Out with the old and in with the new.

Well that may not always be the case. Some wedding trends stay around longer than others, and while we can anticipate there to be a slew of new trends making a fresh appearance in 2019, we will continue seeing some previous trends (and these ones, we love!) Either way, keeping on trend or not, find inspiration below to help you define your signature wedding style.

 

 

A STYLE OF THEIR OWN WITHOUT GIVING UP TRADITION

The Sweets

Although we have seen a shift towards the big wedding cakes heading out, most didn’t want to give up a cake tradition entirely. In 2018, these newly revamped cake styles were displayed on a bold linen, a light and bright dessert table or combined with every kind of sugary goodness you could think of.

 

Evelyn Vaughn (Photo)

Bit of Swiss (Baker) :: Christa Hitchcock (Photo) :: 1928 Rental: (Farmhouse Table) 

Froelich’s (Baker) :: Brick and Pine (Photo)

Bit of Swiss (Baker) :: 430 Studios (Photo)

 
 
The Guest book

Most couples are ditching the traditional guest book and coming up with their own personal touch to remember the guests that were able to attend their big day. Many of the guest books we saw in 2018 were ones that could be displayed in homes or incorporated into more of their daily life, rather than a traditional bounded book that might not be looked at much again after the wedding day.

 
 
Ceremony Locale

Grandma just doesn’t understand why you aren’t getting married in a church, but once she sees this, she will be very pleased! Having an on site ceremony is very convenient for your guests (and for you!) There isn’t extra driving to manage, no awkward down time in between ceremony and reception, you can re-purpose ceremony decor easily into the reception space and when all is said and done, more time to party!

Journeyman Distillery (Venue) :: Brick and Pine (Photo) :: Snapdragon Designs (Floral)

Private Residence (Venue) :: Jillian Bowes (Photo) 

First Look

The decision on whether bride and grooms should see each other pre-ceremony is always up for debate and in depth discussion. Besides asking yourself “is this for us?” this is a wedding day component that some are tweaking just a bit. Many are wanting to atleast have a “special moment” prior to the wedding, whether they are catching a glimpse of each other, holding hands from around the building corner or reading love letters to each other. As wedding planners, we have seen an increase in couples doing first looks for a variety of reasons: easier logistics and getting most photos checked off ahead of time so they can join in on the fun and cocktails after the ceremony!

Lauren Crawford (Photo)

Gingertown (Photo)

BIG BLOOMS

Bold Florals

Who doesn’t love a bold floral with greenery? (especially in super adorable wooden boxes) Greenery along with big-bloomed flowers are an impactful way to dress up dining tables as well as giving you a full luxurious bouquet. Can’t find room in the budget for these designs on 20 reception tables? It’s also worth filling in blank space at your ceremony or  draped from a ceiling.  It’s fresh and beautiful!

Kati Mallory (Photo) :: Flowers by Anna (Floral)

Kitty Lee (Photo) :: Black Dog Flower Farm (Floral)

Kati Mallory (Photo) :: Flowers by Anna (Floral)

Simplicity GR (Floral) :: 1928 Rental (Wine Barrel)

SETTING UP THE UNIQUE FACTOR

Everyone likes to have a little fun and give their guests the ‘wow factor’ at their wedding!  Looking for something unique? How about mini beach balls instead of birdseed or bubbles? Everyone loves a photo booth, especially this one on wheels!  A game of cornhole anyone? If the venue allows, let’s end this night with a sparkler send off!

 

THE DETAILS

Date: October 21, 2017

Venue: The Veranda at the Whitcomb (Reception), St. Joseph Catholic Church (Ceremony)

Inspired Theme: Kate Spade 

Color Scheme: Deep Red, Black, White, Gold

Design Inspiration: Bold flair, bright design, classic elegance

 

THE HIGHLIGHTS

Bride, Sarah has a beautiful eye for design and from our first conversations she expressed wanting to see the wedding style incorporate black and white stripes along with deep red accents. Designing weddings is one of our favorite services we can offer couples (check out our gallery!) but it isn’t every day that we have a bride come to us with such a bold take on wedding design. To not be afraid of color, patterns and texture – we were instantly excited to get those creative juices flowing. The theme quickly became coined as “Kate Spade” inspired and we found ways to create that same flair you’d see in the K.S. brand: exaggerated striped linens, pops of bright florals with little-to-no filler, gold and glitzy accents; the works. 

We’ve never seen a reception space be as transformed as this one was. The gold chiavari chairs lend a huge hand in Sarah + Casey’s desire for a touch of classic elegance into the otherwise bold design. The ceiling lit up with cafe bistro lights and glowing lanterns when the sun set over Lake Michigan. Are you dreaming of those sunsets like we are, as we right this in snow fall?

S + C wanted to create a mingling dinner atmosphere, so guests visited different food stations and tried something for every taste bud: build your own mashed potato bar, mac + cheese with brisket, taco station with guacamole. YUM.

