It’s All About the Feeling

Northern Michigan weddings seem surreal to me.  As an East Coast girl, growing up in New Jersey, the weddings that I attended were always beautiful and well done, but also seemed stressful experiences for those involved.  I have always been keen on people’s non-verbal communication – ya know, what they’re saying is totally different than what’s coming out of their mouth or even that pained smile across their face.  I saw the mother’s asking for another glass of wine and just trying their best to breathe through the day.  I saw the bride’s maids rolling their eyes and shooting arrows at each other, or sometimes even the bride. I saw the groom who pulled at his shirt that seemed to be silently choking him.  I never could understand why there was such an undercurrent of stress and negative emotion during an event that was supposed to be celebrating love.  Love for two people that was going to last forever.

Fast forward a couple of decades and now I work directly with brides and their families, helping them with their venue choice.  It is so much fun meeting new people from all over the country and finding that they have fallen in love with the same place I have.  I enjoy sharing all the uniqueness of Bay Harbor Village and the surrounding areas.  Sunset beach with its crashing waves, or sometimes a lake of glass.  The Village that houses their rooms, shops and this protected little world of luxury, class, and beauty.  I love showing them the Loft as our best kept secret for rehearsal dinners, receptions, or just any gathering.  People are always blown away by this room.  Most have been coming to Bay Harbor all their lives and never knew it existed. As we walk the Village and talk about their plans, I notice how their mind is whirling around trying to think of all the questions they have. I usually take them down to the harbor to see the lawns.  We sit there for a while and just breathe.  Sometimes I even give them a moment of silence, just to take in their surroundings.  In my mind, I hear myself saying, “cue the deer!” but usually we get a couple of geese to fly by, or possibly a lone duck that swims around the dock.  These small entrances of wildlife solidify the experience of beauty, peace, and laid back luxury that is abundant in our neck of the woods.  Our weddings don’t have the same level of stress that coincides with those long ago memories of weddings in Jersey.  Maybe it’s me, but events in Northern Michigan, and definitely at Bay Harbor, take on an air of art really.  Breathing in that fresh, crisp air and listening for the sounds of the lake, the only worry in the world has vanished because you are here, right here at Bay Harbor.  To all our past, present and future brides, we can only hope that you have experienced that feeling.  Knowing that everything is going to be ok because of where you’re at.  Up North is a mindset that only can be experienced.  It’s not about the flashy parties or incredibly dining options, the live music, or even the luxurious accommodations.  Although we all know, they help!  No, when you get down to it, it really is about how the entire place makes you feel… The good vibes.  As I watch another beautiful wedding come to life, I feel it.  The art of creating storybook weddings starts right here. Truly, this is a magical place, a gem where time seems to slow down. Moments are best spent that way, savoring the magical.  Keep right on feeling those vibes.  


Enjoy your up North wedding at Bay Harbor. ~ Carolyne Stolzenfels, Special Events Manager, Bay Harbor Village Hotel