Wedding Venue Blog | The Veranda
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Michigan Wedding Season Wraps Up

Well folks, another wedding season is in the books! Our little corner of Southwest MI is putting outdoor venues to rest. It’s always bittersweet to look back on our season – so sad to see it go, yet so ready for a little downtime with our families!

What can we say, 2018 was an amazing, beautiful, fun, and crazy-busy year – and we loved every minute of it. We are always so humbled and honored to get to know such fun and unique couples. We truly hope we guided them through their


So on that note, we’ve compiled a list of lovely couples and hard working vendors who shared with us three words that sum up 2018.

None of our crew and the awesome vendors we work with would be here without our couples so let’s start there!


Janet + Alex :: June 2018



Claire + Brandon :: September 2018



Lindsay + Mike :: August 2018



Ana + Derek :: July 2018



Now on to our amazing partners & vendors! I have to say, this is a hard working, dedicated, and creative group of professionals. We’ve loved the opportunity to work alongside them this past year and here is how they’ve summed up the 2018 wedding season. Just overlook the fact that some had difficulty following my 3-word guideline 😉


Autumn :: White Space Events



Stephanie :: 1928 Planning Co.



Danielle :: 1928 Planning Co.



Melissa :: CK Catering



Tim :: Music Unlimited



Anna :: Flowers by Anna



Judy :: Beverage Specialists



Mike :: Beverage Specialists



Amy :: Coastline Studios



Tim :: Bit of Swiss



From all of us at White Space Events, to our couples and vendors alike, CHEERS on an amazing 2018!

Photo Credits (In order of appearance)

430 Studios

Tifani Lyn Photography

Alison Kae Photography

Timothy Paul Photography


Veranda Weddings: Liza & Nathan

Liza and Nathan were married at the Veranda on September 22nd of 2018. Here is a simple summary of their spectacular event.



The photographer was Evelyn Vaughn Photography.



There were six groomsmen



and six bridesmaids.



The slate grey suits complemented the wine colored dresses.



Florals were done by Dee Mitchell with Elements of Elegance Event Planning and Floral.



The boutineer’s purple shade matched the bridesmaids’ gowns.



Their rooftop ceremony began at 5:00pm.


Liza was escorted by her father. The song was Can You Feel the Love Tonight.


Details on the end of the ceremony chair rows



And they were married!



The reception location is directly underneath the ceremony.


They chose round tables for their guests with specialty linens, rented from a friend.

The dinner service through CK Catering was a buffet style.

Each place setting has a small box of chocolates for the guest.



The centerpieces included framed table numbers, pillar candles in three heights, tea light candles, and florals in decorative vases.



Cocktail tables lined the walkway and the garden area.



They chose to have a small cake to cut, but save to take home after the initial tradition for photos. 

For everyone else, there were individual desserts in martini glasses.



The bride and the groom sat at a long head table with their wedding party.



Coordination was done through 1928 Planning Company.

Lighting design was done by Schades of Light.


Veranda Weddings: A Series of Moments: Part 1

To be perfectly blunt, being a wedding professional is hard (shout out to all the amazing Southwest Michigan wedding vendors!). We work long hours, in all weather, at a fast pace, and under an immense amount of pressure because we are entrusted to handle our clients’ And yet, here we are – many of us for years upon years – still putting in our all. So a sane person would ask why. Why do we give so much of ourselves to pull off spectacular events? The answer is in the simple, individual moments of each and every wedding we work. From the first moments of getting ready to the last crazy moments of the party – we love it all. As a company, we have been a part of over 500 weddings to date and each one of these moments still makes us smile, still makes us tear up, still makes us believe in the power of love. 

This blog series is meant to give you a glance into the world of weddings from our point of view – each moment that comes together to make the experience as a whole. And we have to say – the view is pretty sweet. 

First up: A Look at

“Getting Ready”


Veranda Weddings: A Series of Moments: Part 2 coming soon!

As always, reach out if you want to create your own Series of Moments at The Veranda!

