Crystal Lake Golf Club and Weddings Information

Rayan Anastor Photography

Posted February 13th, 2015 by Liz Mahlich & Rayan Anastor

Today we have a guest post from an amazing photographer, and good friend of mine, Rayan Anastor. She is truly an amazing photographer, specializing in Frankfort Beach Photos, and has really sweet editing skills. Very unique style indeed. Her great personality is an added bonus! Please consider Rayan for your wedding photographer.



Sunsets.  Lighthouses, turquoise and blue-green water, lakes, bluffs, sand dunes, forests, fruit orchards, vineyards, golf courses and more.  These are just a few of the splendors that can be found in the Beulah/Frankfort area.  I grew up spending summers in Frankfort on Lake Michigan.  We spent time on our boat and outside enjoying the beauty of the area .  We boated on Lake Michigan, explored each of the little ports, ran through the sand dunes, and spent a great amount of time swimming in the lakes.

When my husband and I were engaged in 2004, we immediately knew our wedding celebration would be here in the Frankfort area.  This was the location for us to celebrate our marriage.  When you spend time here, there is something magical that begins to wrap around you.  We have a feeling of comfort, peace and love that is evoked when we spend time in the Frankfort area.

We had an average size celebration.  An afternoon barbecue followed by a ceremony on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.  The evening was spent at a local restaurant on Betsie bay.  It was perfect for us!

Fast forward 8 years….  My husband and I had three adorable children, twin 3 year olds and a 1 year, who absolutely LOVE spending time in Frankfort.  In February of 2012, I had a fleeting thought:  what would I like to do in addition to staying home with our children.  Without a blink of an eye, the answer was – Photographing weddings and families in the Beulah/Frankfort area!  That spring I was off and running with a full time photography business photographing weddings, engagements, families and seniors. I was in love with the area all over again by photographing the love of others. 

As I have been photographing weddings over the past two years, I have found that there are vendors in the area that LOVE helping brides and grooms create their amazing wedding day because they have the same love of the area and approach to weddings as I do.  Upon meeting Liz and Jamie at Crystal Lake Weddings, I knew any wedding I photographed here would be special.  Their care for the clients as individuals extends into the care they put into creating an incredible memory on your wedding day. 

So, as we begin 2015, I am so looking forward to all of the wonderful people I will meet, have the opportunity to work with, and all of the couples and families that invite me into their lives to capture those special moments of love and laughter.  Below are some beautiful photographs of couples taken celebrating their engagements and wedding.  I hope you enjoy viewing them and allowing them to remind you of how incredible it is to spend time in this area, and to have a wedding here as well!

45 JanelleMark 2014 Eng

Brengman Brothers Vineyard Wedding | Rayan Anastor Photography | Traverse City Wedding Photographer

Bride and Groom at the Boathouse | Rayan Anastor Photography | Old Mission Wedding Photographer Couple in forest for Engagement | Rayan Anastor Photography | Traverse City Wedding Photographer

Frankfort Michigan | | Rayan Anastor Photography | Michigan Engagement Photographer 9

Frankfort Michigan | | Rayan Anastor Photography | Michigan Engagement Photographer 15


Lake Michigan Dune Engagement Photo | Rayan Anastor Photography | Traverse City Engagement Photographer  Northern Michigan | Rayan Anastor Photography | Michigan Engagement Photographer

The Homestead Glen Arbor | Rayan Anastor Photography | Michigan Wedding Photographer 15




Northern Michigan July 2015 Outdoor Wedding and Reception

Crsytal Lake Weddings Sunset FB


Are you looking to book your outdoor Wedding and Reception in Northern Michigan with Crystal Lake views and the Pure Michigan feel? If you book a date in July 2015, now through November 15th, you can take $500 off your site fee! Please read more at Call Liz at 517-204-7698 or email for pricing and availability.


Meet our Events Manager: Jamie Keillor

Posted on June 30, 2014 by Jamie Keillor

Growing up in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, I always dreamed of what else was out there.  From an early age, my parents instilled in me values of hard work, determination, and dedication to whatever I committed to.  Quitting was never an option in my family and I have always been grateful for the work ethic and values that my parents gave me.

I am the oldest of two girls, and I am so grateful for my sister Carrie, who continues to amaze me every day.    She is five years younger than me, but age and distance never seem to affect the bond that we share.  We grew up in the country surrounded by grandparents on one side and cousins on the other.  We spent endless days playing in the woods, sandpit, and exploring all that Mother Nature surrounded us with.  Our clothes never matched and we seldom wore shoes (dirt and sand are much easier to play in without them), but we truly didn’t care.  Playing sports was always something that kept us busy and gave us an opportunity to grow as individuals.

