Surrounded by loved ones, Sarah and Phil began their lifelong journey at the District 5 Schoolhouse in Zeeland, MI, setting the scene for their heartfelt ceremony and the joyful celebrations that followed. To embark on this enchanting tale, let’s step back to where it all began.
Their love story initiated through a mutual friend. They shared moments at bluegrass shows and even gathered around Phil’s kitchen table in 2016/2017. However, the spark of romance didn’t ignite until 2021 during a memorable weekend getaway. Phil was so captivated that he took a day off work. Their bond deepened as they gazed at the stars by the lake, and within days, he started moving in with Sarah. Just six months later, they added a furry companion to their lives and commenced planning their wedding. Their relationship seamlessly blends tradition and modernity, with Sarah showcasing her culinary skills and Phil lending a helping hand in daily tasks. Their journey thrives on open communication and understanding, culminating in their unique version of happiness.
The excitement reached its peak just before the ceremony when Sarah and Phil opted for a heartfelt first look. Laughter and warm embraces filled the air, establishing a sweet and intimate tone for their special day. Although they chose not to have a traditional wedding party, we captured precious moments of the radiant couple and their close-knit family and friends before guests took their seats. The altar, adorned with delicate blooms and lush ferns, set the stage for a brief but emotion-filled ceremony. As they exchanged vows and officially sealed their love, a live guitarist provided a melodic backdrop, making this moment in their love story truly unforgettable.
Following their joyous walk down the aisle, it was time to transition to the reception, and it was a celebration to remember! Both guests and the newlyweds themselves danced the night away, serenaded by a talented live band. Sarah and Phil introduced a unique touch by offering Dr. Seuss books for guests to inscribe heartfelt well wishes for their enduring love and life together. The ambiance was nothing short of magical, with delicate lights draping across the ceiling at the District 5 Schoolhouse, creating an intimate and romantic evening filled with love and joy.
As they celebrated the culmination of their love story, Sarah and Phil eagerly anticipated the heartwarming moments that lay ahead. Sarah looked forward to Phil’s priceless reaction upon seeing her in her exquisite dress, and they both embraced the idea of having their dearest friends gathered in one place, cherishing every moment of togetherness. It was an evening that promised an abundance of love and cherished memories.
Holding their wedding at The Lit in Grand Rapids, MI, Shauni and Susie embarked on a lifelong journey surrounded by loved ones. This captivating venue set the stage for their heartfelt ceremony and ensuing exuberant celebrations. But before delving into the enchanting details of their special day, let’s revisit how it all began.
Shauni and Susie’s love story started in a truly meant-to-be way.Encouraged by family and friends, they crossed paths at a softball game. Little did they know that this serendipitous moment would change their lives forever. Since their fateful meeting, they’ve been inseparable, a testament to the power of unexpected love. It’s a reminder that sometimes, love finds us when we least expect it.
Anticipation filled the air as Shauni, donned in a sharp suit with a striking blue tie, awaited the first look. Susie, equally radiant in a white layered dress paired with blue flats and a crochet blue bouquet. This really added a touch of something blue! Exchanging heartfelt gifts set the tone for the ceremony, and candid moments with their wedding party highlighted the relaxed and joyful vibe.
As the ceremony began, Shauni led the way to the altar, where three wooden peaks adorned with delicate florals framed the scene. Moments later, Susie joined her, and their love was a sight to behold. The vows, the rings, and guests waving rainbow flags with the message “Wave When Brides Turn to Wives” created a ceremony filled with love and commitment.
Continuing the festivities, the newlyweds and their wedding party donned LGBTQ+ rainbow flags and playful hats to mark the joyous occasion. Mouthwatering food from Crepes by the Lakes and Kona Ice trucks added to the merriment. Intimate moments, including Shauni’s stylish rainbow-themed shoes, were captured. The evening continued inside, where the dance floor came alive with heartfelt toasts and joyful dances, making it a vibrant celebration of love and unity.
As Shauni and Susie danced the night away at The Lit, their love story found another beautiful chapter. The joy and love that filled this day were a testament to their deep connection. We wish these wonderful brides a lifetime filled with love, adventure, and new steps in their journey together. This wedding was a true celebration of love in all its colorful glory.
At the Grand Rapids Public Museum in Grand Rapids, MI, Meg and Randall celebrated their special day, surrounded by friends and family. However, the ceremony held in the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium was undeniably beautiful, and the reception beneath the whale skeleton in Galleria never fails to evoke a touch of magic. Before we delve into the details, let’s rewind and reflect on how it all began!
