CHELSEA & SCOTT // AN INTIMATE WINERY WEDDING AT AURORA CELLARS // LEELANAU WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

 

Imagine an intimate wedding in Italy.  A winery tucked among the hills and fields.  A day so warm the bride has to dip her feet in the water.  An uncomplicated ceremony.  Friends and family laughing, eating delicious small bites, drinking wine.  Dozens of adorable babies giggling and toddlers running around playing.  Tables simply set with lace runners, candles and red roses.  Tiramisu for dessert.  Golden light hitting the grape vines.

That was Chelsea and Scott's wedding.  Minus one small detail: the location.  Surprise, surprise we weren't in Italy last weekend, but the vibe was on point.  Cheers you two!  What a day!

Venue: Aurora Cellars // Hair & Makeup: Brittany, Elegant Bridal Designs // Florist: Omena Cut Flowers // Transportation: Grand Traverse Tours // Catering & Dessert: Folgarelli's // Thanks Cathy Fitz for the photo assistance!

 

CAROLYN & DAN // LEELANAU COUNTY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // AURORA CELLARS

 

As I was sorting through Carolyn & Dan's wedding photos I was really struck by two things.  First was of course the natural beauty of Northern Michigan and the striking portraits we were able to take of the two of them in that landscape.  But the second thing I was really struck by was the number of great "in between" moments that I wanted to include in this preview.  The photos that probably won't be the hang-on-the-wall or "frame-worthy" photos, but are priceless none the less.  No, you probably won't frame the photo of your parents making ham sandwiches and hummus roll-ups for the wedding party, but that moment is special and it's definitely worth documenting.  I never want to be so caught up with seeking "perfection" that I miss moments like those.  Cheers to Carolyn & Dan!  What an absolutely spectacular wedding day.

Venue: Aurora Cellars // Ceremony: St. Mary's of Lake Leelanau // Hair & Makeup: Memorable Occasions // Florist: Premier Floral Design // Transportation: Great Lakes Party Bus // Caterer: Bayside Gatherings // Dessert: Grand Traverse Pie Co. // DJ: 2 Bays DJs // Bride's attire: Bianka Bridal // Groom's attire: Calvin Klein

 

CASSIE & CRAIG // A CHICAGO WEDDING AT THE PEGGY NOTEBAERT NATURE MUSEUM

 

Last weekend we traveled to Chicago for Cassie & Craig's amazing wedding.  We lucked out with some perfect weather and by the end of the evening all of the guests were eating on the rooftop open-air patio bathed in the most glorious golden light ever.  Seriously, I don't know if we've ever photographed pre-dinner toasts in such ridiculous light. 

Cassie and Craig truly spent time crafting their vows.  At certain moments during their ceremony I don't know if there was a dry eye in the house.  The tears were balanced out with their wonderful sense of humor and contagious laughter.  I also have to give a shout out to Cassie for wearing a short dress!  I didn't wear a full length dress at our wedding and I have been dying to photograph a bride who also wants to let her legs be free!  As Cassie said to me, "my calves are the most toned part of my body, why would I hide them?"  You do you girlfriend.  I really love you for it.

I also just have to say that I included a lot of dancing photos in this preview.  Normally one of my blog post previews doesn't have this many shots of any one specific part of the day and so I asked Michael, "Is this too many dance photos?" his immediate response was, "Absolutely not.  I think it is your duty to show off that party."  This was one of the most packed dance floors we've witnessed in a long time.  Cheers to Cassie & Craig!

Venue: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum // Prep Location: The Westin Michigan Avenue // Make-up: Jess Klaas // Hair Stylist: Mario Tricoci // Florist: Beth Koenig (Craig's cousin!) // Catering, Rentals & Event Coordination: Jewell Events Catering // DJ: Cage & Aquarium // Dessert: Stan's Donuts

 

MAURELLA & TEDDY // A SUMMERTIME BACKYARD WEDDING IN ANN ARBOR

 

There is nothing quite like getting married in a place so personal that all of your family heights have been recorded on the inside of the doorframe.  Childhood portraits line the walls.  Your sister was married in the backyard years earlier and today you see your niece and nephew running around on that same lawn.  Now you're marrying the love of your life there - telling jokes in your vows, cutting a cake that your mother-in-law made with painstaking care, eating tacos from your favorite restaurant, having a great friend DJ.  For Maurella that fairytale came true on Saturday.  Teddy and Maurella wrote the most personal vows and danced the night away under the stars.  It was truly a pleasure and we were privileged to be a part of it.  I hope you were taking those mental snapshots all day, but I sincerely hope these photos help you remember even more.

Wedding Coordination: Crystal Broome // Hair & Makeup: Christy Lindsey // Florist: Enchanted Florist // Rentals: A1 Rental // Catering: Maiz // DJ: DJ Joey P // Dessert: Teddy's Mom (Queen of Hearts Bakery) // Bride's attire: Mimi's Bridal // Groom's attire: President Tuxed

 

LEAH & SHAYNE // SUMMER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // THE INN AT BAY HARBOR

 

Nothing was going to bother Leah and Shayne on their wedding day.  A little rain?  Who cares?  Move the wedding under the tent and guess what?!  It's going to be gorgeous.  The cloudy skies created slightly moody lighting, the tented ceremony was intimate and beautiful, the toasts were hilarious and the party was rockin'.  Above all else, Leah and Shayne were happy.  They were loving each moment and we were so honored to be there capturing it.  Cheers to Leah and Shayne!

