Michigan Wedding Photographer

Nik + Elizabeth's Downtown Grand Rapids Wedding

I am so excited to share Nik and Elizabeth's Grand Rapids wedding with you! These two are the sweetest, and Ted and I absolutely loved being able to spend the day with them and their friends and family.  Their ceremony and reception were held downtown at two of the most beautiful locations.  For a January wedding, the weather even decided to cooperate and gave us temperatures that made being outside totally bearable! You can't ask for more than that in the middle of winter in West Michigan!   

I have so many favorite moments from Nik and Elizabeth's wedding.  I loved watching these two interact, and seeing the way they intimately care about one another.  There were so many moments where it looked like they were living in a dream- and isn't that how your wedding day should be?!  

Elizabeth and her girls had so much fun getting ready, and it was a party all morning.  Can you tell? Champagne, confetti, and a slow morning a the hair salon- it was the perfect start to the day. Elizabeth loves all things glamour, so I loved how she incorporated that into her day with Tiffany blue as her color, Kate Spade shoes, matching robes- all of those girlie details were so perfectly Elizabeth. 

One of my absolute favorite moments of the day had to be when Nik saw his bride for the first time.  He was totally overwhelmed with emotion.  You may notice that I think these pictures are simply the sweetest, since I just had to share a whole bunch of them.  Once Nik started looking at Elizabeth with heart eyes and the sweetest smile he didn't stop all day! I mean really, anytime I would zoom over on him he would be totally overwhelmed with love. I couldn't get enough of how sweet it was. 

Then can we just talk about their ceremony location? What a beauty! The pastor from Elizabeth's childhood church conducted the ceremony, and he helped make the ceremony so meaningful. From there the party started! Elizabeth and her dad had planned a surprise choreographed routine that got the party started early!  Seriously once the dance floor opened up, it was packed the entire night.  It was certainly a celebration!  Elizabeth and Nik, you two are an incredible couple and we cannot wait to see how God blesses your marriage, congruatilaitons! 

Lauren + JD's Romantic Wedding

Joy. All of the joy, that is really the only way to describe Lauren and JD's wedding day.  Their wedding was the most amazing celebration of joy that I have ever had the honor of being a part of.  Ted and I arrived to the cutest lake house where the ladies were getting ready and we were instantly met with the warmest welcome from everyone.  These ladies could not love Lauren more and it was so sweet to see her surrounded by such an amazing group of friends and family.  

Lauren and JD had their first look down by the lake, where they read notes to one another before seeing each other for the first time.  It was such an intimate moment and the perfect way to kick off their day together.  From there we made our way to downtown Pontiac for a few more bridal portraits.  The rain started just as we were finishing up, but of course we had to sneak in a few fun umbrella shots! 

Then it was time for these two to get married! Lauren and JD's ceremony and reception were held at the Crowfoot in downtown Pontiac.  The venue was absolutely breathtaking.  Lauren and her vendors had put together an intimate, candlelit space that created the perfect backdrop for Lauren and JD's celebration.  The two shared handwritten vows, which had everyone tearing up.  Following the ceremony, they continued the celebration with amazing food, a donut bar, personal and meaningful speeches, a packed dance floor, and a Taco Bell midnight snack- it doesn't get much better than that!

I could go on and on about the beauty and the details of Lauren and JD's wedding day, but I will let the photographs tell you that part of the story.  What I can't write this blog post without sharing is just how joyful and meaningful this wedding day was.  These two are clearly destined to be together and have found their true loves.  To see them come together and celebrate that, surrounded by friends and family that love and support them, was such an honor.  It truly was a wedding where everyone was celebrating, because seeing Lauren and JD promising forever to each other is such a testament to what an impact great family and friends have on your life.  These two are going to have an amazing future together, supported by people that love and care for them deeply. 

Lauren and JD, your wedding will always make us think of all the joy that love brings to our life. Thank you for letting us capture the day with you, and thank you for being our friends! We wish you a lifetime filled with all of the same joy and happiness that you felt on the day you said I do!

