My North Wedding: Bay Harbor Village Hotel

Chapter One: Our story begins in a wine bar in Scottsdale, Arizona. Girl is enjoying a night on the town with friends when a handsome Boy catches her eye.So began the Save the Date card for Kelly and Jayson’s wedding. If the 227 guests who arranged their schedules to make the trip from all corners of North America and places between couldn’t tell by the flirty pink and grey invite that they were in for a storied time—they knew it once they arrived at the Bay Harbor Village venue with its drop-dead beautiful Lake Michigan beaches and fabulous dining, shopping and golf.

The jazzy-bluegrass strains of the couple’s prelude choice, “I’m Yours” by the Vitamin Quartet, set the tone for the elegant and fun ceremony overlooking Lake Michigan. Aqua-hued waves and the bright fuchsia of the bridesmaids’ dresses were only eclipsed by Kelly’s radiant smile as her father escorted her down the outdoor aisle to Train’s “Marry Me.” Guests who drew their eyes away from the striking couple framed against the dazzling blue of Lake Michigan noticed birch logs painted with the names of loved ones who had passed. Other custom traditions the newlyweds embedded in the ceremony: A Celtic handfasting—the tying of their hands to symbolize their oneness, and mixing three colors of sand to unify the bride, groom and God becoming one.

The Lake Michigan marina-side reception featured an outdoor cocktail bar and a grand tent popping with a casually chic fuchsia, grass green, black and white color scheme. As the night progressed, the old Irish song, “The Parting Glass,” (an ode to the Connelly heritage) had the guests singing and swaying in a circle. The evening ended as the newlyweds passed down the line of guests waving sparklers against the velvety black Northern Michigan sky.

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