Hi there! It’s me, Peggy, popping in one last time. If you’ve been following my blogs, you know about my daughter Kelly and her fiancé, James, who were married here at Castle Farms on Saturday, June 30th. Since the big day has come and gone, I thought you might like an update. So, I’m here to report how everything went.
In a word: PERFECT!
First, I must confess that it felt rather strange, being Mother-of-The-Bride at a Castle Farms wedding. My position as Gift Shop and Tour Director at The Castle has given me a unique perspective when it comes to brides and weddings, but actually being Mother-of-The-Bride landed me on the flip side of things. But even if I didn’t work here, we would have been thrilled that Kelly and James chose to celebrate their wedding and reception at Castle Farms. The Castle is such a magical happy place. Their special day went off without a hitch.
The wedding rehearsal the night before was perfect. Our Castle Farms coordinator Sarah made sure everything ran smoothly, and we practiced enough so that Kelly’s young Flower Girl (so sweet!) got pretty good at dropping the petals. The rehearsal dinner, held at The Weathervane, a local restaurant on the water, featured superb food. With such wonderful weather, we were able to stand on the deck and enjoy all the boats going by. James’ family and friends from Seattle were very impressed.
Wedding day dawned, and the weather was up-north-perfect. Sunshine, blue skies, warm temps, and a slight breeze greeted us for the 5 PM ceremony in The Knight’s Courtyard. Kelly made such a beautiful bride coming down the aisle on the arm of her dad. And yes, I must confess that I blinked back tears as I watched the two of them. Dennis looked so handsome in his tux and Kelly was absolutely radiant. Plus, our son Kevin was super supportive in his role as Brother-of-Honor. Dennis and I were so proud of him. Believe me, no Maid of Honor could have fluffed the train on Kelly’s dress better than Kevin did! The minister, Glad Remaly, did a wonderful job of making the wedding personal, yet keeping in mind what Kelly and James wished. In short, it was a simple and sweet ceremony. The best part? It joined Kelly and James as husband and wife.
The groom, James, escorting Glad, the minister
Peggy, the mother of the bride, escorted by Kevin, her son, the bride's brother and the man of honor!
The bride, Kelly, escorted down the aisle by her father, Dennis
So many months went into planning and debating over major and minor details, but in the end, it was totally worth it. The wedding reception in The Knight’s Castle was so much fun! The food was delicious, and the presentation by Grey Gables was superb. We received so many compliments about the entire reception. As I mentioned in one of my previous blogs, the table decorations were simple, yet elegant. The diamond glass bead confetti and other stones sprinkled on all the tables around the shimmering tea lights and purple chair sashes perfectly complimented the rich purple hydrangeas that totally blended into the color scheme Kelly chose for her wedding. The blooms were so perfect many people had to touch them as they were sure they had to be silk rather than live flowers. Friends helped us decorate, and we’re so grateful to everyone who assisted in transforming The Knight’s Castle into something straight out of a mid-summer night’s dream. The Hot Club Trio serenaded the wedding crowd before and during the ceremony plus the cocktail hour with soft, sweet renditions on sax, guitar and stand-up bass.
A+ Digital D.J., Tom, did a wonderful job in keeping the party mood on track, plus keeping us dancing throughout the night. It takes a lot to get my Dennis out on the dance floor, but watching his Father/Daughter dance with Kelly was very special. Remember my blog about Kelly’s bridal gown with detachable skirt? She looked elegant and chic walking down the aisle on Dennis’ arm, but out on the dance floor, in the shorter version of her dress, she was pure Kelly: swingy and fun as she danced to the music! At one point, D.J. Tom came down to lead a line dance. He even whisked me out on the dance floor for a song! My Mother-of-The-Bride gown sparkled and glittered to the music! Having the right D.J. is a definite must when it comes to planning a successful wedding reception. D.J. Tom’s musical selections were perfect for the different age groups celebrating with us as we partied the night away.
Right there with us throughout the entire day was Meg Paxton of Paxton Photography. Meg was low profile, discreet and captured Kelly, James and the entire wedding party with the most amazing shots! The photos we’ve already seen are proof of that. But we expected nothing less from Meg Paxton. She is brilliant.
One of my blogs shared how James wanted cupcakes and Kelly wished for a chocolate amaretto cake. Kingsley Cakes did a marvelous job of combining the two and decorating them! Our guests raved at the assortment of delectable sweets and rich wedding dessert. Naturally, like most bridal couples, Kelly and James got a little carried away when it came time to feeding each other dessert! But who can blame them? It was so much fun!
To conclude the weekend festivities, we planned a Day-After-The-Wedding-Brunch here at The Castle for out-of-town guests before their departure for home. Everyone raved about the food served by A Matter of Taste, which was held in the Queen’s Tavern. The Brunch proved a fun way to say goodbye to all the people who helped us, and those who travelled from so far away to be with us for the celebrations. Following The Brunch, I gave a guided tour of The Castle to guests who had time to linger. They just loved it!
If I could pass along one tip to future Mothers-of-The-Brides, it would be this: be sure to relax and have fun. Remember, you’re making special memories that will last a lifetime. Try not to stress out about the little things as others will not notice them. It’s best to have some support close by, because it’s guaranteed that things you never thought of are sure to pop up. One of Kelly’s close friends, plus a friend of Kevin’s, kept us company in the bridal suite. They were lifesavers, willingly pitching in whenever something was needed! Plus, the coordinator Sarah and The Castle Staff—as always—were amazing and super helpful. When a minor hiccup involving the florist occurred, the Castle Staff stepped in and handled things quickly and efficiently. But at Castle Farms, I expected no less. Surprisingly affordable, and simply elegant weddings. The perfect site, the perfect day.
This is my final Peggy blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Kelly and James, and their trip to the altar. It was a magical time in all our lives. My husband Dennis and I were thrilled at the way everything turned out. We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome our new son-in-law James into the family. Now it’s back to reality. Kelly and James are happily settled in Seattle, beginning their new life together as husband and wife. As for Dennis and I, we plan on enjoying the rest of the summer and the beauty that Northern Michigan has to offer. There’s a reason they call our town Charlevoix the Beautiful, and there’s also a reason why Castle Farms is known as The Happiest Castle in The World. Believe me, our family is very happy. Kelly’s Castle Farms wedding was a dream come true!
All photos courtesy of Paxton Photography.