The versatile yet traditional space of Waldenwoods Banquet and Conference Center has deeply rooted family history and gorgeous spaces for couples to celebrate marriage. Located in Howell, Michigan, Waldenwoods provides a slice of northern Michigan’s scenic nature without the multi-hour-long commute as it’s surrounded by evergreens, various native vegetation, and has access to a lake.
The Crouse family has owned and operated the facility since 1837, and the name Waldenwoods comes from one family member’s love for Henry David Theoreau and his book, Walden. In 1924, the family developed the land and added lodges with the intention of hosting business meetings and retreats as a conference center. Today, with access to fishing, camping, swimming, and hiking, Waldenwoods is the perfect getaway as a family recreation resort. Thanks to its scenic views and gorgeous traditional design, Waldenwoods is also very popular as a banquet center for stunning weddings.
Special Occasions has been so lucky to have our team at Waldenwoods regularly setting up weddings and events. Over the course of the years, we’ve been a part of so many events at Waldenwoods that we’ve seen a wide variety of different designs and aesthetics in the same spaces, which are such fun transformations for us to be a part of. Currently, Waldenwoods has two different spaces available for wedding celebrations - Cromaine Hall and the Lakeview Tent. Additionally, in 2024, Waldenwood's new venue space, Sunshine Cove, will be opening. Presently, Cromaine Hall is cozy and lodge-like with mahogany tones surrounding the room. The Lakeview Tent, set up outside, is bright and airy and offers stunning sights of the property’s Lake Walden. Recently, we’ve been a part of two different weddings at Waldenwoods that took place at each of these spaces and had similar themes, yet done differently.
At the Lakeview Tent this past June, Ben and Kayli celebrated their wedding with loved ones under Waldenwood’s tent overlooking the lake, which was photographed by Kellie Hetler Photography. Meanwhile, this past October, Kate and Scot had their wedding reception at Cromaine Hall, captured by Raelani Stockwell Photo. Both weddings had a black and white theme, which we love, because it is chic, clean, and timeless - you truly can’t go wrong! A black and white aesthetic exudes elegance, which is evidently exemplified in both of these weddings.
Our rentals really brought the design of these weddings to life, as both weddings utilized our linens, chargers, napkins, and specialty linens, and the Cromaine wedding rented our cross-back farm chairs. We always love bringing our chairs into a space, because we know the transformative impact they have on a room. In this case, the cross-back farm chairs in Cromaine Hall accentuated the homey lodge vibe by adding more wooden accents to the room, creating a warm and inviting space for celebration.
The linens for each wedding impacted the design in beautiful, yet very different ways, as one wedding had an inverse design to the other. At the Lakeview Tent, Ben and Kayli went with black dupioni linens, which established a darker element complementary to the bright aura of the tent. Black dupioni linens are very chic, enhancing the reception’s sleek aesthetic. The black linens were paired with white napkins, bringing the design full circle. On the other hand, Kate and Scot rented white poly linens for Cromaine Hall, which brought in an element of brightness to create a balance between light and dark in the cozy room. Opposite to the Lakeview wedding, the Cromaine Hall wedding had black napkins to enhance the black and white vibe. Also, both weddings rented glass charger plates in similar yet different styles. Silver beaded glass chargers sat atop the black dupioni linens under the Lakeview Tent, while additional warmth was brought in with gold rim glass chargers in Cromaine Hall. These chargers added an elegant touch to the tables and completed the looks, respectively.
Specialty linens came into play for both weddings! We love our specialty linens because they allow an opportunity to enhance the design at limited and specific tables, so you’re creating special moments without breaking the bank. We always encourage our clients to consider a specialty linen on their cake table, because it’s highly photographed. Under the Lakeview Tent, Ben and Kayli dressed their cake table in a black glitz linen, which shimmered and glistened in the reflective light. This couple loved our glitz linens so much, they also included our white glitz on their head table! We adore our glitz linens and the way they add a fun touch of sparkle to any event. Utilizing both our black and white glitz, Ben and Kayli’s Lakeview wedding was elegantly glamorous. Indoors, at Cromaine Hall, Kate and Scot also used a specialty linen, leaf velvet, which adorned their cake table. The leaf shade is one of our most popular velvets - the rich, organic tone of green is impossible to resist! Our leaf velvet linen matched Kate’s bridesmaid’s dresses, and it brought a luxe and colorful element to the event’s aesthetic.
Surrounded by nature, Waldenwood’s versatile spaces for celebration are uniquely beautiful. Both Cromaine Hall and the Lakeview Tent offer their own special elements and are easily transformed to fit any desired aesthetic. Two couples, Ben and Kayli and Kate and Scot, each decided on a black and white design for their weddings, and while they had a similar theme, it was executed differently in each respective venue space. The Lakeview tent was glamorously sharp as black dupioni and black and white glitz linens dressed the tables with silver beaded glass chargers. In Cromaine Hall, airy elegance with a touch of rustic flair enhanced the cozy space as white poly linens, leaf velvet, gold rimmed glass chargers, and cross-back farm chairs filled the room. These weddings are a prime example of how a black and white theme can be accomplished in different ways with stunning results, while inevitably looking elegant, timeless, and chic.