It may be the middle of January, but today we’re featuring the prettiest of summer weddings to get you in the mood for warm weather. Brandy and Chad created a gorgeous day at a stunning venue in Michigan. I absolutely love the pink and white flowers. And isn’t Brandy’s dress breathtaking? I also love how they decorated their reception venue with the beautiful lanterns. I’m absolutely smitten with their pie table… what a fun and budget savvy option! Enjoy this lovely Michigan wedding! xoxo, Jessica
Brandy + Chad
June 12, 2016
Blue Dress Barn | Benton Harbor, MI
What was your budget?
We spent about $17,500 in total!
Bartending service: $595
Day of Coordinator: $600
Mason jars: $120
Flowers: Gifted by friend
Invitations: FREE (we used Paperless Post)
How many guests did you have?
We had 100 guests.
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
For something borrowed, I wore my sister-in-law’s wedding earrings. For something blue, my sister used blue thread to sew into my dress a locket we got my mom when we were younger. For something old, my sister gave me a hanky my mom’s mom sewed for her. For something new, I wore a new bracelet from my husband.
Chad’s dad passed away before Chad and I met, so for his wedding gift I wanted to get him something special that would remind him his dad was there in spirit. For his gift, I turned two coins from his dad’s coin collection into cufflinks.
A few of the other special details: Chad’s best friend from growing up married us. For our program, we created a six page newspaper called the Chandy Times. Our hashtag was #SummerChandy (Chad and Brandy), and for our cocktail hour we served a Summer Shandy, in addition to sweet tea vodka cocktails out of mason jars.
There was a tribute to Chad’s dad (a large poster) by the bar. It was a picture of his dad toasting at his brother’s wedding. Everyone who went by was encouraged to cheers “Big Mike,” Chad’s dad. At the end of the wedding, the picture came out and everyone danced with Big Mike, by passing the picture around. Our guest book was a Jenga set with the phrase “Help us Build Memories.”
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Our caterer was White Horse Farm, and we untraditionally had a burger bar. The burgers were huge and a BIG HIT.
Our friend also did the flowers as our wedding gift, and THEY WERE AMAZING.
What was the biggest sacrifice you made to stay on budget?
We skipped the champagne toast and regular glassware. We gave everyone mason jars for the night.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Have fun! DIY – Pinterest! Then, get a Day of Coordinator to bring it all to life.
What was your biggest splurge?
The venue. It was beautiful! And our photographer was amazing… we love pictures!
What was your favorite detail?
The desserts! In lieu of a cake, we had a pie bar with pies from my hometown’s local Amish bakery. Also, the night ended with a campfire and S’mores. I had never been to a wedding with a campfire, and it was so fun that it was ours!
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Two years ago, my mom suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. Though Chad and I always thought we would have a destination wedding, it was no longer an option. We found Blue Dress Barn, an hour from my family, and prayed my mom would be able to attend the event. With the help of a nurse, she was able to attend. The day was filled with an equal amount of nonstop laughing and crying.The moment that really sticks out to me though is when it was time to walk down the aisle. I didn’t know if I would cry. All of a sudden I was overcome with emotion. When I saw everyone stand, I almost couldn’t breathe. I burst into tears and cried ugly tears the whole way down the aisle. My dad had to hold me up.
Photography: Grant Beachy • Venue: Blue Dress Barn • Planner: Melissa at Forever and a Day Events • Hair and Makeup: Affinity Salon and Spa • Catering: White Horse Farm • Dessert Catering: Essenhaus • Flowers: City Girl Flowers SF • Band: Mark Ficks • Bride Attire: Robert Bullock Bride • Bridesmaids Attire: Monique Lhuillier via Vow to be Chic • Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Learn more here.