Bay Pointe Inn Wedding

Alright guys. This one has taken me awhile to blog, but holy moly it’s a good one. This wedding happend the DAY AFTER one of the biggest storms in West Michigan. I would say about 80% of the areas around me were without power…including…. THE VENUE.

I’m pretty sure Lindsay was freaking out, but she was doing a freaking amazing job of not showing it. Thankfully the Bay Pointe Inn is literally AMAZING and had a generator to make sure the hotel kept on running. I was blown away! The entire town w/ out power, but yet we still were gonna get to party. HECK. YES. I will leave the rest of this blog up to Lindsay but seriously, this is probably my favorite wedding this year. A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO Ryan Inman and Cassandra Tietz for being the best second and third shooters of all time.

 

How You Met:

We bowled on the same bowling league for a couple of years, but were just “bowling friends”. We both stopped bowling on that league and lost touch. One day, I was on my motorcycle at a stoplight and he saw me. He messaged me on Facebook, we met for a drink, and realized we were more than bowling friends;)

Venue:

The Bay Pointe Inn was perfect for us. A friend knew someone that got married there and said her wedding looked awesome. It was the only venue we looked at and we booked it the day we saw it. When you know, you know! We liked the idea of a destination wedding but didn’t want to make it too far where our guests had to fly. I never ever pictured us getting married in a banquet hall…we are very laid back and like to have fun, so we wanted something that allowed us to keep the party going. The night before there was a terrible storm that knocked over trees and homes and left 150,000 people without power, including the hotel. I honestly thought our wedding might get canceled. They jumped right into the action and got generators out there and never missed a beat! We had the boathouse rented for the weekend and that allowed us to have 10 friends stay in the house with us. We made a weekend out of it and hosted a party the night before the wedding and the ceremony and reception were also held there. The day after we rented 4 pontoon boats and about 50 of our friends and family stayed to enjoy the lake with us for the weekend. The Bay Pointe was a dream to work with and you could not ask for a more beautiful setting! We love Gun Lake now and will be returning for many years with our family.

 

Decor:

The decor was simple and if I had to describe it, I would call it “nautical chic”. The venue was already beautiful, being lakeside and the backdrop was Gun Lake. They already had so much beautiful foliage and flowers, I didn’t want to overdo it. The colors were gold, navy, and blush. I made everything myself and had the help of a few family members and friends along the way, including the day of, to set everything up. So lucky to have a great group of family and friends!

Ryan’s Outfit:

Ryan wore a navy suit that was purchased from Men’s Warehouse and tailored to him. We decided just the vest and tie without the jacket was best since it was July and slightly hot. Every man should have a suit that they feel great in! Ryan doesn’t love to get dressed up, but when the talk of wedding suit/tux came up, he knew right away he wanted to purchase a suit for himself instead of renting. I told him I didn’t mind if he wanted to change into something more comfortable after the pictures, but he stayed in “uniform” all night…I think he liked it!

Lindsay’s Outfit:

I wish there was a cool story about my dress, but it all happened so casually. I stopped into a bridal shop on my lunch break to see how far in advance I would have to start looking. I saw a few dresses I liked on the floor and asked if I could try a few on to get an idea before coming back with family and friends. I fell in love with the first one I put on and walked out with it that day. It was a sample dress, which really just means other people have tried it on. I didn’t want to spend thousands on something I would wear once. It was altered a tiny bit and professionally cleaned. It was an Allure lace A-line gown, with a champagne underlay and keyhole back. I was so comfortable in it and sad I only got to wear it once….except on our anniversary photo shoots which Rachel has suggested over my idea of having another wedding!

