Julia Marie and Jason may live in Detroit, but their hearts are on the Northern Michigan slopes. The couple’s Boyne Mountain wedding fit perfectly with their love for skiing and snowboarding.
It all began a decade ago at Western Michigan University, where a skier from Charlevoix met a fellow ski and snowboarding team member who would become her husband.
“I was the president of the ski team and he was the new, cute snowboarder on the team—that’s how we met. I took him under my wing,” says Julia Marie Murtagh of her now-husband Jason Murtagh.
The couple, who moved to Royal Oak following college graduation, kept up with their passion for hitting the slopes together by traveling north whenever they could get away. One spot in particular came to hold a special place in their hearts: Boyne Mountain. And when it came time to select a spot to hold their wedding, they didn’t have to think twice. “We spend a lot of time going to Boyne, in all seasons, so it was a natural selection for us,” she says. “We might live in metro Detroit, but our hearts are always in Northern Michigan.”
With the help of her lifelong friend Brie Kear, the wedding sales manager for Boyne, Julia Marie began planning her wedding. One key point of assistance: Brie helped the couple decide precisely where, within the expansive Boyne campus, they would hold their celebration. They decided on Deer Lake, a spot they found “encompasses all the parts of Northern Michigan that we love,” says Julia Marie. Located on the backside of Boyne Mountain, this small, private lake offered the right measure of intimacy while offering a pretty lawn for tents and tables.
With more than 75 percent of their 115 guests coming from out of town, “the lodging opportunities at Boyne were a big deal for us,” the bride says. The hotels and condos made it easy for guests to stay the weekend, so family and friends had a fun time at Boyne. (Jason’s 70-year-old uncle did the zip line!)
“Enchanting was a word I used a lot,” Julia Marie says of her wedding. “I wanted a lot of different lighting elements, a lot of candles, drop lighting, traditional white lights in tents.” When the special moment came, Julia Marie’s twin brother, Roscoe, walked her down the grassy aisle to an altar hewn from saplings and decorated in flowers. And then it was on to party the night away in a tented reception that sparkled with candles and lights, on the banks of beautiful Deer Lake.
All photography: Alicia Rose Valler, Rose Photography