Real Brides: Tiffany’s Rustic Country Wedding

Tiffany and Isaac took over a private retreat in Brighton, MI with some beautiful wooded scenery to host their wedding.

Tiffany and Isaac's rustic country wedding


When: May 28th, 2016

Location: Ceremony and Reception were held at Emrich Retreat Center in Brighton, Michigan.

Photography: JenLyn Photography.  We used JenLyn photography and COULD NOT BE HAPPIER. We didn’t have a huge budget and I didn’t plan to hire a photographer at all. Jen was running a leap year special where if you booked and paid in full it was only $500 for the day. She and her crew were WONDERFUL to work with. Our photographs turned out beautiful. So much so, I had tears in my eyes going through our “sneak peek” that she rushed home to get ready for us, so we could see before we left for our honeymoon.

Tiffany's Rustic Country Wedding Brighton, MI

Isaac and Tiffany chose the Emrich Retreat Center not only because of its beauty, but it can also sleep 92 people, so they could accommodate friends and family from out of town. Tiffany, a former firefighter, met Isaac, a manufacturing project manager, on a blind date setup by a mutual friend.

Caterer: Shari Spencer, Emrich Retreat. We had so many compliments on how awesome the food was!

Officiant: Jenifer Meinke from Last First Kiss. Jennifer is Tiffany’s sister, and she worked with Tiffany to create a custom ceremony.  She enjoyed it so much, that she is starting her own business.

Florist: Hand-made foam flowers by the bride.

Wedding Planner:  I planned everything myself with help from my maid of Honor, up until the day-of. That’s where Isaac’s oldest sibling and her husband came into play (Mark & Cory Timmer). They were our Masters of ceremony and kept a bridal party of 21.. that’s right 21…. On task. The day ran smoothly. Everything went off without a hitch. I highly recommend to any bride, even if hiring out isn’t in the budget, you need a go to person. Not only to keep you sane, but for all your venders to contact to work out times, and handle issues. No bride wants to go at that alone.

Tiffany and her bridesmaids

DJ: Brandon Lang, No Limit Images.  He not only kept the dance floor full, he kept the energy positive. Age appropriate music as we had solely immediate family & kids there. Brandon also does drone photography which was way, way cool. He surprised us by asking all the wedding guests to step outside of the tent for an aerial photo of all our guests with us. It will forever be a keepsake. Brandon went above and beyond. We even paid him to stay an extra two hours as that many people were having fun!

Drone Photo at wedding

Cake: Our cake was a wedding gift from the groom’s sister-in-law (Savannah Downing). It was gorgeous and tasty. She made a two tiered cake for us to cut, and 150 cupcakes for our guest to enjoy. 

Linens: I purchased the linens myself, as we found them to be cheaper to buy then to rent. With the help of my now mother in law, (Charnell Downing) they were all steamed and ironed and ready for the big day. 

Wedding Favors: Burlap bags of mints and chocolate, and a 16 oz. mug.

Cake table - Tiffany's wedding


Tiffany's Rustic centerpieces and flowers

Theme of Wedding: Rustic, Country.

Wedding Colors: Ice blue, coral, and navy blue

Flowers and Centerpieces: Foam flowers in coral and white

Linens: Ivory

Lighting: We had a tent for our reception, so we decorated it the day before with Edison and globe lights. It set a good mood lighting, and left us with plenty of light to actually see as well. We also had votive candles on every table with match books. 



Baby Proposal Tiffany and IsaacHow he proposed: Our nontraditional love story is fun. We met in January 2012, started dating May 28th 2012 on a beach in Ludington. We found out we were expecting April 2014. Our daughter was born December 3rd 2014. We promised each other no Christmas gifts. At midnight on Christmas Eve, Isaac brought me our daughter wrapped up in a blanket and asked me to check to make sure he had gotten her dressed properly for a cold night. When I unwrapped her she was wearing a hand written white onesie, that said, “mommy will you marry daddy.” There was a beautiful ring tied around her belly.





