Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nature's Hidden Gems

Michigan is filled with so many beautiful venues to have a wedding, from hotels to an endless amount of banquet halls. But there are also quite a few "hidden gems" that celebrate the natural beauty that Michigan has to offer. Being from the midwest, I am drawn to the four seasons, gardens, lakes, and of course, the woods. These fairly unknown venues salute the outdoors and Michigan's natural beauty.

Kalamazoo Nature Center

The Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden at the Kalamazoo Nature Center is an outdoor oasis surrounded by gardens, trees, and butterflies. It seats up to 250 guests yet holds an intimate and personal feel. The Nature Center is home to many of Michigan's wildlife and allows your guests to enjoy the habitat displays before the ceremony begins. The timber-framed barn onsite sits in the middle of southwest Michigan's woodlands and provides a feeling of rustic elegance for your reception. Growing up near Kalamazoo, my family and I went to the Nature Center all the time and it truly is a hidden gem that I love!

Frederik Meijer Garden

Located in East Grand Rapids, we visit the gardens every holiday season to see the Christmas tree displays from around the world. The Frederik Meijer Gardens offer botanical gardens, a Japanese Garden, sculpture park, as well as a Children's Garden. There are a handful of options for a wedding including an atrium, conservatory, and outdoor waterfall display that truly takes your breath away. Although it is alittle on the pricey side, there are so many beautiful and different things to see and do. Your ceremony and reception can be on the same sight and your guests will never be bored. It truly is a magnificent venue!

Lake Michigan

Of course we know how much I love lakes, so I had to include Lake Michigan in general because of the miles of coastline along the west side of the state. Whether you choose a beach in South Haven or Traverse City, there are so many possibilities for your wedding day. You can have pictures taken on a pier in Ludington or on the streets of downtown Holland, surrounded by cute shops and restaurants. There is nothing more natural to me then getting married barefoot in the sand, and you don't have to travel to Mexico to do it!

Photo courtesy of: Purcell Photography

Your Backyard

I'm a huge advocate of tent weddings, and what a better way to share your personalized wedding day then to have it in your own backyard! If you have enough flat land to put up a tent and enough room for guests to be comfortable, then your home is a perfect place to share with everyone. Guests can come from their hotel by trolley or bus and spend the afternoon or evening enjoying the outdoors. Although you will have to rent virtually everything that needs to be set-up, you are working with a clean slate that can be transformed into a gorgeous outdoor venue. And what a better excuse to do some extra landscaping and cleaning before the big day!

Wedding of Lee Sossen and Sherri Williams as seen on HGTV

Michigan has so many great venues to choose from, but using alittle imagination and creativity, you can find a place that is unique and different from anything your guests have ever seen.

1 comment:

aletha :: pearls events said...

Looking forward to following along on your blog. Great stuff so far