My oh my what a wonderful world - especially when it's filled with family, love, kids, cupcakes and balloons. We spent a special day with the Schlehuber family and I just love how much energy exists in these photos. The candid nature of a family at home celebrating together makes me very, very, happy.
These beautiful women will be celebrating their love in Northern Michigan next October when they get married and I seriously can't wait! To celebrate their engagement, we took some photos around Old Mission Peninsula last weekend.
It feels like Spring has come early here in Northern Michigan, so finding patches of snow to make the landscape look 'Wintery' was actually a challenge. We ended up exploring some cool ice formations along the bay and discovered how beautiful grape vines and orchards can be even without any foliage. Just when I think that the seasons might be too in-between to look beautiful, that the scenery will be to drab to photograph well, I'm always reminded otherwise. I'm so happy that Stef and Jess were excited and up for the adventure!
This just might be one of the sweetest Fridays I've had in a while. Melissa and Jeff asked me to document their elopement in Traverse City. Just the two of them and Melissa's parents at the County Clerk's office. They had rings, flowers, champagne and a small wedding cake prepared for their dinner, but other than that it was completely no muss, no fuss. They played 'here comes the bride' off of an iphone as Mel walked in with her dad. They read sincere, heartfelt vows to each other. They were calm, excited, and SO happy. They kept saying, 'This is SO US'. And I think that's just about the best thing to feel on your wedding day. Cheers to Melissa & Jeff!
Winter weddings are kind of a novelty for us. A rare gem. We don't get very many inquiries for them, but I'm hoping that more people will start to seriously consider getting married at this time of year. The sky and the lake were bright blue. Despite a warm up that melted most of our snow pack, the remaining cover was bright white and dramatic. And these two. I can't express enough just how much we loved working with them.
I'll share one story before I let the photos tell the rest: While Kathy was dancing with her dad at the end of this amazing day, I looked over to see her mom tearing up. Simon came over to stand next to her and give her a hug. Pretty soon Kathy's maid of honor came over and ended up crying right alongside her mom. Then another bridesmaid... then an aunt. Before they knew it they were all laughing at the fact that they were all crying. Their arms were wrapped around each others shoulders as they cried and laughed and cheered. That combination of intense emotions - the joy, the nostalgia, the sheer happiness of gathering with all of your favorite people - those are the things that make me absolutely love this job.
Event Planning, Design, Coordination & Styling: Every Little Detail // Prep & portraits: The Inn at Bay Harbor // Venue: The Bay Harbor Yacht Club // Hair & Makeup: OnSite Bridal // Favors: A Signature Welcome // Floral: Stems & Sprigs // Stationary: Silver Fox Calligraphy // Rentals & Decor: 307 Events, Gigi and LaClede, Special Occasions West, Taylor Rental // Entertainment: Simone Vitale Band // Photobooth: Motion Booth // Dessert: Simply Sweet by Jessica // Transportation: Blue Lakes By The Bay // Accomodation: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Petoskey // Videography: US! (Stay Tuned) // Photo Assistant: Chelsey Granger // Video Assistant: Sawyer Harris
When your clients request an engagement session at a hidden little lake with special meaning to them, you know it is going to be a good day. Despite some truly bone-chilling temperatures and a fresh dusting of snow from the night before, Erin & Shelby took the rowboat out with their pup. The late fall colors were subtle but beautiful and by the end of the session we were hiking with big fat snowflakes falling around us. It was such a pleasure to work with these two and I'm beyond excited to share a peek of the session here. Also, I have to mention that Shelby is a very talented woodworker - I had the chance to check out her products at Shop & Sip (a holiday craft market), but if you missed it I would highly recommend browsing her website... just in time for the holidays ;) wink wink ;) Cheers to Erin & Shelby!
With snow just around the bend, Jamie & Joe hiked out to Brown Bridge Quiet Area with me for a morning session. The landscape was filled with mist, fog, and golden hued foliage. I think it ended up being pretty darn perfect. We walked quite a bit of trail, avoiding the muddy patches and finding glimpses of the river between the pines. Get out there people! It's beautiful even in these "in between" seasons. And congrats to Jamie and Joe!
