A Beachside Wedding at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City

As soft breezes floated off the silvery waters of East Grand Traverse Bay, Kelly Heos and Anthony Samson exchanged vows at their wedding at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Traverse City. The beachside wedding was the culmination of the couple’s dream to be married in Northern Michigan, where Kelly’s family has a cottage on Elk Lake. The Traverse City area hotel complex with its golf courses, spa, fine dining and beach club was perfectly tailored to this destination wedding that drew 260 family members and friends from all over the state and nation.

The beautiful Lake Michigan setting framed a ceremony that was enriched by the mingling of the couple’s separate heritages: Kelly is Greek; Anthony is Jewish. The couple wore the Greek wedding crowns called stefana as they stood beneath a traditional Jewish chuppah—a canopy draped with the wedding veils of beloved women in their family that symbolizes, as Kelly explains, the openness of the newlyweds’ home to family and friends.

Grand Traverse Resort shuttles whisked guests back to the reception in the Plaza Tent on the lush, rolling grounds that surround the Traverse City resort’s luxurious Tower hotel. White draping cascading from the tent ceiling and soft lavender lighting provided the backdrop for guests mingling over hors d’oeuvres—strawberries with brie mousse, rare flank steak on seasoned crostini with mustard mousse, crab cakes with red pepper aioli, feta cheese artichoke tartlets and Greek marinated lamb chops—served by white-gloved butlers.

The menu for the seated dinner included tournedo of beef duet with roasted shallot balsamic demi glace, Parmesan risotto, mushroom and chicken pâte brisée and asparagus bundles tied with carrot ribbon. The band Joy Ride had guests on the dance floor—and cooling off under the Northern Michigan stars—until late in the evening.