Combine a lovely woodland theme, a stunning backyard, lots of queer folks, and even more love, and you have Jessie and Elle’s wedding. The couple spent so much time on all the little details that came together beautifully for this Spring backyard wedding. I’m always a fan of intimate celebrations and a backyard LGBTQ wedding. They always have so many special details and this one was a favorite!
When I asked Jessie and Elle what they were most excited for they said “I am sure we will both be emotional, but mostly excited to be able to celebrate the love we share for each other with our family and friends.” It was true, even I was tearing up behind the lens as the couple professed their commitment to one another. They met through a mutual friend years ago and have grown so much through the years. They purchased their first house together recently and love gardening, reading, and spending time with friends.
I was really impressed with how tight knit their circle is and how supportive and welcoming everyone was throughout the day. Jessie and Elle chose greens, pinks, and browns to compliment the spacious backyard they got married in. Despite a few changed plans the entire day went off without a hitch and I’m so honored to have captured their love. These two have become more than just clients and I know that they have a bright future ahead!
Check out more backyard elopements and LGBTQ weddings by clicking the links below!
What do you get when you combine 19 bridesmaids and two brides? An unforgettable museum wedding, that’s what! I photographed Sheridan and Molly as they got married at First United Methodist Church in Grand Rapids, MI. The scene was positively grand as drapery fell from the ceiling into the pulpit and the delicate bows on each pew. Before I get into the details, let me first share with you about the couple.
Molly and Sheridan met while in grad school for Music Therapy and established a 2 ½ friendship which blossomed when Molly admitted her feelings to Sheridan. They only had a month together off from school as their internships were going to begin and neither had a summer job. During that time, they went to all of Kalamazoo’s museums including the zoo with discounted summer passes. After 6 months apart, Molly interviewed for a few jobs in Chicago where Sheridan was living at the time. After her last interview, Molly confessed the love she had for Sheridan and it was history she wrote. They have been together ever since living in Chicago. The pair enjoy activities like dancing, board games, dancing, and camping.
For their beautiful ceremony, friends incorporated a harp and a violin during the service. Then the two serenaded each other with a piano singing “I choose you” by Sara Bareilles. I quietly sobbed as they smiled and recited each word to one another. After their vows, they literally tied the knot with a tying ceremony complete with rainbow-colored cords and had their first kiss as Mrs. and Mrs. Molly and Sheridan then signed their marriage license and stopped to have a celebration treat at an ice cream truck.
These two planned their reception at Grand Rapids Public Museum, which was complete with a rainbow cake and a ribbon display where guests could attach various colors of ribbons through the frame. The night proceeded with laughter and dancing with friends and family. I always love asking my couples what they are looking forward to the most for their big day. They said “Music, dancing, and involving as many members of our community as possible in our day! And joy. Oh, so much joy!”
What a celebration, and what an amazing couple. Congrats on officially getting hitched, Molly and Sheridan!
To see more LGBTQ+ weddings Liv has photographed make sure to check out the blogs linked below!
I am so excited to share with you Katie and Danielle’s wedding at The Cheney Place in Grand Rapids, MI. It is a serious contender for one of the most fun queer weddings I have ever had the chance to not only photograph but also attend. From the time when we started the day with getting-ready pictures to the reception, it was a non-stop stream of laughing, dancing, and merrymaking. (Do people say “merrymaking” still? If not, this wedding is definitely bringing it back).
These two lovebirds met while working for OtterBase where Katie already worked for a few years before Danielle came in for an interview. Katie was drawn to Danielle’s friendly personality and thought she was absolutely beautiful and had a kind-hearted personality. A few years later after they clicked, they went to St. Pete Beach in Florida and Katie popped the question during sunset! Something magical and romantic about strolling down the beach with the sky changing from orange to dark navy blues.
Since then, Katie and Danielle have clearly been having the time of their lives ever since. And, as you’d expect, the wedding party was just as much fun. I mean, there are wedding parties… and then there are wedding PARTIES. After Katie pulled on her well-fitting navy blue suit with a floral and butterfly pattern lining, her wedding party (also in blue) all shared a Bud Light and cheered in anticipation. With the help of her wedding party in red, Danielle finished getting ready herself. She slipped into her gorgeous wedding dress complete with a shimmery lace top and satin skirt detail and shimmer white tennis shoes. This Grand Rapids wedding was ready to
After the exchange of vows, rings, and kisses the wedding party was more than prepared for their photo session! With striking poses, lots of laughter, and toasts with rainbow jello shots, the reception was on its way. Mingled in with the uproarious events were some genuinely sweet moments, too. I loved when they had their first dance! Watching the two of them glide across the floor hand in hand as Mrs and Mrs was heartwarming. Just goes to show that fun and love go together really, really well. It is always an honor to share queer love stories. Congrats again, Katie and Danielle!
