Suttons Bay Wedding Photographer

2018 CANDID WEDDING HIGHLIGHTS // DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY IN MICHIGAN AND THE MIDWEST

 

We’ve made it to part three of my 2018 highlight series and let me just say - the candids are what really spark joy for me (anyone else out there binging the new Marie Kondo series on Netflix?!). The unplanned moments, the dynamic emotions, the chance to capture fleeting things that can’t be recreated.

This is why I’m a wedding photographer. This is what keeps me motivated season after season. It was always what drew me to weddings, and it continues to inspire and challenge me today.

If the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that even if you try as hard as you can to plan every aspect of your life… you simply can’t. Shitty, deeply tragic, things happen. AMAZING things happen. So when you can feel happiness and joy, feel it deeply. Set that time aside to celebrate. Sing loudly, laugh with your favorite people, and DANCE.

This is a long post, but I promise you it’s worth it for a lot of reasons, but definitely the dancing. Stay for the dancing.

 

2018 WEDDING PORTRAIT HIGHLIGHTS // NORTHERN MICHIGAN & MIDWEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

 

Forget everything else. Forget the discussions about money, family dynamics, and logistics. It’s hard, I know. But try for a minute. Forget the decor, the menu, the venue. Forget the magazines and blogs (ironic, I know, since this is a blog post). Definitely forget the awards, and features, and pins, and posts. Take everything away and your wedding is about your marriage. Your marriage is about you and your partner. This is where the magic in the portraits live.

These are the amazing partnerships we photographed last 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

Churches:  St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Mary's of Lake Leelanau, St. Francis, St. Francis Xavier

Officiants: Crystal Yarlott, Weddings Your Way

Wedding Planning, Coordination and Design: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings, Sunrise to Sunset, Tableau Events, Every Little Detail 

Prep Locations: Hotel Indigo, Condos at Grand Traverse Resort, Brys Estate, Chateau Chantal, The Westin Michigan Avenue, Holiday Inn West Bay Beach

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

Decor & Rentals: 307 Events, Serradella Vintage, Monstrey MacDonald, La Tavola, Sweet Seat Chair Covers, Gigi and LaClede, Special Occasions West, Taylor Rental

Stationary, Calligraphy, & Signage: Pop Fizz Klink, Minted, Kelsey Malie Calligraphy, Holly Thomas Design, Leah Moss, Silver Fox Calligraphy

Favors: A Signature Welcome

Transportation: Grand Traverse Tours, Great Lakes Party Bus, Northern Michigan Trolley, Blue Lakes By The Bay, Bay to Bay Shuttle, Affordable Limo

Catering: The Boathouse, Catering by Kelly’s , Uptown Catering, Chef’s Pride, Grand Traverse Resort, Dawn Fresh Catering, Folgarelli's, Bayside Gatherings, Jewell Events Catering, Grandview Catering

Cakes & Desserts: Simply Sweet by Jessica, Top Tier Cakery, Sweet Tartlette, Bella e Dolce , Grand Traverse Pie Co. , Tom's Mom's Cookies, Aunt B's Cakes & Desserts

Donuts: Gallagher’s, Stan's Donuts

Videographers: Mandie Forbes

Photo Booth: Up North Photo Booth, Motion Booth

DJs or Bands: 2Bays DJs, Bugbee’s DJ Plus, Rusch Entertainment, Jump Start DJs, Soul Xpress, Blue Water Kings Band, Cage & Aquarium, Brena Band, Northern DJ Connection, Simone Vitale Band 

Bride attire: Allure Bridal, BHLDN, Antonio's Bridal, Juri by Enzoani, Nancy's Bridal, Barb's Bridal, The Gown Shop, Modern Trousseau, Bianka Bridal, Renee Austin

Groom attire: Livonia Tayloring, Men's Warehouse, Pierre’s, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Generation Tux

Photo Assistance: Chelsey Granger, Lindsey Billings, Cathy Fitz, Josh Hartman, Hallie Kohler

Video Assistance: Sawyer Harris

 

STEF & JESS // FALL WEDDING AT CICCONE VINEYARDS // SUTTONS BAY, MI

 

I’ll never get over this wedding. What an amazing day. We can’t imagine a more amazing way to wrap up our 2018 wedding season! The weather was something else - I don’t want to make this entire post about the weather, so let’s just get that out of the way first. We had rain that turned into snow. Yes, snow. We had fall colors and bitter temperatures. We had crazy wind. The sun came out like a blinding force and then hid again behind the clouds. For a couple of minutes there was a neon pink sunset that quickly left us and turned into a blizzard and a dusting of snow that actually stuck to the ground. So yes, it was a pretty unbelievable day weather-wise. But Jess and Stef handled it with humor - they laughed it off and even embraced it. I have to say, their ceremony in the barn turned into a warm and cozy intimate gathering as a result. Their vows were just filled to the brim with appreciation for each other, with emotion, with love. Their pup, Champ, made an appearance. Their Fall decor, and floral, and hand lettering, and desserts were on point. At the end of Stef’s dance with her dad, she brought her mom in. At the end of Jess’s dance with her dad, she brought out mitts for some catch. Everything was incredibly special and personal. I could go on and on, but I’ll let you check out the preview instead. Stef & Jess - thank you and congratulations!!

