January isn’t a popular time to get married in Michigan, but if you’re going to have an intimate winter wedding, this is probably the way to do it! Kaitlynn and Ben had originally planned on a larger backyard type wedding day in June but decided to move their date up and just tie the knot in January right after the holidays.
I have known Kaitlynn for many years – we met through my college roommate – and we have shared some fun adventures together, including the infamous Manitou Island backpacking trip that I took Josh on three months into dating. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well. Kaitlynn also made our wedding cake – she is an incredible baker.
Their intimate winter wedding came together with the help of their families and I think it turned out absolutely beautifully. They were married in Kaitlynn’s dad and stepmom’s church, St. John’s Lutheran in Fowlerville, Michigan. The family helped decorate their reception space, with the absolute best element – a neon light right behind their sweetheart table. That light is now in their bedroom at home!
We were lucky to have a dusting of snow that morning which made the portraits all the more magical. No wedding party, under 30 people in attendance, it was the perfect way to celebrate in a low-key way. Winter is so underrated and I understand why people avoid it but when you get beautiful snow like this, it just makes all the difference.
My favorite part of the day was watching Kaitlynn and Ben read their vows to each other after their portrait session. So sweet!
I have to say, Kaitlynn insisted I go home with a doggy bag of food and it was some of the best wedding food I’ve ever had!
I feel like this day proves your intimate winter wedding doesn’t have to be super extravagant to be beautiful. Sometimes it can take a little more DIY, but simple is often better.
From the couple: “My husband and I have used Madalyn twice now and both times we have felt so comfortable in front of the camera. She has fun little tricks to get you out of your shell which has captured some pretty awesome genuine laughs. Our most recent session was our wedding and everything went so smoothly. She was so quick and kept things moving right along on the day. Our album also came out amazing and she was so easy to work with to get exactly what we wanted. We are using her again for a newborn session at the end of this year and I cannot wait to use her more as our family continues to grow!”
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
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