Wedding Planning and Design: Sincerely, Ginger // Venue: The Inn at Bay Harbor // Hair and Make-up: Memorable Occasions // Floral Design: Bloom Floral Design // Officiant: Crystal Yarlott // Day-of Stationary: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy // Rentals: 307 Events, La Tavola, Monstrey Macdonald // Caterer: The Inn at Bay Harbor // Dessert: Tom's Mom's Cookies // Entertainment: Brena Band

 

JAMIE & JOE // DOWNTOWN TRAVERSE CITY // WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Exploring the Grand Traverse Commons, riding a trolley down Front St. honking and waving at all the pedestrians, finding the most beautiful flowering plants in the park, stopping at Brady's bar for beers and a game of pool, watching the sunset over the bay from the docks at the open space... that seems like too much to fit into a regular day, but Jamie and Joe arranged their day perfectly to fit those iconic TC experiences and much more into their wedding day.  What a day it was!  

Church: St. Francis // Venue: Ecco Event Space // Hair: Lysette Nazworth // Florist: Kate Moyer-Olds // Transportation: Northern Michigan Trolley // Caterer: Dawn Fresh Catering // Cake: S. Art, Shannon Lopez // DJ: Rusch Entertainment // Bride's attire: Renee Austin // Groom's attire: Generation Tux

 

KARA & ROB // SLEEPING BEAR DUNES ELOPEMENT // PIERCE STOCKING DRIVE

 

With only family and close friends gathered around them - standing or sitting in beach chairs - Kara & Rob said their vows 450 feet above Lake Michigan.  The jaw-dropping scenery has drawn them to Michigan for repeat visits and clearly held a special place in their hearts.  Kara wore her mom's wedding dress and she added her original hat and flowers in order to "re-create" a portrait of her mom.  We walked along the dunes for some epic images and headed back into Traverse City to finish the afternoon with a meal at Sleder's (and to "Kiss the Moose" of course!).  Cheers to Kara & Rob!  It was such an honor to capture these moments for you.

Ceremony Location: Pierce Stocking Drive, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore // Bouquet: Lilies of the Alley // Reception: Sleder's Family Tavern // Huge thank you to Josh Hartman for second shooting with me!

 

MARITES & DARICK // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS

 

It was such a joy to work with Marites and Darick.  They created a full wedding weekend with events on both Friday and Saturday.  This allowed them to have the experience of a small wedding AND a large wedding - truly the best of both worlds.  This preview is full of candids from the morning, their intimate ceremony, followed by a session in the cherry blossoms.  The cherry blossoms are so fleeting and I'm seriously ecstatic that the timing lined up perfectly to capture them.  You would never know that it was almost 90 degrees - Michigan, you are always a surprise.  Their amazing dance party will have to be featured in their video, which we can't wait to share!  Make sure to check out their full vendor team in the credits below. 

Vendors for both Friday & Saturday:  Planning, Design, Coordination: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings // Beauty: M.O. Hair & Beauty // Preparation Locations: Chateau Chantal B&B and Holiday Inn West Bay Beach // Ceremony: St. Joseph Catholic Church // Friday Dinner: The Little Fleet // Venue: Blue Bridge Event Center // Officiant, Saturday: Weddings Your Way // Ceremony Music: Jan Ostrowski Trio // Photography, Saturday: Cory Weber // Stationary: Holly Thomas Design // Florist: Blue Bridge Floral // Rentals & Decor: 307 Events // Catering: Grandview Catering // Cake: Aunt B's Cakes & Desserts // DJ: Northern DJ Connection // Transportation: Blue Lakes By The Bay // Photo Booth: Up North Photo Booth // Videography: Us! // Photography Assistance: Hallie Kohler // Videography Assistance: Sawyer Harris

 

MEGAN & EVAN // SPRING WEDDING IN PETOSKEY // BAY HARBOR YACHT CLUB

 

"I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world"

Megan's dad learned how to play the ukulele so that he could play this song at her wedding reception.  It was a beautiful moment to witness.  It was a reminder of just how fleeting and special wedding days are.  The love that is poured into one single day so that a couple can begin their married life together surrounded by the people who love them the most. 

Wedding Design, Planning & Coordination: Tableau Events // Hair & Makeup: Northern Michigan Beauty // Florist: Stems & Sprigs // Papery Design & Event Branding: Tableau Events // Calligraphy: Leah Moss // Prep Locations: Private Residence & The Inn at Bay Harbor // Church: St. Francis Xavier // Venue & Catering: Bay Harbor Yacht Club // Dessert: Simply Sweet by Jessica // Transportation: Bay to Bay Shuttle & Affordable Limo // Band: Simone Vitale Band // Photography Assistance: Chelsey Granger // Videography Assistance: Sawyer Harris // Videography by us coming soon!

 

MELISSA & JEFF // TRAVERSE CITY ELOPEMENT

 

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!

 

KATHY & SIMON // WINTER WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // BAY HARBOR, MICHIGAN

 

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

 

CHELSEA & JORIS // FALL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AT BRENGMAN BROTHERS WINERY // TRAVERSE CITY

 

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!

Venue: Brengman Brothers Winery, Hair & Makeup: M Salon, Florist: Petal and Forrest, Rentals: Chair Happy, Caterer: Grandview Catering, Cake & Dessert: Le Bon Macaron (Chelsea's family's business!), Bride's Dress: BHLDN

 

MARY & BRICE // A FALL WEDDING IN NEW ENGLAND

 

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 & RON // PETOSKEY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // MACKINAW TRAIL WINERY

 

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.

 

ANNA & JAMES // A WEDDING ON THE FARM IN TRAVERSE CITY

 

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!

Venue: Gallagher's Farm Market, Hair & Makeup: Salon 415, Florist: Hooper Farm Gardens, Rentals: TC Party Rentals, Caterer: Cordwood BBQ, Cake: Aunt Carol Ebright, Band: The Living Daylites, Jon Timm & Will Thomas, Bride's attire: BHLDN, Groom's attire: Banana Republic & MrBow Dandy bowtie

 

 

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!