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An Elegant Waterfront Wedding in Bay Harbor, Michigan

by Staff

Before JT Felix even met Jasmine Samani, he had a strong feeling she was going to be an important part of his life. While JT was a professional wrestler working at the Olympic training center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, his wrestling coach was dating one of Jasmine’s friends. JT’s coach told him all about Jasmine, who was a dental student at the University of Michigan at the time. A few years later, in August 2016, the two finally crossed paths while they were out in Ann Arbor. “Allegedly, I had been the ‘love of his life’ for those couple of years, but I was the one who walked right up to him and officially introduced myself,” Jasmine recalls. “It was a weird and special moment where I knew my life was going to change after meeting him.”

After a few months of dating, Jasmine wanted JT—who is from the West coast—to experience Boston, one of her favorite cities. “This was the trip where we really started to fall in love, and it turned into an annual December trip,” Jasmine reflects. Since the recurring visit held a special place in their hearts, JT knew he wanted to pop the question there. During their 2018 trip, while the couple was walking through the public garden, JT got down on one knee. “It was the best moment of my life up until the wedding day,” Jasmine exclaims. 

Once the pair began mapping out their special day, a global pandemic interfered with their plans. From supply chain issues to delayed mail, Jasmine and JT faced multiple setbacks. When they realized that the circumstances weren’t going to improve, they decided to postpone their wedding. “Once we decided to push our wedding back a year, we contacted all of our vendors to discuss and change the date,” Jasmine remembers. “Every single one of them was incredibly understanding and helpful throughout, and made the transition to our new date flawless.”

Despite the uncertainty, the twosome knew they wanted to get married in Northern Michigan. “I’ve been coming to Northern Michigan with my family ever since I can remember,” Jasmine shares. “I introduced JT to the area pretty early in our relationship, and he fell in love with it too. We ended up spending a lot of weekends up there while we lived in Michigan.” 

On August 14, 2021, Jasmine and JT invited 85 guests to Village Suites Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor, Michigan for their nuptials. “Since most of our guests were from out of town, we thought it would be cool to make it a little bit more of a destination wedding and introduce them to a place that meant a lot to us,” Jasmine explains. Keep scrolling to see all of the stunning details on their Northern Michigan wedding, which was planned by Cassy Rose Events and photographed by Laura Gordon Photography.

Since the couple wanted to swap vows on the lake, they painted their dreamy day in shades of dusty blue, muted pink, neutrals, and greenery. “Our goal was to lean into the natural environment without being trite,” Cassy Anderson of Cassy Rose Events says. “Our romantic color palette emphasized the surroundings, yet didn’t come across as too nautical.”

The night before the wedding, Jasmine and JT threw a welcome party at the bride’s family’s cottage on Walloon Lake. For the occasion, Jasmine donned a white tea-length gown with buttons down the front. JT sported a beige jacket with khakis and brown dress shoes. “There was a moment about halfway through our welcome party where I realized we had people from every stage of our lives here together to celebrate us,” Jasmine expresses. “Just to watch them talk to each other and even be in the same room was pretty amazing.”

To kick off the celebration, Jasmine popped Champagne in her bridal suite. While the bride got ready in white pajamas with ruffled trim, her bridesmaids wore matching button-up pajama sets. 

Jasmine enlisted her sister-in-law, a hair and makeup artist, to create her beauty look. “We discussed and nailed down exactly what type of hairstyle would still look like me but a little more formal,” Jasmine notes. “We went with slightly more modern old Hollywood-style curls with one side pinned back.” The bride also wanted to elevate her everyday makeup routine, so she chose subtle glam. A few coats of light pink nail polish and a spritz of Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell completed the beautifying process.

For the big day, Jasmine flaunted a strapless fit-and-flare lace dress with a trail of buttons down the back from Suzanne Neville. “It was probably the 20th dress I tried on,” the bride reveals. “I was with my mom and sisters, and it was the first dress that really felt like me. I didn’t want to change anything about it.” She topped off her look with a cathedral-length veil and Alexandre Birman ivory satin platform sandals.

Jasmine opted for minimal accessories–just a pair of diamond studs–which were a wedding gift from JT. 

The bride carried a bouquet of dahlias, garden roses, hellebore, ruffled tulips, and delphinium in champagne, pale peach, mauve, and ivory hues. She wrapped the assortment in silk ribbon.

