Ralf & Tatiana got married on a gorgeous Saturday on the dock of her family home surrounded by a loving group of family & friends. As soon as I met Tatiana & Ralf, I knew their Lake Charlevoix wedding would be unique and fun. From the 462 step hike to the top of Avalanche Mountain for their first look to the Ceremony on the dock, the day suited them perfectly.
Personal touches made the day even more special. Tatiana’s mom made her dress, their officiant (The Dude) Andy Cluley made the ‘Ralfiana’ Marquis sign, Ralf’s sister-in-law Ingrid, who was unable to come from Germany with the rest of the family, knitted special “hand holding” mittens, and the wedding bands were designed by Ralf with etchings of their mountain bikes, the North star, and Lake Charlevoix.
It was a day full of laughter, tears and pure joy even through the mishaps. Like when the wedding dress unfortunately got caught in the bike chain as Tatiana chased down her runaway groom. And then there was that romantic row boat at sunset – when nobody thought to put the plug in 💦 🙃. All was taken in stride and will be stories and memories to share for a lifetime.
From the mountain top we made our way back to Tatiana’s family home. She describes it as her heart and soul place and a place Ralf has come to love almost as much as she does. Her sweet Mom did a quick clean and repair of the wedding dress while guests followed directions to the ceremony site – the deck closest to the water. The programs (fans) were filled with great details such as “grab a chair from the tent, but remember to put it back or you will eat dinner on the ground.”
“Beautiful Day” by U2 was the signal for the family & bridal party to dance their way down the “aisle”. It was a grand entrance for their closest family members, including Ralf’s father and brother’s family from all the way across the pond in Germany. The bride & her dad entered to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles as guests donned their custom designed sunglasses.
The ceremony was full of words of wisdom by none other than “the dude” Andy. A few happy tears, personally written vows, a pinky promise, and story time led to a “happily ever after” Kiss amidst the hoots, hollers, and clapping of the enthusiastic crowd. Everyone danced their way back up the aisle to “Best Day of My Life” where guests joined in to eat, drink and be Married!
The before dinner toasts were beautiful, heartfelt messages along with more laughter and tears. Right on cue guests “scored” how Andy did as officiant on a 0-10 scale, much to his surprise! Delicious food, complete with personalized bibs, was followed up with dancing on the deck, some intense games of cornhole, and a beautiful evening on the lake.
Tatiana & Ralf were meant to be together. Their quiet, humorous way and the obvious love between them is infectious. Ralf’s awesome sense of humor and Tatiana’s easy laugh bring joy, ease and laughter to everyone in their presence.
Tatiana and Ralf’s most valuable piece of advice to share with future couples? “Do what you want to do and not what you feel you have to do.” Great advice! Their day was fun, relaxed, energetic, and matched their personalities perfectly.
It was an amazing day and I am so grateful to have been there to capture this special chapter in your love story!
Congratulations Tatiana & Ralf!
Wedding Coordinator/Planner | Bride, Mother of Bride, and friend Nicole Cluley
Officiant | The Dude/Andy Cluley
Caterer | Catering by Kelly’s
Desert | Simply Sweet by Jessica
Florist | Upsy-Daisy Floral, Boyne City, MI
Rings | Designed by the groom Ralf
DJ | Experience DJ, Boyne City
Wedding Dress | Made by the mother of the bride
Shoes Converse All Stars 🙂
Ralfiana Sign | Andy Cluley
Venue | Family Home
Photographer | Cathy Fitz Photography