Brett and Jaclyn’s intimate backyard wedding was surrounded by fields of corn and close friends and family. Jaclyn wore two dresses that day – – a beautiful intricate gown for the ceremony and a sparkly short dress for the reception. But, I won’t lie, one of my favorite things about this day was seeing her two-year-old son be included in it all. He walked down the aisle with Jaclyn and she held him as they exchanged their vows. He snitched a bite of the frosting before the cake was served and had a kissing contest with the bride. I loved that she was a mother first and a bride secondly.
Bridal gown: Madison James
Reception gown: Kate Spade
Florist: Greenville Floral
Pew rentals: Fancy Fray
Wedding cake: Haans Bakery
Tent rental: Dad’s Tent and Party Rentals
Hair and makeup: Thomas & Company Hair Salon
Photo assistant: Maddie Chitwood
I can’t say how happy I was to photograph a wedding in Muskegon for a change. It seems most of my weddings have been out of town and while I do enjoy exploring a new location with new possibilities, Muskegon has so much history, natural beauty, grit and nostalgia that I must say it will never get old. Ashley and Drew grew up in this town, both Mona Shores graduates who were friends long before they dated. They now live and work in a different city but came home to celebrate this day with all their closest friends and family. Even though we had continual cool rain on their wedding day, these two didn’t miss a beat and were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow in the evening.
Love and happiness (and rainbows) forever, Ashley and Drew!
Ceremony: Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts
Reception: Century Club Ballroom
Pianist: Kevin Meyer
Officiant: Forever Twogether
Photo Booth: Studio 616
Transportation: Muskegon Trolley Company
Disc jockey: Dance Tracks DJ
Linens: Elegant Linen Design
Wedding cake: Ryke’s
Grand Haven, Michigan
Over the past couple of years, I’ve assisted in shooting a handful of beautiful and unique weddings with some super-talented photographers. I know that each one of them has helped me grow in some way and I’m forever grateful.
The workload from my own weddings has kept me from getting around to editing these but my computer told me in a spinning-wheel-of-death kind of way, that I needed to make room and purge some files. It’s funny how my to-do list is sometimes dictated by the squeakiest wheel.
So Katie and Ryan met in fifth grade and were supposed to go to prom together. That didn’t happen but a wedding happened instead.
You know how they say it takes a village to raise a child? Well, I think it takes a village to pull off a wedding as special and unique as Ryan and Katie’s. The two, along with a village of right-brained creatives, transformed the beautiful Nunica property that Ryan spent his years growing up into a magical wedding venue. From all the amazing details that were handmade (mostly by Katie) to the bouquet made from jewelry and trinkets of loved ones, to the song written and played by Katie’s brother, to the decorations put together by Ryan’s mother, to the invitations – – a collaborative art project between Katie and Ryan themselves – – to all the tattoo art (done mostly by Ryan) I was pretty much in visual Heaven for the entire day. But with all that being said, no matter how great a place is or how awesome the dress or flowers, it’s the love that gets me every time. These two, more than any couple I have photographed yet, were madly in love.
Katie and Ryan, may your love stay as strong and true as it was on this day…
Justin and Rachel came from Brooklyn so they could get married in Charlevoix — a town and place where Rachel spent so much time with her family. And because Justin and Rachel were high school sweethearts, (actually Justin has liked Rachel since kindergarten!) the place has become special for him, too. I didn’t get the opportunity to meet Justin and Rachel before their wedding day, but it was a joy to hear how these two people, that have extremely different personalities, have an intense respect, love and appreciation for one another.
Here are some other things that I loved: Rachel wore a hair comb that was made from her grandmother’s headpiece and their wedding rings were designed by Rachel’s cousin. I LOVE that Rachel and Justin are full of emotion — there was so much hugging, laughter and crying. The trumpet player deserves a medal for the best live version of Hava Nagila I’ve ever heard. There was an amazing sunset. My husband, Jon, was not only my chaperone but also shot some of these amazing images. Oh, and the best part…the surprise flash mob that the couple’s friends and family orchestrated! How fun is that?!
Justin and Rachel, may your love continue to surprise you.
Event planner: Merry Makers
Hair and makeup: Ilaria Hair Studio
Florist: Schoolhouse Gardens
Caterer: Catering by Kelly’s
Transportation: Mackinaw Trolley Company
Music: The Soul Street Band
Bride’s dress: Macy’s Bridal Salon–Somerset Collection
Wedding bands: David Weinstock
Engagement ring: Wachler Jewelers
Second photographer: blinkPHOTO
Today was a perfect day for a wedding. The weather was glorious. Two families worked together to pull off an amazing celebration on a private property where Ryan spent much of his childhood. Two artists with a passion for family and nostalgia became husband and wife today and I was lucky enough to be a part of that. Thank you, Ryan and Katie, for wearing your love on your sleeve. May it always be so.