The Ceremony:

The ceremony was my absolute favorite part of the day. We wanted it to include not only Ryan and I joining our lives and our children’s lives, but also all of our “people”. We did not have a bridal party, so we had our kids alongside us. I asked my best friend from childhood, Erin Roenna to officiate and lucky for us, she agreed! Erin did such an amazing job of incorporating emotion, humor, and sentiment into the perfect ceremony. I don’t think I could have asked for a better ceremony. We performed a sand ceremony to unite our lives and included Jake and Lia. “These grains of sand are now mixed together and can never be separated.” The other thing we did was a “blessing stone ceremony”. All of our guests were given a river rock to hold during our ceremony. At the end, everyone was asked to make a wish or blessing for our marriage on their rock and we all threw them into the lake at the same time. As Erin explained “The ripples that are made in the water represent the love and good wishes not only for this couple but for all the world. For as our ripples cross and recross one another’s, so our love and good wishes touch and retouch all those around us.” We then exited the ceremony on a pontoon boat!

Reception/Dancing/All the Fun:

The reception was a blast! I don’t think I left the dance floor all night. So many of our friends and family were dancing and having a fun time. Some guests preferred to enjoy the lakeside breeze or take a boat ride. We just wanted everyone to have fun! We served donuts in place of cake and I heard that everyone loved the donuts. They were from Sweetwater’s Donut Mill in Kalamazoo and they were delicious! One of my favorite moments was the father/daughter dance not only with my dad but when Ryan and our daughter danced together and then welcomed all of the fathers and daughters on the dance floor. I also especially loved when all of our “Roll Tide” family (sorry, Rachel!) joined together for Sweet Home Alabama. So many fun memories!

(To note…i studied at Auburn University…WAR. EAGLE. huge rivals 😉 i still love ya’ll)

What about the Photographer?

Rachel was freaking amazing!!!! We have a large family with lots of extensions. She didn’t even punch me when I handed her a list of about 1,283 combinations of family pictures! She not only made sure to get all of those pictures, but she was great about keeping everyone on task and we blew through the pictures so fast! Rachel suggested a first look and I am soooo happy she did! We were able to get some of our nervousness out before the ceremony. It also allowed us to spend so much more time dancing and hanging out with our guests, rather than being pulled away for long periods of time. We spent a year planning our wedding, we wanted to enjoy it, too! Rachel had Sandy and Ryan with her that day and they were equally amazing. On top of being a boss about getting the shots we wanted and wrangling the family, Rachel’s work is beautiful SO talented and we will treasure these pictures forever! Thank you!

Advice for Couples Planning Their Wedding:

So many cliche things come to my mind, but a lot of them are true. Don’t sweat the small stuff..it’s a 6-hour party. Don’t spend millions of dollars on things that don’t really matter in the long run. People don’t care about chair covers, they care about having some food, drinks and getting their dance on. (At least, I do.) Make sure you have a dress that makes you feel pretty, shoes that are comfortable, and a GREAT photographer to capture it all. On the day of, no one except you will notice the things that aren’t “perfect”. Have fun and enjoy having all of your favorite people in one place at one time!

 

 

Huge thanks to Lindsay and Ryan and all of their family <3 I miss you all so much and HAVE SO MUCH FUN on your belated honeymoon <3

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Fenner Nature Center Lansing Michigan Engagement 

ENGAGEMENT SEASON IS UPON US!!!

And I’m just so excited. Engagement sessions are my FAV-O-RITE. They allow me so much time to play around and have fun. MOST IMPORTANTLY they allow me to get to know my couples and them to get to know my style/weirdness before the wedding.

Sydney and Andrew were SO MUCH FUN to hang out with. Both of them were totally down w/ my weird ideas, standing in ferns and overall excited to just BE TOGETHER. This right here is my JAM. I want all the couples who are totally in love and totally about my style. Also, the totally nailed the outfits thing. I always ask my couples to bring a second outfit and about 10/10 times we never use it 😛 usually because they are so cute and I lose track of time and all of a sudden the LIGHT IS GONE and i’m like well hope you didn’t want to wear that outfit too bad 😛 (note to my couples; always wear your preferred outfit for this reason lol).

