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The Pavilions in Walnut Grove Wedding Crane Orchards | Amanda + Casey

The Pavilions in Walnut Grove Wedding Crane Orchards

a flat lay of all the important wedding day paper details and rings including the brides vintage purse, grandmothers pen and small accessoriesAmanda and Casey met one summer in beautiful West Michigan. Amanda was celebrating her 24th birthday and Casey had just gotten off work. “If you’re going to live in this town, you’re going to need friends,” Amanda told Casey. Little did either of them know, they had each just met their lifelong best friend. That night was spent dancing, talking, and touring Amanda’s hometown. From that day forward they were connected by an indescribable draw to one another, what they called “love magnets.”

Casey, who had planned to return to California, stayed in Michigan that year and their relationship grew. They spent that winter bundled up laughing, choking down Amanda’s first attempts at cooking, and observing their “pet” squirrel Munchers. The next fall they decided to move to paradise as the islands were calling. The following four years were filled with many adventures, from a two-week road trip across the states to new foods, many waterfall hikes, and plenty of surfing. They grew up and grew together.

Thanksgiving weekend 2019, they took their first trip to the neighboring island of Kauai. They had a blast touring the island via helicopter, hiking to waterfalls, and surfing beautiful point break waves. On a hike to one of the most stunning coastlines in all of the world, the Napali coast, Casey finally popped the question! Amanda cried and Casey had a smile on his face that nearly stretched a mile. Here began yet another adventure, one that will last a lifetime.

the rings bride having makeup applied a ring light in the foregroundbride in mirror getting makeup put onbride getting hair done brides dress with bridesmaids dresses in a row

After we had gotten engaged I decided to fly home over Christmas Break to share the news with my family. During that trip, My sisters, mom, grandma, and I decided to do some light browsing of dresses to see what was out there, and I found it! I wanted something light, airy, and comfortable. The dress has floral appliques which went well with the orchard vibe, and the inside has super soft satin! The best part was it was on super sale, I couldn’t pass it up!

 It’s a Melissa Sweet dress from David’s Bridal, ivory with a “cashmere” colored underskirt. With it, I wore dangly pearl earrings my mom got while on her honeymoon to Hawai’i, a pearl bracelet my parents got me as a wedding day gift, and a special perfume Casey had picked for me. Around my bouquet, I used a cutting from my Grandmother’s dress as well as one of her broaches. My veil was made by my cousin.

My bridesmaids wore 3 different blue/green tones of the Jenn Maxi dress from the site Show Me Your Mumu. With so many bridesmaids I loved the idea of breaking up the big wall of color. These colors also gave a relaxed ocean vibe, which I loved.

close up of mens suit hangers with names on tehm

This was Casey’s very first suit that he has owned, so he wanted it to be something that looked sharp, fit his personality, but was also something he could use for grad school interviews. He went with a blue Jos A Bank 1905 collection suit and I chose a champagne bow tie from the tie bar to go with the undertones of my dress.

one of the groomsmen trying to figure out the bowties Casey the groom looking at his fun socks for the wedding blue ombre palm tree socksthe laughs and smiles of the groomsmen as they show off their socks

Venue 

We wanted a venue that really spoke to us; somewhere outdoors with trees and lots of space. We both had grown up apple picking over at Crane’s Orchards but hadn’t really thought of it as a wedding venue until I saw it in some bridal magazine. We loved all the tall rows of walnut trees and how the venue felt secluded without being too far in the middle of nowhere. Crane’s also only does one wedding a weekend so we had full access days before the wedding, which was very helpful with how DIY our wedding was!

We wanted the ceremony space to be very soft and romantic with lots of candles and lanterns. Amanda’s dad built the pergola we stood in front of as well as the doors that I walked through. The ceremony was originally planned to be in the far most row of trees, but with the rain, we changed the plan and had it in the pavillions, which actually made it more intimate!

We wanted to add a bit of fun for the cocktail hour/reception! The bar area was our ode to Hawai’i with a surfboard “chandelier” and we hand-made 4-foot tall “LOVE” marquee letters for the dance floor.

