We stated of in the clear tent in Cadillac square that was a holiday dream filled with cozy furniture, table games and fireplaces. And then strolled through Campus Martius having fun and taking engagement photos of the loving couple
If I would have to describe modern Detroit wedding - this one was it. From the couple getting ready at RenCen, to first look on the River walk, to creative photos around iconic Detroit places, to the wedding celebration at Waterview Loft at the Port of Detroit, to amazing fun filled matron of honor speech / song story of couples love in Motown songs. These kind of weddings is why I love being wedding photographer. Also check out their amazing engagement photos at DIA.
Waterview Loft at the Port of Detroit is one of my favorite venues. The lower level right on river walk of Detroit River is perfect with large garage door windows serves as ceremony space that gets transformed for cocktail hour and later dancing, and upper level host lovely reception space overlooking Detroit River.
I have been looking forward to this wedding from the time I met the couple and their amazing engagement photo shoot at DIA. And the big day was filled with laughter, love and joy.
What could me Detroit themed than having a wedding at Ford Museum / Greenfield Village. This venue is filled with gorgeous locations - we photographed couples first look in one of the courtyards and had beautiful ceremony and reception at Lovett Hall, as the celebration filled with live band, dancing and cartoonist drawing guests as well as the newlyweds.
Stunning wedding invitations from Minted were highlighted with gold foil and made a perfect background for beautiful wedding ring detail photo.
I love engagement photo shoots. I get to know the couple better before the big day, and quite often I get to meet their four legged friends.
If I could give one tip for couples who want to incorporate their pets, make sure you got some helping hands. Most of the time the pet is with a friend or the family member for part of the photo shoot. Sometimes the furry family member is at another location and we stop there for a bit. For this engagement photo session we started with just the couple at the park and concluded with stop at home where and adorable puggle joined us for some cute photos in the neighborhood and the yard.
Grosse Pointe Yacht Club is a beautiful venue with great architecture - perfect for a wedding. On this beautiful day filled with sunshine, bride and groom celebrated they big day with friends and family, and a lot of nieces and nephews and their dog. After the emotional first look, their beautiful German shepherd posed for wedding photos.
Being a wedding photographer I see such a great variety of wedding flowers. Grand bouquets with big center blooms, color coordinated to match the color themes of the wedding, classic roses and some bouquets are not flowers at all.
I love photographing flowers. I also have noticed quite a few challenges over the years of seeing wedding bouquets. Flowers are expensive. On on your special day you want them to add to the overall celebration aesthetic.
Since most of us don’t regularly handle flowers, seeking reputable florist is a great idea. They can advise you on blooms that are in season, blooms that will last though out your day as well as providing knowledge of assembling a great bouquet. However knowing some basics will set you up for a great start. In this article I’m focusing on fresh flowers
So here are my 5 tips to rock you wedding flowers.
Pick blooms that are in season - these flowers will usually be the freshest and have greatest availability.
Consider the wight of the bouquet - you will be carrying the flowers for quite some time. Also when consider boutineers and corsages - heaver blooms will tend to pull on fabrics and may be harder to attach. Stiffer stems also tend to break. (remember that boutineers will see some use as there will be quite a bit of hugging during the wedding day).
Pay attention to how bouquet is constructed - you will handle the flowers quite a bit throughout the day - make sure to talk to the florist about how delicate are some blooms and where they should be placed in the bouquet so they don’t break
Consider the climate/season and how long the flowers will be exposed to hot/ cold temperatures - tropical blooms may do better in summer, delicate blooms may start to wilt and droop when exposed to hours of heat or cold
Do your research ahead of time - look up the flowers that you like ans see how well they handle as cut blooms. Consider that the photos you may see online may be prepared specifically for a photo shoot, that they may be in a controlled temperatures.
When I photograph flowers at the wedding - I set a goal to get my shots in as early as possible - as soon as I arrive or as soon as florist delivers them. But likely flowers will be in photos throughout the day - at the ceremony, on the table at the reception.
As a quick common sense note - have a paper towel or a regular towel to be able to dab water from the steams when you remove your bouquet from the vase. I’ve encountered quite a bit of improvisation when bouquets drip and sometimes leave stains on wedding and bridesmaid dresses.
At this Iranian American wedding on Detroit river drums and dancing filled the Ovation Yacht as the couple started their wedding journey.