Real Wedding: Raven & Daniel’s Michigan Beach Wedding

Raven + Daniel

July 7, 2017

The Veranda

The amount of amazing photos from Raven & Daniel’s July beach wedding is almost overwhelming – I could hardly narrow them down to a few favorites for this post! Everything about this couple and their day was just beautiful! We are all still swooning over Raven’s perfect lace and beaded dress that had a soft blush underlay. It was a perfect, subtle alternative to the traditional white wedding dress. And she

Raven & Daniel were married at Tiscornia Beach overlooking the St. Joseph Lighthouse on a picture perfect day. These photos capture how Lake Michigan almost looked tropical with bright blue water and rolling whitecaps. The couple incorporated a “promise box” into their vows and the ceremony was filled with such heartfelt moments. Their photographer, Cellardoor Weddings, even captured Raven’s walk with her Father down the pier to meet Daniel. You can also check out their blog post of this beautiful wedding here!

Their reception reflected the couple’s colors of navy, silver, white and gray. Crisp all white linens gave The Veranda a fresh feel while the silver sequined linen on the cake table added the right amount of sparkle and highlighted their fruit adorned naked cake!

Raven and Daniel completed the tablescapes with personalized beer bottles and hashtag cards at each setting to get guests ready to party and record all the fun. The look on their faces as they walked through their sparkler send off proves it was a day filled with so much love and laughter. We are so grateful to have shared these moments with them.

To get the full scope of how amazing this Lake Michigan beach wedding was, check out this video of their day from Coastline Studios!

Raven + Daniel

Congratulations once again Raven & Daniel!

Interested in a Lake Michigan beach wedding? Let us know and we’ll get you info!

Vendor Rundown:

Ceremony: Tiscornia Beach, coordination by 1928 Planning Co.

Reception: The Veranda

Catering: CK Catering

Photography: Cellardoor Weddings

Videography: Coastline Studios

Florist: Scarlet Begonia Floral Design

Baker: The Flour Shop

DJ: Kaleidoscope Events

Lighting Decor: Schades of Light

Officiant: Spirit Link Wedding Ceremonies

You’re Engaged!! How To Get Started Planning

Happy Engagement Season!

From now until just after Valentine’s Day the number of engaged couples will jump dramatically. It’s such an exciting time for all the new fiances out there! As wedding professionals, we share your excitement and seeing as most people only plan one wedding, we’re guessing your new status comes with a whole host of questions. With all the flurry of activity and emotions that surround a new engagement, it’s easy to get focused on some of the more “fun” parts of wedding planning. Wedding style, decor, colors, dresses, etc are definitely important but below we’ve put together a list of some of the less-glamorous parts of wedding planning that should be top on your priority list right now. 

So without further ado – our top 5 most important tasks for the newly engaged!


Narrow down some of the most important wedding details. Starting to research wedding locations can be a daunting task – there is just so much to choose from! So start with the broad ideas – will you get married near home? Will you have a destination wedding? Will the wedding be an intimate event with a few close friends/family? Do you need space for 300 of your closest friends? Narrowing down the location and sizing options will help you begin your venue search with a more manageable list of options.


Start your wedding research using the smartest resources. The vast majority of wedding research takes place online these days. It’s best to know where and how to look for what you want. While a general Google search is going to get you some results based on proximity, it may not give you all of your options. Consider  picking out a few keyword details that will help you target more of what is useful to you. For example, many couples that get married at The Veranda are hoping for a beach wedding. Searching terms like “southwest MI beach wedding” will get you better results based on your preferences. If you have a style in mind already – try searching with a general location and style paired together – like “rustic MI weddings”. And if you don’t know already, you are about to find there are a billion websites devoted to helping you find vendors, styles, etc. The big sites dominate – like The Knot and Wedding Wire. Both are great sites but again – when searching through the pages and pages it’s important to filter based on your preferences. Many sites like this will show you results based first on how much a vendor pays to be there. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means you may not see the perfect fit for you on the first page of a search.  So get those keywords working for you to bring some of the smaller but equally amazing vendors to the forefront of your searches.


Pick dates in your calendar for venue visits now! We think choosing your venue should be the first vendor you lock in (and not just because we manage venues!). Spaces book up quickly – much faster than most people expect. We recommend you not pick a wedding date until you have a venue you love and can check their availability. You don’t want to choose a date and fall in love with a venue only to find out you have to change plans. It’s just less stressful to pick the venue first! Once you have some of your venue options narrowed down, set aside some dates to visit the venues. If you have time with your fiance, friends, family, etc. set aside for visits, you will be able to set tours with venues as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get in to tour a place, the better chance you’ll have for securing a date before someone else steals it away!


