Marina + Jim Part 2 | Grand Haven Wedding Photography

Welcome back to Marina and Jim’s wedding post!  Sit yourself down and get ready for some majorly sun-soaked images from Grand Haven.  Seriously, writing this post has me dying for the warmth of the sun, the sound of the waves and the sand… oooh, the sand.  It’s February and the wind chill is zero here in Michigan, so why not wish for summer, right?  I know you’re with me, friend.  😀  So let’s head there, shall we?  Smack in the middle of the gorgeous coast of the mother of all freshwater lakes, Lake Michigan.  It’s quite a lovely place to be and Marina and Jim soaked up every bit of it.

Following their very sweet ceremony (complete with not one, but two kisses!), more photos ensued.  The waterfront was such an incredible backdrop.  Stellar.  And so conveniently, just down the road from a fishing pier which offered perfect views of the Grand Haven Lighthouse AND the beach house in the distance.  Score!!  It was sunny and windy and a whole heap of fun shooting on that pier.  Marina was working her inner supermodel, just glowing with gown flying in the breeze.  And that bridal party!  Not afraid at all to scale the surrounding rocks and (only very slightly) risk their bridal attire to nab an epic shot.  We had a blast!  The pier also welcomed boaters into a very busy nearby marina… and many of them were more than happy to help us celebrate by cheering and whooping it up from their boats.  Normally, I crave privacy for my couples, as the wedding day can be so hectic and crazy.  This was not private at all… but totally added to the joyful vibe that followed Marina and Jim all day.  It was perfect.

Later, they stole away for a few sweet moments to take in the glow of the painted sunset.  And that was the last quiet window of time, for the rest of the evening was one huge party.  The patio of the beach house, where just a short time ago was witness to their ceremony, was completely transformed into a circle of celebration and love.  Their friends and family did them justice and sent them on their married way happier and complete… two hearts finally one.

Here are a few more favorites… I hope you enjoy them!  Please head to my website here for more information on my Michigan and Grand Haven wedding photography.

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Grand Haven wedding photography, Michigan wedding photography, beach wedding photography
Grand Haven wedding photography, Michigan wedding photography, beach wedding photography
Grand Haven wedding photography, Michigan wedding photography, beach wedding photography
Grand Haven wedding photography, Michigan wedding photography, beach wedding photography
Grand Haven wedding photography, Michigan wedding photography, beach wedding photography
Grand Haven wedding photography, Michigan wedding photography, beach wedding photography

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Marina + Jim | Grand Haven Wedding Photography

Marina was a bride with lofty goals.  She wanted a wedding day filled with her loved ones, complete with smiles on their faces as she promised forever to Jim.  She wanted the happily ever after.  But she also wanted something different.  Something unique.  She wished for sunshine, gentle breezes, blue skies and SAND.  Sand is hard to come by in the middle of Michigan, but head west to Lake Michigan and you run into loads of it.  And it just happened that a gorgeous beachside home was owned by a certain generous aunt and uncle of Marina’s and the rest… well, is history now.  Their history.  And I’m so blessed to have been a part of it.

As Marina and Jim filled me in on their plans so many months ago, I understood how complicated it can be to plan a beach wedding.  Ceremony on or off the sand?  Facing the water means facing the sun… and what if it rains??  They described their plans during our consults, but there some things that weren’t set until just before the wedding.  There was one thing I knew- it was sure to be beautiful.  Even on it’s worst, gloomiest day, Lake Michigan is a force.  The sweeping beach in the Grand Haven area can take your breath away with its beauty.  But it wasn’t until I saw the space the evening before that I knew how incredible it would be.  There was so much to see… wide open spaces on the patio where the ceremony would be, with a tented area on the sand for their party after and all that gorgeous water as a backdrop.  They incorporated natural accents for their details and kept it simple, clean and organic.  It was such a perfect fit for Marina and Jim- relaxed, natural and fun.

Here are some favorites from the first part of their awesome wedding day!  Stay tuned for part two!  And to see more Grand Haven wedding photography and Lansing wedding photography, click here.  Can’t wait to see you!

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Becky + Ryan | Lansing Wedding Photography

This is going to be one crowded post!  By that, I mean, loads and loads of wedding people.  😀  Becky and Ryan planned a wedding for the record books this year, with celebrations in both St. Johns, as well as Lansing.  They were married at St. Joseph Catholic Church in St. Johns on a gorgeous, warm sunny day.  Their friends were everything you’d want in a massively large bridal party: fun, high-energy, a little crazy and laid back.  They definitely made the day a riot!!

