West Michigan bride of the month: Avery dishes about her vintage inspired wedding

west mich bride avery phillips

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – “I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” -The Chaos of Stars

A woman’s wedding day is often viewed as the biggest day of her life – a night she thinks about from when she’s just a young girl. It’s the night she marries her love, her best friend, and her forever roomie.

It’s not until you’re planning a wedding that you really realize all that goes into this magical day. Bring on the stress, the laughter, the tears, the romance, the nerves, the “bridezilla” moments, and more!

Each month we’re choosing one West Michigan bride to feature her wedding day and all the fun, crazy steps in between.

west mich bride avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

Meet our first bride, Avery Phillips! Avery is from Hudsonville, currently works for Benefit Twice, and used to intern in our WOTV office. How cute is she!?

Question 1: Tell us your engagement story…

west mich bride avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

Well, it all began on a cold, January day (January 3 to be exact). My hubby, Mike, was pretty slick. He claimed he had planned a day of festivities to celebrate my birthday early. So he took me on our favorite hike up the South Ravines near Grand Valley State University, the place where I first decided, “Hey, I might really like this kid.” We had a picnic lunch on the bridge then were off to our next destination! Mike then took me to one of my favorite coffee shops in Downtown Holland, Lemonjellos, where we chatted and I kept hinting that I wanted to get married (jokes on me). After a while of just hanging out, Mike said we had one more stop. He brought me to the place where he first told me he loved me, Laketown Park. I just remember being like, “Oh crap, this is it!” At the top of the sand dune, Mike had set up hot chocolate, a dozen flowers, candles and a blanket. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his lady forever! Yay!

Question 2: What month did your wedding take place?

August, the most steamy time of year.

Question 3: What was your venue?

It’s called District 5 Schoolhouse. It’s super adorable. It has tin ceilings, wood floors, and authentic chalkboards from when it was actually a schoolhouse years ago. I loved the character and vintage vibe.

Question 4: Band or DJ?

DJ, gotta keep that party bumpinnnn.

Question 5: What was your favorite part of the planning process?

west mich bride of the month avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

It was really awesome having the support of my girlfriends. You never really know how much people care and are willing to help until you are planning the biggest event of your life. Shout out to all my ladies!

Question 6: What is one thing you wish you would’ve done on your wedding day that you didn’t?

Oh, that’s a hard one. Wait, I know. I wish we would have rented a nicer car for our grand exit from the church. That part of the planning sort of slipped through the cracks so we ended up driving away in Mike’s Pontiac G6 that has a bad muffler and junk in the backseat. You know – super rad.

Question 7: Did you do a first look? Why or why not?

west mich bride of the month avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

Of course! I wanted that intimate moment with him before I saw anyone else. And I don’t regret it for a moment! That was, and still is, the only time I’ve ever seen Mike cry.

Question 8: Worst part of the planning process for your wedding?

All of it? Planning my wedding was one of the most stressful things I’ve ever done. But I promise its super fun guys.

Question 9: How involved was the groom in the planning process?

Surprisingly, so helpful. He not only calmed me down when I had mini anxiety attacks, but handled some of the details himself! He booked our DJ! While studying for his Physical Therapy boards! Go Mike!

Question 10: Was your wedding a black tie affair or casual?

Casual. I wanted guests to feel comfortable.

Question 11: What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?

west mich bride avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

My favorite moment of our wedding day happened between our ceremony and reception. After our exit from the church (in Mike’s G6) we were the first ones to make it back to our reception venue. Since we were the only ones there, we were able to just hangout with each other before the rest of the night went on. It was really nice just chatting in the middle of the biggest day of our lives. I’ll always cherish that time.

Question 12: Describe your wedding dress…

In a word: lace. It was basically everything I wanted

Question 13: Did you go wedding dress shopping with an idea in mind? Did you end up liking that style?

I had an idea of what I wanted, absolutely. Thank you Pinterest! I actually ended up with a tighter style than I had originally pictured.

Question 14: What’s the best piece of marriage advice you’ve received?

west mich bride avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

Pray with each other. About everything and especially before bed. Mike and I were told that multiple times and it’s the best thing ever. It’s good to know what is on your spouse’s heart and mind.

Question 15: What’s your best advice for staying on budget?

HA! Elope?

Question 16: Weirdest gift you’ve received?

I don’t know how to answer this without offending someone I love…guess you’ll never know!

Question 17: What was on your wedding menu?

We went classic. I really wanted a pizza bar or tacos, but that was a little too casual for my hubby. Instead we had bacon wrapped pork loin, chicken cordon bleu, green beans and red skin potatoes. With salad and rolls of course. DONUTS FOR DESSERT!

Question 18: What was your biggest ‘bridezilla’ moment?

I never had one. (Says no bride ever)

Question 19: What wedding detail was worth the money? What could you have done without?

The photographer, hands down. Those are the memories that you keep forever when you get old and moldy. Thanks Chelsea Seekell!

Question 20: Best idea that you stole?

west mich bride avery phillips
Photo cred: Chelsea Seekell Photography

Having donuts for dessert. It’s become a big wedding fad now, but it was so much less expensive than a cake. And most venues charge a cake cutting fee….girls, it’s not worth it. Save the hassle and just order donuts.

Question 21: What’s your best advice for brides-to-be?

My best advice is don’t sweat the small stuff. The details are great and all, but focus on the man you are marrying. That’s what you will have after the big day.


***Do you know a fab West Michigan bride who deserves to be featured in our series?  Email us her name and contact info, and “Like” us on Facebook!

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