In 2011, Traverse City’s resident celebrity-handyman Carter Oosterhouse and actress Amy Smart tied the knot in a uniquely Northern Michigan wedding ceremony. The 2014 edition of MyNorth Wedding features the following wedding profile, written by Ariana Hendrix.
It’s been three happy years since actress Amy Smart and HGTV host Carter Oosterhouse were married in Traverse City—but their wedding still makes occasional trash-talking headlines—trash talking in a good way, that is. The Oosterhouses’ 200-guest, very green event on September 10, 2011, yielded just a half-bag of garbage, so the couple has become de facto experts on the subject of green nuptials. Just this fall, Amy told E! News that she’d be happy to share green wedding tips with Nashville-star Hayden Panettiere before her upcoming big day.
Having a green wedding was a natural given that the eco-conscious Oosterhouses met doing volunteer work in Los Angeles for the Environmental Media Association. “Since both of us are involved in many environmental causes, and it’s something we greatly value, we wanted to reflect that in our wedding,” Amy says.
The couple, who call both California and Northern Michigan home, were married at their farm estate on Old Mission Peninsula. “We loved the idea of having everyone we love come celebrate in our favorite place,” says Amy. She and Carter worked with wedding planner Chandra Wheeler, owner of Traverse City–based Orchestrated Grace, who has been planning green weddings since 2008. Chandra coordinates with local vendors to create events that are both beautiful and environmentally responsible. “We really try and encourage local in-season food, in-season and locally grown flowers, carpooling or shuttles, printing on recycled papers with soy ink or paperless invitations,” Chandra says. “We encourage renewable or compostable paper products and we donate all flowers to Hospice House, Paperworks Studio, The Pavillions, assisted living houses and other worthy organizations,” she continues. Orchestrated Grace partners with Bay Area Recycling for Charities, an organization that recycles or composts all the waste produced from an event.
At the Oosterhouse wedding, guests dabbed their lips with unbleached napkins, nibbled off biodegradable cocktail plates, and left their cars in Traverse City and boarded a shuttle to and from the wedding. The Traverse City restaurant Trattoria Stella, well known for its farm-to-fork philosophy, catered the butler family–style dinner using fresh, locally produced ingredients.
The lush, pastoral beauty of the Old Mission peninsula setting made it easy to keep the decor minimal and avoid nonrecyclable and noncompostable decorations. Amy Kate Designs of Elk Rapids played up what Amy calls the wedding’s “rustic elegance,” with floral arrangements of in-season Michigan wildflowers, foliage, and garden flowers that she grew especially for the event. Local beer and wine along with live music by The Dueling Fiddlers made for a fun and relaxed evening celebrating both Amy and Carter and the charm and natural beauty of Northern Michigan.
“We danced for hours!” says Amy. “The weather was perfect, everything flowed smoothly, and it was joyous to be with everyone we love. We both truly had the best time!”