Following their traditional Catholic ceremony, we headed to East Lansing, then the golf course at Eagle Eye.  Eagle Eye never disappoints with its wide open spaces… perfect for a big wedding group like theirs.    The bridal party had no problem at all claiming the lakeside part of the course as theirs.  I’m sure a handful of golfers were mildly intimidated by the sheer numbers!  It was a wedding army.  😀  A group like that doesn’t happen every day and I had a blast with them.  The more, the merrier on a wedding day!

Let’s get back to Becky and Ryan for a sec.  It was their day.  My biggest goal on a day like that, especially with a wild-and-crazy big wedding party, is to get them ALONE.  I recognize, of course, how much they love their friends and family.  That’s why they’ve asked so many to share in their day: because they love them.  However, it’s possible to get lost in the party.  The antics and shenanigans that come along with a really big wedding can take a couple away from the smaller moments.  My goal is to give them a few of those by night’s end.  So, we headed out on the course at sunset for some quiet time, just the two of them.  I’m so glad they took a few minutes to steal away, to just be.  I think they were, too… those images are the best of the day- filled with laughter and love.  Just like them.

Here are some favorites… congrats, Becky and Ryan!!  For more Lansing wedding photography, join the party here.  Can’t wait to see you!

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Sarah + Adam | Lansing Maternity Photography

It probably seems like all I do is photograph weddings… but honestly, I love me some maternity and newborn photography!!  I have a load of wedding editing ahead of me this month, but it’s been such a long time since I have blogged about my other photography crush- belly photos.  The giddiness and the wonder of it all… it’s just too much.  My heart explodes every time!  These two, Sarah and Adam, have been favorites of mine for a number of years now.  I have done so many sessions for them, they’re starting to run together in a blur of fun!  Most importantly, I captured their wedding day… so taking maternity photos for them was an absolute joy for me.  Love stories are so awesome!

Sarah was expecting her twins here and things were getting a teensy bit complicated toward the end.  We decided to bump up their session just in case the babies arrived early (which they did).  It was one of those blustery fall days that make you dread the impending winter and have you wishing for something hot right now.  I told Sarah I had a few wispy little wraps and things we could try if we felt adventurous- but only if she was comfortable.  Well, the thing about being pregnant, especially with twins, is that you’ve basically got a built-in furnace happening inside.  😉  Sarah was a rock star… we shot her photos along a country road with open fields and bare trees.  The breeze was icy, but she didn’t flinch (until the very end, when the shivers started).  It was so worthwhile, though.  The last few images we captured that day are some of my favorite maternity images yet and I’m so thankful that we braved the weather.  Sarah and Adam were just on the edge of starting their family in these photos.  There’s so much excitement and wonder and hope there… such big dreams and love for little ones they haven’t met yet.

Come back soon to meet the babies!  And for more Lansing maternity photography, click here.  See you soon!

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Allison + Wyatt | Lansing Wedding Photography

Ready for the second part of Allison and Wyatt’s awesome wedding?  Here you go!

If you missed their first post, click here– you’ll be glad you did.  Their wedding was held at the Grand Ledge Opera House, a beautiful historical building west of Lansing, built in the late 1800’s. Among its many perks, the Opera House is located in one of my favorite areas for wedding photography.  Grand Ledge is seriously so adorable and has so much natural beauty just outside of town!  I will let the images below show off the landscape.:)

After a few shenanigans with their super fun bridal party, we headed inside for their reception.  With the help of her wedding planner, Lynn Lucas, Allison was able to put together the perfect mix of delicate vintage details and organic-inspired accents. Each table held its own unique masterpiece using wood, moss, glass, lace, florals and burlap. It was elegant, natural and so beautiful! The space was warmed by soft hanging twinkle lights, which always adds to the magic.  I love me some sparkly twinkle lights!!

What more can I say… this party was such fun!!  Allison’s chose to keep her entertainment in the family and chose music by Life Support.  They kept the floor packed all night long.  Live bands are such a cool choice nowadays… DJs are definitely a great option, but a live band is something really memorable.  And a nicely crowded dance floor led by a great entertainer is irreplaceable.  It makes for fun photos, obviously, but it also keeps your reception alive.  If guests are having a great time, they celebrate longer… which is usually the goal when planning the party of your lifetime!

Allison and Wyatt’s reception had plenty of endurance to go the distance into the night… they even brought out the local Weenie Wagon for late-night chili dogs!  Such a blast!  Congrats again Allison and Wyatt… wishing you happily ever after!!  xoxo

To see more Lansing wedding photography, head over here.  Much love, friends!

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