It’s hard to find the right words sometimes. This day meant a lot to me for many reasons. It was a small wedding, which means that as a photographer you don’t blend into the background quite as much as you can at a larger wedding. You feel much more aware of the fact that you are a part of the day and not simply an outside photographer brought in to capture the events. I always feel privileged to witness each wedding we photograph, but sometimes the size of the guest list does have a huge impact on how the wedding feels. For Courtney & Mark I truly believe that this feeling was a perfect choice - it felt so sincere and meaningful and filled with family. It felt significant and rich. It felt like bright sun, and blue water, and colorful flowers. It felt like a deep commitment. It also felt extra special for me because I grew up in Ann Arbor, just a short drive, or run, or bike ride away from Courtney - and we’ve been friends since we could count our age on our hands. My heart fills up with days like this. I am SO happy for this family and I’m beyond happy to share this preview today!
Karin and Nate’s engagement session last weekend turned into an awesome Traverse City adventure complete with wine and snowshoeing. Bonobo Winery really spoiled us with an unexpected little wine tour down to the barrel room. It was the perfect place to start off the session and then we headed down to the lighthouse at the point of Old Mission Peninsula. Karin and Nate brought along snow shoes (because they’re awesome) so we had a blast exploring the remaining ice and our timing couldn’t have been more perfect - the sunset was absolutely stunning. The sunshine here in Northern Michigan has been magical lately and I’m glad it showed off for Karin & Nate. Cheers!
Time passes so quickly, which is one of the main reasons I find so much meaning in being a photographer. I can’t encourage you enough to capture your life as it is right now. There will never be a “perfect” moment - your haircut might not look the way you want it to, you might question your outfit choices, your kid might not behave exactly how you hoped they would, or maybe you’re thinking that only people with kids take family portraits. Nope - c’mon this is real life. Nothing is ever going to be “perfect”, but I hope that you come away from your session with at least a handful of images (hopefully more) that make you feel like life is pretty freaking awesome.
Despite being chilly and windy, it doesn’t get much better than this. The Miller Family and I definitely took advantage of the Fall sunshine. I had a great time photographing this beautiful and super sweet family out on Old Mission peninsula last week.
A little rain can't stand in your way. It's ok to be bummed. I get it. Honestly I do. On the same weekend two years ago, Michael and I got married and it was a drizzly day too. But we didn't let it get in our way, and neither did Jessica & Chris. When you are ready to get married, and your whole family is excited - just completely full of emotion and love in the way Jessica and Chris' families were, it can't be a bad day. It will be the best day. Once again, the way we are welcomed into a family's life for such an important day will always be so significant for me. It was truly an honor to capture these moments. Cheers to Jessica & Chris!
Prep location: Condos at Grand Traverse Resort // Hair & Makeup: Pavlova Salon & Spa // Church: St. Joseph Catholic Church // Florist: Lillies of the Alley // Venue: The Garvey Family Wedding Barn // Rentals, Catering, Cake: Grand Traverse Resort // DJ: 2 Bays DJs // Bride's attire: Nancy's Bridal, Veil: Barb's Bridal // Groom's attire: Men's Warehouse
Jacquelyn & Doug. Oh where to start. We truly adore these two. From my first meeting with Jacquelyn and her parents, to photographing their engagement session in California, to the planning phone calls, and then of course their wedding - the entire process has been fun because these two are just wonderful. We've had so many laughs with them. It's not everyday that one of the bride's main requests is as follows: "Jacquelyn and her friends with their pizza friendship necklace. This is a photo we take at each person's wedding and it's imperative to capture". And then we joked about her use of the word imperative multiple times during the week leading up to the wedding. Pizza-themed necklace aside, Jacquelyn and Doug placed a high priority on food and wine in their wedding plans. It is a huge part of how their relationship has developed and grown, including where they have lived and their plans for the future. Capturing that aspect of their wedding day was a real treat - literally. The Boathouse did a fabulous job. This day was full. This day was full of love. Full of food. Full of wine. Full of family. Full of friends. Full of the good stuff.
Bride Prep Location: Brys Estate // Groom Prep Location: Chateau Chantal // Church: St. Joseph Catholic Church // Venue: The Cathedral Barn // Coodination: Sunrise to Sunset // Hair: Linda Sabbagh // Makeup: OnSite Bridal // Floral Design: Sweetwater Floral // Rentals: 307 Events, Monstrey MacDonald // Catering: The Boathouse // Cake: Top Tier Cakery // Band: Blue Water Kings // Bride's attire: The Gown Shop, Modern Trousseau // Groom's attire: Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren // Videography: Us! Stay Tuned! // Photography Assistance: The fabulous Lindsey Billings // Videography Assistance: The amazing Sawyer Harris.
Leslie & Bob are former wedding clients of ours and so I was super excited to hear from Leslie about a family trip they had planned in Northern Michigan! They were coming up north with her brother and sister-in-law whose baby was born within months of their new little one. Bob also proposed to Leslie at the Old Mission Lighthouse, so that made these photos extra special. What a sweet time for this family. I was honored to capture some shots for them!
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
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!
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
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!
Crisp fall air and doughnuts at the reception. That's just a small taste of the magic that was Bethany and Jason's wedding. We took engagement photos in the Spring with cherry blossoms and returned to Old Mission Peninsula last weekend for their wedding under the fall leaves. So. Great.
Venue: The Peninsula Room, Planning & Coordination: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings & Events, Flowers: Sincerely, Ginger, Hair & Makeup: Brenda, OnSite Bridal, Transportation: Mackinaw Trolley Company, Catering: The Peninsula Room, Doughnuts: Potter's Bakery, DJ: Al Uryga, Mike Staff Productions, Bride: J Crew Bridal, Groom: Hugo Boss
I don't think Michael and I have ever laughed as much on a wedding day as we did with Claire and Garrett. Their wedding weekend mantra was simply about having fun with their guests and truly enjoying the experience. They wanted to eat great food, drink great wine and whiskey, and spend as much time with their friends and family as possible. It was mission accomplished for these two awesome humans. Somehow the combination of completely boisterous and unbelievably elegant morphed into a truly beautiful day that left us grinning from ear to ear. As an example of this, Claire gave me explicit permission to share that the two of them let out a couple of farts during their evening portrait session which, in my opinion, resulted in some of the most magically genuine moments I have captured in a long time. Like I said - hysterical laughter all around. When you combine that energy with an amazing venue, phenomenal flowers, and the work of Rachel and her team to keep everything on point, Claire and Garrett's wedding really was over the top.
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage" -Lao Tzu
Life is short and I am so happy that I have the opportunity to photograph genuine people in one of the most beautiful places on earth. White and pink cherry blossoms, green grass, blue water - Traverse City is magical at this time of year.
The Jarosz family is so precious!! We ended up picking an awesome Spring day for this session! Old Mission Peninsula never disappoints. We headed to Hooper's Farm Gardens where there was plenty to keep the kiddos entertained at all times!
Last night was a magical night to be in Northern Michigan and we are so excited to share this with you!