Before COVID-19 shook all of our lives, Suzanne and Kyle were married in an intimate living room elopement. Right in their living room, their immediate families gathered as they declared that they would spend their lives together in marriage.
When Suzanne originally called me about photographing her wedding, she mentioned that the reason they chose an intimate living room elopement was that her grandparents were married in their living room as well. Kyle and her wanted something simple, but memorable, and both didn’t want to be the center of attention on a big wedding day.
Before the ceremony, we took a moment for a first look, again right in the living room. The pair wanted a private moment to breathe before the ceremony. It was, of course, an emotional one.
After the ceremony, we headed to the Fisher Building for family photos and portraits of the couple. I love the Fisher Building and its architecture. It’s one of the few places in Detroit where you can photograph inside without a fee.
We also were able to make a quick stop at the Cass Ave viaduct for some perfect golden hour photos with Suz and Kyle. I love love love winter sunsets. Don’t think a winter wedding can’t be beautiful. It absolutely IS. A wedding is beautiful in every single season. We also just happened to get the most beautiful February day!
After sharing some time together, Suzanne and Kyle greeted guests and family at The Hungarian Rhapsody restaurant for a dinner reception. The only traditional thing they did was cut the cake (and it was delicious by the way…Suz made sure I wrapped some up to take home).
When it comes to your wedding, you do you. For Suzanne and Kyle, this meant forgoing a big wedding to spend the day as they’d like it. This doesn’t mean the wedding is less special or meaningful. This is exactly what they envisioned and wanted for their day. Read more on how to make intimate weddings special on my blog.
Winter weddings are honestly under-rated. I really wanted to have one — they’re just such warm events! Sarah and Brandon’s Lafayette Grande wedding took place a few days after Christmas, so the holiday vibes were present. I think that’s probably one of the best parts about getting married around the holidays — there’s always extra decorations everywhere and you don’t have to provide them!
This Lafeyette Grande wedding wasn’t holiday-themed. In fact, Sarah and Brandon infused aspects of their personalities and relationship into the day. From the Game of Thrones and Harry Potter table numbers to the many books to sign at the guest book table to the beautiful personal vows they shared…they really made the wedding day their own.
Perhaps you remember from their University of Michigan engagement session, Sarah and Brandon met as freshmen at the University of Michigan. During their engagement session, we even visited the dorm they met in (a small 70-something person building). Their friendship (and love) blossomed as the years went on, as roommates in the later years, and through graduate school and moves to Florida and now Wisconsin. Ten years later, they tied the knot at the Lafeyette Grand in the Grande Ballroom.
Things I loved about this wedding: Sarah’s dress (that pattern…so good), Brandon’s custom suit, the mismatched wedding party attire, the simplicity yet beauty of the florals (perfect for winter), and how much Sarah and Brandon seemed to enjoy the day. The Lafayette Grande was perfect for a winter wedding because it’s so beautiful inside. Super easy for photos! I can’t wait to be back this fall.
I really enjoyed working alongside Sarah, Brandon, and their closest friends and family. Sarah was one of the most organized and thoughtful brides I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. It was such an honor to capture this day for these two!
From the bride: “Madalyn was probably the best photographer we could have asked for, it was like having a friend instead of a vendor do our photos. Her photos obviously speak for themselves but she was so incredibly organized and professional throughout the entire process, she got us our timeline and I was able to use that to build the rest of our day of schedule around it. She communicated early and often and always made sure she got the list of required photos we wanted so we didn’t miss anything. Since she also hadn’t photographed at our venue before, she set up her own meeting with the venue before the wedding to get a tour and walkthrough so it wasn’t a surprise on the day of the wedding. She was assertive when she needed to be to wrangle our families for photos but otherwise was extremely flexible in getting shots if the plans changed! Especially since our wedding was late in the winter and we decided against a first look, she made sure to have a lighting assistant on hand to help coordinate additional flash and we got some great evening photos, and the second shooter who helped out had some awesome ideas for important shots too! Also, she got us engagement photo sneak peeks within 24 hours and got us our wedding sneak peeks (40+ photos!) within 48 hours of our wedding. Madalyn used the engagement photo session to get to know us and she just does a great job of capturing candid and genuine emotion and just made the entire planning experience and day of photos so comfortable and fun. So excited to get the rest of our photos! Thanks Madalyn!”
When you get to photograph your college bestie’s wedding, it’s a really good day. Celeste and Jeremy’s Como Conservatory wedding last November was absolutely perfect for a November Minnesota day. No snow, actually warm for a November day, and no rain! I think we won. This was my first “destination wedding” and I’m actually glad it was in the Twin Cities because I think it’s similar to Detroit in a lot of ways.
This was my second trip to Minnesota in 2019 (we made three…Josh is from Rochester, Minnesota and we go there for Christmas), the first being Celeste and Jeremy’s Duluth engagement session. If you’re reading this from the land of ten thousand lakes (though I hear there’s more than that), I would love to go back. 🙂
It’s been a long time since I’ve photographed the wedding of a friend (cue first wedding I photographed), but it was so lovely to spend the whole day alongside Celeste, who I’ve known for nearly a decade. We met when we lived across the hall from each other during our sophomore year of college and both us and our roommates all shared an apartment and house our junior and senior years. If you look carefully in this blog post, you’ll find our roomie photo. It’s probably the only wedding blog post where you’ll find a photo of me! And you’ll see some photos of Josh who was with me!
