Intimate Smiths Creek Backyard Wedding | Shelly & Michael

Intimate Smiths Creek Backyard Wedding | Shelly & Michael

Though many of my clients decided to move to a backyard wedding in 2020, Shelly and Michael planned on a weekday intimate Smiths Creek backyard wedding. On a beautiful August Wednesday, 20 or so of their closest family and friends gathered in Shelly and Michael’s backyard to witness their marriage. Though large weddings are fun, the simplicity of getting married in your backyard really can’t be beat.

After getting ready separately (Shelly’s look by the amazing Ashley MacPherson) these two had a first look (again, right in the backyard), and we used their property for portraits – no wedding party or anything, just the two of them. Usually I don’t get so lucky with so many different spots in one place. It all made for a very relaxed and fun time.

For this Smiths Creek backyard wedding, I was lucky enough to work with one of my favorite videographers, Katie from 97 Films. Shelly works alongside Katie which is how we all met! I was super honored when Shelly reached out to ask me to photograph her wedding day.

After taking some family photos, everyone gathered in the seats on their newly finished deck, and the pair shared personal vows overlooking their backyard pond. Their good friend presided over the ceremony, which I always find very special and personal. There wasn’t anything NOT personal about this day and I think it made it absolutely perfect.

After the ceremony (check out that rose petal recessional – super fun!), there was an informal cocktail hour, culminating in an Irish whisky toast with a special connection to their love story. This West Cork whisky, which was hard to obtain in the US from what I understand, was the whisky they drank after they got engaged in Ireland. Sharing it with their friends and family at their wedding seemed like a special way to start this new chapter of life for them.

A Smiths Creek backyard wedding maybe isn’t for everyone, but I really enjoyed being a part of such a laid back, chill day where the focus was on getting married rather than all the extra stuff that can come with weddings. That stuff is great and fine, but sometimes getting back to the basics feels good.

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Intimate COVID Michigan Wedding | Sharon & Destin

Intimate COVID Michigan Wedding | Sharon & Destin

Throwing it back to when COVID was relatively new and this intimate COVID Michigan wedding was a way to preserve Sharon and Destin’s original wedding date – and get them hitched!

These two booked me way back in early 2019 and we had been planning their June 2020 wedding for some time. We did their engagement session in downtown Birmingham back in summer 2019. When the pandemic hit, it was like all that planning got thrown out the window!

Back in March, we just didn’t know how things were going to pan out with the pandemic. Many of my May and June couples decided to move their wedding dates to later in the year or to 2021. Sharon and Destin knew they wanted to get married on their original date if they could. Luckily, they were able to make it work with their immediate families and have their intimate COVID Michigan wedding! This was a huge departure from their planned large wedding at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, but to them, getting married was the important part.

The couple was married at Orchard Lake Community Church, which is right on Cass Lake, a beautiful summer backdrop! We had literally the perfect summer day. Sharon did her own hair and make-up for the occasion, and I think she did a fantastic job. In front of their immediate families, they said their vows in their intimate COVID Michigan wedding.

These two did not reschedule their reception and thank goodness I was able to document this beautiful day for them. Even an intimate wedding deserves beautiful photos!

 

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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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