Baby’s Breath Weddings

If you’re in the midst of planning a wedding, you’ve probably seen photos and articles about a floral option that’s become quite popular: Baby’s Breath! We recently featured this fashionable trend in our Bridal Newsletter. Today we’re showcasing some photos of recent Castle weddings that featured this delicate affordable flower. From centerpieces to bouquets, and other striking décor details, enjoy these photos of Baby’s Breath as it lends a rustic elegance to each Castle wedding!

Baby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle FarmsBaby's Breath Wedding at Castle Farms

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A Real Wedding Feature: Our Dream Military Wedding!

We’re so excited to showcase the wedding of Castle Farms’ first annual Dream Military Wedding Giveaway winners! Andi and Dwayne were married at the Castle this past Friday, August 22nd. Back in February, Andi’s mother nominated the couple after hearing about Castle Farms’ ‘Salute to our Soldiers’ wedding giveaway contest. The couple’s wedding plans had been put on hold due to Dwayne’s two tours of active duty. Now, Andi and Dwayne are happily married, thanks to a collection of generous vendors who chose to participate in the wedding giveaway.

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding GiveawayCastle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding GiveawayNorthern Michigan wedding photographer Paul Retherford captured the entire celebration, from arriving at Castle Farms after hair was completed at Last Tangle Salon, to DJ Ryan Rousseau packing the dance floor at evening’s end. Pastor Jonathan David Mays of Charlevoix officiated at the intimate ceremony, and Mackinaw Shuttle Company transported the wedding party to and from their accommodations at Charlevoix Inn and Suites. The vibrant bouquets and boutonnieres were provided by Thyme Hill Designs. Guests enjoyed a fabulous meal prepared by Grey Gables Inn Catering, a scrumptious cake designed by Tas T Creations, and had a blast with the photo booth courtesy of Northern Michigan Shutterbooth.

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding GiveawayCastle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding GiveawayCastle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway
A fun fact from the wedding: Andi first met Petra, her maid of honor, when she came to live with Andi’s family as a foreign exchange student. When Petra returned to Slovakia, she told Andi the next time they saw each other would be for one of their wedding days. After hearing about the Military Wedding contest, Petra gathered as many friends as she could to vote for Andi and Dwayne. She wanted to see her host sister again! For the wedding, Petra brought along a Slovakian wedding tradition: first, the bride must throw down a plate; then, together with her groom, they pick up the broken pieces to symbolize their cooperation as a couple.

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding GiveawayCastle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding GiveawayCastle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway






We hope you enjoyed following Andi and Dwayne’s story during these past months. Castle Farms thanks all of our military personnel for their service to our country, and the family, friends, and loved ones who support them. The Castle will be hosting its second Dream Military Wedding Giveaway this fall!

Castle Farms Dream Military Wedding Giveaway

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Castle Farms Heroes Wedding Giveaway

Back in February, Castle Farms happily hosted the first Dream Military Wedding Giveaway contest. “A Salute to our Soldiers” featured local vendors teaming together, graciously donating their time and services to give one military couple the wedding they’ve always dreamed of. We’re excited to announce that the winning couple, Andi and Dwayne of Pellston, Michigan, will be hosting their Castle Farms wedding at the end of this month. We’ll be featuring the dream wedding vendors on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but we wanted to share a little bit about Andi and Dwayne, too!

The couple was nominated by Andi’s mother after she heard about the ‘A Salute to Our Soldiers’ contest. Andi and Dwayne had been planning their wedding, but had to put their plans on hold due to Dwayne’s two tours of active duty as an Army Calvary Scout. After spending a year in Iraq, Dwayne was again called overseas for a second tour of ten months in Afghanistan. Now the couple is finally together again. Thanks to the help of some very generous wedding vendors, Dwayne and Andi are ready to have the wedding they’ve been dreaming about since 2011!

Follow all the fun on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at #castleheroeswedding!

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Ten Gift Ideas for Bridesmaids

Time to go in a different direction for wedding inspiration: gifts for your loved ones! Today we’re featuring these great bridesmaid gift ideas which we found in our own Castle Farms Gift Shop. We’ll be posting ideas in the future for groomsmen and parent gifts, so be sure to check back frequently!

