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It is one of the biggest honors as a photographer to capture the wedding of another wedding industry professional, let alone someone I am happy to call my friend. When I moved to Traverse City more than two years ago Whittney was the first person I connected with. I saw her amazing artistry that she creates with hair & makeup and was excited to hire her to be my stylist.

Whittney reached out to me a while back about capturing her New Years Eve wedding and showed me the gold sequin dress she planned on wearing and I was hooked!! The only thing she wished for was snow on her wedding day. And the days leading up to her wedding her prayers were answered. In Traverse City, we received nearly two feet of snow! It was absolutely magical looking.

I arrived at Whittney’s home as she finished getting her hair and makeup done by her amazing friends and family at Memorable Occasions. Before stepping into her dress, Whitteny surprised her daughter with a couple meaningful necklaces that brought tears to her eyes.

Across town Alex was photographing Justin as he got groomed and pampered by Chad at The Hair Code Salon. Afterward, he was off to the Park Place Hotel to finish getting ready.

Whittney and Justin opted for a first look (which is always our favorite to capture). The snow-covered streets and trees looked lovely in the background of their images. And the moment that Justin turned around to see his bride-to-be was amazing and literally jaw-dropping.

To warm up for a few minutes they traveled downtown to Espresso Bay, the place where they had their first date. They sat in the exact spot and reminisced about that first day—and talked about how far they’ve come.

Back at the Park Place Hotel, Rachel and her amazing crew at Sincerely Ginger Weddings were busy putting the final touches in place. They created a glamorous reception space that sparkled and invoked the magic that NYE is all about.

Prior to the ceremony prayers were said and the candles began to be lit. Whittney walked down the aisle with her daughter as Justin smiled from ear to ear. Between the romantic set up and the vows they shared with one another, there was hardly a dry eye in the place. It was truly a beautiful wedding.

Once they said, “I DO!” they invited all their guests up to eat, drink, and dance the night away as the countdown was on for midnight. From the top of the Park Place Hotel, everyone could easily see the annual cherry ball drop on the street below. Their guest huddled around them as the chant began! Ten, nine……three, two, one!!! Cheers rang out, glasses clinked together, and the newlyweds kissed as fireworks lit up the night’s sky. It was a celebration of epic proportions.

We can’t thank Whittney and Justin enough for all the fun that day. We wish you guys a lifetime of love, laughter, and happily ever after. Enjoy!

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Park Place Hotel Wedding_0007Whittney’s daughter opened her gift privately in her bedroom. It was such a special moment. Park Place Hotel Wedding_0008Park Place Hotel Wedding_0009Park Place Hotel Wedding_0010Park Place Hotel Wedding_0011Park Place Hotel Wedding_0012Park Place Hotel Wedding_0013

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I first met Hanna and Nick via Skype while learning about their September wedding at Black Star Farms. They talked wedding, photography, and then mentioned they were traveling to Traverse City the following week to visit family during the holidays. That was the perfect chance for us to photograph their engagement pictures, since they live out in New Jersey and wouldn’t be back to Traverse City much before the wedding.

The next week we met up with Nick and Hanna at the beautiful Loon Song Covered Bridge in Lake Ann. The bridge looked festive for the holiday season, dressed up with lights and a giant holiday wreath. Nick & Hanna looked adorable all bundled up in preparation for the cold, we love the boots the wore as they stomped their way through the snow.

Although the bridge was lovely, we wanted another option for them. So we drove down the road and met up with them along the lake in downtown Lake Ann. It was frozen over, yet that simple look was so beautiful. Then the snow came and made it even more magical than before!

We finished off their session the best way possible, with a drink in hand from Lake Ann brewing company. Nick, Hanna, and Alex enjoyed a local beer, while I treated myself to a delicious apple cider. It was a relaxing ending to a great session. Nick and Hanna are a cool couple, and as we got to know them more during the engagement session it got us even more excited to photograph their wedding. We even had the chance to meet up with Hanna’s family during our time together at the brewing company.

Thanks again Hanna and Nick! It was a blast to hang out with you guys. Enjoy!Loon Song Covered Bridge_0001Loon Song Covered Bridge_0002Loon Song Covered Bridge_0003Loon Song Covered Bridge_0004Loon Song Covered Bridge_0005Loon Song Covered Bridge_0006

I love the way Hanna’s make up photographed. She treated herself to having it done by Abby at M.O. Beauty Lounge! So pretty!

