grand rapids

Jamie + Neil | A Rock 'n' Roll Bride Camp Wedding in Michigan

As I mentioned in Jamie + Neil's engagement session post, last January I did a contest giving away my services to one couple on Rock 'n' Roll Bride.  We selected 3 finalists from all of the fabulous couples that entered and let the public vote on a winner.  Jamie + Neil won and two weekends ago Courtney and I traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan for their one-of-a-kind, most-definitely-rock-n-roll, and bust-your-gut-laughing wedding. The entire wedding was designed and styled by Jamie, who is a ridiculously talented and creative wedding stylist and planner in Grand Rapids.  Every single detail was a reflection of Jamie and Neil.  And being super-talented themselves, they naturally have unbelievably talented friends and family, all of whom worked tirelessly to make this weekend perfect for them.  Even their sweet little Boston Terriers, Pixel and Poppy, were able to make it.  But, I think my absolute favorite part, was the parade and flag raising after the ceremony.  But I think it's better if I let Jamie tell you the rest.

"Heyday Event Lab went and got married!  It was my favorite project to date to have the opportunity to work with so many vendors that I admire.  It was a tremendous amount of work to DIY our own wedding but thanks to the assistance of friends and family we were able to pull it off!  The overall concept and all decor elements were created by Heyday Event Lab.  Two things we knew for sure is that we had a small budget and a whole lot of love to share!  We set out with a few objectives that helped us shape our event.  We wanted to keep our event intimate and only invite our very closest companions so we would be sure to have ample time to spend with each guest.  We wanted to reuse and recycle as much as possible in every aspect of our wedding and when we couldn't we tried to buy local.  And we wanted to incorporate as many personal elements so that our wedding would be a true reflection of our lives and our relationship.

The whole wedding weekend from Rehearsal on Friday through Sunday morning took place at the Muskegon YMCA's Camp Pendalouan.  Camp Pendalouan has a special place in my heart as I attended girl scout camp there as a child.  The ceremony took place at the scenic Boyden Chapel situated on Big Blue Lake and the reception was held in Nikana Lodge.  The evening was concluded by a roaring bonfire that could be "seen from space" at the Council Ring of the Great Bear fire circle.  The camp setting was just perfect for us since we love outdoor adventures.  It also gave us extra time to spend with our guests that were able to spend the night in the bunks!

It was very sentimental for me to have my old VW Beetle at the event for pictures.  It was a surprise from my dad shortly after my sixteenth birthday.  He passed away unexpectedly later that Summer so it's always been a special memento for me.  "

Jamie + Neil (and all of your lovely friends and family), it was truly an honor to be a part of such a cool weekend.  Everyone was so warm and inviting and I instantly felt at home and welcome.   I'll never forget it.  I hope the photos do justice to just how fun and full of love everything was.

Courtney (and Lenny, Owen and Stella) -  I can't thank you enough for coming with me.  Having you there made the experience even more special.   I can't wait to share the awesome Hipstamatic Prints you took later this week (along with Shake Your Face).

. . . more of Jamie's words after the photos.


Event Concept + Styling:  Heyday Event Lab

Jamie is uber-talented, so if you are looking for unique and original concept for your wedding, please get in touch with her!  And South Florida peeps, I'm sure she's willing to travel!

Cake + Styling: The Cakabakery

Since I knew I couldn't do it all…. I enlisted my good friends and colleagues at The Cakabakery to help style the event.  They executed our vision flawlessly and I don't know what I would have done without them and the help of all of our friends!  Not only was our teeny little cake ADORABLE, it was also delicious beyond words.  The Cakabakery prepared us a pumpkin cake with spiced cream cheese frosting - I can barely stand how delicious it was!!  Neil's mom let us borrow the puny little ducks that were our topper.

To add a personal touch we had family members bake up some delicious sweets that are "traditions" in our families.  Neil's mother made Aunt Janet's Chocolate Squares and my Aunt made my grandmother's Cream Cheese Crescent Dessert.

Officiant: Joel Hess

Our friend Joel Hess was our officiant.  He frequently joins us on our kayaking adventures.   Instead of saying "I do," we said "Yes, please!"  He did a great job of engaging the crowd and infusing humor into our ceremony.