Castle Farms T Shirt Bridesmaid GiftCastle Farms Bangle Bridesmaid Gift

Castle Farms Photo Frame Bridesmaid GiftCastle Farms Purse Bridesmaid Gift

Castle Farms Formal Necklace Bridesmaid GiftCastle Farms Bracelet Bridesmaid Gift

Castle Farms Scarf Bridesmaid GiftCastle Farms Glass Necklace Bridesmaid Gift

Castle Farms Watch Bridesmaid GiftCastle Farms Floral Purse Bridesmaid Gift

  1. ‘Castle Bridesmaid’ T-shirts: perfect for those who’ll be sharing in your Castle Farms wedding day.
  2. Print Bangles: a fun accessory you can pick to match each bridesmaid’s personal style.
  3. Hanging Photo Frames: vintage meets eclectic with these cute friendship frames!
  4. Beaded Handbag: your bridesmaids will be so thankful to carry this cute clutch throughout the wedding day.
  5. Formal Jewelry Sets: gift your bridesmaids with matching jewelry sets they can wear with their dresses.
  6. Metal Branch Bracelets: with silver, gold or bronze to choose from, these bracelets are sure to be memorable keepsakes.
  7. Scarves: because every lady loves a new scarf! Try different colors in matching patterns for each of your bridesmaids.
  8. Castle Sea-Glass Necklace: to remember the enjoyment of your wonderful day together at a Castle!
  9. Casual Bangle Watch: a fun and functional accessory for each of your bridesmaids.
  10. Floral Purse: Each of your bridesmaids will cherish their own unique leather purse that can be carried for a long time to come.
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Look What’s Blooming!

Our Castle gardens are in full bloom, and we wanted to share the beauty with all of you! From roses to lilies to holly-hocks, the Castle grounds are full of gorgeous colors this season!

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A Fun-Themed Fundraiser!

Today, we wanted to highlight a recent fundraising event held here at Castle Farms a few weeks ago. St. Mary’s School of Charlevoix hosts their annual Northern Lights celebration at the Castle each June, and this year they really wowed attendees with a fun theme featuring Asian accents. Guests entering the room found Northern Lights Celebration - King's Great Hall at Castle FarmsAsian parasols hanging from the King’s Great Hall chandeliers. The food, all Asian-inspired, was served with complimentary chopsticks at each place setting. Another unique idea from the Far East: table centerpieces included votive candles wrapped in paper decorated with Asian symbols representing the words they stood for, plus vases filled with water and swimming goldfish! Here are a few pictures!

Northern Lights Celebration - King's Great Hall at Castle FarmsNorthern Lights Celebration - King's Great Hall at Castle Farms

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Fresh Takes on a Unity Ceremony – Part 3

And now, our last post for fresh unity ceremony ideas! These final two featured unity ceremonies have great meaning behind them, and you’ll have fun finding ways to make either even more unique to your personalities!

Tying a Knot and Hand Tying

Photo Credit: Northern Art Photography

Another unity ceremony idea: tie a knot while “tying the knot”. The bride and groom simply tie a knot, connecting two pieces of rope together. Their marriage is said to be as strong as the knot. Hand tying is a variation on this tradition. As a very obvious display of unity, hand tying (also known as “hand fasting”) involves the couple joining hands while the officiant wraps a rope around the couples’ hands, binding them together. 

Wine Box Ceremony

This ceremony is very unique and involves a bit of ‘pre-and post-ceremony’ design. Sometime before the ceremony takes place, the bride and groom will have written secret love letters to each other. During the ceremony, the couple place the letters in a box, accompanied by a bottle of wine. The box is then sealed and eventually buried until the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary, at which time they will dig up the box, drink the wine together, and read each other’s love notes. What a wonderful way to keep things exciting! And, should there be struggles in the marriage, the couple also has the option of opening the box early for an instant reminder of how and why they fell in love, and the true reason they got married.

And there you have it! From planting a tree, to creating a painting, to tying hands together, there are endless ways for the bride and groom to showcase their unity as they join together on their wedding day. Pick the unity ceremony that best represents you and your family, and provides you with a treasured memento for years to come. Or use your imagination and create your own representation of your two families joining as one as you start your life together!

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What’s Coming Up This Season!

Welcome to summer! The warm weather brings new and exciting events and tours at Castle Farms.

Gift Shop at Castle FarmsFirst, if you didn’t visit Castle Farms this spring, you are in for a big surprise: our Gift Shop has been newly expanded! Guests are thrilled with the new inventory, plus all the space the new Gift Shop offers as they enter the Castle. It is definitely worth a visit. With the new expansion, we’ve increased our inventory of Fairy Garden supplies as well!


Fairy Garden at Castle Farms Due to the growing popularity of these items, we’ve begun hosting Fairy Garden Make n’Take classes. Simply bring a container, then choose from an assortment of fairy plants and décor, and learn from an expert gardener on how to make your fairy garden a success. We have three Make n’Take classes coming up this summer: June 18th, July 8th, and August 13th. Classes start at 6:30 pm. Admission is free.


Antique Dress and Quilt Display at Castle FarmsOur 5th Annual Antique Quilt and Gown Display begins June 17th through the 24th. Over 25 wedding gowns dating from the 1750s to present day will be on display, along with an impressive collection of antique quilts dating back to the 1800s. Guests will be able to view the antique wedding gowns and quilts while taking a self-guided tour of the Castle buildings and grounds.


