Impress the LA relatives? Piece of cake … or make that heart-shaped pizza. This wedding at The Ridge at Verterra Vineyards exceeded expectations.

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!

When your boyfriend is Senior Manager for Digital Operations at Marvel Studios (Thor 3: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Captain America: Civil War …) you can expect his romantic side to have an element of the make-believe. Such as the plastic diamond ring Bryan gave Angie on her first trip to meet his family in the Midwest.

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

His young niece had given it to him years before and told him to give it to his girlfriend. He wasn’t dating anyone at the time, but he promised his niece he would save it for someone special. He hung on to the ring for three years, until he met Angie—that someone special. Angie still thinks of that as the real proposal, since she knew from that moment that she wanted to marry him.

Flash-forward two years to an outing together on a beach near the couple’s Los Angeles home. Angie turned around to find Bryan down on one knee … she began to tear up … from behind his back he pulled out … a stuffed Gerald-the-seal (from Finding Dory, a movie they’d recently watched together). Ooops! Flustered, Angie started packing their things. And then he was down on one knee again, this time with a ring box that held a real diamond ring.

Things got real after that—in a good way. Angie, who was raised in California (and is a Division Manager at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine), had fallen in love with Traverse City, where Bryan was raised and where his parents still live. She wanted her family, all from the L.A. area, to visit and what better reason than their wedding?

While researching venues in the Traverse City area, the couple came across The Ridge at Verterra Vineyards. The couple knew they wanted their wedding to be an intimate, elegant low-key event—and definitely outdoors. The Ridge would make that possible and more. As its name implies, the venue is set on a ridge in the Verterra vineyards—with a view overlooking Grand Traverse Bay. Outfitted with a state-of-the-art reception terrace that can be covered with a tent, and a beautiful new building that houses a wedding lounge, catering prep area, and restrooms, the venue offered an outdoor event with the comforts of an indoor one.

The venue also came with plenty of space for an inclusive event—ceremony, cocktail hour, lawn games, and reception. “That setting is so beautiful,” Angie says. “You wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Bryan’s best friend from college, Izzy Weiss, officiated at the ceremony (set in the natural amphitheater at the edge of a pond on the property), and yes, there were some plastic ring/stuffed seal anecdotes woven into his words … after cocktails and lawn games, a plated dinner was served under the tent. Catered by Trattoria Stella (where Bryan’s sister, Kelsey Parker works), the menu featured poached halibut with white wine beurre blanc and marinated, char-grilled beef tenderloin, followed by a dessert of blondies, and tarts. The staff at Verterra vineyards worked with the couple to pair estate wines with the courses—Tasting Room & Events Manager Lindy Kellogg even attended the menu tasting at Stella’s with Angie and Bryan.

As a fun snack after the dancing started, Angie and Bryan cut a heart-shaped pizza and handed it out. Guests loved it. They also loved the piece of Grand Traverse Pie Company cherry pie that was packed and ready for them to take home as a wedding favor. It was a sweet way to end an enchanted day.

The venue at a distance: The facility that houses the restrooms, wedding lounge and catering prep station; state-of-the-art terrace and tent; stone amphitheater—perfect for ceremonies.

Wedding Vendors

  • Venue | The Ridge at Verterra Vineyards
  • Wedding Planner | Sincerely Ginger
  • Photography | Matt and Ashley Photography
  • Video | Future Focus Media
  • Flowers | BLOOM Floral Design
  • Catering | Trattoria Stella
  • Table & Chair Rentals | American Rentals
  • Lighting & Specialty Décor | 307 Events
  • Music | 2Bays DJs
  • Hair & Makeup | On-site Bridal

BLOOM Floral Design’s execution of Angies’s wish for a lot of greenery plays out across the bridal table. The chairs and tables came from 307 Events.

“I wanted something modern—with a light feeling that t into the setting,” says Angie of the owers by BLOOM Floral Design.

Grooms party, left to right: Officiant Izzy Weiss, Alex Scharf, Matthew Parker, Bryan Parker (groom), Matt Delmanowski, Shauntel Paaluhi Aquino. 

Jamie Weiss, Izzy Weiss and young Tess Reilly playing Jenga.

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

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

Photo(s) by Matt and Ashley Photography