Northern Michigan, a barn, the beach, tons of DIY decor, delicious food, an epic dance party, a breathtaking sunset, fantastic guests… AND a wonderful couple at the center of it? Yep… I’d say this was a pretty great day!
You may remember these two from their fall engagement session in Traverse City. (PS, if you don’t, you can click on the link and check out some pictures ;) ). Well, just last month they finally tied the knot – and it was so awesome! Shannon + Alison have been planning this party for a while now and it was so fun to see all of their ideas come to life. The ceremony was held at First Congregational Church in downtown Charlevoix and the reception followed at Dhaseleer Events Barn just a few minutes from town. They went above and beyond not only to ensure that their guests had an awesome time, but that their first day of marriage was a joy-filled and beautiful celebration. And, I’m fairly certain they met their expectations :)
Shannon + Alison – many, many congratulations on your marriage! It was an honor (and a blast) to celebrate with you. Thank-you for inviting us into your story, for treating us like friends and for throwing a rad party! Enjoy the preview of your day! <3 <3 <3
“The Petite Bus” was one of Shannon + Alison’s wedding projects… they bought + renovated a mini school bus to have for their wedding party in lieu of a limousine. YEP.
If you’re not familiar with Northern Michigan… yes, the water is actually turquoise – like the Caribbean. I didn’t edit the color. It’s absolutely heavenly.
Shannon + Alison received a standing ovation and a spontaneous dance party when they entered for dinner. EPIC.
Some of the best marriage advice I’ve ever heard is, “always remember that you + your spouse are on the same team”. In other words, a good marriage is made up of two people that fight for the best in their relationship together, that are there cheer each other on and to pick each other up when the game of life gets tough. (I can’t remember who first gave me this analogy/advice, but I’m glad they did and I’m glad I have an awesome teammate/husband on my side!)
Without a doubt, I can tell that Jake + Kristin are going to be a great married team. These two have a kind of relationship that is sincere, honest and fun. They deeply care for each other, respect each other and not only do they share a beautiful love, but they also share great friendship. Yep, they definitely have what it takes to fight the good fight together.
Jake + Kristin were married on a chilly afternoon in July (like, the only cold day in July). The breezy temperatures were a welcomed change from the typical summer heat and no one could even complain if they were a bit cold, because the day was just too awesome anyways! These two were wed at Highland Hills Baptist church on the NW side of Grand Rapids and dinner + dancing followed at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville, MI. It’s been a joy to be a witness to their love to this point and I can’t wait to see where their journey takes them in the years to come. Best wishes, Jake + Kristin! Enjoy this wonderful marriage adventure together!!
This day. This girl. This was a good afternoon :)
I’ve known Kara for years, now. Her and her family are practically family with Jonathan’s family (did you follow that?). They grew up together, took trips together, celebrated holidays together – basically Kara is a cousin without actually being a cousin… Yep! Kara is the youngest of the crew, but her tenacity and zeal for life has always been inspiring. She is a constant joy and delight to those around her. She is kind and sweet. Her laughter and wit can bring a smile to anyone around her. Her parents love her, her siblings adore her and I, personally, think she is pretty awesome.
This week, Kara officially starts her senior year of high school. It’s a bittersweet, exciting and nerve-wracking time of life, but I know Kara will excel and be successful in all her endeavors in the coming months. She has a bright future ahead of her and I can’t wait to see what will unfold in this next chapter of her life. Thanks for spending the afternoon with me, Kara! Best wishes as you launch this final year of high school! Yay!
While I LOVE traveling and shooting weddings all over the state and out-of-state, there’s something really special about shooting a wedding in your city – in your stompin’ grounds. You know the streets, the culture, the construction (oh, summer!) and when the light is best. We haven’t had as many downtown Grand Rapids weddings this year, but the few we’ve had have been wonderful – and this was no exception. Not only was it great to be “home” on this particular Saturday, we also got to shoot at a new venue – Fountain Street Church! I’ve always admired the beauty and architecture of this historic church. Jonathan and I lived just a few blocks away from there when we first were married and we would pass this building often as we walked downtown. It was so fun to actually shoot a wedding there :)
Now, more about the special couple ;) Ryan + Natalie didn’t grow up in Grand Rapids, nor do they live in Grand Rapids currently. But it’s in West Michigan where they fell in love. They both attended Grand Valley State University and worked for the same catering company together. After a summer of working side-by-side and getting to know each other, it was clear that they had a mutual crush… which eventually turned into dating… and now, about 7 years later, here we are! These two have been in love for a long time, they have built a life together, and were so excited to become husband + wife last month. And what better way to celebrate your marriage than inviting all your loved ones to the city where it began? The celebration was perfect – a ceremony at Fountain Street Church, portraits all around downtown and the reception on the Grand River at the Eberhard Center on GVSU’s downtown campus. The day couldn’t have been more wonderful and Jonathan and I were thrilled to be a part of it. Congratulations, Ryan + Natalie! We wish you both the best!