Carrie and Jamie

After high school, I attended Bay De Noc Community College for one year before transferring to Ferris State University.  I intended on a Pharmacy degree, but as with most college students, changed my major after my 2nd year and graduated in 2001 with a degree in Chemistry/Biology Secondary Education.  While at Ferris, I met my husband, Justin, who was in the Professional Golf Management program.

After graduation, we both decided that we wanted to see what else was out there.  As a golf professional, we both knew that a warmer climate would be better for his career and I was just ready for an adventure.  After much deliberation, we settled on Ft. Myers, FL where Justin’s grandpa spent his winters.  Shortly thereafter, I got a teaching job at a Barron Collier High School in Naples, Florida and we finally settled there.  Naples living was wonderful and we enjoyed the sun, beach, and golf.  It was a welcomed change for 2 kids raised in cold Michigan winters.  I changed careers after a couple years of teaching and got my Real Estate License, where I very much enjoyed the hustle and bustle of selling beautiful homes in Southwest Florida.

Our son was born in 2005 and soon the distance from grandparents and family began to wear on us.  We decided in 2007 to make the move back to Michigan to raise our family and to take over the family golf course, Crystal Lake Golf Club.  It was a bittersweet move for us.  Although we were excited to be closer to family and our roots, we were not looking forward to long Michigan winters!!   Our first summer was glorious and everything we had imagined.  I took on an administrative role at the golf course and became the Office Manager.  Justin, the Head Golf Professional, enjoyed being “home”, at the golf course that his Dad had ran for years and that Justin had grown up on.  We both stayed extremely busy and didn’t even get a chance to come up for air.  The first winter was beyond cold and seemed to last for an eternity!!  We definitely couldn’t have prepared ourselves for winter after spending 6 wonderful years in Naples!! Our daughter, Madeleine, was born in February 2008.   We geared up for our second season, then our third.  They say that time seems to fly when you’re having fun.  I guess that means that we are always having a blast!!

In 2009 Justin and I took on major renovations at the golf course.  We built the wedding site, renovated greens, and added bunkers.  It was a busy time but one that we definitely embraced.  It was at that time that I became the Events Manager and began the life of everything weddings!!!  I truly enjoyed this aspect of the golf course and it gave me an opportunity to be creative, organized, and make people happy.  Fast forward to 2014 and we have one more daughter, Gisele (who is truly a fireball) and I have become the sole operator of the golf course and Crystal Lake weddings.  My husband is a financial advisor and I am the crazy busy mom of three and still doing whatever I can to make people happy!!  The weddings are therapeutic for me as they are the only outlet I have for my creativity.  It truly becomes my happy place to transform our white tent into a magical dream for brides.

I am so grateful every day for my parents and the values that they have instilled in me.  I’m thankful for my faith, my husband, and my kids and for all the things that have transformed me into the person that I am today.  Crystal Lake Golf Club is very near and dear to my heart.  Each and every time I look out on the wedding site, the view down the 9th fairway, and the sunsets, I am reminded of all the people that have stood at that very spot and began the next chapter in their lives.  There are so many beautiful memories there and I am humbled that I get to be a part of making those dreams become beautiful memories.

Family photo at reflection pool


Crystal Lake Wedding Coordinator: Liz Mahlich

Posted on May 9, 2014 by Liz Mahlich


Organized, dedicated, and empathetic are probably the best words to describe me. Although I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Michigan State University, my real passion is helping others. Whether it is sharing nutritional advice, motivating friends and family to try yoga, or coordinating a birthday party for one of my kids, I love to be helpful and creative. As a financial analyst for Michigan Department of Treasury in Lansing, I was more interested in the networking aspect of the job. I started a team building committee, coordinated fundraisers, and planned office parties. Anything to get me out of the cubicle!


In 2011, my husband was offered a promotion allowing us an opportunity to relocate to Traverse City, Michigan.  At the same time, I was able to become a stay at home mom for the first time.  After being a full time working mom,  this transition was a welcomed change. Having this opportunity in Northern Michigan, near one of the most beautiful areas in the nation, was just an added bonus. Summers are now spent camping out in Benzie County, enjoying Crystal Lake, participating in many of the local festivals, and just exploring downtown Traverse City.  We enjoy skiing in the winter and spending time in Bellaire at Shanty Creek Resort. I feel so blessed to have this special time with my kids, ages 6 and 8, who are growing so fast!


As much as I loved my new role as a Stay at Home Mom, I was craving an opportunity for a creative outlet and adult interaction.  We happened to live in the same subdivision as the Keillor Family, who managed Crystal Lake Golf Club. They were gearing up for their second wedding season, which was to be much busier than their first. Jamie Keillor was looking for an Events Coordinator to help her with all the details that go into planning each and every event.  I jumped at the opportunity to do what I was passionate about and to have a job that I truly loved each and every day.