We started on lake St Clair Beach with a first look and some bridal party photos and then headed onto Ovation Yacht. As the yacht departed the port drummers brought guests and bride to the deck for the grand entrance and the ceremony.
I love seeing cultural traditions at weddings as families blend and start new journeys.
As we approached Ambassador Bridge, couple started their first dance.
And the fun began with guests joining in festivities
This beautiful barn on Clarkston Rd is perfect for a wedding. There are actually three barns - the beautiful large two story barn with church stained glass windows had undergone recent rennovaiton and breaths history if the area that used to be a farm, as well as reminds of previous owner - sculptor and artist Paul Gonzalez.
But the property has a smaller red barn, as well as lovely gray barn.
This engagement photo shoot on Belle Isle was filled with laughter and love. The brides hair in long locks made me think of Rapunzel or Sansa from Game of Thrones. And the couple was so smitten and fun and made me love my job with every photo we took .
I love photographing on Belle Isle with ton of great locations around the park. Weeping willows create romantic setting as we explored the area near ponds and conservatory.
First look is my favorite moment at the wedding - first time the bride and groom see each other dressed and ready is one of those amazing moments when the rest of the world falls away. It doesn't matter when it happens - at the altar, or before the ceremony.
For this countdown I'll give my reasons for the First Look before the ceremony
1 Couple gets to have more of an intimate moment
Sometimes bride and groom want to share this moment in more intimate way. It helps to get "the nerves" out of the way and allows for longer more relaxed experience to appreciate each other. To have more time for just the two of them ( and a photographer)
2 Getting the photos out of the way ahead of ceremony
Having first look before the ceremony also allows the couple to schedule formals with the bridal party and family as well as creative couples photos right after, especially if the couple chooses to mingle with guests at the cocktail hour. This also allows more time flexibility for creative and formal photos in case there is large bridal party or couple is traveling to different reception site.
3 More creative freedom
Seeing each other for the first time without all of the guest, also allows for more fun in the moment. No one is is waiting to start the ceremony. Its just fun time to connect.
So here it is - my 3 reasons to have first look. I notice more and more couples choose the First Look instead of seeing each other for the first time at the altar for variety of reasons.
But no matter when bride and groom see each other first - it truly is a very special moment.
Lucas and Alexa had their lovely lakeside wedding at Twin Chimneys Independence Oaks County park. Having an outside wedding in Michigan can have its risks - from scorching heat to rain, but this day only few drops came down earlier in the day, and the breeze from the lake made for a lovely celebration of love.
The pavilion was decorated with string lights and rustic table center pieces and guests were treated to handmade soaps as favors.
The couple said their I Dos in front of the gazebo and the park gave great options for romantic wedding photos on the docks of the lake and around the park.
And So Cheers to the happy couple. May their life is filled with love and understanding.
Recently got to photograph with Stephanie on a beach. I love the light reflecting from the sand and how breeze moves the clothing.
We had a gorgeous bouquet. I have to thank Detroit Design Company for sourcing beautiful protea blooms.
I love photographing movement. Being on the beach and having a bit of a breeze catch the bridal cape was exactly what I was looking for. While it looks like we were on a quiet beach, people were sunbathing and enjoying the water at the Holly Recreation area. We just played with angles and looked for clearing.
But this beautiful cape stole the show. I'm a big fan of veils in bridal portraits. This flowing cape had the feel of long flowy veil, but held up in the wind ( the veils sometimes pul on the hair a bit too hard)
Traditional weddings are always interesting to photogrph, as specific wedding traditions get passed down through generations, and sometimes integrated with modern life.
This Ukrainian wedding started with ceremony at the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hamtramack and reception celebration continues at the Cherry Creek Golf Club. We stopped by at the Stoney Creek Metro park for some creative photos as well. When it comes to the weddings with multiple locations, my best advise is to account for the driving times, so they day doesn’t seem rushed.
Wedding timeline seems this overwhelming list of everything that has to be done, making sure that the big day allows for everything important happen and avoid the stress of being late.
You can always opt for wedding coordinator, who will help you with scheduling and coordinating everything. Wedding coordinators offer variety of services, from "Day of" coordination, to full wedding planning.
Here in Detroit Metro area there are quite a few companies including Ines & Marie Events
As a wedding photographer I come across of wide variety of weddings and timelines and the one takeaway is that timelines need room for flexibility.
