Emily and Stefan fell in love with venue Cherry Barc Farm, and they let the scenery be the star for their wedding
When: June 25, 2016
Where: Cherry Barc Farm, Vermontville, MI
Photography: Jennifer Boris Photography. Jennifer was simply fantastic. My mom, sister and best friend met her last fall and absolutely fell in love with her personality and style. My mom is a photographer, so pictures are extremely important to me and we genuinely thought that she was an awesome fit for us as a couple.
Emily and Stefan met 10 years ago through Stefan’s sister, but Emily and Stefan were just friends for many years as they dated other people. But 5 years ago, they found themselves both single at the same time, and decided to give a relationship a shot.
Caterer: Hogzilla BBQ, Battle Creek, MI. Sonny was so great to work with. After deciding to change caterers a couple months into wedding planning, Sonny was just what I was looking for. He communicated frequently and always answered all my crazy questions. The food was delicious and the service that he provided at our wedding was impeccable.
Officiant: Tom Shaver (Emily’s dad). My dad fulfilled a lifelong dream by performing our wedding ceremony. Although he has preached at churches, summer camps, retreats, ect; he was never officially ordained until we got engaged and I asked (begged) him to get ordained. He did a fantastic job and in the words of one of my coworkers who has been to 50-60 weddings, she said our ceremony was, “the most beautiful, heartfelt and emotional ceremony” that her and her husband had ever attended.
Wedding Planner: Shelbi Britton, Shelbi Britton Events. I actually “won” Shelbi’s ‘day of coordination’ services through a giveaway that Shelbi did. Even though Shelbi wasn’t a full wedding coordinator for my wedding, she helped with the most important part, the day of. I planned our entire wedding basically on my own, with some input from my fiancée, mom and bridesmaids, but for the most part, I did the whole thing. Shelbi helped with the only part that I couldn’t do and she was so wonderful to work with and everything the day of our wedding went off without an issue.
Florist: Dawn Hall, Petal & Forrest. Dawn is a wonderful family friend and she went completely above and beyond with my vision for the flowers. I know nothing about flowers and I told her that I wanted; “pink and gold chic” and I wanted to have hydrangeas and peonies in my bouquet. I didn’t give too many other details and she provided so much more than I ever could have dreamed. My mother cried the morning of the wedding when Dawn brought the flowers to the barn.
Videographer: Jodan Sovis, Sovis Productions. Jordan was so amazing; I don’t think I have enough words to express how happy we were with our video crew. I hired Jordan for a couple different reasons. First, we didn’t have an unlimited budget and he was very reasonable in cost. Secondly, Jordan and I share a common faith in Jesus that upon discovering was a huge plus. Lastly, Jordan’s video work was great and he was so eager to capture exactly what I wanted captured on my wedding, he wasn’t trying to make my wedding something it wasn’t just for better shots. He and his crew of guys were fantastic.
DJ/ Band: Moonlighting Entertainment from Grand Rapids, MI. Aaron, our DJ from Moonlighting was great. He kept our crowd entertained all night, dinner music was lower volume and tasteful, but the evening was fun and more upbeat. He made sure to have all the correct pronunciations of names in our bridal party. We were extremely thrilled with the service that they provided!
Chaircovers: No chair covers, the beautiful chairs that were at our wedding were actually part of our venue rental at Cherry Barc Farm. Alison Barc at Cherry Barc Farm has scoured estate sales and ebay for a couple years to continue building her collection. When I saw them, I was in love, they are raw wood and absolutely beautiful.
Lighting: The globe string lights in Cherry Barc Farm are all provided by the venue and they are always up. The chandeliers were made by Alison Barc who owns Cherry Barc Farm.
Cake: Dave Carey with Continental Pastries in Battle Creek, MI. My brother’s wedding cake was made my Dave the year before our wedding and there were so many compliments on the cake at their wedding that it was a ‘no-brainer’ for us to use Dave for our wedding. He was a joy to work with and delivered exactly what I had dreamed of. I didn’t see the cake until right before I walked down the aisle and to say that I was speechless would be an understatement!
Other Goodies: We did a popcorn bar and all the popcorn was purchased from Cravings Popcorn in Lansing, MI. I purchased the white paper bags from JetJewels shop on Etsy and my mom made the rubber stamp that I stamped all the bags with.
