Millenium Park Engagement Millennium Park Engagement

Becky and Sean wanted a snowy engagement session! And BOY DID THEY GET IT!!! These two embraced the flakes and we all had a blast trying to stay warm.

We actually rescheduled their Millennium park engagement session from our first date because it ended up being rainy and gross (typical mid-west January weather). Well WAITING was not a bad idea at all.

We somehow picked a GORGEOUS day to get wintery photos downtown, there were so few people around the bean I was shocked! Usually, even in the pits of bad weather, it is PACKED. This is the least amount of people I have seen around the bean EVER! And of course, everyone was so nice and didn’t want to be in their photos 😛 Little did they know I WANT THEM IN THE GIFS!! It was quite comical 😛

I had a blast romping through Millennium Park with these two, then we hopped into my car to warm up, headed to Lincoln Park for the honeycomb and then got REAL SICK OF OUR COLD NOSES and headed to Goose Island Brewing Co. to cozy up w/ some fresh pints!!! I am so excited to celebrate their wedding with them in May!!!

Millennium Park Engagement

Millennium Park Engagement

Millennium Park Engagement

Millennium Park Engagement

Millennium Park Engagementthe bean chicago illinois

Millennium Park Engagement

Lincoln Park Engagement

Millennium Park Engagement

goose island chicago engagement ring

goose island chicago engagement


Thank you for visiting this Millenium Park Engagement gallery! Rachel Kaye Photography is a Grand Rapids, Michigan based wedding photographer who loves her former Chicago home and loves adventuring to new places! She cannot wait to photograph your love story. Hit her up by pressing the contact form or emailing all the deets to her directly at

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Fallasburg Park Wedding 

OY! I am back to blogging! For some reason I feel like blogging a wedding means everything is final, and therefore I have put off blogging this one because I just don’t want it to ever end! THESE TWO!! GAH!!! I don’t want to give it all away but their story is adorable, this day was a gorgeous October day (despite some really close calls with the rain!), and Fallasburg Park in Grand Rapids MI was the perfect backdrop. I’ll let Connie and Mike take it from here:


How You Met:

We both work at museums, so it’s fitting that we met at the Michigan Museums Association (MMA) conference in 2012. I (Connie) thought Mike was cute when I first saw him, but Mike was the ultimate professional and didn’t even notice me! After that, we saw each other annually at museum conferences and became friends. Although we secretly liked each other, we each had no idea the other person was into us…even after hanging out several times on what we now joke about as our multiple “first dates.” After the 2014 conference on Mackinac Island, we decided to pay a visit to Whitefish Point on Lake Superior, where Mike had interned at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. This was our first “official” date, and we had a great time!


We actually found our venue by accident!  We originally stopped by Fallasburg Park to check out the covered bridge, thinking that it might be a good location for the ceremony. After driving by, though, it was obvious there wasn’t enough space to accommodate all our guests. Disappointed, we drove over the bridge to head home–and immediately discovered the enclosed shelter house on the other side of the park. It was built in the 1930s and has a giant stone fireplace, cool vintage picnic tables, and a beautiful, forested view overlooking the river. We both love history, hiking, and camping, and with such a great rustic look, we knew it was perfect. We ended up getting married outside against the backdrop of fall colors, then moving inside the shelter house for the reception.

The Ceremony:

Although the rain that had been threatening us all day held off for the ceremony, we did have one major hitch in our plans: the person who we had scheduled to marry us was over an hour late! Fortunately, we were able to invite our guests into the reception area early so they could stay warm and enjoy popcorn and board games while we waited.

When it finally took place, we really loved our ceremony. We broke with tradition a bit and had our parents walk down the aisle first, followed by the maid of honor and the bride. The ceremony itself was about ten minutes long, and we customized our vows to reflect our personality as a couple, which made us (and our guests) laugh.

fallasburg park weddingfallasburg park wedding

Mike’s Suit:

Finding my suit was pretty straightforward.  We went with a navy suit since it paired perfectly with our decorations.  I’m also known for wearing checkered shirts so finding one to wear at the wedding was a must.  We topped it off with matching orange plaid ties for me and my best man. The ties were even on clearance! Connie made my boutonniere herself.

fall wedding bouquet ideasfallasburg park wedding

Connie’s Dress:

It only took one day to find my dress! My mom, sister, and I went to several bridal shops and department stores in my hometown in Ohio. I’m rather practical and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a dress I’d only wear for a few hours, but I also wanted something that reflected my love of all things vintage. We hit the jackpot at a small shop at the end of the day, and I bought the dress directly off the sale rack at a steal–I only had to have some minor alterations done later. I paired the dress with a pair of comfy, bright red heels I’ve owned for years. For my accessories, I wore a pearl necklace and pearl earrings that my grandmas each gave me when I graduated from college. I made my own bouquet out of fall leaves and an assortment of wood, silk, and dried flowers, and my sister made the clip for my hair.

