Posts tagged “Grand Rapids wedding photographer

WEDDING: Michael and Aubrey

Grand Rapids, Michigan

There are always things at every wedding that touch me. I’m realizing I should jot them down because by the time I get to blogging a wedding, many of those small moments leave me. However, I think there were so many things about Michael and Aubrey’s day that left an imprint that remembering this wedding won’t be a problem. It all started with the gift that Michael gave to Aubrey: a stack of letters each sealed in a separate envelope for her to open on special occasions. And then, I can’t even begin to describe how sacred the wedding ceremony was from the singing, the sound of the harp, the golden iconography, the smell of the incense and even the surprise bagpiper (a nod to Michael’s Scottish heritage.) I loved arriving to the reception to see favorite assorted desserts baked from relatives and a height chair pushed up to the bridal party table so the young nephew was seated along with his dad — one of the groomsmen. They danced to special traditional ethnic songs as the guests sang and encircled the newly married couple. Everything felt alive and the faint thunder of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day seemed to be meant for Aubrey and Michael, too.

Ceremony: St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church
Reception: New Vintage Place
Flowers, invitations and decor: Events by I. Candy
Caterer: New Vintage Place
Cake: Wealthy Street Bakery
Bridesmaids gowns: Adrianna Papell
Groom’s suit: Men’s Warehouse
Hair and makeup: Tanaz
Bridal gown: Hayley Paige
Band: Bluewater Kings
Second photographer: Carrie Turner

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WEDDING: Matt and Alyssa

East Grand Rapids, Michigan

When I met Matt and Alyssa to do their engagement session on a REALLY cold February day they joked they were just big nerds. And although they do have really impressive resumes, (Matt graduated summa cum laude from University of Michigan with a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and Alyssa who also graduated from U of M is now a recent graduate from UCLA law school) like Alyssa’s mother mentioned in her toast; the real measure of success was that they found true love and they found each other and they are just really good people. (Of course, I’m paraphrasing here.)

Basically, a pure genuineness surrounded their wedding day which was held at Alyssa’s family home on Reeds Lake. Friends from Alyssa’s West Africa Peace Corp days were there. Matt’s family from Pittsburgh was there. High school friends and SpaceX coworkers — they all came. This glorious mix of friends and family all celebrated on a perfect May day, dining on wonderful food and drink, and dancing until the sun set across the lake.

Wedding planner: Kenley Event Design
Florist: Overgrowth Floral
Bartender: Amy Ruis at Art of the Table
Caterer: Kangaroo Kitchen
Tables, linens, china: The Rental Company
Videographer: Jon Carson Wedding Films
Hair: Alisha
Makeup: Sue Sytsma
Bridal gown: Pronovias
Band: Nine Mile Smile
Second photographer: Andraya Croft

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WEDDING: Michael and Christina

Allendale, Michigan

Michael and Christina were high school sweethearts. The school where they met as kids now is a church where they exchanged rings. Michael and  Christina had a fun and energetic wedding full of moments I’ll never forget. How many times do you get to witness the maid of honor rapping her toast to the tune of “Ice Ice Baby” or having a young guest serenede the bride to “Grenede” by Bruno Mars?

May you always “collaborate and listen” during your marriage. Congratulations and happiness always! xo

Ceremony: Lifestream Church
Reception: Goei Center
Bridal gown: Eve of Milady from Bianka Bridal
Bridal veil: Blossom Veils
Bridal shoes: Michael Kors
Invitations: B Wedding Invitations
Florist: Eastern Floral 
Caterer: Above and Beyond
Wedding cake: Desserts by Lori
Hair: Roots Salon
Makeup: Chelsea Wieringa
DJ: Moments in Time
Second photographer: Carrie Turner

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WEDDING: Isaac and Jennifer

Caledonia, Michigan

Ceremony: Dutton United Reformed Church
Reception: Pinnacle Center

Cake:Visible Expressions
Second photographer: Carrie Turner

The first time I really got to spend any time with Isaac and Jennifer was during their beautiful Lake Michigan sailboat engagement session this summer. When you’re on a boat with someone and get to share seasickness with near strangers, you become fast friends. These two were so gracious and kind and I knew their wedding would be more of the same.  With their strong families of faith behind them, the day was perfect. I couldn’t even help but chuckle at the wind that seemed to come out of nowhere and secretly wondered if the two wished they were out on the lake taking advantage of the gift. May you have strong winds and smooth sailing all the days ahead.


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RECEPTION: Chris and Merrill

Grand Rapids, Michigan

I was lucky enough to photograph Chris and Merrill’s wedding last year before they moved to Japan. I was even luckier when they asked me to come back and photograph their reception party this summer. The best part was that these two were just as much in love (or even more so!) seventeen months later. Everyone was enjoying each other’s company, playing yard games, eating good food, laughing and dancing overlooking Reeds Lake at the WEGE Plaza. A perfect summer night with a wonderful couple.

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GLANCE: Josh and Alissa engagement

Grand Rapids, Michigan

It was a wee bit chilly for Alissa and Josh’s engagement session this evening but all the more reason to get close and snuggle, right?! We did have a chance to be indoors at Argos Book Shop for a spell. (I think all three of us could have stayed a few more hours looking at books!) Josh and Alissa said they “do awkward well together” and, although I think the shot of them smooshed between the book stacks shows their awkward playfulness, I think they are pretty darn adorable.

Josh and Alissa, I can’t wait for your August wedding!

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WEDDING: Erik and Ben

Grand Rapids, Michigan

I’ve covered my share of emotional situations during my 13 years as a newspaper photojournalist but I’ll admit that I fought back tears as I witnessed the most heart-felt wedding ceremony yet. I don’t remember all the words spoken during Erik and Ben’s vows to each other but I remember this line “sometimes I feel like you’re the only thing I’ve gotten right.”  At that point, there were no dry eyes.

Erik and Ben have amazing friends and family that transformed Erik’s childhood home into one classy wedding venue.  They came in on a boat, had their dog Ethel with them through it all, handed out hugs and ginger pear jam they made themselves. Erik’s sister made the cake and a close friend made special drinks. And later, the living room turned into one crazy fun dance party.

Erik and Ben, you have definitely gotten this love thing right.

Food: San Chez
Rings: Kara | Daniel Jewelry
Hair and event planning: Drue McPherson
Band: Great Green Room

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GLANCE: Erik and Ben

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Erik was one of the very first photographers I met (other than the Muskegon Chronicle photo staff) when I moved to Michigan in 1999. I’m sure he could tell I was a green, new and timid young intern but he made sure to make me feel welcome and to let me know I was part of the photojournalism family–a family that has continued to help me with this transition from newspapers into the freelance world.  I find it serendipitous that now, all these years later, I had the honor of documenting Erik and Ben’s wedding–arguably, the best day of their lives. I have never (and I really mean NEVER) seen a wedding with so much joy, tears and excitement in my life.

Erik and Ben, thank you for trusting me and making me feel a part of something bigger back then and now.