Linens: All Linens I purchased myself.
Honeymoon details and location: We are going on a tropical vacation in January, but we still wanted to do something after the wedding so we went on what we called a “mini-moon.” We traveled to Mackinac Island, Traverse City and spent 4th of July weekend in Ludington, MI.
Theme of wedding & design: The theme of the wedding was “pink and gold chic” I fell in love with Cherry Barc Farm, but I am not a ‘country girl’ so I didn’t want anything country related, but I loved the barn. We ultimately decided on the “pink and gold chic” for something a bit unexpected in a barn.
Colors: Blush pink and gold with ivory
Flowers/ Centerpieces used: Bride’s bouquet was and tied bouquet of blush pink peony, dahlia, astilbe, garden roses & other seasonal blooms accented w/greens & pops of white- wrapped w/gold shimmer ribbon. Bridesmaid’s bouquets were and tied bouquets of white hydrangea, blush pink dahlia, garden roses & other seasonal blooms accented w/gold painted greens-& wrapped w/pink sand ribbon. Short centerpieces were an assorted mix of gold/glass/mercury glass vases filled w/soft mix of blush pink & ivory hydrangea, garden roses, peony, astilbe, stock, ranunculus & other romantic blush blooms accented w/greens. The tall centerpieces were tall glass vases filled lush mound of baby’s breath.
Wedding Dress: From David’s Bridal and is “tulle dress with lace cap sleeve”, in ivory. The dress was altered by Mindy at Mindy’s Bridal Shop
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bridesmaid’s dresses were from David’s Bridal. Matron of Honor wore, “short one shoulder corded lace dress” and Bridesmaids wore, “short chiffon v-neck dress with ruching.” All were in Petal Pink.
Groomsmen Suits: Groom’s suit was from Joseph A Banks and was tailored by them as well. The groomsmen all wore black suits that they already owned. The white shirts were all from Banana Republic. Pink ties were from Etsy shop TieObsessed.
Shoes: I wore ‘ballerina pink’ Tieks
Rings: My engagement ring and wedding band are custom made pieces by Frank Moore in Wisconsin. Groom’s wedding band is tungsten and is from Fred Meyer Jewelers.
Jewelry: I wore a tennis bracelet gifted by the groom and rose gold earrings gifted by bride’s father. I also wrapped a gold cross necklace around my bouquet that was from my great great grandmother. For the reception I wore a circle broach in my hair that was my grandmas. The day of the wedding, I also had my gold heart necklace with an E in it that my dad gifted me on my 13th birthday.
Wedding Party: Three bridesmaids (2 sisters-in-law, and best friend), one matron of honor (sister of the bride.) Four Groomsmen (brother of groom, 2 brothers-in-law, and Grooms’s best friend) one best man (brother of the groom.)
Vows: Custom vows written by the couple and the officiant (Emily’s dad).
First Dance Song: Make you feel my love, by Adele
What was your old, new, borrowed, & blue? My ‘something new’ was my dress, my ‘blue’ was the bottom of my Tiek shoes that I wore for the wedding, my ‘borrowed’ was a handkerchief that has been passed down through the women in my family since my great-great-grandmother, and my ‘old’ was a gold cross necklace that was wrapped around my bouquet that was also my great-great-grandmother’s.
Hands down, my most memorable moment was seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. We debated for a couple months on doing a ‘first look’ but in the end, I am so glad that we didn’t do one. While it would have been easier to get photos out of the way before the wedding, nothing compares to that moment when you see each other at the end of the aisle. We have some amazing photos of the reactions and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
You and your husbands’ wedding advice: His wedding advice would be for the bride to not stress through the small details. Stress about the things that matter and let the smaller things go because brides always have a billion ideas in their heads, but do they all need to be executed? Or better, CAN they all be executed? My advice would be to ENJOY every moment. It really does go so very fast, before I knew it, we were driving to the hotel and the wedding was over. When people say that you forgot so much, they are right, you really do.