Venue: The Crowfoot | Day of Coordinator: Melissa Marie Events | Hair and Makeup: Posh Studio Flowers: New Creations | Catering & Linens: Two Unique | DJ: Wayne Kinney

Matt + Danielle's Northern Michigan Barn Wedding

I am not sure where to start with this blog post, because I have so many favorite things from Matt and Danielle's wedding!  Northern Michigan, portraits at a lighthouse, a beautiful barn setting, loving friends and family, a flower girl and rings bearers that stole the show, and a bride and groom totally and completely in love. Yes, it is safe to say this has to be one of my very favorite wedding days yet! Danielle and I have known each other since college, so I had so much fun reconnecting with her during her wedding planning.  What I really loved though was seeing how happy Matt makes her. After their engagement session I kept thinking about how perfectly these two compliment and care for one another. 

Their wedding day was such a perfect celebration of the love they have for one another, and the love their family and friends have for them. Danielle spent the morning getting ready in a house packed full of her bridal party, close family and lots of little ones. Matt and Danielle met in downtown Charlevoix for their first look, where they read handwritten vows to one another. *Insert, Caryn crying the entire time here.* From there we headed to the Charlevoix lighthouse for bridal party portraits, and then to the most beautiful barn for their ceremony and reception.  

During the entire day I was struck by how much everyone at the wedding loved each other.  I couldn't tell which family was Matt's and who belonged to Danielle's family, or if they had separate groups of friends- everyone just melded together for one, big celebration! The dance floor was one big party, the games of cornhole were cheered on by everyone and everyone treated Ted and I like we were part of the party.  It makes sense to me why these two are as passionate, caring and as hilarious as they are- it is because they are surrounded by people with all of those traits. 

After hearing about how Matt and Danielle connected on a trip to Alaska, and were engaged on a return trip. How they purchased a home together and plan to remodel it, how they adventure together and encourage each other in their careers- I am so excited for these two.  And Danielle's Dad mentioned something about 12 kids in his speech- so I cannot wait to see what the future holds for them!  Matt and Danielle, you could not have asked for a more beautiful day to promise a lifetime to one another. I am so thankful that you invited Ted and me to be a part of the celebration. Cheers to forever, you two! 

Venue: Shanahan's Barn in Charlevoix, Michigan | Dress: Patty's Bridal | Bouquets: The Harvester | Welcome Sign & Programs: Say I Do Decor |  DJ: A+ Event Entertainment | Catering & Cake: Grey Gables

 

Steve + Caiti's Glamorous Gem Theater Wedding

We had been looking forward to Caiti and Steve's downtown Detroit wedding for months, and for so many reasons. First, Ted and I couldn't wait to join with Caiti and Steve's family and friends and celebrate this couple. Caiti and Steve are pure gold.  We share mutual friends, so we have spent time with the couple in the past and they always make everyone around them feel welcomed and loved. Caiti and Steve can come into a new group of people and seem like they have known everyone since childhood, even if it is their first time meeting everyone in the room.  Little did we know that their family and friends would treat Ted and me the same way.  Making us feel like a part of the party the entire day!

Secondly, we are suckers for downtown Detroit weddings.  The city is thriving and it is so fun use the Motor City as a wedding day backdrop. We shot at a few of my favorite downtown locations throughout the day and I felt like the city was just showing off. Exploring all of my favorite spots with this gorgeous bridal party made it all the more special!  Caiti and Steve's ceremony and reception were held at the Gem Theater.  The Gem is an iconic location in the city, and made for such a unique venue for their wedding day. 

Lastly, we couldn't wait for Caiti and Steve's wedding day because we knew it would be filled with so much laughter. And we were so right about this one!  Caiti and Steve have a relationship where they constantly keep each other laughing. We started noticing this when we spent time with Caiti and Steve as friends, and then at their engagement session.  During their engagement shoot Steve kept Caiti laughing the entire time. Even when I would encourage a soft, quiet moment these two would burst into laughter together. It was the best.  Because that is exactly who they are as a couple. 

Laughter is such an incredible trait to share as you embark into married life.  Some of our favorite moments are the ones where Ted and I just laugh together.  Because married life can get messy, and life gets busy, and sometimes the best source of comfort at the end of a long day is just laughing together. Laughing about the small things and sometimes laughing about the big things that you can't change.  Knowing how to make your spouse laugh is such a gift, and Caiti and Steve certainly have that gift!  Not to mention that they have a pretty wonderful support system that keeps life lighthearted and hilarious right along with them.  

