Waldenwoods Love Celebration with the Keller and Kus Families

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My massage therapist and I had been discussing her daughter's wedding for months before I told her I was a wedding coordinator, and I let her know if she needed anything I was available to her.  As the big day approached she invited me to meet the Bride to Be, her daughter Jillian, and during our meeting, we all agreed that I'd be their Day of Coordinator.  I was elated.

Every wedding has a special place in my heart, and the Keller/Kus wedding was no exception.  Their wedding and reception venue was absolutely spectacular.  Located in Howell, Michigan the Waldenwoods Resort and Conference Center is truly a "hidden gem"  (http://www.waldenwoods.com)  nestled behind a fully wooded area that boasts two unique outdoor, wedding ceremony sites and two indoor edifices for receptions.  The background for both sites is a picturesque lakefront.

What was truly "special" about the Keller/Kus (#BecomingaKus)Wedding Day was that the typical, unpredictable #Michigan weather didn't dampen the excitement of these lovebirds.  With overcast skies and rain all morning, the plan was to move the ceremony indoors as late as 30 minutes prior to the start time; however, approximately 20 minutes before, the rain subsided, the guests were seated in their chairs, which had been wonderfully hand- dried by the Waldenwoods staff, the acoustic guitarist was in place and the wedding processional began promptly at 4:30 p.m.

The rain held off during and after the ceremony.  Their photographer Halle Ann Photography (https://www.halleann.com) did an amazing job capturing  the most treasured moments that anyone who views the photos won't even know or realize the lack of sun.

Outside of the inclement weather (the rain resumed during the reception) the union of Jillian Marie Keller and Nathan Kus was a 5-star celebration.  The choices they made from the venue to the sparkler send off to the shuttle bus that transported their guests at the end of the night were fantastic!

I'd like to give credit to the following who contributed to this memorable wedding celebration:

1) The Wedding Officiant Mr. Todd Lipa (TLCeremonies Wedding Officiant) was a joy and pleasure to work.  His charismatic demeanor contributed to how he personalized the ceremony thus bringing me to tears  as he acknowledged the memories and spiritual presence of Jillian and Nathan's deceased loved ones.

2) The entire Bridal Party that withstood the wet and muddy walking conditions were dedicated to ensuring the day was perfect for Nathan and Jillian.  Look at the smiles on their faces!  They were a joy to work with, always willing to assist and do whatever was necessary

For anyone in the planning stages, consider these three suggestions:

1) Have your ceremony AND reception at the SAME venue, especially if there's a separate room/location for each.  It serves as a nice transition when your guests can literally walk from the ceremony site right to a cocktail hour, and then, when it's time they can be seated for dinner.  This cuts down on travel time for YOU and your guests.

2) Add some creative touches to your wedding ceremony.  I LOVE traditions, especially the unity candle or sand ceremony; in addition to the unity sand in Jillian and Nathan's ceremony, they also did a "wine box ceremony" where a bottle of wine and love letters written one to the other are encapsulated and saved for a later date, i.e. an anniversary.  (For more specific details go to:   https://www.brides.com/story/wine-box-ceremony )

3) Hire a shuttle service for your guests, especially if you're planning to serve wine and/or liquor.  Guests can celebrate and drink comfortably without worrying about driving under the influence, so hiring a shuttle service will ensure their safety.  The shuttle service can take guests back to a central location, such as a hotel or a designated person can be on hand to request Uber or Lyft rides to get guests home for the evening.

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Lorri Lewis is a 20 year Wedding Expert located in the metropolitan Detroit area serving as the Wedding Coordinator for Oak Grove A.M.E. Church since 2001 and serving Brides and Grooms throughout the state of Michigan, affectionately known as The DirectHer.  You can reach Lorri at lorri@thedirecther.com or via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @thedirecther.  Coming in December 2018 The DirectHer's Take podcast highlighting wedding industry professionals and real wedding stories and inspiration.


Lorri Lewis