Northern Michigan Weddings: A city girl from Chicago, a farm boy from Northern Michigan, the tale is a classic one, but as far as Liza Bowen and Neil Friske are concerned, theirs is a one-of-a-kind Up North romance.
Neil, who is from Charlevoix and whose family owns the well-known Friske Orchards in Ellsworth, met Liza one summer when they were both working at her family’s restaurant, Bud’s of Interlochen. Though Liza’s family is from the Chicago area, where the couple now lives, they have summered Up North at their Interlochen cottage on Green Lake for the past 45 years; when the opportunity presented itself to purchase and revamp Bud’s in 2008, Liza’s mother, Sue Bowen, leapt at the chance. Fate seemed to transpire again a few years later when the couple discovered Frog Pond Village, an intimate wedding venue in Interlochen surrounded by Northern Michigan’s natural beauty.
Alight in autumnal reds, oranges and yellows, the trees in Frog Pond Village provided a vibrant backdrop for the wedding day. Centerpiece vases filled with fresh fall apples from Friske Orchards paid tribute to the season and to Neil’s family. Dipped in chocolate and caramel by Kilwin’s in Charlevoix, the apples also made delicious parting gifts for guests.
To complement the rustically elegant setting, Karen at Frog Pond Village helped create a vintage romance theme for the reception. Chandeliers hanging from open-beamed ceilings and twinkling lights draped around the room cast an intimate glow on the wedding’s color palette of blush pink and metallics. Pink lanterns flirted overhead, blush roses graced tables clothed in deep bronze and an antique, brushed gold frame proved the perfect rest for the wedding cake. Antique white vases and woven wicker chairs reminiscent of a Victorian garden also tied into the vintage theme.
Guests dined on distinctly Northern Michigan treats. Grandview Catering set up various dinner stations, of which the biggest hit was the Traverse City Favorites, featuring whitefish pâté among other dishes. Neil and Liza surprised guests with their Northern Michigan must-have, Grand Traverse Pie Co.’s Lakeshore Berry Crumb Pie, and everyone took delight in a s’mores bar on Frog Pond Village’s heated outdoor porch.
Guests left romanced by Frog Pond Village’s magical beauty, overwhelming Neil and Liza with love and the feeling that their wedding, in all of its Northern Michigan splendor, was absolutely perfect.