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Grand Rapids, Michigan Wedding and Portrait photographer. Specializing in capturing LGBT love in Michigan and beyond. Obsessed with everything non traditional and diverse!

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Nicole and Andrew had the most gorgeous intimate wedding early this June! They needed a sunset elopement photographer and while I never thought I be so lucky, I got chosen to capture their big day! With only about 15 people in attendance, they wanted this evening to be simple and all about joining their family together. Hearing all about their plans got me so excited for this challenge! I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Their Story

After meeting online the two instantly had a connection. Nicole says that they didn’t sleep for the first few weeks. After their first date it was love at first sight and they haven’t left each other since. Andrew’s son is a huge part of their love story and Nicole is so happy to help raise him. During the ceremony there was a special gift for him, but you’ll have to read about that below! Even before meeting them I could tell how much they cared for each other.

The Wedding

This was my first time at Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens in Fennville, Michigan. It’s a quaint little place nestled in amongst the trees and is perfect for weddings of all sizes. This elopement was held in the tiny chapel on the property. I never considered myself a sunset elopement photographer especially because before this year I didn’t had a ton of night time portrait experience. So I’m glad that I had the experience to make it the best it could be! Anyway, during their short and sweet ceremony Nicole surprised their son with an engraved watch. Seeing her take the time to make it special for him as well was a testament to her sweet nature. I don’t think there was a dry eye!

After the ceremony we snapped some family photos and then proceeded around the property to experiment and play with my lighting to get some portraits. I absolutely loved having so much time to spend with just the two of them. Normally I’m feeling restrained by a timeline so this was a real treat! I think it really turned out well!

I’m so happy that now I can say that I’m a sunset elopement photographer! These two were so gracious and sweet throughout the whole process. They are definitely stuck with me as their lifelong photographer now! Congrats again you two! I can’t wait to see you grow as a new family!

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  1. Nicole Aernie

    July 9th, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    You’re amazing Liv!! Thank you for making every second special.. we couldn’t have been blessed with a better photographer! <3

  2. olyszyk

    July 9th, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    It was the best day!! I’m so glad we connected! ❤️

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I knew from the first email that Erica send me that we were going to be a great fit. After looking through some other Michigan wedding photographers Erica was really drawn to my work, and I think it might have been the quickest someone has hired me! She told me of their vision of a simple backyard wedding in Nathan’s parent’s backyard! I was absolutely ecstatic since I LOVE intimate weddings, especially when the location has meaning. Getting to know the two of them throughout the planning process was so fun and the day of their wedding was a blast!

Their Story

Erica and Nathan met through mutual friends at a party! After feeling a bit of a spark started talking on the phone and chatting online. It took about a month for Nathan to ask her out on a date, but she says she had never been so excited for a date before. Clearly that spark never fizzled out and the rest is history! Their relationship spanned over 7 years but both of them say it was worth the wait and perfect timing for their relationship.

The Wedding

I loved the backyard where they got married had a beautiful line of pine trees, a rustic fence looking out on a farm, and a gorgeous deck! Basically a dream for Michigan wedding photographers. It was so fun using the space for photos. Nathan commented that the photos we took made him see it in such a new light. The morning ceremony took place under a gorgeous arbor, and the grass was even mowed in the shape of a heart. A sweet touch from his parent’s who did a great job making it feel cozy.

They had a short and sweet ceremony that celebrated their love for each other and God. We then went to The Laundry in Fenton, Michigan for a brunch reception! The casual day was perfect for Erica and Nathan, who wanted to keep the focus on family. They even had a small cake made for their grandparents, whose wedding anniversary is the same day!

It was a joy seeing these two say “I do”! I’m so glad that out of all of the Michigan wedding photographers they chose me to capture it! I know these two will have a lifetime of happiness!

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This gorgeous Cog Hill Country Club Wedding in the Chicago Area was the perfect way to jump into my main wedding photography season! Davis and Matt told me about their vision for an elegant travel themed wedding and I was so excited to see their vision come to life! These two met on a dating site after Matt read Davis’ bio saying “Talk to me about pizza and traveling.” Flash forward to January 7th, 2016 where Matt met Davis for a slice of pizza in Lakeview. One slice of pizza turned into two beers and four hours of wonderful conversation.

