Traverse City Wedding Photography and Videography

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

 

BEHIND THE SCENES IN 2018 // OUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY WORK

 

2018. What a year! I’ve been working on curating some highlight posts from our 2018 wedding season. Stay tuned for some of our top fave candid moments, portraits, and detail photos of the year! In the meantime, I also decided to sort all of the photos of us (or our assistants!) that I set aside while culling wedding images. As I look through these - and a few definitely made me laugh out loud when I found them - it really captures how much fun we have doing this work. That even after hours and hours of work we feed off of the energy of weddings. In this post you’ll have the chance to see me shooting the styling skillz of the ELD planning team, wiping up the dance floor with Sincerely Ginger Weddings, adjusting a bride’s hair or veil or dress, and would ya just take a look at Michael’s squat form?! You’ll see the fine fashion stylings of our amazing photo friend, Chelsey, who grabbed her jacket for a drizzly day only to realize that she now had on competing and very dramatic floral prints. You’ll see a lot of crazy faces, our video assistant (Sawyer!) doing his best boy band pose, and tons of shots of me wildly gesticulating and pointing as I direct clients. There was also the morning that Michael had to hug all of the dresses as they hung from Starry Night Barn while waiting for the wind to die down! If you have the dedication to keep scrolling, you’ll even get a chance to see the time my mom photobombed my test shot of Michael at the one wedding we photographed this year where my parents were guests :) At the end of the day, I’m filled with warm fuzzies when I go through these. 2018 clients, we love you all. With deep sincerity - Thank you.

P.S. Most of these are shots to test lighting. So when you see Michael at your head table or standing behind your cake, he wasn’t doing it “just because”. He was there to make sure my lighting was correct - except he can’t seem to take a serious picture to save his life, so in most of them he is doing something weird or cheesin’ super hard.

P.S.S. Huge thank you to Chelsey, Hallie, Josh, Lindsey & Cathy for taking some of these pics!

 

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

 

ALEX & DAN // SEPTEMBER WEDDING AT SHANAHAN'S BARN // CHARLEVOIX, MI

 

The September weather was perfect. The bride and groom were surrounded by an overwhelming amount of love. The bride brought whiskey shots to their first look by Lake Michigan. The vows were heartfelt and real. The ceremony was officiated by the bride’s brother in law. The flowers were colorful. The youngest flower girl stopped to pick up rocks on her way down the aisle. Loved ones lost were memorialized with the most beautiful tributes. Sometimes when I can’t quite find the words to summarize a wedding I make a list like this, and I think I’ll just keep this post this way. Cheers to Xan and Dan! P.S. Their nieces and nephews were a very important part of the day and they are amazing little humans so they make a significant appearance in this post!

Prep Location: The Inn at Bay Harbor // Venue: Shanahan’s Barn // Wedding Planning, Coordination and Design: Sincerely, Ginger Weddings // Hair & Makeup: M.O. Hair & Beauty // Decor & Rentals: 307 Events, Serradella Vintage, Monstrey MacDonald // Catering: Catering by Kelly’s // Dessert: Simply Sweet by Jessica // Entertainment: Blue Water Kings Band

 

LIZ & BRIAN // SOJOURN LAKESIDE RESORT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY // GAYLORD, MI

 

For years I have been thinking about what our roles are as wedding photographers and I've come to a lot of conclusions about what I feel is truly important.  Somehow, the amazing folks over at We Are The Parsons (a tremendously inspiring husband and wife photography team) are writing about many of the same things that I've been thinking.  There have been times when I feel like they're reading my mind - and then taking those thoughts even one step further.  Ideas about letting go of a rigid "shot list" and instead allowing yourself to truly watch what is happening in front of you.  Then capture that.  The moments that you let unfold before you will inevitably be the most realistic.  The way a dad looks at his daughter.  The ring bearer's pouty face before portraits and then a complete 180 degree mood change as he RUNS down the aisle during the processional with a huge smile on his face.  An offering of flowers at the beginning of the ceremony to honor those family members who are no longer physically present.  Feeding your new mother-in-law a bite of your wedding cake after you cut it.  Does this mean I'm never going to pose anyone ever again?  Absolutely not.  BUT, it helps to have this refreshing perspective about shooting.  That you are doing it for a specific group of people each weekend.  They are all unique.  Don't follow the same "rules" every time.  Liz and Brian are awesome.  Their family is awesome.  I hope we captured some images that could only have happened with this group.  Cheers!

 

JESSICA & CHRIS // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER // GARVEY FAMILY WEDDING BARN

 

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 & DOUGLAS // TRAVERSE CITY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER // OLD MISSION PENINSULA & THE CATHEDRAL BARN

 

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.

 

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

 

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!