With guests coming from across the country, this couple wanted to turn their wedding day into a weeklong celebration in Glen Arbor. From an elegant rehearsal dinner to a ceremony chairlift ride, here’s how The Homestead helped make their Northern Michigan wedding perfect. 

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Couple posing for a picture on their wedding day

Photo by Grace Photography

Adeline Sanchez & Joe Conner // June 3, 2022

When it comes to wedding ceremonies, three times was the charm for this couple. After their January 2020 engagement at O’Sheas Casino in Las Vegas, where the two had first met, Joe and Adeline quickly made plans for a large wedding the following October. Although the couple lives in California, where Adeline is from, Joe is from Michigan and introduced Adeline to Northern Michigan on family visits to Petoskey and Traverse City. Adeline fell in love with the area, and decided that she would love to be married in Northern Michigan—particularly in the autumn when the leaves were at their peak color.

Immediately after their engagement, the couple flew to Detroit where they met Joe’s parents, and headed north to check out venues. “We put a thousand miles in on one weekend,” Joe recalls. It was Northern Michigan in midwinter (a novel experience for Adeline), a season when it is hard to imagine azure waters and fiery foliage. Nevertheless, when they drove through the gracious entrance to The Homestead, they knew they’d found their venue. “Everything was covered in snow but it felt just right,” Adeline remembers.

Wedding venue overlooking the water

Photo by Grace Photography

Couple posing with baby on wedding day

Photo by Grace Photography

Wedding decor and small details

Photo by Grace Photography

That “just right” feeling grew when they met Sandy Luthardt, event sales manager at The Homestead. “We really hit it off with her—from the beginning we felt as though we’ve known her for a long time,” Joe says. As the couple flew back to California, they were already imagining their October wedding at The Homestead.Then came the Covid-19 shutdown that put those plans on indefinite hold. But the couple wanted to have a child (and be married when they did) so they eloped to Glacier National Park for a small, intimate ceremony. That was wedding number one.

Being legally married didn’t keep the Conners from dreaming of that big destination wedding at The Homestead. After juggling logistics—which included making sure that all the vendors they’d originally wanted were still available—the couple settled on June 3, 2022. By this time, baby Westin had come and was eight months old. But wait—there was one more small hurdle to overcome: Adeline is Catholic and Joe is Lutheran. Although they planned to have a Lutheran pastor re-marry them at The Homestead, they had attended the Catholic pre-nuptial process. In May, three weeks before their ceremony at The Homestead, they learned that for their marriage to be sanctified by the Catholic Church, it needed to be in a sacred space—meaning a church. Shifting gears one more time, Joe and Adeline arranged to be married in Traverse City’s Lutheran Church the Tuesday prior to their Homestead wedding, by Pastor Michael Goers, the same pastor who also graciously agreed to repeat the ceremony the next weekend. Check that off as ceremony number two.

Couple dancing on wedding day

Photo by Grace Photography

When wedding number three finally came, it was a bluebird day without a cloud in the sky. In reality, however, it was a week-long celebration rather than just a day. The 107 guests came from all over the country, all of whom stayed on The Homestead property. Throughout the week they enjoyed the resort’s beautiful beach club with its pool wedged between the mouth of the Crystal River and sandy Lake Michigan beach, as well as charming Cafe Manitou and its outdoor bar. From the rehearsal barbecue at the quaint Camp Firefly right through to the après wedding brunch at CQ’s in the resort’s village, all of the festivities took place at The Homestead. In between those events, of course, was the stunning wedding ceremony at the top of a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. To the delight of the guests, the trip up was via chairlift. Guests enjoyed cocktails and music courtesy of Brian Wright of 2Bays DJs at the top of the hill prior to the moving ceremony. There, the two wed for the third (and final) time, with cobalt blue Lake Michigan in the background and baby Westin gurgling in the arms of Joe’s parents.

Table decor at wedding

Photo by Grace Photography

After the ceremony, guests rode the lift back down to the resort’s nearby Mountain Flowers Lodge for a plated dinner (choice of filet mignon, chicken, vegetarian and vegan
entrees)—a dinner that, the couple agrees, was absolutely delish. The newlyweds opened the dancing to the blend of Jack Johnson’s songs “Better Together” and “Angel.” After that, the party flowed late into the night, as The Homestead staff replenished appetites with pizza and cookies, and the team at the resort’s pub, Whiskers, went above and beyond to accommodate the after-party.

The entire week was perfect thanks to many elements, and the couple especially credits The Homestead’s Luthardt with “being at the heart of everything.” It might have taken three
ceremonies to feel like their marriage was complete, but the couple would do it all again to make the final one happen. “We were blessed. The whole week was amazing,” Adeline says.

Groom with a baby on wedding day

Photo by Grace Photography

Couple on their wedding day

Photo by Grace Photography

The Homestead Wedding Resources

Captured by Grace Photography
2Bays DJs
2BaysDJs Website
Field of Flowers North
The Flour Shop
Bride with her wedding bouquet

Photo by Grace Photography

Photo(s) by Grace Photography