Their Love Story

When I asked about their proposal they said “Our first international trip together was to Iceland in 2017! On the first day, we hopped in our car and drove to Vik, Iceland.  The main attractions were the black sand beaches (look them up!) and we were so excited to be on the trip we had been planning for months! We were walking around the beach taking pictures, looking at the beautiful black rock formations, listening to the waves, and just enjoying the moment. Davis saw a big rock down the beach, pointed to it, and said, ‘Let’s go climb that!’ After scrambling to the top, she started taking photos. She was turning from side-to-side with her back to Matt. And when she finally turned around, he was down on one knee!!”

She said yes.

Their Wedding Day

When I arrived where Davis was getting ready I could just feel the love surrounding her. The sweet first looks with her parents and bridesmaids brought tears to everyone’s eyes, including mine! The day was filled with so many stories of their love and connection, hearing their vows really captured exactly how excited they were to be married! After a delicious dinner the whole wedding tore it up on the dance floor! Their DJ, a family friend, kept everyone moving and grooving until it was time for their international flag send off! Perfect as they were jetting off for their European Honeymoon!

I’m so thankful for the chance to be a part of this gorgeous Cog Hill Country Club Wedding! It was so perfect and captured the essence of Davis and Matt! Congrats you two!

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Emily and Ang’s epic love story was 10 years in the making. When these two reached out and told me about themselves I immediately wanted to work with them, and quickly became friends with the pair! Their simple church ceremony held at St John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, Michigan was filled with a beautiful sermon about the meaning of love and marriage. With a few qitty jokes peppered in, the program included so many little details that celebrated Emily and Ang’s love. After the ceremony the wedding headed to the Century Club Ballroom in Muskegon, Michigan. Despite the impending ice storm everyone kept warm in the book and fantasy themed space. Emily spent a good chunk of time crafting the paper flower centerpieces with friends at a bar and the attention to detail was perfect.

When asked about how they met Emily writes “We met online through a text-based role-playing game in 2006. (We tended to write as brothers. Yeah, that’s kind of weird now) Ang is from Australia and I’m from Michigan, so time zones were a mess but we both love hockey & books & so regularly chatted for a few years over AOL instant messenger (RIP). In 2008, Ang did the Australian thing and took a big trip around North America. I invited her to stay with me in Lansing, Michigan for a week. She came, we went to a Red Wings playoff game, and she’s been coming back every year ever since. (Probably because of the hockey!) We became best friends and had planned to spend our lives together even though we thought our relationship was platonic at first. Spoiler: it wasn’t”.

With Emily living in Michigan during their relationship and Ang living in Brisbane Australia the pair looks forward to finally getting to be part of each other’s every day lives in a practical way – to be able to give hugs or make dinner or bring each other coffee. Also being able to have each others’ back without worrying that there’s a 21 hour plane trip in between us if something goes wrong. And being able to share a house and make a home! It’s clear already that the two of them are just smitten in their new home in Australia and we all look forward to seeing how much they blossom on this new journey!

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  1. Sydney

    June 6th, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    What a gorgeous love story! You captured their wedding day perfectly, from the ceremony in Grand Haven to the reception in Muskegon! Just gorgeous Liv!

  2. Andrea

    June 6th, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    It is amazing these days how people can meet online, countries apart, and come together. So interesting!

  3. Rachael

    June 6th, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    These are such beautiful images!!! You did a lovely job!

  4. Shawndelle

    June 6th, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    These are great images

  5. Michelle

    June 6th, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Wonderful work! Such a love filled day and you did a great job! 🙂

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Tracey and Nathan headed back to the beginning, where their relationship started. Their wedding venue, the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, MI, was only steps away from where they went on their first date. Now a lot has changed since then, they’ve fallen in love, are now expecting their first child, and are coming back this time, to seal the deal. Tracey and Nathan, along with their closest friends and family celebrated in the hotels conservatory space. A beautiful glass structure that allowed us all to feel like we were outside, but not having to bundle up in the February chill.