Educate yourselves on what to ask while touring venues. Venues are structured in a million different ways – pricing, inclusions, bar services, etc. This makes comparing apples to apples very difficult for you so it’s important to know what to ask to get the answers you need to make the right decision for you. If you are the spreadsheet type (which I love!) it can be helpful to create a spreadsheet with the venues listed you plan to tour and the categories of questions to ask so you can easily see if you have missing information. We’ve created a template that you can download here to help along the way!


Once your research is done and your venue is narrowed down, it’s time to talk dates. Begin thinking about how the weather, holidays, work schedules, etc will figure into your date choice. You should have your venue’s availability already so start by blocking off all dates that won’t work. Cross out dates the venue is booked, dates that conflict with your work schedule, dates that other friends/family members are having weddings, etc. More than likely, this process will leave you with only a handful of dates that will work. Run those dates by key family members and friends and then make the jump to lock your date in!

Now, you can actually take some time to enjoy being engaged knowing you are already on the right track to stress free wedding planning.

If you want even more advice on what to do next or if The Veranda may be on your list of venue visits – don’t hesitate to connect with us!

Real Wedding: Amanda & Jimmy’s Lakeside Wedding

Amanda + Jimmy

September 9, 2017

The Veranda

Amanda and Jimmy celebrated with an intimate group of friends and family right along the shore of Lake Michigan. Although in September, their lakeside wedding had a distinct beach feel. Between decor and the bridesmaids dresses – the couple brought in shades of blush, mint, juniper, and teal. We ended up with a beautiful September day and Amanda’s lace detailed dress fit perfectly with a lakeside wedding. This is a great example of how to get that beach feel without needing to wade through sand! Had this been a beach ceremony we wouldn’t have been graced by these shoes! Gorgeous!

This couple kept reception decor simple and classy. All white linens kept the focus on the bright florals in mason jars and the Lake Michigan view. Personalized mints were the favor of choice at each place setting and mercury glass votives added a romantic glow.

The couple chose a single layer traditional cake to cut along withe cupcakes for dessert. Although not seen in the photo – there were even graham cracker crumbs on the dessert table as “sand” to keep with that lakeside feel – so creative!

Amanda & Jimmy made sure their guests were taken care of which is always appreciated when guests are traveling so far to be with you! Their stationary suite included local accommodations and guests were served pre-ceremony beverages on The Veranda rooftop overlooking the lake.

This wedding was filled with special moments like Amanda’s first look with her Dad along with a live musician!

And of course, no Veranda wedding would be complete without some photos by the lake and lighthouse!

Throughout the night it was obvious that this couple just enjoyed being together and truly appreciated all who were there to celebrate with them. They even treated guests to the luxury of local favorite – DiMaggio’s Pizza!

Congratulations Amanda & Jimmy! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding with us!

Vendor Rundown

Reception Venue: The Veranda @ The Whitcomb

Ceremony Venue: The Veranda Rooftop

Coordination: 1928 Planning Co.

Catering: CK Catering

Bar Service: Beverage Specialists of Southwest Michigan

Rentals: 1928 Planning Co. (lounge furniture, sweetheart table loveseat)

Florist: Mother of the Bride (wow!!!)

DJ: Drew Behringer

Photographer: Karrn Frost Photography

Desserts: Mimi’s Cupcakes

Lighting Decor: Schades of Light


Love Amanda & Jimmy’s laid back lakeside wedding vibe?

Let us know your vision and we’ll work to make it happen!

Contact The Veranda


Seasonal Wedding Details

Even though Veranda wedding season is only 6 months long, couples can still reflect the changing seasons with wedding details. We love the little ways you can incorporate your favorite time of year into your wedding style. Check out some of our favorites!


Floral arrangements change naturally with the season. When deciding which blooms and greenery to use, keep in mind the time of year you will be celebrating. Not all varieties are available throughout the year. Spring wedding floral arrangements are some of our most loved! They are often soft colors like blush and white and reflect the freshness of the season.


Photo opportunities also often change with the season. We have the good fortune to be located right on Lake Michigan! No summer wedding is complete without those coveted beach wedding photos. Even if you choose not to have your wedding directly on the beach, amazing photos are only steps away!