The planning of the bar service and dessert are just as important. They chose signature drinks “The Casey” and “The Sarah” as well as desserts for days: cherry pie, cake pop bites, apple cider donuts, s’mores station. YUM, YUM.

Regardless of your design style, be it neutral or bold, there is something to be said about the details they incorporated to make their wedding design theme strong and cohesive from each element to the next. 

 

THE VENDORS

Photography: Bobbi Photo

Design, Coordination, Rentals: 1928 Planning Co.

Lighting: Schades of Light

Floral: Stella Event Design

Reception Chairs: Taylor Rental Party Plus

Baker: Christine’s Confections, CK Catering

 

 

One of the best parts of a wedding is seeing all of your out of town guests you don’t visit often, but they will need a place to stay. As mundane as it may be, room blocks can be one of the most important bookings you will make for your guests. We’ve put together some tips to help make this task go as smooth as possible.

LET’S START FROM THE BEGINNING

First of all, what is a room block? A room block is a group of rooms a hotel holds for your wedding guests, typically at a discounted rate. Guests are responsible for booking and paying for their rooms, while the couple is responsible for reserving the block.

START EARLY! 

The sooner you begin your hotel searches, the better chance in finding availability. Keep in mind any weekend events happening around St. Joe, as hotels will book much more quickly than a non- event weekends.

AVAILABILITY

Check hotel availability before booking your venue. All of the hotels near your venue are booked for your date? Try to have some date flexibility so you have plenty of hotel options. The last thing you want is to have no where for your guests to stay during your wedding weekend.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Keep in mind the distance between your wedding venue and the hotels you make room blocks at. Would you like to travel another 25 minutes to a wedding when you have already come in from out of town? Probably not and chances are your guests wouldn’t either. Safety also comes into play for returning to the hotel after the wedding. In short, the closer, the better.

ASK QUESTIONS

Contracts are typically required for reserving a room block, so always know what you are signing off on. Is there a minimum number of rooms you can block? Is there a maximum number you can block? Are there any fees for unbooked rooms? If not, how many rooms can go unbooked? What is the typical booking deadline before the unbooked rooms become available for regular hotel guests? Is there a deposit for making a room block? Are there any rules or restrictions regarding room blocks? What amenities does the hotel offer to guests? Does the hotel offer shuttle service for guests?

 

Last, but certainly not least, get everything in writing! If there is anything you discussed with the hotel, but is not explicitly stated in the contract, wait for an updated contract before signing anything.

START SMALL

Most couples have no idea on exactly how many rooms they should have in their room block, which can be frustrating. Begin by booking a small amount of rooms and add if needed, especially if there are any fees associated with unbooked rooms.

ROOM TYPE

Along with how many rooms to reserve, know your guest list to book appropriate types of rooms in your block. Think of how many families versus couples will be coming in from out of town.

KEEP COST IN MIND

One of the best options you have is to make room blocks at two to three hotels in different price ranges in the area for guests to choose from. This will help make accommodations accessible to (hopefully) all of your out of town guests. Along with this, look at the big picture. Including the room rate, are there any extra fees (parking, late check- out, etc.) that your guests may need?

 CHECK- IN TIMES

Don’t forget to keep check- in and check- out times in mind regarding other wedding weekend events. Guests will appreciate having some time before any festivities to check into their hotels and freshen up.

COMMUNICATE

You finally have your room blocks set, now tell your guests about them! Include hotel contact information and any specific instructions they will need to book from your room block.

Setting a date is one of the first steps in planning a wedding and it can be one of the most daunting. Trying to accommodate guests, while planning around your hectic schedule can be a feat in itself, so here are some tips to help you get started.

PERSONAL DATES

While you are concerned with guest schedule, always check for previous engagements on your own calendar. Many family events, reunions, graduations take place in the summer months, so make a list of personal dates to avoid. Think about any busy work seasons as well. Trust us, you don’t want to be preparing for your wedding in the middle of a hectic work schedule.

 

Along with this, ask yourselves if there are any meaningful dates you would like to book your wedding on or around, such as the date you and your fiancé first met or your grandparent’s wedding anniversary. If this is the case, then including this detail in your wedding will make your day even more special for both you and your guests.

HOLIDAY WEEKENDS

From Mother’s Day to Halloween, below are the 2018 holidays to keep in mind while planning your big day.

 

Mother’s Day Weekend: May 12-13

Memorial Day Weekend: May 26-28

Father’s Day Weekend: June 16-17

Fourth of July: Wednesday, July 4

Labor Day Weekend: September 1-3

Halloween: Wednesday, October 31

SPECIAL EVENTS

The summer months in Saint Joseph are packed with events, so we’ve compiled a list of events that will be taking place in downtown Saint Joe this upcoming 2018 summer.

 

BBQ, Blues, & Blue Grass: Saturday, May 19

Memorial Day Parade: Friday, May 25

2018 Senior PGA Championship: May 22- May 28

Fourth of July Fireworks

Krasl Art Fair: July 14-15

Mike Yore Memorial Car Show: Friday, July 20

Chalk the Block: August 3-5

Ironman 70.3 Steelhead: Sunday, August 12

6th Annual Fall Fest: Saturday, September 22

Roots & Brews: Saturday, September 22

 

Keep in mind that hotels book quickly for holiday and special event weekends in St. Joe, so make sure to check hotel availability before you book a date!