Anywho. I am so pumped for all my 2018 weddings. This YEAR isn’t even over, and I have so much more to share from 2017 but the love and excitement of my 2018 couples is just making me really pumped for next season already! Fenner Nature Center is my JAM (also Sydney used to work there <3 GO GREEN!) and was absolute perfection for this session!!!

Fenner Nature Center is so cool! Blah de blah! SEO STUFF. Yay Lansing, MI. This is obvious that I am just trying to be found by googleeee. #noshame

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Grand Haven Golf Club Wedding Photographer

OH man OH man these two are near and dear to my heart. Having been guests at one of MY FAVORITE WEDDINGS OF ALL TIME, the inspiration for my first GIF at a wedding and hands down the most amazing kind hearted people I have ever met, Hannah and Darin are one of the best couples I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Getting to know them has been fun, their wedding at Grand Haven Golf Club in Grand Haven, MI was amazing, special thanks to Crystal of Crystal V Photography for helping me out with the ceremony at this one 😀 pleasure to have you my dear.but I will let Hannah tell you more about their wedding day. (anything in parenthesis is my addition).

How you Met / The Love Story:

First met at Leppinks, where we both worked in separate departments but couldn’t seem to stay away from one another. We were always finding excuses to come see each other but kept things very private for about 6 months, so sneaky. We had nothing in common at all, but as time went on we found things to bicker about and find some common conversation. We always said “this was never supposed to happen, we were never supposed to be together. We both felt as though we came from different worlds, I was fresh out of high school and he was the more “mature moody man” haha! somehow, 5 years later, we were still together and more alike than we ever would have thought.

(We had a freaking BLAST at their engagement session, and heading to Leppinks for it was, even more, fun than I would have dreamed).

Venue:

The Grand Haven Golf Club, amazing event coordinator Laura, such a wonderful and beautiful atmosphere. Where we got married was under the pavilion by the putting green, and the reception was in the vintage room, which was just that, very vintage looking thanks to the bright red carpet. Big beautiful windows and door that face the golf course, this location was exactly what we wanted, a place that was woodsy enough for our taste but simple and convenient for our guests. I guess you could say that was what we wanted out of our entire wedding was a simple day that was focused on having fun and not too many other distractions.

Decor:

Simple, all I wanted was simple. The flowers were the main decoration in the reception room and a few small details like some signs and amazing escort cards that my best friend/maid of honor made (Elise) My mistress of ceremony, maid of honor, grandmother and mother all helped get everything in place the day before the wedding at the golf club.

Hannah’s Get Up:

I initially had a dressed picked out from Spring Lake Bridal and when I went to try it on to show some family and friends, of course, they had a new shipment of dresses come in, and I tried one on that I was interested in, that was nothing like what I had originally planned on and fell in love. I thought I wanted nothing fancy,  something very plain, and simple with maybe a small amount of lace, and instead, I got a glamorous, heavy, long beautiful gown, that I don’t regret at all.

The Ceremony:

The ceremony was spectacular. It was a relaxed environment outside, the sun was peeking through the clouds, all of our family and friends were there, some seated, some standing, making it seem very casual, just like we had wanted.

Darin’s Get Up:

A vest and a bow tie, that’s all I asked for, the vest was accepted happily, but the bow tie, my goodness, it was like pulling teeth. All of the groomsmen wore the same thing, but for Darin to stand out we agreed on a vest, and I just think bow ties are so handsome and classy, and he didn’t agree but eventually came around 🙂

bridesmaids flowers

{WEDDING}

Music // Reception:

Plain Jane Glory, the best, they played at my brother’s wedding and cousin’s and we could not have our wedding without them, the best dance/foot stomping music, nicest people, sweetest husband and wife duo. They played all of our requested songs from our favorite artists such as Dustin Kensrue, Brian Fallon and Dallas Green, and did a beautiful job, Darin and I both appreciate music so much so it was so special for us to have these two talented musicians do their thang at our shin dig.