So here are my top tips to no stress timeline
1. Before you even start working out the time, write down the list of your vendors. That will ensure that you know when and where everything will be happening.
2. If your wedding day includes several locations - getting ready / ceremony / photos / reception - don' t forget the travel time, as well as extra time for parking and boarding the transportation. If your wedding is in one location, you just created more room to breathe.
3. Add time 10 to 15 minutes extra to have time to freshen up, have a snack and use the restroom.
4. Start your timeline with least flexible events - ceremony. Then work backwards to allocate enough time for getting ready, transportation and photography.
5. Allocate time for photography. Well this tip is dear to my heart. Being wedding photographer I com across quite a few situations when initial outline is set for photography however, people who should be in the photos are not ready or present. While I am a big fan of first look and family formals and creative photos before the ceremony, I understand that some couples opt for tradition of seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony.
-If couple chooses to have the first look and creative photos before the ceremony, make sure that bridal party and family members knows when they should be ready.
- if you have large family and want formal photos after the ceremony, make sure they don't leave.
5. Have a plan B if any part of your wedding is outside and there is a chance for inclement weather
This Indian wedding was filled with beautiful traditions incorporated in a Catholic mass at Inn at St Johns. The couple couldn’t have picket a more fitting venue. After bride and groom got ready we started with First look in the beautiful long hallway with high arching windows facing the courtyard.
Followed by couple taking photos with bridal party and family in the courtyard. I love First look as it gives couple a chance to get all the family photos out of the way and enjoy time with their guests right after the ceremony.
The couple had some fun ideas and I’m glad to capture all the joy and show off the personalities.
Groomsmen showed off their awesome socks.
After ceremony wedding guests treated couple to choreographed dance and the celebration continued on
On this warm September day I had a great pleasure to be the wedding photographer as this lovely couple returned from California to celebrate their wedding with friends and family.
While September would usually be considered a fall season for weddings, this year weather was more like July or August - hot and at times humid, but mainly dry. Indian Springs Metropark Discovery center has great hallway with tall windows, perfect to showcase the bride getting ready.
As a wedding photographer, my favorite part is watching the interactions of family and friends. On this big day, you could feel the love filling the space.
I love the grounds of this venue - there are fields with tall grass, and pathways, a giant old oak tree with branches leaning down, and a beautiful arbor where bride and groom exchanged the vows.
One of the great highlights of the wedding was, that couple danced to a song written and recorded by groom, that made those first dance moments even sweeter
Indian Springs Metropark is a perfect place for a wedding if you love fields and rustic decor. The spacious discovery center has interesting architecture and a lovely hall for the receptions.
As this year is coming to a close, Ive been sorting my hard drive folders, and came across this lovely wedding - so this is a bit of a throwback post. But it was such a pleasure to be part of the big day for this young couple who embraced the farm they chose for their ceremony and reception with flock of geese following us around for a while.
Upland Hills Farms had a lovely barn for the ceremony and beautiful hillside for the photos and it truly captured the cowboy style this couple chose for their big day
DIA is amazing museum ( and even more amazing event venue) , and wondering through the halls fills me with joy. So to photogrph an engagement session with a couple who shares love for the art made me giddy.
But photo shoots in museums and libraries com with their own set of challenges. Limited light is one of them, and since there have been some bad apples, more and more curated places put restrictions on photography. If you end up photography in a museum, library or other public venue, be mindful of the policies as well as courteous to fellow visitors.
We took our trip to DIA as a chance to enjoy the art, as well as incorporate the couples love for art, and a place they visited when they started dating .
Some of the pieces of art made me want to get a brush and create my own artistic backgrounds for studio photo sessions.
The bold art with the couple showing off their love, made me feel like I am in the presence of layering of art. The emotions on top of art - that is emotion provoking in itself - created the dynamic multi-dimension new art.
DIA also has amazing hallways, staircases and surrounding outside areas that are perfect for photography 9 and the Detroit public library is right across the street)
Check out their amazing wedding blog at the Waterview Loft at Port of Detroit .
This fall couple shoot really got to showcase the closeness of Seth and Kasey. We actually got to enjoy a bit of fall color. Michigan had some interesting weather this season - from 96F at the end of September to leaves changing really late and quick, and in many place falling leaving bare trees.
But at the Rotary Park we lucked out with fall colors and brisk but dry weather.
It truly brings me joy, when people have fun and show off their personalities