Castle Park is a small beach community on the western coast of Michigan. We've chosen to get married there, because on Labor Day Weekend in 2014, we met in the small bar, known as the Old Timer's Room, that opens once per week during the summer in the basement of the Castle. Liz was home for the weekend from Chicago visiting family and earning some pocket change for when she returned to the Windy City. Evan's family has been visiting Castle Park since his great grandfather built a cottage there in the 1920s. It seemed only fitting that we tie the knot where our paths first crossed.
You can learn more about the history of Castle Park here.
HOW TO GET THERE
Castle Park is located in Holland, Michigan, on the eastern coast of Lake Michigan (the western side of the state). The nearest airport is Grand Rapids Airport, about 40 minutes east of Holland. We fly regularly to and from Grand Rapids and would suggest it as a starting point. Direct flights will start to rise as summer gets going, but there are lots of connecting flights through Chicago and Detroit.
Uber is available in Grand Rapids and costs about $40 one-way to Holland, which is great if you intend to share a car with friends/family but arrive at different times. It is NOW available in Holland as well! Cars are limited and can take a few minutes to arrive, but will come to Castle Park.
Alternatively, the Chicago Airports are about 3-4 hours away (dependent on traffic) and Detroit Airport is about 3 hours away.
We realize choosing this destination means more complex travel for many of you. Michigan is a vast, beautiful state -- any additional time in the area will be well worth it!
For directions to Castle Park, check out the MAP tab.
Room rate: Click the link above or mention "DeLeeuw-Burton Wedding" to get our room rate of $179/night. Marriott has given us a limited number of rooms to hold and it's busy season in Holland due to local events like Art Prize, so we highly-recommend putting a hold on a room (you don't pay until check-in and rooms in the wedding block can be canceled up to 6pm the day prior to arrival at no cost). The shuttle to Castle Park will run from this hotel (at 2:15pm on Saturday) and return trips will start at 9pm on the hour to midnight.
Both of the above hotels are in downtown Holland and offer the best mix of location and proximity to the venue. We will be arranging a shuttle to and from the venue from the Courtyard Marriott.
Saugatuck has a great collection of bed & breakfasts. It's about the same distance to the wedding venue, but will require a car.
Airbnb & VRBO both have lots of options for groups and families in the area. Use "Castle Park" on google maps to get a sense of distance from the venue.
The ceremony will be at 3pm on Saturday, September 23, 2017 in the amphitheatre at Castle Park. Please arrive no later than 15 minutes beforehand. The reception will be by the Castle immediately after.
There will be a shuttle to-and-from the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Holland picking up at 2:15pm. Shuttles will start running back to downtown Holland every hour on the hour starting at 9pm. The last shuttle will run at midnight. There will be parking available in a field near the Castle. See the Map section for the location of Castle Park.
The walk to the amphitheatre is uphill and steep in parts. We'll have a golf cart by the parking lot to shuttle those needing assistance.
Dinner will begin around 6pm. The band starts up at 7:30pm.
Dress: Cocktail attire. Please keep in mind this is an outdoor wedding with dinner and dancing on the lawn. Flats highly-recommended due to steep hills to the amphitheatre and a grass venue.
There will be a farewell brunch hosted by the Burton family on Sunday morning at 10am at the Burton House, 6660 Audubon Road. Bagels, mimosas, bloodies, etc.
THINGS TO DO
Western Michigan is famous for its produce, its beer, and the lake. You've got lots of options to enjoy all three.
Holland is an historically Dutch settlement that boasts a great main street with bars and restaurants and shops that you can walk along.
Saugatuck is a quaint arts community on the Saugatuck River a few miles south of Holland (about 10 mins) ripe for the same type of activity (walking, eating, shopping). We highly recommend stopping in one or both of these towns for a sense of life here on the Gold Coast.
East of Saugatuck (in Fennville) is Crane's Farm, which is great for apple-picking (late Sept is perfect for this) and famous for its pies. Also in Fennville is Virtue Cider, a favorite of ours, which brews local Michigan apples into dry hard ciders.
Grand Rapids is a booming town a bit further away (about 30-40 mins) but a hub of cultural activity. Founders Brewery is located here, a must-stop if you're in the area. Grand Rapids ART PRIZE is also going on during the weekend and is definitely worth checking out. In addition, Brewery Vivant and the Downtown Market are both fun stops. For the culturally inclined, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Meijer Sculpture Garden are both worth a trip.
Hiking & Outdoors: Rosy Mound, the Felt Mansion, and Saugatuck Dunes are all great examples of the natural sand dune landscape of western Michigan (and they're free). Great nearby beaches include Oval Beach and Holland State Park.