A Romantic Garden Wedding at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills, Michigan
World-traveling newlyweds Molly Schaffner and William Mattingly met in 2004 after the bride's family moved to Rochester Hills. "We started out as friends and promptly fell in love our senior year of high school," she explains. The duo have since lived around the country in both Cleveland and Grand Rapids before settling down in Dallas, where Billy proposed. "He left a set of riddles in my car along with a rose that ultimately led me to the Paint Creek Trail where he was waiting," Molly explains. "Each riddle was about a significant place from the first year in our relationship. It was there that I found Billy on a bridge covered in rose petals, holding a sign that read 'This is the place where we got engaged.' He then got down on one knee and unveiled the ring." For their romantic summer wedding in their hometown, the couple settled on Meadow Brook Hall as both the ceremony and reception venue. "It's a natural, historic landmark that's sometimes referred to as the Dodge Mansion," the bride explains. "Since I've always loved the 20s and 30s, the idea of having our wedding at a place that saw high times during the depression was fascinating." Dressed in an A-line wedding dress by designer Hayley Paige, the bride and her groom exchanged vows in an outdoor garden ceremony before celebrating with 200 guests in a tented reception on the mansion grounds. Lush green flowers were scattered throughout the space and complemented by pops of pink and white blooms. "I was inspired by the idea of a spring garden and wanted to make sure we brought the garden inside," Molly explains. Guests were free to roam the venue's 88,00 square feet of space during the cocktail hour, where docents were waiting in various rooms to share the history of the home. Friends and family were even treated to homemade cookies baked courtesy of both the bride and groom. "We spent the entire day before the wedding making cookies for the guest favors that symbolized our time living together in Montreal," Molly explains. We baked over 1,200 pastel-colored sugar cookies and sandwiched buttercream frosting between them to give the effect of macarons." All desserts aside, it was one particular moment during the couple's sweet ceremony that stuck out to Molly the most. "We did a butterfly release during our vows to represent a new beginning," she explains. "My aunt and godmother passed away years ago and she always told everyone to remember her whenever they saw a monarch. When one landed on my dress, it was an extra special moment."