My North Wedding: Frog Pond Village, Traverse Area

Callie and Tony both grew up in the countryside on large wooded tracts of property near West Branch. They knew they wanted their wedding to reflect the love of nature they’d learned in their Northern Michigan childhoods. They also dreamed of a destination wedding. They were sold when they heard about Frog Pond Village in Interlochen (near Traverse City) with its rustic yet elegant grounds filled with woods, gardens and, yes, frog ponds, all paired with the venue’s proximity to the Lake Michigan beaches of Traverse City.

The choice turned out to be the perfect fit for the couple and their 250 guests who flew in from as far away as Alaska. Many visitors stayed the week in Traverse City, with one family combining the occasion with a family vacation at Interlochen State Park. The bridal party spent the day of the wedding primping at Epiphany Salon in Traverse City, where stylist Andrea Wallace pulled Callie’s hair into a loose romantic updo framed with her tiara. Meanwhile, Tony and his groomsmen hit the Lake Michigan beach at the Holiday Inn, where they were staying.

As Callie and her father and her attendants were lining up to begin the walk down the aisle at Frog Pond’s open-sided Bullfrog Chapel, Callie’s maid of honor handed her a present from Tony: an heirloom hankie from the Peter family that he’d had monogrammed with her initials. First, though, it was nothing but smiles as ring bearer Caleb Neubecker pulled his 18-month-old sister, flower girl Carly Neubecker, down the aisle in a toy police car—in honor of their new uncle Tony, who is a policeman. After the ceremony the guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the patio, then moved to dinner and dancing in the Bullfrog Ballroom with its romantic, summery décor of fuchsia table linens, lime green spider mums, hydrangea with tall candle centerpieces and votive candles.

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