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Alyssa and Andrew were married in a traditional church ceremony at Cascade Christian followed by a reception at the Bissell Tree House at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mich. on September 14. “I picked the Bissell Tree House mostly because it was brand new,” Alyssa said. “When I booked it, there had never been an event in the building. I actually didn’t even get a tour of the inside before I booked it because I LOVED the view of downtown Grand Rapids from the tree tops. I also couldn’t resist the rustic yet industrial look of the outside. The finicular that all the guests had to take to get to the tree house was pretty neat too.” The bride wore a lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with an illusion bateau neckline, accessorized with a white sash, while the groom wore a light gray suit, accessorized with a black button-up shirt and tie. Bridesmaids wore short purple dresses and carried bouquets of green tricks, succulents, scabiosa pods, and fern curls. “My flowers were my absolute favorite detail,” she said. “I love plants and our florist did a fantastic job with all the bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres. She went above and beyond with everything.” During the ceremony, the officiant said a prayer. “It made me realize how blessed I was able to marry Andrew and spend the rest of my life with him,” Alyssa said. “It brought me to sobbing tears, and I don’t think I will ever forget it.” Guests were escorted to their seats via cards atop branches, tables were decorated with birch centerpieces atop wooden slices and burlap numbers, and succulent favors were given out to let love grow. “My favors were another favorite,” she said. “This was a do-it-yourself project. My mom and I grew the succulents all year long and then planted them in mini jelly jars.” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Let people help you with the planning and projects,” Alyssa said. “And mostly enjoy your day because it goes by so fast. I know people always say that, but I didn’t realize how fast it would actually go by.”

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Photography: Phrene Exquisite Photography | Ceremony Venue: Cascade Christian Church | Reception Venue: The Bissell Tree House at the John Ball Zoo | Dress Designer: Allure Bridals from Beckers Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang from David’s Bridal | Hair Stylist: Abby Leigh Salon | Makeup Artist: Julie Strating | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Floral Designer: Ambiance Expressing You | Caterer: Applause Catering | Cake: The Cakabakery | DJ: Party in a Box | Officiant: Jill Forton and Joel Strickland | Ceremony Musicians: Michelle and Lauren Sweers