An enchanted winter weddingKEVIN & SARAHHolland, Michigan

The reception was about to start and the final candles were being lit when Sarah’s mom, Karen approached me.  “I have to tell you,” she said, “Sarah just loves you.”I expressed how mutual the feeling was, and she went on. “After you two met for coffee,” she said,  “she told me, ‘Mom! It’s like we have the same soul!’” My heart fluttered with joy. I, too, had felt Sarah was a kindred spirit right from the start.

She and Kevin are two of the kindest people I’ve had the joy of getting to know & photograph. Sarah a nurse and Kevin a youth pastor who builds (yes, builds!) motorcycles in his spare time, their hearts of gold (along with plenty of glimmering candles) lent sparkle to their Holland, MI New Year’s Eve wedding. While she was always drawn to elegant styles with attention to detail, Sarah drew most of her inspiration from a desire to create a peaceful atmosphere for their guests, expressing that she wanted the beauty of the reception to reflect a magical, low-lit garden of greens. And you guys, it was like a fairyland. So stunning. Reflecting back on their wedding day, Sarah shared some of her thoughts with me. “We felt so overwhelmed with support, love and peace. This is part of what we believe marriage requires. A strong community of people lifting you up in prayer through good and bad, or walking alongside you as you journey through marriage together.”

And when I asked her what she loved most about married life so far? “We love making our house into a home by building tables or hanging pictures on the walls. We love having random dance parties while doing the dishes! Marriage has and will continue to bring out the worst and best of us, but we are building a life that has meaning and we are so grateful for that.” Words as inspired as this dream of a wedding! Scroll down & enjoy <3

 

Dress: Odette by Nouvelle Vie, The Wedding Shoppe 

Reception Venue: Boatwerks

Florals: Spring Sweet 

Hair & Makeup: Engedi Salon

Bridesmaid dresses: Vow To Be Chic

Men’s Attire: JoS. A. Bank

Rings: Jewel Tec

Earrings: Macy’s 

Cupcakes/dessert: Holland Cakery ‘n’ Sweets

A secluded garden engagement sessionWILL & ASHLEYGrand Rapids, Michigan

img_6702-2

Winter in Michigan tends to feel endless.

It’s not so much the cold, the snow, or the darkness that falls early. It’s the lack of sunlight. The grey. 

Thinking back to this late September afternoon feels like suddenly remembering a dream. A lush garden tucked away and nestled beside an aged, ivy-covered hall; golden light and crisp air bringing relief from late summer heat evoke an almost forgotten reality. There are a million things to love about this sweet couple, but one of my favorites is Ashley’s vision. (Don’t even get me started on how gorgeous their June wedding is going to be. So excited!) Her inclination toward a place where nature flourished, a place with history and character instantly reminded me of this little West Michigan haven. Such beautiful things happen when you’re willing to do a bit of traveling for your session, friends! And when you look back on your photographs, even more beautiful things happen: memories you didn’t know you had rise to the surface ready again to be savored, perhaps in a time when you need them most. Enjoy, & be inspired! <3

 

An intimate backyard elopementCHASE & JODIEChelsea, Michigan

img_5031

A house on a hill overlooks a still lake, rain pouring hard from the clouds. Tearful hugs are exchanged, and Jodie slips into her mother’s wedding dress that she herself updated (because that’s what you do when you work in fashion in L.A.). Her mother’s hands fasten the buttons that trailed down her own back decades ago, her father’s face lit with utter joy. Umbrellas are opened, and close friends and family scurry underneath the tent outside. The clouds parted, and Chase & Jodie exchanged heartfelt vows through tears and laughter, surrounded by those closest to them. It was the most laid-back, spur-of-the-moment backyard elopement you could dream of; a gorgeous display of real life & real love. Scroll down & enjoy <3