The day started with Tracey reading the notes her new spouse wrote on the bottom of her shoes. It was such a sweet detail and got Tracey even more excited to walk down the aisle. Nathan and his two best men were getting ready across the hotel and it was fun getting some photographs of him looking at the window where she was putting her finishing touches on. The sweet ceremony included hand written vows that brought everyone to tears. Their excitement radiated and it was such a joy filled and hopeful time. After snagging the couple and their attendants for photos they celebrated into the night and enjoyed the company of those who have helped them get to where they are now. I’m so honored to have participated in the day and look forward to seeing their family and love grow! Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Angona!

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  1. Nicola

    March 20th, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    You did such an lovely job documenting Tracey and Nathan’s wedding, Liv! Their photos are beautiful <3 I love their smiles in the photo of them entering the reception!

  2. olyszyk

    March 20th, 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you so much! It was so so so fun and I’m glad I was able to capture all of the incredibly honest emotions throughout the day ❤️

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When I met Emma and Josiah for their consult I immediately saw their giving and gracious hearts. Emma is a social worker and Josiah is studying to be a pastor. Both of their life’s callings match their personalities so perfectly. When I asked about their love story Emma said “Met online. Dated for 2 and a half years. Opposites attract. Lots of love” short, sweet, and to the point! Their classic wedding took place at Boston Square Church in Grand Rapids, MI. It’s a wonderfully simple and elegant sanctuary space with tall windows all along the sides. I was so excited to shoot their details in this space, and the lighting during their first look was to die for!

Their brave wedding party sucked it up and went out into the bitter cold for a few minutes of photos, I definitely was challenged on being efficient but I’m more than pleased with what we got! After just a little bump in the road and some emergency floral arranging we were ready for the ceremony itself. The service was lovely and perfect for Emma and Josiah. We did a sparkler exit from the church and headed over to the banquet hall where there was plenty of fellowship, good food, and lots of dancing!

I’m so honored to get to share these images with you all and even more excited to watch Emma and Josiah as they grow together in marriage. These two are such a perfect and I know they will enjoy many years of happiness together! Cheers!

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The holidays can be a tough time for the LGBTQ community. So this styled shoot celebrates the warmth of love in the midst of darkness! Samantha and Brianna were the perfect models, their relationship is so sweet and Samantha’s sense of humor is perfection. When dreaming up this styled shoot I wanted to layer warm colors with both vintage and modern style influences. The dresses provided by BIANKA Bridal coordinated so perfectly without matching. I loved the layers of softness on Brianna’s gown with the more structured texture of Samantha’s. The tablescape had elements of nature brought in that set off the gold chargers and place settings from West Michigan Rental Company as well as soft hand lettering done by Zoey Devine! We can’t forget the amazing florals from Posh Petals that were even more gorgeous than I could have imagined! To round everything out the small but mighty gold lead semi-naked cake baked with love at The Cakabakery tasted just as luxurious as it looked.

This whole vision came to life so perfectly and I’m immensely proud of all of the vendors and people who helped it come to fruition. The idea that people experience such a hard time finding inclusive vendors in this day and age breaks my heart. We literally have a supreme court case that is deciding whether people can be turned away simply because they are LGBTQ and planning a wedding. If anyone in the area is looking for progressive vendors who embody diversity please hire the vendors used for this shoot! Everyone deserves a beautiful day filled with love ones, no matter who they are.

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  1. Brianna Bost

    December 15th, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    You are so talented these images make me so so happy. This shoot was not only incredibly fun, but the product is beautiful. I’m so happy we got to be a part of this.

  2. olyszyk

    December 15th, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    OH MY GOSH! Thank you for being such a great sport, it was so much fun!