VENDORS

Vendor availability can drive a decision on your final wedding date. If you have a vendor in mind that you just have to have, start a conversation with them earlier rather than later, so you are on their radar. We suggest booking your must- have vendors before setting a final wedding date, which will ensure you the vendors of your choosing.

 

Budget can absolutely play a factor in choosing your wedding date in that pricing can differ between days of the week. If budget is a driving factor in choosing vendors, think about a Friday, Sunday, or even Thursday for your wedding date, as these typically book at lower rates than Saturdays.

There are so many opinions when it comes to the best way to plan a wedding, especially now with all of the Pinterest ideas at your fingertips. Pinterest is a super helpful tool to help you plan a wedding but it can also be an added stress to your long wedding to-do list. Here are some ups of planning a pinterest wedding:

POSITIVES:

Your options and inspiration guides are endless

If you are having any sort of design issue, you can quickly search for inspiration on pinterest, you will never run out of design ideas for your wedding.

You can easily share your ideas

Pinterest lets you share your boards with your family and friends, which gives them access to all of your dreams and visions for your big day. You are also given the option to give your friends access to pin to your board, if you choose, allowing for ultimate collaborating. This is also a great tool to use when collaborating with your vendors. As wedding planners, it is so helpful to be able to view someone’s vision of their wedding. Wedding Planners love to pin too, we love to help give our brides ideas and guidance!

Your one stop shop for weddings

 Most pins lead you directly to the website or give you ideas of where you can buy or how you can make the item you pinned. When you find your dream dress, it’ll take you to the shop who sells it, find a cute DIY escort card design, directions will be linked right there when you click on it.

Private vs Public Boards

Another great feature of pinterest is that you can choose to have your board be public or private. This is helpful, if you are pinning a lot and you do not want everyone to see all of your pins, choose the private setting, or if you want to share your planning and ideas you can make it public.

We all love pinterest and it comes in handy for a lot of different aspects in our everyday lives, but everyone has to admit there are some downsides. Here are some downsides to planning a pinterest wedding:

NEGATIVES:

Lacking Originality

Even though it feels like pinterest is filled with millions of new, creative, and original ideas, it is highly likely you will hear your female guests say “I have seen this on pinterest”. Pinterest trends tend to be seen over and over again.

Too many pins

As stated above, your options are endless, this can also be a bad thing. Sometimes when pinning ideas for your wedding, you can get a little over excited, pin 200 ideas in 20 minutes. Then you look back and become more stressed because now you have to narrow down all of your favorite pins to a realistic amount of crafting ideas that you and your wedding planner or bridal party can handle.

Planning a Pinterest wedding can be a great way to keep your ideas stored in one area and share them with others in your family or bridal party. Ideas can easily become overwhelming, so making sure that we are pinning only serious visions and ideas is the key to keeping your Pinterest wedding simple and easy.

More than likely the wedding weekend will be packed with to-do lists and last minute details, so brides and grooms may not be able to welcome all their guests as they arrive to town. If this is the case, then think about putting together welcome bags for those guests traveling in for the big day. I’ve put together a few of my hometown favorite welcome bags that will make guests feel at home.

LOCAL FLAIR

Southwestern Michigan has so many local treasures, so create a welcome bag that highlights some of the local favorites. Located in downtown St. Joe, Purely Michigan offers everything from food to handmade items from Michigan artisans. If food is your thing, then check out Jollay Orchard’s fresh fruit, Kilwins fudge, South Bend Chocolate Company’s popcorn, or olive oil from the Olive Cart. Of course, include a list of things to do and local attraction for your guests to enjoy during weekend downtime.

A BOTTLE OF WINE

Need I say more? A bottle of a local wine is a great way to welcome anyone into town. A few local favorites to try are 12 Corners Vineyards, Lazy Ballerina Winery, Dablon Winery & Vineyard, Tabor Hill Winery, and Round Barn Winery. Attach a thank you note and you have a wonderful welcome gift!

A SWEET TREAT

Keep it short and sweet and give guests a box of local chocolates or baked goods. Southbend Chocolate Factory and Kilwins are great go-to’s for a sweet treat.

BEACH BAG

One of the biggest draws to southwest Michigan is, of course, Lake Michigan. Throw together a welcome bag full of beach essentials, such as sunscreen, bottles of water, and sunglasses, even if your ceremony won’t be on the beach! The beach is a great activity for any down time during the weekend as well.

SURVIVAL KIT

It is going to be a long weekend, so make sure guests have everything they need. Water, snacks, ibuprofen, band aids, toothpicks, and granola bars come in handier than you think!

A LITTLE R&R

Pack a bag full of items for your guests to relax with. Include a “Do Not Disturb” sign to hang on their door, a candle, some bubbly, and chocolate. With such a busy weekend, everyone will appreciate a little comfort.

