Thursday, September 15, 2011

Enough to Make You Smile

It was a perfect day for a wedding. Though two hours to the east it was stormy and gloomy, in Ludington, Michigan, the sun was shining and the temperature was in the high 70s.

The sky never seemed more blue. Late season beachies had settled in for a last go at a tan or frolic in the Lake Michigan waters.

Fisherman dipped their lines into the brisk waters, hoping for an end-of-season catch.

Boats were out for a mid-September sail...

...and although the lighthouse was closed to the public, it didn't stop people from enjoying a walk on the pier, just to make sure.

Yes, it was a fine day. Better than fine. Exquisite.

The occasion was the daughter of my longtime friend, author, special needs advocate and blogger Judy Winter. I had known Jenna since she was a baby, then little girl, teen and finally, poised young woman.

Jenna is a graphic designer now and has the Etsy shop Bright Wall/Vintage. She married Erik Taylor, who has the creative Etsy design shop Bright Wall Studios. Together they are a delightful pair, formidable with their talent, enchanting with their grace.

Our base was "The Big House," a guest house in Ludington a few blocks from the beach. Those who couldn't fit into the house enjoyed retro rooms in the adjacent Blue Spruce Motel, complete with knotty pine walls and quaint messages reminding the women to take care with their make-up on the white towels. The sign was vintage, too. (Does anyone else see the irony of this sign? Maybe I should post this as an ironic photo around Christmas. They may want to rethink that.)

Of course we gathered before leaving for the wedding. One must!

And then it was off to Lake Michigan for a beautiful beachy wedding!

Jenna never looked more lovely, nor did her father look more proud than when they came through the tall grasses to the water.

The ceremony was short and meaningful.

And of course, we had to have pictures of us!

Pretty much everyone wanted to dip their feet into Lake Michigan for one last time before summer ended -- and got the chilled toes to prove it!

This was one of the most personal and creative weddings I'd ever attended. We received our table numbers tied to a bottle of local Michigan Faygo pop.

Our assignment (said Kip, who met us at the arbor) was to write a message to Jen and Erik on the back of our tag and leave it! What a memento.

Erik and Jenna had purchased lots of sets of vintage china. Each table setting was different! (They will donate the china sets after the wedding, keeping a few pieces as mementos.) We also each received a seed packet for various herbs.

Wine bottles were on each table, some personalized.

The soda, water and beer were put in a long metal canoe filled with ice -- another vintage find. (At night, the ice was illuminated from below.) A refurbished bar was close by.

Yet another take-away was a selection of vintage candies -- scoop your own into a small bag with their initial.

And while I don't have a photo of it, Erik also constructed a photo booth so you could enter with your sweetie and have your pictures taken!

Not that there was any shortage of cameras. Or pie. Sweetielicious -- DeWitt's celebrated pie shop and bakery run by national pie champion Linda Hundt -- provided the vast array of pies. It was dark when the pies went out so I don't have photos, but they were never-ending. Cherry, Caramel Apple, Raspberry-Blueberry, Lemon Chess, Banana Creme, Pecan, and more. Go back for seconds? I don't know who didn't!

The toasts were heartwarming as all such things are.

You can tell from the expressions on Judy and Dick's faces that they had much about which to smile.

But then, there were smiles all around. And they were still there the next morning when we gathered for brunch at the Taylor house. (There was leftover pie, but I'm pretty sure it disappeared that morning. After all, pie for breakfast -- well, you can't beat it!

A happy bride -- and happy parents, whose generosity in taking care of their friends during this special weekend was above and beyond the call of friendship.

And for me, great happiness as well, to see these two people who so clearly are in love and who are so ideal for one another together. There were angels all around -- and they were smiling.

NOTE: I'm finally posting about some of the many books I read over the summer at Chopsticks and String. Right now, the delightful "Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman.


Janet said...

What a beautiful and unique wedding. I especially like the thought of candies and pies....I have a sweet tooth!

Becca said...

So beautiful and creative! I'm amazed when people put these kinds of things together :)

What a wonderful way to end the summer!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a beautiful and well-thought out wedding that so reflected the talents and personalities of the young couple. It's such a joy to see a young person you've known since birth grow into such a wonderful and accomplished young adult.

The eldest daughter of my best friend from college is getting married tomorrow in Chicago and I'm so thrilled for her! Like your young friends, it's a true love match between two wonderfully talented, accomplished individuals.

May both of these couples have many happy years together!

Retired English Teacher said...

Talk about a fantasy wedding, this was one of a kind for sure. The bride is beautiful, smart, creative and thoughtful. The groom is handsome and just as smart and creative. I hope their lives are rich in love and friendship. Thanks for taking me away to view a wonderful occasion for a few minutes.

Ruth said...

Incredible. Everything was so personal and beautiful, I loved it. I wish we had used the rowboat for drinks, what a great idea. Love the Faygo and name cards, brilliant.

Beautiful people, friendships, experiences in the lodgings. What are the chances you'd have such perfect weather, in Michigan? They must "live right." :)


Jennifer RIchardson said...

what a gorgeous wedding!
And the new honey golden brown tones
on your blog....delicious!

~*~Patty S said...

Oh how very lovely and a perfectly lovely day for an outdoor wedding with great attention to detail...
it really is inspiring how couples now a days take lots of time making their wedding ceremonies their own!

Brightest of Blessings to them always!

anno said...

It's wonderful to attend a wedding where it's clear there's so much happiness in store ... and plenty to share. What a beautiful day!

(And, P.S. ... love the new blog look!)

Barb said...

What a fabulous wedding - I sure like the idea of pies - and more pies! The setting looks gorgeous. Happiness to them!

shoreacres said...

A lovely couple, and a lovely day. I was especially taken by the photo of all those bare-footed guests puddling around at the edge of the lake. That's my kind of celebration!

Arti said...

what a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing these wonderful moments Jeanie. How romantic is that to have a wedding on the beach. And oh, the last week of summer already!? Don't remind us... ;)

Tamara said...

Gorgeous! Such a thoughtful and considered collection of treats and experiences for both the bride and the guests. Thanks so much for sharing the photo's - your artful photography tells a beautiful story. I really love the photo of the couple through the grass.

beth said...

i wish i had a wedding to go to....i love them and it seems that nobody is getting married anymore :(

i love all the photos you took !

Oh said...

Wonderful photo story, on your part! and thank you thank you thank you for some wonderful wedding tips! (will also send this blog link to daughter Nora!) We are planning her wedding which is next October (2012).
Love the place where everyone stayed, too and yes, the irony in the sign!!!!

Will write more later; thank you so much for the card you sent!

Working on organizing "stuff" around here and think I will also make one or two pies - thanks for inspiration!!!!

Linda said...

What a beautiful couple.... and a lovely wedding.

Marilyn said...

A lovely wedding. It looks so fun to be on the beach and celebrate.

Bella Rum said...

What a great wedding. I would never be able to come up with all those creative things. Loved the idea of the canoe.

Anonymous said...

the illuminate boat and vintage candy ~ inspiration everywhere ~ what a fancy fun touch!

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