Meredith + Garrett / Bay City Wedding Photographer / Michigan Wedding

Hello friends! I’m bringing you a wedding that was so sweet and special and filled with so much love and work that I asked Meredith to write a few words about her day, the planning and some words of wisdom. Enjoy the images and reading her experience. I have heard from many of you how much you are enjoying the write ups from the newly-married couples!

From Meredith: Our wedding day was simply magical. It was a day Garrett and I had been dreaming of since we were only 17 years old–yes, we are high school sweethearts. We were so excited to commit ourselves to each other surrounded by love and laughter from our family and friends. I remember several times throughout the day just stopping and soaking everything in. It was all so surreal and all the months of planning had led up to this special day. Overall, we wanted a effortlessly chic wedding with neutrals, lush florals and greenery to accent the natural setting of my parents backyard on a lake.

The entire wedding was a labor of love. Garrett and I decided early on in the wedding planning process that we wanted to have the ceremony in a place that was very near and dear to our hearts so we were married in the same church as my grandparents, parents and several aunts and uncles. Family means the world to us. We also settled on my parents backyard for the reception, another location which meant a lot to us as a couple. We are forever grateful for my parents allowing us to use their home as our reception location. Having your wedding in your parents backyard is no easy feat. There are several logistical issues and you are practically starting with a blank slate for a reception space. Thankfully, a family friend had recently planned her daughters wedding at an estate in northern Michigan so she was able to provide an immense amount of guidance along the way. But like I said earlier, it was truly a labor of love–Garrett and his dad built the bars, my aunts constructed a beautiful edison bulb chandelier to hang over the dance floor/cake table, my cousin designed all of the graphics and paper goods, my sister and cousin wrote the guests names on glass tiles in calligraphy, my uncle strung the lights throughout the tent, my dad dedicated several days to yard work,  and my mom worked endlessly to organize and plan every single detail for the special day. Like I said, it was a lot of tough work, a lot of hard work but in the end–it was all worth it. We wanted something unique and an experience our guests would remember forever.

Having an outdoor wedding reception comes with a lot of worry and struggles. I don’t think I’ve ever checked the weather as much as I did the week leading up to our wedding (it predicted thunderstorms or rain all week). And somehow the weather worked out perfectly. It thunderstormed in the morning, cleared up on our way to the church, poured in the middle of the ceremony and then cleared up for cocktail hour and pictures. It is crazy when it all works out. It is hard when you have a vision so solid in your head and you think the weather may change it. But hey, I’ve heard rain on your wedding day is good luck anyways!?  Additionally, with a non traditional wedding venue, you have to bring every single thing in–down to the salt and pepper shakers and trailer bathrooms.

We also had to find vendors (or “friendors” as we liked to call them) who we trusted and understood what we wanted for the day. When we would meet with our vendors, they just “got us.” No other way to explain it–we clicked! (cough cough: Amy Carroll’s availability may have determined the date of the wedding).

Our day was perfect–a day we will never forget. We are so beyond grateful for all of our amazing family, friends and vendors who dedicated their time to our wedding.

One last tip for brides:

Enjoy every minute–it will all be beautiful.