Sunday, October 24, 2010

I ♥ Michigan

This weekend was the wedding of a law school friend of mine, Joe, to his now-wife, Sam. They are a really cool couple, and they had an even cooler wedding.

We headed up on Saturday, stopping at the Bell's Brewery on the way in Kalamazoo, Michigan. We just recently discovered this brand at the Great Lakes Brew Fest in Racine, Wisconsin, so we were eager to stop by and see what's brewin'. We got a six-pack of Oberon, a wheat ale, and one of their pale ales. I'll let you guess who picked what.

We also had lunch in the Eccentric Cafe, a little shop with pub food and beer tastings. I liked that you could get cheap 12-ounce glasses so you could try a few without getting totally blasted.

I tried the Lager of the Lakes, a very nice hoppy lager, and also a reuben sandwich. I was a big fan. Dave tried one of their beers that was only on tap at the brewery that day - the oatmeal stout, and he had the kielbasa sandwich on a pretzel roll. Dave be happy.

So, after we rolled ourselves out of the pub, we headed up past Ann Arbor to the River Birch Lodge, where the happy couple was exchanging vows.

It's a neat little hunting lodge-turned mansion that had the most deer antlers under one roof that I've ever seen. See that garland to the right of Joe and Sam (and my law friend-turned-officiant, Brent)? It's got antlers in it. I'm not kidding.

So, right off the bat, we love the place, and I love it even more when I find out that the bar is open before the ceremony has even begun. Awesome. AND, they are serving completely awesome beers. Even more awesome.

After the ceremony, the most completely epic cheese platter I've ever seen is set up. Bleu, brie-en-croute, Swiss, chevre, on and on and on. Plus we keep drinking. So, by the time they have the post-ceremony champagne toast, everyone is pretty toasted and happyi

These two are foodies, so I was expecting a pretty awesome evening, and no one was disappointed. They had a really neat set-up where you picked up whatever plates you wanted and had a seat somewhere. It was like buffet style, but the dishes were pre-plated. A very laid-back meal.

And now I have to go through the list of things I ate so I don't forget it, because it was so completely awesome.
  • Bourbon butternut squash soup
  • Fall harvest salad
  • Vegetable & couscous in pastry crust
  • Mushroom ravioli with parmesan sauce
  • Short ribs with mashed potatoes and green beans
  • Spice cake
Gahhhhh! So then there was dancing, provided by another law friend, Dan, which included hits from disco, the 1980s, and some new hits. We even got to sleep in the huge mansion, which saved us money and allowed us to walk three feet from the party to our bed.

Joe & Sam's wedding was, above all else, very "them," and besides our own, this was probably my favorite wedding ever. I feel like our wedding was very "us," too, but sometimes I feel like if we had waited a few years, we would have more of a sense of what "us" is, both in groups of friends and personal style. But then again, celebrating a fifth wedding anniversary this year was pretty awesome, too.

Congratulations again, Joe & Sam! This weekend was a fabulous way to start out your married life together.

No comments: