An Intimate Michigan Wedding


October 8, 2021
Words by Rebecca Mardikian
Photos courtesy of Melian Photography

Michigan’s sparkling blue waters, towering bright green trees and the serene nature was the ideal backdrop for Chris and Gina to tie the knot.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the couple had to cancel their hometown wedding, which was set to take place in 2020. Ultimately, they settled on saying their “I do’s’’ in the intimate setting of Lake Leelanau filled with 24 of their closest loved ones by their side.

Pivoting to a smaller wedding, Chris and Gina chose to seal their love in a special destination that shares some family ties to the couple.

“The residence we ended up choosing is actually a family member’s summer home,” Gina says. 

With a splendid venue lined up, the couple’s planning journey was smooth sailing from there on out. Gina gathered up inspiration from her hometown wedding plans and adjusted it to fit the new setting.

“I just went back to my notes and found vendors that I had come across before and started with my favorites,’’ the bride says. 

The bride and her stepfather worked on numerous DIY projects for the wedding, including a floral arch and hand-painted marble tile place cards. To further personalize their day, Chris and Gina, the big foodies that they are, hired a private chef and curated their own menu.

In the end, the couple’s planning hardships were diminished by the beauty of their special day on the lake, which would not have been possible had they carried out their hometown wedding. 

For couples planning their special day,  Gina says, “The advice I would give to anyone planning a wedding and considering a destination is to do it.’’

Vendors: Photographer: Melian Photography; Florist: Bittersweet & Co; Bride’s Top: Lilian Wild; Bride’s Skirt: Noel and Jean by Katie May; Groom Attire: ASOS Collection; Hair and Makeup: Amberlace & Co Hair and Makeup; Videography: Golden Hour Film and Photography; Rentals: 307 Events and Tents; Private Chef: James Gallagher; Jeweler: Silverberg Finer Jewelers

Couple in Punta Cana doing a destination wedding by the ocean
Destination Weddings at Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Destination Weddings
Black couple getting married in Jamaica
Jamaica Destination Weddings
Destination I Do Podcast
White couple getting married in Punta Cana, DR
destination wedding couple throwing rose petals in costa mujeres
Iberostar Weddings

Find a Vendor

Access our list of vendors based on your destination location.