HONEYMOON SUITE

Create a welcome bag with specialties from the couples’ honeymoon destination. Whether it is Cape Cod potato chips and Nantucket Nectar or a couple of Florida oranges, guests will be able to feel like they are you (without actually being with you) long after the wedding weekend ends.

HIS & HER BAG

Fill a bag (or a box!) with a few of the happy couple’s favorite things. Whether they are local favorites or maybe an activity they like to do together, guests will appreciate anything that is special to the couple. Add a list of local spots the couple loves to visit as well!

Wedding welcome bags will make guests feel greeted and they are a nice thank you for sharing an unforgettable weekend. Whichever kind of welcome you choose, always be sure to include a thank you and an itinerary for the weekend’s activities.

Between the hair appointments, travel, and keeping to the timeline, mishaps can very well happen, so make sure you are prepared with these bridal suite essentials. Does anyone really want to run out to the store for hairspray? Doubtful.  One safety pin can save the day. Hopefully this handy little kit won’t be needed, but just in case it is, here are some bridal suite essentials to keep on hand throughout your big day.

WATER, WATER, WATER

It is so easy to forget to stay hydrated with all the excitement on your big day! Make sure to have plenty of water on hand throughout the day, so none of the gals (or guys!) get dehydrated. Encourage everyone to bring a water bottle with them, but have extras just in case. Small bottles are the perfect size for a quick drink.

SNACKS

Just like staying hydrated, make sure everyone has at least a little something to eat throughout the day. No one wants a sugar-low in the middle of the ceremony. Stock your suite with quick, no-mess snacks that people can grab and go.

FIRST AID KIT

Blisters are inevitable. Whether it is the shoes, dress, or a stray pin, it is always better to have Band-Aids, antiseptic, ibuprofen, tweezers, and antibiotic ointment on hand just in case.

SEWING KIT

Wardrobe malfunctions do happen and the last thing anyone wants is a stray bra strap sticking out or a pantyhose run. Keep basic sewing items on hand for when you need to make things work. Thread, needles, buttons, safety pins, clear nail polish, stain-remover, and fashion tape are essential.

HAIR ESSENTIALS

A little hairspray can fix almost anything (right?!), so put together a hair essentials kit and add bobby pins, clear hair elastics, a curling iron, and a brush. You can never have too many of these items.

EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS

Bring some of those everyday essentials that you may not think about until you are in a moment of need. Lint rollers, feminine products, baby powder, deodorant, lotion, and mints are items we really don’t give a second thought about, but are important things to always have.

PHONE CHARGERS

Phone batteries will run low early in the day, so bring a few extra chargers along for those important last-minute phone calls and must-have photo moments.

TISSUES

For, of course, those happy tears.

CATCH-ALL BAG

By the time everyone is ready, there (more than likely) won’t be much time to pick up the bridal suite and by the end of the night everyone is ready to head home (or to the after party), so pack a catch-all bag to throw everything in for a quick clean up.

LIGHT

The bridal suite is a wonderful place to take those must- have getting ready photos, so great lighting is essential.

Stock your suite with these ten bridal suite essentials and you will even find a bonus within the day- peace of mind!

Garland centerpieces aren’t going away any time soon. Many of our 2017 clients already have cascading greens worked into their floral budgets to get these textured beauties on their reception tables. We love the look too, but know that it comes at a price! Thanks to one of our favorite florists, Shaya over at Crystal Springs, you can become a garland guru as you plan your wedding florals.

We’ve taken some of Pinterests’ most popular photos for wedding garlands and given you the 411 here!

Photo Credit: Lexie Williams Photography (top left) | 430 Studios (bottom left) | Durling Photography (right)

SEEDED EUCALYPTUS TABLE RUNNER

Perhaps the most requested greenery in the world of weddings, seeded eucalyptus has graced many of our tables.

The pros: It doesn’t have to be hand-tied. Your florist can save some time (and money!) by laying these stems loosely on your tables because they have nice height. Eucalyptus is notorious for hanging in a naturally beautiful way. Some greens just don’t drape like these!

The cons: Eucalyptus doesn’t grow well in wedding season. Most florists can order stems whenever you need them, but the quality suffers June-August because they grow in sub-tropical regions.

Price point: $8.50/foot for garland

CASCADE FLORAL GARLAND

Oh me, oh my this runner is gorgeous! You can assume adding flowers comes at a price with garlands. And having flowers isn’t the only thing making this garland a pricey one to recreate, it is the type of flowers that will alter the price as well. The white orchids are a very expensive tropical flower. There are also a lot of hydrangea in this piece, which need a lot of water to make it through an event. Anytime you have this many flowers, the florist is no longer just wiring the garland together, they have to create a base with a water source.

Tight budget? Try popping in some flowers that don’t require as much care and can be used with floral water tubes. Shaya suggests something from the mum family instead of the orchids or hydrangea.