As Crystal Lake Golf Club’s Events Coordinator, I am able to hone in on my creativity while helping brides and grooms with all the details to make their wedding day everything they had envisioned.  Before the ceremony and/or reception is even booked, I’m there to provide information about our venue and other area vendors. It’s my job to maintain strong relationships with area Caterers, DJs, Florists, Bakeries, and Hotels in order to feel confident in recommending their services to brides and grooms.  Many of our events are destination weddings, so our couples need all the information they can get about Benzie County and local vendors.  We work very hard at creating and maintaining our prefered vendors list, which is key to helping brides and grooms make informative decisions.


Once a wedding is booked, I’m there to work with the bride to help them coordinate all the details and answer any and all questions they may have to plan their wedding day.  Some brides I rarely hear from, while others I hear from weekly. A month or two before the wedding, I meet with the couple to help in anyway I can to make sure they are comfortable with the details of the event and that their details are carried out. Whether it is putting the bar list together, or giving advice on decorations, I’m happy to help in anyway I can.
The day of the event, Jamie and her staff are at the tent bright and early, making sure all tables, chairs, decorations and details are laid out. I arrive 2 hours prior to the event to prepare the bar staff and to check in with all the vendors to ensure the wedding and reception are coordinated seamlessly. As guests arrive, I make sure they have everything they need and direct them to their tables, gift table, and bar as needed. I love the special moment when the couple is announced into the reception as husband and wife to their onlooking friends and family ( I’ve been know to cry in the corner during the toasts)! It is magical to feel the love of a newly married couple and the support of their family and friends around them, sharing their special day. A beautiful and rewarding job indeed.

Family Photo Traverse City

Photo Courtesy of Alicia’s Eye

The History of Crystal Lake Golf Club

Posted on April 25, 2014 by Jamie Keillor

Crystal Lake Golf Club has been an integral part of the Keillor family since the late 1980’s.  The front nine of the golf course was originally built around 1970.  It was designed by Bruce Matthews and was carved through an old orchard. Bryce Gibbs, the owner, had envisioned Crystal Lake Golf Club as a members only, 9-hole club with a swimming pool. Eventually, the course was opened to the public and has remained that way.  The golf course was later sold to Bob Reischel, and it was then that the plans for the back nine were drafted and roughed in.  Jerry Matthews designed the back nine, but it wasn’t completed until after the Reischel family sold it.crystallakegolfmichigan



Arthur Keillor discovered the course around 1988 and decided to purchase it shortly thereafter. His son Bruce Keillor became the Head Pro and took over operations.  They opened the back 9 and operated Crystal Lake Golf Club as a public 18-hole course.  In 1997 Bruce and son Justin developed plans to eliminate holes 10 and 11 to create room for a driving range, something the course desperately needed.  Justin was integral in designing two new holes back into the space behind the driving range.  Bruce continued running the course until the early 2005 when he decided to take a Head Professional position in the Upper Peninsula.


Justin and I took over operations in 2007 when we moved back to Northern Michigan after spending six years in Naples, Florida.  Justin was an assistant pro at various private clubs in Southern Florida and was ready to return home to carry on the family business.


In 2010, Justin took on major renovations at the club, including adding new bunkers, putting new sand in all bunkers, renovating six new greens and redesigning the 4th hole.  It was a major overhaul, but definitely something that was needed to bring the course up to date.  It was at that time that Justin came up with the idea of a developing a wedding site.  Justin and I worked closely with builders on drafting plans for a tented wedding site and bathroom facility that would become a pivotal part of operations at Crystal Lake Golf Club.

4 green renovation

4 Green Signature (1)

4th hole renovations


The tent site, including full men’s and women’s bathrooms, changing rooms, and storage areas, was built on the area between the clubhouse and driving range.  It overlooks the ninth fairway, with incredible views of Crystal Lake and sunsets that will take your breath away.


Ceremony Site Pic


The first wedding took place on June 26, 2010.  It was a scramble to complete the site in time, but permits were completed on the Friday of the wedding and landscaping went in on the same day.   It was a mad rush, but everything came together.  We were very grateful to family, friends, staff and even some of members who dug in and got dirty.


Jason and Jessica Teteak were married that Saturday and their day was completely magical.  They gathered with 100 close family and friends to celebrate and their day went off without a hitch.  The sunset views that night were incredible, and many times throughout the evening guests stopped to just revel in awe at the beauty that Justin and I had envisioned so many months before.


 Jess & Jasons upnorth Wedding at Crystal Lake 388[1]    

Each and every wedding I set-up and help coordinate, I am completely amazed at the view, the serenity and the beauty of Crystal Lake Golf Club.  Many times throughout each event, I catch myself stopping in admiration and feeling grateful for the history and the family that has brought me to this spot.


Tent from afar