A Romantic, Garden Wedding at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Thanks to an impromptu move and a matchmaking co-worker, newlyweds Blair Giesken (27 and a founder of Brandscape) and Mike Cook (31 and a contracts manager) met and fell in love in Grand Rapids. "We met for dinner at The Winchester and talked like we had been friends all our lives," Blair says. "Within an hour, I had rushed to a bathroom stall to call my mom and tell her that I had just met the man I was going to marry." The proposal came during a birthday trip to Cozumel when the couple realized they had booked a less-than-stellar hotel room. "Our room had two separate twin beds cemented to the wall," Blair laughs. "I was sitting on one bed when Mike brought me over a beer and said 'Cheers to our life together'. I thought nothing of it, but before I knew it, he was down on one knee." For their June wedding at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, the couple knew one thing was for certain: A formal affair was a definite no-go. "I wanted guests to know that our wedding was a low-key garden party focused on celebrating our love," the bride says. "I just wanted our day to feel beautiful in the most simple way. Not overly-coordinationed or too matchy-matchy. Just organic." The couple exchanged vows in an outdoor ceremony on the lush laws of the DeVos Van Andel Piazza against a backdrop of trees. "The aisle spanned the entire area of the piazza, making my processional that much more special, as I had all the time in the world to soak up the sun and the sight of Mike," Blair says. A soft color palette of pale pink added a romantic feel to the day when paired with natural elements, like a custom-designed invitation suite and rustic, wood centerpieces. "I wanted everything to feel simple and sweet," the bride says. "We stuck with blush tones and lots of lush greenery, along with organic materials like reclaimed wood and kraft paper." With the early evening ceremony complete, the couple skipped a traditional cocktail hour in favor of getting the party started early. "We just wanted to make sure our guests we well-fed and that we got the celebration underway as soon as possible!"