Detroit Institute of arts wedding portraits | shallana & randy

Detroit Institute of arts wedding portraits | shallana & randy

With covid impacting so many couples, it’s been a year with less weddings, but not necessarily less portraits. Shallana and Randy were married in a private, small ceremony over the summer and asked if I could take some Detroit Institute of Arts wedding portraits to celebrate their marriage. I said, of course!

I love photographing these two! Their Stony Creek engagement session was so beautiful and I’ve seen them a few times at my mini sessions with their pups.

Detroit Institute of Arts wedding portraits hold a special place in my heart because this location is where we took our wedding photos. Something about the classic look of the marble just always makes everyone look incredible. We used the back and front of the building, went across the street to the Detroit Public Library (another favorite of mine) and then stopped at the McGregor Conference Center on Wayne State University’s campus which has some amazing architecture that I’ve always wanted to use.

These two are too chic – don’t we love that burgundy suit? I’m so glad the trend is these non-black and grey suits, makes things so much more exciting! And Shallana’s dress is just to die for. So gorgeous. I wish them all the happiness in the world – they deserve it!

You can always do a session to celebrate an anniversary or just because. There’s nothing wrong with documenting your relationship right now – not just for a big event. Plus portrait sessions are much more laid back than weddings. More time to really relax and have fun in front of the camera!

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Summer Detroit Backyard Wedding | Lisa & John

Summer Detroit Backyard Wedding | Lisa & John

Lisa and John originally did not plan to have a summer Detroit backyard wedding, but the pandemic had other plans. Instead of postponing their celebration, they decided to make some changes to the guest list and venue so that they could have their wedding on their original wedding day.

Lisa and John met in a kickball league, believe it or not! I think that’s the most unique way to meet and have never had a couple meet that way. John proposed at Acadia National Park in Maine. They love spending time outdoors and at breweries….my kind of people. We did their engagement session on Belle Isle and in downtown Detroit; it was honestly a blast!

This summer Detroit backyard wedding was graciously hosted by John’s sister and brother-in-law in their beautiful backyard. And I think it turned out wonderfully!

The ceremony took place at Lisa’s childhood church, First Presbyterian Church of Northville, which is right in downtown Northville. The church is smaller and quite beautiful inside! The stained glass just is my favorite. I loved the moment when Lisa’s mom walked her down the aisle. Super emotional for both of them!

Originally Lisa and John were not planning a first look, but they made a last minute decision to have one, and I don’t think they regretted it! It was such a cute moment and let them relax a little before the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, the wedding party and I headed over to Maybury State Park for portraits. I love Maybury for sessions and was so excited we were able to use it for their wedding. We had gorgeous lighting – literally perfect for a summer wedding.

To cap off this Detroit backyard wedding, we took some nighttime portraits with the lights hung just outside the backyard. They are some of my favorite of the day and so MAGICAL. String lights just make a space, let me tell you!

Vendors:

ceremony: First Presbyterian Church of Northville | florals: Westborn Market | cake: Cantoro’s | dj: Rusch Entertainment | hmu: Studio 170 | catering: Italian American Banquet Center | gown: Essense of Australia | bridemaids: David’s Bridal | shoes: Badgley Mischka | jewelry: Blue Nile | men’s attire: Men’s Warehouse | transport: Millennium Limo | invites: Vistaprint | favors: Recycled Ideas Favors

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Intimate Divine Child Wedding | Keri & Darin

Intimate Divine Child Wedding | Keri & Darin

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.

Vendors:

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

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Summer Detroit Backyard Wedding | Leina & Tom

Summer Detroit Backyard Wedding | Leina & Tom

I just love a summer Detroit backyard wedding. One of my favorite parts of 2020 was the pivoting to backyard wedding celebrations. Leina and Tom planned a simple backyard wedding to begin with; no change of plans needed when the pandemic continued to impact our lives.

It was a hot day for a Detroit backyard wedding. And I truly mean hot – very sweaty, very humid, and just a typical midwestern Michigan July day, just before Independence Day. But this didn’t make the celebration any less special, just that everyone changed out of their suits and ties and pants after all the photos were done.

Leina has an infectious personality. She is sweet and has a big laugh as you can see in the photos. I loved her simple boho dress – it just suited her. A first look with Tom and then her son Eli was the perfect way to kick off this Detroit backyard wedding!

The ceremony space was decorated with an arch with florals by the insanely talented (and super sweet but now Nashville bound) Kinship Flower Farm. Tom and Leina said their vows amongst their closest family and friends, about 30 or so people. After the ceremony and signing of the marriage license, they participated in a Polish tradition in which the husband and wife are presented with two shot glasses, one has vodka and one has water. Whoever gets the vodka is apparently the boss of the marriage. Maybe you can figure out who won by the images.

The best part of summer backyard weddings is their simplicity. The kids played badminton and danced in sprinklers. The guests greeted Tom’s mother’s chickens. Everyone ate and chatted leisurely. There were a few toasts and most people were dressed comfortably. I feel like it was absolutely perfect and I hope for more Detroit backyard weddings in the future!

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Intimate Living Room Elopement | Suzanne & Kyle

Intimate Living Room Elopement | Suzanne & Kyle

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. 

 

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