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” – Dr. Seuss
During my first conversation with Stephanie she told me she had dual citizenship between Chicago, where she and Dave live, and Muskegon – – the place where she grew up. The beaches of Muskegon were special and important- -so important that the wedding party came in on boats! The ceremony was on a private beach that the guests walked to through a path of hardwoods and hemlocks. Friends and family were the two words that came up over and over and over again. That was the focus. Stephanie asked me, “Could you just be a second set of eyes?” And so I was.
Thank you, Dave and Stephanie, for the honor of documenting your wedding day and for sharing your wonderful families with me. You are beautiful people.
Second photographer: blinkPHOTO
Reception: Century Club
Bride’s shoes: Benjamin Adams
Bridesmaids gowns: Donna Morgan
Disc Jockey: Definition of Sound
Wedding coordinator: CMF Marketing
“The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.” – Edwin Way Teale
Days before Nate and Andrea’s spring wedding, rain threatened their celebration. I think I checked the extended weather forecast compulsively for days but when May 4th arrived, the sun came out, trees and flowers were blossoming and two people that have loved each for years, tied the knot. When true love is involved, all things are possible indeed. Andrea and Nate, may sunlight always follow your marriage.
And thank you, Emily Zoladz, for assisting me with photographing this wedding. Your images helped capture this day perfectly.
Dave and Stephanie live in Chicago but Stephanie’s heart is so connected to the place she grew up that the two were married on a private beach in Norton Shores where she spent so much of her youth. I love when couples connect the dots to make their wedding more than just a ceremony but a reflection of their lives. Every detail of their day had a story, a purpose and a reason – – but mostly it was full of love.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Back in November, I was asked to photograph this really great wedding. That bride had a sister, Merrill. Four months later, it was her turn. Two wonderful celebrations done as uniquely as their personalities. With a March snowfall that dusted Grand Rapids, Chris and Merrill shared their wedding day with thousands of St. Patrick’s Day revelers. Joey, their dog, made an appearance, too. But my favorite part of the day was when Merrill surprised Chris (and Chris’s family) with a video from his sister who is deployed. And I must say, that this couple had the best first dance song of all time. Chris and Merrill, may happiness continue to follow you all the way to Japan.
Ceremony: Grand Rapids City Hall
Reception: Bistro Bella Vita
Invitations: Papers Plus
Cake: Rita Girl’s
Florist: Eastern Floral
Shoes: Kate Spade
Suit: Michael Kors
Musicians: Bob Thompson Jr. Entertainment
I had the pleasure of photographing Hayden and Ross’s elegant wedding this past Saturday in East Grand Rapids. Let’s just say, this was a wedding “first” when the bride spent the morning in the ER. Yes, I’m really not joking. Congratulations, Hayden and Ross, and may your life always be filled with surprises.
Ross, a “ginger” from Australia, and Hayden, a “ginger” from East Grand Rapids, met and fell in love. Ross has this fun, goofy side (he made me laugh!) and Hayden is the queen of smizing (smiling with your eyes.) All of this love, goofiness and smizing made me extremely excited for their wedding in a couple of weeks!
Jeff and Amanda’s friends set them up on a blind date. They thought that Jeff and Amanda would be perfect for each other. I only met Jeff and Amanda a few months before their wedding but by the end of the reception, I felt like we left as friends. They are sweet, kind and genuine. And after spending the day with them, I know their friends were right…they ARE meant for each other. Happiness always, Amanda and Jeff!
Typically, I get to meet wedding clients prior to their ceremony but I didn’t get that opportunity with Jon and Becky. So, I asked them to email me a little about themselves and about the wedding. They wrote, “We are both science people. We both like being outside and little details in nature.” The wedding would be held at Becky’s parents’ home on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Manistee. With every wedding I photograph, I feel it’s my duty to learn as much as I can about the couple so I can capture what is important and cherished in their eyes. I leave wondering if I’ll ever see those “science people” again but thanking them for allowing me to tell their story. Thank you, Jon and Becky, you are wonderful!
I could gush about Jordan and Emily and their beautiful wedding, their lovely families and the amazing food all day long (I’ll do that in a later post!) but what is on my mind, most of all, after covering three days of festivities is thank you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for trusting that I’d capture your wedding just the way it was. Thank you for letting me be a “fly on the wall” which is what I do best. I can’t wait to share with you some of the magical moments of your magical day. Did I say thank you yet? Thank you, it was an honor.