"You two are professional dancers? That means you're probably going to have a kick butt wedding reception at Frederik Meijer Gardens!"
Those were some of my first comments to Cassie as we discussed her wedding day over the telephone. She and Jeff planned their Grand Rapids wedding at Meijer Gardens, though they both live in Champaign, IL. Jeff is originally from the Grand Rapids area, but Cassie is from China. The two met while at college and became ballroom dance partners. They are both now working in Illinois and moving toward the title of professional ballroom dancers.
The day began at Faith United Methodist Church. The ceremony was beautiful and because Cassie's parents were granted permission to travel to the USA, they were able to attend their daughter's wedding. There were special moments throughout the day as Cassie's mom was able to help her get ready and Cassie's father was able to give her away. Because they don't speak English, this meant the formal events throughout the day, including the ceremony, were spoken first in English and then translated into Chinese. Even the programs included both languages for Cassie's family.
Following the ceremony, we were able to use the beautiful grounds of the church as the backdrop for family photos as well as wedding party photos. Following formal portraits, we headed over to Frederik Meijer Gardens for a few minutes in the English perennial garden, where the beautiful Meijer Gardens Conservatory dominated the skyline and created a wonderful backdrop.
When it comes to folks who are on there way to becoming professional ballroom dancers, you can imagine they have quite a few friends that dance as well. That's why they ended up reserving the largest non-competition dance floor possible at Meijer Gardens. Following dinner by The Gilmore Collection, Jeff and Cassie headed downstairs to change into their dance competition attire. They re-entered their reception and their first dance was a waltz choreographed by them and accompanied by a cello and harp. Following their first dances, they had a friend teach a lesson and fill the floor up with folks who could now tear it up! The evening's DJ was one of the leading ballroom competition DJs, Kevin Guy, who made sure the floor was full throughout the evening.
Wedding Ceremony: Faith United Methodist Church Wedding Reception: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Catering: The Gilmore Collection Wedding Cake: Nantucket Baking Company Flowers: New Design Floral - Ludema's Wedding Dress: Michelle's Bridal - Champaign, IL Bridesmaids Dresses: Dress BarnHair Stylists: Hairacy Men’s Suits: Mens’ Wearhouse DJ Services: DJ Kevin Guy Chair Covers: Baker Tent Rental