Garland Price Point: $90/foot

SIMPLE GREENS TABLE RUNNER

This runner is made of a hand-tied lemon leaf foliage. Lemon leaf is a common option for a brighter green to add as a centerpiece. This particular garland is quite thick, but if you thinned it out a bit, you could get the look for around $6 a foot.

Add some color: Shaya suggests using Wax Flower in these greenery runners. It does fairly well out of water and is a great alternative to Baby’s Breath.

Greenery alternatives: Some other affordable greens you can utilize in table garlands are Plumosa, Ruscus, and Spring Rye

RUSTIC ARCH GARLAND

This photo is popping up everywhere! The gorgeous arch is the same base as one of our rental arches, so we have seen a lot of clients recreate their own version of it. We love it for so many reasons, but this concoction might have some pitfalls for outdoor summer weddings.

The Hydrangea Dilemma:  Hydrangeas are a great flower because they are full and typically affordable. (Plus they come in gorgeous colors!) But these are probably the last flower we would advise you to put in the beating sun in the middle of summer. Hydrangeas need A LOT of water to make it through the day and the sun doesn’t help that wilt factor.

Try instead: Dahlias, Football Mums, Wax Flower for filler

Price point for this look: $17/foot for Olive Branch foliage garland (approx. 17 feet in this photo), $650 for floral focal point

Our advice to all couples hoping to incorporate garlands into their wedding design: coordinating is better than matching when it comes to event styling. Not every centerpiece should match perfectly. Try doing a cluster of bud vases on some tables, garland on others, and a large floral piece as a third option. Not only is this visually appealing, but it allows you to splurge on certain tables and save on others!

We are excited to see all the ways our lovely couples incorporate garlands into their designs in 2017!

Between the seating arrangements, dress fittings, and numerous appointments to schedule, the planning process is a hectic time for a bride, so an opportunity for the bridesmaids to take a piece of the planning is a welcomed change. The bridal shower is a perfect place for the bride-to-be to relax and enjoy spending time with her close family and friends. Go beyond the cake and mingling and choose a bridal shower theme to bring out the bride-to-be’s personality.

 

A BRIDAL BRUNCH

Who doesn’t love a mimosa bar?! A Sunday brunch is a fun way to spend an afternoon with the ladies. Add a waffle bar, fresh fruit, and a quiche or two and you have something for everyone.

 

A COOKING CLASS

For that foodie bride, ditch the tradition and whip up some tasty treats instead! Learn a new recipe all while spending some quality time with your gals when you sit down to the dishes you’ve created.

 

A YOGA CLASS

Take a breath in child’s pose and relax with a yoga class. Great for the body and mind, you and your bridal party will appreciate some self-love. After class grab a smoothie and catch some rays on the beach to finish out your day.

 

FLORAL ARRANGING

Get your creativity flowing with a skill that could be useful sooner than you think. Bring in an instructor to help build your blooms to bring some color to your lunch following the class.

 

A COUPLES SHOWER

Bridal showers are not just for brides, so plan a gathering for friends of both the bride and groom and let the couple’s personality shine.

 

A TEA PARTY

Afternoon tea anyone? Bring out the hats, gloves, and even a monocle or two for tea fit for a queen. Mismatched china will bring out charm to your finger sandwiches and crumpets.

 

WINE TASTING

Grab your girls and head to a local winery. This is a great way to shake things up from a traditional shower and celebrate the perfect pair!

 

Whatever kind of bridal shower theme you choose, have it bring out the qualities you love about the bride-to-be. This will make everyone relax and enjoy the festivities even more!

 

You can tell we’ve had a busy year with our lack of blogging! Don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten to post our favorite blog of the year! Enjoy our look back as we revisit a wonderful season, full of gorgeous, sweet couples and show-stopping wedding design. Best of 1928 Planning, take 2016!

 

 

Most Unique Venue

Katie + David’s Union Pier Hideaway

venue-davis

Photo Credit: Mark Federighi Photography

Location: Rentable private property in Union Pier Michigan

Why we love it: We have scrounged the land for private home rental properties that allow weddings in Southwest Michigan. The properties are few and far between, but Katie and David found a hidden gem. The house was under constructions when they decided their location, sent out their invites, and began months of planning. Their trust and hard work paid off and their backyard soirée was complete with a canopy tent, the best local food trucks, and loads of private partying all night long! Best of all, their friends were able to stay onsite all weekend at one of the three houses on the compound.

Food trucks: Rolling Stone Bakery and Greenbush Brisket Van

 

Tarah + Ryan’s Botanical Garden Party

martin-venue

Photo Credit: Gingertown Photography

Location: Fernwood Botanical Garden

Why we love it: We loved the opportunity to help plan this gorgeous wedding! This Botanical Garden, located in Buchanan, Michigan, spans over 100 acres. Tarah and Ryan were able to utilize this beautiful nature preserve for their ceremony and tented-reception. Everywhere you walked was a picturesque backdrop – we can’t get enough!