The dining tent was also meant to have more of a soft romantic vibe. We went with loose greenery and tons of pillar candles for the table decorations. We also found awesome gold flatware, which really popped with the dusty blue napkins! On our sweetheart table, we used candlesticks that were used at Amanda’s grandparents’ wedding, which was very special.

Our paper was very special. We worked with Amaryllis Paperie for the invitations, programs, and signs! Hayley custom-designed all the floral elements and illustrated the venue for our programs as well as a wedding day map sent with our invites!

We wanted our ceremony to really reflect the two of us and so we put a ton of thought into every aspect. Casey is a musician, so music was very important to him, he actually wrote and recorded the song I walked down the aisle to!

On our wedding day, it rained like crazy, but just as we said “I do” the rain stopped! In Amanda’s vows, she wrote that Casey helps her see the rainbow when all she sees in the rain, and later that evening they got a double rainbow!

 

Rent linens, because ironing 30 table cloths and 140 napkins is as bad as it sounds.

At the least, hire a day-of coordinator. Our friend Cara volunteered to be our day-of coordinator, and with the crazy weather, tornado warnings, and flooding if we didn’t have her we would have been screwed! She was so decisive in decision-making and coming up with backup plans A – Z! She really saved the day and allowed me to enjoy getting ready! Brides you do not want to have to worry about the morning of, so make sure you have someone you trust in charge!

Take time with your partner on your wedding day! It goes by fast so enjoy it together and don’t get too caught up with event hosting!

Rachel was so helpful on the day! She came prepared and organized and worked well with our videographers to get everything we wanted in! We had a huge bridal party, which could get a little chaotic at times, but she was able to get everyone organized! It was also downpouring half the time during the wedding but she kept a smile on her face, and when there were opportunities for orchard pics she was on it!

 

Thank you for viewing The Pavilions in Walnut Grove Wedding Crane Orchards wedding with Amanda and Casey! Follow the blog for more amazing weddings or socials for up to date information. Email hello@rachelkayephoto.com with inquiries

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The Little Red Barn of Nunica Wedding | Christie + Marlin

The Little Red Barn of Nunica Wedding

The Beginning: 

We first met in the summer of 2016 at a friends pool party but things stayed casual. After enlisting in the Navy in 2018, Marlin had left in August 2019 and that’s when we saw each other for the first time in years and we just fell for each other instantly.  We spent every day together during his time home and did two months of long-distance before he flew me out to Italy to attend the Navy ball as his date. After that we knew we wanted to be together always. Fast forward to December 2019 when he surprised me by coming home and asking me to marry him! We had plans to see each other as much as possible but of course Covid-19 had other plans. We spent 11 months apart and we’re finally able to see each other just weeks before our wedding in May! Love is crazy!

Venue:

The Little Red Barn of Nunica. Marlin actually went to Church with the owners of the venue so it was special for them as well seeing Marlin all grown up! The sweetest people!

The Decor: 

Everything used for decor was from the barn! Would recommend them to anyone!

The Ceremony: How did it go? Anything special?

it was amazing! Short and sweet. It was a breeze! Literally because it was windy lol!

Reception/Dancing/Music: All the fun!

we just let loose lol! Loved having all our family and friends there to celebrate! Especially since Covid kept us all apart for so long. One my favorite moments was dancing with my grandpa. I’m 100% grandpas girls and he was so surprised I asked him to dance. He brings it up every time I talk to him now and he gets teary eyed all over again. I know it’s something we’ll both never forget.

Any Advice for couples planning their wedding?

Don’t stress about the little things. Having the right vendors helps extremely! They’re the pros!

 

Your Photographer:
you were great!! Everyone loved how personal you were and sweet! Definitely kept us on track too which was great! Thank you so much!
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Port 393 Wedding Holland Michigan | Cassie + AJ

Port 393 Wedding

Cassie and AJ’s whole crew mean so much to me. This is the 3rd wedding of this amazing family group and shooting these moments is a treasure. 

COVID gave me this wedding. 

I actually was booked for their original date and REALLY upset to have to let it go. Luckily enough, they ended up in good hands with my own wedding photographer (you are the best Abbey!) but when they had to reschedule, she was booked their for their date so back to me they came! I was so jazzed they decided to reschedule at Port 393 in Holland as well as it’s a new venue and I was so excited to check it out. Everything about this day was lovely. From seeing this amazing family again to getting to check out this venue. I loved getting to capture this day.