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Videography: Ashley Kalin

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These two had such a lovely celebration with their closest friends and family. Their commitment to family was so clear and I loved getting to be a part of their days. These ladies had a split wedding. Having an intimate ceremony one day and a larger reception a few weeks after. It was such a special way to extend the celebration and enjoy the time. They were able to have the feel of an elopement but hang out with everyone later! I’ve put together some of the highlights from their day and hope you enjoy them as much as I do! LGBTQ Wedding in Michigan Same Sex Wedding in Grand Rapids Michigan LGBTQ wedding photographer Grand Rapids Same Sex Wedding Photographer Grand Rapids LGBTQ Wedding Michigan Michigan Queer Wedding Photographer Same Sex wedding in Grand Rapids LGBTQ Photographer Lesbian Wedding Photographer Michigan LGBTQ Wedding in Michigan Grand Rapids LGBT Wedding Photographer

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This classic and elegant wedding blew me away. Jen and Bradon celebrated their love in Downtown Grand Rapids and I was so excited that they chose me to be their photographer! These two met online while in college and bonded over their love for video games and making each other laugh! They were both so excited about seeing each other for the first time while they walked down the aisle. These two instantly became some of my favorite clients!

When I arrived Jen and her ladies were relaxing in their gorgeous robes and finishing up hair and makeup. When I asked for some of the details and jewelry Jen told me she’d be wearing some of her Grandmother’s wedding jewelry. It was such a sweet testament to the power of family and tradition. Her pearls made Jen glow. The guys arrived and were instantly a fun bunch to hang out with. I tasked my intern Gabby with snapping some photos of them and she commented on how easy they made her job. I love when the wedding party is just as pumped for the wedding as the couple, and it was clear that was the case for Jen and Bradon.

One of the most fun moments was when the flowers from Events by Ludema’s arrived. The girls were so giddy to see all of the details coming together. Jen grabbed her bouquet and stood in front of the long mirror in her suite and commented on how real it finally felt. After getting buttoned up into her gorgeous gown from Bridal Elegance we all got out first look at her, Jen was so radiant, definitely a gorgeous bride.

The short and sweet ceremony led to a quick flip of the room as they signed their license and Jen realized how odd it was to sign her new name. We headed out with the wedding party and walked to the infamous Blue Bridge where there happened to be another wedding. We snapped some photos and as we were walking back I noticed an ivy covered parking garage. I asked if it would be crazy to have them go up because I had an idea. After a few minutes I see Bradon appear who tells me that the elevator was broken (sorry guys!) but if you ask me the photo is so worth it.

We then went to the reception where we enjoyed sweet toasts, delicious dinner, and fun dancing. It’s always fun to talk with guests and meeting Jen’s family at dinner was a special treat. Throughout the whole day we were both welcomed and included in everything as if we were family, not just photographers. Jen and Bradon made the day go so smoothly and we had a blast with them. I know that this is just the beginning of a wonderful married life for them and we are both so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their story.

Wedding at McKay Tower in Grand Rapids, Getting Ready and Wedding Dress Wedding at McKay Tower in Downtown Grand Rapids, bridesmaids getting ready Wedding florals and cake from Events By Ludema's and Oven Mitt Bakery in Grand RapidsBridal gown from Bridal Elegance in Grand Rapids for Mckay Tower Ballroom weddingWedding ceremony at McKay Tower Ballroom in Downtown Grand RapidsTradition Wedding Ceremony in Downtown Grand RapidsBridal Party at Blue Bridge in Downtown Grand RapidsBride and Groom at Blue Bridge in Grand RapidsGroomsmen photos in downtown Grand RapidsWedding Party photos around Grand RapidsBridal Portraits at the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Grand RapidsBridal gown from Bridal Elegance photographed in Downtown Grand RapidsWedding portraits around downtown Grand Rapids Bride and Groom photographed in Grand RapidsBride and Groom walking around Downtown Grand RapidsWest Michigan Rental Company Wedding at McKay Tower BallroomWedding details from McKay Tower BallroomCake and Details from Downtown Grand Rapids WeddingDancing at McKay Tower Ballroom weddingDancing to music from DJ at Downtown Grand Rapids Wedding

  1. Debra

    September 22nd, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Beautiful !!! Love your work.

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Liv Lyszyk Photography

"Creating images that celebrate a strong marriage, not just a beautiful day."