A Relaxed Wedding at Grand Traverse Resort

When the wedding planner gets married, you know everything is going to be perfect.

Want more ideas for a Northern Michigan wedding? You’ll want a copy of the 2018 issue of MyNorth Wedding! You can read the magazine online here. Plus, scroll down for a chance to win a trip Up North to plan your own wedding and $2,500 for a wedding dress!


Sure, Pinterest, The Knot, and magazines like MyNorth Wedding are all a wellspring of wedding ideas, but there is no substitute for practice making perfect. So, it is no surprise that Liz Kondik’s wedding was magical in every way. As the special events manager for the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Liz has supervised over 300 weddings in her career and knew exactly what she wanted when her own big day arrived. Elegant romance mixed with a little shabby chic drove Liz’s vision, as she used inspiration from the hundreds of weddings in her repertoire along with the knowledge of how to pull it off so everyone had a fabulous time.

View the full version of this wedding feature including photos, plus complete venue information!

Paramount to design and cohesion, however, was Liz and Drew’s passion for the celebration of love and the sacrament that is marriage. No matter how many vows she’d heard exchanged, that was undiminished. In short, Liz knew not to sweat the small stuff. Even with her experience and a flawless plan, there is bound to be a hiccup or two. So when her one-of-a-kind wooden cake topper went missing the day of the wedding (someone mistook the unmarked box for trash) Liz shrugged it off, focusing instead on the butterflies in her stomach every time she looked at her groom. A romantic himself, Drew had been dating Liz for seven years before catching her by total surprise one evening with a rose petal path to their yard covered in softly flickering candles. Flanked by their beloved dogs, he was down on one knee promising forever.

Liz admits having her wedding at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa was a no-brainer. With an abundance of accommodations, easy logistics, renowned restaurants and plenty of activities for guests, Liz’s firsthand experience only cemented what she knew the resort could offer. “It was a relief to be able to have it here and be on the receiving end,” says Liz. As the staff at Grand Traverse Resort treats each bride with care, Liz knew she would be very well taken care of.

After the ceremony at Immaculate Conception Church in Traverse City, the guests enjoyed exploring downtown or resting in their beautifully appointed rooms at the resort. Meanwhile, a limo bus shuttled the wedding party to the resort’s exclusive beach, The Shores, for the must-have shore-side photographs. Afterward, the evening’s festivities commenced with a cocktail hour on the 17th Floor of the Resort Tower. The stunning views of the bay from one of the highest vantage points in Traverse City wowed the nearly 100 guests—many of whom had never before been Up North.

From the cocktail party, guests moved to the main floor Tower Ballroom and awaited a stunning grand entrance by Liz and Drew. From a rustic farm table where they sat with the wedding party, the newlyweds presided over the gorgeous room festooned in creamy drapery and gold candelabras decked in boughs of woodland greenery. As Liz had planned, most of the traditional reception formalities took place early in the evening to make plenty of time for a relaxed party atmosphere that lasted well into the night. The following morning guests were treated to a farewell brunch back on the 17th Floor of the Tower—the icing on the cake for a picture-perfect wedding.

Grand Traverse Resort Wedding Vendors

  • Ceremony Site | Immaculate Conception Church
  • Reception Site | Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
  • Photography | Northern Art Photography
  • Flowers | Darling Botanical Co.
  • Floral Designer | Derek Woodruff
  • Cake | The Underground Cheesecake Company
  • Music | 2 Bays DJs
  • Hair & Makeup | K. Noelle Artistry and Makeup by Kori Martz

The Underground Cheesecake Company in Traverse City created a traditional-looking wedding cake that is actually a buttercream-frosted cheesecake—the couple’s favorite—and filled a dessert table with assorted delectables.

Liz and her father twirl to “The Best Is Yet to Come,” by Michael Bublé.

The floral arrangements, drapery and furniture highlight the romantic elegance of the reception.

The escort card table and notes of gratitude to wedding guests showcase classic grace and style.

The bridal bouquet features coral reef roses, king protea, peonies, echiveria and eucalyptus.

The bride was so smitten with this dress from B. Ella Bridal in Plymouth that she wore it for over an hour in the shop.

Bridesmaids (left to right) Krystina Miller, Krista Akerley, Megan Brooks, Candice Spencer, Alex Schauer, and Lauren Smiley give the groom a leg up.


MyNorth Wine & Weddings | April 21, 2018 

Brides, grooms, friends, and families are invited to explore Leelanau and Old Mission wineries and meet vendors including photographers, bridal gown shops, wedding cake bakers, and florists. Did we mention everyone gets a wine taste at each winery? Get your tickets at MyNorthTickets.com.


Win a weekend Up North to plan your wedding! 

The getaway includes …

  • Two nights’ lodging in glamorous camping— king size bed, luxurious sheets, down pillows—at Nature Michigan Retreat
  • $2,500 credit for a dress at One Oak Bride
  • Event planning services from Revel Rose, Wedding Revelry & Etc.
  • $100 dining certificate at La Bécasse, Authentic French Country Cuisine
  • Make-up, hair & nails package by Pavlova, European Salon & Day Spa
Enter to win!