Frequently Asked Questions

 

WEDDING SERVICES

How do I know what dates are available?

The fastest way to get a list of available dates is to email weddings@crcg.org. Please note: our outdoor gazebo wedding season runs from mid-May through mid-October. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, we ONLY do outdoor weddings at our gazebo. During those months we cannot accommodate indoor receptions or indoor weddings (other than inclement weather back-up plan). 

How do I reserve a date?

The fastest way to reserve a date is to email Sarah at weddings@crcg.org. Via email, phone, or an in-person meeting, she will gather the information needed to draw up a contract and send via mail. Once you receive your contract, you have two weeks to return your signed contract with a $150 non-refundable deposit. You will receive a confirmation letter in the mail, and the date is officially reserved. 

When should I reserve my date?

Dates are available on a first come, first serve basis, and there is no way to predict how or when they will fill up! We recommend booking as soon as you can find a date that works for all your vendors. Please note, we do not book weddings further out than the next calendar year. For example, in 2021 you can book a wedding for 2021 or 2022, but you cannot book a wedding for 2023 until January 1 of 2022.

How do I pay for my wedding or reception?

We accept cash, checks, or credit cards. Any credit card charge above $100 will incur a 3% fee.

Is my deposit refundable if I must cancel?

All deposits are non-refundable. This is true even if we are able to rebook your date. NOTE: due to extenuating circumstances involving COVID, we are refunding some deposits at this time.

Is my deposit transferable?

Your deposit can be transferred to another wedding date, but it cannot transfer to camping, cottage, or any other facility reservation.  

When is payment in full due?

Your complete payment is expected 2 weeks before your wedding date. A reminder will NOT be sent out; you are responsible for submitting payment on time. 

Can I make changes to my reservation?

You can make changes to your reservation up to one month before your wedding or reception. This includes things like the number of guests, time of event, sound system, etc.

What is a “membership fee”?

Everyone who camps or books a wedding at the Conference Grounds must pay a $35 membership fee. You can think of it like a state park sticker – it gives you access to use our facilities for that calendar year. You also have voting ability at the CRCG annual meeting in August.

Do I have to be Christian Reformed to get married at the Conference Grounds?

No. We do require all brides and grooms to be members or regular attenders of a Bible-believing church, but it does not have to be Christian Reformed. This also applies to the pastor officiating the ceremony.

Can we arrange a site visit?

Yes, we would love to show you around our beautiful facilities! To set up a tour, please email Sarah at weddings@crcg.org

Do you have a list of preferred vendors?

We do not; however, we are happy to share with you the names of caterers, florists, DJs, and photographers who we have worked with on previous events. 

When can we rehearse?

Your wedding package includes ONE HOUR of rehearsal time. Rehearsal usually takes place between 5-7 the night before the wedding. The exception is Saturday weddings when there is also a Friday wedding booked. In this event, your rehearsal would have to be Friday after the other wedding is over, or on Thursday night.

Is there a space on site where we can get ready?

Yes, we have a few options! Gazebo rentals include use of the wedding prep room in the beach bathhouse. Worship Center rentals include the Lighthouse and Pier rooms in the Worship Center. The Gathering Center is available at a fee and is a great space, or during the non-summer months there may be a cottage available to rent.

I have guests coming from out of town. Can they camp or rent a cottage?

We would love to have your guests stay on site, but it’s a little tricky during the summer months! In June, July, and August, our campsites and cottages are all reserved weekly Saturday-Saturday only – no nightly/weekend rates. Campsites are available nightly from mid-April to the end of May and September-October. Cottages can be rented nightly September through May, and can be reserved one year in advance. To book a cottage or campsite, please call our administrative office at 616.842.4478.

My dog take part in my wedding ceremony?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the gazebo/beach walkway area or inside any of our facilities. They are welcome outdoors in the campground area if you want Fido to stop by for some pictures!

Is smoking allowed?

No, smoking of any form is not allowed anywhere on our property. It is your responsibility that your wedding party and all guests abide by this.

Is alcohol allowed?

We do not allow alcohol on our property. It is your responsibility that your wedding party and all guests abide by this. One exception: we do allow a champagne toast at wedding receptions.

 

GAZEBO

What is included in the rental fee for a wedding at the gazebo?

In addition to the items included in our Wedding Guidelines and Fees, weddings at the gazebo include: 1) Parking signs and team members to direct your guests, 2) Team members to close and monitor the beach walkway during ceremony time, 3) Use of our beach, decks, and property for pictures, 4) Set up and take down of chairs.

How many guests can be seated comfortably?

The gazebo lawn can accommodate up to 250 guests.

When can we set up?

Our team usually sets up wedding chairs between 9 and 10am. You may set up floral and any other decor at any point in the day, but please note that the wedding area is unattended until one hour before wedding time, and the CRCG is not liable for anything that might happen. This being said, our campers and visitors are wonderful and we’ve never had a problem with someone disrespecting our wedding space.

