This Bissell Tree House wedding was wild (pun intended)! Tori and Jake celebrated on a gorgeous summer Friday with their super fun bunch of friends and family. This was my second time photographing a Bissell Tree House wedding at the John Ball Zoo here in Grand Rapids and this time didn’t disappoint either. The zoo offers such a unique location for Grand Rapids couples and I loved the personal touches Tori and Jake added to make it their own!
The couple was first introduced to each other eight years ago through Tori’s significant other at the time. He was great friends with Jake in high school and the guys often met up to play soccer on warm summer days. Years went by with very few interactions. Tori moved to Allendale, Michigan to attend Grand Valley State University while Jake enlisted in the Navy. Time went on and Jake was able to come back home and continue his management job at the infamous Blockbuster Video. Tori came into the store one day, as one normally does on a Friday night in Chelsea, and Jake was mesmerized. Of course she spent the entire time trying to shake off the instinct to blush when the cute guy behind the counter smiled in her direction. They continued to live separate lives. Fast forward to July of 2013, both of their worlds collapsed when the guy they met through died in a car crash. From that moment on, Tori and Jake were forever connected through their loss. They reconnected and healed together, only to realize that they had fallen in love along the way.
Tori was most excited for the first look since the couple always tells each other everything! She said it was so hard to keep that part of the wedding secret from him! They also were really excited about the animal ambassadors from the zoo during cocktail hour. A portion of the proceeds from the rental goes back into the zoo’s conservation efforts and incorporating the animals into their day was important.
We start at The Amway Grand Hotel where Tori and Jake worked together! The salon at the Amway provided some incredible pampering for them and once everyone was ready we headed down to do the first looks! Tori wanted a first look with her dad as well as Jake and I loved both of them! We all piled into a party bus and went to one of my favorite locations for photos, then proceeded to their Bissell Tree House wedding later in the afternoon!
The treehouse itself offers a lot of nature and really takes the need for excessive decorating away. Tori and Jake used lots of floral accents to bring the whole room together and it was gorgeous! We enjoyed their short and sweet ceremony on the balcony of the venue where they sealed their vows in with a bottle of wine to open later. The cocktail hour included some animal ambassadors and great craft beer! We enjoyed yummy food and desserts then danced the night away! The whole wedding was really just a huge party for Tori and Jake which I absolutely loved!
The whole day was so special for the two of them and offered so many good memories. I’m beyond glad that I was able to work with them and can’t wait to see their marriage blossom!
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