(I literally was BLOWN AWAY that Connie made her bouquet/ Mike’s boutonniere herself!!!! AMAZING!!!)

fallasburg park wedding

The Decor:

With such a great venue, we decided to just go with the rustic look and embraced a classic fall theme. Connie made most of the decorations herself, including the centerpieces, table runners, signage, and floral decorations. It was really fun to come up with creative, cost-effective solutions for the decor. For the centerpieces, we collected branches, then Connie glued fake leaves onto them and arranged them in festive orange vases from the dollar store. For the table runners, she took a class to learn how to use a sewing machine, then bought fabric with a great coupon and sewed all the table runners and tablecloths. All the signs and table numbers were hand-painted and made from scrap wood.

Another great thing about handling our own decorations was the fun fall things we got to do together to prep for the wedding. We went apple picking at a nearby apple orchard and we picked out a bunch of pumpkins and gourds at a local pumpkin farm. (it’s no secret I live on a pumpkin farm, and these two CAME TO VISIT <3 <3 so some of Bethke Farms pumpkins featured here!).

fallasburg park wedding

The Reception:

We wanted our reception to feel like a big, welcoming family event, so we served fall-themed comfort food (pot roast, chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, the works!) and opted for apple and pumpkin pies instead of the traditional wedding cake. We also served delicious pumpkin cookies, sugar cookies, and s’mores.

Mike’s extended family is known to make good use of the dance floor, so the right music was a must. Mike created a great playlist with song requests from our guests, including lots of Motown classics and some fun dance tunes.

fallasburg park wedding

The Photographer:

Our photographer was AMAZING! Rachel was not just on time–she was early, and she got to work immediately. Without needing guidance, she took a ton of shots of the venue, the decorations, the set-up, getting ready, candid shots of family and guests….it was great. She made us feel super comfortable and had us laughing constantly. She also rolled with unexpected changes really well…like when our officiant didn’t show up. She just skipped ahead to taking photos of the extended family–a total pro!

She was also really easy to get in touch with and was really approachable and flexible, so we really felt like we got exactly what we wanted the day of. Thanks so much for everything!!!!!


fallasburg park weddingfallasburg park wedding

Advice to Couples Planning Their Wedding:

Triple-check that all your vendors (especially your officiant!) have your wedding on their calendars. Get their cell phone numbers, and text them friendly reminders.

Don’t be afraid to DIY some things, but plan ahead for craft time. Some things won’t come out perfectly on try #1…or try #2….or try #12.

It sounds super cliche because everyone tells you this, but your wedding day will truly fly by. Don’t stress over unexpected things and try to go with the flow as much as possible. As long as you’re married and everyone gets fed by the end of the day, it will be a success! 🙂


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I finally blogged my favorites of 2017!

It always takes me longer than I think it will to go through all of a years sessions and weddings, and meticulously pick out my favorites. I did things a bit differently this year and picked mostly some unshared moments. Some of my favorite stories are behind these images. And while you might not know the full story, the image says enough. I am so beyond thankful for all of the amazing people in 2017 who trusted me to document their lives. I have met so many new people and gained so many lifelong friends for which I will be forever grateful. 2017 brought about amazing things and 2018 is already showing me even more. I am so thankful for this job and posts like this remind me why I do what I do. Thank you.

floating gif

Fredrick Meijer Gardens Elopement

muskegon country club wedding grand haven country club weddingdowntown market grand rapidschicago enagement photographer colorful mural

grand haven family photographer

grand haven wedding photographer


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These two.

We scheduled this engagement session for what should have been a gorgeous November day. It poured, all dang day. Then, moments, before we were supposed to meet up it cleared up quite a bit and we decided to meet up around Brads neighboorhood to get to know each other and check out some rad murals around town. They are getting married next summer at one of my FAVORITE venues and I am so pumped to hang out with them again.