Heading to Leona Rd in Grand Rapids, MI, for Katie and Paul’s wedding, I knew that it was going to be a special day. This gorgeous, incredibly in-love couple met through a mutual connection. They reconnected 3 years later through Bumble and planned a sweet, intimate wedding shared with close friends and family. Walking in, I couldn’t help but notice the stunning ceiling chandeliers, gold decor, and green accents throughout the venue right away. Katie and Paul had their first date at Eastern Killie Distillery, then a few outdoor activities and cooking. Katie shared she was excited to find someone who was as excited about food as she was! The pair have found it easy to love one another and to continue to do so.
You could feel the emotion between them during their first look. After an exchange of laughs, smiles, and hugs, they sat and exchanged heartfelt words from handwritten letters. I had to keep myself from tearing up to document the tender moment. After a few snaps with their wedding party, it was time. An Instax polaroid camera was left so guests could take their pictures and leave a message for the couple. As everyone took their seat a quartet echoed charming music through the venue up through the bride’s entrance. The big moment was finally here!
“We are SO excited to have everyone we love and care about together in one place,” said Katie about the way she always imagined their wedding. And here we are, all this time later with a gorgeous wedding that’s exactly like she pictured. I find that one of the best things about small weddings is that they lend themselves to especially tender moments. They also somehow feel a little more at ease, and that’s exactly what the vibe was on this beautiful day in Grand Rapids, MI. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite moments from the day, and with a big congrats to the newlyweds!
Vendors that made this day possible:
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Just wait until you see this wedding I captured at Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Camp Linden in Linden, MI. Of course, it was the PERFECT location since the newlyweds had a romantic, adventure-inspired wedding! Kait and Nick thought this thing through from beginning to end, and there wasn’t a shortage of dreamy, Pinterest-worthy moments. I especially loved the camping decor and the long communal tables. In fact, the tables were arranged by national park name and map for guests to find their tables. From the wedding party to the decor, vivid fall hues of evergreen, maple leaf reds, autumn oranges, and marigold yellows popped!
Their journey began in July 2014 at a lawn concert at DTE despite having a class together at Michigan State University and close social circles. After the concert the group moved to their friend Max’s bonfire, resulting in them sharing a deflated mattress at the end of the night. Nick promised to visit Kait when she returned back to Indiana – to which he did. And here they are now! When Kait moved back to Michigan in May 2015, they lived about an hour apart from each other. Ultimately in May of 2018, they decided to move somewhere in the middle to split their commutes.
Nick and Kait love nerdy pop culture, travel, breweries, politics, Netflix, cooking, baking shows, and cute animals on the internet. As they enjoy being outdoors hiking, camping, and visiting National Parks it’s no surprise they chose this for the theme of their wedding at Camp Linden. When asked what they were most excited about for their big day they said “We are so excited to have our wedding at a camp during the fall color change, surrounded by our family and friends. We love the idea of having everyone together in one place with a sense of community! It all feels very “us” to do this outdoors and in a camp setting. We also can’t wait to finally marry each other! It’s been a long journey to get here.”
Thank you for choosing me to share your love story. I know life has the best adventure in store for you two. Congratulations Kait and Nick!
To see more Michigan summer camp weddings Liv has photographed make sure check out the blogs linked below!
Lainee and Maggie held their wedding at the beautiful Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joined by family and friends, these two love birds began a new chapter in their lives, but first, how it all began.
They met in 8th grade and were friends throughout middle school, high school, and their first year of college! During Lainee’s sophomore year of college, they started dating and ended up in a long-distance relationship. While they were apart, Lainee and Maggie stay in touch through love letters, confessing their feelings for one another. After being reunited, they recently moved in together last year and have a cat named Sprinkles.
On the day of their wedding, they wowed one another when they did their first look, admiring one another. Both wore white wedding dresses with lace detail and sweetheart necklines. Walking through the garden, I captured moments of them holding hands, sharing tender kisses and embrace. The first look with each of their fathers was heartwarming and full of smiles. The Grand Rapids gardens provided such beautiful green backgrounds against the pops of red throughout the venue down to the maid of honor’s dress. I could not miss sharing the baby photos of Lainee and Maggie and the cute LGBTQ pride guest favors that contained rainbow m&ms. This intimate Grand Rapids occasion was absolutely joyous and was beyond thrilled they chose me to commemorate their day. When I asked what were they most excited about for their big day and they said “Getting to celebrate us, see each other in fancy dresses, and finally call each other wifey.” I’d say mission accomplished.
