The Warmth of Love: Chris & Gwen

Their Couple Story

From the bride: We met in high school during band camp in Aledo, Texas; Chris played the French Horn and I played the Trombone (go brass!). He noticed that I was wearing a Michigan State University T-Shirt. Several of his family members graduated from there, and my parents are both MSU Alums; I spent the first decade of my life in Michigan and Chris and his family have a cabin in Ludington, Michigan. So to find each other in a small-ish Texas city so far from the North is pretty spectacular…and we began dating a month later and never stopped! 🙂

My parents, sister, myself, and Chris took a family vacation to go camping in the summer of 2015. That following weekend, my family said goodbye to us [before our trip] to Michigan for Chris’ family reunion that is held every year (named the Waunburg). The day that we flew in, Chris, myself, and his family all met on the shore of Lake Michigan at sunset, where he pulled me aside and asked me to take the next step with him and get married! Since we try to be as eco-friendly as possible, we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding among the trees and nature. And, you certainly cannot beat Michigan’s forests; plus, most of our family lives there. We knew we wanted a Michigan forest wedding and when we saw Crystal Mountain’s outdoor Legacy Art Park, we knew that was where we wanted to share our day with everyone.

We both absolutely love Fall and Winter, so it was bound to be a cooler/cold wedding for sure! Eventually we agreed we wanted fall foliage with the beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows that the trees turn into. We began envisioning the rich, warm colors which Crystal Mountain was bound to have lots of. Plus, the venue is just gorgeous!

Whimsical Details

Two Become One

Our ceremony was certainly cold! We have lived in Texas for 10+ years, so we do not fair too well in the cold 55 degree temps anymore, but we certainly loved every minute of it anyway! Most of our families were able to make it to our early October celebration and gave us their support. Our wonderful photographers and ceremony musician really made the day feel special. Our officiant was so warm and made our ceremony unique to us. How can someone not feel the love on such a day?!

Endless Love

Celebrating the beginning of our marriage with family was the best part of our day! The florals were mango and Schwarzwalder Calla Lilies. They tied in beautifully with the Fall theme of the wedding and were so simple and elegant. We do not like to waste, and the florals represented us perfectly! We felt like callas were a sophisticated fall flower, yet looked fun – and we are all about having fun! Our wedding cake followed suit in keeping with the fall theme. Again, we went for simple and elegant with the decoration, but we wanted fall leaves to be worked in and we could not have asked for a tastier or more beautiful product! We got so many compliments on the delicious cake and decorations (while they lasted)! Since decorating for the holidays is a really important time for my family, I wanted to spread that love to the guests so they could have something to take home with them and see every Fall, if they wished. So, the mother of the groom used a program and a cutting machine to cut out leaves and boxes from cardstock. Chris and I glued them together and the end result was a beautiful decoration that could display our names and wedding date through a cut-out leaf onto a fall colored piece of paper. The top can also rotate and simply display a cut leaf. To ensure that our family had a great time, we gave everyone a tube of bubbles and a glass jar filled with fall themed M&M’s. Seeing bubbles float around while people were dancing was sure to put a smile on everyone’s face!


The reception was absolutely gorgeous and I truly feel like most of the family really enjoyed dancing, drinking and just chatting with other people they had not met before and family members they hadn’t seen in a while. Our DJ was spectacular and I had such a wonderful time dancing and watching others dance too.

The parts that really melted our hearts were the special dances, though. I loved dancing with my father and I am so happy that we got to dance to the Beatles (his favorite). The mother/son dance was equally as special. It warmed my heart to see the groom dancing with his mother, and she was so happy to have a more private dance with her son. Then the couples’ anniversary dance absolutely tore at my heart! It was beautiful seeing the couples stay on the dance floor for so long! My parents and Chris’ parents are still happily married after 25 and 35 years, respectively. The final 2 contestants were my great-aunt and uncle and Chris’ grandparents who ultimately won as they just celebrated their 60th anniversary! Watching the couples dance was magical. Then seeing interactions between the teenagers on Chris’ side and my side was hilarious! We won’t be letting them live that one down any time soon! 😉

In all, we could not ask for a more supportive family, and we are so grateful that they traveled to come see us and celebrate with us on our big day. It certainly would not have been the same without the family there to laugh and cry with us! Of course, a huge thank you to: Melissa (Lux Light Photography); our musician, Gael (Music by Gael); officiant, Rev. Corry Volchoff (Weddings Your Way); DJ Kim Payea (Rusch Entertainment); and Crystal Mountain Resort. Everyone was spectacular and made us feel so special.


Photographer:  Lux Light Photography//Event Venue: Crystal Mountain//Dress Store: Diane’s Bridal //Bakery: Kingsley Cakes//DJ: Rusch Entertainment//Floral Designer: Victoria’s Floral Design//

Submitted via Two Bright Lights