Category Archives: Wedding

Wedding Photography

a story from beginning to forever…

So I had the absolute pleasure of being a part of a HUGE day for two of my favorite people in the entire world.  Not only was I a part of their day in a HUGE way, but I’ve had the honor of being there all along.

My little cousin got married!  It is bittersweet watching your siblings and cousins grow up and become human adults.  You’ve been there all along for each other and all of sudden, in the blink of an eye, we are creating lives of our own.  It’s a bit scary, and not all too daunting, but it is also relieving too know… we made it.  We made it through being reckless teenagers (bwaha… I think Chas and I were the least reckless of our group during this time frame in our lives), we made it through school, and we are on really great paths to futures we have wanted for a long time.

I want to preface the next few photos by saying 1. I’m sorry for the quality and 2. I’m sorry these aren’t old enough, you know in this digital day it’s difficult to keep track of all of the older printed photos when you need them, and it’s a shame because the old ones are always the best ones.

Sometimes it is really hard to find the time to acknowledge anything other than the present and the future.  But the past existed and it was good… and it is even better to be all nostalgic and recollect just how great it really was.  Maybe one day I’ll tell you just how many times Chas and I watched the Lindsey Lohan version of The Parent Trap (while brushing our teeth), hint: the number is countless.  Or perhaps I’ll show you the obviously-parent-posed photo of all of us cousins on a tree limb arranged oldest to youngest from the year 1999 – of which I quite clearly remember rolling my eyes at before, during, and after the process.  (UPDATE: Oh Look… I found the picture, thanks everyone for helping me locate it.)

Cousins Tree

Top to Bottom: Sam (me), Ernie, Ariel, Charlie, Jimmie, Chas!, Chelsea, Tiffany, Nick, Krista

But I digress, lets get on to why you are really here.  The recap of her big day.

Chas first asked me to photograph her wedding far before the date was ever chosen – and I was just elated she put that kind of trust in my hands.  It was only appropriate we also worked together for her Engagement/Save-the-Date photos, which turned out quite amazing because Chas is unbelievably photogenic and Logan is so patient and flexible.  Also, their relationship is so unique and genuine their personalities really shine through on camera.

Chas and I also worked together on a specialty photoshoot right before the wedding – somewhat of a glamour shoot.  It was so much fun and she looked fantastic.

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The Wedding:  I first have to mention just how hard they worked on every single detail from beginning to end.  Chas worked tirelessly to make it exactly how she wanted, and being the creative she is – she designed and created most of it herself.  That kind of attention to detail is hard to come by these days, when in fact it is much easier, efficient, and less time consuming to hire someone else to do it for you.

She did have our cousin create her wedding cakes, whom also created all 20 of my wedding cakes, and has her own cake creation company she runs right out of her home in Michigan.  (Need a cake designer?  Contact me for her details).  As you can see in the photos, one cake rolled with the theme and the other, it is apparent, was strictly designed just for Logan.  Appropriate.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention two other extremely important family contributors to her wedding.  Dalene Bielat not only did all of the girl’s hair but anyone else who wanted to look all fancy with a gorgeous updo.  AND Tim Richards and Family did the catering and fed so many people that night… successfully.  Thank you for the reminders everyone – it is difficult to remember everyone who worked dedicatedly to make this event happen.

(Aunt Teresa – I’m not going to give you a special mention here just because you birthed the woman all those years ago.  Yeah yeah – you’re awesome… blah blah blah.  ❤ 🙂 )

The wedding was Nightmare Before Christmas themed.  But it wasn’t on Halloween or Christmas, it was in fact an early October day.

The attendance was miraculous.  Friends and family came from all over the country – and even our great grandma made it for the ceremony.  She’s a trooper and she completed (and extended) their generational photo – which are always fun and extremely valuable to family documentation.)

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The family rented a gigantic house in Northern Michigan instead of utilizing the hotel industry in the area.  When I say this house was gigantic, I mean… it was gigantic.  It had an indoor swimming pool and hot tub pool house attached to the house, a weight room, a squash and racket ball room, and something like 15 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms?  Insane.  It was quite amazing to have the majority of our closest family in one house all at one time and actually not be able to see (or even know where) everyone was all of the time.

My favorite part of the house though, the view.  It captured Michigan in one panoramic view and created an amazing backdrop for the Bride and her side of the bridal party in all of their photos.

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The house also provided a perfect space to for the getting ready process that takes ever so long, is time consuming, tedious, and also creates marvelous photo ops.

Another detail to this wedding is in fact, her dad (my uncle) officiated the wedding (he also officiated mine).  He’s retired from the Navy (ah, there’s the rationale for the strapping uniform), and is the best officiant I have ever seen conduct a wedding.  It proved to be  extra special because it was his daughter’s wedding.  The happy-tears were flowing all the way through the day.  He met her on the porch with a view for first looks, walked her down the aisle, gave her away, and also pronounced them man and wife – man of a couple hats and definitely a saint for being able to pull it off without breaking down every two minutes.

I guess I should mention Logan in here too, (but no one judge – everyone knows the wedding industry is heavily marketed towards the bride unfortunately).  He looked dashing as always and made for a very calm and collected groom at no surprise at all.

