Living just a block away from Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Jenna and Daemian Koehler would pass by weddings pretty much every summer weekend. Seeing all the joyful brides and grooms at the downtown Petoskey venue, they knew that they wanted to have their own wedding there, too. So, when Daemian proposed, Jenna called Stafford’s right away to check on availability.
The only challenge was that Daemian manages a bike shop, and that makes his summers in the northern Michigan tourist destination really busy. As a result, the couple decided to get married in March.
In Petoskey, March is still very much in the thick of winter. And when Jenna and Daemian got married in March 2019, it was cold outside and there was still snow on the ground – lots of snow! But their wedding day dawned with bright blue skies and Stafford’s helped make the occasion a wonderful, memorable experience that a year later still brings Jenna tears of joy.
“I really wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together, but it turned out beautiful,” Jenna said.
“It was like wedding fairies were putting everything together. I still can’t believe how easy a winter wedding was.”
A lot of couples get engaged in the winter. In fact, the most popular time of year to get engaged is between the holidays and Valentine’s Day.
But have you ever considered a winter wedding?
Stafford’s hosts weddings at Stafford’s Perry Hotel and a couple miles outside of Petoskey at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. Each venue has unique character: Stafford’s Perry Hotel is close to downtown shopping and dining, while the historic Stafford’s Bay View Inn is a more intimate event space with only 31 rooms and no TVs or phones.
At both locations, Stafford’s provides full on-site event coordination with exclusive catering that lets brides and grooms focus on each other instead of worrying about multiple moving pieces of the party.
Plus, during the value season from November through April, weddings at Stafford’s get deep discounts on room rentals for the reception and guests get deals on lodging, too. At the Perry Hotel, larger weddings can reserve the gorgeous H.O. Rose Dining Room, and smaller parties can reserve the more intimate Reycraft Room, for 50-percent off. Or, you can reserve the entire Bay View Inn at special off-season pricing for the wedding of your dreams!
“What really sold us was the Rose Room with that huge view out over the bay,” Jenna said. “It’s just beautiful. And the price difference was a no-brainer.”
Not only is winter the value season for weddings at Stafford’s, but it’s a lovely time in northern Michigan that makes for distinctive and stunning wedding photos. See just how perfect a winter wedding at Stafford’s can be…
One of the unique things about Jenna and Daemian’s winter wedding is that instead of lots of flowers, the ceremony and reception featured natural items for decorations.
Jenna had her bridesmaids collect sticks, stones and pinecones in the months leading up to the wedding.
“We both love the outdoors and are very into outdoor adventures,” Jenna said. “All our decorations were from the outdoors. I really wanted to bring our love of the outdoors into our wedding.”
Mutual love of the outdoors is actually what brought Jenna and Daemian together. When Jenna moved to Petoskey for a teaching job, she stopped at High Gear Sports to ask for recommendations on where to ride her bike. That happens to be the shop where Daemian works! He took time to highlight a map of different roads and routes for Jenna to ride.
High Gear Sports turned into Jenna’s go-to bike shop, and she visited quite a few times over the next few weeks for help with mechanical issues. After a few months, Daemian finally got the hint and asked her out.
“Luckily, I had a spoke that was going through the rim of my tire and I kept getting a flat,” she laughed. “It worked out really well!”
When Daemian proposed, it was on a hike at Sleeping Bear Dunes. They took a break under a tree on top of a dune, and he popped the question. It was a beautiful view and a perfect day, just like their winter wedding at Stafford’s!
Getting married a block from where they live at a place they often see is special to Jenna and Daemian because the excitement and happiness of that day can be recalled so easily.
“Stafford’s Perry Hotel will always have a special place in our hearts,” Jenna said. “You can look out (from the dinner table) and see all of your friends and family celebrating your wedding. Everyone was just so joyful and loving, and to have all of that in one room it was like magic.
“It was amazing to have our wedding at Stafford’s.”
Start planning your winter wedding at Stafford’s.