Harbourfront Place Wedding Photographer Grand Haven | Emily + Zach

Well this wedding was amazing. 1) it was in my HOMETOWN of Grand Haven Michigan. So it was just like I woke up and didnt’ have to drive a million hours and really enjoyed my time. 2) Emily and Zach are seriously some of the kindest people in the world. Their family and friends also were incredible and it was just an amazing day to be a part of. I am getting kind of emotional thinking about how wonderful this day was, so I’m gonna leave the rest to Emily and Zach:


The Beginning:

We met on a dating app (thank you, Tinder) and our first date was at a bar in Ann Arbor, MI in July of 2015. Our first date was slightly terrible yet extremely memorable as we each dealt with our nerves in VERY different ways with me being shy and essentially nonverbal and Zach talking nonstop to make up for the awkward silence. Despite this, there were definitely sparks and luckily I agreed to a second date. After that, we were essentially inseparable and have been each other’s best friend and better half ever since. This past year, we bought our first home in Spring Lake, MI and moved here with our fur babies Dobby and Meeko.


We got married at St. Mary’s in Spring Lake, which was especially special for me because that was the church in which my parents got married and where I went growing up. Father Dave made the ceremony and the entire process so easy and wonderful. Our reception was at the Harbourfront Grand Hall in Grand Haven, MI. We loved the atmosphere created by the “Old Piano Factory”, as most locals refer to the building, and were so happy to be able to use the space.

The Ceremony: How did it go? Anything special?

Our ceremony was short for a Catholic ceremony, which we were very thankful for! Trying to remember what to do next was probably the most nerve-wracking part of the day, but it Father Dave led us through the entire thing and we felt nothing but love and joy. After the ceremony, we took the Harbor Trolley from the church to the reception hall, with bar stops and photo stops on the way and it was a BLAST.

Emily’s Dress

I don’t think I’ve loved to wear anything more that I loved wearing my wedding dress. I got my wedding dress from a shop called BHLD in Chicago, IL. I was so amazed at how easy the process was and only tried on 6 dresses before deciding that this was the “one”! I brought all my bridesmaids and my mom with me to shop in Chicago and we had an awesome girl’s weekend to celebrate saying yes to the dress, complete with drinking too much wine and eating too much cheesecake.

Zach’s Suit

Zach and his groomsman Aaron took a trip to Men’s Warehouse to pick out the suits for the wedding, something that he was not looking forward to doing but ended up having an awesome time. I told Zach the color and let him decide the rest :). He settled on dark navy tuxedos for him and his groomsmen, because he wanted to be classy AF and what’s a better excuse to wear a tuxedo than at your own wedding?!

The Decor:

Our decor and flowers were from Events by iCandy in Grand Rapids, and they did such an amazing job! We chose to rent flowers and decorations rather than purchase them ourselves, and it was such a good decision. I gave the designers at iCandy the colors I liked and told them the general style we were looking for, and it surprised me how quickly and easily they threw together EXACTLY what I was thinking. Our decorations we tones of gold, burgundy, green, and blue and we used a zillion candles to make the reception feel warm and romantic. My mom made the backdrop behind the head table and also recruited a very efficient candle-lighting crew to light the large number of candles before the reception. Events by iCandy also set up the decorations at the church and reception hall, which was a big stress reliever.


Our reception was SO much fun! I think one of our favorite moments of the day was walking into the reception hall. It was an overwhelming happy feeling to see all of our friends and family there smiling at you and being there to celebrate with you.  Despite the night starting off with a sappy speech by my dad (he was the cutest), the rest of the night was filled with laughter and so much dancing. The combination of awesome food, donuts, an open bar, and an amazing DJ made it the best night ever. We started dancing at 7:00 pm and didn’t stop until 11:00 pm. Walking the three blocks from the reception hall to the bed and breakfast that we stayed at was definitely a struggle after all that dancing, but it was 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 was honestly the best photographer we could have picked to document our wedding day! We were worried about photographs feeling to posed or unnatural, and so we picked a photographer who we thought would make sure we didn’t feel that way, and she nailed it. She provided direction while also allowing us to completely express ourselves and have an awesome time while doing it!

Any Advice for couples planning their wedding?

Plan early and find either a wedding planner or close family member/friend to help you with all the tedious aspects like phone calls, emails, and scheduling. It helps SO MUCH to spread out those responsibilities if you can. And don’t forget to take a step back on your day and soak in all the love radiating from family and friends; they’ve come to celebrate your love and that is the best feeling.



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