Jess and Destiny’s Michigan Lighthouse Elopement

Take one creative couple (and one amazing beard), throw in an 1800′s lighthouse overlooking Lake Superior, add a cookie cake, and you have everything you need to make up today’s magical Michigan elopement.

After 7 months of dating, Destiny and Jess decided to make things official atop the Big Bay Point Lighthouse with just their officiant, their talented photographer Jesse David Green, and their witness – the owner of the inn – present, in what can only be described as one of the most romantic elopements we’ve ever seen.

Michigan B&B wedding

Destiny, 23 & Jess, 28

Big Bay, Michigan

Wedding Date: May 23, 2014

Number of Guests: 0

Wedding Cost:  $2,500 with two nights in a lighthouse and outfits and cookie cake

Wedding Ceremony Location: Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast

Wedding Reception Location: Oh, we are having a party at our good friend’s diner in Atlanta, Georgia. Homegrown is where Jess used to have breakfast every day before we moved and they are the best folks around.

cookie cake bearded groom bride portrait bride and groom in porthole bride and groom fists with rings bride wearing groom's jacket bride and groom kissing groom carrying bride over his shoulder

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We wanted to focus on one another and not worry about trying to please everybody. As selfish as it sounds, we wanted this event to be about us and what we wanted to get out of it.

bride and groom going to the courthouse bride and groom getting marriage licence bride and groom getting marriage licence bride and groom kissing on courthouse steps couple jumping off steps bride in lace backed dress bride getting ready tattooed bride sitting on bed bride portrait bearded groom

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

Well Jess was already working in Michigan, and Destiny was still in Atlanta, Georgia so that presented some difficulty in planning. On top of that, finding a lighthouse that will let you in the top is tough, but finding a photographer and a minister locally (or willing to travel up to the only available lighthouse) made for a lot of phone calls. Big Bay is north of Marquette and was the closest courthouse to get our marriage license, but we ended up finding the marriage license laws and our awesome minister via my grandmother who once we put the word out started calling around. In fact, when we got out marriage license, Tanya at the Marquette courthouse said: “How is Lynda (grandma) doing?” and they had spoken six weeks prior.

first look first look first look


bride and groom portrait black and white bride and groom portrait bride fixing groom's hair groom embracing bride from behind bride and groom walking away lighthouse B&B bride and groom head to head looking down on bride and groom bride and groom climbing stairs

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Surprisingly, no. We told our families together at dinner a few weeks before and they were very supportive; surprisingly supportive.

lighthouse elopement ceremony bride at elopement ceremony officiant passing rings

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Getting to yell that we were married from the top of the lighthouse. And Destiny got us a cookie cake as our wedding cake and we didn’t have to share it with anybody, ha!

lighthouse elopement ceremony bride and groom first kiss bride going to hug groom during ceremony happy bride and groom bride and groom kissing

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

We were relaxed and did things on our own time. Nobody had a schedule for us to adhere to.

bride and groom iphone photo bride and groom lighthouse portrait bride sitting on groom's lap bride and groom looing over lighthouse railing bride and groom portrait groom carrying bride bride and groom with large heart shaped cookie bride and groom sharing heart shaped cookie cake bride and groom eating cookie bride and groom walking by lake bride and groom portrait by the lake bride and groom feet bride and groom kissing at sunset

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

Make sure not to stress, and focus on creating the memories you want to keep with you FOREVER. And hire a good photographer to capture those memories, especially since you’ll need to share the moment with your friends and family.

bride and groom on cliff


Photographer: Jesse David Green

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Spanish Sophistication: Wedding Inspiration

Fall in love with the sophisticated charm of Spain by going for a Spanish inspired wedding. Bring in latin influences with breathtaking colors, good food and rustic touches.

Mantilla veils are the ideal choice for a Spanish styled wedding. They are effortlessly romantic and complement a variety of dresses, especially lace. For fuss-free centerpieces, vibrant tin cans with bright blooms will create a fiesta atmosphere. Spanish cuisine is delicious and full of flavor, making it a great menu choice. Serve paella and tapas for a home cooked feel.

With a focus on deep reds and eye-catching colors, you can start with a clean base. White linens with geometric tiles have a Mediterranean flair which you can still add brighter decor to. Loose waves with bold red lips are good bridal beauty options for this theme. Rustic table settings with fresh fruit and wooden details will make your Spanish menu stand out.

These intricate laser-cut invitations are a match for your Mediterranean inspired nuptials. The design has architectural details, that will look stunning when they arrive in your guests’ mailboxes. A lace tablecloth with cobalt blue glassware and lanterns, will transform the look of your outdoor tables.

A detailed lace dress gives a nod to Spain’s rich lace heritage. A sangria bar is a fun and refreshing choice for your reception. You can also serve a variety of  fruits for your guests to mix in with their drinks. Make like a flamenco dancer with flowers in your hair, as an accessory for a side bun.

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A centerpiece overflowing with zesty flowers has a Latin touch with the addition of Spanish table numbers.

