• Shannon K. Wendt-Heath

A Rustic-Elegant Beachside Wedding in Timeless Greens and Ivory

Updated: Feb 23

The Story

When Caitlin's father (yes, father!) first reached out to us, he made it very clear that his daughter was to have whatever she wanted for her big day, and that they wanted "white glove" service all the way. So what did that mean for my husband Thomas, lead planner and owner of ThomasHeathevents? And what did that mean for me, as the owner and lead designer of HeartWeddingDesign?


Well, Caitlin's father reached out to us in early 2020, and what that meant was, it was going to be a rough road ahead for all us, planning Caitlin's and her fiance Andres' wedding during a pandemic.


It was really a no-brainer that their wedding HAD to be at Caitlin's family's lakeside cottage on Burt Lake in northern Michigan. And what that meant for me was planning the logistics of bringing in all of the rentals, from the tent down to the smallest details for an epic three-day wedding weekend, including a welcome reception at a local winery to concluding the weekend with a BBQ put on by our entertainment company APlusEntertains (yes, they have experience in putting on a bbq. What can I say, we are a multi-talented group)! The decor was elegant with touches of rustic and the emphasis was on simple floral and greenery so that nothing would take away from guests being able to mingle, chat and enjoy!


The Vision

Caitlin and Andres' vision for the weekend included rehearsal with a light dinner on the lake, delivered by food trucks. That evening all out-of-town guests were treated to dinner at Mackinaw Trail Winery while listening to Thomas' band The Hazel James Band play some tunes. (Yes, Thomas is also a musician!)


For the setting, I chose to decorate our farm table tops with willow leaf garland and our white lanterns, along with a simple ivory napkin. I am of the mind that one never repeats the tablesetting design from the rehearsal dinner! Thomas also led the rehearsal.



Details, Details, Details

For the ceremony, Thomas commissioned a local marina owner, "Captain Bob", to pick up Caitlin in his teak boat and motor her over to meet her father, who waited on the end of their dock. For ceremony decor, Caitlin chose our handmade wooden arbor, authentic whiskey barrels and lots of lanterns.

The Reception

Saturday, August 14, 2021. A day that could not have been more perfect. It truly felt like the day turned out absolutely wonderful to make up for all of the stress that everyone had been under leading up to this weekend. We ALL enjoyed the feeling that day! Low humidity, light breezes off the lake and the temperature was in the mid 70s during the day and 60s at night. Just perfection.


So, what does one do in an unconventional space that is on private property? After the ceremony, my crew and I flipped the space, moving 24 (!) of our handmade farm tables to the ceremony location and taking the ceremony chairs and moving them to under the farm tables. Cocktail hour included two of my lounges, the whiskey barrels and our rustic handmade reclaimed barnwood bar.


Dinner and Dancing!

Dinner was a multi-cultural celebration of Columbian food, as the groom is Columbian, and various up-north treats as well. The dishes were served in stations so guests could help themselves to eat meal choice. And speaking of Colombian, the groom's family handmade hundreds of Colombian empanadas! What a treat!

The dancing kicked off with a favorite song of the couple and their friends and family :"Come on Eileen". The dance floor was packed right from the beginning until the end of the night!

NONE of this would have been possible without the entire team:

Planning and Master of Ceremonies: Thomas Heath events

Photography: Mandie Forbes Photography

Design, Styling and Decor Rentals: Heart Wedding Decor

Entertainment: A+ Entertains

Food Stations: Nancy Kelly and Team

Videography: Mandie Forbes

Sweets: Colin's Confections

Hair/Make-up: Vogue



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