Venue: Ciccone Vineyard // Hair & Makeup: Simplicity Hair & Makeup Studio // Floral Design: Field of Flowers North // Calligraphy & Signage: Pop Fizz Klink // Transportation: Grand Traverse Tours // Catering: Uptown Catering // Cake: Top Tier Cakery // DJ: 2Bays DJs // Attire & accessories: David’s Bridal, Bombshell Bridal Boutique, Nike

 

LAURA & ZACK // MICHIGAN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER // STARRY NIGHT BARN, SUTTONS BAY

 

Fall is pure magic. When the hills behind your ceremony site are every single shade of orange, and yellow, and red, well that’s the stuff dreams are made of. Laura & Zack have been so fun to work with. We were able to include their dogs in their Fall engagement session last year, and ever since meeting them I have been truly looking forward to this day. P.S. When you have a separate vodka bar covered in the Polish flag, hard candies, and old family photographs you’re definitely speaking my language. As October comes to a close, I have just sincerely been filled with so much gratitude. Not only for these two amazing people, but for all of the couples who have trusted us this year. I can confidently say that I am so grateful to be a part of each and every wedding we document. Sometimes I’m still completely blown away by that honor. Cheers to Zack & Laura - Na Zdrowie!

Venue: Starry Night Barn & Studios // Hair & Makeup: Signature Salon TC // Bouquet/Floral: Sweetwater Floral // Drapery: Sweet Seat Chair Covers // Catering: Uptown Catering // Cake: Top Tier Cakery // Donuts: Gallagher’s // Videographer: Mandie Forbes // DJ: Rusch Entertainment // Bride attire: Allure Bridal // Groom attire: Livonia Tayloring

 

CLAIRE & JAKE // OCTOBER WEDDING AT STARRY NIGHT BARN // SUTTONS BAY

 

The Lammers family has truly welcomed us into their lives over the past year and a half - we’ve had the honor of photographing the weddings of three sisters: Emily, Anna, and now Claire. We can’t speak highly enough about this family. We recognized so many faces at this wedding that at the end of the night I felt like we were hugging half of the guests goodbye. Now - Claire & Jake. What a special relationship they have. It was so apparent from the first look, to the moment they realized they had both gifted each other Shinola watches, to the walk down the aisle, to the ceremony, to the way they interacted with their family and friends. All of it was special and genuine and sincere. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to document this day… I could go on and on. Instead I’ll just let you get to the preview. Cheers to Claire & Jake!

Venue: Starry Night Barn & Studios // Hair & Makeup: M Salon // Flowers: Hooper Farm & Gardens // Catering: Chef’s Pride // Dessert: Family & the bride’s Aunt Carol // Band: Soul Xpress // Bride’s attire: BHLDN

 

KATIE & MATT // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER // BRENGMAN BROTHERS WINERY

 

When we first met with Katie and Matt over coffee our meeting ran late because we were laughing so much. We knew this was going to be a great day, but it truly exceeded our expectations. There was a lot of laughing and a lot of crying. Katie’s niece kept walking around the room singing “Jelly Beans!” while Katie was putting on her dress: Laughs. They chose to have a personal and private vow reading before their ceremony: Tears and laughs. Matt’s dad officiated the most beautiful, sincere, and heartfelt ceremony: Tears. Then, at the very end he accidentally announced them as husband and wife using Katie’s last name: Laughs. The best men and maid of honor tore it up with their speeches: Mostly laughs with a few tears mixed in. Instead of a bouquet toss, Katie asked all the women present, especially her mom, to join her for a dance with the most beautiful speech: Tears (mostly from me behind my camera). And at the end of the night, Matt played piano and sang a song to his wife for the first time: all the feels. We are so happy for these two and feel deeply, deeply honored that we had the chance to document this day.

Prep Locations: Hotel Indigo & Private Residence // Venue: Brengman Brothers Winery // Day of Coordination: Kathleen Egan // Hair & Makeup: Melissa Shelcusky // Paper & Calligraphy: Minted & Abigail Whitford // Floral Design: Lilies of the Alley // Catering: Catering by Kelly’s // Cake & Cupcakes: Sweet Tartlette // DJ: Bugbee’s DJ Plus // Bride’s attire: BHLDN // Groom’s attire: Pierre’s // Photo Assistance: Chelsey Granger // Video by us, with assistance from: 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

 

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.

 

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

 

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.