Nadia and Mike Stohrer’s wedding at The Homestead in Glen Arbor was a casual, yet elegant celebration of summer. Read more about this summer wedding below. The article was originally published in MyNorth Wedding 2015: A Magazine for Couples Who Love Northern Michigan— available at ShopMyNorth.
When Nadia Safi met Mike Stohrer at a mutual friend’s Lake Michigan summer home, they bonded over their love of Michigan summers and the water. So when it came to planning their wedding five years later, they knew they wanted to get married beside that huge, romantic pool of freshwater blue.
The Homestead, a resort on Lake Michigan located in the Leelanau Peninsula’s charming town of Glen Arbor, fit their wish list. Besides being right on the water, The Homestead is surrounded by the breathtaking Sleeping Bear Dunes and, only a few miles north, the peninsula’s rolling wine country. All it took was one trip up to the resort’s ceremony venue Bay Mountain, with its view of Sleeping Bear Bay and the Manitou Islands on the horizon, to seal the deal: Nadia and Mike looked at each other and knew this was where they wanted to be married.
Nadia tried on over 30 dresses before choosing a form-fitting gown with a lace overlay and beaded belt (for a touch of sparkle!) “I love how the dress is both laid-back and formal,” says Nadia. “It fit in perfectly with the earthy feel of The Homestead.” For the bridesmaid dresses, Nadia chose varying shades of purple to create an ombré effect that would stand out against The Homestead’s lush greenery.
In keeping with the casual, yet elegant ambiance of their event, Nadia and Mike hosted a pizza buffet and bonfire on The Homestead’s beachside Manitou Cafe the night before their wedding, letting people kick back and hang out before the wedding. The day of, while Nadia got her hair and makeup done at the resort’s onsite Lillyjade salon, Mike invited his groomsmen and other guests to a golf outing at The Homestead’s Manitou Passage Golf Course—complete with prizes and a trophy he carved by hand in the shape of Michigan.
Photo credit for all images: Van de Steene Photography, 734.218.4286, vandesteenephoto.com
In the late afternoon sun, 160 guests rode chairlifts up to the ceremony site overlooking the serene waters of Lake Michigan. As Nadia’s mom walked her down the aisle, Matt Giraud, an American Idol finalist and Nadia and Mike’s good friend, played the piano and sang, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” made famous by Elvis Presley. “Everyone was so surprised to see Matt,” says Nadia. “It was a treat to have him play at our wedding. He was able to capture the love Mike and I feel for each other.”
A cocktail hour followed the ceremony at the top of Bay Mountain. Afterward, guests took chairlifts back down to the base of the mountain and stepped inside the enchanting Mountain Flowers Lodge. Lavender roses and black lanterns with white candles twinkling inside them added a romantic glow to the lodge.
As Matt Giraud continued to entertain during the reception, guests dined on their choice of chicken, steak, or butternut squash ravioli and then dug into the four-tier vanilla funfetti cake with butter-cream frosting. Guests were soon dancing, and the combination of an open bar and a great DJ made it more like a trendy club than a wedding, says Nadia.
As the summer sun sank behind the Manitou Islands, the newlyweds knew their wedding had been everything they’d wanted it to be: casual and intimate yet elegant—and a celebration of summers on Lake Michigan.