With only ten months to plan a wedding these two love birds knew they wanted a destination wedding in Traverse City at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. The story of their wedding was originally published in MyNorth Wedding 2015: A Magazine for Couples Who Love Northern Michigan— available at ShopMyNorth.
When Leann Shallop started a new school in fifth grade, she never imagined that the first boy she had a crush on in her class would one day become her husband. While they had a short-lived relationship in seventh grade (three days, to be exact) they didn’t start dating until after high school. Eight years later, they decided to get married.
Leann and Nathan—from Macomb, Michigan—wanted a destination wedding. Traverse City struck the perfect balance, creating an opportunity for a vacation for their guests, but it didn’t require a flight for their friends and family. “We chose Grand Traverse Resort and Spa because it got great reviews and everyone was so helpful there,” says Leann. “They help you plan almost everything, from the food to the cake and beyond.”
With just 10 months to plan the wedding, Leann took her family to Arena Bridal in Shelby Township, Michigan. She tried on five dresses, falling in love with number two—a fun showy dress with a rhinestone beaded bodice and a full, feathery skirt. Leann’s wedding colors were as full-on summer as her July 5th wedding date: turquoise bridesmaids’ dresses and coral and pink-toned bouquets.
As the wedding week rolled around, the Northern Michigan fun began. On the Thursday before, Leann and the bridal party toured the nearby wineries. On Friday, the men golfed, and then everyone came together for the rehearsal dinner on the 17th floor of the Grand Traverse Resort, which offered spectacular views of the water and Traverse City. From this scenic perch, the couple and their friends and family enjoyed their own private view of the July 4th and Traverse City Cherry Festival fireworks. After the last fireworks had faded into the sky, the bridal party and guests who were staying at the resort enjoyed the quick walk to their rooms so they could turn in for the big day.
All images: Beth Price, Priceless Photography
On Saturday, July 5th, Leann headed straight to the salon at the hotel and then took pictures outside with her bridal party. And then it was time to assemble for the ceremony under the large, semi-transparent golden tent set up on the resort lawn, known as The Pavilion. Under The Pavilion’s warm glow, Leann walked down the aisle that was decorated with pink hanging begonias, matching her bouquet of various shades of pink roses. Leann’s niece and nephew rode down the aisle in a wagon decorated by Leann’s mom with blue, pink, and white tulle. Reverend Crystal Yarlott of Northern Michigan Wedding Officiants married the couple.
After a cocktail hour on The Pavilion’s patio, guests moved into the sumptuous Tower Ballroom, decorated for the wedding with turquoise tablecloths, coral napkins, and voluptuous floral arrangements. Leann’s mom played up the rhinestone theme with the candleholders and table numbers. Even the cake, a four-tiered vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet creation, was sprinkled with rhinestones.
Amid all of this elegant, lively sparkle, guests dined on a decidedly Traverse City–inspired menu that included chicken breast with Michigan cherry chutney and a seared pork loin with a cherry chipotle glaze. Coral and turquoise lighting signaled dance time—a spirited celebration that lasted until midnight, when the wedding, once a fifth-grade girl’s dream, came to a close.