Stephanie and Trevor Kierczynksi wanted to share the place that has their hearts with friends and family—so they had a destination wedding in Traverse City.

Stephanie Tierhold and Trevor Kierczynksi met four years ago in Chicago where she works as a retail consultant and he as a senior account executive for a freight brokerage company. They were at a mutual friend’s birthday party and struck up a conversation. About five minutes in, they both pretty much knew they’d met The One. The courtship that followed involved Trevor introducing Stephanie to Traverse City, his hometown. Make that twice she fell in love at first sight.

On an October evening in 2017, Trevor invited Stephanie to his apartment for dinner. Not unusual … except this time she arrived to find a private chef preparing a very special meal. Oh yes, she said, “Yes!” After the proposal dinner, the couple met Stephanie’s parents at Cindy’s Rooftop bar at the Chicago Athletic Club where the view spreads across Millennium Park and out over Lake Michigan. A breathtaking panorama indeed, and the perfect ending to a dream day.

But it was a different view of Lake Michigan that Stephanie and Trevor wanted to share with their family and friends on their big day, June 30, 2018. To that end, they booked the Top of the Park in Traverse City’s iconic Park Place Hotel for the rehearsal dinner. Set on the 10th floor of the downtown hotel, the view spreads from Traverse City’s charming Victorian-era storefronts out across Grand Traverse Bay. When the sun is setting over the water, folks at the Top of the Park have a balcony seat.

That was just the beginning of the Traverse area tour the couple planned for their 170 wedding guests, many of whom were from out of town. With the ceremony at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Old Mission Peninsula and the reception at Ciccone Vineyards on the Leelanau Peninsula, guests would travel one of the most beautiful 20-mile routes in the region. Stephanie and Trevor made sure they did it in an air-conditioned motor coach outfitted with beverages and other celebratory amenities.

The motor coach tour started at the church, located midway down the 19-mile-long Old Mission Peninsula, and proceeded past cherry orchards and vineyards heavy with cherries and grapes and breathtaking views of East and West Grand Traverse Bays. Then it was a right turn onto Grandview Parkway that hugs West Bay where—on that last day of June—the National Cherry Festival was in full swing, including a performance by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels in the skies above the bay.

From Traverse City, the bus purred out onto the Leelanau Peninsula, another tapestry of orchards, vineyards and blue water. It was all a preamble to the blow-out view of rolling vineyards and blue-water horizon that greeted them from Ciccone Vineyard & Winery. Stephanie chose Ciccone as her reception site, both for this view and for the fact that she could turn the venue into three distinct areas: cocktails at the vineyards’ edge with acoustic guitar by country singer Craig Smith, an elegant plated dinner under a tent catered by Catering by Kelly’s, and dancing in the rustic barn.

Which brings us to the couple’s first dance to Perfect by Ed Sheeran—a song that describes this couple, the setting, and their destination wedding in Traverse City.

Wedding Vendors

Reception | Ciccone Vineyard & Winery

Photography | Ashley Slater Photography

Flowers | BLOOM Floral Design

Catering |  Catering by Kelly’s

Ice Cream Cart | Moomer’s

Cake | Top Tier Cakery

Event Execution | Stellaluna Events

Transportation | Holiday Charter

Rentals | Monstrey McDonald

Wedding Gown | Genevieve’s Bridal

Hair & Makeup Stylist |  M.O. Hair Design

Groom Attire | The Black Tux

Accommodations | Hotel Indigo

Photo(s) by Ashley Slater Photography