After two attempts at planning a wedding, a couple finds the perfect venue at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island.

Jenna Kimberley & Cole Mcclelland // September 11, 2020 

Jenna and Cole met in college (their roommates were dating), but both of them were seeing other people at the time. After graduation, in 2009, they were living in Manhattan and, both now single, went on their first date the day after Christmas. Then a curveball came: They were moving to different cities across the country. The timing just wasn’t right.

Fast forward to 2015; Jenna and Cole were both living in their shared hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. Their college roommates, and close friends, had gotten married and were expecting their first child. Jenna and Cole were asked to be the godparents. When they saw each other at the baby shower, six years after they’d first met, they both knew the timing was finally right.

Cole proposed four years later on Christmas Eve during a ski trip in Telluride, Colorado, while they were riding a gondola up to a restaurant for dinner. Soon after, the couple started planning their wedding.

Life had another curveball for them, though. After planning two weddings due to changing COVID-19 travel restrictions and safety rec- ommendations—the first on Italy’s Amalfi Coast and a backup plan in Telluride—Jenna and Cole were exhausted.

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“There is no greater pre- marital counseling than two people living together, working at home together and planning a wedding together during a pandemic,” Jenna says. “We were about to go to the courthouse.”

But Cole wasn’t ready to throw in the towel quite yet, so he did some research and came across Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island.

It checked all the boxes: a location within driving distance of their home in Iowa for guests to safely travel to and, most importantly, it’s dog friendly. Jenna and Cole weren’t going to walk down the aisle with- out their 9-year-old golden retriever Mickey Mantle, who was diagnosed with lymphoma two weeks before the wedding, making it even more special to have him there.

Neither of them had been to Mackinac Island before, so eight weeks before their wedding date, they packed up the car and drove the 10-plus hours from Iowa to Northern Michigan to experience the area and tour the resort. (Jenna and Cole now plan to make the drive north every summer to celebrate their anniversary.)

“While walking up to the resort from the ferry, as soon as we saw the large front lawn with white Adirondack chairs overlooking the beautiful water, we knew that was the view we’d be looking at when we got married,” Jenna says. “After we checked in, we walked the entire property inside and out, and the second we walked into Chianti [a restaurant at the resort], we knew this was where we wanted our reception to be. We had visions of our guests mingling on both floors, with the doors to the balcony and the garden open and the band play- ing near the large staircases.”

Mission Point had never closed Chianti for a wedding; however, Michaelena Waite, the resort’s wedding sales manager, made it hap- pen for Jenna and Cole. Michaelena and Senior Conference Services Manager Andrea Crawford also helped the couple navigate continually changing safety regulations, making the 55-person wedding “effortless,” Jenna says.

The day of the wedding, before the festivities kicked off, guests spent the morning playing mini-golf at The Greens of Mackinac (Mission Point’s 18-hole putting course), biking around the island (the resort offers rentals) and hiking nearby trails (Manitou Trail, which leads to the island’s famous Arch Rock, starts right behind the resort). Mickey even made a friend, Nick—a border collie and very special resort employee who patrols the lawn for geese to chase.

The outdoor ceremony was simple and elegant—a flower-adorned arbor and that Great Lakes view Jenna and Cole fell in love with—with Mickey by their side the entire time. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour afterward with arancini, shrimp cocktail and charcuterie, while the newlyweds took photos in the resort’s gardens.

For dinner, the resort’s chefs prepared a mixed green salad with dried cherries, feta, candied pecans and a house-made vinaigrette. The second course was a choice of Lake Superior whitefish or flat iron steak and scallops, with sides of haricots verts and a classic risotto with Par- mesan. Dessert was an assortment of truffles from Bella e Dolce.

Jenna and Cole agree their favorite part of the reception was their first dance to “Right Down the Line” by Gerry Rafferty, performed by the Bluewater Kings Band which kept guests dancing throughout the night.

The wedding weekend wrapped up the following evening with friends gathered cozily around a fireplace in Mission Point’s lobby, grateful for time spent together.

Wedding Resources

Venue, Reception Dinner & Beverages | Mission Point Resort

Photographer & Videographer | Tylee Shay & Gavin Shay

Rehearsal Dinner | Carriage House at Hotel Iroquois

Gown | Modern Dress

Tuxedo | Langel & Woods Clothiers

Hair | April Ford, best friend of the bride

Makeup | Lakeside Spa & Salon at Mission Point

Flowers | Weber’s Floral & Gift

Cake & Desserts | Bella e Dolce

Music | Bluewater Kings Band 

Find more Northern Michigan weddings, lots of ideas and loads of vendors in the 2020 MyNorth Wedding!

Photo(s) by Tylee Shay Photography