Leelanau, a name meaning delight of life.
The land that is Leelanau holds our hearts in such a suspended place. Bordered by three sides of Great Lakes, boasting 100 miles of shoreline, 33 inland lakes, and 5 islands visible from land, this place is as much about finding your foothold on dry land as it about swimming out to meet the sea. As much about appreciating what is right in front of you as it is about what's just past the horizon. A place for doers and dreamers and in-betweeners.
The inspiration for our Love Letter to Leelanau styled shoot was drawn from the experience of living on this stretch of land between seas, where freedom and beauty has always felt imminent, expected, and preserved yet fragile.
Our love story picks up from the morning spent getting ready at Kapakahi Retreat in Cedar, with a focus on simple rhythms and rituals to start the wedding day. Our bride opted out of the extensive makeup routine for a natural facial and cleansing, and a refreshed hair style that epitomizes her free-spirit and wanderlust lifestlye as a travel blog writer. Her bell sleeved dress with embroidered daisies and a low cut back and front added some drama to her low-key 1970's inspired back to the land look. From the retreat, our couple headed out onto M-22 via the crisp, classic trolley from Traverse City Beer and Wine Tours for a private escapade through the hillsides and vineyards of Leelanau Wine Country to arrive at Suttons Bay Ciders, one of only two dedicated cider houses in Leelanau County.
Suttons Bay Ciders is an oasis of land sitting high atop a hill overlooking the bay to the east, and rolling vineyards to the west. Visible from the outdoor patio is a sweeping view of Lake Michigan, Old Mission Peninsula, and Power Island - a landmark that gives it's namesake to one of the ciders available in the tasting room.
The cozy, cabin like tasting room at Suttons Bay Ciders is enough reason to love this venue, but it's the outdoor spaces- including an expansive patio, fireplace area, and picnic area in the woods that draws guests out with pints in hand to explore and while the day away.
Our shoot featured an intimate outdoor ceremony in the pinestand of Suttons Bay Ciders wooded lawn, with a bright patina of spring and summer citrus color infused florals with a mix of locally grown flowers from Leelanau Specialty Cut Flowers, and a retro tablescape inspired by 1970's dinner parties and back to the land outdoor dining. The table food was an homage to Leelanau County's remarkable agricultural production, which ranges from fruits and vegetables. to grains, grapes, hops, meat, dairy, and prepared foods. Our charcuterie featured products from regional growers, and an assortment of cheeses from area producers including Leelanau Cheese, Boss Mouse Cheese, and Idyll Farms. Third Coast Bakery provided a whimsical, pastel infused dessert table with their 100% allergen free and vegan recipes using local ingredients like honey, lavendar, and thyme.
Following their celebration, we sent our couple off in a little bit of a different vehicle, a 1980 Westfalia van to head back to the place where they started the day- at the water.
When we live here, we tend to project ourselves onto the water. Driftless or distant. Calm or restless. Peaceful or volatile. Clear or convoluted. Near or very far. A tide controlled by a moon in a distant space, or a wave as free as the wind.
Styled Shoot Team:
Photography – Allen-Kent Photography & Josh Hartman Photography
Creative Direction, Design, and Styling – The Revel Rose
Venue – Suttons Bay Ciders
Floral Design – Windflower Design Co.
Cake – Third Coast Bakery
Videography – Jen Sawyer Field Producer & Mark Eidan
Beauty and Hair Styling – Allison Shaughnessy Hair
Wedding Dress – Desiree Hartstock Bridal via Grace Elizabeth Bridal
Groom’s Apparel – Personal Wardrobe
Ring – Becky Thatcher Designs
Paper Goods - The Revel Rose