Feel free to check out the slideshow HERE

The rest of this post is the perspective of the couple 😀

How it Started:

 Cassie and I met at a concert in Grand Rapids while we were living in Kalamazoo. We quickly realized we had a lot in common and started spending a lot of time together. One thing led to the next, and eventually, we were inseparable. We enjoyed a lot of live music, summers at Diamond Lake, and traveling Michigan together to see friends and family. In the fall of 2019, I asked Cassie to marry me at Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. We have traveled a lot together, but something was special about the Teton’s, and it will forever be a place where we will go and enjoy our memories.

AJ’s Suit

From the beginning, we knew that tuxedos were the way to do it. If there is ever a day in your life to look your best, it is your wedding. I enjoyed wearing a tux for the first time and seeing the guys looking sharp on our big day. In addition, I wore custom monogrammed cufflinks with my initials that Cassie bought for me as a gift a few years back. I also wore my father’s watch. He passed away in 2014, so it was very special to have a piece of him with me to say I do.

The Ceremony: 

The whole ceremony was amazing, but there is nothing as special as watching the love of your life walk down the aisle looking absolutely beautiful. I will forever cherish that image as the beginning of the next chapter in our lives together, marriage. We were surrounded by so many amazing family members and friends, and we couldn’t have wished it any other way. It was a great pleasure to have a longtime friend and father figure, Steve DeTar, officiate the wedding. We will forever be grateful for the entire experience.

Venues:

We held our rehearsal dinner and ceremony at Boatwerks on Lake Macatawa in Holland, Michigan. I really wanted to host the dinner there because Cassie and I had spent so much time on the water as a couple and shared many great memories on the lakes of Michigan. Why not make some memories on one more! We later decided we would host the ceremony there, and everything came together full circle.

Our reception was held at Port 393 in Holland, Michigan. Cassie found the venue online, but at the time it was only a digital design. We drove out to Holland and met the owner at the coffee shop next door, and all we could see was dirt and bricks. She loved the concept and the owner’s vision so we decided to go for it. Fast forward to May 7th, 2021, and the building was nothing short of perfection. The owners went above and beyond on every detail of the space and truly created a masterpiece. The whole team at Port 393 did an amazing job in every step of the process and made it simple for us to enjoy our day and their space with all of our guests.

Reception/Dancing/Music: 

The reception was perfect, except for the cold temps. What can you do? Jordan DeTar (Best Man), Sam Bengel (Maid of Honor), Ali Bengel (Matron of Honor), Jeff Bengel (Father of the Bride), and Dawn Moehn (Mother of the Groom) all gave unforgettable speeches. They really gave the guests a different view of Cassie and me and our relationship and set the tone for the evening. A huge thank you to all of them. The vendors all came together to provide a great experience. The food was amazing. The band (Blue Water Kings) killed it and had everyone breaking out their best dance moves. The eight-piece band really brought the sound together and created a unique and fun environment for everyone to enjoy.

Any Advice for couples planning their wedding?

Planning a wedding is a huge task, no way around it. Decide early what is important to you and your spouse and focus on those pieces. The rest will come together as needed. Plan early and leave yourself a few weeks between the end of planning and the big day so that you don’t have a million things going on two days before rehearsal. Have a beer or two before getting your engagement pics or going to make wedding choices. It will eliminate the unavoidable thought of stress. Most importantly, have fun with it and enjoy it. You only get to experience it once, so don’t stress over the small stuff.

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

Rachel Kaye is the best in the business. No questions about it. The perfect combination of being serious but having fun while doing it. Her personality is contagious, which was great to keep the wedding party engaged and attentive (for the most part). I enjoyed having a quick shoot with her a week before the wedding so Cassie and I could reconnect with her, gain a level of comfort, and bond a bit before the big day. Day of was seamless. We had a plan, stuck to it, and she kept everyone in check. Her work speaks for itself.

