Bethany + Ben // bay view weddings, Traverse City, MI

Natural Sophistication, A Bay View Wedding

Kisses in the Orchard

Bethany and Ben are smart, stylish and adventurous with an appreciation for natural beauty.  When they chose a venue, it was for the sweeping views of Grand Traverse Bay and when we worked on their design, it was about showcasing the property, of letting the spaces and the views take lead and letting the guest experience feel elevated yet natural, fun & relaxing.  On their wedding day, before all of the grandeur, they saw each other in a first look experience tucked away on one of the property’s more intimate settings – a cherry orchard by the barn.  Shout out to Jefferson May Photography for the images of artistry that follow.

Vows with a View

Bay View’s ceremony overlook is unparalleled in the area.  Guests arrive on a winding dirt road thru cherry orchards and along a field.  A shuttle drives them up a forested hill and as they step off, onto the ceremony clearing the view across rolling terrain and out to the bay compels them to the edge of a pristine white railing.  It’s a memorable first impression for any celebration.  To that scene of white chairs and blue water, our florist (The Day’s Design) created white & green textural aisle ground floral.  To diminish the white railing at the altar, greenery and floral adorned the edge in rambling fashion.

Cocktail by the Vines

From the ceremony, guests rode a shuttle to the cocktail lawn, adjacent to a young vineyard where the view was still striking.  In this scene, we introduced the “naturally sophisticated” aesthetic.  Cocktail tables dressed in beige linens were tied with an earthy white band and topped in potted plants and pottery style vases of white floral.  The guestbook was a coffee table style book featuring the couple’s honeymoon destination in the 1920’s.  While guests played lawn games and sipped spicy margarita’s, Bethany & Ben signed their marriage license on a wine barrel by the bonfire pit.

Dining in

natural Elegance


When we designed the dinner tent scene with Bethany & Ben, we wanted to create a classy September scene with a palette of warm neutrals accented in white.  We used champagne drape (Sensational Events), wooden chairs, beige tones in the linens, and taupe candles to bring visual warmth to the pristine white tent.  White floral and white b/b plates kept the look fresh and chic.  Pops of peach carnations here and there added a soft splash of fun.  Black candle holders and smoky votives added subtle modern contrast in the tablescape.

Maple trees between the crystal chandeliers gave that dinner tent an understated dramatic impact and accomplished the fusion of nature + sophistication overhead.  We (Bethany, Ben, Mom, & I) had all stopped by the local landscaping company (Zimmerman’s) earlier in the week to choose trees for the tent as well as hydrangea bushes and potted plants for the tent entrance.  The blush of those hydrangea blooms matched the sunset that night and made us even more enthralled with this part of the design.  

A gazebo bar with cocktails and a dessert bar of decadent proportions displayed on a metal table were both popular spots thru the night.


Sunset & S’mores

There are two things about Bethany & Ben’s wedding that are especially impressed in my memory of the day.  One of those was the sunset which lit the sky on fire and then faded slowly as the glow of dance lights, chandeliers, and bonfire flames took over.

The other thing I’ll forever treasure about this weekend is the way that Bethany & Ben, their families, and their guests connected with the experience and reveled thru the moments.  Thru the evening, Ben or Bethany would comment about how beautiful something was or how much fun this was.  The weather, the views, the decor, the vendors, the guests – we felt a kind of unexpected fullness of joy in the way everything rolled out.  Grateful on a deep level for this September soiree.


Creative Team Credits

Photography:  Jefferson may photography

Planning + Design + Coordination:  Juniper & Lace Events

Venue:  Bay View Weddings

Floral Design:  The Day’s Design

 DJ:  2Bays DJs

Catering:  Catering by Kelly’s

Dessert Bar:  Cakes by Aunt B

Hair & Makeup:  The Hair & Beauty Lounge

Officiant:  Dennis, father of the groom

Drape:  Sensational Events

Chair Rentals:  Edenwood Rentals

Trees & Bushes:  Zimmerman’s Landscaping

Linens:  BBJ LaTavola

Napkins, Entrance Lanterns:  TC Tented Events

Transportation:  Magic Shuttle Bus, Up North Taxi