Briana and Bob have adopted two adorable children, Korben and Autumn, from China. I first met Korben a few years ago now, and at the end of September they were able to make the trip to bring Autumn home. As they are adjusting to life as a family of four, it seemed like a perfect time to document them together. I think the happiness is pretty contagious.
I have known Cassie since my elementary school days and this session felt like a nostalgic Ann Arbor tour for me. What a PERFECT fall day. We hit so many iconic spots during our stroll through Kerrytown, along the Huron River, in the Diag and finishing up at Ashley's - where Cassie and Craig happened to have their first date. They are planning their wedding in Chicago next summer (I can't wait!!) so they wanted to make sure to snag some photos in the town where they met. Feelin' the love for these two and A2 in this session. Congrats Cassie and Craig!
It's not everyday that you get to go to a private island for an engagement session, but that's exactly what I got to do with Deb & Al! Al is the property manager for Namaste Island, a 7 acre privately owned island in Bass Lake. We took the pontoon boat over, started a fire and hiked the trail that runs the length of the island. It was a perfect spot for a fall engagement session. Congrats to Deb & Al!!
We hit a perfect Fall day for Zack, Laura & their two pups. The golden light was just right and the session kinda flew by because we kept finding new places to explore. It was one of those times where I'd just pull over on the side of the road and say "I just had to stop - that field looks like a perfect spot right now". To top it all off we witnessed a cotton candy sunset at Pyramid Point... doesn't get much better!
I first met the amazing Grajqevci family two years ago when we did a summer session in Charlevoix. Fast forward to a few days ago... we met up again for an adventurous hike at Brown Bridge Quiet Area - one of my very favorite places in the Grand Traverse region. It also happens to be kind of a hidden gem. Bailey and Visar (along with their two adorable kiddos) have started the Instagram account The Family Travels. This year they are collaborating with a number of photographers around the state of Michigan and I feel so lucky that they asked me to be a part of their project. Follow along to keep up with their adventures! And hopefully this won't be the last time you see them here either ;)
Chelsea and Joris met in an airport. It truly sounds like the plot line from a movie. He's from the Netherlands and she's from the mitten. They've had to endure a lot of time away from each other - and coming from someone who lives and works with her husband almost 24/7, I can't imagine how difficult that must be. So you could basically feel the happiness radiating off of them on their wedding day. Not only about the fact that they would be getting married, but that they would no longer be living on SEPARATE CONTINENTS! It has truly been a pleasure to get to know these two. I couldn't be more honored that they chose us to document their wedding day. Oh, and P.S. it took place at one of our favorite spots - Brengman Brothers :) Cheers to Chelsea & Joris!
A year ago Mary reached out to me and asked if we ever travelled for work. She was planning her wedding in the Boston area and wanted us to be the ones to document it. I was - and still am - so moved by this. Mary and I both grew up in Ann Arbor and probably hadn't seen each other in 10 years. So every time we would have a planning phone call or video chat it was so fun to reconnect and inevitably the planning part would divert into conversations about life and pets and career changes. It was great. The day finally arrived and the joy that Mary and Brice shared was just glowing from both of them. It was so fun to be in a completely new environment too. I'm pretty sure I was saying stupid things like "It's so New England-y here" the entire weekend. To top everything off they had an absolutely ROCKING band that crushed this song at the bride and groom's request. Mary & Brice, you guys are the best. Cheers!
Church: St. Rosa of Lima, Venue: The Commons 1854, Coordinator: Johanna Pechilis, Hair & Makeup: To Make Beautiful, Florist: Flowers by Annette, Transportation: Black Tie Limousine & The Original Party Trolley, Caterer: The Commons 1854, Cake: Cakes for Occasions, Band: Business Time, Bride's Attire: Mimi's Bridal Boutique, Allure Bridal, Alterations: Pins & Needles, Groom's Attire: Tom James custom tux.
Tara and Ron decided to elope with only their closest friends and family in attendance at Mackinaw Trail Winery just outside of Petoskey. They had blue skies, very comfortable weather, and just the first hints of fall in the air. Tara has a daughter, Addy, from a previous marriage. Her first husband passed away and one of the most heartfelt moments happened when Ron gave Addy a necklace during the ceremony and promised to be her dad forever too. I usually shed a tear at every wedding we document, but that moment really made me feel all the feels. Cheers to Tara, Ron & Addy - thank you for trusting us to capture your day.
