Jennifer Williams grew up summering at Northport Point in Northport, Michigan, and says she always hoped to get married there one day. That became a reality, when she wed Michael Dakers—six years to the day that they first met. “A guest mentioned that our wedding ‘was like a love song of my childhood,’” Jennifer says. “That’s exactly what we had intended. I wanted people to enjoy my favorite place as much as I have.”
To show off the best of Lake Michigan living, the couple threw a wedding weekend complete with a lobster feast, sausage roast, and silent disco. Guests stayed in lakeside homes, joined in group games like Capture the Flag, and dined on popular dishes from Jennifer’s hometown of Cincinnati. The bride collaborated with her mother, an interior designer, as well as the planning team at A Day In May Events to ensure the separate parties to feel like one big celebration. “We love music, entertaining, and dancing and that was woven throughout the weekend,” Jennifer says of the personalized festivities. “We paraded with Champagne from the wedding to the reception and even pulled off a huge dance party at our welcome party. It was amazing.”
Guests were welcomed to Northport Point with an illustrated map of the lakeside community. The invite featured an itinerary of the weekend's planned festivities, but guests also had downtime to partake in lakeside pastimes like floating and paddle boarding, as well as onsite sports like golf and tennis.
The weekend officially kicked off on Thursday evening with a Maine Lobster bake to honor Michael’s Maine roots. Tables were dressed in in-theme checked linens, and the rehearsal dinner menu included east coast beers alongside dark and stormys—and the lobster itself. The event's printed materials (cocktail napkins, reusable cups, and lobster bibs) featured catchy sayings with nods to the couple and the wedding setting.
The Boston-based couple met while playing on the same intramural soccer team, and it was Jennifer who made the first move.
On Friday afternoon, the couple embraced their lakeside setting with a "weenie roast" and lawn games, which led to food trucks and a late-night dance party at the wedding itself.
The main event took place on Saturday afternoon. For this occasion, Jennifer wore a strapless silk ball gown with floral appliqués by Oscar de la Renta. It was the first dress that Jennifer tried on, and she says it “felt like a whole lot of fun" the moment she tried it on.
Jennifer’s two bridesmaids wore white off-the-shoulder gowns paired with brightly colored heels.
Michael’s custom blue suit included a lining featuring photographs of Jennifer growing up. He paired the suit with blue suede loafers.
The bride’s father escorted her to the ceremony as she carried a bouquet of garden roses, delphinium orchids, brush ivy, ranunculus, and freesia.
The ceremony took place in a turn-of-the-century log chapel on the property. Jennifer wanted the chapel to speak for itself, decor-wise, but they did add overflowing arrangements of pastel garden roses and hydrangeas to the entrance and the altar.
After the ceremony, guests grabbed glasses of Champagne and paraded with a live band to the lakeside cocktail hour.
Guests were greeted by a balloon tunnel at cocktail hour, where they sipped spiked lemonade and tasted Indian-inspired appetizers.
Post-ceremony, Jennifer swapped her heels for her “sparkly gymmers." “I wanted to be able to really move around!” she says.
Keeping the tablescape to a simple light hue—using glass chargers, crystal stemware, and white plates—allowed the focus to stay on the couple and the stunning lake views. In fact, guests interrupted the reception by stepping outside en masse to take in the rather gorgeous sunset before dinner.
Guests dined on a three-course, Italian-inspired meal, which included burrata, cacio e pepe, and grilled chicken piccata. In place of cake, the couple served pies, cookies, and Cincinnati Graeter’s ice cream.
Dancing took place in a separate, transparent tent covered in white lanterns and a custom blue and white dance floor. The couple took their first spin to David Gray’s “You’re the World to Me” covered by their reception band.
The tented dance party turned into the silent disco afterparty complete with snacks, including a Cincinnati favorite: Skyline Chili. Adds the bride, “It was the obvious choice for late night!”
“Make it your own,” Jennifer says of wedding planning. “The best weddings are amazing because they feel so personal, from the food to the decor.”
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Northport Point
Wedding Planner: A Day in May Events
Officiant: Tim Koeth
Bridal Gown & Veil: Reem Acra, Oscar de la Renta
Jewelry: Van Cleef & Arpels
Bride's Shoes: Vanessa Noel
Makeup: Jesse Nemer of Todd Beauty
Bridesmaid Dresses: Likely
Engagement Ring: Pageo
Wedding Rings: Richter & Phillips
Invitations: Designs by Dawson
Paper Goods: A Day in May Events
Catering: Epicure Catering
Transportation: Great Lake Golf Cars
Accommodations: Northport Point
Videographer: I Do Films
Photographer: Kate Headley