The ceremony was beautiful and sincere – filled with tears, so much laughter, and moments that I will certainly remember.  I will admit I had to hide my own couple of tear drops behind my camera a few times.  Uncle Ernie did say something I hope to remember for ever.  It involved the idea of what Chas and Logan had to go through to find each other in life… it certainly makes one think.  Chas and Logan also painted a canvas for their union part of the ceremony – instead of sand or candles or tying rope.  Fitting.

The wind was chilly, and the sky fluctuated between sunny and overcast, but the rain held out until we were all warm inside partying it up.   The Bride and Groom First Dance was done, the Mother-Son dance, and of course the Daddy-Daughter dance during which they didn’t even look at each other the whole time (I’m guessing to prevent more tears, but that’s just an assumption).

But THEN… about a minute into the Daddy-Daughter dance the song screeched to a halt and the bridal party broke into a flash mob on the dance floor to the song by Silento – Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).  Which was comical in and of itself, however the best part was the practice run through the night before (sadly, those photos are forbidden to be distributed in a public forum).

And of course, the camera went away, the photographer finally got to play, and we all partied well into the night.  It was a success!  The couple got married, the photos turned out pretty good, everyone had fun, and we can officially call Logan part of our family (officially I said – he’s been putting up with us for many years and earned that title a long time ago).  Sorry everyone, two more amazing people are off the market.  What more could you ask for (unless you’re single and pining over either Chas or Logan, well in that case you’d be asking for them to be single again).

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I got to sneak into a photo too… ironically I didn’t get one with the bride and groom.  But, it was fitting I was with two more amazing cousins that I get to watch grow (far too fast) and turn into amazing young men from an adult perspective.

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The love story of K & P

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Please let me introduce you to Katie and Pete.  They met, they fell in love, and now they are married.

Their day was perfect.  Everything was engulfed in a light – a shimmer – of happiness and magic.

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The dress fit like it was meant to be.  The old-style lace complimented the bride’s complexion perfectly.

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Everyone was smiling; happiness was in plentiful supply.  The encouragement and support was outstanding.

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The time came, a prayer was said.  And then…

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the bride was presented, the groom fell in love all over.  A ceremony was conducted.  A marriage was born.

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It seems as if even the little ones knew exactly what this day was for.
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The weather held up: overcast and cool, slightly breezy.Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 4.03.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 4.05.36 PM

Stolen moments were captured

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And the little details that just made everything gorgeous…

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All beautiful things sadly must come to an end, including this night; but I feel this love story will go on forever…

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a little beach wedding…

I’ve lived in Michigan since summer 2005.  I’ve never been in love with any part of it as much as I’ve longed for the oceanic beaches of the East Coast (or St. John USVI).  When I was asked to shoot (my very first!!) wedding this summer in Harrisville, I had no idea I would be staring at Michigan’s East Coast so lustfully.  Close your eyes, clear your mind, then gaze out at the shoreline and you’d swear you were in the Outer Banks of North Carolina (or even sitting in the sands of Cinnamon Bay).

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It was a little beach wedding.  The sunshine was intense but the temperature was perfect with the breeze coming off the lake.  The water was so very blue… but icy cold (as rumored by the children who attempted a post-ceremony swim).  The bride and groom planned a simple day for their festivities.  Fifty of their closest friends and family members, slow cooked bbq, a help-yourself drink cart, picnic tables, a gift wheelbarrow, and pie. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.58.18 PM       Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.58.31 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.59.03 PM     Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.58.48 PM The details fell together nicely.  A bouquet full of memories. A little white dress that looked oh so beautiful contrasted next to the groom’s blue collard button up and tan beach shorts.  The bride was surrounded by a lifetime of girlfriends as she prepped herself for the big afternoon; the groom by his best man and the bride’s sons (who were actually the “bridesmaids”).
Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.41.54 PM    Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.41.28 PM     Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.41.17 PM       Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.41.41 PM         Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.42.04 PM The  ceremony was sweet, genuine, and sincere.  Her son-of-honor held her bouquet (the guests loved that) and his mom held the rings (she teared up).  I am having a hard time choosing my favorite part: it’s between when the bride gave the groom a grape soda pin from the movie UP (see the Disney replica below) or when the groom made all of our hearts melt like fondue when he… yes… got down on one knee to promise a lifetime of happiness, loyalty, love, and commitment… (I know right!).

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And I know this day is all about the newly wedded but I just couldn’t help but silently fawn over the guest of honor, the groom’s mother, who exuded so much beauty and grace that she reminded me so much of my own great grandmother (whom we recently lost).  I just wanted to smother her with affection and listen to her life’s story.  I told her she was beautiful and the camera loved her.  She smiled in appreciation and then chuckled at my forwardness. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 3.42.36 PMThe day was filled with smiles, laughs, happiness, and love – so much so I’m having a hard time narrowing down the photo quantity as I cull the images.

When I document a day such as this one, I try to remember the moment certain photos are associated with, like the one below.  Alas, for the life of me I can’t remember why she is smiling or why he is smirking – but the photo definitely tells a story.  And if there is one thing that we can all learn from a wedding day it is to smile, smirk, laugh, and love so much more.  The details are details and may dissipate,  but if we remember the bigger picture as being a happy one, well… I guess that’s all we can ask for. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.22.18 PM