Ashlee and Allison’s wedding will always hold a special spot in my heart. It was truly the biggest honor being chosen by the professor who taught me so much about photography to photograph something so important. When looking for photographers having someone who was part of the lgbtq community was important to them and I was happy to be their lgbt wedding photographer! I had already photographed them last fall for a brewery engagement session and seeing their love for each other and general photogenic personalities made me so excited for the wedding.
When I asked them about their love story they told me “In classic lesbian style we actually were dating other people at the time we met at LEZ Connect. After a couple of years of friendship and breakups we connected and realized that we were what each other was missing. It was crazy to think each other was there the whole time and we never knew it. From there everything fit into place – our families, our dreams, and our paths. The rest is just history!” I absolutely love how they found each other when the timing was right.
The wedding was held at Camp Blodgett in West Olive. The venue is set back by the beach with a stunning view of Lake Michigan. The couple chose a blush and floral theme to the day and did tons of appetizers rather than a full sit down meal. Guests were welcomed by a cocktail hour before the wedding which got everyone excited to take their beverage out to the deck and witness the stunning ceremony. The deck overlooks the lake and during the ceremony the reading of the supreme court decision that made marriage equality the law of the land had tears in everyone’s eyes.
I’m so excited to share these images and celebrate such a special union. Ashlee and Allison make me proud to be an lgbt wedding photographer and be able to celebrate love like theirs.
To hire Liv as your LGBT wedding photographer check out the website or the blog posts below!
Nikki and Carolyn had the most beautiful, queer, powerful, love-filled celebration I’ve attended. These amazing humans were referred to me by their lovely officiant and fellow, Rachel Whitehurst of Adventure Photo Stories. They were looking for a queer wedding photographer for their summer camp wedding! If you remember the last camp wedding I photographed you will understand how excited I was to be photographing another one. When I met up with Nikki and Carolyn to chat more about their vision we immediately felt more like friends than just a professional relationship. I knew instantly that their story was one I wanted to tell.
“In the fall of 2016, the two of us shared a class together at Western Michigan University. I, Carolyn, had a crush on Nikki and Nikki…didn’t think twice about me, as I later found out. The closest we got to having a conversation was a desperate attempt on my end to compliment her by saying, “I like your style,” which came out more as a yell than anything else. Before she could even introduce herself, I ran out of the classroom. We would go on without another interaction until late the following semester….Nikki and I met each other for a second time and you would think I would have learned from our last interaction. But, no. After exchanging names, I immediately confessed my crush as if it were no big deal. From there, we became close friends – watching Parks and Recreation, driving an hour for the best pizza in Michigan and singing as loudly as we could in the car…but we remained just friends. In jest, Nikki would ‘plan our wedding.’ I eventually had to tell her that planning this imaginary wedding was not so funny if she was toying with me, as she knew I still had very real feelings for her. And you know what? I got what we wanted. We started dating – and we have been having a blast ever since, planning that very same wedding, but this time for Real.”
The wedding took place at Circle Pines Center in Delton, Michigan. Carolyn had a long history of working there during summers and knew it would be a special place for their big day. The camp is set in beautiful woods surrounded by a gorgeous lake. It is peak Michigan to be honest. When I arrived the two of them had their cabins and were preparing with hair and makeup. It was fun to be surrounded by the wedding party while they got ready too. Everyone was dancing to Lizzo and eating the homemade soup that had been prepared. Bunks were filled with blankets gifted by Nikki and Carolyn and there was such a good energy surrounding the couple. We headed to the emotional first look and I don’t think anyone had a dry eye. Gifts were given to the parents and we headed out to explore the camp for wedding party photos! I absolutely loved all of the coordinating without matching outfits the wedding party wore. During the ceremony, held in a labyrinth, the couple chose to honor the native land they were marrying upon, and included a handfasting ceremony to honor the queer couples that came before. The ceremony had such deep heartfelt emotions that were felt by everyone present. After the ceremony guests headed over to the main house for cocktails and snacks to enjoy in their personal mason jars. The reception was held in a pavillion simply decorated with florals provided by Viavi Flower Farm. Twinkle lights were hung above and provided a magical space for celebrating. Since Nikki’s father had unfortunately passed they asked everyone to share a dance with a loved on in honor of their dance that they never got. You’ve Got a Friend in Me played while everyone honored their relationship! Everyone clearly enjoyed the whole day!
I am so honored to share these photos from the most stunning queer wedding. I loved the personal touches and commitment to inclusivity throughout the whole day. Nikki and Carolyn embody everything I want to celebrate as a queer wedding photographer. This celebration surrounded by both chosen and blood family and close friends made it clear how loved the couple is. I know that the two of them will have so much joy in the coming years as a married couple.