Rose + Ron: Goin’ to the Chapel

morris-venue

Photo Credit: Jennifer Mayo Studios

Location: The Morris Estate (Chapel)

Why we love it: A simply breathtaking estate located in Niles, Michigan makes this a favorite backdrop for intimate ceremonies. The Chapel has been a part of local history for many decades, yet the prestine resoration of the venue speaks volumes. Crisp white interior and exterior, allow couples to stay simple with their decoration, or choose from The Morris’ lengthly decor upgrades available on-site.

Apple Blossom Acres

venue-abg

Photo Credit: Absolute Photography (top left), Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens (others)

Location: Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens

A Chat With The Owner:

Being 1928’s first time at this super unique venue (and loving every minute of it!) we wanted to share with  you some insight to the property from the owner, Kathy Doornbos, who over the last nine years, has poured so much energy into developing a venue, unlike any other our company has seen in West Michigan.

Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens is located in the middle of a 20 acre, secluded property in the countryside near the little town of Fennville, Michigan. As you enter the private road and inch your way onto the property, you see nothing but beautiful landscape  – including a pond, gazebos, multiple flower beds and lush grass gardens, and a variety of mature trees (including Kathy’s favorite spot on the property: a 100 year old apple orchard!). It truly is a photographers dream – never having to leave the property with all of the multiple feature areas and nooks and crannies at your fingertips.

On-site chapel ceremonies were the original vision – either as an intimate elopement site or a full chapel filled with 32 guests. After wanting to expand the experience, a few ago, they added a solid floor patio in the middle of the garden setting for tented affairs.

Their property is available for small intimate events year around and garden ceremony and receptions May through October.

 

Best Cake & Dessert

desserts-collage

Photo Credit: Stephanie Gamble Photography (top left), Rhino Media Productions (top right), Jillian Bowes (bottom center), 430 Studios (bottom right)

 

Erin + Bobby’s Gold Foil Dusted Cake

Baker: Dee’s Specialty Cakes

 

Jessica + Jason’s Navy Floral Sweetheart Cake

Baker: Baker’s Rhapsody

 

Ashley + Kyle’s Donut Display

Baker: MacKenzies Bakery

 

April + John’s Cupcakes For Days

Baker: Mimi’s Cupcakes

 

Jamie + Jack’s Towering Naked Cake

Baker: Dee’s Specialty Cakes

A Chat With The Owner, Dee: 

Naked cakes have become very popular for both rustic decor and for those couples that are not huge fans of icing. Naked cakes come in three different styles.

Bare Naked has no icing other than the filling layers.

Naked cakes have icing on top but not on sides.

Dirty Naked cakes have a crumb coat of icing – a very thin layer that allows you to still see the cake in some places.

PRO TIP: While a hot day won’t harm your naked cake, there is no icing to keep the cake moist.  It is best to plan on serving the cake earlier in the evening to avoid a dry wedding cake (or serve alongside an Ice Cream Sundae Bar similar to Jack and Jamie!)

 

Best use of 1928 Rental Collection

Photo Credit: Jill Tiongco Photography (top right)Jessica Eileen Photography (top left)Rachael Osborn Photography (bottom left) | Ben Pancoast Photography (bottom right)

 

1928’s Love Seat Vignettes

From our rental collection: Our tufted grey love seat has seen its fair share of photoshoots this year! Pictured above is bride Chelsey at Willow Harbor Vineyards. We love how so many couples incorporated this gem into their sweetheart table and photo opportunities prior to their ceremony!

Jessica + Eric’s Eclectic Journeyman Lounge

From our rental collection: Our mid-century lounge set includes a sofa, love seat, two chairs, and coffee table. Bride Jessica added teal-toned pillows and some bud vases to the mix to tie in the set with their eclectic Journeyman Distillery Wedding!

1928 Specialty Linens

From our rental collection: 1928 offers a wide range of specialty linens, from napkins to table cloths; we can provide you with the perfect pieces to complement your color scheme. This year we were especially proud to show off photos from Jen and David’s gold sequin runners and cloths, as well as photos of Rob and Ryan’s earthy farmhouse tables paired with fern linen runners. We can’t help but to mention our friends, Schades of Light who also provided the dreamy chandelier and swagged cafe lights from these two weddings too!

 

Most Original Escort Cards/Seating Chart

Photo Credit: Sydney Marie (top left) |  Gingertown Photography (bottom left)430 Studios (top right)Jillian Bowes (bottom right)

 

Sheena + Adam

Why we love it: We see A LOT of of cork escort cards over the course of a season. Most of them lay horizontally and the cards often slide out if not securely glued in place (or roll over if the bottom isn’t shaved down). We love how Sheena and Adam turned the cork vertically and and added a flower on top to indicate meal choices! So clever!

Tarah + Ryan

Why we love it: We are constantly encouraging our clients to find creative ways to secure their escort cards to a display. Seems like a strange request, but we cannot count the number of weddings where our interns have chased down wind-sent name cards! Groom Ryan built this seating chart with a wooden frame and magnetic fencing to create one incredibly original escort card display. Each card had a magnet glued on the back – and these puppies stayed put!

