Kelly + Charlie
Catering / Island Thyme Catering
Cake / Cakes by Aunt B
Reception Rentals/ MacDonald Events
Entertainment / Mac Daddy Band and
Invitations / Minted
Our role /
Full Service Planning
Day of Coordination
Design & Styling
Graphic Design + Paper Goods
Photographer / Stephen Norregaard
Hair & Makeup / Pavlova Salon
Floral / Sweetwater Floral
Ceremony Benches / Serradella Vintage
Ceremony Entertainment / May Erlewine
September 8, 2018
What do you do when your best friend and best man happens to own an old ski lodge and mountain Northern Michigan?
Throw your wedding there, obviously. And invite everyone for a weekend of revelry.
When Kelly and Charlie got in touch with me about helping them plan their wedding at Mount Mancelona I immediately fell in love with them and their somewhat right-up-my-ally vision. Kelly and Charlie are world travelers, community minded adventurers, and are super busy business owners who split their time between their organic juice bar in Puerto Rico and Kelly's natural health practice in Grand Rapids. They had a busy year ahead of them and planning a wedding that would bring together their family and friends from all over the world to celebrate for four days in Northern Michigan was the task in front of us.
Kelly and Charlie hold a special place in my heart because they were the first couple to ever hire me to plan their wedding. While I was a little nervous about the fact that we would be hosting this festival-like wedding at a new venue, I knew that with the right minded team, we could pull it off. A September date was set at the beginning of the new year, and over months of site visits, lunch dates, and a whole lot of wine drinking with Mama Madelon, we managed to plan this amazing wedding!
Kelly & Charlie arrived to Northern Michigan the first week of September and got to spend time with family and friends from near and far, while starting the wedding festivities with wine tours and an awesome welcome dinner at the lodge the night before the wedding. A laid back and festive wild game dinner served outside on long picnic tables and live musicians set the tone for the rest of the weekend. We also spent the better part of that week tying up odds and ends at Mount Mancelona as well, getting it ready to host 165 guests from around the world, and Kelly and Charlie had a team of friends help with everything from pitching tents to clearing a space in the woods where their ceremony would be held.
Meet Me on Mount Mancelona happened on one of those gorgeous bluebird days September where the days are warm and bright and the nights are cool. The ladies got ready at nearby Shanty Creek Resort while the guys spent the morning at Mount Mancelona.
Island Thyme Catering, a farm to table catering team from Leelanau County arrived early and set out refreshments for the guests as they arrived and began preparing for a multi-course family style dinner. Kelly and Charlie wed in a clearing of the woods among ferns and pines, under an arch they built themselves a few weeks before! Their close family friend officiated their ceremony while their dogs, Layla and Lily hung out nearby. Kelly & Charlie's ceremony was accompanied by the music of the beloved local Americana folk artist May Erlewine, something I was looking forward to for a long time.
Following the ceremony, guests meandered over to a sailspan tent set with a signature cocktail bar serving Mojitos and Cherry Bourbon Old Fashioneds, an ode to both the tropical and northwoods persuasions of Charlie and Kelly. During cocktail hour guests continued to enjoy the music of May Erlewine and wandered the property, finding their way to yard games and the old carnival trailer we set up as a photobooth backdrop.
I was able to assist Kelly and Charlie with designing a semi-custom invitation suite with the help of Minted, and I was so happy to have my friend and fellow wedding industry vendor, Meaghan of Birch Affair as an assistant coordinator to help with the styling of some of the decor elements of this wedding. This lady did a ton for me on this day, from gathering more ferns for the arch, to grabbing extra frames for our signage, to affixing Kellie's grandma's rosary to her bouquet, to styling a flat lay invitation suite. She has an amazing talent to make everything around her beautiful, and that was captured so well by our photographer Stephen Norregaard that day. (P.S. Stephen travelled to Puerto Rico for Kelly and Charlie's engagement session and it is heaven).
Our clear side dining tent was outfitted with rentals from Monstrey Macdonald, and designed with tons of greenery at Kelly's request from Sweetwater Floral in Petoskey. Aunt B's Cakes delivered a mint colored multi-tiered geometric cake that would be devoured later in the evening. Kelly and Charlie wanted a laid back, no fuss agenda for the evening, so after some amazing toasts and speeches from their loved ones, it was on for a long slow dinner of Northern Michigan fare, dancing to Mac Daddy Band, and enjoying a huge fire late into the night!
As a final sweet note to Meet Me on Mancelona, Kelly and Charlie brought their family and wedding party back together Sunday afternoon for brunch at Fieldguide Farmhouse, an historic home in the heart of the Chain of Lakes region. Island Thyme Catering returned with a savory and sweet breakfast buffet while guests enjoyed rose and the views of Intermediate Lake.