To kick-start their love story, it all began with a simple swipe on Tinder. Over five years, they embarked on numerous adventures, shared countless meals, and indulged in their nerdy passions. Consequently, this journey led them to a new house, two cats, a bunny, and a heartwarming Christmas engagement. As a result, they are now stepping into the next chapter of their love story, setting foot on the path to their wedding day.
The ceremony, which took place in the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, was a heartwarming moment. Transitioning to the reception, Meg, adorned in a stunning white lace gown, led the way beneath a galaxy-studded sky. In addition to the beautiful setting, the dark green theme seamlessly complemented the elegance of the bridesmaids in their green gowns, and the groomsmen looked dashing in suits with green boutonnieres. Following the exchange of vows, a shower of congratulations illuminated the ceiling with fireworks. Randall’s emotional reaction upon seeing Meg for the first time brought tears of joy to many, underscoring the unique love they share. Moreover, the dark green florals and bouquets added to the ambiance, and the entire wedding party looked impeccable.
Shifting to the reception, Meg and Randall’s special day was a reflection of their unique style and shared interests. Place cards, inspired by various scientific fields like physics and astrology, deftly guided guests to their seats in the Galleria at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Furthermore, their two-tier wedding cake, adorned with rose gold cut-outs of moons and stars, harmonized with their celestial theme. Additionally, they eagerly looked forward to their reception beneath the stars, amidst the grandeur of the cosmos, as they united friends and family to celebrate their love at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The opportunity to explore the museum added to the excitement. And of course, everyone eagerly anticipated indulging in the delectable wedding cake served at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Ultimately, it was a day brimming with love, wonder, and the promise of a bright future.
In the end, as we conclude their enchanting day, Meg and Randall’s wedding surpassed their wildest dreams, bringing their unique vision to vivid reality. It was a privilege to witness and document their cherished moments. As we extend our heartfelt wishes for a lifetime filled with love and joy, they embark on this beautiful journey together. Their wedding at the Grand Rapids Public Museum was nothing short of celestial magic!
Tara and Tyler’s Grand Rapids Museum wedding in Grand Rapids, MI was an intimate and beautiful affair. The unique venue has charm and character, providing a stunning backdrop for their special day.
Their love story began at Michigan State University, where they were both Resident Assistants. After becoming roommates, they soon realized they had feelings for each other. Despite their differences, they complement each other perfectly. Tara is the “feelings” person while Tyler is the “science” person. They share a playful and affectionate bond and love spending time together. The couple enjoy pastimes such as watching their favorite shows or playing board games.
Throughout the wedding day, Tara and Tyler celebrated their love and commitment to each other with many meaningful gestures. First, they exchanged heartfelt gifts during their first look, reflecting on their personalities and shared experiences. Moreover, they adorned the bouquet and boutonniere with the wedding colors of forest green and hues of orange, creating a cohesive theme. Tara looked stunning in her white wedding dress as she walked down the aisle with Tyler by her side, radiating happiness. Additionally, they exchanged vows, rings, and a kiss, officially becoming Mr. and Mrs. in front of family and friends, sealing their love for one another.
After the ceremony, the party moved on to the reception where the couple and their guests enjoyed a delightful evening. Someone thoughtfully decorated the tables with books and ceramic figures, perfectly reflecting the couple’s love of charm and literature. As guests enjoyed a candy bar filled with sweets, the newlyweds took to the dance floor for their first dance, which was held under the museum’s awe-inspiring whale skeleton, creating a truly magical moment that encapsulated their joy and happiness. And the celebration continued with Tyler and his mother sharing a touching dance, followed by Tara and her father, who made the moment even more enjoyable with their playful antics and laughter.
In my role as Tara and Tyler’s wedding photographer, I was honored to capture all the special moments. Their love for each other was present in every aspect of their celebration, from heartfelt gifts to playful banter and affectionate gestures. It was a privilege to be a part of this wedding at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. I wish them all the love and happiness in the world as they embark on their journey together.
Alaina and Josh’s bewitching Ivy House wedding in Saugatuck, MI, overflowed with love and heartfelt moments. Their ceremony was a sight to behold, but as the sun set, the reception kicked off, ushering in a night of laughter, dancing, and memories that will last a lifetime. To fully appreciate their special day, let’s start from the beginning.
At the start of the pandemic, Alaina and Josh met on Hinge and immediately connected. They fell in love with each other’s personalities and continued to support one other when they came out as bi. During a September trip to Salem, they spent the morning having brunch and then touring a witch museum. Josh decided to pop the big question in the old burial grounds next to the witch trials memorial in the afternoon. For Alaina, it was everything she dreamed of.
