REBECCA & JON // SOJOURN LAKESIDE RESORT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // GAYLORD, MI

 

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!

 

KIM & ANTHONY // GLEN ARBOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // THE HOMESTEAD

 

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.

 

MORGAN & NATHAN // STARRY NIGHT BARN & STUDIOS WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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.

 

KENDALL & JIM // EMPIRE MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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.

 

ANNA & JEREMY // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY

 

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!

 

KATE & JUDSON // CRYSTAL LAKE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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 // A FARM TO TABLE DINNER IN NORTHERN MICHIGAN

 

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 & AMY // WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AT THE BOATHOUSE RESTAURANT // TRAVERSE CITY

 

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!

 

HANNAH & TODD // CRYSTAL LAKE YACHT CLUB // WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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.

 

THE MARTENS FAMILY // NORTHERN MICHIGAN FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

 

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 :)

 

MEGAN & EVAN // CHICAGO ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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!!

 

CORY & MARK // CHICAGO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // THE CRYSTAL GARDENS AT NAVY PIER

 

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 & BRIAN // MARYLAND WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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

 

EMILY & ANDY // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // THE CATHEDRAL BARN

 

I love this reading from Emily & Andy's ceremony, so instead of writing my typical little blurb here, I'll leave you with this.  

UNION  By Robert Fulgham

You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment.  At some point, you decided to marry.  From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way.  All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with "When we're married" and continued with "I will" and "you will" and "we will" - those late night talks that included "someday" and "somehow" and "maybe" - and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.  All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.  The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, "you know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed - well, I meant it all, every word."  Look at one another and remember this moment in time.  Before this moment you have been many things to one another - acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.  Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you.  For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife.

Venue: The Historic Barns Park, Coordinator: Annie Zimmerman, Hair & Makeup: M Salon, Flowers: Hooper's Farm Gardens, Catering: Catering by Kelly's, Rentals: Monstrey Macdonald, Transportation: Magic Shuttle Bus, Cake: Emily's Aunt Carol, Bride's Dress: BHLDN, Bride's Accessories: One Oak Bride & family, Groom's Attire: Banana Republic & The Tie Bar, Photo Assistance: Hallie Kohler

 

 

 

MAREN & DREW // BRENGMAN BROTHERS WEDDING

 

On Sunday morning - and even into the afternoon - it was raining.  Well, pouring, if I'm being totally honest.  But then the skies cleared and the sun came out.  I have a strong feeling that even if it never cleared up, it wouldn't have mattered much to Maren and Drew because the important thing was that May 28th was their wedding day.  That being said, there is a photo of Maren standing in the sun with her palm up to the sky and a huge smile on her face and let me tell you... I KNOW THE FEELING.  That gratitude for life, for weather, for family and friends - that just went on and on.  These two have the amazing quality of being goofy and silly together one minute, and then a minute later spending a quiet, contemplative moment together.  What a day, what a day, what a day.

Venue: Brengman Brothers Winery, Hair & Makeup: Jen Warner/Family, Florist: Kathy Priest (family friend), Catering: Hoffy's Catering, Dessert: Leelanau Pie & Pastry, Bride's attire: Becker's Bridal, Groom's attire: Men's Wearhouse

 

NORTHERN MICHIGAN ARTIST // DANI KNOPH // STUDIO TOUR

 

My good friend Dani is a talented artist who just launched her new website!  We spent some time in her studio taking behind the scenes photos of her space, artwork and process.  I absolutely love her work, and we have two of her prints that we're getting ready to hang in our own home.  If you're also a nature and wildlife lover, I highly recommend visiting her site and following along with her on instagram.  AND she has a promotion going on right now for Father's Day - check it out!!

 

STEPHANIE & JAKE // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Mike always jokes about how I tear up at every wedding.  It might be during the ceremony, or maybe during a toast, and if none of that gets me then it will definitely happen when I see a cute older couple on the dance floor.  I can't help it.  Saturday was no exception.  I don't think I've been to a single wedding - whether there are 30 people or 300 - where the realization of how important the day is doesn't hit me in a big way.  I'm telling you - I get all the feels people! I'm so grateful that Stephanie and Jake chose us to document their wedding day, and what a happy day it was.

Hair & Makeup: Studio 415, Florist: Field of Flowers North, Ceremony: St. Mary's of Lake Leelanau, Reception: Kirkbride Hall, Transportation: Traverse City Limos, DJ: Pluister Entertainment, Caterer: Uptown Catering, Cake/Dessert: Cake Connection TC, Bride's Attire: EnzoaniRenee Austin, Groom's Attire: Kenneth Cole - Men's Wearhouse

 

MATT & KRISTY // GRAYLING WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

It's no secret that we love Grayling.  Michael and I got married at my mom and dad's house in Grayling, and for us it has become a place where we relax and spend time together with family.  I have known Matt for probably 13+ years now (!!!).  Getting to know Kristy, getting to take their engagement photos, and then being able to document their wedding was so awesome.  We felt SO incredibly appreciated by their families.  I am so grateful for clients like these guys.  What an amazing way to kick off our 2017 wedding season!  Cheers to the Swopes!

 
 
 

JACQUELYN & DOUG // CALIFORNIA ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHY // MILL VALLEY

 

When we lived in Northern California a few years ago, Tennessee Valley was my happy place.  I'd come here to hike, run, and take photos.  Fast forward to a few months ago when I happened to meet clients who are currently living in California, but are getting married in Traverse City next year!  And on top of that, everything aligned just right so that I could take their engagement photos last week during a trip that Mike and I had planned to visit his brother and family!  While we may not have hit glowy CA sun, the fog rolled in beautifully, the hills were green, the ocean was moody, and Jacquelyn & Doug have a contagious energy together.  I can't tell you how excited I am to share a peek of this session and I'm even more excited about their upcoming wedding (btw, they seriously have a dream team of fellow vendors)!!!

 

UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY // FLORIDA KEYS // ISLAMORADA

 

Our Southern Road trip at the end of March took us all the way to the Keys for some diving.  If you follow along with us on Instagram you may have already seen some sneak peeks ;)  We found a perfect Airbnb in Islamorada and spent three days diving through Islamorada Dive Center.  It was a greatly needed getaway for us, with just the right blend of relaxation and adventure.  Below are a handful of our favorite shots.