So many of my summer 2020 couples made the hard decision to make changes to their original wedding plans so they could still tie the knot on their original date. Keri and Darin were no different and their intimate Divine Child wedding turned out to be just the loveliest day!
Maybe you remember Keri and Darin’s beautiful fall engagement session, with appearances by their adorable dog Callie — she makes an appearance in their wedding photos too, don’t worry! If you’re thinking of including your dog in your wedding photos, do it! I wish Nora was in ours – biggest regret for me of our wedding day for sure.
Keri and Darin met at Central Michigan University and were together almost eight years before their wedding day! They were originally planning a large 300+ person wedding, so what you’ll see below is very different from what we thought we’d be doing! These two are some of the most genuinely kind people you’ll ever meet. Keri and I had some long phone calls to discuss how best to proceed with the wedding and I never was upset to hear from her. She and Darin handled all of the changes with a lot of grace. They told me that they knew what was important to them about their wedding and planned around that. I think it turned out exactly perfect because it really centered around Keri and Darin in a very relaxed environment.
Keri is a teacher at Divine Child and it was important for them when re-planning their wedding to keep the day as an intimate Divine Child wedding. Surrounded by their wedding party and closest family, they said “I do!” on their original wedding date, followed by a backyard reception at Keri’s parents’ home. It was all beautifully put together and full of so much love! It was a hot day, but I had so much fun with these two and their people. It was one of those days where you feel like family. We took portraits at Nankin Mills which is one of my favorite spots in the Dearborn area for photos!
Though Keri and Darin opted against a first look, they decided they still wanted a special moment to themselves before they saw each other down the aisle. They opted for a first touch around a door where they exchanged letters. If you’re not into the whole first look thing, this is a great way to still have a special moment together before the ceremony! I love when couples exchange letters (whether in person or separately) and think it’s a beautiful private moment for you both. Sometimes you can say things in writing that just won’t come out otherwise.
ceremony: Church of the Divine Child | florals: Boland Florist | cake: Cakes by Stephanie | gown: Bombshell Bridal | alterations: Eva’s Bridal Salon | bridesmaids: Azazie | Rings: Orin Jewelers & Diamonds & Jewelry Unlimited | groom suit: Jos A Bank
July is always a beautiful time for a wedding, but perfect for the Divine Child wedding of Leah and Dan. After making the difficult decision to cancel their reception, they decided that getting married on their original date with their closest family was perfect for them. Their Divine Child wedding in Dearborn was followed by some incredible Downtown Detroit wedding photos on literally the most beautiful July day. I don’t think we could have asked for more.
Despite not having the “traditional” wedding structure, Leah and Dan still wanted major aspects of their day captured, so we started with getting ready photos of them separately (Dan at the couple’s home and Leah at her parents’). I got to work alongside videographer Diffuse Media which was such a treat for me! These two did not opt for a first look but wrote each other letters which they read after getting dressed. They were absolutely beautiful to hear. Letters are one of my favorite ways to make a wedding day special without a first look.
Should I Do A First Look at My Wedding?→
The Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn is a gorgeous church to be married in, and I was lucky enough to capture a Divine Child wedding twice in 2020! After a beautiful mass, we headed downtown to the Detroit riverfront for some downtown Detroit wedding photos. Then we made sure to end at Woodward Avenue and Parker’s Alley for a few urban shots. I just love the images of the Renaissance Center in the backdrop – too gorgeous! I’m lucky for clients who listen to my location suggestions and let me take the reins to make gorgeous images.
Though COVID threw these two some curveballs, as Leah said, the important thing to them was to be married. And they did just that and had such a beautiful day, even if it wasn’t the Masonic Temple large reception they envisioned.
How would you like to celebrate your anniversary once every four years? Dani and Matt were game! Their winter Inn at St. John’s wedding was a Leap Day wedding (February 29, 2020). Not only was it a gorgeous winter day (even with a little snow on the ground), but we got SUNSHINE! If you’ve ever photographed in February in Michigan, you know that sunshine can be hard to come by.
This winter Inn at St. John’s wedding was my final wedding before our state shut down for COVID. At the time, the virus wasn’t really on everyone’s mind. My how times have changed!
Maybe you remember their downtown Detroit engagement session last spring, but Dani and Matt are truly a perfect match. Dani is exuberant, outgoing, and bubbly, while Matt is more reserved, very sweet, and super steady. You can tell that Matt has a way of truly calming Dani’s energy; and I felt that on the wedding day. As Dani recalled on their reception, their meeting changed the course of her life in all the best ways.
After a first look in that magical Inn at St. John’s hallway, we took photos with Dani and Matt around the property, followed by a ceremony in the chapel. There really isn’t another chapel in the area like it! How beautiful! Dani looked stunning and Matt super dapper. I think Dani was made to be a bride. She told me that she thinks all the America’s Top Model watching paid off and I AGREE. STUNNING.
I love the classic and timeless look that they put together for their wedding. And peep the Millennium Falcon cufflinks…letting Matt’s personality shine through! They also went to Disney for their honeymoon, and definitely made sure to spend time at Galaxy’s Edge. Dan also surprised Matt with a huge Star Wars lego set. Probably the most unique wedding gift I’ve seen!
I couldn’t get over how kind everyone was to us all day long at this winter Inn at St. John’s wedding. The entire wedding party and all of the family was just wonderful to work with. We actually ran ahead of schedule because everyone was so cooperative and the Inn at St. John’s wedding staff was on top of things! Of course, everything was running perfectly smoothly with day of coordinator Cindy Decker, who I love to work with! Cindy is always on top of things and I highly recommend having her come coordinate your day so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
The more weddings I go to, the more I realize how much joy they have. There weren’t many tears shed (okay, a few by Dani…but her makeup held up amazingly — thanks Rosa!) because this was such a happy occasion of two families coming together to celebrate. No matter the wedding I’m at, the joy is contagious. I can’t help but leave with a smile on my face. It’s why I can’t stop doing this job.
Dani and Matt, it was a pleasure. I loved your day, loved your people, and loved working with you. I wish you both ALL THE BEST!
Assistant: Megan Faraj | Coordinator: Cindy Decker Weddings | Videographer: Bearded Wolf Productions | Florist: Flowers for Dreams | Cake: Cakes by Stephanie | Donuts: The Donut Bar | DJ: Forella Events | Hair: Melody Alyse | Makeup: Rosa Alcantara| Gown: White Arbor Bridal / Stella York | Bridesmaids: Birdy Grey | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Rings: Tiffany & Co / Tappers Jewelry | Men’s Attire: The Black Tux | Paper: Minted