Touching moments set the tone for the day as Alaina had her first look with her wedding party and father. As you could imagine, everyone was thrilled to see Alania in her wedding dress. The ceremony was perfectly decorated with red and black florals and bouquets to match the wedding colors, adding a beautiful touch to the overall ambiance. Josh looked dapper in his red velvet jacket, and the wedding party stunned in their all-black attire. The flower woman gracefully walked down the aisle, laying petals for Alaina, and anticipation filled the air. When Alaina finally entered, Josh’s emotional reaction brought tears to the eyes of many, showing that their love was truly special.
The couple’s reception truly reflected their vision. Gold and black Tarot cards served as table markers on black tablecloths, centerpieces featured the wedding colors, and black candles added to the ambiance. Adding to the fun, an illuminated “’til death” sign at the sweetheart table was a unique touch. Additionally, the thoughtful trend of guests leaving a voice message added something special to the newlyweds. Alaina shared a dance with her father, and Josh shared a dance with his mother. Last, the couple’s first dance as Mr. and Mrs. captured their love and happiness.
Overall, Alaina and Josh’s wedding exceeded their expectations, and their vision came to life. Capturing their special moments was a privilege, and I wish them all the love and happiness as they start their journey together. This Ivy House wedding was to die for!
This blog post is about another Grand Rapids wedding at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids Michigan. There is something charming about their Greenhouse room and the botanical life that, as a Michigan wedding photographer, can’t get enough of, and neither could Angela and Geoff for their big day!
When I asked them how they met, Geoff said that a coworker who was friends with Angela invited her to hang out with them one night. They connected right away and things worked out really well. A few months later, the same friend invited Angela out to celebrate her birthday together with them. Sparks continued to fly, and they started seeing each other more frequently. Their love story really took root when the pair took a trip to a show in D.C. Angela had an extra ticket and they rented a car and drove there together. Geoff said that the entire trip was calm and enjoyable. From there, they knew they were creating something special between the two of them. When they both became ill about a month later (2017, pre-covid!) they took turns taking care of one another. From then on, they knew they cared for and loved one another very much. A few months later, they moved in and after a few years, Geoff popped the big question! Which brings us to this very moment! They were very excited to have both of their families come together from all over the country for one giant party.
As Geoff waited, surrounded by loved ones, Angela made her approach through the glass doors of the Greenhouse. Colorful hues of red, pink, and blue in her veil complemented her elegant white gown. This was a fun alternative to walking down the aisle with a bouquet. The suit Geoff wore matched the color scheme with a blue jacket, pink vest, and blue pants. The couple endured their ceremony with smiles and laughter sprinkled in between their vows. Then the kiss and -viola- Mr. and Mrs!
Did I mention how cute these two are? It’s no wonder they hit it off when they first met each other. During their portraits and throughout the reception, their laughter was infectious. The details of their reception were as bright as their newlywed glow. The fresh fruit on the table, along with the bright pink, orange and red florals, added contrast against the greenery of the Greenhouse. One of the wedding trends I noticed at their reception was the cupcake tower – not that I am complaining, because cupcakes are tasty! Angela and Geoff sealed their wedding by signing their marriage certificates. Oh, but of course, the pièce de résistance was when Angela changed into an orange and red suit to rock the night away with her newlywed husband. She absolutely killed it!
Your Grand Rapids wedding left me walking away full of love and laughter. Congratulations Angela and Geoff!
There is just something whimsical about fall weddings and this one was absolutely unforgettable. I am so excited to share with you Ashley and Erin’s beautiful queer wedding they had at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, MI.
Their love story began when they moved onto the same floor of the Van Vleck dorm at Hope College in Holland, MI in the summer of 2014. The pair quickly became friends and found every moment to spend together, from studying (they were in the same freshman health class), to exploring Holland. During their senior year of college, Ashley and Erin set out on their first official date.
Graduation did not halt their story line as they continued to date long distance, visiting each other as often as they could. At one of Erin’s favorite beaches, Ashley proposed to her during a scavenger hunt she designed for their 3rd anniversary. Erin then proposed to Ashley a year later at her favorite place, Sleeping Bear Dunes.
It is amazing how they incorporated so many colors into their wedding day. Their dog, Sugar, had a cute rainbow bowtie, Ashley’s shoes had a rainbow along the outside and, of course, the floral arrangements were vibrant in every color. Out of all the details I thought were so sweet were the spoons – one said “Will you marry me?” and the other said “Will you marry me too?”. I fell in love with the delicate details of Erin’s dress as she was getting help with the back buttons. Ashley’s suit had such an elegant look to it, especially with the detail around the collar of the shirt.