Your Photographer (aka: ME!)

So much more than a photographer, Rachel was basically another bridesmaid who took such good care of me as a bride, Darin and I as a couple, she knew when we needed some time to ourselves, she knows the ins and outs of weddings and can answer all the silly questions I thought of, like what leg does the garter go on? and can you bustle my dress pretty please?? She was just wonderful, all the stress and anxiety of the day was gone when we did our first look shoot and it was just the two of us and we were truly able to enjoy one another from that moment on. She’s amazing and was an essential aspect of our wedding day. Thank you so much!

Advice To Couples Planning Their Wedding:

Remember to just take a deep breath often and know that everything will come together perfectly, and keep things simple for yourself and your guests.

Thank you for viewing this Grand Haven wedding gallery. Rachel Kaye is a Grand Haven based photographer who specializes in offbeat weddings that are all about love and family. Now booking 2018 Weddings at Grand Haven Golf Club! If you are a rad couple who is all about love, fun and making awesome photographers. HIT ME UP.

 

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City Flats Ballroom Wedding Grand Rapids

OH MAN this day.

First of July. Holiday Weekend. Epic Love adventure.
I couldn’t think of a better time or place to spend with these two and all of their family and friends. It was just the most lovely day and watching how much fun everyone had, I would say it was a success. I will let Ali take it from here:

 

YOUR LOVE STORY:

We met New Years Eve weekend 2012 – 2013 in Chicago.  We both lived in Michigan at the time, but were visiting the city for the weekend and were introduced through a mutual friend.  I thought our whirlwind romance would be short lived because I was moving to Boston for grad school the following week, but Rob reached out after I was settled and the rest is history!

 

Brides Dress:

For me, this was such a fun part!  I found my champagne tulle and beaded dress at Becker’s Bridal (side note- be prepared to have your mind blown with the number of dresses here) with my parents and two close friends.  Once I put it on, I didn’t want to take it off!

 

Grooms Suit:

The guys went with classic three piece black tuxedos.  To stand out, Rob went with a bowtie while the groomsmen had black ties.

(the guys trying to peek on the bride ;))

The Ceremony:

Our ceremony was held at East Congregational Church in Grand Rapids. The church itself was so beautiful and everything we could have imagined getting married in!  The architecture, stained glass, and gardens really added to the ambiance.  I can’t lie though, it felt like years were passing as we waited for the ceremony to start.  One of my favorite moments of the day was finally seeing/walking down the aisle to Rob, he looked so handsome!

The Decor:

We chose a purple/pink floral theme for our summer wedding.  Shoutout to Posh Petals – these ladies were so very organized and provided some beautiful blooms that help tie our day together.  Both ceremony and reception venues were gorgeous, so aside from flowers, we didn’t really need to do much!

The Reception / PARTY!!!

The reception was held at City Flats Ballroom downtown in GR.  To kick things off, we rented a party bus and made various stops around town for photos.  This was a great opportunity to spend time with each other and close friends, made the day seem less hectic.  We did have a BLAST at our reception!  Our DJ Roger with Bugbee’s DJ Plus was great and did an awesome job to ensure things ran smoothly.  So thankful we picked a venue with a large dance floor – our group needed it! As it was the weekend leading up to the 4th of July, we did sparklers later in the evening with the bridal party before heading back inside to close down the dance floor with our smooth moves.

The Photographer:

Rachel, you are amazing!  You were able to keep our families and friends on track, getting plenty of photos in so many locations, yet you kept things laid back and casual.  Thanks for being efficient and fun!  So many times throughout the day, people came up and said to me “your photographer is awesome.” We agreed!  (your people were SO MUCH FUN and made my job soooo easy <3)

Advice for Wedding Planning:

Just go with the flow and relax!  At the end of the day, you and your significant other will be married, which is all that really matters.  All of the small details you are stressing over will seem so insignificant.  The day will be over before you know it, so take a moment to soak it all in.  Have fun!

