By Patti Samar
Jenifer and Kyle McHugh of Grand Rapids knew their love and love story were special. That is why they traveled to 12 different wedding venues all over the state before settling upon Solitude Links Golf Course and Banquet Center in Kimball Township. The most surprising catch? Neither one of them has ties to the Blue Water Area and had not previously attended an event there.
“We knew the ‘feel’ we were looking for,” said Jen. “It was pretty, and it was ‘us.’”
Just like Jen and Kyle, it was a match that was meant to be.
Who Planned Your Wedding?
Jenifer planned the wedding, though she had a lot of help from the staff at Solitude Links. “I used a lot of local vendors,” she said. “Jennifer Hollenbeck at Solitude Links knew my vendors and they had worked together before. She knew where each one would want to be set up in the hall and that helped a lot with planning the room set up.
“I did a lot of research on my own, but she acted in that wedding planner role for a lot of things.”
Planning a Destination Wedding:
Though Jen and Kyle live in Grand Rapids, both grew up in the metro Detroit area. However, they didn’t want their wedding guests to travel. So, they booked rooms at several local hotels and also used a local transportation vendor as a trolley service so no one would have to drive from the reception venue to their hotel.
“I didn’t want people drinking and driving,” she said.
Saying Yes to the Dresses (& Suits):
“I allowed all of my bridesmaids to pick a dress of any style in a particular color,” said Jen. “I didn’t dictate what shoes, either. I wanted them to wear shoes that were comfortable and that they could use again. We also had the guys buy suits instead of renting tuxes. It was cheaper and they can wear them again.
“We had bridesmaids and groomsmen of all shapes and sizes and I wanted them to feel comfortable and beautiful in their dress.
“We wanted it to be about them as much as it was about us.”
Do What is Right for You & Your Family:
“Everyone tells you not to have your wedding on a holiday, but we picked a Friday over the Fourth of July weekend. It was cheaper on a Friday and for our family, it was easier to do it on a holiday weekend.”
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