A destination wedding that was destined from the moment they met.
By Amy Gill
Photography by Northern Art Photography
Meet Lauren Wishnow of Huntington Woods and Jeff Warholik of Alpena …
Back in her college days at MSU, Lauren’s good friend Mike knew she was the perfect woman for his brother Jeff. After finally meeting at a party, she was instantly smitten, but Jeff was moving to Atlanta and the timing just wasn’t right.
The couple reconnected in 2012 through email, and the stars were aligned. Despite living on two different peninsulas, they have been together ever since. At the time, Lauren, 37, was teaching in Detroit, and Jeff, 40, worked in law-enforcement in the Upper Peninsula. “I felt like Jeff might be the one for me when we first met over 10 years ago,” Lauren said. “Once we reconnected, I knew we were meant to be.”
They were together long-distance until 2014 when Jeff finally convinced Lauren to say goodbye to Starbucks and Target and make the move upstate. The couple now resides in Sault Saint Marie, where they live in a beautiful Tudor-style home with their two dogs, Hank, a yellow lab, and Knox, a Wire-haired Pointing Griffon.
Jeff proposed last winter, and the low-key, outdoor-loving couple knew a destination wedding in Traverse City would be the perfect place to bring their families together from upper and lower Michigan. They took a trip to Traverse City to scout locations and “immediately knew what we wanted,” Lauren said.
Lauren, with input from Jeff and Lauren Bulliss from the Brengman Brothers Winery team, put the whole event together, working closely with their talented vendors to pull it off.
On Sept. 24, 2016, 165 guests gathered for the ceremony at the top of a hill among breathtaking views of the vineyard. After a “Rose” toast, guests made their way to the tasting room where hors d’oeuvres complemented the incredible vintages Brengman Brothers offers along with local craft beers.
Guests moved back outdoors for a tented dinner and, after heartfelt toasts and sentimental speeches, enjoyed dancing under the stars, delectable treats from Sweet Petites of Grand Traverse and finished off the evening around a roaring bonfire with s’mores.
“We had high expectations for the day, and it turned out even better than we could have imagined,” Laurens said. “Perfect 70-degree weather, incredible views, great wine, friends, family and the love of my life. Best. Day. Ever.”
Ceremony & Reception – Brengman Brothers Winery
http://brengmanbrothers.com/ 231 946-2764
Florist – Field of Flowers
Hair & Make Up – Memorable Occasions TC
DJ – Avatar Media
Photographer – Northern Art Photography
Caterer – Catering by Kelly
Dessert & Cake – Sweet Petites of Grand Traverse
Invitations – Minted.com