Celeste and Jeremy were married at the church where they met, Hope Community Church in downtown Minneapolis. They shared an intimate first look on the balcony in front of stained glass windows. I think the emotion of the day was JOY. We headed down to the Stone Arch Bridge, which is an old pedestrian bridge that is one of the Twin Cities’ icons. Though it was super windy and chilly, it’s such a beautiful spot to take photos of the Minneapolis skyline. We also used some of the old mill ruins as a backdrop. I love the Twin Cities!
After a beautiful ceremony, the reception at the Como Zoo and Conservatory began. I think this was such a cool venue. They had the doors to the palm room open so you could walk through and all the windows overlooking the gardens would be gorgeous in the spring or summer.
When she was planning, Celeste told me they wanted to do some type of exit (they are fun duh!) but sparklers weren’t allowed. So I told her only a certain type of glow stick works well (the huge ones) and really streamers are your best bet! So they did that and I think the exit photos turned out beautiful!
Before 2019 gets away from me, I wanted to finish sharing the last of my 2018 images! Kaitlyn and Jacob were married on December 29, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Royal Oak and celebrated their reception at the Waterview Loft in downtown Detroit. This Waterview Loft wedding was complete with beautiful event design and a hopping party!
I think my favorite part of this wedding was that Kaitlyn and Jacob were able to visit the spot of their very first date, Ale Mary’s, after their ceremony. When I met Kaitlyn for the first time a year before their wedding, she had told me all about this very long first date and hinted that she kind of knew that this one was special. Ale Mary’s holds a special place in their relationship, so what a treat to be able to go back to where it all began on the first day of a new chapter.
After Ale Mary’s, we headed to downtown Detroit for photos and to catch the last glimpses of light on the Detroit River as the reception began. There’s nothing like a downtown Detroit wedding, I’ll tell you that!
From the bride: “Madalyn was an absolute dream, and I will never stop recommending her. She did our engagement and wedding and the entire planning process made me feel so at ease and excited at the same time. Not to mention, she sent us the cutest little package with treats and a handmade card for help to plan the wedding photos. The personal touches and individualized attention is beyond what you would ever get from the big guys. The candid authenticity of her photos is so dreamy, but she was also able to capture the more posed shots that I wanted as well. Madalyn, you’re amazing, Jake and I are customers for life!”
floral/event design: emerald city designs | cake: sweet heather anne | dj: pro dj services | hair: bridal beauty couture | makeup: blushed hair & make-up | gown: maggie sottero | paper: HSR graphics
Cheyenne and Tony’s Tina’s Country House and Gardens wedding was a long time coming and definitely worth the wait! On a slightly chilly early March day, they were married amongst their closest family and friends.
The first time I met Cheyenne was back in 2017 when my business was just taking off. Their son Chase was just a baby and I remember holding him as Cheyenne signed the contract. Now Chase is growing fast and their daughter Naomi has joined their beautiful little family! I think one of the most beautiful moments of the whole wedding was Tony’s reaction to Chase coming down the aisle. Second would probably be Tony and Cheyenne dancing with their children before they were off to bed.
One of the sweetest couples I’ve worked with, I have photographed Tony and Cheyenne twice before their wedding so they were ready for the camera. And honestly they’re naturals. It’s always clear to me why they’re together every time I see them!
They wrote their own vows for their ceremony and shared their promises to each other. The ceremony was followed by a lovely reception and some heartfelt words from their friends and Tony’s mom, who made a wonderful speech welcoming Cheyenne officially into the family.
After waiting a year and a half for this Tina’s Country House and Gardens wedding, I was sad to see it end, but luckily Tony and Cheyenne have promised to let me always take their family photos! 🙂
I love weddings in all seasons, even when it’s cold, rainy, and windy like it was on Robert and Elizabeth’s Pier Park Grosse Pointe wedding last December 1st. The weird weather didn’t stop them from having literally the best day. In fact, from the first look to the sparkler exit, they couldn’t stop smiling!
After getting ready separately, they meet right on Lake St. Clair in a gazebo for a first look. Despite the crazy wind and Elizabeth’s veil blowing right off, it was an emotional moment to witness. They exchanged gifts after a few portraits, Elizabeth giving Robert a journal of letters she wrote to him while they were engaged and Robert giving her the necklace she would wear the rest of the day.
After some bridal party photos, we headed to the church for their candlelit ceremony. Is there anything more romantic than a candlelit ceremony? I’ve decided there isn’t. When the vows were exchanged and the license signed, everyone headed back to Pier Park for the reception.
Let me tell you, this Pier Park Grosse Pointe wedding was a PARTYYY. The dance floor was full all night long and I got some of my favorite dance floor photos ever. See below. The bride and groom did what I think brides and grooms should do: they partied with their people in the way they wanted to! The party was so intense, the bride’s hair went straight up into a top bun.
The night was capped off with a sparkler send-off and Robert told the guests that were left that it was the best day he’d ever had. That means you’re doing it right.