I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI. I am currently living in Las Vegas but coming home for our wedding in June. I'd suggest Fredrick Meijer Gardens for an outdoor wedding. Check their website. Another alternative is a local park. My parents live in Caledonia, Michigan and I almost booked the building at Caledonia Lakeside park for the wedding. I decided on Sayfee's restaurant instead because I didn't want my whole family having to do the set up and clean up afterwards. The building is beautiful, though and it would be perfect for a small group.
There are many beautiful venues in the Grand Rapids area. Many of the hotels and restaurants downtown have river views. Meijer Gardens is wonderful as the previous person said. Most of the country clubs have beautiful patios and grounds...Centennial, Watermark, Thousand Oaks, Thornapple Pointe - and of course those places would be able to accommodate the group indoors should the weather not cooperate (and you need no membership). East Grand Rapids has beautiful areas around Reeds Lake. The Wege Plaza under the East Grand Rapids public library has a beautiful patio that overlooks Reeds Lake and I delivered a wedding cake there last summer. Good Luck!
Sandy Guthrie, Cake Decorator for Coco Charlotte Bakery
It's a bit north of Grand Rapids, but Townsend Park in Rockford is lovely. The cost about the same as a typical park in Grand Rapids- but it has much more privacy and is kept up very well. We considered the park before settling on a country club.
Good luck and congrats!
We are getting married at downtown at Calder Plaza in a few weeks - it's a very different location and I am so excited because it's very us! I would suggest taking a drive around GR if you have the time to check out some places - you can always ask - the worst that they can say is no. There is Lookout Park that over sees the city skyline, Aquinas has a nice garden area, there are covered bridges out in Ada/Lowell that are pretty. There are also Bed & Breakfast places in town that I'm sure would be accomodating and probably could even provide dinner. I did have some cousins just pick a place on the beach at sunset - it was very pretty and not crowded - so you could always do that. In Grand Haven I would suggest the side of the beach farthest away from the campground....or the other side of the channel (you can rent a cottage/house there on the lake and use the private beach that is included) especially with only 15 people you wouldn't even need chairs and you could stay on the beach for the week/weekend. Good luck!
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