 

Huge thanks to these vendors for this Port 393 Holland Michigan Wedding

Wedding Planner – Emily Salomon // Connolly House Events

Venues – Boatwerks Ceremony // Port 393 Reception

Catering – Marthas Catering

Makeup – Kiss of Beauty Makeup

Videography – Avery Ace Weddings

 

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Michigan Backyard Wedding Grand Haven | Devin + Tom

Michigan Backyard Wedding

What a time to have and plan a wedding.
Almost all of 2020 is cancelled. In fact Devin and Tom ALMOST cancelled their day but instead of doing so, they opted to convert their planned Zeeland School House 5 wedding to a backyard one. This meant sending out ANOTHER set of invites, changing vendors and reducing their guest list significantly. I can’t even imagine! But getting married was SO SO IMPORTANT to them and they wanted to have their closest people with them. It all worked out beautifully on the most gorgeous July day. I am so thankful that some of these small events are still going on <3 I am missing weddings something FIERCE right now. It is a joy to relive this moments. This whole situation has made me realize even more how much I love this job. It is so so important to keep capturing these moments. Who knows when we can all gather again <3 I am going to leave the rest of this story up to Devin. She has an amazing point of view as a COVID bride on how this all went down and some wonderful stories of things that wouldn’t have happened without all the changes taking place.

 

The Beginning:

We were setup by my (Devin’s Aunt Toni and Uncle Jon) on a blind date. Tom worked with my Uncle Jon and actually a few other uncles over the years at Gentex. We connected over the phone and decided to meet at Hopcat in downtown Grand Rapids after work on a Friday night. I was going to be across the street with co-workers for a going-away party beforehand and I made sure they would check on me before they left in case the date wasn’t going well. Hopcat was packed and Tom and I ended up grabbing two seats at the bar. Me not being a huge craft beer fan at the time and trying not to come off as too “extra”, asked the bartender for a Bud Light …. which Hopcat doesn’t sell. Thankfully Tom isn’t a beer snob, which is possible when you live in “Beer City USA” helped me pick the lightest beer on the menu to order. Conversation flowed easily and I texted my co-workers that I didn’t need to be rescued. Turns out Tom had the same idea going into the date and had a friend on standby to use as an excuse to leave early if needed. He texted and told him no need. We stayed there and talked over beers and eventually decided to get pizza next door at Georgio’s. We got a couple slices of mac & cheese pizza’s, cans of PBR to my relief (no more Kraft beer) and had dinner. Afterwards, Tom walked me back to my car and we said goodnight. We’ve been together ever since!

Devin’s Dress

I setup a time to go to Becker’s Bridal with my mom, future mother in law and two sisters to try on dresses. It was my first time going to a bridal salon and I have to admit, I was really nervous I wouldn’t find a dress I would love. Well, that didn’t end up being an issue. My sisters and I pulled some dresses from the floor and when I started trying them on, it was like each dress kept getting better than the last. I loved each one, but each dress was very much a certain style (sleek and modern vs ball gown) and I wasn’t sure which one was the right “fit” for my personality. The bridal consultant pulled a few more dresses for me and that’s how I found “the one”. It’s was an Allure Romance, champagne, ivory and nude color dress. I walked out of the dressing room and my future MIL got teary and then I got teary and my sisters and mom said, “that’s the one”. It was perfect; glittery, swishy, and IT HAD POCKETS! I did need to have quite a bit of alteration work done to make it fit like a glove. Becker’s suggested HA Alterations in Standale and they were amazing to work with and did an incredible job. I highly recommend them.

I included two charms on my bridal bouquet. One had a photo of Smokey, Bandit’s older sister and who was such a huge piece of our family and had passed away unexpectedly in the Spring of 2020. It felt right to have her picture on the bouquet, I know she would have loved being included and if she were still here would have been dressed so adorably. The other had a photo of my Grandpa Myers who I was incredibly close with and miss dearly. Grandpa loved Tom and would have been so happy that we were getting married.

Tom’s Suit

We had just started looking at suits for Tom right before all the shutdowns that happened due to COVID. We knew we were most likely changing our wedding plans to have a backyard wedding and knew it was going to be a hot July day. We decided to keep it simple and went with what we could purchase online and decided to forgo a suit jacket. Tom was very happy with that decision when it 90 degrees on July 25.

