‘Altared’ Bliss: Felt Estate

The area’s most iconic wedding venues, Part 2
The Felt Mansion is an iconic wedding situated near the shores of Lake Michigan and Saugatuck Dunes. Photo by Jenna Greenawalt.

Nestled just inland from the lakeshore in Holland is the idyllic Felt Estate – a sweeping 15-acre property, complete with a mansion, chapel, water garden, and other impossibly romantic backdrops for tying the knot. Whether you want to create an intimate setting for a small wedding or host up to 250 people for a big bash, this sprawling estate is up to the task. Beyond a beautiful ambience for your special day, the Felt Mansion and nearby carriage house are uniquely equipped to accommodate up to 24 guests, helping you create an enchanting overnight experience.

The Felt Estate chapel. Photo by Jenna Greenawalt.

Enamored with the timeless charm of the Felt Estate, I spoke to Derrick Bassett-Alee,
a rental manager for the property, to learn more about its history and what makes this gem a top-tier wedding destination.

The first thing I noticed about the gorgeous mansion was that it reminded me of a certain Netflix hit set in the Regency period.

“The mansion, though it was built from 1925–1928, it’s Georgian Revival-style architecture, which is European-style architecture from the 17 and 1800s,” Bassett-Alee said. “For the people who love Bridgerton, that is the time period of the house in the design and the architecture, it’s just much newer construction than that.”

The Felt Estate, built by Dorr Felt for his wife, Agnes, is a look-but-do-touch sort of place – guests attending weddings on the property are encouraged to explore the grounds and soak in the experience.

“Wedding guests, usually this happens during cocktail hour, are welcome to grab their drink from the bar, grab their hors d’oeuvres, explore the grounds, explore the mansion,” Bassett-Alee said. We always make our self-guided tour booklets available for guests, and they’re welcome to grab those and explore and learn about the history and the design and the architecture. That’s one thing that’s special about weddings at the estate – they are for a purpose as well, beyond getting married. When we have a wedding, that’s helping to support the ongoing preservation and restoration of the estate. That history is preserved, and that architecture is preserved for years and years to come for people to enjoy.”

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Ever since Pasha Shipp could talk, she's been dreaming up colorful stories. Fantasy creatures, mysterious kingdoms, enchanted forests, you name it. As she reached adulthood, she decided to take the magic out of her head and put it down on paper. Pasha has been writing for Grand Rapids Magazine since November 2015, and has loved every minute of it. She has a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University respectively. When she isn't daydreaming and writing stories for the magazine, she's exploring the many hidden treasures of Grand Rapids with her fiancé.