Did you hand-make or DIY any wedding items? Because I chose to let our very old beautiful barn venue be the biggest decoration and the flowers to be the number 2 biggest decoration, we didn’t really DIY too much for the wedding. I did buy white picture frames from IKEA for our table numbers. I bought them white with the desire to spray paint them gold to match our theme. After a couple different spray paint attempts (more operator error than anything) we managed to get about 20+ frames painted gold and they turned out fantastic.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? One of the biggest road blocks for us was that we let our original caterer go half way through the planning process. She wouldn’t communicate with me and wasn’t accommodating to my requests to do a tasting that would last longer than 5 minutes, and when she did communicate with me, she made me feel like an inconvenience. We decided that having Polish food (both my fiancé and I are Polish) wasn’t worth the headache of lack of communication and feeling like I wasn’t a priority, so we cut her loose. We then hired Hogzilla BBQ to do the food and I am so very thankful for that decision because Sonny was absolutely fantastic to work with. I never once felt like I was asking too much or that he couldn’t accommodate anything that I was requesting.
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? I work in accounting for my day job so by the nature of the job, I am quite organized and work quite a bit in spreadsheets. The biggest help with the process was the fact that I created a master spreadsheet for all wedding related things (guest list, budget, quote from vendors, addresses, RSVP’s, seating charts, song lists, ect.) During the planning process, I received lots of compliments on my organization or how everything was kept in one place. It worked really well when it came to finishing the planning and executing the day.
How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? I ran quite a few things by my mom and sister throughout the process. I am a people-pleaser by nature so I really wanted to have the “perfect” wedding so I would find something online or have a grand idea and I would call them immediately for their opinion. A lot of times they would just tell me, “oh Emily, that’s crazy”, “and how much time and money is that going to take?,” or “is anyone but you going to notice that?.” I value their opinions so much so even if they spoke their mind and set me on the right path, I still asked. My fiancé was very much a part in the planning of the things that he liked; such as, food, cake, what he wore and what we drank. He came along to all those appointments and I appreciated his input.
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? I travel as part of my job and it just so happened that for the 6 months prior to the wedding, I didn’t have to travel at all…until the month of the wedding. During the month of the wedding, I had to travel for 2 separate weeks for work trips. When the trips were first scheduled, I was extremely stressed and frustrated, but in the end, it actually forced me to delegate (which I am not good at) and give up the little details that I was stressing about because I didn’t have a choice.
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? WINE… and my mom does a really good job of talking me “off the ledge.” When I felt overwhelmed, I would call her or go to my parents’ house to just talk things through because she always sets me straight.
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? Unless everyone in my family, wedding party and vendors are lying to me, as far as I know, nothing didn’t go as planned. We did get low on water bottles because it was about 93-95 degrees the day of the wedding, so we sent my younger cousin to go purchase more water bottles, but we never ended up needing to use them.
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? One of my favorite parts of the wedding was just seeing what I had planned via spreadsheets vision boards for the year prior actually come to life! To see the linens, plates, flowers, cake, and little details come together was amazing. I couldn’t believe what I saw when I got back to the barn after getting my hair and makeup done. It simply moved me to tears to see everything. Another of my favorite parts was hearing how much everyone liked our ceremony. I loved that they thought it was special and emotional to have my dad marry us because that was one of my ‘must have’s’ when it came to the wedding and to hear that others liked it as well makes me happy.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? If I could go back in time, I would have given a certain number of guests that each side of the family could invite and after that number was given, there were no changes to it. We were adding people to the guest list until the week before the wedding and it just isn’t in my nature to ruffle feathers and say ‘no.’ I would have also taken more time the day of the wedding to relax. I wanted to be involved in all aspects of the setting up and planning of the day that before I knew it, it was time to get married and I didn’t really have time to just sit, focus and relax.
What did you do to save money? Because we didn’t do a whole lot of decorations as our venue was absolutely beautiful and didn’t need a ton, we were able to save money on decorations. All the votive holders and vases came from our florist so we didn’t even have to buy candles or vases. I am glad that I didn’t over-do the decorations and that I just let the barn and flowers be the focal point.
What was your biggest splurge? I splurged on flowers! I knew from the moment that we got engaged that I wanted the flowers to be the biggest decoration of the wedding. I love fresh flowers so it was definitely a “must have” for me. I could have done them myself and cheaper, but Dawn with Petal & Forrest was just amazing and she brought my vision to life.
Thank you Emily for sharing your wedding story!