Who here loves getting to take a peek at super unique venues they otherwise wouldn’t even know about? We sure do, and Rachel + Jay’s wedding at The Cheney Place in Grand Rapids, MI is exactly why. This spot comes complete with an iconic colorful wall, tons of unique furniture pieces, and an open, industrial space to say I Do. R + J only had to visit it once and find out that they could get ready, take photos, tie the knot, and celebrate with 175 guests all in one locale to fall in love. Get the full scoop with photos by Mae Photo Co. below:
Aren’t these teal and emerald bridesmaid dresses too good?! They didn’t go into planning with specific colors, but went for vibrant and saturated tones that inspired them—such as the teal they already use throughout their home. The jewel-toned flowers by Truer Design helped the design come together too!
Flowers in the bridal bouquet included anemones, celosia, orchids, tulips, scabiosa, protea, ranunculus, and hellebores.
Rachel explains, As we were getting married on Cinco de Mayo, we wanted a fun and eclectic, yet still moody and romantic wedding. We aren’t super traditional and we wanted the day to represent us. We love to eat (and cook!), so we had cilantro lime shredded chicken tacos and Vietnamese-style BBQ pulled pork sliders for dinner. We love to dance, so we made sure we hired a great DJ and requested that he play some of our favorite dance songs. We have really enjoyed living in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the last several years, which is home to many breweries and restaurants, so our bar featured some local beers (e.g. Founders Brewing Co.) and margaritas made with mix from one of our favorite restaurants (Donkey). On weekends we enjoy strolling to a local bakery (Nantucket Baking Co.), so we got our cake and desserts from there. We both like funny and quirky things, so we filled out our seating chart with characters from Harry Potter.
Alyssa of Mae Photo Co. had actually photographed two of her bridesmaids’ weddings, so they already knew they liked her style. Major bonus that they loved working with her!
The biggest hurdle that we overcame was not inviting children to the wedding, which resulted in some family tension. With having such large families, we made the decision to not invite those under the age of 13, as that would have increased our guest count by a lot. With this, we would not have been able to have the type of wedding that we envisioned. We hope that our family members understood!
Our advice to other couples would be to remember that it’s your day and it’s a celebration of the two of you! Do what feels right for you as a couple, regardless of whether or not it’s traditional, expected, etc. If you want to serve tacos and margaritas at your wedding, go for it! (We did and it was awesome.)
Their story… We started dating in 9th grade and got married after 13 years! Despite how long we’d been together, the proposal was actually a surprise. Jay tricked me into thinking that we got a last-minute free hotel room in Traverse City, Michigan for the weekend. Once we got there, we went to my favorite winery, got a glass of wine, and walked around the vineyards. After a bit, he downed the rest of his wine (yep, he was nervous!) and proposed. I believe the first words out of my mouth were actually “ohhhhh no”—not no to the proposal; I was just surprised to see him getting down on one knee! Of course I said yes.
Cheers, you two!
Photography: Mae Photo Co. / Venue: The Cheney Place in Grand Rapids, MI / Florist: Truer Design / Hair: Krystle Waivio Hair / Makeup: Wonderfully Made Beauty / Caterer: Kangaroo Kitchen & Catering / Desserts: Nantucket Baking Co. / Dessert Table Vintage Dishes: GiGi & LaClede / DJ: Wow Factor DJ / Bride’s Dress: Truvelle Bridal from Spring Sweet / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Earrings: Kendra Scott / Bracelet: Nadri / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Theia, Alice + Olivia, & Adrianna Papell / Suit & Accessories: Hugo Boss / Shoes: Aquatalia / Groomsmen Ties: J. Crew