Tag Archives: friends

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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a baby shower…

This month I co-hosted a baby shower/diaper party.  It was small and simple and over all a success except for a minor wardrobe issue I had that was quickly solved by rummaging through the closet of the mom-to-be.  (uh… oh yeah,  I have yet to return that).

In case you missed it, here’s a short recap.

The party had three hosts really, to include Charlie here.  Dashing isn’t he?  Very stoic.  I’m sure he thought everyone was there to see him though, I doubt he cares much about the arriving baby at the moment.

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 10.01.39 PMThe food was good, the company was good, the weather was beautiful, and drinks a plenty.  But the piece de resistance was surely this handcrafted cake, made by none other than my extremely talented cousin, Melissa Wallace of Tasty Memories out of Macomb, Michigan.  (Have any cake needs coming up?  Contact me for her contact information, she is wonderful…)  You can’t see it here, but the giraffe was wearing a diaper.  The cake flavor, you ask?  Funfetti!!  Only the best.

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 10.04.35 PMThe guys did their thing, beer and cigars were definitely involved.  We did force them to play a game with us, which was pretty much the best thing ever.  This was a pretty fun game actually; a short and sweet relay called Tinkle in the Pot.  (Want how-to details? Just ask).  Here’s mommy and daddy playing along… no, your eyes are not deceiving you, daddy IS pregnant.

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At the end of the day a group of mommy and daddy’s closest friends joined together to support them in their up coming adventure via good company, well wishes, gifts, diapers, laughs, fun, memories, and love.  From beginning to end it was chaos, a lot of work, but well worth it.  We couldn’t have pulled it off without a handful of amazing people whom all helped to organize the mess of a plan I had written in my head.  I’m sure I amped the anxiety and stress levels on my own with my ocd-ness slash perfectionist tendencies.  Either way… Go Team Suki!

Here are the ladies that attended the girls-only portion of the party (actually, it was very co-ed, mingling type of atmosphere… but I think we used up our requests for participation from the guys with the game we made them play.  Asking them to take a photo would have definitely been pushing it.)

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Stay tuned for the maternity shoot for the parents-to-be (have I used that phrase too many times?  What else do you call them?) coming soon, right before the baby is born, when mom is popping like bubble yum.

**Note:  Photo quality is degraded for blog post purposes.  Want a print?  Contact me!

 

 

an impromptu shoot on an impromptu summer’s day

We’ve all been asking ourselves (and each other) why summer hasn’t shown up in Michigan.  Not because time is fleeting by so quickly (uhm, well, that’s always a complaint) but because the weather hasn’t really been acting like it’s the beginning of August.  I think Mother Nature is mad at us, she’s definitely holding a grudge or something.

So me with my dogs and my my neighbor with her son took advantage of a day this week when the weather was actually worthy to be apart of the summer season.  We decided to get all spontaneous and crazy – out came the hose.  Oh boy, did little boy E love it so much.  It was a little bit of medicine-fun for him as he has been teething recently and not feeling so hot… hopefully Mother Nature will forgive us for the little bit of wasted water because it went to a good cause.

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Bonus:  I’ve been dealing with a creativity block recently, sometimes it just takes running with a simple idea to remind yourself you’ve still got it and to help with the process of getting back on track.