Laura + Cody

Why we love it: These place cards, famously known as Paper Belly Bands, wrap around the napkin (and stay put in the wind!) and greeted each guest once they arrived to their table. Laura and Cody’s bands killed two birds with one stone – where not only did guests easily find their assigned seat, but based on the color of the font on the band, determined their meal selection for the evening. We call that a Win/Win: A clear, easily seen marker for the caterer and trendy seating card presentation!

Kelsey + Andrew

Why we love it: Designed and built by groom, Andrew, this dark stained escort card board was a well thought out rustic addition to their vineyard backdrop at 12 Corners. Bringing a masculine wood element to their otherwise glammed out design, the sturdy board was complete with hooks to hold escort cards for over 200 guests.

Stationary designed by Tied & Two, Etsy

Floral Topper by Overgrowth Floral, Grand Rapids

 

Best Entertainment

Kayla + Grant’s Moko Jumbie

Photo Credit: Lamarand Style Photography 

Why we loved it: Who gets the chance to watch a 16-foot dancer do the limbo at a wedding?! (We haven’t seen many in our seven years of experience!) Kayla and Grant had been vacationing to St. Thomas for a few years before getting married. In their time there, they met a cab driver turned Moko Jumbie (more commonly known a stilts walker) who they became friends with and would always visit on their stays. When he heard they were tying the knot in the states, he just had to be a part of their big day … and he was in a big way 🙂

For other wedding-worthy entertainment ideas click here!

 

Best Centerpieces

Chelsey + Zac’s Ethereal Tablescapes

ziegler-centerpieces

Photo Credit: Jill Tiongco Photography

Why we love it: Our planner Hannah worked closely with bride Chelsey to make each table unique, yet cohesive to the overall vision. Some tables had soft blue chiffon runners, others had blush sequin runners. All of the tables had gorgeous florals and garlands by Black Dog Flower Farm, and were adorned with pillar candles on mercury glass holders. The tables were full and centerpieces varied in height!

Chiffon table runners & gold charger rentals: The Rental Company of Holland

 

Jamie + Jack’s Redefined Rustic

solomon-centerpieces

Photo Credit: Jillian Bowes

Why we love it: Rustic barn weddings don’t always have to include burlap runners, mason jars and babies breath. We loved Jamie and Jack’s redefined rustic design – providing something so fresh and glamorous for their Blue Dress Barn fall celebration. Working closely with Stella Event Design for florals, each pop of color, and selection of flowers were carefully planned out – down to the barn wood boxes and stone urns used as floral containers, alternating on each table.

 

Best Floral Design

Photo Credit: Gingertown Photography (top left) | 430 Studios (top right) | Jillian Bowes (bottom right)

Tarah’s Bouquet

Florist: Beikmann Associates, Niles, MI

Why we love it: In a wedding world currently full of long-stemmed bouquets, we loved this cascading bouquet with a hidden stem for a fresh look! Not only does this gorgeous bouquet look like it is all flowers and no stem, but the flowers have the perfect touch of blue with the delphinium (a great cascader!). Beikmann Associates did a special treatment on some non-seasonal flowers (peonies and tulips) in order to get them to stay open long enough for the wedding – consider us impressed!

Kelsey + Andrew’s Rustic Accents

Florist: Overgrowth Floral, Grand Rapids, MI

Why we love it: Organic, whimsical, blush tones = must-have ingredients to a stellar floral design. Kelsey and Andrew used these pretties on their accent tables in the space – to spice up even the smallest spots in the venue.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to add design elements into areas of the reception like the bar, gift or guest book table, or in Kelsey and Andrew’s case, their cockail lounge area.

Laura + Cody’s Wooded Arch

Florist: Marco Alexzondra Floral & Event Design, Galien, MI

Why we love it: This private residence in Michigan City, IN was all sorts of dreamy. A permanent, towering wooded arch overlooking a hay field in its rural setting was naturally made the focal point altar for Laura and Cody’s intimate I Do’s. Assuming the arch would be filled with natural greenery as it is most times of the year, it wasn’t until a month before, when they contacted their florist with concern there wouldn’t be enough fullness in time for their June wedding. Enter, Marco Alexzondra, a true artist, who quickly inspired the possibilities and transformed the arch into a complete beauty – pairing florals used at their reception and bouquets and adding in tons of texture.

Heather + Eric’s Garden Party

Florist: Posh Petals, Grand Rapids, MI

Why we love it: Posh Petals took every nook and cranny of The Veranda and turned it into a floral opportunity. No flower went to waste with this crew! From adding greenery to every place setting to decorating our new gold-framed chalkboard, we loved the floral garlands spread throughout the venue to make it come to life.

