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July 11, 2019

Leelanau County, Northern Michigan

Cherry Basket Farm

Photographer / Josh Hartman

Hair & Makeup /  Studio 415 Salon

Floral / IndieGrow Flower Farm

Catering / Epicure Catering

Our role /

Planning, Design, and Event Management​

Tables /  Modern Rental Co.

Chairs / Modern Rental Co.

Tabletop /  Gigi and LaClede

Paper Goods / The Revel Rose

If you put your wishes out into the universe, sometimes they are returned back to you tenfold.

Late in the winter of 2018, my friend Josh Hartman of Josh Hartman Photography and I envisioned what it might look like if we got together and offered photography and planning elopement packages to make it easy for couples to book.

The concept seemed simple. We loved creating together and had collaborated on a few styled shoots, we pitch to the same type of clients, happy people who like non-traditional wedding experiences that are outdoors focused, and we felt we could offer something with a well-balanced price point.

Neither of us really wanted to get into the highly styled "elopement for the sake of elopement" field that seemed to explode on Instagram over the past two years. However, if a couple really did want a simplified wedding for an intimate crew, we wanted to show them what we could offer with a pure Northern Michigan experience.

And into our world came Katie and Mark that very winter. Hailing from Austin, Texas with roots in Leelanau County, they had decided against a large expensive wedding and wanted to get married in a few months over the summer with twenty of their family members in a special place. 

We could not have been more excited to talk to them! Right away we got a sense for their priorities; great food, a venue with good ambiance, and time to hang out and relax following an informal ceremony. 

I prepared a venue guide for them with a range of venues that would fit their budget and style, but secretly I was hoping they'd go for my top preference, a week day farm dinner at Cherry Basket Farm in Omena, halfway up the Leelanau Peninsula.

I entered the wedding industry through my experience working with renowned Epicure Catering at Cherry Basket Farm for a summer as a server on the weekends and loved it so much I started to seriously think about quitting my day job and pursuing a career in hospitality and events. And then when I did, I spent a season waiting for the right couple to bring back to Cherry Basket Farm and experience some of the magic that I felt there at every wedding.

Luckily, Katie and Mark were smitten with the recommendation. In Katie's words, "I can't believe we can have our wedding HERE with our budget". Choosing to have a Thursday farm to table dinner with twenty guests however was quite affordable, and this choice allowed us to bring in a few custom rentals to really warm up the century old barn where dinner was held in the lower barn. With tables and chairs from newly established Modern Rental Co., stoneware dishes and gold flatware from Gigi & LaClede, and simple yet sweet potted plants and herbs from IndieGrow Floral Farm, the space was intimate and perfect for a long, slow dinner. 

Katie's laid back style fit the vibe of Cherry Basket Farm perfectly. She fell in love with two dresses from BHLDN, so wore both, and wore a pair of white tennis shoes underneath so she could freely walk around the property! She also took my recommendation for simple hair and makeup and went to visit my girl Allison Shaughnessy of Studio 415 Salon in Traverse City the morning of her wedding.

When Katie and Mark arrived to Cherry Basket Farm with their sweet dog Ziggy, I forgot that they hadn't been there in person for and their faces as they pulled up were so sweet! They loved it. The two got ready together in the farmhouse on-site, and then I married them in the garden area in front of their families.

The evening was low key, sweet, and so fun. As you'll see from the photos from Josh below, they had such a great time. They truly had a wedding day that reflected their greatest wishes, to spend the day with family and their dogs and keep everything else as simple as possible while making time to sit around and enjoy an amazing meal. 

I had such a hard time picking out final photos from all of these stunning portraits throughout the day by Josh, so enjoy! 

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