One of the highlights of the queer wedding was when they did their First Look. I captured how amazed they were by each other before their big day started. Afterwards, they sat down and exchanged cards, and Ashley gave Erin a bracelet before the ceremony. To help ease the pre-ceremony jitters, we took a walk around Windmill Island Gardens, capturing the laughs and smiles along the way. This location truly is a sight to see. Once they were ready, it was time to head down the aisle!
The moment arrived and friends and family awaited the couple in white chairs that led up to the gazebo. As the ceremony began and the brides made their way down, I imagined their anticipation. After an exchange of vows, Ashley and Erin shared with their guests their unity tree and what it symbolized to them. Together, they poured dirt into the pot. After the exchange of rings and THE kiss, it was official. Ashley and Erin were pronounced Mrs. and Mrs. Walking up the aisle, their guests blew bubbles over them, adding to the beauty of the moment!
Once the reception was underway, the newlyweds shared their first dance. There were speeches and the cutting of the cake. Though one of the more significant moments of the reception was Ashley and Erin signing their marriage certificate. After a bit more dancing, they enjoyed a cold treat from The Wandering Cow ice cream truck. They snuggled up in a knit rainbow blanket, complete with hearts.
I hope that any couple planning their own queer wedding can find some inspiration for their day. Thank you for choosing me to be your photographer for such a special moment in your lives!
Congratulations Ashley and Erin!
Lovebird #1 Attire | Dress: AIRE Barcelona
Lovebird #2 Attire | Suit: The Suit Shop
Ceremony Officiant | Dan Maxon
Make-up Artist(s) & Salon/Company Affiliated With | Quinn Vise
Florist | Picket Fence
Videography | Han Designed
Bakery | The Cakabakery
DJ or Band | Limelight Entertainment
Photo Booth | Limelight Entertainment
Jeweler | Brilliant Earth
Wanda’s Frozen Yogurt/The Wandering Cow ice cream truck
Camp Pinewood in Twin Lake, MI was a beautiful place for Tory and Sage to hold their woodland theme queer wedding. These two tied the knot with family and friends present on a gorgeous August day! The lake, the scenic view offered by the campgrounds and the weather completed the vision they had for their nuptials. First, we have to look at how they met one another.
Spring of 2019 was when they connected on a dating app. After getting to know one another a bit, they met up at the Ypsi Pride event on June 7th. During the afterparty where they danced with each other, it ignited the spark! Shortly thereafter, there were dates and overnight camping trips that drew them closer together. Covid delayed their moving plans to share a home together. However, it taught them they could get through anything in life with the love and support they share for each other. Their family includes their cats and their adopted dog, Roo. All of this has led up to this very moment. They are excited to have friends and family share this moment coming together in such a peaceful and serene place. They are also excited to have a “great queer dance party!”
Getting ready photos can be so much fun for weddings. Not only do I capture special details that Tory and Sage picked out, such as the Winnie the Pooh and Tigger salt shakers or the poem by Mary Oliver “How I Go To The Woods”. I also get to capture the excitement of Tory putting on their dress and Sage suiting up. They had an adorable First Look that almost made me cry! Tory gifted sage a watch, which they wore for the day and Sage gave Tory a beautiful jacket with a special pin that said “Queer Love Is Magic”. It is indeed!
As the guests made their way to their seats for the ceremony, I snuck a peek at the reception area. I snapped a photo of the adorable cake that featured the woodland theme with two cuddling bears on top the cake. Sage, Tory and I took a walk to the lake, where they laughed, smiled and hugged, knowing the moment was near. One of the other details I wanted to capture was Tory’s hand-painted boots adorned with flowers and purple ribbon for the laces. When it was time, they had flower folks who scattered petals down the aisle with a little groove. Sage and Tory followed soon after, to join hands with the lake behind them surrounded by their wedding party. After the vows and exchange of rings, they sealed the deal with a kiss and the guests cheered in celebration.
The reception was everything they could hope for! One detail I noticed on each of the guests tables were pronoun cards. These encouraged guests to leave their name and pronouns on the card at the table so that other guests could know it. It would be something interesting to see not just for a queer wedding, but perhaps weddings in general. I think it’s fantastic when pets are a detail in the wedding day in whatever way they can, like with the signature cocktails, which included both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.
