A Whimsical Summer Wedding at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan

Inspired by the beauty of nature and their love of the outdoors, Laura Pridmore (26 and works in human resources) and Chris Geiger (27 and a doctor) p

Inspired by the beauty of nature and their love of the outdoors, Laura Pridmore (26 and works in human resources) and Chris Geiger (27 and a doctor) planned an elegant summer soiree that paid tribute to Michigan’s natural landscape. “We weren’t tied to specific colors as much we were to an aesthetic that left our guests feeling comfortable and at ease,” Laura says. With its refined Tudor Revival architecture, distinct gardens and long history of entertaining heads of state, captains of industry and socialites, Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan, provided the ultimate backdrop for Laura and Chris’s fete. “Meadow Brook’s architecture and history are astonishing, but the gardens and outdoor spaces are what really sold me on the space,” Laura says. With beautiful weather in the forecast, the couple were able to host the entire event outdoors, beginning with an intimate ceremony on a flagstone patio in the heart of the estate’s rock garden. “We were lucky,” Laura says. “Our wedding was the only day in June where it didn’t rain!” 

Cocktail hour kicked off the evening’s festivities, with the newlyweds gathering their families and friends on the loggia for cocktails and decadent hors d’oeuvres. A loft tent dripping in twinkling fairy lights held the reception. The open-air format provided guests with panoramic views of the gardens and the night sky. Laura and Chris struck the perfect blend of midsummer romance and country charm with details like tree-slice table numbers, a moss-trimmed escort card display and lush peach, ivory and coral blooms arranged artfully in rustic wooden planter boxes woven throughout. Personal touches like a Doctor’s Orders signature cocktail and a popcorn bar added a note of playfulness to the evening. “As soon as the dance floor opened, we didn’t leave,” Laura says. “We passed out cookies and shots of milk for those needing additional sustenance after the dinner plates cleared, and the Dan Rafferty Band kept the energy up throughout the night.” A tip from Laura: “One of our favorite parts of the wedding was when our pastor asked us to turn around and look at all the guests who had traveled to be with us on our special day. It brought tears to my eyes, looking around and seeing all these people who we love so much and who in turn came to support and celebrate with us as we started our lives together. It’s an incredible feeling of support and solidarity.” —Libby MacCarthy

Whimsical touches were woven throughout the day, infusing the ceremony and reception with a playful yet romantic air. As guests wound their way into Meadow Brook Hall’s perfectly manicured gardens, they were met by chalkboard signs scrawled with touching quotes and draped with eucalyptus, peonies and brightly colored roses.
Flourish Event Design flawlessly captured the wedding’s romantic outdoorsy theme in Laura’s bountiful bridal bouquet. The eye-catching arrangement featured Juliet garden roses, peonies, ranunculus, spray roses, wax flowers, dusty miller, air ferns, succulents and seeded eucalyptus. “All the silk and satin ribbons on the bouquets were hand-picked at a vintage ribbon seller in New York City,” Laura says. “They were probably like 50 or more years old! Little details like the ribbons are what made the bouquets really stand apart.”
“Our goals of comfort and classic styles carried over into the wedding party attire,” Laura says. Chris and his groomsmen sported classic gray suits from Men’s Wearhouse, which they styled alongside navy ties, classic white button-down shirts and polished black shoes. “Hidden up their sleeves, or rather pant legs, were some pretty loud argyle socks—gotta keep a few surprises,” Laura says.
Guests entered Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan, through the stately main entrance, which the couple adorned with flowers and photos spanning from childhood to their engagement. Guests were ushered onto the loggia—where a strings group played—and took their seats in mahogany chiavari chairs. A striking brick garden wall and enormous arched wooden door served as the backdrop for the pair’s “I dos,” and fresh bunches of garden flowers wrapped in flowing silk ribbons lined the aisles.
Laura and Chris’s five-tier cake perfectly captured the beauty of Meadow Brook Hall’s Rochester, Michigan, gardens. Sweet and Savory Bakeshop adorned the showstopping confection with a cascade of fresh coral and pink spray roses, blush garden roses and full, romantic peonies in a soft shade of ivory. The cake served as a decorative detail in itself, displayed alongside gilded mercury-glass candleholders and mugs (that spelled "love") filled with bouquets of vibrant roses.
An open-air tent allowed the newlyweds and their guests to continue enjoying the estate’s lush, manicured gardens during the reception. Draped in panels of airy white fabric and twinkling fairy lights that infused the space with warm, ambient light, the tent set a romantic tone for the rest of the decor. A vibrant green garland dotted with ivory peonies and coral roses lined the head table, breathing energy and life into the tablescape, with gilded candleholders and chiavari chairs bringing in an element of glamour.
Laura and Chris put all the floral decisions in the capable hands of the planning team at Flourish Event Design, and they were blown away by the results. Using the couple’s organic, nature-inspired vision and Meadow Brook’s old-world charm, they struck the perfect blend of earthy and feminine aesthetics mixing lush, classic blooms with elements like succulents, ferns and greenery.
Laura and Chris subtly wove their nature-inspired theme throughout the day, incorporating organic details into everything from the tablescapes to the escort card display. Ivory cards embellished with gold script were nestled in rich wooden runners, which the couple placed atop beds of fluffy moss to achieve a woodland-inspired look.
As a thank-you to their guests, Laura and Chris placed personalized fabric bags filled with flower seeds that they could take home and plant at each seat. The floral favor spoke to the wedding’s nature theme, while offering guests a beautiful way to look back on the couple’s elegant summer soiree.
Incorporating personalized elements was important to Laura and Chris. The couple’s signature cocktail, Doctor’s Orders, was inspired by Chris’s completion of medical school, while a popcorn bar featuring an assortment of sweet and salty treats spoke to Laura’s love of the crunchy snack. The couple provided guests with personalized paper bags that they could fill up with their choice of popcorn to enjoy later in the evening or on their way home.
A traditional guest book simply wouldn’t do for Laura and Chris’s garden fete. The pair created playful check-box cards that allowed guests to share advice, memories and predictions of the future with the newlyweds that they could enjoy following the festivities.