Is there wi-fi at the gazebo?

No, there is no wi-fi at the gazebo. Please download ahead of time any music you plan to play at your wedding. If you would like to live stream your ceremony, you will have to use a hotspot or your personal data plan. Please note that cell-phone service is spotty along Lake Michigan. Verizon consistently has the best service, followed by AT&T. We recommend coming to visit well ahead of your wedding time to test out data/hotspots/etc if you plan to need them. 

 

WORSHIP CENTER

What is included in the rental fee for a wedding in the Worship Center?

In addition to the items included in our Wedding Guidelines and Fees, weddings in the Worship Center include: 1) Parking signs and team member to direct your guests (if necessary), 2)  Use of our beach, decks, and property for pictures, 3) Set up and take down of chairs, 4) Use of our large sound system with operator.

How many guests can be seated comfortably?

The Worship Center can accommodate up to 800 guests.

When can we set up?

You can arrive at any time the morning of your wedding to add your personal touches to the Worship Center. 

Is there wi-fi in the Worship Center?

Yes, there is an open wi-fi network in the Worship Center. If you choose to use it, we recommend you do not share the password with more people than necessary. Our wi-fi speed decreases significantly the more devices that are connected to it. To play it safe, we recommend pre-downloading any music you would otherwise hope to stream.

 

RECEPTION SERVICES

WORSHIP CENTER

What is included in the rental fee for a reception in the Worship Center?

Please refer to our Reception Guidelines and Fees for items included in a Worship Center rental. 

What is NOT included in the rental fee for a reception in the Worship Center?

Renters are responsible to bring in (and out) all decorations, centerpieces, food, and table settings.

Do you have table clothes and dishes for rent?

No, we do not rent these item at this time.

How does set-up/take-down of table and chairs work?

Tables will be set up according to a diagram provided by the wedding party; chairs will be in stacks next to guest tables.

What is the Conference Grounds’ table inventory?

We have approximately 30 round 6′ tables (seat 10), 10 round 5′ tables, 18 – 8′ rectangle tables, 8 – 6′ rectangle tables.

What kind of decor is allowed?

We allow any decor that will not damage or harm our facility. Candle are allowed provided they are used in a safe matter. We ask that you do not use duct tape or anything else that will leave residue.

Do you have any decor we can borrow or rent for our reception?

We do not have an inventory of decor to use for receptions. 

How many guests can be seated comfortably?

The Worship Center comfortably seat 250-300 guests at tables and chairs. We can seat as many as 400, but chairs and tables will be close together with little space to walk between.

Does the Conference Grounds have an in-house catering team?

We do cater certain events, but are not able to cater receptions at this time. Occasionally we may be able to cater a rehearsal dinner. Please email weddings@crcg.org for options and availability.

Are potlucks allowed?

Yes. Food for receptions does NOT have to be prepared by a licensed caterer, so bring on the crock pots!

When can we set up?

As long as there is not a previous reservation in the Worship Center, you can set up at 1pm the day before your reception.

Is there wi-fi in the Worship Center?

Yes, there is an open wi-fi network in the Worship Center. If you choose to use it, we recommend you do not share the password with more people than necessary. Our wi-fi speed decreases significantly the more devices that are connected to it. To play it safe, we recommend pre-downloading any music you would otherwise hope to stream.

 

SOUND SYSTEM OPTIONS

We have a variety of sound system options to meet your needs. Prices vary on size and scale. 

  1. Small Sound System ($100) – purchased in 2020, the small sound system packs a lot of power. It is a self-contained system with one speaker, set up under the gazebo. The sound system includes a wireless handheld mic, one ¼ inch input for instrument, an aux cord, and bluetooth capabilities. You can upgrade the wireless handheld mic to a lapel or headset mic for an additional $50.
  2. Large Sound System ($300) – The large sound system is set up toward the back of the lawn, behind guests’ chairs. Sound comes through two speakers under the gazebo. Our sound tech will run all audio for your wedding, including starting and stopping music, muting and unmuting microphones, etc. This system can play recorded music through CD or phone/computer using an aux cord. It also has six inputs for microphones or instruments, and includes one wireless headset or lapel microphone for your officiant. 
  3. You may also hire a DJ, use a bluetooth speaker, karaoke machine, your own sound system, or choose to use no sound system. Our wedding team members reserve the right to put a limit to the volume, as we want to respect our neighbors living very close to the gazebo.
  4. Worship Center Sound System – The Worship Center sound system is included in your wedding package, or available for $200+ when used at a reception. It has the same hook-up capacity as the Large Sound System (2). Sound can come from four speakers in the front of the building, two in the back, or all six. When using the sound system for a reception, our sound tech will run your audio for the first two hours. After that, you will have one handheld, wireless mic with an on/off switch and one aux cord to play music from a device you provide. Sound levels will be set, and you can control volume from your device. Additional sound tech service is available at $50/hour, but please keep in mind that our sound tech is not a DJ.