Caiti and Steve's wedding lived up to all of our expectations. We explored our favorite city, laughed along with Caiti, Steve and their bridal party, and watched two of the kindest people vow to love each other unconditionally and through whatever life may bring them.  Thank you for letting us capture there memories with you, Caiti and Steve! Cheers to a lifetime of laughter together! 

Paul + Susan's Downtown Detroit Wedding

I am so excited to share Susan and Paul's wedding photographs with you!  This couple's lives have been intertwined since they were kids.  They went to high school together, and started dating a few years later.  From listening to Susan's sister's speech it sounds like once they reconnected they were inseparable!  The two moved to Detroit and during that time Paul proposed to Susan on the steps of the Detroit Institute of Art.  One of the most beautiful buildings in the city!  They have since moved to Washington, D.C., but celebrated their wedding back in the city where their love story began. 

When Susan contacted me about photographing her and Paul's wedding I was so honored.  Susan and I attended Albion College together, so it was particularly fun to reconnect and get to spend the day with her and her family and friends. Spending the morning in the bridal suite while the girls got ready was a particular highlight.  Most of the ladies had grown up together, so their jokes flowed back and forth as they leisurely enjoyed the morning together.  I was pleasantly surprised when I went down a few floors to hang with the guys. They were equally as welcoming and fun! They welcomed me into their group, and we had a blast wondering the city for their guy photos.  I love that Paul wanted to stop into Lafayette Coney Island for a few photos.  If you are from Detroit you know it is Lafayette vs. National and we are a Lafayette family, so I was very happy with his choice!

The ladies also looked completely stunning against the backdrop of the city.  They stopped traffic and got more than a few whistles from people passing by ;) The wedding ceremony took place at Ste. Anne's Catholic Church and it was incredible.  These old churches always amaze me, and I was left standing in awe that this was the space where Paul and Susan chose to commit their lives to each other.  Such a memorable moment.  The rain started at just about the same time as the ceremony. Luckily, Susan and Paul were just happy to enjoy the day together.  So rain or shine, we still snuck over to the DIA for a few photographs of the couple following their ceremony.

They ended the evening at the Westin Book Cadillac with one awesome party!  Thoughtful speeches that praised the way the couple compliments each other, a first dance song sung by the bride's mother, and a dance floor that was packed the entire evening were just a few of the highlights. Susan and Paul are clearly so loved and respected by their family and friends and I think that says a lot about who they are individually and as a couple.  They treat those around them with so much love and they truly honor their relationships, so of course everyone wanted to be there to celebrate their big day! Congratulations, Susan and Paul! And thank you for letting me be a part of something so beautiful!  

Jack + Tara

As you might guess, as a photographer I am constantly checking the weather.  I check it weeks out from a shoot and each day leading up to a session.  Once the hourly radar becomes available I start checking that.  It might be an unhealthy habit, but it helps me feel slightly more prepared for the part of my job that I cannot prepare for.  We had Tara and Jack's engagement session on the calendar for months, and I was really looking forward to it.  After spending 2 weekends away as a guest at weddings I was excited to get back behind the camera.  Also, I had met Tara and Jack for coffee back in December and was excited to get to know them better during their engagement session.  

As I drove to Kensington it most certainly looked like it was raining somewhere ahead of me.  As I parked the car and we strolled through the park the prettiest, dark blue clouds started to roll in.  I love photographing in the soft light and was excited to wander the park with Tara and Jack without having to worry about harsh sun or shadows.  We finished up at one location and I had a spot in mind I wanted to try on the other side of the park.  We hopped in the car and moved locations, and as soon as we started shooting at the new location the clouds opened up and the rain came!  Jack and Tara laughed at the situation and just carried on with their pictures.  They walked, hugged and twirled in the rain and I have to say the change in the elements just made for a little bit more romance in their already amazing session.

After their engagement session I was certainly convinced that these two are my kind of bride and groom!  Jack could have Tara laughing in about 3 seconds, and it was a genuine, make your cheeks sore smile.  Another trait I loved about this couple is even as I would say "I know this might not feel totally natural" they were ready to go, willing to try something new and laugh their way through it.  As we chatted I also started to notice they have a mutual respect for one another. Niether one of them dominated the conversation, rather they played off of each other filling in any gaps or questions as they came. It was refreshing and made our time together so enjoyable. Tara and Jack, I cannot wait to photograph your fall wedding.  Happy planning!