Northern Michigan Weddings: Long before their wedding day, Jason and Melissa’s future as husband and wife seemed written in the stars. Growing up, the two lived on the same street in Frankfort—where Melissa developed a childhood crush on Jason, a secret she kept until after the engagement—and attended Frankfort High School. Their best friends were brother and sister and both Jason and Melissa moved away for two years to teach, she to South Carolina and he to North Carolina, before reconnecting back home in Northern Michigan on New Year’s Eve of 2010.

Fast-forward to August 6th, 2011, and Jason’s surprise proposal on the 18th hole at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Beulah where he is the golf pro and where the couple—both golf aficionados—frequently plays. From there, everything fell into place. Wanting the big day to be fun and carefree, Jason and Melissa concocted a colorful golf-themed wedding at—where else—Crystal Lake Golf Club.

Jason and Melissa played up the theme to a tee. Groom and groomsmen wore golf shoes and golf tee boutonnieres, and the bridesmaids’ multi-colored heels hinted golf wear.

The bridesmaids carried paper “golf umbrellas” that popped against black strapless dresses (and matched the groomsmen’s ties). During the course-side ceremony, the bride shone in her Dora Grace gown. Afterwards, guests sipped on cocktails to songs they suggested on their RSVP’s, while Oden and Janelle Photography drove golf carts around the golf course for wedding party photos. Reception tables were identified by golf courses the couple has played, and guests found their placements via mini-golf flags with their name on one side and a golf course on the other.

Friends and family chipped in to help make the day a success. Krista Campbell, retired Frankfort florist and family friend, filled bouquets and arrangements with an array of colorful flowers; the couple’s friend, Jake Frysinger, played the ceremony music; and Glen Noffsinger, executive chef at nearby Crystal Mountain Resort and friend of the bride, catered the reception. Phyllis Kittleson, the groom’s mother and owner of Kittleson’s Cakes in Frankfort, made not one but two cakes for the reception, including a peanut butter groom’s cake for her son that she decorated with handmade his-and- her golf balls and figurines reenacting Melissa and Jason’s Crystal Lake Golf Club engagement. Photography was by Oden & Janelle.

As dusk fell and guests danced beneath an outdoor tent festooned with bright yellow lanterns and twinkling white lights, the newlyweds stole away for a moment alone to look out over the golf course where it all began.

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