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.
My oh my. What a day in Northern Michigan. Kendall and Jim were married on a bright, sunny day in Empire. Their laughter was contagious, they shot confetti canons during their entrance to the reception, the toasts were that perfect blend of emotional and funny, and Jim had the sweetest first dance with his mom - literally with her barefeet standing on his shoes. Cheers to Kendall & Jim! And I'll leave you with this quote from the back of their dinner menu:
"It's a great place to laze around and swim and fish when you want to. And the best place in the world to do nothing. It is beautiful country... and nobody knows about it but us." -Ernest Hemingway
Planning & Coordination: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events, Hair & Makeup: Pavlova Salon & Spa, Florist: BLOOM, Tent & Rentals: American Rentals, Transportation: Blue Lakes By The Bay, Caterer: The Cook's House, Cake: Aunt B's Cakes & Desserts, Cake Topper: CFWeddings, DJ: Mr. Music, Bride's attire: Bridal Boutique of Naperville & BHLDN, Groom's attire: Nicholas Joseph, Videography: The Compass Points Here - coming soon! Photo and Video help from these fantastic folks: Hallie Kohler & Sawyer Harris.
THESE TWO. Just so much energy, excitement, joy. As with most video blog posts, I'll let the film tell the story. It will do a way better job than I could put into words. Cheers to Anna & Jeremy!
Planning & Coordination: Juniper & Lace Events, Prep: West Bay Beach Resort, Ceremony: St. Joseph Catholic Church on Old Mission Peninsula, Reception: The Hagerty Center, Photography: Cathy Fitz Photography, Hair & Makeup: Memorable Occasions, Florist: Premier Floral Design, Rentals/Decor: Sensational Events, Special Occasions North, 307 Events, Transportation: Blue Lakes By The Bay, Dessert: Top Tier Cakery & Grand Traverse Pie Company, DJ: Northern DJ Connection
I still can't get over the spectacular views from this past Saturday, and thankfully Kate and Judson wanted to take advantage of all of them. They adventurously made their way through knee high brush, dune grass, and sand to capture the photos below. They had huge smiles on their faces the entire time with an excited wedding party right there with them. We're so lucky to have clients like these guys. Cheers to Kate & Judson!
Prep Venue: Rental Home, Ceremony & Reception: Crystal Lake Golf Club, Hair & Makeup: Up North Perfection, Florist: Victoria's Floral Design, Transportation: By The Bay Transportation, Videography: Wild Love, Officiant: Amazing Day Weddings, DJ: Mr. Music, Photo Booth: Up North Photo Booth, Caterer: Pigs Eatin' Ribs.
The Gather Series is one of my favorite little slices of Summer. A lavender farm in Northern Michigan, a table full of smiling people, an amazing carefully crafted multi-course meal, and of course wine. Sweetwater Lavender Farm is a magical spot and I feel so lucky every time I get to hang out there. The fantastic vendors for this meal include: Petoskey Cheese, Bear Creek Organic Farm, D&M Design Co., S2S, The Bow Tie Baker. Soak in some Summer vibes....
Lee and Amy asked a small group of their closest friends and family to gather at the Boathouse Restaurant in Traverse City for their wedding. It was such a privilege for us to document because it could have just been any old Tuesday night for us... and instead we watched two people make a commitment to each other in a beautiful place, with lovely people surrounding them. They drank champagne and ate delicious food and chatted together and watched the sunset over the water. Sometimes the simple things aren't really that simple after all - they can be filled with meaning and magic. Cheers to Lee and Amy!
This was a windswept, sunny, smiley, stunning wedding with a million hugs, cakes baked by friends, and crystal lake views. I could go on and on about how awesome it was. Basically it was an all around amazing day. Hannah & Todd, it was an absolute pleasure. Cheers to #ateachersunion!
Ceremony Site: Private Residence, Reception Venue: Crystal Lake Yacht Club, Wedding Planner/Day of Coordinator: Jenna Mahoney with Victoria’s Floral Design, Hair Stylist: Claire Basescu (family), Florist: Victoria's Floral Design, Transportation: The Magic Shuttle Bus, Rentals: Monstrey MacDonald, Caterer: The Cook’s House, Cake: Jake Wilkinson (friend), Ice Cream Sandwiches: Victoria’s Floral Design, DJ/Band: John Rivard (family friend), Photo assistance by the fantastic: Lizzie Kassab.
You might recognize these faces. I've photographed the Martens family every summer for the past four years! I love watching these kiddos grow, and as they get older their interaction is just the cutest. Of course we had to end the session with an ice cream stop - ahhh summer :)
These two are getting married in Northern Michigan next year, but live in Chicago, so we took advantage of our travel schedule to explore some of their favorite local spots! We began the session at The Oyster Bah, one of their favorite places to grab drinks and - of course - oysters. I absolutely loved this, because it's a meaningful location for them and gave us such a unique setting for photos! Cheers to Megan & Evan - can't wait for next year!!
Chicago was really showing off for us this past weekend with comfortable weather, gorgeous sunshine, and an absolutely lovely couple: Cory & Mark. They read very personal vows to each other, created a time capsule of their relationship during their ceremony which they plan to add to every year, and they are just so visibly calmed by being around each other. It was such a privilege to travel to Chicago and document their wedding! The big city is a change of pace from our work & life in Northern Michigan, but that's exactly what can make this job so great. Cheers to C & M!
Prep: The Sheraton Grand, Ceremony & Reception: The Crystal Gardens, Planning & Coordination: Mallory of CHI Chic Weddings & Events, Hair & Makeup: Bianca Sansoti, Florist: Artistic Blooms, Transportation: M & M Limousine, Videography: George Street Video, DJ: Electric Blue Entertainment, Cake: Deerfields Bakery, Bride's attire: Ania Bridal, Groom's Attire: The Black Tux
Kelly and Brian's entire family truly treated us like their own family for their entire wedding weekend. They brought us out to Maryland, and made sure we were well taken care of the whole time. It really made us feel appreciated and for that we give them all a HUGE THANK YOU! We first met these two when we photographed Kelly's brothers wedding, so it was great to see the gang again! Brian and the guys played golf in the morning, Kelly and the ladies enjoyed mimosas at the beach house, and since they are both police officers (and met during a ride along) they found fun ways to incorporate that into their day - including a tier of amazing doughnuts! ;) Cheers to Kelly and Brian!
Venue: Herrington on the Bay, North Beach, MD