Rustic Michigan Barn Wedding
Shannon, 32 & Todd, 38

Watervleit, MI

Wedding Date: September 11, 2011

Number of Guests: 60 guests

Wedding Cost: $8,500

Wedding Ceremony Location: Wedding ceremony was at Mill Creek in their garden under a wooden trellis

Wedding Reception Location: Reception was held at Mill Creek in their rustic barn

Bride and groom portrait under tree

flower girl wearing daisy crown

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We chose an intimate wedding because we wanted our closest friends and family to be there on our special day. It was a family getaway with a wedding in between. We wanted a relaxed, carefree vibe where everyone enjoyed each other and themselves.

bride with all-white bouquet

bride portrait

bride laughing

bride laughing

bride in profile

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

Our wedding was a destination wedding – a 2 1/2 hour drive west – so choosing our vendors and making arrangements were all done via phone and email. We had put a lot of faith in the vendors we chose and were pleasantly satisfied with their services.

bride posing with her bridesmaids

groomsmen in beige suit vests

bride with her bridesmaids

bridal party portrait

bridal party portrait

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

It was difficult to choose which family and friends we were going to invite, so we stuck to immediate family and very close friends.

bride and groom portrait on country road

groom kissing bride on cheek

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

Our parents were concerned that if we invited one set of “aunts or uncles” we would need to also invite the others, so we just stuck to the immediate
family to make it fair.

bride leaning her head on groom's shoulder

bride and groom smiling on country road

bride and groom embrace

black and white portrait of bride and groom

bride silhouette in doorway

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

We had gorgeous weather!  The highlight of our ceremony is when Todd was so excited to say “I will” that he blurted it out before he was asked to take this woman to be his wife! Everyone laughed and there were big smiles all around.

outdoor Michigan wedding ceremony

bride and groom holding hands during ceremony

bridesmaids laughing during ceremony

officiant announcing bride and groom as husband and wife

bride and groom first kiss

bride and groom facing wedding guests

bride and groom leaving ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

The reception was like a fun family reunion, lots of laughing and dancing all night! The kids were able to run around and play like they were in their own backyard. Some of them even had a turn on the microphone singing their favorite songs! The environment was extremely relaxed. We were able to enjoy ourselves with no “wedding agenda pressures”.

wedding guests with ribbon wands

guitarist at wedding ceremony

singer at wedding ceremony

bride and groom first dance in barn

first dance in barn

close-up of bride and groom dancing

bride and groom first dance

wedding reception first dance

bride dancing with young guest

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

The best thing about an intimate wedding is sharing our love and special day with the ones that are nearest and dearest to our hearts.

country wedding portrait

bride and groom kissing in the countryside

bridal party portrait

bride with her bridesmaids

bride with her bridesmaids and flower girl

bride and groom kissing on a blanket in a field

bride and groom on floral blanket

bride and groom sitting in a field


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

For us an intimate wedding was an easy decision. We were on a budget, wanted no stress of planning a large event and we wanted to celebrate the day for what it was. We didn’t want to get caught up by losing focus on the purpose and meaning of the day.

close-up of diamond engagement ring

close-up of wedding rings

bride and groom portrait at night

bride and groom walking at night

wedding barn lit up at night


Photographer:  Amy Straka Photography

Floral Designer:  Bloomies Flower Studio

Reception Venue:  Millcreek Barns

Cake Designer:  Dee’s Specialty Cakes