Story Time at Castle Farms We haven’t forgotten those little ones, either. The Castle will be hosting its annual Story Time parties again this summer. Bring your little ones out to the Castle, where they’ll hear stories, enjoy snacks, and take part in activities. The Castle’s Prince and Princess Story Time is scheduled for July 9th at 1:00 pm. The All Aboard! for Story Time will be held on August 6th at 1:00 pm. Admission is $5 per child.


Craft Show and Fiber Arts FestivalNew for 2014, we have combined our Craft and Fiber Festivals to make a three day long Craft Show and Fiber Arts Festival! Over 100 fiber artists and juried crafters will be showcasing and selling their one-of-a-kind works of art the 25th-27th of July. Admission is $5 a person (12 and under free) and the festival runs Friday 1:00 pm-7:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am-5:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am-4:00 pm.


Twilight Tour at Castle FarmsLast, we’re bringing back our popular Guided Tours, which are now open to the public. During the months of July and August, the Castle will offer historic guided tours once daily, beginning at 10:00 am. Tour the beautiful stone buildings and gardens escorted by one of the Castle’s professional tour guides, who’ll share personal stories about the past owners, plus the history behind Linda’s restoration. For those looking for a unique view of the Castle, try out a Twilight Guided Tour. Every Wednesday evening from mid-July through August at 8:00 pm, our tour guides will offer a guided tour of the Castle at dusk. Reservations are required for Twilight Tours, so be sure to call ahead. 231-237-0884 ext. 240.

We hope to see you at Castle Farms for one of these exciting events! Our Event Calendar is constantly updated, so check back often for new events. As always, the Castle is open daily for self-guided tours. Tour the grounds and gardens at your leisure while learning information about the nearly 100-year history of the property. Regular Monday through Sunday hours are 9:30am to 4pm; end times may vary on event days so please check our website to verify hours. Have a great summer!

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A Real Michigan Castle Wedding – Nautical Theme

Today we’re sharing some nautical wedding inspiration. Meet Amber and Joseph, who were married mid-May in the Queen’s Courtyard, with reception following in the East Garden Room. They carried the nautical wedding theme throughout the ceremony and reception. Enjoy these photos from Amber and Joseph’s wedding, courtesy of Paul Retherford Wedding Photography, as well as some words from the couple themselves!


“We were one of the many modern couples who met through an online dating site. Our first date was spent walking around Michigan State University’s campus and enjoying some delicious MSU Dairy Store ice cream. We enjoyed about a month of getting to know each other before Joe flew out to San Clemente, California for his 10th year of summer lifeguarding. Although we did get to visit each other once, it was a very long summer. It didn’t take either of us long to figure out that we had found our missing pieces in one another. Joe proposed on July 17th, 2013 overlooking the pier in San Clemente.”

Paul Retherford Nautical Wedding at Castle FarmsPaul Retherford Nautical Wedding at Castle FarmsPaul Retherford Nautical Wedding at Castle FarmsPaul Retherford Nautical Wedding at Castle Farms“Joe stumbled across Castle Farms while we were frantically looking for a wedding venue, knowing that we didn’t want to wait more than a year for our big day. The Castle’s breathtaking beauty, combined with an outdoor ceremony location, made it the perfect location for us. We also felt very content knowing that we could rely on the expertise and planning of the staff to ensure our day was flawless. We were not disappointed. After selecting our venue, the next big task was choosing a theme for the wedding. Between Joe’s love of water, all our weekends spent sailing together on his parent’s yacht, plus our many adventures together involving water, a nautical theme seemed to be the perfect choice for our wedding.”

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Fresh Takes on a Unity Ceremony – Part 2

Time to feature more unique ideas for a unity ceremony! So far, we’ve detailed the Water Ceremony and the Tree Planting Ceremony as alternative ideas to a Candle or Sand Unity Ceremony. In this post, we have two additional types of unity ceremonies you can incorporate into your wedding.

Rose Ceremony

Rose CeremonyElegant and romantic! We love the idea of a Rose Ceremony, which can easily be done in one of several ways. In the first example, the bride and groom each hold a rose, state a wish for their marriage, and then exchange roses. Here’s another way to incorporate this unique ceremony: two small bouquets of roses (colors may be switched out for a variation in hue) are combined in one large vase. The roses can be placed on a unity table for the duration of the ceremony. They can also be carried up by the maid of honor and best man, or the mothers, other family members, and even close friends, creating an even more personal unity ceremony.     

Unity Painting

Unity Painting - Northern Art Photography

Northern Art Photography

This one is perfect for couples wishing to incorporate some fun into their ceremony. You get to splash jars of paint onto a canvas in front of your guests! The groom uses one color of paint, and the bride another. Some couples have brushes and paint actual designs, combining the two colors into one; others simply take jars of paint, pouring them onto the canvas, creating drips and splashes out of the two colors. Lots of fun! Just be careful not to get paint on your dress!

Still looking for something different? We have a few more ideas to share, so watch our blog for part 3!

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