Here is visual proof that Leelanau County is a magical wonderland filled with birch trees, apple orchards, blue water and perfect little pockets of sunbeams. I had such a great time with Chelsea and Joris during this session! We grabbed cider at Tandem and then headed to Fishtown and the beach in Leland. I'm so excited that I get to see these two again in just two short weeks for their wedding!!
With the leaves just starting to change, and the air cooling down, I hiked around the grounds of the commons, walked down Front Street, and went to the beach with Katie & Matt. It truly felt just like hanging out with friends. The next day Katie sent me a sweet email message saying that exact thing, and how grateful they were. It makes me so happy - I mean it really, truly, fills me with gratitude - that my clients can have an experience like that with me. I'm so unbelievably excited for their wedding next September!!
I think true magic in life happens when you stop worrying about what everyone else is doing, what is 'trendy', what you think you should do instead of what actually makes you feel as if you are being true to yourself. This is not always easy, but I've found this to be true in creative pursuits and I've certainly found it to be true over the past few years documenting weddings. In my opinion, the most important thing to ask yourself when planning your wedding is whether your choices truly reflect who you are as a couple. Here are two people who TOTALLY understand that. Hats off to Anna & James for throwing a down home and completely kick ass wedding celebration!
At the beginning of the day Jon's mom gave Becky a mercury dime from 1944 to put in her shoe. The dime had belonged to Jon's grandfather. Later during the reception, Jon's parents told them that September 16th was actually the same day that his grandparents were married in 1944, which they hadn't realized before! I just loved this sweet element of their day. These little things that make everyone's wedding day truly unique. AND, who would have guessed that we'd have a stretch of 80 degree weather in September?! I certainly hadn't expected it, but it turned out beautifully. Sojourn is one of those magical places with an up north - woodsy - summer camp - vibe that can still be as elegant or as rustic as you choose. It's a stunning location and a perfect place to spend one of the last warm weekends of the year. Cheers to Becky & Jon!
Venue: Sojourn Lakeside Resort, Coordinator: Joy Volant, Hair & Makeup: The Beauty Gals, Florist: Bride, DJ & Violin: Rodney Page, Caterer: BJ's Catering, Dessert: Kim's, Bride's Attire: Jim Hjelm by Hayley Paige, Groom's Attire: J. Barbaro, Photo & Video help by the awesome Sawyer Harris & Dustin Stockel - Stay tuned for Becky & Jon's video!
It's not often that you meet a couple who has been together since the 8th grade. Throughout the day it was honestly hard to tell who was on "Anthony's side" and who was on "Kim's side". I had a bridesmaid and groomsman say to me, "take our picture! We have pictures of us together since 7th grade!". The time that Kim and Anthony have already spent together as a couple created such an amazing bond between them and everyone attending their wedding. Talk about an incredible atmosphere surrounding them - and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to photograph it. Cheers to Kim & Anthony!!
Venue: The Homestead, Hair & Makeup: Lily Jade Salon at The Homestead, Florist & Decor: 307 Events, Paper products & design: Holly Thomas Design, Ceremony music: Festival Strings, DJ: 2Bays DJs, Catering: The Homestead, Cake: Cake Connection, Bride's Attire: Stella York from The Bustle Del Mar, Groom's Attire: Jos. A. Bank.
Starry Night Barn & Studios is a fantastic new venue in Leelanau County and I can't imagine a better couple to introduce us to the space than Morgan & Nathan. From the beginning of the morning in cute little cottages, to the ceremony under an enormous willow tree, to the the evening spent under twinkle lights in the barn - everything was certainly picturesque. But the very best part was definitely this fantastic couple with their amazingly kind personalities and big laughs. Cheers to Morgan & Nathan!
Venue: Starry Night Barn & Studios, Wedding Planning/Day of Coordination: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events, Makeup & Hair: Memorable Occasions, Florist: Stems & Sprigs, Rentals & Decor: Monstrey MacDonald & 307 Events, Caterer: Catering by Kelly's, DJ: Mr. Music, Photo & Video help from these great peeps!: Hallie Kohler & Sawyer Harris.