I was sitting at my desk, back in March, and working my way through my Monday when I received an email in the afternoon from my college friend, Shannon. As I read the email for a moment I thought, "Oh my gosh! Did I miss her getting engaged on Facebook?!?", but as I read farther Shannon explained that her and Thomas weren't even officially engaged (the ring hadn't arrived yet!) BUT that they were starting to plan their wedding and were curious about my availability between July and September! . . .Read more
I arrived at the historic Packard Proving Grounds for Melissa and Jeremy's wedding day with so much joy and excitement in my heart! I had the opportunity to get to know Jeremy and Melissa at their engagement session last fall and they both are just so much fun, laid-back, and are always making each other laugh. Their amazing energy is palpable so I knew their wedding day was going to not only be heartfelt, but so much fun!Read more
Anna and Michael's wedding day in Hartland, MI began with bright sunshine and not one cloud in the sky. Anna prepared to marry Michael in the bridal suite of Waldenwoods Resort while Michael put on his navy suit and fastened his bow tie along side his groomsmen in a charming, almost southern style, house on the property called the Sunshine Lodge (which was so fitting for the beautiful weather!).Read more
Soft, blush tones and gold accents were the inspiration for this beautiful and dreamy wedding shoot held beneath the lush greenery of a secluded forest! These two, with their vintage cake table and contagious smiles, are featured on the blog today!Read more
Kristen was born and raised in Florida and the Everglades were one of her favorite places to visit. Matt grew up in Michigan and spent a lot of time in the woods as a hunter. For Kristen and Matt's engagement session, they decided on Crosswinds Marsh in New Boston because it seemed to Kristen a little bit like Florida with the tall marsh-like grass and water and for Matt, he loved that the marsh was outdoors in the crisp cool air of fall!Read more
Megan and Shawn love to spend time together traveling, playing soccer, and they also enjoy spending relaxing nights in the comfort of their home cooking dinner. To say that these two are fun is such an understatement and while at their Sleepy Hollow State Park and Lansing Fire Station engagement, I listened as Shawn and Megan recounted the early days of their relationship!Read more
With the potentially freezing temperature forecast for this weekend, I thought I would feature one of the weddings that I had the honor of photographing this summer! Looking back on Cyndi and Scott's destination beach wedding I can almost feel the warm sun and gritty sand beneath my toes. . . almost. :)Read more
Amongst the hustle and bustle of the campus of Michigan State University there is a place that juts up against the Red Cedar River in East Lansing that is quiet, semi-secluded (if you don't count the studying co-eds), and that is a bit magical. For the engagement session of Maegan and Eric, we explored this secret garden, named WJ Beal Botanical Gardens, and I enjoyed getting to know them a bit better!Read more
Within the dense greenery of the Huron National Forest surrounding us, Shayna walked down the aisle barefoot as a cello player strummed soft love notes and as she reached her soon-to-be husband, Matt, he was unable to hold back a truly happy grin from ear to ear. This wedding day is so very close to my heart as I have known Shayna for years and when she told me that she was engaged and that they were holding a wedding weekend where everyone would camp and enjoy one-another for a few days around the ceremony and marriage celebration, all I could think was.... it was SO her! In it's simplicity, it was so beautiful. It was sweet. And I was honored to be counted among their family and friends in attendance as Shayna and Matt exchanged their vows.
I think there are moments in life when an event truly refreshes you in spirit and in mind. Shayna and Matt's wedding in the woods near South Branch, MI was a vacation for me ironically as I was an invited guest along with my love, Scott, and Shayna being a very free and creative soul herself welcomed any additional pictures and moments that I might capture. Shayna has the biggest, kindest heart and I want nothing but heaps of love and blessings for her and Matt's married life together. I have come to find that I so enjoy weddings where there is a focus on the experience and where family and friends come together in a natural and effortless manner all in the name of love.
Shayna and Matt I want nothing but good things for you both and I can't wait to hear all about your adventures together in this next chapter in your life! During the ceremony, I put down my camera just soaking in being there with you amongst the trees and fully in the moment. When Matt's uncle asked you to say your vows my heart burst and I let out a deep breath. It was a moment and a time that I will never forget and I thank you.
Invitation: Handmade by Alicia Marie Portrait Art
Ceremony/Reception: Huron National Forest, South Branch Trail Campground, Michigan
Photographer: Courtney Carolyn Photography
The air was heavy and hot as we journeyed to the top of the lower peninsula for this Up North wedding in Tustin, Michigan. Diane and Nick both wanted a very laid back wedding celebration with family and friends and planned a whole wedding weekend where everyone camped, swam, fished, enjoyed cool beverages, and enjoyed the summer days together. The bridal prep, the ceremony, and the reception would all be taking place at the secluded woodland retreat, The Kettunen Center, which also had a beautiful lakefront view. Throughout the morning family and friends enjoyed this hidden, off-the-beaten-path retreat and also prepared for the afternoon celebration.
The flowers for the centerpieces and decor were assembled by mothers, grandmothers, and cousins during the morning of the wedding day while Diane and Nick began to get ready. As a friend sang and strummed her ukulele, Diane seemed to glide down the aisle towards a beaming Nick, in a blush-colored and crystal embellished wedding gown.
So much love surrounded this fun couple as poems and pretty things were spoken at the ceremony and as Nick and Diane recited their vows to each other through teary eyes and ecstatic bursts of laughter. After some quick family portraits, the bride and groom took a few moments to be alone and to cherish this very special time in their relationship. As the sun began to set, we then took Diane and Nick down by the water to capture some beautiful and romantic pictures of them before they headed to join family and friends at the reception.
The yellow lightning bugs buzzed and cries of laughter rang through the air as this outdoor reception continued on the beach. Some younger guests took to the glassy cool water to swim, canoe, and fish while others enjoyed people watching from the beach or from around the bonfire. Once the sun had officially gone down and the sand was cool, ladies and gents kicked off their shoes and danced the night away barefoot on the beach beneath an inky black sky full of twinkling stars.
I want to wish Diane and Nick so much love and happiness and congratulations on being MARRIED!
***I met Diane and Nick while freelancing my photography skills and secondarily assisting Brittany Alies Photography and I enjoyed capturing all the amazing details of their low-key up north wedding in Tustin, MI!***
(To read more about why I collaborate and work with other photographers, check out this post.)
(All photos are Copyright to the wonderful Brittany Alies Photography but were captured by Courtney Carolyn.)
Many (many) thanks the talented team who were apart of this beautiful wedding
Venue: The Kettunen Center, Tustin, MI
Cake: Zehnder's Bakery, Frankenmuth, MI
Hair + Make-Up: Family friend