Christmas morning, 2015: Kallie and Nick had been together long enough that friends were joking she should just ask him. After he thought they’d unwrapped all their presents she pulled out a small wrapped box—he said, “Uh-oh, is this what I think it is?”

He opened it to find … a photo of a bicycle travel bag she’d ordered for him but that didn’t make it in time for Christmas. Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw, she laughed but he didn’t.

A couple of minutes later she turned around to find Nick on one knee (with their trusty dog Griffin right beside him)—a small box in his outstretched hand. “I’ve been waiting almost 38 years to ask someone this,” he began …

Photos: Lux Light Photography

Flash forward to a glorious July day six months later at The Homestead resort in Glen Arbor. The couple wanted a destination wedding that fit their outdoorsy lifestyle—and they wanted it close enough to their Indiana roots to make travel for their friends and family as simple as possible. The Homestead seemed the perfect fit, surrounded as it is by the magnificent Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, where they’d vacationed previously.

The couple arrived in Traverse City a couple days before the wedding and hit up Traverse City’s famous restaurant and brewpub scene before heading the 30 miles out to Glen Arbor, land of dune-rimmed Lake Michigan shoreline, with quaint Leelanau County towns nearby. It is also home to Art’s Tavern, Glen Arbor’s legendary watering hole, also famous for its excellent bar food. “Our friends are still raving about Art’s Tater Tots,” Kallie laughs.

But the bridal party also loved The Western Avenue Grill across the street where the rehearsal dinner was held. Which brings us to the story of Griffin, the couple’s friendly, wirehaired griffon, who was miffed because he was not invited to the rehearsal dinner—and so broke out of the hotel room where he was being held to find his own wedding to attend elsewhere on The Homestead property. Needless to say, Kallie and Nick got a call …

By the next day Griffin, now forgiven, was front and center at his owners’ wedding. The 60-guest event began with a casual ceremony on the lusciously landscaped grounds of Camp Firefly. The bridal flowers were succulents in honor of a much-loved deceased friend who’d raised them. To that end, the three bridesmaids wore three color-versions of the same printed floral dresses. The groomsmen were chill in their tangerine linen Tommy Bahama shirts. The couple exchanged vows taken from song lyrics. “We called them our mixed- tape vows,” Kallie says.

Then it was into Camp Firefly for a perfectly executed buffet dinner catered by The Homestead staff, which included pasta, chicken, prime rib and two special prepared vegan entries for Kallie’s sister and her boyfriend.

After the reception, Kallie and Nick headed to their beautiful room at the resort. The guests? They happily closed down Art’s Tavern.

This wedding is featured in the 2017 issue of MyNorth Wedding.
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The simple ceremony in front of Camp Firefly.

Invites were courtesy of the Paper Source in Chicago, where Kallie’s sister-in-law, Liz Owens, works. Envelopes were hand lettered by Caroline Mungenast.

Kallie, an art teacher, painted the sign on a board from a tree harvested on a friend’s property and milled by their friend’s father.

Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood.

Kallie chose the pastel floral bridesmaid dresses by Jenny Yoo to complement her floral arrangements that centered around succulents. Hair and makeup by Lillyjade Salon in the Homestead.

The wedding party: Brain Hodorek, Lauren Kirkendall, Brett Dickerson, Adam Wood, Hilary Knerr, Steve Conley, Michele Durecki.

The bridal gown is by Stella York.

The wedding centerpieces were succulents grown (by Kallie’s mother) in wooden boxes with flowers added. Kallie’s parents own Warsaw Cut Glass, in Warsaw, Indiana, and so happily provided terrariums, vases and candleholders for decorations.

The three-tier lemon, coconut and vanilla almond cake was by Cake Connection, Traverse City.

Nick’s mom, Susan Hunter and Kallie’s mom, Linda Kirkendall, watch the first dance.

Photo(s) by Lux Light Photography