We don’t really hide our love of all things dessert! With fall weddings, we see some pretty spectacular donut and pie displays. If you are hosting a fall wedding and are right on the edge of chilly weather, a donut paired with a spiked hot cider will make sure your guests feel warm and cozy regardless of the temperature.

Wedding Colors

Although we are seeing couples edge away from “set” colors to represent their wedding style, we almost always see couples working off a color palette. And color palette’s are an easy and effective way to incorporate the season into your day. We see a lot of aqua and pink in the warmer months and the colors tend to be more bold for fall weddings.

While all of these little touches can make your wedding fit the season, keep in mind; this is your day! If you like deep reds in July, go for it! If you want a beach feel in September, make it happen! Your wedding style should always speak to your personality regardless of date! 

Photo Credits (in order of appearance)

Tina Rae Photography

Karrn Frost Photography

Cellardoor Weddings

Gingertown Photography

Tina Rae Photography

Allie Siarto Photography

Laurenda Marie Photography

430 Studios



Wedding Season 2017: So Much to be Thankful For!

So it’s been a minute (or three) since we’ve dug into all things social at The Veranda and with a new year approaching we plan to focus on getting out all the loveliness we’ve witnessed lately.

To kick it off, in the spirit of being grateful, we’d like to share a few snapshots of what we are so grateful to have shared in our most recent wedding season. Keep in mind…this is just a quick peek at the previous year. As we gather photos, stories, tips and resources we’d love to include any past Veranda couples! If that happens to be you, don’t be afraid to send us some highlights of your most special day! 

And so we begin – so very thankful for:

Rainy Day1DessertsBear HugsFeel GoodDance MovesThose LooksLittles

You feel the love now, right? Don’t worry – there’s more to come!

Wedding Photo Credits:

“Sunset”: Brian Wolfey Photography

“Desserts”: Tina Rae Photography, 1928 Planning Co. (Rentals)

“Bear Hugs”: Karrn Frost Photography, Schades of Light (Lighting Decor)

“Feel Good”: Brian Wolfey Photography

“Dance Moves”: Tina Rae Photography

“Those Looks”: Brian Wolfey Photography

“Littles”: Karrn Frost Photography

Wedding Ideas – What Made Our 2013 Love List!

The Veranda hosts close to 50 weddings each year and we love recognizing “stand out” moments of the season to share with our fans! We’ve created an annual tradition of sharing what we’ve coined as our Love List for each wedding season and being right around Valentine’s Day, we thought it was only fitting to make this post today!

S’more Bars

A few of our beautiful fall weddings this past year added a fun dessert element to their reception – S’more Bars! A buffet line full of a variety of graham crackers, chocolates and marshmallows added a wow-factor and gave guests a truly unique experience! It’s so fitting for our outdoor venue on a fall evening – who wouldn’t want to top it off with a homemade s’more?

Collage 1


Wedding Guest Flash Mobs!

When we hosted our first wedding of the 2013 season, we witnessed (and loved!) our first wedding guest flash mob! Throughout cocktail hour, small groups of guests would sneak off and teach others the stellar choreographed routine to perform in front of the new Mr. and Mrs. It occurred during dinner service – such an unexpected time of night! – and the look on Becky & Eric’s faces say it all! It was a great group of family and friends that helped them celebrate their wedding day!

Collage 3


New debuts from Schades of Light!

Anyone looking to do something different lighting-wise in The Veranda is something guaranteed to get our attention! To see new ideas come to life is an exciting time for not only the couple but for us and our close friends and lighting vendor, Schades of Light! In early spring, Lindsay & Elliott wanted to add a lighting element in our garden patio to add a touch of nighttime elegance for guests to enjoy during the reception. In addition, they had large black lanterns suspended from The Veranda’s sunken section to not only add lighting but also compliment the wrought iron that is showcased in The Veranda. How cool, right? Their wedding has become a source of inspiration for Schades of Light and couples for 2014 that want to recreate the same look in the space!

Collage 5

{ Top Photo: Erica + Ryan | Photography courtesy 430 Studios } { Bottom Photo: Lindsay + Elliot }

Color Mania | Chiavari Chairs | Lounge Furniture

This year marked a number of our Veranda couples looking to make a statement by either embracing colors at the reception, adding chiavari chairs for an elegant look, and renting The Veranda’s lounge furniture for the garden area! What do you think? Weren’t their ideas a complete success? We love to push the boundaries here and see how versatile The Veranda can look – it’s such a blank canvas just waiting to be transformed!