Tiffany's Hair and boots

Wedding Dress: On clearance at David’s bridal: Ivory with beading.

Bridesmaids Dresses: Ice blue short dresses in various styles (picked by the bridesmaids) from David’s Bridal.

Tuxedos: Men’s warehouse: Black with an ice blue tie

Shoes: Cow girl boots

Rings: Brides ring came from a small hometown jewelry shop in Howell Michigan, Kolt Jewelers. Diamonds with a wraparound wedding band. Grooms ring was a brushed tungsten.

Jewelry: Pearl accent jewelry and hair piece, from Amazon

Tiffany's bridal jewelry from

What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? Old: I wore a ring that was gifted to me during the first year we had dated. It reads “Faith” and has a very special meaning to me. New: The blinged-out hair piece from Amazon. Borrowed: Even thought we didn’t to the removal or toss, I wore my moms garter from when she married my dad.  And my something blue: A blue design on the sides of my cowgirl boots.

Tiffany and Isaac's Rustic Country wedding

Reception head Table


Wedding Party: 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 5 junior bridesmaids, 3 flower girls, and 1 ring bearer.

Vows: Bride and groom both wrote their own vows

First Dance Song: Follow You, By Shinedown

Honeymoon details and location: We were off to our honeymoon the Monday morning after our wedding, We flew to Riveria Maya, Mexico. We stayed at the Platinum Yucatan Princess.


There are so many wonderful moments from our wedding day, I don’t think it is possible to pick one. We were surprised by the groom’s brother, with fireworks when it was dark out. At one point my now-husband thanked me for all the hard work. Most memorable I would say, was looking around at all our friends and family, at various points throughout the night, and seeing nothing but smiles. Happiness and love.

Groomsmen having a shot

You and your husbands’ wedding advice: Enjoy every single moment. It comes, and it goes, far quicker than you can ever imagine. Remember to not stress the little things, as they are just that, little. Laugh, dance, have a cocktail or five, but above all embrace every single moment.

What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? Money. Budget. HOWEVER, we overcame them by making and creating what we wanted, rather than buying already made items.


Tiffany's Rustic, Country wedding : Father-Daughter Dance

Did you hand-make or DIY any wedding items? I literally handmade or DIY’d every single decoration for our wedding: Table numbers, gluing roses to wee little bells, burlap votive holders, assembling centerpieces, wood carving our initials and the date 22 times, making a card box, our guest book, painting and distressing 36 4×6 frames, painting and distressing 10 larger frames, folding 200 linen napkins, cutting and ironing on vinyl for custom burlap banners, etching 30+ family and bridal party glasses with their names.  I had help from some of the bridal party, my maid of honor, and the groom helped where he could. There were several late nights, burnt fingers, and glue sticks to make our décor possible.

Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? Moral support to each other, groom and bride. And my maid of honor was SO helpful in every step of the way (Erica Downing)


Sand Ceremony: Tiffany and Isaac's rustic country wedding


How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? I wouldn’t say so much influence, more like support. I would have a crazy idea. And they would help me run with it.

Which part of the process gave you the most stress? Time. We were engaged for a year and a half… so naturally.. I waited until less than 5 months before to start planning everything aside from venue and DJ.

Real Bride Tiffany's Rustic Country Wedding


What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? Wine…… kidding… But really. Working hard at stuff for a solid two or three weeks, and then walking away for a bit.

Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? Not that I am aware of. To be honest, nothing that mattered.

Real Bride Tiffany's Rustic Country Wedding First Kiss


What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? Becoming Mrs. Tiffany Downing, gaining a whole new family, and seeing my family take the husband in as if he belonged all along.

If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? Nothing. I can honestly say I could not be happier with our special day. It was amazing. It gives me goose bumps almost a month later to think about it.


Rustic, Country Wedding in Brighton, MI


Tiffany and Isaac- Thanks for sharing your wedding story with us!


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