I am over the moon today to finally be sharing Kelly (my beautiful cousin) and Bobby’s destination wedding on Mackinac Island. The whole wedding weekend felt like a dream. The weather was beautiful, we ate amazing food, toasted to so many happy moments and laughed until we cried. This was truly one for the books.
Getting married on Mackinac Island was a dream for Kelly. Much like myself, she had grown up taking summer trips to the island with her family and it was always a source of fun and fond memories. When her and Bobby were talking about potential wedding locations, Kelly brought up Mackinac, but Bobby had never been. She showed him photos of family trips from over the years and he looked online to get a feel for what it was like. He liked what he saw and could see how much it would mean to Kelly and HE AGREED TO IT SIGHT UNSEEN!!!
They chose a Labor Day weekend date and called Mission Point Resort to book their locations immediately. They picked the holiday weekend to give a full year to family to start planning, and so everyone would have an extra day for traveling. All guests were traveling 5+ hours with most traveling from other states including Illinois (where the couple resides), Tennessee and Texas.
For those unfamiliar, Mackinac Island is located in Lake Huron on the eastern edge of the Straits of Mackinac, the area between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan that connects Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The entire island is a registered National Historic Landmark and truly feels like stepping back in time. It can only be accessed by ferry from Mackinaw City (lower peninsula) or St. Ignace (upper peninsula), boat, small aircraft and, in winter, snowmobile via an ice road over the lake. It also has a motor vehicle ban which has been in place since 1898, so the only way to move about the island is on foot, bicycle or horse.
In May, Kelly and Bobby, along with Kelly’s parents made a weekend trip to the island to give Bobby a chance to experience it before the wedding weekend. This also gave them a chance to finalize details with Mission Point Resort, where their ceremony and reception were both taking place. Kelly was a little nervous about what Bobby would think, but a few hours in he was sold on all the hype and knew they could not have picked a better place for their wedding.
The forecast called for an afternoon rain shower, but we were ready for anything. While the guys hung out and got dressed in the conference center, the girls sipped mimosas and got ready in the bridal suite at Mission Point’s Lakeside Spa & Salon.
We did individual family photos early to save time after the ceremony for family to enjoy cocktail hour and to allow more time for Kelly and Bobby to enjoy a carriage ride and get couple photos. After Bobby’s family photos came one of the most emotional parts of the day, Kelly’s first look with her dad. He’s struggled with his health over the years and we were all so overwhelmed with emotion to be able to see this moment take place. As soon as they saw each other the tears flowed.
The lovebirds, after initially deciding against it, opted to do a first look to calm their nerves and to be able to enjoy more of the day together. While I situated Bobby on the balcony overlooking Mission Point’s lawn and Lake Huron in the distance, I kept a staunch side eye on the four different weather apps open on my phone. I went to grab kelly and almost as soon as she walked outside the sky opened up and started raining.
You guys! She legit grabbed his a$$ and when he turned around she hugged him and then sprinted back inside!
The wedding coordinator started initiating the rain plan and moving the chairs from the gazebo to the covered Promenade Deck, but then 30 minutes before the scheduled ceremony time it stopped raining and the sky cleared to blue. Without skipping a beat, knowing how much it meant to the couple to say their I do’s at the gazebo, the resort wedding staff moved the entire setup back to the lawn at the gazebo! I really can’t say enough about their willingness to go above and beyond!
With the waters of Lake Huron lapping onto the shore in the background and all the guests in their seats, we had ourselves a wedding! Kelly and Bobby’s dog Ivory even made an appearance, escorted down the aisle by the bride’s godfather. Her godmother shared a reading about the ways marriage is like loving a dog, that had everyone laughing and crying.
Post ceremony, guests headed to cocktail hour while the couple and I took a horse drawn carriage ride into town. As we rode down Main St. past houses, restaurants and shops, people whistled and shouted congratulations at the newlyweds. When we approached the center of downtown, our coachman, Jodi, stopped the carriage in the road for us to jump out and get a few photos with the hustle and bustle of town as our backdrop. For about 2 minutes all carriage traffic stopped, bicyclers moved to the side and we owned the street! It was so awesome, and Kelly and Bobby felt like rockstars!
We continued our ride toward Windermere Point to get some photos of the couple with the Mackinac Bridge in the distance. To my absolute joy, we had a perfect little sailboat breeze into our shooting path and add a little extra Mackinac Island magic to their photos.
The reception was held in the Summit Room which offers a 180 degree view of Lake Huron. The guests were blow away by the show stopping view. Tables were draped in white linens with silver sequin table runners and set with gold chiavari chairs. Each place setting had a matte silver charger, mint satin napkin, and a sweet favor from Joann’s Fudge in cute little boxes that said “married on Mackinac.”
Dinner was buffet style, and for a late night snack waiters served chicken and waffle bites. (Random note: late night snack = total wedding reception win). In lieu of a large wedding cake, they opted for a small personal cake with a donut and cider bar for guests!
The dance floor was lively and they included a fun spin I haven’t seen before on a classic group dance! Kelly called it the sunglasses dance. Everyone gathers round in a circle with the bride and groom in the middle to start. They are wearing a pair of sunglasses, then they pass the sunglasses off to someone who then takes their turn dancing in the circle. Everyone was into it and the addition of the sunglasses gave everyone a little extra sass!
A few months before their wedding, Kelly learned that she’d be sharing her wedding anniversary date with our grandparents. We couldn’t even speak about it without bursting into tears. Even writing this I am crying. Our grandparents died when I was very young and Kelly never met my grandfather. We had always felt a sense of missing out on them.
As a way to incorporate lost loved ones and the love stories still being written, Kelly and Bobby had a generations of love table display with photos of parents and grandparents. A special photo of our grandparents, Marvel and Ernest, had a note about the blessing of sharing their wedding date. Marvel and Ernest would have been married 71 years.
The day was a true fairytale for the couple and their families and a perfect destination wedding experience we’ll all be talking about for decades!
If mint green and aqua are your thing, check out their gorgeous “mint to be” wedding shower!
Ceremony and Reception Venue / Mission Point Resort
Floral Design / Weber’s Floral and Gift
DJ / DJ Brevin
Cake Artist / Annie’s Cakes
Linens / Linen Hero
Invitation Designer / The Wedding Shop by Shutterfly
Officiant / Tom Marx
Fudge Favors / Joann’s Fudge
Carriage Ride / Gough Carriages
Bridal Gown Boutique / Simply Luxe Bridal
Bridal Gown Designer / Martina Liana
Bride’s Shoes / Nordstrom
Bridesmaid Dresses / David’s Bridal
Groom’s Suit / Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Rings / Jared
Transport to Mackinac Island / Shepler’s Ferry