In the summer of 2013, a fairy tale wedding at Crystal Mountain awaited Rachelle McKown and Tyler Wilton. Ariana Hendrix recounts the story, as told in MyNorth Wedding’s 2014 edition.
From the glow of the bonfire where they met as love-struck teenagers, to their magical wedding day more than 11 years later, Rachelle and Tyler’s love story—and their carnival-themed Crystal Mountain wedding—is a real-life fairy tale.
Rachelle, a massage therapist, and Tyler, who works in finance, live together in Chicago, but are both from Rochester Hills, Michigan, and spent summers Up North as children. In planning their wedding, Rachelle and Tyler looked for a venue that offered natural beauty, but also one where each of their 155 guests could stay, play, and experience a summer weekend in Northern Michigan. Crystal Mountain seemed tailored to their dream event.
It was important to the couple that they spend time with each of their friends and family, so on the day before the wedding, they hosted all of their wedding guests at Crystal Mountain for a day of spa treatments, golf, a pool party, and an evening of socializing in the resort’s main lodge. Some guests also made the short trip from Thompsonville to the beaches along Lake Michigan’s shore.
The ceremony at the Michigan Legacy Art Park, an outdoor art gallery at Crystal Mountain Resort, was perfect for the couple’s love of nature. “It felt like a fairyland—or like Robin Hood was going to come galloping out of the woods,” says Rachelle. “It was the most intimate moment of our lives.”
For the reception, the couple wanted nothing but fun, upbeat energy. Crystal Mountain catered a buffet dinner, with Bell’s Two Hearted Ale as the couple’s specialty drink, a nod to their love of Michigan microbrews. Vibrant colors of blue, yellow, and red created a playful atmosphere of being Under the Big Top, as did a game of cornhole, a Polaroid camera “photo booth,” music, and dancing. “The whole day was just magical,” says Rachelle.