Congratulations to Maggie and Lainee! I wish you both a lifetime of happiness.
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Andrea and Alexa decided to tie the knot at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan surrounded by family and friends. While this is a new chapter in their love story, you’d have to start at the very beginning of their book.
The pair met for the first time on December 18th in 2018, on their first date in Grand Rapids. After dinner at Luna’s and a stroll through downtown, they shared their first kiss and POW!! – instant fireworks. After some time they moved in together and established their home with their dog Argo and their kitten Gloria. July 2020 marked when they bought their first home together in Grand Rapids.
Alexa proposed a week later after a spa date at Riverside park. She set up a cellist to play “Fucking Perfect’ by Pink in the park to which they stopped and listened for a while. Walking on, a mini flash mob orchestrated by a Burlesque troupe Ann helps with to perform “You Make My Dreams Come True”. Alexa continued to guide ann through the park to a bridge. There on the bridge was a treasure chest was waiting with a message in a bottle, professing her love. After reading the message, Alexa got down on one knee and asked her to marry her. If you are tearing at this, I promise it is not something in your eye!
Their wedding at John Ball Zoo was absolutely a joyous occasion. The loathing blue and white garland strung between two trees as friends and family witnessed their love. Prior to the exchanging of vows and rings, Alexa and Andrea performed a Unity Tree Ceremony. A Unity Tree Ceremony is where the couple has a potted tree and each of them pours water to help the tree grow and be prosperous, much like their marriage. It is such a unique ceremony that you do not see very often. They absolutely killed the portrait session, sporting not only beautiful smiles but rainbow umbrellas and outdoor-themed sneakers! Did I mention their cake was also outdoor-themed? It had mountain peaks and of course topped with a silhouette of themselves with Argo and Gloria. It was an adventurous queer wedding for sure and I was so happy to be a part of their day.
Congratulations Alexa and Ann!!!
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Nicole and Rob found me after seeing another Michigan summer camp wedding I photographed and we instantly clicked. Their vision was a party in the woods with their best people, drinks flowing, lots of happy tears, and enjoying time in nature. Camp Newaygo in Newaygo, Michigan was the perfect setting and wedding venue. It has the perfect amount of rustic charm with modern details.
When I asked them about their love story Nicole said “we met in fourth grade! We went to the same schools growing up, but in fourth grade Rob put a praying mantis on my head on the playground, so naturally it took a while to get past that. Even after the praying mantis incident, we started dating in high school and we went to the same college in Detroit”. Fast forward and on the way back from a trip, we stopped at Great Smoky Mountains National Park and camped near the summit of one of the mountains. We got up early to watch the sunrise the next morning and Rob proposed while we were sitting on a bench together at a scenic overlook.
From the moment I arrived at Camp Newaygo it was clear how much love and effort went into planning all of the details of their Michigan summer camp wedding. With a gorgeous lakeside ceremony, extra long cocktail hour, and a super delicious meal followed by an epic party. It was truly an honor to capture their love and be a small part in making their dream happen!
To see more Michigan summer camp weddings Liv has photographed make sure check out the blogs linked below!
This Bissell Treehouse Wedding wedding was beyond special for me personally, Madison is one of my absolute best friends! We met in high school and reconnected when she moved up to Grand Rapids for nursing school. Just around the same time she met her incredible, now husband, Aaron! She lit up talking about this cute guy at work while we munched on tacos and sipped margaritas. Since then they’ve grown so much as a couple and decided to make it official. It’s been so beautiful to see how they’ve grown in the time they’ve been together. From getting a cat, moving, new jobs, new house, they have come out so much stronger together.
Their Bissell Treehouse wedding was the perfect mix of garden party, cocktail hour, and dance fest! Fun animal inspired details tied the event in with the awesome venue. Guests enjoyed lots of appetizers and drinks for the cocktail style reception. The casual mingling allowed for loved ones to chat and be included in all of the activities with ease. Beautiful ivory, white, green, and grey accents were used for the decor, attire, and florals. Stems market did an amazing job bringing Maddi’s neutral modern vision to life.
This is the 4th wedding I’ve attended / photographed at the Bissell Treehouse and it’s location at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan makes it a dream for photography. Hannah, who associate shot this wedding for me, got to take Madison and Aaron all around the zoo for some really beautiful photos. The whole day was perfection from start to finish and I’m so incredibly happy to see these two become husband and wife!
To see more wedding photography from Liv Lyszyk check out the blog posts linked below!