Holy cow, what a dream wedding! When Stephanie and Ryan told me they were planning their wedding in Michigan, I had no clue how incredibly beautiful the state is. I knew it was going to be amazing after they talked about their plans, but I was not fully prepared for how picturesque the vineyards, orchards, beaches, piers, and woods would be. I could have photographed Stephanie and Ryan every day for a week in Traverse City, and still would’ve left wishing we had more time to explore the peninsulas. This was a special place for Ryan growing up, and he had many significant memories attached to every location that we shot at. The Old Mission General Store was one of his favorite lunch and hang out spots, and so we did the photos of the groomsmen there. So seriously fun! (And the Moonshine only had a little bit to do with that!) He also spent lots of time at the Boathouse when he was young, and knew that he wanted to get married there.
I didn’t only get the privilege of shooting the wedding day, but also got to tag along for their rehearsal and dinner at the Grey Hare Vineyard and Inn. That place has got to be the closest thing to an Italian Villa that we have in the midwest. It was one of the most beautiful places that I have been, and I highly recommend visiting some day.
Stephanie was introduced to the area through Ryan, and totally fell in love with it herself. The ladies couldn’t have looked more perfect in the vineyard and their getting ready photos are some of my all time favorites. The way that Stephanie danced up and down the rows of grapes was seriously one of the prettiest things I have ever witnessed. You’ll never see a happier bride. Her girls were equally as fun and my only regret is not getting to spend more time with them.
The ceremony overlooked the pier- it’s definitely not often that I get to have sailboats in the background here in Colorado! All of their friends and family just exuded love and support. My favorite part of the ceremony was when “A Lovely Love Story” by Edward Monkton was read. That story is so fitting for these two!
After the ceremony, I was able to sneak the couple away to a private family cottage in the woods. TOTALLY WORTH IT. His aunt left them champagne – such a nice touch. They got to spend some time alone being all married and romantic and stuff, and I got some of my all-time favorite photos on the beach. I am just so thrilled that I got to photograph this amazing day, and couldn’t have done it without the support and gorgeous work from my second photographer Christina Trogan who was the luckiest find! (She is based in Traverse City). I’ll never forget this day – check out the photos to see why! – Jo