Real Door County Wedding: Small Fall Waterfront Wedding
This October 2013 Door County wedding at Stone Harbor is a small intimate affair with a lot of fun DIY and thoughtful family flair despite the ominous weather. From the Bride ... Dan and I had a small, intimate wedding at the Stone Harbor Resort. The idea came one evening as we sat on the bed talking about what we wanted in a wedding. It wasn't that we didn't want a room full of all of our friends and family. Dan and I hold all of our loved ones near and dear to our hearts. What it came down to was an honest conversation about what we really wanted not just for our wedding day, but for our future. It's no surprise that weddings are expensive, and while there are plenty of ways to make it more manageable, you still want the day to represent the two of you. And, when we discussed what makes the two of us special and why we wanted to marry each other, we recognized that the wedding day itself hinged on two things: me and him. Everything else was just details.
I could go into a lot of the planning back story, but put simply we were very DIY, and added a lot of personal touches whenever we could. Even the florist added flowers my mother had homegrown (something that she wouldn’t typically do, but accommodated for us). It was very special.
We had our immediate families up for the weekend, and had one of the premier loft suites at Stone Harbor. It was perfect for hosting everyone and made for such a fun weekend together.
We went on a pontoon boat ride, had a beautiful “rehearsal” dinner (no rehearsal was needed, but it took place the night before the wedding) at The Inn at Kristofers, and most of all were able to enjoy quality time with everyone together. The morning of the wedding we all woke up, and spent the morning relaxing, eating some food, and socializing. I didn’t even start getting ready until about 2 hours before the ceremony. Dan jokes he was the “groomzilla” because he got stressed about the rain (and we were having an outdoor ceremony) and normally I’m very A-type so it was strange that I wasn’t the one getting concerned. But, I just had a feeling all would work out. Plus, I was getting married, I was just plain excited that nothing could rain on my day (pun completely intended).
With another set of storms approaching, a quick decision had to be made about where to move the ceremony. I was in my room curling my hair when one of the Stone Harbor Managers called me and had an idea about where to move our ceremony. With my hair half curled, Dan and I went downstairs to the restaurant. He said they would close it down for us for an hour so we could recreate our wedding in the beautiful space with the harbor still in the background. With that, the staff brought the arch in there with our chairs, and everyone but my sister and I went to decorating the space. My mom had already been making the chair decorations that morning, and her and I had discussed decorating ideas, so I knew the space was in good hands with her. Meanwhile, I finished my hair and makeup, and did my sister’s hair. My mom came up once the decorating was done, and I did her hair as well. About 5 minutes before the ceremony is when I pulled my dress on. As crazy as it sounds, even then I had no nerves or stress. I was so excited to be marrying Dan, and knew that everything would just fall into place. Besides, I was able to do both my hair and makeup without any faux pas, so I considered that a win LOL. The ceremony was so beautiful, so personal, and was beyond what I could’ve imagined. It was about us, and our love for one another, and the marriage we were entering till death do us part. The officiant even blew bubbles over our heads after she pronounces us man and wife. After the ceremony, Dan and I didn’t want to have the rain keep us from taking pictures outside. Luckily, we had bought a golf umbrella that Thursday on our way up in case we needed one. It became one of the props in our pictures, and was so unique. The pictures wouldn’t have been the same without that spontaneous addition! Following our delicious dinners, we did the cake cutting. Our friend, an aspiring baker, made our two-tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting between the layers and buttercream frosting on the outside. It was unbelievably delicious! Oh, but before we got to eat it, we had the delicate dance of how will feeding each other go. We both held our piece in front of each other for about 10 seconds, me knowing he was going to pull something and I wanted to hold out to get some revenge when he did. Sure enough, I got “caked,” and diligently returned the favor. Once we were done, our dads each cleaned us off. After the cake madness, we had another personal touch. Our song is Crazy Love by Michael Buble. We heard the song while watching The 5-Year Engagement, and both turned to each other and Dan said "this should be our song." It was covered by someone else in the movie, but when Dan looked it up on YouTube, we started listening to all of the covers of it and loved Michael's version the best. Because we didn't have a traditional DJ/first dance, we bought the vinyl from Amazon.com, and had our immediate family members sign it during dinner. We also had personalized champagne flutes for everyone to toast out of during dinner. Other personal touches from the day included my bouquet being wrapped in my late Grandma Rosie’s handkerchief, which had a “D” embroidered on it (appropriate since I was marrying Dan and my new last name would start with a D); my veil was hand sewn by my mom. My jewelry was what Dan bought me as a bridal gift. I never saw it until the morning of the wedding, and it matched perfectly! (Again, how was I not stressed? I’ll never know.)
We had our sisters each pick a bible verse to read at our ceremony as our readings. Our dads each held our rings and gave them to the officiant when she asked for them (very special having my dad give me away, and give my ring as well). The dads also signed the marriage license.
Lastly, we had a wine box ceremony versus a sand pouring or unity candle. Dan’s dad handmade a box that fit a bottle of wine Dan and I bought while planning the wedding in Door County earlier that year. We had our moms each write a letter to us that would go into the box. We nailed the box shut after the ceremony (the letter and bottle went in it during the ceremony), with our dads and we will open the box, bottle of wine, and letters on our 1-year anniversary. Every year after we will write letters to each other and put in a new bottle for the next anniversary.
We had everyone involved and had so many different touches, that I could go on and on (and already have), but it was just such a personal and meaningful day.
After dinner there was a live band at the Stone Harbor pub, so we went upstairs, I changed out of my dress into a bride tank top and black pants (and kept my veil on) and we went to party. The band dedicated a first dance to Dan and I, and the whole bar partied with us as if it really was our reception. It was so spontaneous, and such a fun and relaxed atmosphere. We were able to just have a great time.
Our honeymoon was in Door County for the whole next week, we went up one coast to Washington Island for a few nights, then made our way back down the other coast. And, it didn’t rain once. Ceremony Location: Stone Harbor Resort
Officiant: Joan Shiels
Wedding Gown Designer: David's Bridal
Groom Clothing: Vera Wang Black from Men's Wearhouse
Hotel or B&B where you and family members stayed: Stone Harbor Resort
Photographer: Suzi Hass