Sage and Tory entered with rainbow flags in hand and beaming smiles! After the dances, the funny and emotional toasts and cake cutting, everyone danced the night away. I have to say the photo of the two of them at as the sun was setting in the background with their newly wed glow is one of my absolutely favorite moments. Thank you Sage and Tory for choosing me to preserve the moments and details of such an incredibly special day in your lives. I hope this blog inspires others when they plan their queer wedding!
Congratulations and I wish you both a lifetime of happiness!
Wedding Planner | Tanya Lynnette Events
Lovebird #1 Attire | Tory- dress from Bombshell Bridal, shoes handpainted by friend, Emma Blackman
Lovebird #2 Attire | Sage- Suit from Missguided
Ceremony Officiant | Mary Larkin
Make-up Artist(s) & Salon/Company Affiliated With | Hair: Rikki Moss at Betty Green
Florist | Viavi
Catering Company | Martha’s
Bakery | Cakabakery
DJ or Band | Mary Larkin / Emma Blackman
Jeweler | Custom engagement rings: Valley Rose, Valerie Madison
Nails: Katie Sue Klages (Kitty Bourree)
Elopements are more ideal for a couple who want a low maintenance day without guests or a large celebration. Chelsea and Claire did just that with their beautifully simple queer elopement to an Airbnb in Benton, MI. Their love story begins with a dating app, followed by a 5 hour long first date. Since then they have been inseparable, enjoying life together. Their family includes their adopted 3-year-old Rottweiler mix, Sugar. Their hobbies include playing games, swimming at the beach, and spending time with Sugar.
The only people in attendance were the brides themselves and Sugar, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. It was their first time having professional pictures taken, and I am honored they chose me to photograph their vow exchanges. Before the ceremony they relaxed with a game of soccer in their pjs outside overlooking the water of Lake Michigan. Then, there was lots of love and cuddles with Sugar before they helped one another get dressed. Chelsea wore a tiara along with her white dress while Claire wore a custom dark green suit. Once they were ready, I captured a few portraits and laughs outside.
When the time came, the pair played rock-paper-scissors to determine who would read their vows first. I love how relaxed and carefree they were. It was a peaceful view, Claire and Chelsey standing at the end of the backyard overlooking Lake Michigan and not a cloud in the sky. After the exchange, they had their first kiss to seal the deal! To commemorate their elopement, they placed a bottle of Pinot Grigio and mementos in a keepsake box engraved with their names and wedding date. Together, they tied a bit of rope around it to keep it closed.
It is imperative to celebrate who you love the way you want to. That does not always include family. That is okay. Chelsea and Claire wanted to spend their day celebrating their commitment to each other free of other people’s opinions. And that’s exactly how their elopement turned out. This queer elopement was full of love fun and smiles.
Many congratulations to the happy couple, and may your life continue to be full of happy surprises and spontaneous fun!
Chelsea’s dress – Claudette by Sarah Seven BEFORE line
305 total views
Is there anything better than an intimate LGBTQ wedding at Palisades Park Beach in Saugatuck, Michigan on a perfect day with gorgeous weather? A beautiful couple is getting married! Two gorgeous brides with infectious smiles and vibrant personalities! The sandy beach and miles of seemingly never ending waters of Lake Michigan created the picture-perfect scene for the pair’s ceremony. Let’s look at how their love story began. While volunteering at an LGBTQ Know Your Rights/Name Change clinic, Kara and Hunter crossed paths. They both attended law school at the University of Michigan. Through their years of school, they supported one another, which continued into the start of their careers. When asked what they are looking forward to the most about their wedding day, they exclaimed “celebrating with all of our friends in Hunter’s favorite place and eating our favorite foods”.
Before the ceremony, Kara, Hunter and I strolled along the beach. The moment away from everyone and the hustle and bustle of the day allows a chance to capture pure excitement and emotion. One of my favorite photos is Kara and Hunter walking hand in hand and barefoot on the sand. Her dress had a hint of light blue that was complemented by the blues of the ocean and sky. As the ceremony was about to start, guests filled the seats with a toast glass in hand. Under a macrame chuppah, there was the exchange of vows, rings and a first kiss as Mrs and Mrs under a macrame draped arch. They marked the end of the ceremony by breaking the glass. In addition, a toast to the newlyweds!
These two planned their reception at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, which was catered by Classic Catering. There were games and a cannoli bar and other sweet eats for guests to enjoy. The pair chose a Celebrate calendar so guests could special dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. After speeches and toasts, Kara and Hunter signed their marriage license. The reception continued with cake cutting and dancing the night away. It was an honor to document this beautiful LGBTQ wedding and share their love story.
Congratulations Kara and Hunter!