 

Best Wedding Dress

Photo Credit: Bride Jen (left) Rachael Osborn Photography | Bride Chelsea (top right) Jill Tiongco Photography | Bride Ashley (bottom right) Stephanie Gamble Photography

 

Bride Jen

Designer:  Behati by Hayley Paige

Purchased from: Bella Bianca in Oakbrook, IL

Price point: $3,000 before alterations 

Bride Chelsey

Designer: Carolina Dress from the Gossamer Collection of Anna Campbell 

Price point: $3000-$4000

Bride Ashley

Designer:Designer is Ti Adora, purchased at Bianka Bridal in Grand Rapids

Price point: $1500 after alterations

 

Most Stunning Bride

Photo Credit: Bride Constance (top left) Brian Kinyon | Bride Mackenzie (right) Gingertown Photography | Bride Kristina (bottom left) Rachael Osborn Photography

This category was created to capture gorgeous brides that not only brought all aspects of their look together perfectly (thing makeup, hair, dress), but they emulate poise and beauty on the inside too!

Bride Constance

Bride Constance had a major problem to troubleshoot the week of her wedding and she handled it with complete grace. If you didn’t hear her story, you would have thought everything was as perfect as could be on her wedding day – she glowed. Check out her perspective on the week’s events:

“Like most brides, I had a Pinterest board of wedding dress ideas for months before I went to try on dresses and once I figured out what shape suited my frame best I absolutely fell in love with a blush pink Lazaro a-line gown. I didn’t think I would find it, but when my mother and I went to Macy’s, there it was on a mannequin right in front of me! I said I had to try it on and didn’t even ask to see how much it was. Of course it was out of my price range, but I tried it on anyway and it was perfect. Unfortunately I really couldn’t afford it. I left the store and decided I would explore my options. After a lot of talking with friends and family and some research my aunt suggested I talk to a friend of hers who is a costume seamstress to see if she could make a similar dress. Long story short, we went down the custom-made route and I trusted my seamstress. But as spring turned to summer and the seamstress still hadn’t started on the dress for my September wedding we started to worry. She assured us that this was all a part of her timeline. By August there still was not a full dress for me to try on, but I was so busy with wedding planning and so blinded by my commitment to this plan that I stuck with her.

The Sunday before my wedding my mother and I went out to her house so that I could try on the dress. It still wasn’t completely done and what we saw was so far from our expectations. My mom launched into fix-it mode and called the Macy’s where I had tried on the original dress. They still had the floor model and would sell it to us for a discount. We got the dress on the Wednesday before the wedding and rushed to a tailor that could do emergency alterations. Three seamstresses at the tailor shop worked around the clock. On the Friday before the wedding I had to get from Chicago to Michigan for the rehearsal dinner and the second dress was still being altered. In the end we made a plan for my mother’s boyfriend to drive back to Chicago first thing on Saturday morning (the day of the wedding!) to get the dress and we had to just hope that one fitting would be enough. I was a nervous wreck the night before the wedding and could hardly sleep, but at 11am the dress arrived and fit! I give most of the thanks for the success of this VERY last minute change to my mother and her ability to jump into action when I was starting to shut down due to anxiety. As Shakespeare said, all’s well that ends well and I think this turned out quite well.”

 

Bride Kristina

Kristina was a complete showstopper at her wedding! This fitted gown with a scopped back photographed beautifully. We love her low, loose hair style and her make up was impeccable. Kristina was a joy to work with from the day we met her. She was in the middle of relocating states with her then-fiance and together they were planning majority of their wedding from Tennessee. This girl never once complained and always viewed this special day as a day of honor, and not one of tension. This is one of the most beautiful qualities we love seeing in our clients!

Hair: Rachel from Czar Salon & Spa

Makeup: Gina from Czar Salon & Spa

Dress Designed: Essence of Australia

Dress Boutique: Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL

Bride Mackenzie

Not only do we think this girl is STUNNING, but she managed to keep complete sanity on her wedding day with her growing family by her side – like the others in this category, we can’t say enough about her radiance on the inside and out. Being a hairstylist and make up artist herself, Bride Mackenzie new exactly the look she was going for – complete with creating her own head piece to complete the day of look. While most head pieces can be purchased upwards of $100, her supplies cost $40-$50 and made in an hour. We see over 100 gowns a year, but the entire team commented on this stunner. With the fitted shape and bohemian style top of her gown paired with her overall natural glam, we couldn’t resist!

Gown Designer:  Theia Couture, Natalia

Gown Purchased from: Flutter Bridal Boutique, Minneapolis, MN

Gown Price point: $1,500 before alterations 

 

 

Honorable Mentions!

Hayley + Joey’s Midsummer Night’s Dream

Photo Credit: 430 Studios

Why we love it: Wait, what’s not to love? Groom, Joey’s desire was to have a theme that depicted a Midsummer Night’s Dream – complete with twinkle lights strung in the open air Veranda @ The Whitcomb for their June wedding. The transformation was beautiful and significant. It was easy to draw inspiration from this wedding. In fact, we saw many other Veranda couples who sought to create a similar look after seeing this! Kudos to Burns Rental for creating the foresty look on the ceiling and architecture columns.

Such a remarkable year for 1928 Planning and looking so forward with what 2017 holds for our team! Hope you’ve enjoyed a recap of our favorite memories of 2016 and have found some inspiration of your own!

 

Cheers!