Venue: 

Tom and I had rented a house on the NE side of Grand Rapids for many years. In late June of 2019, we got a message from our landlord saying that he has appreciated us as renters, but his daughter was moving back to Michigan and needed a place to live. He gave us a month and a half to find a new place. Talk about a moment of panic. We had talked about buying a house before nothing serious and had decided we wanted to wait until after our wedding. We had to put some wheels in motion and fast. We found a house we really liked the following Monday, worked with a realtor to get in to see it that same week on Wednesday, put an offer in the same day, and found out our offer was accepted that Friday! In today’s market, it was pretty unbelievable and felt like it was meant to be. I share all that because when COVID-19 happened, we decided that we didn’t want to push our date and would still get married on July 25, 2020. We talked it over and it just felt like the right decision to move everything to our backyard (and we had a backyard to move it too!). We live in a quiet neighborhood, so we wanted to give everyone a heads up that we would be having a small backyard wedding. I designed a little notecard with a cute message for everyone. Our neighbors were so sweet. Many stopped and talked when they saw us out in the yard and said how happy they were for us. More than a few even let us know we could use their driveway/yards for parking. A few even dropped off cards and gifts.
It made the wedding day feel so special and intimate to have it in the place that we have been making our home. I don’t think we’ll ever be able to move!

The Ceremony: 

Our next-door neighbor ended up being our officiant. Our original vendor had to back out and when I mentioned it to our neighbor, she said I’m ordained, I can marry you. Tom and I were able to write every single piece of our ceremony and make it meaningful for our relationship and what we want our relationship to be in marriage. It felt important to us to keep the ceremony honest and true to who we are as individuals as well as together as a couple.
Having everything at our house made it so much easier to have our doggo Bandit be a part of the day. We had Kayden, our nephew and ringbearer walk Bandit down the aisle. Kayden loves to play in Uncle Tom’s shop when he comes over. Being a little boy who just turned 4, he found some old tubing in the shop that he declared were snakes. Kayden was adamant that he was going to walk his “snake” down the aisle too. The rehearsal the night before the wedding went well and Kayden, Bandit and the “snake” made it down the aisle no problem. When the real deal happened, it was adorable because Bandit tried to take Kayden on a detour through the chairs and guests. Kayden got Bandit back to the aisle (with a little help) and it provided that perfect adorable little kid moment that I and let’s be honest, everyone loves at weddings.
Devin’s brother-in-law, Nick, is a tech guru and took over the “virtual” portion of our wedding. He was able to set it up to be live via Zoom and we were able to have our friends and family be able to join us for the ceremony.

The Decor: 

I love all things gold and sparkly. Our wedding colors were dark blue, dusty rose and gold (with greenery as accents. I love a good craft project and so does my friend Laurie. Together, we were able to come up with how to bring all those Pinterest ideas (you know what I’m talking about) to life. The seating chart (Laurie cut all those hexagons by hand btw), wedding programs, hand sanitizers, table numbers, bridal party gifts were all DIY.
Our original venue had a lot of the bigger decoration pieces that we were going to use. When we moved to our backyard, we had to find some additional décor that we originally didn’t plan on doing. I found whiskey barrels and Tom helped me get them to not smell terrible to use and line the aisle for the ceremony and then they could also be used for cocktail tables later in the night. I found a long stick in the woods behind our house and envisioned it becoming a backdrop for behind the bar we were going to setup. I hung it up to dry out a bit and Tom’s reaction was pretty funny and something along the lines of what the heck are you doing with that. I was able to sand it, harden the wood and stain it to make it the perfect piece to use for a macramé flower décor piece. It was probably one of my favorite wedding DIY projects to work on. My cousin Adrianna came over and helped me glue all the flowers on because I kept burning myself with the hot glue gun. I’m personally obsessed with lighting and really wanted to string patio lights over our entire backyard for the wedding. I showed Tom a few ideas (that I found on Pinterest of course) and asked if he thought we could make something work for our yard. He totally ran with that project from doing the math to figure out how many strands we needed to making special poles to attach everything to and running electric outdoors to be able to plug everything in. It looked incredible and provided just the right amount of light be able to dance the night away after the sun went down. I also loved putting together our arbor. I rented the wood piece and white draping from Consider It Done Event Rentals but then I purchased floral and put it all together myself. It was so satisfying to see it come to life and I fell in love with how it turned out. I was so fortunate to find Consider It Done Event Rentals who I was able to rent some additional items from that would have been difficult/expensive to purchase outright. They were so easy to work with.