Collage 6

{ Photo Credit –  Top Left | Karrn Frost Photography, Bottom Left | Luna Dulce Photography, Bottom Right | SJ2 Photography }

Cute Cakes

Yes, we have a sweet tooth and yes, we love to talk about cake! Fun and unexpected cake decorating details, four-tier cheesecake wedding cakes, and cake cutting pies instead of traditional cake! Had to share – and always love seeing the couples’ personality when it comes to the desserts.

Collage 2

Foodie Love

We love cake and of course we love food too! We’ve really enjoyed seeing the transition of new food trends at receptions – especially stationed food and the live interaction the caterers have with your guests. Below you’ll see CK Catering‘s mashed potato martini bar with all the fixins, pad thai station, as well as walkaway salads served in a cosmo glass.

Collage 4

{ Photography courtesy Steven Kowalski Photography }

We look so forward to seeing our 2014 couples tie the knot and seeing who makes the list for our Love List 2014! Stay tuned!

Cheers to 2014: Wedding Bar 101

One of the most common misconceptions about the wedding bar service is not thinking that it will be something your guests will remember. From what we’ve seen at the 150 weddings we’ve hosted at The Veranda, the bar stands out just as much as the food (and its service!) Rest assured – we’ve got the hook up on all things bar for your wedding day! After picking the brain of one of the most talented bartenders we know, Sharon Montgomery of Lil Fox Bartending (she’s the bomb!) gave us the scoop on what is trending for 2014, common bar-related questions as well as worthy tips of a bartender with over 25 years professional experience. Get ready, grab your pen, and take notes – this is some good stuff!

Let’s start with two commonly asked wedding bar questions and provide you with some answers:

Q. At the average wedding reception, what is the most served liquor?

A. You’ll always go through the most vodka, followed by rum then whiskey.

Q. How much alcohol do I need to buy for the bar at my wedding?

A. These rules of thumb will help get you started:

      • A case of wine will yield 48 wine glass pours
      • A case of champagne will yield 72 flute glass pours
      • A 1/2 barrel of beer will yield 164- 12oz. beer glass pours

Overall, when determining which alcohol to serve, try not to offer so much variety that you overwhelm your guests – because there is a thing as too much. You want your guests to grab their drink and get back on that dance floor – not be tied up at the bar looking at the array of alcohol staring them down! Stay simple and go with your gut instinct. You know your friends and guests better than anyone.

Collage 2{ Photos courtesy Karrn Frost Photography, Jennifer Mayo Studios, Ben Pancoast Photography }

As for what’s trending in 2014 for wedding bars:

  1. Having a Gentlemen’s Bar! Although out of the norm, they were a popular hit with the men this year. One phrase: Bacon-infused whiskey drinks. It’s a way to show off the groom’s personality and add a masculine touch at the reception.
  2. Out of the box bar setups like martini bars and mojito bars.
  3. The end of summer/beginning of fall popular cocktail – hot apple cider with Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum.
  4. The end of fall popular cocktail – hot chocolate with Pinnacle Whipped Vodka.
  5. Be sure to check out more wedding bar trends that are staying on board in 2014 here!

Collage 2

 Tips you can trust from a professional bartender:

  1. If the reception is going to start early, you may want to think about closing the bar during dinner hour to give your guests a chance to pace themselves before the real celebration begins.
  2. Have a universal mixer. Sharon’s famous go-to mixer is a special combination of orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and cherry juice. Keeping it universal ensures the ability for it to be served with vodka, gin, white run or spiced rum. The kids at the reception will also love the mixer as a non-alcoholic punch or to act as a kitty cocktail.


A few things to avoid to ensure a great wedding bar:

  1. Stay away from serving hard liquor like Jaegermeister with energy drinks. People tend to think they can drink more than they really can.
  2. If your guests enjoying drinking shots, limit the amount of shots the bartenders are to serve thru out the evening so the reception doesn’t get out of hand!


Hopefully now that we’ve overloaded you with information, you’ll have some unique ideas of your own to make your bar service stand out and leave  your guests talking long after they leave.

To reach out to Sharon of Lil Fox Bartending, you can email her at: