A Barn Wedding at MillCreek Barns in Watervliet, Michigan

When Katie Milan (28 and a librarian) and Garret Bowman (28 and a lawyer) realized that their wedding would be too big to fit into the barn on Garret'

When Katie Milan (28 and a librarian) and Garret Bowman (28 and a lawyer) realized that their wedding would be too big to fit into the barn on Garret's family property, MillCreek Barns in Watervliet, Michigan, caught their attention. The serene and rural venue reminded them of their home in Cleveland, Ohio. Millcreek Barns hosted the entire wedding, from the outdoor ceremony to the barn reception complete with dinner, drinks and dancing. "We loved how everything flowed in the space," Katie says. "Everything took place at this one venue, so it was easy and more laid-back for everyone." 

Katie and Garret incorporated elements into their wedding to make the day fun for everyone involved. In a celebration of all things vintage, Katie donned a birdcage-style veil and lavender and lace bridal shoes, while Garret sported a black suit that had already been hanging in his closet. His groomsmen were encouraged to wear gray suits that they already owned too. In an effort to keep things simple and elegant, the couple repurposed some of their wedding party's bouquets as centerpieces at the reception. They were sure to address their guests' food allergy needs (hello, gluten-free cupcakes), offered classic family-style staples at dinner and picked music that was upbeat and easy to dance to. "We wanted our wedding to be a big, happy family party," Katie says. —Alexa Wybraniec

Katie chose a dress with a lace overlay, which matched the wedding's vintage theme. "The gown felt great," she says.
Katie topped off her vintage look with a birdcage-style veil, while Garret opted for a skinny black tie. "Garret and I both like a bit of a vintage look, which also matched well with our venue," Katie says.
Katie ordered her lavender and lace shoes from Etsy. The color matched the bridesmaid dresses.
Katie let her bridesmaids choose from a variety of dress styles so that everyone felt comfortable at the ceremony. Katie's sister, her maid of honor, wore a plum-colored dress, which complemented the lavender.
Katie credits Tara Florist for helping her stay within her palette and budget. She kept things elegant and inexpensive with this simple bouquet.
Garret gave Katie a classic round-cut diamond engagement ring. He proposed at a scenic overlook while the pair were hiking in South Korea, where they taught English.
Katie and Garret opted for DIY invitations with a bunting design. The couple printed each one on card stock at a local office-supply store.
The bunting design that Katie and Garret used on their DIY invitations was echoed on their escort cards.
Garret's mother ordered these antique fans, with an image of a bride and groom on the front and a quote on the back, specifically for the wedding. Katie and Garret also provided an assortment of balsa wood fans for their guests.
The outdoor ceremony took place at MillCreek Barns, making for a laid-back and beautiful day.
Everything flowed in the space provided by MillCreek Barns. After the outdoor ceremony, the party moved into the dining room for the reception, then into the barn for drinks and dancing.
Committed to throwing a relaxed, family-friendly bash, Katie and Garret served dinner family style. "We focused on the vintage theme using chalkboards, mason jars, burlap and wood bases," Katie says. "Our decorations were quite minimal."
"It felt like a great place for a party," Katie says of MillCreek Barns in Watervliet, Michigan. "We wanted our wedding to be a big, happy family party."
The flower girls walked down the aisle with small bouquets that later acted as centerpieces at some of the tables. Katie tied ribbons around burlap-wrapped mason jars to keep miniature chalkboard table number signs in place. Each jar sat atop a circular wooden slab, which had been cut by a family member.
Katie and Garret picked lively tunes to ensure an upbeat atmosphere throughout the reception.
Katie and Garret incorporated elements in their wedding that were relevant to their families. Making sure that all their guests' food allergy needs were met was a top priority.
Katie is a self-proclaimed "dessert addict," and her sweet tooth showed in the carefully selected desserts that she and Garret offered their guests.
Katie and her father shared a traditional father-daughter dance during the reception.
Katie and Garret made their summer barn wedding personal, focusing on what was important to them as a couple.