rach here: one of my highlights of this day was the ring bearer interrupting me during the best mans speech for a little photo session <3 it lasted longer than it seems here 😛

Reception/Dancing/Music: 

Having a more intimate wedding meant that we could spend a lot of time with those who did come. Bandit and Kayden thought it was a party for them and totally hammed it up and lived their best lives. We had a makeshift dance floor in the middle of the yard, and it was an absolute blast to just let loose and have fun. We still haven’t figured out who the culprit behind everything in our kitchen being re-arranged was! We woke up the next day and someone had rearranged our kitchen drawers and flipped everything on the fridge upside down. The guys all stashed beer cans throughout Tom’s shop for him to find the next day. They claim there’s still some hiding that Tom hasn’t found yet.

Any Advice for couples planning their wedding?

As everyone is adjusting and adapting to what weddings can look like right now due to COVID-19, don’t get discouraged. Have an honest conversation with your partner and talk through what’s important to you for your special day. Because at the end of the day that’s what’s it all about. Don’t let the craziness of the world we live-in take away from it.

Your Photographer: 

We absolutely loved Rachels energy and passion. She made us feel so comfortable and was nearly as excited for our wedding as we were. Keeping our group on schedule can be a difficult task and she was able to keep us on schedule, while having fun at the same time. She’s not just a talented photographer, she’s an incredible human being and we are so grateful that she was apart of our special day.
Thank you for checking out this Michigan Backyard Wedding Photographer blog and gallery! I am so thankful you came to my blog to check some things out. If you want are interested in having a rad fun wedding photographer like Rachel Kaye at your amazing michigan backyard wedding please don’t hesitate to contact me at hello@rachelkayephoto.com to chat about how I can help you!
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Camp Anna Behrens Wedding Greenville MI // Sarah + Dave

Camp Anna Behrens Wedding Greenville MI

 

The Beginning: 

We met on Coffee Meets Bagel, which is a dating app that was on Shark Tank…that’s pretty much all anyone ever knows about it. But Sarah asked Dave for his number first, then he asked her out first, and so it began. After a year of dating, on New Years Eve 2018, Dave asked Sarah to marry him. On New Years Eve 2019, we were married.

Sarah‘s Dress:

I bought the dress at Becker’s Bridal on a chilly April day with just me and my momma. The dress was originally sleeveless, and I worked with my seamstress (Shannon from Vue Design) to design the sleeves which she put on just weeks before my wedding. She made it exactly how I envisioned it, and it was incredible to work together to make it happen!

Dave’s Suit:

The three piece suits were from Dunhill Tuxedos with a plaid gold and silver bowtie and pocket square, very classy.

 

Venues:

We got married at Camp Anna Behrens, a rustic lodge that we filled to the brim with candles, pine branches and people that we love. On the morning of the wedding, there was a perfect dusting of snow ever the entire scene that was pure magic. After the wedding, we went to the Winter Inn, a quant vintage tavern full of town regulars that we took over to bring in the new year with our closest friends and family. We turned the lights off, blasted the best music and counted down the seconds until 2020, when we kissed everyone we loved and raised our final glass of the night to our new beginning.

The Decor: 

Sarah did all of the decor (with the help of family and friends) and made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, arch piece, and accent wreaths from faux floral (a Grand Occasions specialty).

The Ceremony: 

Dave bawled like the big strong man he is when Sarah came down the aisle to “Marry Me” by Train that was sung live by the amazing Rachel Curtis. We recited our own vows, and realized we had both wrote down exactly seven promises to each other.

Reception/Dancing/Music: 

My dad got the party started with his classic “Play That Funky Music” dance (a simultaneously incredible and terrifying thing). At the end of the reception, we all gathered in a giant circle and dramatically sang “Don’t Stop Believing” together before we rallied for round two at the Winter Inn.

