Samantha and Leo’s love story began on the first day of Leo’s freshmen year at Kalamazoo College when they met. They were friends for a couple years first — the way all good relationships start — and have been a couple for many years since. Thirty years ago, the bride’s parents had their wedding in the same place. The bride wore borrowed pearls and her engagement ring was made from her grandmother’s. Although the rain caused a few logistical challenges, seeing these two surrounded with such great tradition, love and joy made all that seem insignificant. The emotional ceremony had everyone in tears and then, like magic, the sun came out and soaked underneath the tent and left the evening with a quick, golden sunset.
Ceremony and reception: Franklin Hills Country Club
Invitations: Lee’s Specialty
Florist: Frech Sutherland
Baker: Holiday Market
Wedding musicians: Fleur de Lys String Ensemble
Hair: Peter Mansoor – P. La Salon
Makeup: Leslie Paterra – Todd’s Room
Bridal shoes: Via Spiga
Bridal gown designer: Gregory Parkinson
DJ: DJ Tom T
Second photographer: Merissa Hudnall
It’s no secret that Merissa really never wanted to get married in the first place or did she ever want a dog. Guess what? She met Jason and he kind of changed all that. Merissa’s brother performed the tearful ceremony and didn’t mind that there was even a swear word in his sister’s vows. Merissa, Jason and their families handmade all the details that made this celebration so unique, everything from the decorations, to the bouquets, to the bar at the reception. And that’s the thing I adored the most about the day, Merissa and Jason have these absolutely amazing blended families. In a day with so much anger and hatred towards one another, I was inspired to see such genuine goodness coming together for one purpose — to celebrate a love that was so strong, it could change a girl’s heart.
Ceremony: Belle Isle Conservatory
Reception: Royal Oak Farmers Market
Hair and makeup: Shellinz Salon & Spa
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Band: Cabin Boyz
Linens and chairs: LUXE Event Linen
Bride’s gown: Moonlight
Shoes: International Concepts
Second photographer: Nick Tremmel
There’s nothing better than photographing a photographer’s wedding because they know all the sweet photo locations but, more than that, it’s fun to photograph friends. I wish you nothing but happiness and love.