The Wedding

Nearly two years in the making and it was worth the wait!

When we moved north full time in 2019, our oldest daughter followed us. I like to tease her that we had to kick her out of the nest, but now she has her own nest on the same branch as ours! That child has been a homebody since birth and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Moving to an area with a population of around 4000 people didn’t make it easy for her to meet people her own age. In this town, many people leave after high school in pursuit of college and/or raising their family, and then they come back to retire. But she DID meet a local boy, and he was a good one. We first met Michael when he came to one of Katie’s Community Band Concerts. I was impressed that not only was he supporting one of her passions but he was also willing to meet her parents after only a couple of weeks. The next week he joined us for karaoke and neither one of them could wipe the grin off their face as they watched each other sing. Their relationship moved fast, a little too fast for our comfort to be truthful, but sometimes your heart just knows when it’s the real thing.

Michael quickly became part of our family, almost like he was there from the start. He got along so well with our other boys. Jack, our youngest and Austin, our son in law. While the three of them are all very different, I love the bond they have with each other. Michael’s daughter, Kinsley had just turned three and was impossible to resist. We all fell hard.

When Michael approached us just 6 months later and told us he wanted to marry Katie, we knew it was coming. Unfortunately for him, it was 2020 and his grand idea for a very public proposal were not possible. But together we hatched an alternate plan and at our family Christmas that year, he popped the question.

I should back up a bit to say that our other daughter, Cassie, had gotten married in 2017 so this was not our first family wedding. Cassie and Austin had a beautiful fall wedding on the Detroit Princess Riverboat in downtown Detroit. It was the perfect location for their wedding and it was a wonderful day. But that was before I started this blog and they are pretty private people so I’m not going to go into all the details, that’s their story to tell. My girls were very different brides. Cassie wanted something small, unique and more urban. Katie however, wanted the classic outdoor fall wedding in a country barn venue. Cowboy boots, denim, fall flowers, string lights and a bonfire…the whole package. They found the perfect venue for that at Crooked River Weddings in Gladwin. The wedding took place about 22 months after the proposal which gave Katie time to make sure everything was just like she wanted it.

Cassie and I planned her bridal shower at Fisher Hall in downtown Frankenmuth. As we live 4 hours apart on opposite coasts, we knew neither one of us could really host it. It was a challenge to come up with a suitable place that wouldn’t be too far of a drive for our downstate guests and overall I think it worked out really well. Katie and Michael opted for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party here in East Tawas at the place we go for karaoke and where they had their first date. Their local friends and family were here and it was a very special night.

Once everything was planned our only real concern was the weather. Katie had been looking forward to this for so long and all I wanted in the world at that moment was for the weather to cooperate! Luckily for us, it was a GORGEOUS day. We couldn’t have asked for anything better. My favorite part of the weekend though wasn’t even the wedding itself, but the day before when we were getting everything ready. Looking around and seeing how much our kids love and support each other as adults made this mama’s heart so proud. Jack had a laughing Kinsley on his shoulders and Cassie was helping Katie with centerpieces and Chad and Michael were hauling something in from the truck. I wanted to slow down time in that moment and just enjoy this family time. We finished decorating the barn and ceremony space, collected things around town for Katie, with often hysterical results, and then had the wedding rehearsal and dinner. Later than night at the rental house we were all staying in, we joked around, danced and laughed and it was one of the best family nights we had in a long time.

The wedding of course was beautiful. Austin and Griffin got there just before the ceremony as planned (a long story for another day) and Griffin was adorable in his cowboy boots! Surrounded by our friends and family, it was a very happy, emotional day. We all cried as the bride and groom danced to “Beauty and the Beast” , a dance they had been learning for weeks and wouldn’t tell even tell me about! I cried again as I looked over at the table where my stepdad sat, missing my mom and knowing how much she would have loved this. And again when we took a group photo with my amazing group of friends and thinking about the one who we lost all to soon, and how she would have been crying right along with me. And one more time as Katie and Michael left the barn to their sparkler send off. It meant the world to me to have those people stick around until the end to celebrate this incredible day with us.

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