Amy and Kurt didn’t have just a wedding day when they chose to have a romantic wedding at Crystal Mountain, the spot for their destination wedding; they had a wedding weekend. Located in Thompsonville, this Northern Michigan resort is a short drive from Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan—destinations that provided seemingly endless fun for the guests of this rustically elegant wedding.

Since meeting as neighbors while students at Western Michigan University, Jackson-born Amy and Kalamazoo-born Kurt have moved to Minnesota, but their hearts, family and friends still live in Michigan. “We love, love, love Northern Michigan,” Amy says. Both vacationed there while growing up, so an Up North destination wedding was perfectly tailored for them.

Adventures like wine tasting on the Leelanau Peninsula and tubing down the Platte River filled the long Labor Day weekend, giving the wedding a stress-free vacation feeling. Crystal Mountain provided its fair share of entertainment, too. Amy chose Crystal for its close-knit community and amenities for all age-groups, and guests took full advantage, splashing in the resort’s waterpark, speeding down the alpine slide and luxuriating at Crystal Spa, which rented out space for the bridal party’s pre-wedding primping.

Crystal Mountain also fulfilled the couple’s one wedding wish: to be married on top of a mountain. Chairlifts transported the wedding party and guests high atop a hillside overlook, where birch logs, hand-carved with Amy and Kurt’s initials, lined the aisle to the altar. After saying “I do,” the newlyweds shared one of their favorite moments from the wedding day—a quiet chairlift ride back down the mountain with the September sun on their faces and a soft breeze cooling the 80-degree day.

Once guests and wedding party touched ground, it was time for the reception at Crystal Mountain’s beautiful Northwest Territories Ballroom. Not one for frills, Amy filled the reception with rustic decor and a casual elegance that lent the night a classic simplicity. Birch place card holders and vases hand-carved with the couple’s initials and filled with LED-lit branches decorated the ballroom, while framed wedding photographs from Amy and Kurt’s families captured a timeless romance. A Hungarian Grand March, complete with customary dance line, whiskey shot, chocolate, cigar and polka, kicked off the reception, and guests danced the night away for a perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

This feature is also available in the 2013 edition of MyNorth Wedding: For Couples Who Love Up North. Get your copy today!