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Life is tough sometimes, that’s what Whittney and Justin had to experience a few hours prior to their engagement session. They considered postponing their portrait session, but they thought it might be a welcoming distraction. Within minutes of arriving at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, they relaxed and started really enjoying the session. Then after their engagement portraits, they went out for a date night.

For their engagement pictures, they were blessed with clear skies and even a bit of sunshine. Which was welcome after raining, for what seems like a couple weeks. They kept it simple by sticking with one outfit and it looked great on them. Very classy and cozy for that crisp fall air. The nearby trails were covered with beautiful fall leaves, while green trees lined the path. It was a great spot to start their session. The sun even peeked out for a few minutes to illuminate the trees. A short distance away, the newly remodeled Commons had the look of the modern country chic style reminiscent of the show Fixer Upper. It’s a style that the couples home is decorated with. And because these images will be hung in their home afterward, it’s great to keep that in mind when choosing an engagement backdrop. So the Commons was a perfect place to end their session at.

I kept thinking how amazing they are, not only individually, but more so together. It’s their compassion and strength for helping one another out that shows how incredible their marriage is going to be. After their engagement session, we were even more excited to capture their love for their upcoming winter wedding. Thanks again Whittney and Justin for being so awesome and for pushing through the hard times together. Enjoy!

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I love the way that Justin looks at his wife-to-be, very sweet.

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It was an absolute pleasure to capture the wedding of Alex and Nicole at the Grand Traverse Resort. I was hired to second shoot for Sabrina Leigh Photography and it was a pleasure because I’ve known her for years. We hired her a couple years back to assist/photograph while I was pregnant and kept in touch with her since then. So it was an honor to shoot along side Sabrina again, but this time in Traverse City.

When I first arrived at the resort I made my way to the suite where the groom and groomsmen were getting ready. These guys were hilarious, welcoming, and looked dapper as can be. I took the guys to a willow tree on the property as the bride finished up getting ready. When Nicole, the bride, arrived she was smiling ear to ear. As her soon to be husband, Alex, turned around he had the most beautiful reaction to seeing her in her wedding dress. Afterward, their bridal party joined up for a few portraits before everyone made their way to the ceremony location.

The Grand Traverse Resort has a stunning beachfront property overlooking Lake Michigan. That is were Alex and Nicole held their wedding. Since most of Alex’s family was French Alex and Nicole typed up the entire ceremony, including vows, so they could read along. They also had parts of the ceremony in French, it was incredible to witness.

After they said ‘I do’ they made their way back to their tented reception for cocktails with their guests. The decor inside was clean and beautiful. The green and white everywhere was simple but truly stunning. They kicked off the start of their reception with dancing, inside of dinner. It brought an energy to the room and showed off how much of a party was to come.

Lastly, right before I was done, we took the newlyweds out for some portraits at sunset. It was the perfect way to end an amazing day. Thanks again to Alex, Nicole, and Sabrina for the fun. Enjoy!

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Oh this moment was so beautiful to capture.

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I am so excited to gush over how incredible this West Branch wedding was! Sarah, from ElizaJean Photography, hired me to second shoot this wedding along side her this summer. We traveled together to the private residence overlooking a small body of water and gorgeous woods. The tent was set up on one part of the lawn and across the way, the ceremony location overlooked the water.

The groom, Kevin, finished up getting ready and took the trail out to a nearby party of the forest in preparation for the couple’s first look. The bride, Ashley, finished up getting into her dress, a dress that was worn by her mother years ago. She had the dress alternated slightly and it looked absolutely incredible on her. Their first look was very private and filled with love and laughter. The couple enjoyed their alone time in the woods (and all the bugs that came along with it) before heading to meet up with their bridal party. The groomsmen looked sharp in their suspenders and the bridesmaids rocked their array of colorful dresses.

Their ceremony was short, but oh so sweet. Afterwards, guests were invited to dive into the popcorn bar and enjoy a refreshment before dinner. During that time I recruited a few kids, playing along the shore, to find me a frog to use for the ring shot. And boy, they found a perfect one. It was a thrill to capture. After dinner and a few da, ces the couple was borrowed away for a couple minutes. The sun was setting as the newlyweds rowed out into the water. Those photos are some of my favorites from the day.

Thanks again to the couple and to Sarah for all the joy that day. The entire wedding was a delight to capture. Enjoy!

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Yes, that is a REAL frog! He/she knows how to pose for the camera, haha.

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