Thanks again for letting me hang with you both! Cannot wait for your wedding <3



Rachel Kaye is a West Michigan based photographer who loves hanging out in Chicago (former resident in the house!). She literally cannot wait for this wedding and would love to chat with YOU more about capturing your love in a unique animated way! Hit her up!

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District 5 Schoolhouse Wedding

I freaking love this day.

I freaking love these two. I barely can come up with the words explaining how amazing this day was, how Kendra and Brad it was, how perfectly amazing their families and friends were (It was also the Michigan State/ Michigan Football game day…>GO GREEN<). I will let them tell you all about it. All I have to say is, this is the most photos I have ever taken at a wedding, the most fun activities/games/stuff to do, and the most wonderful people. So I probably made this post a bit long. But it’s good stuff. I would also like to personally thank Sarah and Monica and the whole crew at Grand Occasions, they were by far, the most amazing planning crew to have around on a wedding day. AND Christian VanAntwerpen for being my second shooter this day and taking some of these rad photos/GIFs.  I freaking love them too!

Now Kendra and Brad, take it away:

How They Met:

Our story begins at a bar in Lansing where Brad’s band was playing in February of 2011. Kendra had an instant crush on Brad, and so when he called her up on stage mid-set to join the band in singing a cover of “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show, she jumped at the opportunity…despite not knowing any of the lyrics. The risk we both took that night paid off, as we’ve been virtually inseparable ever since.


The Decor:

Brad named our theme “dinosaur and whimsy” – ha! We knew we wanted things to be quirky, personal, and fun throughout our day, and this included decor. So many people helped us make our day come together. My mom and aunt helped us thrift hundreds of mismatched vases and containers for our centerpieces, my maid of honor made our team bride and team groom buttons, our sister-in-law made us beautiful chalkboard signs, Brad’s best man drew all of our table illustrations and seating chart signs, Brad’s dad built the trellis for the ceremony, and I personally painted about 500 plastic dinosaurs with gold spray paint.

Brad’s Suit:

Brad knew he wanted to wear a heavier tweed or wool suit for our wedding, but it was difficult to find in the warmer climate of Nashville! We finally found the perfect suit at Brook’s Brothers. He couldn’t have looked more handsome!

Kendra’s Dress:

My parents visited Nashville soon after our engagement, and my mom was so excited that we made an appointment at a consignment dress store just to see what was available and what I liked. I found the PERFECT dress right away – a perfectly quirky yet romantic Robert Bullock dress with a full chiffon skirt and lace flowers that almost float when I walked. Way more traditional than I thought I would go with, but I couldn’t have loved it more!

The Venue:

We got married at the District 5 Schoolhouse in Borculo, Michigan. It was the PERFECT place for us – untraditional, intimate, historical, and charming. The staff was wonderful to work with, and the outdoor ceremony space made our dreams come true!

The Ceremony:

The ceremony was amazing. We didn’t follow many traditions, only ones that felt important and meaningful to us. We wrote the ceremony together, along with our own vows. We both had both of our parents walk us down the aisle. Our friend Ted was our officiant, and we had two close friends read passages from literature that were meaningful to us. Kendra is very proud that she made Brad cry!

Reception / Dancing / Fun:

Our reception was pure magic! The speeches, the food, the impromptu pom-pom wars that broke out between tables – so much fun! Though we’re pretty sure nothing could ever top Brad’s dad making a surprise appearance in a dinosaur costume on the dance floor. We closed out the night on a USA themed school bus turned party bus, blowing out the speakers and dancing on the seats. Truly the best night of our lives.

How was your photographer?

Rachel was the best photographer we could have ever hoped for. From the instant we met her, we just clicked. Not only are her photos artistic, beautiful, and full of life, her personality just puts everyone instantly at ease – even when navigating an insanely long list of extended family photos! We couldn’t be more grateful

Advice to Couples:

It can be so easy to get caught up in what other people want or expect on your big day because of course you want everyone around you to be happy and have fun. What we learned is that people will have fun no matter what – it’s a party celebrating two people they love being in love, after all! So you may as well enjoy the process, and make a couple of decisions that are just exactly what you want them to be.

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