FENNVILLE, Mich. (June 18, 2014) — When factories started surrounding their city home 11 years ago, Kathy Doornbos and her husband escaped to 15 acres of land in Fennville. At the time, it was a gorgeous apple orchard, with some of the trees approaching 100 years old.
“We were getting back to the country and wanted some little sanctuary.” Kathy said with a smile.
Three years after they settled, their son got engaged in October, asking his parents if he could get married by a little gazebo in front of their home the following April. Kathy eagerly planted Daffodil bulbs and other plants in anticipation. In December, he was deployed to the Middle East and his marriage was on hold.
Kathy’s husband encouraged her to build an additional gazebo of her dreams while their son was gone, so he could use it for the ceremony when he returned. Alongside a pond with a fountain, it has four gigantic, white wooden pillars that have a white iron caged rooftop, covered in lights; it’s very symbolic of Cinderella’s carriage. At the same time, for a back up plan due to weather, the Doornbos’ built a tiny church on the property.
“It’s 14 feet by 24 feet, the maximum I can put in here for a seated ceremony is 32 guests and still have n aisle for a bride to walk down.” Kathy stated.
The chapel is stunning; complete with lead, stained glass windows, carpet and a small stage for the couple. The popularity of their little project caught on like wildfire! People instantly started asking if they could rent their location. Hence, Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens was born.
Kathy got ordained as a minister online and has conducted roughly 300 weddings, year round, since starting seven years ago. The idea is to give people the expense of getting married at a courthouse, but the feel of an intimate setting.
“Well, our “Instead of the Courthouse Package” is a chapel package and it’s just exactly what it sounds like. I wanted couples to find and come here instead of going to the courthouse and be in the settings of a garden, have a romantic feeling, relax feeling and it’s $280.” Kathy said. “It includes the minister, the chapel for an hour and the grounds for pictures, 12 chairs for your guests, music system, you choose your music for walking down the aisle and attendants, we operate it .”
The photo opportunities around the property are too numerous, to even mention. She has a small staff that focuses on keeping the flowers fresh and groomed. I encourage you to check out their website to get a better feel.
Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens just recently added a smaller gazebo set underneath the 102 year-old apple blossom trees with cushioned, bench seating along with a 40 feet by 80 feet wedding tent to hold receptions. For a list of the prices, click here.