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Canfield Casino wedding built on happy surprises

Friday, January 18, 2013
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Photo courtesy of Casey Connell Photography
Photo courtesy of Casey Connell Photography

From their Cinco de Mayo meeting to a wedding proposal at sunset, Mike and Michelle Brown’s life together has had its share of happy surprises, and their wedding day offered guests a few as well.

Michelle, a 31-year-old finance manager, met Mike, a 31-year-old regional 401(k) director, at a party at her sister’s house in Boston back on May 5, 2007.

“He didn’t even ask for my number. He got it from my sister and called me a few days later and invited me to a Red Sox game,” she recalled. “We chatted the whole time, barely watched the game.”

In July of 2010, Mike caught Michelle completely off guard when he proposed to her on a Cape Cod beach.

“He was asking all these crazy questions, like, ‘Will we always be together?’ and I replied, ‘Of course,’ ” she recounted. “It wasn’t until he reached into his pocket to get the ring out that it finally dawned on me that he was proposing!”

On June 8, 2012, about 120 guests joined Michelle and Mike to celebrate their marriage.

The couple, who live in Charlestown, Mass., chose Saratoga Springs as their venue because Michelle had grown up in the area and her family lives nearby.

Many of Mike’s friends and family members were commuting from Boston for the occasion, so the couple searched for a central location for the festivities that would be close to area hotels.

They chose the Canfield Casino as the site for both wedding and reception.

“It was just beautiful inside,” Michelle raved.

The ornate space didn’t need much embellishment, so they kept their decorations simple: square vases overflowing with pink peonies and bud vases that each held a single bloom.

The food — filet mignon, crab-stuffed shrimp and vegetable gnocchi — was furnished by Mansion Catering.

“Everybody said the food was great,” said Michelle, who noted that neither she nor Mike had much time to eat.

When it was time for dessert, the couple delighted guests with a brownie bar in place of the traditional cake.

The wedding band, The Boston Naturals, was imported from Boston and wasn’t actually a wedding band at all, Michelle said.

“They’re this band that plays at this little dive bar on the Cape called The Woodshed, and they’re so fun that I randomly sent them an email. ... They play Petty and The Police, not like ‘Celebration’ or classic wedding songs,” she said.

As the night wore on, cheap sunglasses were passed out to the dancing crowd, and at one point, the newlyweds provided some surprise entertainment for their guests.

Mike joined the band and played drums for a few numbers.

“One of the songs he played, I got up on stage and was singing with the main singer,” Michelle recalled. “It was funny. I was just so giddy. I was just so happy.”

 
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