to various stops along Black Star Farms property throughout the wedding day.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Our wedding cake was a triple-tier cake by the award-winning Top Tier Cakery in Traverse City with rose gold pearls and lace, along with a cupcake tier of filled cupcakes in flavors like Champagne-strawberry, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Baileys and Chocolate, and Chai Spice.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I carried the prayer book in my bouquet that Mike's mother carried at her wedding, and her mother carried at her wedding.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Be a team! It is easy to get caught up in the little details (and the incredible amount of money you're spending along the way), but just remember you're a team and are stronger together. And in the end, have faith that everything will work out beautifully! There were so many little things that didn't go exactly as planned, but in the end, all I remember is that it was the best day of our lives and we had the best time with all of the people who matter most.
Photography: Carrie House Photography | Ceremony Venue: Black Star Farms | Event Planning: Juniper and Lace | Floral: 307 Events | Videography: Montage Media | Wedding Cake: Top Tier Cakery | Ceremony Musicians: August Strings | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Dance Lessons: Chicago Dance | Food Truck: Planetary Coffee | Wedding Dress: Jaton Couture | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Veil: Dimitra’s Bridal Couture Chicago | Submitted via: Matchology
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