 

I couldn’t agree more! Not only did it show in their faces how much fun they were having (i mean look at all the smiles) but it also made for the most chill day for EVERYONE involved. Just an awesome day, awesome people and obviously I’m a horrible writer because all I can think about is how freaking awesome everything was.

Love and Light, Rachel Kaye

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Michigan Backyard Wedding 

Michigan Backyard Wedding in Clio Michigan (SEO stuff SEO stuffffff, I’d like people to find this so SEO stufffff).

Ok, now that that is out of the way, into the good stuff. So much to say about this day. Driving to Clio was seriously beautiful. I was spending the weekend with family and friends about 3 hours away (a direct one road drive away) and reallly enjoyed my drive more than normal. I actually really enjoy driving, a lot. Especially before a wedding day, it helps me get into the zone and get my Rhianna on (slay all day girl…all day) to amp me up.  I went through some of the most rural parts of Michigan ever to get to Aaron’s parents house. The weather was calling for THUNDERSTORMS all freaking evening. Panic mode sets in a bit, but you gotta keep your cool right? I immediatley called my mother, who has special weather powers and explained to her what needed to happen. She worked her magic and we had the BEST pockets of nice weather amongst the storms. The ceremony was held off a little as the meteorologist in attendance (no joke… how convenient?) KNEW it was going to downpour right as the ceremony was set to start. Everything worked out perfectly. I’ll let Allie and Aaron take it from here:

Love Story:

We met through mutual friends at a college party. Most of our love story consists of chill nights with beer & good food 🙂

Location/Decor:

Got married in Aaron’s parents’ backyard. The dance floor was outside and it was awesome! 4 different bars too which make everything better! Because it was a backyard wedding we had to basically do everything. Larry (Aaron’s Dad) built the dance floor and beautiful backdrop behind the head table. Family and friends helped with all the decorations and they all were absolutely beautiful! I was going for a mismatched rustic look 🙂

Groom’s Suit:

Nothing super exciting about Aaron’s suit…got it at JC Penny’s on sale! It was just a miracle that Aaron even wore a suit! (HE LOOKED FREAKING AMAZING)

Bride Dress

Loved the dress when I bought it, but when I saw it again after 6 months realized I wanted to change a lot of it. A family friend did my alterations and basically redid the entire top. She took the “blingy” belt off and used the champagne colored fabric from the bottom of my dress to make a new belt. Wanted to make it a little more simple.

The Ceremony:

Well, we had to delay the ceremony because of a huge storm. Thank god for the maid of honor’s dad who is a meteorologist who saved the day. My cousin was the officiant and it was his first time ever doing it, but it was personal and light hearted exactly how we wanted it. We were married in front of Sherri’s ‘She Shed’ that Larry also built (not for the wedding :))

RRRRUUUUUUUNNNNN!!!!!

Reception/Dancing/Music/Fun:

Dance floor was outside with lots of lights. I was a little nervous people wouldn’t dance outside because it was a little chilly, but it was filled the whole night. Later on in the night we had fireworks, and they were amazing! (pretty bummed I missed out on the FIREWORKS! WHY DIDN’T YA’LL TELL ME?!?!?!)

Advice for Couples Planning Their Wedding:

Outdoor weddings are stressful but SO worth it!!

Your Photographer: Tell us all about them 😉 What you liked or didn’t like. All the deets from the day of:

Rachel, you were amazing! After the delay, we were on a time crunch and you were so efficient getting everything done. You were so light hearted and made everything feel so natural. Thank you so much!! (I GOTCHU guys! this is why we ‘pad’ the schedule, I can hustleeee through things but having extra time planned MAKES it happen! Ya’ll are the best for listening to me and most importantly, TRUSTING me, Thank you so much for including me in your amazing day!!!).

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