Lake Michigan Wedding Inspiration

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Lake Michigan Wedding Inspiration

For the majority of our team, West Michigan, with its long summer days and gorgeous fall sights, encapsulated our childhoods. Everything from mighty maple forests we could go wonder around through for hours on end, to larger than life sand dunes that seemingly transported us to a whole other world - we fell in love with the beauty of this land. But most of all, there were our magnificent lakes, and namely Lake Michigan, which was just a short drive away or many of us. It's one of the defining characteristics of this beautiful state - I mean, they don't call it Pure Michigan for nothing! So when the idea came up to work with our amazingly talented wedding planner friends over at Grand Occasions to create a style shoot completely centered around this enrapturing sight and place, we were in!

This shoot was in every way a labor of love with us planning everything from the smallest details to the largest design dreams for nearly a year (you know, in between all the other weddings we had to keep us busy!), and this end result is more gorgeous than any of us on our own could have ever imagined. And the reason for that? All the wonderful and brilliant West Michigan artisans and designers that we had the privilege of working alongside on this true passion project. It is clear that we all love what we do, and when you get enough creatives together, who are head-over-heels for weddings, and each bring their own special eye and talent to the table, literal magic happens!

Cinematography: ShadowShine Pictures

Photography: Noah PreFontaine

Event Design and Coordination: Grand Occasions

Stylization Assistance: Haylay Lynn Lifestyle

Wedding Dresses: Ali Nicole Bridal

Menswear: The Black Tux

Jewelry: Stone Armory

Silk Floral Designs: Grand Occasions

Wedding Cake: Cakabakery

Chocolates: Mokaya

Invitation Suite: Beautifully Noted

Hair & Styling: The Parlour

Make Up: E.G. Makeup

Rentals (furniture, linens, dishes): The Rental Company

Rentals (Vases and Candles): Gigi & LaClede

Rentals (Michigan wood pieces): Dove & Doe Designs

 

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Courtney + Chris: Frankfort Engagement

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Courtney + Chris: Frankfort Engagement

Lake Michigan, a late summer sunset, and Courtney+Chris: just a few of our favorite things!

Back in August we hopped into the car on a Saturday afternoon for a road trip up north to meet two people who we would later fall head over heels in love with. And yes, you guessed it. Those two beautiful people would be Courtney and Chris! While adventuring around Frankfurt, it didn't take long to realize that we had hit it big with this fun, adorable, and kind couple that we instantly became friends with.

Having to wait until next summer to see thee two again is a bummer, but we are so excited for them and beyond honored to be sharing in their wedding day!

Sending the soon to be Mr+Mrs Bowen all the love and summery beach vibes today on this bright and sunny fall day!

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Alex + Greg: The Barshied Wedding Trailer

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Alex + Greg: The Barshied Wedding Trailer

Grand Rapids weddings are some of our favorite what with getting to go to all the beautiful and pretty spots around our city. But when we get to spend these days with a couple like Alex+Greg, it means so much more!

Despite stormy weather that showed throughout the day these two were on cloud nine; completely in love, completely content in each other's arms. Their concern and compassion for the other shown in almost every way that day and we couldn't help but grow so in love with the both of them.

From the gorgeous Basilica of St. Adalbert where Alex+Greg said their vows to one another in front of hundreds of their family and friends, to downtown for bridal party photos in front of the icon GRAM, and then off to the beautiful Cascade Hills Country Club for a night of celebrating these two, this was a classic Grand Rapids wedding day. So incredibly thankful to have shared in it with them and to have paid witness to all the joy filled moments that we wish we could relive every weekend! 

Photography (featured in this blog) and Cinematography: ShadowShine Pictures

Photography: Kelly Sweet

Hair & Makeup: Jeffery Richard Salon

Wedding Dress: Eve of Milady

Wedding Planners: Modern Day Events and Floral

DJ: Music Host Entertainment

Wedding Cake: Cakes by Mary Briggs

Venue: Basilica of St. AdalbertCascade Hills Country Club

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Joseph + Patrice: The Jackson Wedding Trailer

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Joseph + Patrice: The Jackson Wedding Trailer

It has been a legitimate dream of ours to head up north, to catch a ferry across the lake, and film a wedding on the gorgeous Mackinac Island for years now. And guys, that dream came true - with one of the sweetest, most humble couples you could ever meet for that matter!

Yes, it was wet and raining most of the weekend but it was no less a fairytale wedding, and no we aren't just saying that. Patrice+Joseph's day felt like a real life storybook, Prince-marries-his-Princess wedding! With their family and closest friends gathered around them for this private and unquestionably intimate wedding, complete with horse-drawn carriage and all, it felt like we were sharing in the wedding day of the royal family. 

Really though, we basically were. These two are so rich in love and grace that they exemplify the best of humanity. Patrice and Joseph could not be any more kind and we are so eternally thankful that they allowed us to travel up for the weekend and share in their story. Here's to compassion, sweet, sweet couples, and an Island full of horses!

Photography: McCoy Made

Photography (featured in this blog) and Cinematography: ShadowShine Pictures

Florist: Margaret's Garden at Grand Hotel

Wedding Cake and Dinner: Grand Hotel

Wedding Dress: Private Designer

Tuxedos: Ralph Lauren Purple Label

Venues: Little Stone ChurchGrand Hotel, & The Greater Mackinac Island area

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Anna + Bryce: The Sack Wedding

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Anna + Bryce: The Sack Wedding

Oh man, where do I even begin with these two! Bryce and Anna are two incredibly special people in my life and having gotten to know them over the years leading up to this special day made being able to be a part of their wedding an unbelievable gift, blessing, and joy to be real.

