In Ricki's own words:
Mary, we can't explain what a blessing you've been to us. You were a joy to work with and the photo preview absolutely lit my heart on fire. You captured the special moments perfectly. I LOVE the photo of Isaac running toward you with the bridal party in the background, and can't wait to print it out and gift it to everyone involved!
Brandon and I met at the University of Florida when he was a sophomore and I was a freshman. We knew we wanted to be married almost immediately, but dated for six years while we grew together and found a time and place in our lives where we were ready to have a wedding. He proposed to me in our Airbnb in downtown Savanna last September while on vacation. He meant to do it in a park but he was too excited to wait and it was a moment I'll never forget. Flash forward one year later and we had our absolute dream wedding in the Northern Michigan hills outside my hometown of Petoskey, surrounded by our closest friends and family. The weather was a gift from God and the sheep bleating in the background during the ceremony seemed placed there to celebrate us.
We picked Northern Michigan because my entire extended family lives there, and I grew up there before my parents moved with me and my sisters to Florida when I was nine. We love the views and the weather and it was exactly like we imagined. Dhaseleer (Barn) was our venue choice because of the beautiful chandelier-lit rustic barn, the sunflower fields, and rolling hills. For tabletop flowers, we picked wildflowers from the property, and for bouquets we chose custom dried floral arrangements by Rebekah @TheBlaithinBlairShop on Etsy for a rustic and timeless feel. Our DJ, Al Uryga from Lakeside DJs (Lake Michigan DJs), was brought on board because of his glowing reviews and ability to read a crowd. He did not disappoint, playing every song we requested and shifting the music as the mood evolved throughout the night but always bringing his unique positive energy to the vibe. Finally, we chose Vernales in Harbor Springs to cater because of their experience, incredible reviews, and the flawless professionalism and kindness of their owner/manager Joe Guthrie. They crafted our entrees independently and we were blown away by the autumn vegetable pasta with pesto cream sauce. For dessert, they delivered fresh house-made cannoli. We went this route as a nod to the groom's Italian heritage, and because cannoli are delicious.
Planning the wedding during a pandemic was certainly a challenge, but the undying positivity of all of our vendors, friends, and family made it happen. The biggest hurdle was the constant uncertainty about whether the event would be possible due to travel and gathering restrictions. Ultimately, we moved the event outdoors to a beautiful tent setup, provided masks and pumpkin scented hand sanitizers, and the event unfolded beautifully.