One Couple's Enchanted Garden Wedding in Saugatuck, Michigan, With Woodland Details
Allie's parents have what they call a "gnome home" in Saugatuck, Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan where she and Eric tied the knot with an enchanted garden wedding. With the forest venue set, choosing a whimsical woodland theme was a simple choice for the duo's Michigan wedding. "Our wedding venue was at Allie's parent's house, which is a whimsical English cottage style home in the woods that looks like it could be out of a fairy tale," explains Eric. "They lovingly refer to it as the 'Gnome Home.' We decided to enhance its character and transform the yard into an enchanted forest for the wedding. Our color palette consisted of earthy, natural tones of greens, browns, and ivory."
"The Gnome Home is surrounded by an endless amount of tall ferns, giant flowering purple Rhododendrons, and a beautiful English garden planted with an assortment of flowers in my favorite colors. Because of this, we decided to keep the decor flowers to a minimum and focus on greenery with interesting textures," says Allie. "Notably, we wanted my bouquet and flower crown to feel like I had gone on a walk through the forest and picked the flowers and greenery myself."
Allie goes on to explain that "my mom and I are both creative people who are into interior design and we work really well as a team together. We knew we wanted to make the wedding an intimate event that was special and lovingly designed. Because the wedding was in our own space, we were able to take full control of every detail and created the entire event from scratch. We crafted everything from signage to centerpieces to floral chandeliers. For the ceremony, a lifelong family friend built us a hexagon-shaped wedding arch from birch trees he cut down at another friend's property which we decorated with flowers. Above the dance floor, we strung strands of market lights and my brother-in-law climbed tall sappy trees to help hang them. We created a whimsical lounge for our guests to relax in with vintage Victorian velvet furniture, a thrifted coffee table, fun rug, and apothecary jars filled with fairy lights."
Out of all of the wedding's DIY projects, Alliie says that "our tent was my favorite project. We rented a clear top tent and hung handmade chandeliers we made from a mix of greenery, berries, sticks, and fresh flowers over every table. From those, we hung terrariums filled with moss and tea lights. On the tables below, we picked out lush green velvet tablecloths, brown wood grain chargers, whimsical glassware, gold flatware, and white and gold dishes. We created centerpieces made from moss, rocks, handmade stick votives, pinecones, handmade clay mushrooms, and ivory candles in hurricane glasses. My mom made place cards with birch sticks, moss, pinecones, and acorns and I made little wood slice magnetic glass markers with our guests’ names. We had fun foraging for a lot of the materials in special places nearby and loved the fact that we could return the natural elements back where we found them afterward. In transitional areas around the yard, we created styled vignettes with lanterns, plenty of candles, fairy lights, natural elements we foraged, and stumps that my mom thoughtfully selected for their character."
"Our entire day was personal. We loved that we were able to get both of our families involved in creating art, setting up, and helping run the day. Every piece felt touched with love," recalls the couple. The personalization of their own wedding day is a big reason that Allie encourages current to-be-weds to "make the day your own and be creative! Don’t feel guilty if you cannot invite every family member and friend you’ve ever met- the smaller the wedding, the more time you get to spend with each guest. Be mindful and enjoy the small moments during your wedding (and life!) because it flies by."