I first got to know Bryce on a trip to Africa a few years ago and while I had known of him prior that trip since we attended the same university, it wasn't until that summer that I realized just how great of a man he was and truly got to see the heart he had for Christ. We went through a lot on the trip, experienced things that changed us both, arguably forever, and honestly he quickly became like a brother to me.

A couple months later once he and I returned state-side I officially met Anna on corporate shoot and while they had already been dating for sometime at that point I'm pretty sure one of my first things I told Bryce was how absolutely brilliant she was and how he needed to put a ring on her finger ASAP. We both laughed, he agreed, and sure enough a year or so later, these two were engaged and I was over the moon.

I've watched them grow together through the seasons of graduating, finding jobs that they loved, moving to a new city that they loved more, find newer jobs, organizing a huge and gorgeous wedding, and beginning the process of planning the rest of their lives together. There is no doubt in my mind that they are the perfect balance to one another, a blend of two similar yet complimentary persons and souls that lift one another up, sharpen the other daily, and care for each other on a deep level that I cannot put into words.

 

This wedding, their beautiful day, is one of those that I'll look back on with a giant grin for years to come; overwhelmed by pure joy and excitement for two of my dear friends, Mr+Mrs Sack.

-Matthew

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Aparna + Ankit: The Patel Wedding Trailer

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Aparna + Ankit: The Patel Wedding Trailer

There are some weddings that we truly, unquestionably wish could never end, and when we think back to the amazing, colorful, wonderfully joy-filled weekend that was Aparna+Ankit's we have those exact feelings. By time we got to their wedding weekend they were already dear friends of ours and so obviously it was so easy to get swept up in all the magic, the love, and every single second of celebration and excitement. 

Then there's also the layer of getting to celebrate yet again with a community that we have had the honor of doing just that with for over four years now! This close knit community that welcomes us in as their own, who have the biggest smiles when they see us, make us feel at home in a way that I'm not sure we really experience with most other weddings. The feeling is down right indescribable. It's so much more than work, it's so much more than just art or a craft for us when we are with them - it's a shared experience, coming together as old friends and taking part in a moment that transcends all of us there. We've talked about that a lot over the last few years and the truth is that feeling doesn't fade away in the least bit, only grows stronger and for that we are incredibly thankful.

Heaven help us, this blog could be pages on pages long about everything that was so wonderful about this weekend. Not only was it our first Indian wedding to both photography and film, it was also our first wedding creating a Same Day Edit of Aparna and Ankit's trailer, this trailer. The moment of watching these two peer through the doorway of their reception into the hall where all their friends and family were reliving this fantastic weekend as they saw the trailer was one for the books. As Aparna teared up and started to cry from overwhelming joy, to Ankit's huge grin of excitement, that was a moment I think we'll all cherish and get chocked up over thinking back to for the rest of our lives.

Really, all we can say is how thankful we are for these two beautiful humans. Their wedding weekend was more than an honor to be a part of, and to get to be a part of their story, and to call them friends, is more than we could ever ask for. Here's to Aparna + Ankit!

Wedding Planer: Rajul Pillai of Blissful Events

Photography and Cinematography: ShadowShine Pictures

Florist: Butterfly Flowers

Garba Hair and Makeup: Houda Hourani at Salon West Dearborn

Wedding and Reception Hair: Raimonda Gjekaj

Wedding and Reception Makeup: Tammy Pore

DJ: Umesh Manani

Wedding Cake: Sweet Dreams Bakery

Linens & Chivari Chairs: Modern Art Party Rental

Catering & Bar: Krishna Catering & Ashoka

Henna: Niki Patel

Henna Gown: Frontier Heritage

Grah Shanti Gown: Utsav Fashions

Garba/Sangeet Gown: Anushree Reddy

Wedding Gown: Raja Fashions

Reception Gown: Shyamal & Bhumika

Venues: Diamond Center, Patel Residence, & Shah Residence

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Lauren + Nick: Grand Rapids Engagement

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Lauren + Nick: Grand Rapids Engagement

My friendship with these two wonderful and amazing world changers started some years ago. I first met Nick as we both were paying for a relief and educational trip across seas to Zambia, Africa. Nick struck me as one of the most level headed, down to earth, and incredibly caring people I have ever met. Our friendship grew over those twelve days of traveling around dirt roads and visiting villages and seeing the relief work happening by the locals in those communities.

At the time he was smitten with, but not yet dating, a bright, charismatic, beautiful young lady named Lauren who I had yet to meet but had already become friends with other various members of our team. It was shortly after Nick and I returned stateside that the two dated and I actually got to know Lauren completely separate from Nick on various sets that she crewed for our team. Everything from a Second Assistant Director, to Production Designer, to even a Casting Director, Lauren's grown to be a member of our local film community that we have loved getting to know and for my own part, getting to create with.

Flash forward to today, the day before these two amazing, compassionate, and Jesus loving people say "I do" to forever after with one another. I don't think there is a member of our team that isn't stoked and excited about their wedding tomorrow and we are incredibly blessed to have had a front row seat to watching these two grow together over the last several years and we are going to for sure be crying like babies tomorrow as we get to witness Lauren+Nick become one.

Here's to happiness, love, and pure joy after a week that felt like it was lacking all three of those. Spread the love my friends!

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