Flowers, Patterned Bunting Banners, Vintage Blue Bottles: Jamie's mom

My mom spent the entire season lovingly toiling away for a garden full of flowers for us to use for our centerpieces.  She also pent an inconceivable amount of time sewing bunting banners to be used throughout the camp.  It was so much fun to collaborate with her!

Bride's Bouquet: Hamilton Dahlia Farm

A dear girlfriend braved the weather the morning of the wedding to go to the Farmer's Market and pick up a couple bunches of fresh picked dahlias for my bouquet.  She also braided the fabric strips that were used as the bouquet handle.

Bride's Dress

Vintage dress purchased randomly seven years ago at the now defunct boutique Viavi for a whopping $15.  One of my dear colleagues helped me to modify the sleeves and the bodice of the sheath dress.

Bridal Party Outfits

Since our color palette was extensive I gave each of the gals a range of colors to work with and a general look I was hoping to achieve and they went to town creating their own looks.  My goal was for them to wear something comfortable that they could truly wear again.

The groomsmen were all styled by our good friends from The Cakabakery.  Their outfits were an eclectic mix of vintage goods and pieces they already had in their closets.

Engagement Ring: Coxy

Neil has my engagement ring created from a Green Stone, Michigan's state gemstone.  These gems are only found in Isle Royale National Park where we vacationed and kayaked together in 2008.  We dug up a few of these rare stones and brought them home to admire.  He worked with a former colleague to have my lovely ring fashioned around one of these stones.  Aren't I a lucky gal??!

Invitations, Bride & Groom Sketch, & Giant Mustache for VW Bug: Our creative friend Talls

Our colleague & friend Andrew (AKA Talls) did the most amazing job of creating our family crest and custom invitations to exactly reflect us.  Together we printed them with our gocco on the backs of legal pads that I gathered from my colleagues throughout the year.  We inserted the invitations into paper source sleeves & coordinating envelopes.

Camp wayfinding & photo signage: Aaron Lee, Graphic Designer Extraordinare

Another dear friend and genius designer created all of the wayfinding signs throughout camp to help make sure our guests knew exactly where they were going.  I especially loved the quote bubble signs that lined the paths containing some of our favorite quotations.  He did an excellent job incorporating our sense of humor.

In keeping with the camp feel, we went with a casual calligraphy style throughout.  Neil's parents are huge bird enthusiasts so we incorporated birds into our table names in a whimsical natural history museum styling.

Reception Decor

We were super excited to employ my mom's extensive collection of vintage cobalt blue bottles as our centerpieces.  They offered a nice bright pop of color for the tabletop.  We've also been saving all of our jars from pasta sauce, beans, etc throughout the year and upcycled those into the vessels used for our tables on the deck.   Neil is a huge photography enthusiast and was super jazzed to have all of the cameras he's ever used (and some that he's collected from before his time!) on display at our reception.

Ceremony + Pre-Dinner Music: Twice Since Yesterday

These sweet guys are not your ordinary cover band!  They cover the unlikely songs you're delighted to hear and even learned Cat Steven's "Can't Keep It In" for us to walk down the aisle to!

Bonfire Music: Northern Michigan's Kirby Snively

No relation to my new husband, but this singer/songwriter from Northern Michigan was a wonderful addition to our bonfire!

And the other fantastic vendors:

Venue: YMCA Camp Pendalouan

Catering: Pekadills

Sweets: Sweet Traditions

Beer: Pauly's

Linens: Rentablecloths

Bride's Ring: Preusser's Jewelrs

Groom's Ring: Tinahdee on Etsy

Bride's Bracelet: Strings 'n Things on Etsy

Bride's Shoes: Tree & Kimball Market on Etsy

Custom Shirt Printing: Citizenshirt

Wedding Cake Stand (yes, the little adorable orange one): Rebel Reclaimed

Bridal Hat & Boutonnieres: Pixel & Hank

Hair: Erin of Capelli Salon

Ladie's clutches: Save our Home on Etsy

Bunting Banner Wish Line: Hip Hip Hooray Blog

Mustaches: Century Novelty