Decades after meeting on the school bus, Michael Bak and Felix Ferrer say ‘I do’ with a vintage-meets-modern farm party.
By Leena Rao
Photography by Rooney & Company
As the owner of Detroit floral and event company Michael B. Anthony, professional florist Michael Bak has designed the flowers for hundreds of weddings in Metro Detroit. But the most challenging wedding of all was his own. “I needed to treat it like a normal workweek to keep my emotions in check,” says Bak, who married his longtime love, Felix Ferrer, on June 29 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor.
Bak and Ferrer, who are both 30 and live in Wyandotte, actually met on the eighth-grade school bus, but they didn’t fall in love until decades later when they were reintroduced by mutual friends in 2013. Bak popped the question two years later.
It’s no surprise that when it came time to plan the wedding, Ferrer, who works at Ally Financial, ceded design control to his soon-to-be husband. “Michael has the eye and he’s so creative,” says Ferrer. “I was happy for him to handle it.” On Bak’s end, the goal was to combine his love of the vintage aesthetic with Ferrer’s more modern vibes. The couple knew they wanted to get married outside, and when they visited a friend’s lavender farm in Milan, Michigan (about 20 minutes south of Ann Arbor), they fell in love with the outdoor space.
The floral arrangements featured tulips and peonies with a vintage-inspired color palette of powder blues, blushes and dusty roses. Bak complemented them with crystals, which brought a modern touch. “It was so beautiful, and the combination ended up being perfect,” says Bak. The retro vibe also extended to the 1960s-style, robin’s-egg-blue bridesmaid dresses. The groomsmen’s suits were more contemporary, as per Ferrer’s style.
Aside from their aesthetics, Bak and Ferrer made sure their wedding reflected their roots. Bak is of Polish origin and Ferrer is half-Slovakian and half-Puerto Rican. “With our families, everything revolved around food and drinks,” says Bak. After the ceremony in Ann Arbor, the newlyweds’ 200 guests traveled to the reception, where they dined on Polish food like pierogi and stuffed cabbage. The drinks were flowing, too. “Polish people love vodka,” says Bak. “We actually ran out.”
The reception was steeped in family traditions: Bak and Ferrer’s parents presented the couple with bread, water, wine, salt and silver dollars before they walked into the reception, a Polish tradition for newlyweds. “It was an incredible moment,” says Bak.
Another highlight was the couple’s first dance. The first half was to Shania Twain’s 1997 love song “From This Moment On.” (Twain is a favorite of the couple for her support of LGBTQ causes.) The second half paid homage to the bachata, a traditional Latin dance that originated in the Caribbean. Family and friends also snapped photos in a vintage camper trailer provided by Michigan photographers Rooney & Company. “It was the hit of our wedding,” says Ferrer. The couple later received an album with pictures of all their friends capturing their happiness.
The night ended on a sweet note — literally. As guests left the wedding, they got a treat to take home: lavender-infused honey from the farm’s own beehives.