A moment Jasmine will always remember? Sharing a sentimental first look with her brother.

JT dressed himself in a midnight blue tuxedo with a black shawl collar. “He googled what Daniel Craig wore as James Bond and designed it exactly based on that,” Jasmine says. For his own special touch, the groom selected a nautical jacket lining. Pearl button studs and cufflinks also echoed the locale.

Jasmine’s squad slipped on mismatched dresses in pink tones. “I compared swatches from multiple different companies, picked a few fabrics and colors that worked, and had them pick their dresses from those options,” she describes. “Each dress really showed off their style and personality, and I loved how they all looked together.” The girls held smaller versions of the bride’s bouquet.

JT had all of his groomsmen don classic black tuxedos. Each of them wore organic boutonnieres composed of small blooms, berries, and greenery.

A ceremony on the water was a necessity for the couple. “Being from the Great Lakes state, it made sense to have a waterfront venue to really show off some of the beauty of Michigan for our out-of-town guests,” Jasmine remarks. Since the scenery was the focal point, the duo didn’t want overpowering décor. Instead, a flower-lined aisle and a floral arch built upon the setting.

Jasmine made her way down the aisle, linking arms with her father, while a string quartet performed “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. “After rewatching videos, I realized my dad and I sprinted down the aisle,” the bride points out. “I think I was just so ready to get married. I couldn’t wait any longer.”

He knows me and JT and our relationship so well. We knew he was the right person for the job. It was really special and heartfelt.

Jasmine’s dad stayed at the altar to officiate the ceremony. “He knows me and JT and our relationship so well,” Jasmine shares. “We knew he was the right person for the job. It was really special and heartfelt.”

The pair also personalized their ceremony by writing their own vows, which was actually a last-minute decision. “The night before the wedding, JT told me he did in fact write his own, so I wrote mine at about 10 p.m. the night before the wedding,” the bride recounts. “I had been reflecting a lot that day, so it was easier than I thought it would be. It ended up being one of my favorite parts of the ceremony.”

After the duo shared their first kiss as newlyweds, they walked back up the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.

For the next phase of the festivities, everyone moseyed over to the tented reception. “I always knew I wanted an outdoor wedding, and as I began to do some research, I fell in love with sailcloth tents,” the bride mentions. Guests found their seats on an escort card wall surrounded by greenery. 

Beige taper candles and floral arrangements in pink, orange, and white tones lined the center of light blue table linens. The couple had each place set with gold-rimmed chargers, blue deckle-edged menu cards engraved with their monogram, and gold and black flatware. Hanging greenery and string lights towered over the setup.

The newlyweds served two signature cocktails: Hers was a passion fruit mule, inspired by a drink from their favorite bar in Boston, and his was a whiskey smash.

The bride and groom glided across a checkered dance floor to Ben Rector’s rendition of “You’re Still the One.” “[The song] had a new and relevant meaning to us after the pandemic and planning obstacles,” Jasmine notes.

Jasmine made sure to save a dance with her dad as well. They swayed to “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker. 

A few family members and friends honored the couple with speeches and toasts. For dinner, Jasmine and JT served fresh cuisine with ingredients sourced from Michigan. “We love to shop and eat locally, so we used local ingredients wherever possible in our menu,” the bride states.

The bride and groom chose three different monochromatic cakes for their sweet treat—one single-tier, one double-tier, and one triple-tier. “Two of the cakes were designed to reflect details of both of my dresses,” Jasmine remarks. “The third was a modern design to complement the other two.” They had each confection topped with blooms. 

Before the after-party, Jasmine changed into an Ines Di Santo satin strapless gown with an open back and a dramatic slit. “I had seen photos of it online and had to try it on,” the bride recalls. “Since we postponed the wedding, I wanted to add something fun into the mix and fell in love with it when I saw it in person.” She paired the getup with Giuseppe Zanotti platform heels.

The couple spent the rest of the evening dancing to live music and soaking up every second with their loved ones. Even though planning their wedding was unpredictable and challenging at times, having a strong support system made their special day unforgettable. “Trust your vendor team and try to let the small things go,” Jasmine advises. “Don’t lose sight of the point of it all. We had quite a few obstacles, and everyone kept telling us it would all be worth it in the long run, and they were 100 percent right.” 

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