Natural Elegance in the Vines, a Brengman Brothers Winery Wedding

JENN + ERICK | Brengman Brothers Winery | Matt & Ashley Photography

Magical is the first word that comes to mind when we talk about Jenn & Erick’s wedding at Brengman Brothers, a Leelanau Peninsula winery with a sophisticated natural vibe.

Talk of magic started when Matt & Ashley Photography helped us refine the timeline to get those “magic light” photos in the golden half hour before sunset (which resulted in one of my all-time favorite shots of Jenn & Erick glowing as he twirls her by the vines).  That little timing adjustment led to talk of the Island Thyme Catering team “working magic” as they served red wine braised beef short ribs with smoked butter whipped sweet potato and Lake Michigan walleye with white wine sauce and roasted cauliflower mash, locally sourced flavors that not only tasted amazing but looked like art on the plate.

So, there was talk of creating and capturing magic before the weekend ever started and, as vendors, we talked of that magic as though we knew how to harness it.  We do.  It’s our job.  But when I reflect on the months of planning with Jenn and her mom, Wendy, I have a deep sense of appreciation for the way that they approached each design decision with the thoughtful intentional hospitality that their friends love them for, the relaxed yet remarkable hosting (ie great parties with great food) that their guests nodded knowingly about when it was mentioned in the toasts.

We took the time to see which white flowers would add a delicate texture to the table garland and how a few blooms in the faintest blush softened the look in tandem with romantic candlelight (and Derek at Darling Botanical Co took the time to show us).  We handled the paper and worked with Holly Thomas Design to customize that floral graphic on the top edge of the menu to compliment the bouquet palette.  We admired the subtle shimmer of place cards and I texted photos to Jenn in Chicago and Wendy in Torch Lake as we decided on the slender gold threaded twine and the placement of rosemary and the depth of the pocket around the menu.  Each napkin was like a personalized gift and we took the time to be thoughtful about creating the magic of that experience.  Nothing over the top.  Intentionally not over the top, actually.  Just thoughtful details from gracious people.

Some magic happens with no credit to our planning and that is some of my favorite kind of magic to experience—the double rainbow after cocktail hour, geese flying over a lake during vows, starry skies over a crackling bonfire.

Other magic happens when thoughtful people dream and invest in an experience for the ones they love.  It’s the magic of a moment when guests feel like they were the most important detail, that they are the reason the other pretty details happened, that they are special and appreciated in the story of the newlyweds.

There is magic in setting the scene, in collaborating with creative talented enthusiastic people to craft an experience.  But the real magic is when people engage in the experience, when they sit in the ceremony chairs and hear Miriam Pico singing sweetly with her guitar and turn to watch the sunlight catch in the bride’s jeweled hairpiece and sequined lace and in her father’s moist eyes as they emerge from the vines.  Magic happens when the garland of plumosa ferns and the scent of roses and delicate petals of hydrangea and dahlias on an arch of intertwined branches shift from being a focal point to their true purpose of framing the expression of love in heart-crafted vows.

At Jenn & Erick’s wedding, there was magic on the dance floor from sunset to the last call at the bar (Mode Events really knows how to draw out the party in people—amazing DJs!) and again with sparklers around the bonfire after-party and again on the Torch Lake pontoon boat excursion after Sunday brunch.

Magic is a bit tricky to define but we know it when we feel it and I think it’s powerfully related to people connecting and engaging in life’s experiences.  Matt & Ashley Photography and SJK Productions both did an incredible job of capturing those moments of joy and love and emotion, those moments of magic.  I’m transported in the best of ways every time I watch the film and look at the images.

So, cheers to Jenn & Erick and their families and friends, to the vendors who collaborated and captured, to the way that planning with them developed a deeper appreciation of gracious hospitality and thoughtful detail in me, and to the magic that lingers from this special weekend.


Custom Planning & Coordination:  Juniper & Lace Events | Photography:  Matt & Ashley Photography | Videography:  SJK Productions | Venue:  Brengman Brothers Winery | Floral Design:  Darling Botanical Co | Decor rentals, chandeliers, & linens:  307 Events | Farm tables & chivari chairs:  Sweet Seats | Catering:  Island Thyme Catering | Cake:  Aunt B’s | Donuts:  Peace, Love, and Little Donuts | Cookies:  Pleasanton Bakery | Hair & Makeup:  M.O. Hair & Beauty Lounge | Getting ready location (girls):  Martin House | Invitation Suite:  Sable & Gray Paper Co | Menus, Programs, Escort Tags, Seating Chart:  Holly Thomas Design | Ceremony & cocktail music:  Miriam Pico | DJ:  Mode Events | Officiant:  Jake Schwartz | Shuttle:  Blue Lakes by the Bay | Limo:  New York Luxury Limo