Ginger Zee Marries Ben Aaron
06/07/2014 AT 07:00 PM EDT
"Ben is my partner for life," Zee tells PEOPLE exclusively. "I knew it as soon as I met him. I've never been more ready for anything in my life."
Working with her best friend and wedding planner, Francesco Bilotto, Zee, 33, knew she wanted her wedding to be close to her hometown.
"I am so proud to be from Michigan and I have countless memories of growing up along this gorgeous lake. I wanted to have one of the most important moments of my life here and make another one of those memories."
The 55 guests were offered pashminas in case they were cold while watching the beachside nuptials where Zee and Aaron, 32, opted for traditional vows – read standing in a circle of white rose petals.
One way they switched up the ceremony? In lieu of a unity candle, wedding planner Bilotto conceptualized a wooden heart puzzle with the initials of their parents.
Guests then headed inside the The Inn at Bay Harbor, where dinner took place at one long table. The menu included artisan cheese plates and a Michigan salad with local cherries. Main course choices were veggie quinoa, parmesan-crusted chicken, grilled salmon and filet mignon.
Decked out in a gorgeous Pnina Tornai dress, the bride danced the night away with wedding guests while her brother's band The Outer Vibe performed.
"Think Hamptons on the lake," says Bilotto of the party décor. "Lots of navy blue and off-white, very formal coastal is the look."
To top off the night, guests stepped outside onto a terrace for "light and fluffy" cake served on top of a wine barrel.
"Bringing our crazy families from all over the States to enjoy some peace and quiet in northern Michigan will be the greatest day of our lives," Zee told PEOPLE before the wedding.