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Real Door County Wedding — Whimsical Waterfront Wedding
May 2nd, 2013 by Morgan - 1 Comments - Leave a Comment
We love the soft romantic pinks, peaches and whites in the bouquet, dark blue bridesmaid dresses, and the whimsical signage and decor in Erin and Jim’s Door County wedding. And we couldn’t agree more with the bride who says this of why they chose Door County for their waterfront wedding, “because it wouldn’t have felt right anywhere else.”
From the Bride … Jim and I met very much by chance. Although I am from Wisconsin and he is from upstate New York, we happened to be standing near each other in a crowd of thousands in Tampa, Florida the day we met. Jim struck up conversation and kept me laughing the whole time. Over two years later, Jim proposed with a beautiful, one-of-a-kind vintage ring he had hand picked and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
We decided to get married in the place that I call home, Door County, because it wouldn’t have felt right anywhere else. Besides, the history, charm, and beauty of the county is truly like no other. I wanted the opportunity to share this special place with Jim’s family and friends (and some of my own who hadn’t yet been). It’s a fantastic place to get married.
The first wedding-related thing our guests saw was a map of Door County, which was the focal art in our save-the-dates that my talented sister Megan Eatough designed. A heart indicated Bailey’s Harbor, where the Gordon Lodge Resort resides, our wedding venue. She also made a nautical style compass rose with our monogram, which I proceeded to print on every possible wedding-related paper, program, escort card, thank you; anything that could be stamped or pasted got that monogram. Not only did I love it, it also gave me this false sense that my wedding was “put together”, which in the madness of wedding planning was one sliver of comfort. Honestly, I was hoping it tricked people into thinking we were more organized than we were.
Whether it worked or not, I couldn’t feel more emphatic that the entire wedding weekend was amazing. Our guests arrived to the Gordon Lodge to find welcome bags with homemade treats, Door County maps and magazines, and a special note from us (*cough* monogram). Our rehearsal dinner was held at the Waterfront Restaurant in Sister Bay the night before the wedding and it was truly fantastic. Jim surprised me with a self-written song (he is a musician) that was both sweet and hilarious. The food was absolutely out of this world. The local Door County whitefish entrée was ridiculously delicious. When we were all toasting with champagne on the second story deck overlooking the bay with a bright orange sunset, I kept asking myself if life gets any better! After the rehearsal dinner, we hosted a larger welcome party at the Boat House at the Gordon Lodge. We had great Wisconsin-style fare (cheese curds and Spotted Cow!) and a chance to spend more time with our loved ones. We hired a band for party, the Cowboy Brothers out of Milwaukee, who happily agreed to play all our requests, including a dedicated song to our parents.
Our wedding day was nothing short of magical. We lucked out with a gorgeous sunny day and clear skies, which is probably because we had rain plan arranged with the Sister Bay Moravian Church. On the morning of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I had our hair done together at Tangled Salon in Sister Bay, which I would highly recommend- Kaila did a beautiful job with my up do and didn’t judge me at all while I downed mimosas at 9 in the morning. The girls and I used a special lakeside cabin at the Lodge to get dressed for the ceremony. While we were there, Kay of McKeefry & Yeomans’s arrived to deliver and arrange all the flowers. I was truly blown away by how beautiful they all turned out. My bouquet was a combination of my favorite flowers which included huge pastel peonies and dusty miller. Kay wired in several broaches that had been my mom’s mother’s and my dad’s mother’s. Since they have both passed, it was my way of keeping them close to me for my wedding. She did a phenomenal job.
When it was time for the ceremony, my dad picked me up in a classic car we rented from Door County Trolley which we took for a quiet drive to give me one last opportunity to change my mind (just kidding!). Joking aside, it was special to have a peaceful moment with my dad before the ceremony. We returned to the main lodge where my bridesmaids and I staked out a hiding spot in a room looking out to the ceremony site, which was on the “point” of the Gordon Lodge property.
Cynthia Johnson (affiliated with the Ephraim Unitarian Universalist Church) officiated. She is absolutely wonderful person. She was so generous and kind in preparing for our wedding with us — we have become friends, which I think is so cool. She delivered a very personalized, touching, warm, and hopeful ceremony that was simply perfect for us. We said our vows under an arbor which was decorated with my mother’s veil from her wedding.
We hired live musicians, a local, Jessica Holland, and Nathan Curry of the band Silent Trio (of which Jim is a member), for the prelude and processional. Together, they performed both our parent’s wedding songs as well as several other love songs Jim and I picked out during the moments leading up to the ceremony. Jessica’s voice had my bridesmaids and me crying (and laughing at each other crying) while we waited. Everyone used the word “angelic” to describe her voice and the music. Our mothers were seated to “Heavenly Day” by Patti Griffin and the bridesmaids walked down to “Home” by Bonnie Raitt. After an admittedly abnormal amount contemplation, I chose the much-loved Cannon in D as the bridal march and, as many before me have found, it was a beautiful piece for that moment.
Afterward we had two hours for photos, cocktails, and lawn games. One game was an exact replica of the AC Tap’s bean bags game which my uncle re-created. The AC Tap is a local Bailey’s Harbor bar, well-known for this game. However, for us, the scoring sheets read “Erin & Jim – It’s in the bag”. All of the stylized-details from the wedding and reception were designed and developed out of “Wedding Headquarters”, my parent’s spare bedroom (and overflow areas in various places around the house, which sufficiently annoyed my dad). I couldn’t have done any one piece of the details without my mother, my sister, my mother-in-law, my uncle and several others. Literally all details were hand-made, sewn, hot-glued or otherwise finagled together by myself or loving others. Somehow, it came together in the end and we received so many compliments on the style and details of the day. Those comments definitely meant a lot to us.
We danced our first dance to “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Ottis Redding, performed by the Rolling Stones. We cut the cake, made by Creative Cakes, with Jim’s Coast Guard officer sword, feasted on a fantastic meal, and laughed at the antics our friends and family during their hilarious toasts.
Post-reception, we had a late night bonfire with smores that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. I felt completely drunk on happiness the entire evening. It. Was. Amazing.
I was lucky to have a talented friend of mine, Adrienne Barrett, and her equally talented sister, Cassie Gigstead of CRG Photography, capture the moments of the day. They are awesome and were so much fun the day of the wedding- a great team! I would highly recommend them. I also had Chris Miller of YES! Wedding Films capture video footage (he is so artistically talented!) so we can re-live this amazing day every day for the rest of my life for years to come.
Jim and I now live together on Kodiak Island, Alaska. We are absolutely loving our time together as newlyweds and can’t wait to get back to Door County for a visit next summer.
Wedding Photography: CRG Photography / Videography: YES Wedding Films / Wedding Venue: Gordon Lodge / Bridal Gown: Galina Signature / Bridal Veil: Vera Wang / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Concepts Bridal / Hair: Tangled Salon / Flowers: McKeefry & Yeomans / Cake & Cupcakes: Creative Cakes / Transportation: Door County Trolley