(here’s dad breaking out his movesssss!!!!)

Any Advice for couples planning their wedding?

Hire Grand Occasions. Monica and Ellie took care of EVERYTHING that day so I didn’t worry about a darn detail. HOLLA.

(RACHEL HERE, i couldn’t agree more! They took care of EVERYTHING at my wedding and it was a dream! I didn’t have to worry about a SINGLE thing <3 legit the best in the biz!)

Your Photographer: 

Rachel is everything. She is flexible, understanding, and a total bad ass. She froze her face off our entire day, getting all of our pictures (literally cold tears running down her face) and took charge, made magic, and loved us so well. She was the best decision. Hire her immediately.

 

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Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Wedding | Megan + Jay

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Wedding 

 

Every day in this job is a dream. No two weddings are alike and no one is doing this over and over again. It’s something really special to be a part of. I am sooo thankful that Megan and Jay picked me to be their photographer! I will let Megan and Jay take it from here!

The Beginning:

Megan and Jay had been unknowingly crossing paths for years. Though it wasn’t until one fateful day during Kalamazoo Pride 2016 that their paths would begin intertwining. Jay first noticed Megan in a rainbow tutu, smiling ear to ear as she volunteered in the beer tent. He immediately wanted to know who was this intriguing woman? While Megan did not notice Jay on that day, she did add him on Facebook. Jay thought this meant she had also noticed him and was disappointed to discover that Megan was in a relationship. Megan then traveled to Germany for a five month internship and started a travel blog. Jay began reading her blog. Meanwhile in Germany, Megan continued reading Jay’s blog. When Megan returned from Germany, Jay sent a message asking her if she wanted to go out and trade travel stories. Megan agreed and a few days later the two had their first date at Food Dance. One date turned into three and three turned into a dozen. Jay and Megan spent the first year traveling, adventuring, playing board games (though there is a small list of games that can no longer be played due to disagreements over the rules), and laughing. On one grueling 12 mile hike, Jay realized that he wanted to build a life with Megan.

Megan’s Outfit:

Megan was wearing a wedding gown she found at BHLDN in Chicago while shopping with her best man, Nate. She saw the dress online previously and fell in love with it instantly. The veil was passed down from Jay’s maternal grandmother and has been worn by the Maddock women for multiple generations. The blue sapphire ring was passed to Megan from her mother, Sandy. The shoes Megan DIY’d using spray glitter and crafted rebel alliance charms found on Ebay. Earrings were made to fit my gauged ears and purchased through Etsy.

 

Jay’s Outfit:

Jay found his suit while shopping with his best friend in Ann Arbor. After trying on what felt like a dozen suits (because it was a dozen suits) he found a dark gray suit that he loved. From the suit, Jay added a floral tie and a burgundy vest. He customized burgundy shoes with the wedding date on the heel and the Star Wars rebel symbol on the toe (crafted by Megan).

Venue and Decor: 

Megan and Jay said their “I Do’s” at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. It was a beautiful venue for the ceremony and the reception; giving the added bonus of open galleries for their guests to peruse.

Jay and Megan wanted to balance their nerdiness with elegance and weaved star wars and harry potter accents into both the ceremony and the reception. Jay built the wedding arch out of copper piping and tulle.

The Ceremony: 

The ceremony was everything Megan and Jay could hope for. The processional included a family friends’ daughter, Mia as the ring keeper (instead of a ring bearer) who held the rings in a golden snitch, followed by three bubble blowers, Arya, Indi, and Quinn in Gryffindor colors. Jay was escorted down the aisle sandwiched between his parents and mother-in law to “Beyond” by Leon Bridges. Megan was escorted down the aisle by her father to a cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. The ceremony was officiated by their close friend who made it beautiful and meaningful. Their friend Betty shared some touching words about love and their relationship. A humorous and thoughtful venn diagram presentation was given by their friends Jill and Jessica. Megan‘s sister, Lindsay, read and excerpt of Andrea Gibson’s poem “Give Her”. Jay and Megan chose a unity ceremony using mimosas to symbolize joining their lives together.