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
Makeup: Sue Sytsma
Bridal gown: Pronovias
Band: Nine Mile Smile
Second photographer: Andraya Croft
Garrett spent his summers along the dunes of the Beachcomber Association near Little Point Sable Lighthouse and this is where he chose to come back this summer to get married. Garrett is a CEO of a sustainable hardwood company in Ecuador and this is where he met Sabrina — an Ecuadorian that teaches English to children. Good food, good music and good friends surrounded the two as they were married along Lake Michigan in a beautiful and intimate ceremony.
Josh and Sara both grew up in the Detroit area but now call Kalamazoo home. As lovers of wine and craft beer — and their new town — they wanted to invite all their closest friends and family to join them for one big cocktail party type of wedding. I love that Josh and Sara took what they love, added some creative flair and old wedding photographs, to make this wedding uniquely theirs. (And, seriously, a dancing 93-year-old grandmother, a handful of super heros and wedding vows that mention a gruesome murder — what more could anyone ask for?!)
May you always be uniquely you in your marriage. Congratulations, Josh and Sara!
Pre-ceremony preparations: The Radisson Plaza Hotel
Ceremony, reception and catering: The Wine Loft
Bridal gown: Halston Heritage
Bridal shoes: BHLDN
Makeup: Makeup by Jenna
Drink stop: The Principle
Bride’s earrings: Heatherly Designs
Florist: Southern Exposure Herb Farm
Floral designer: Micah Stanislowski
DJ: BJ Etheridge
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
Spring Lake, Michigan
With every wedding, I leave with something special to hold onto. Sometimes it’s the words that the bride and groom share during their vows. Many times, it’s the sentimental touches that weave two generations together and, I won’t lie, sometimes it’s all about the wedding cake.
I’ll never forget Josh as he got tongue-tied during the vows or Jenny’s dress emergency. But those are tiny things. What I remember the most about their wedding was how they made this day just as special for Jenny’s 10-year-old daughter. It was a combining of three people — not just two.
Also, I didn’t know it at the time, but my dear friend Ken Stevens was out on the lake the same glorious, sunny day as Jenny and Josh’s wedding. He called me that next week and said he saw me and we talked about what an absolute perfect day it was. The very next month, Ken passed away unexpectedly. I only saw him one more time after this September day. There’s something sacred about these photos now — knowing we shared the same sunshine, shared the same space, just for a brief moment.