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Ashley + Stephen 

August 25, 2018

Charlevoix, Michigan 




Photographer / Michael Murphy

Makeup / Dream Details 

Floral /  Sweetwater Floral

Decor / 307 Events 

Entertainment / Mike Davis Trio

Our role /

Partial Planning with Compose Events

Month of Coordination and Styling

Catering /  Grey Gables 

Cake /  Simply Sweet by Jessica

Chairs / 307 Events 

Transportation / Mackinac Shuttles

Paper Goods / Jade Social 

Early in the spring,  a fellow wedding planner from downstate reached out to me about the possibility of helping her with a few weddings over the summer. Nicole of Compose Events was expecting her first child and had a full season of weddings both in the Ann Arbor area where she resides and Northern Michigan where her family cottage is located in Harbor Springs. 

When I met Nicole, we hit it off right away. She was friendly, witty, and had a wicked sense of humor. She is also extremely professional, sharp, and multi-talented as a planner with years of experience working in corporate events and does beautiful floral and design work. I knew her brides would expect a high level of service, and was nervous to step into a role serving them while she took some much needed maternity leave, (a luxury small business owners don't always grant themselves) but nonetheless a few weeks later Ashley and Stephen came into my life, and I couldn't be more happy for the opportunity to serve them throughout their wedding planning. 


Nicole and Ashley designed a beautiful wedding together for late August at one of my favorite venues, Castle Farms in Charlevoix. I loved learning about each and every detail of their design plan, which included tons of romantic summer blooms from Sweetwater Floral, custom invitation sets and paper goods from stationer Jade Social, and a colorful dessert table from Simply Sweet by Jessica. All summer long I was excited for this wedding, and I loved Ashley's attention to detail, the way she anticipated her guests needs, and her obvious excitement to be getting married to Stephen. 

I got to step into a planning role a little earlier than expected, as Nicole 's little girl arrived early while she was attending her sister's wedding! Even though Nicole was balancing her role as a new mom, I was so impressed by her care and dedicated to her brides, as she quickly implemented our transition plan so I could be there for Ashley and Stephen's final months of planning. 

When I met Ashley and Stephen for the first time in person, I was so over the moon with Ashely's amazing sense of style, her discernment for knowing exactly what she wanted on her wedding day, and her craftiness - she created a some gorgeous photo hops with photos of her and Stephen throughout the years. Her and Stephen also had an incredibly funny and helpful family. 

Their wedding day, like so many this summer called for rain, and we spent the morning in hopefully expectation that it would hold off until the reception. Because not every wedding can be so easy, we quickly started planning for rain by covering our cocktail horu with tents, grabbing a few extra umbrellas, and coming up with a few backup photo location sites for Ashley and Stephen and their wedding aprty. 

It began pouring as soon as guests started arriving to St. Mary's Catholic Church, and Ashley was lovingly ushered into the ceremony under the care of the chapel coordinator Mary! The most beautiful part of the ceremony was not only the chapel itself, but that the stained glass windows had been propped open and guests could hear the murmur of the rain as they watched Ashley and Stephen become husband and wife! By the time the ceremony was over, the rain had stopped and guests boisterously lined up for a receiving line, blowing bubbles on the happy newlyweds. 

Ashley and Stephen, along with their wedding party and photographer Mike Murphy boarded their trolley from Mackinac Trolley, and spent the afternoon taking photos on the beach and old train depot in Charlevoix. 

The rest of the evening went off without a hitch as moody skies made the Castle look all the more stately and held off with the rain long enough for us to have a beautiful cocktail hour on the patio. The Mike Davis Trio regaled guests with string music while Grey Gables served passed apps and cocktails. 

Guests were in love with the Kings's Great Hall where Ashley & Stephen's reception was held, and the entire evening was a romantic, beautiful candlelit fairytale of a wedding. Ashley and Stephen got to step out just before sunset for some beautiful portraiture in the woods at Castle Farms, and came back in to enjoy dance the night away with their friends and family! 

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