From the rehearsal dinner to the rustically elegant ceremony and the finale that lasted late into the night, this summer wedding in Glen Arbor, Michigan, all took place on The Homestead’s memorable grounds.

An Intimate Summer Wedding in Glen Arbor …

Elizabeth Jensen & Mark Bonaventura // August 3, 2019

The day Mark proposed to Liz at The Homestead began with a massage at the resort’s Spa Amira, then moved to wine on the beach and wound up with the Big Ask under a tree that will always be their special spot. After all of which led the couple to ask each other: How could we get married anywhere else? The next summer, 70 of the couple’s closest family and friends from all over the country gathered at the resort for the event. “Many of them had never been to The Homestead so this was our chance to show them our little slice of heaven,” Liz says.

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The newlyweds-to-be kicked their wedding weekend off early, checking into the resort on Wednesday to spend a couple days chilling around the pool and browsing the sweet town of Glen Arbor just down the road.

It turns out that was as far from their slice of heaven as they needed to go for the next five days, because the staff at The Homestead took care of everything. The rehearsal dinner was at The Homestead’s petite and intimate Cafe Manitou—a glass-fronted venue tucked between the mouth of the Crystal River and the gorgeous Sleeping Bear Bay waterfront. A splendid sunset over the Manitou Islands came with the meal. After dinner, all the guests were invited to a meet and greet at the waterfront bar.

On the wedding morning, the bride and her party gathered at The Homestead’s small and luxurious Lillyjade Salon for hair and makeup, beginning a day that Liz says could not have gone more smoothly, thanks to The Homestead staff, including event coordinators Sandy and Taylor.

There are First Looks, and then there are First Looks at the The Homestead’s romantic footbridge across the Crystal River—with its deep blue peek-a-boos of Lake Michigan through the dunes. Add a beautiful bride in a beaded, princess-style gown, and a handsome groom in a dashing blue suit and well, call it storybook perfect.

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From that First Look it was up the hill to The Homestead’s Firefly Lodge where the outdoor ceremony was on the edge of a waterfall-fed pond on the beautiful grounds. Inside the lodge, Liz and Mark’s delicate color theme of an abundance of greenery and white, cream and blush pink roses contrasted with the knotty-pine paneled room in rustic elegance.

The sit-down dinner featuring salmon and chicken was, Liz and Mark agree, some of the best wedding food they had ever had. “Credit goes to The Homestead’s chef, John Piombo,” Liz says. “He is amazing.”

The newlyweds led off the dancing with “God Only Knows,” by the Beach Boys. Then it was everyone out on the floor—and in the conga line! After the reception, the wedding party headed to The Homestead’s outside bar in the village, where, says Liz, the staff was unbelievable, staying open several hours past closing just for them. “It was the best day of our lives,” she says.

Northern Michigan Wedding Resources

Venue and Catering // The Homestead
Photography // Brian D. Smith Photography
Flowers // 307 Events
Cake // Sweet Tartlette
Hair & Makeup // Lillyjade Salon, The Homestead

More photos from Elizabeth and Mark’s summer wedding at The Homestead …