On one very special December day, Courtney and Tim went to the beach and walked along the boardwalk. Courtney explains, “At the lookout point of the boardwalk, Tim had set up apple crates and candles. He dropped to one knee and the rest was history. It was pretty special and most definitely a well-hidden surprise. I had no clue it was coming!”
The two spent over a year enjoying being engaged before they started planning. “I was 19 when he proposed, and I knew I wanted to wait a little before the wedding,” Courtney explains. “My mother-in-law was the one who helped me pull the planning together. She’s a true magic-worker when it comes to planning events.”
Courtney knew one thing--she wanted an outdoor ceremony, and she got one! Inspired by Pinterest and photography and armed with experience from friends and family, Courtney planned the wedding of her dreams. She fell in love with her venue, Kuyper College, for many reasons. “I had been there for a wedding before and liked it,” she explains. “They had a great outdoor space for the ceremony, as well as a beautiful chapel that would have served as our back-up ceremony location. It is also less than a mile down the road from Tim’s parents’ house, which is where we got ready the morning of. It was so convenient to have our home base so close to the wedding location.”
When it came to the decor, bright florals were Courtney’s starting point. “To me, there is nothing more striking than rich jewel tones in a bouquet,” Courtney says. “I also knew I wanted Tim to be wearing navy blue because it brings out his eyes and complements him so well. The bridesmaids' dresses were the most challenging to pick. After shopping around and finding nothing, my mother-in-law offered to use her amazing sewing skills to custom-make all the girls’ dresses in a color that I loved! It was a light, dusty blue that contrasted well with the navy and complemented the bright florals. Gold was the accent color and it added just enough warmth and richness to the palette.”
There’s no doubt Courtney, Tim and their families put a ton of effort into the wedding planning and decorations. Courtney explains, “Tim and his dad made our altar, which turned out so beautifully and gave the ceremony just a hint of a boho touch. I personally hand-lettered the photo backdrop that our guests used for pictures, and the mustard sofa that sat in front of it was actually made by Tim’s great grandpa about 100 years ago. I also hand-lettered all the invitation envelopes, which took about 12 hours and was so worth it! My favorite personal touch of the day was the moment when I surprised Tim with his dream surfboard. I worked secretly with his favorite surfboard shaper, Tim Folkert, to create Tim’s dream board. He never thought he’d be able to own his own Migration and I couldn’t wait to give him the best gift ever. I even got to sign it and put our wedding date on it before it was glassed.”
Courtney found her beautiful dress at Becker’s Bridal in Michigan. Courtney explains, “I needed something off the rack because I didn’t have enough time to wait for something to be ordered in. I had no idea what I was looking for, and my Pinterest board went out the window after I got in the store. The dress I ended up with was beyond perfect, although slightly more classic than I thought I would get. It fit like a glove even in the store. Most importantly, it made me feel confident and beautiful. I had my seamstress make detachable drop-sleeves to give it a little more of that boho look I was going for. I LOVED my dress!”
What We Love
In addition to the extra special touches this couple added to their special day, Courtney used her skills as a barista to make the cold brew iced coffee that her guests raved about. She also kept all the flowers Tim had given her since they had started dating and used those in glass frames for decorations. “It was such a sweet touch and he had no idea that I was saving those,” she says. Another big hit? The taco bar! She says, “Our chef, Jeff Bettig, works wonders in the kitchen.”
Advice From the Bride
Courtney says, “Delegate tasks! As much as you may have the urge to plan every single detail–you need to let some of it go and let the people you trust help you! Spend more energy enjoying the time you get to be celebrated by your family and friends, and spend less energy wasting that time away by worrying. In fact, the less little details that you are aware of, the less chance you’ll realize if something doesn’t go as planned on the wedding day. It’s a win-win!”
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