There’s nothing quite like walking out into the woods with everything you need for the night on your back. All of your food. The tent and sleeping bag you’ll sleep in. An extra layer of clothing. A baseball hat snapped onto the back of your pack. And then you walk. Through forest with tall trees. Over a wooden boardwalk elevated over swampy terrain. Along a cold and clear river. Through berry bushes taller than you are. Your feet get tired, but the sun is warm and you chat with each other about anything and everything. Then for some stretches it’s ok to be silent. To get into a rhythm. My short legs make me a pretty slow backpacker, so I just try to go with the flow. But trips like this provide me with little jewels in my memory. These are little glowing days that stand out compared to the rest of my year. It wasn’t because it was easy. No. It was definitely not a breeze. My body was pretty exhausted after this trip on the Jordan Valley Pathway, but a couple of days in the woods makes your mind slow down. After a trip like this I seem to be able to refocus on the things that are truly important. I can’t wait to plan our next outdoor adventure - I’m already brainstorming ideas for this Summer…
If you are really, really, lucky you will have a couple friends who have been there for your whole life. Who you played power rangers with. Who you spent months with in the summer living out of your bathing suits and throwing fishing lines over the side of old pontoon boats. They grew up with you and witnessed your adolescent shenanigans and still love you. They aggressively rooted for college sports with you. And then when everyone had graduated from college and moved onto other adventures, and moved long distances, there was always that phone call, that random text, that email, just checking in. I’m so so grateful to have a couple of these people in my life, and now we’re all “grown up” and either married or about to be married.
Even though we don’t always see each other as much as we might like, when we are together it’s pretty special. Last Summer we found one weekend that worked for all of our schedules. We went camping and made meals over the fire. We passed around bottles of beer and bubbly. We ate snacks on the beach and fell asleep in the sand. I almost got hit in the face with a frisbee - instead I ended up with a welt on my collarbone. We all laughed so hard we cried. We took a kayak out into Lake Michigan and the early Summer water was crystal clear. We watched the sunset and then made our way back to the fire. The best part? We were unplugged. If you only have a couple days out of the year to spend uninterrupted with some of your favorite people, I highly, highly, recommend doing something like this. Find a place where your phones don’t work - it will be great.
Whether it’s a platter filled with delicious grilled sausages, or your custom designed wedding bands, there will be little details that help tell the story of your wedding day. They give us a sense of place. They bring us back to the specific time of year, to the specific location. They help round out how it felt to be there.
In 20 years some of these small aspects of your day might fade in your memory, but the photos keep them alive. You chose amazing vendors to work with. You picked stationary, and flowers, and linens, and desserts that captured your taste at this time in your life. Or maybe you didn’t do any of those things. Maybe you picked up a sheet cake and got married at City Hall. I don’t care how large or small your wedding is, or how much money and time you spent on decor. There are still detail photos to be captured no matter what. That’s why I try to pay attention to them. Here are some that really stood out to me this year.
We worked with an unbelievable number of talented people this year. I hope I’m not missing anyone!
Venues: The Inn at Bay Harbor, Shanahan’s Barn, Ciccone Vineyard, Starry Night Barn & Studios, Brengman Brothers Winery, Sojourn Lakeside Resort, The Garvey Family Wedding Barn, The Cathedral Barn, Aurora Cellars , Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Ecco Event Space, Pierce Stocking Drive, Sleder's Family Tavern, Blue Bridge Event Center, Bay Harbor Yacht Club
Hair & Makeup: M.O. Hair & Beauty, OnSite Bridal , M Salon, Simplicity Hair & Makeup Studio, Pavlova Salon & Spa, Bliss Salon, Signature Salon TC, Brittany, Elegant Bridal Designs, Jess Klaas, Mario Tricoci, Lysette Nazworth, Northern Michigan Beauty
Floral Design: Sweetwater Floral, Bloom Floral Design, Field of Flowers North, Hooper Farm & Gardens, Lilies of the Alley, Martin's Flowers on Center, Premier Floral Design, Omena Cut Flowers, Blue Bridge Floral
Favors: A Signature Welcome
Videographers: Mandie Forbes
Video Assistance: Sawyer Harris
Talk about a vibrant session! Looking through these images I still can’t quite get over just how amazing the Fall color was for this shoot! Northern Michigan has a special meaning for Lindsey and Brad which is why they have decided to get married up here next year. But it’s also why they planned a trip last weekend to scout the very best Fall colors for themselves! On Saturday while we were photographing a wedding, they took the time to drive around and find areas where the leaves were especially bright and close to the ground. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to help with location scouting and suggestions, but when you have an idea please let me know! I’m always excited to explore a new area during one of the most amazing times of the year. Cheers to Lindsey & Brad!
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