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How to Have a Brewery Wedding

If you’re a fan of craft beers and rustic venues we’ve found the perfect venue for you. Choosing a brewery for your wedding gives you the opportunity to work with a raw space that can be personalized to your own taste. These spaces usually come with a unique history, and if it’s a working brewery then also great beverage ideas too.

You can adapt the space by working your own theme or colors into it. There doesn’t have to be a focus on beer or brewery related ephemera, if that isn’t your style. A classic silver, grey and white palette will contrast well with the brick walls and wooden details.

Use the authentic details in the brewery to really make your photographs stand out. Also, tie in your centerpieces or table decor with the tones around you. Play with the dark browns and neutral colors by using burlap and brown paper bags. A chalkboard above the bar with the chosen drinks that will be served on the night is a nice way to get people talking about the brewery’s beverage selection. Amanda&RossWedding-66

Hanging string lights across the space is ideal for lighting up the brewery for a spot of late dancing.

Bold signs add some personalization to the venue, as there may be brewery logos or signs around the space. If it is possible to feature the equipment on the site, then do so! Being able to setup your event around a working brewery is a unique way to keep your guests intrigued throughout the night. Why not use beer bottles for your centerpieces?

beer bottle centerpiece beer-bottle-centerpiece-2

Now, here’s where the benefits of a brewery wedding really come in. You can discuss the possibility of creating your own special brew for the day. Or having a tasting and choosing your favorite. This beer can work not only for your signature drink but also as a delicious favor. Why not make your own beer glass favors out of beer bottles! (Here is the DIY!)

diy beer glasses

What better place is there for a hops boutonnière than a brewery?

Metal can openers for escort cards can also be kept by your guests for favors. These can be personalized with your names and the date of your wedding. A brewery definitely works for an intimate wedding. There’s no need to be intimidated by the capacity as you can use this to your advantage. You can have different table styles, use it as a ceremony space also and set up different food, drink or activity stations.

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Golden Honey: 5 Amber Color Palettes for Your Wedding Day

I think we can all agree that the colors of fall are beautiful, but when it comes to your wedding, orange, red and yellow might not be your first choice for a color scheme. Today’s amber orange color palettes, however, just might change your mind. Here are 5 ways you can incorporate the warmth and richness of amber into your wedding day.

Despite the predominance of typically fall colors (orange and yellow) in this palette, the paleness of the yellow and the addition of coral keep this color scheme light enough for a summer wedding.

amber color palette

For a fun and festive color palette we’re digging this warm gradation of yellows, oranges, and reds (with a pop of purple for good measure). It’s perfect for a late summer/early fall outdoor celebration.

amber color palette

Dark plum purple, ruby red, and amber make for a gorgeous jewel-toned and autumnal palette.

amber color palette

Adding lots of warm white to a fall palette full of darker tones keeps this color scheme from becoming too heavy.

amber color palette

If a dark palette is what you’re going for, adding amber will help add a richness to the other hues, making it feel opulent and sophisticated instead of drab.

amber color palette

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10 Romantic Ways to use Quotes in Your Wedding

Whether it’s from Shakespeare, a romantic comedy or a post-it from your other half, love quotes can make us all go weak at the knees.

Using quotes in your wedding decor adds a romantic touch to your big day. Quotes are a subtle way to emphasize the true sentiment of marriage, which can often be forgotten amongst the chaos, dancing and food. Here are 10 ways to incorporate love quotes into your wedding.

1. Handheld Prop 

Handwritten quotes can make for very sentimental photography props. Not only are these shots frame-worthy, they can also be a special gift to your new spouse. If you’re having bridal portraits done, then this is a great time to sneak in an image with a love letter to create a nice surprise for your husband (or wife!) when you go through your wedding photographs together!

2. Edible Musings 

They’re called ‘sweet nothings’ for a reason. So what better way to share your most romantic words, than on a cake?

3.  Wooden Display

Quotes on a wooden backdrop with a bold white script, are a nice touch to add to your outdoor ceremony.

4. Literary Quote

If you’re an avid reader but over the used-books-as-wedding-decor trend, then this one is for you. Pull your favorite literary love quotes or letters and place them on signs around your venue.

5. Photo Display 

Surrounding a quote with photographs will create an interesting piece in your venue space. You can display engagement shoot photos or old family photos.

6. Writing On The Mirror 

Mirrors are a lovely canvas for meaningful words. Surely that’s what bathroom mirrors were made for? Take it one step further by using antique mirrors as signs.

7. Childhood Inspiration

Some of the best love quotes come from childhood books and films. Their simplicity makes them universal. Wooden palettes are an inexpensive way to display your top picks.

8. Wise Words 

Share some words of wisdom or advice with your guests. These can be in the form of tongue-in-cheek ramblings, notes from relatives or your own thoughts.

9. Table Decor

Having different quotes at each table is a fun way to differentiate them and add a theme.

10. In The Theme 

If you’re having a wedding themed around a time period, you can use quotes to enhance the look. Finding romantic excerpts from that era will really add to the mood.


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