To hire Liv as your own queer wedding photographer or to see more of her work check out the blog posts linked below or check out the website!
Genna and Nolan are the best high school sweethearts. I’ve known them for years and when they asked me to be their Michigan wedding photographer I knew it would be an amazing day. Held at A Cut Above Event Center in Saugatuck, MI, the pair tied the knot amongst their favorite people. It was a super cold day but that didn’t stop everyone from cutting loose.
Nolan and Genna met 6 years ago while going to Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo; Genna was a sophomore and Nolan, a junior. They met each other through mutual friends and became close while helping each other through everyday high school drama and would stay up all night talking on the phone, texting, or skyping. Months later, while on a trip to Grand Rapids to see a band (who’s concert ended up being sold out), Nolan asked Genna to be his girlfriend, and naturally, she agreed. As time passed, they fell in love, and even through the toughest of their teenage years, their love never faltered. They got through high school, graduated, got their own apartment along with their dog, Oliver and their cat, Noah, and started college together at Western Michigan University.
Having devoted years of their lives together, Nolan and Genna talked about eventually getting married, but the time never seemed right. Finishing college, working as much as possible, and saving for their first house were the most important things for them as they entered their 20s. But, unbeknown to Genna, Nolan had a plan of his own. He knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. In mid-August 2017, Genna went to Florida to visit family. Nolan had chosen that time to purchase a ring and set a plan for his proposal. After picking her up from the airport and giving her a gorgeous necklace as a “welcome home” present, he took her to the Metro City Detroit Casino, where they had dinner on the 16th floor at an extravagant restaurant called Iridescence. They shared a nice bottle of wine and Nolan asked her to marry him. After bawling like a baby, she accepted wholeheartedly.
The event center where the wedding was held has a rustic and industrial feel. It felt perfect for a winter wedding! Genna and Nolan chose navy, white, and red for their colors and offered lots of cozy details for guests. I loved the hot chocolate favor. As a Michigan wedding photographer I appreciate the warm drink during editing! It was really nice to have the ceremony and reception all in the same space. It allowed guests to stay warm and cozy during the whole event. We enjoyed heartfelt personal vows and lots of tears during the ceremony. Dinner provided guests with yummy barbecue, which everyone raved about! The couple shared in their first dance, the shoe game, and of course cake cutting. Once the dance floor opened it was a real party!
Genna and Nolan were a dream to work with. The whole day went off without a hitch and I’m honored to share their story. Just like I knew back in high school, I know this couple has many happy years ahead of them!
To hire Liv as you Michigan wedding Photographer or to see more work click the links below!
Morgan and Abe might have had the most magical wedding of 2018. This gorgeous and whimsical Michigan summer camp themed wedding stunned guests right down to the last detail. I had gone to high school with Morgan and Abe and Morgan’s younger sister/maid of honor was one of my closest friends! If you would have told me back then that I’d be photographing their wedding I’d laugh. There are tons of amazing Michigan wedding photographers and for them to choose me was such an honor. We clicked right away and during their engagement session, seen here, they told me all of the fun plans for the big day.
Morgan and Abe met in school and had been dating for quite some time! The two share a passion for the outdoors and it really was the perfect theme for their wedding. Both Morgan and Abe work in museum settings, Morgan in communications, and Abe as an exhibit builder. They were excited to DIY a lot of the wedding, despite a lot of warning from others not to get too crazy. Luckily the DIY aspect turned out amazing and gave them a lot of great projects to work on together. The two also share a Scottish heritage which was a big part of the ceremony elements. I love that they fit together perfectly. Both of them love laughter and have such sweet caring personalities. It was incredible to see all of their friends and family supporting them on their wedding day.
This was more of a wedding weekend than just one day. Morgan and Abe got Camp Merrie Woode, a girl scout camp nestled in the woods in Plainwell, Michigan for the whole weekend. This is a dream for Michigan wedding photographers. I loved how spread out we could be and all the hidden buildings throughout the woods. We did a first look at the platform tents and did some portraits around the camp. The ceremony was held by the lake and had a distinct Scottish feel. Both the bagpipes and handfasting ceremony were a nod to their roots. The main dining hall was the reception location. Morgan and Abe bought buckets of flowers from Viavi Flower Farm, they were able to get tons of coverage and used moss as living table runners. Food is really important to both of them so Morgan’s mom helped create a stunning and delicious grazing table for cocktail hour, and offered girl scout cookie flavored donuts for dessert. The couple also really enjoys craft beer, a Michigan staple, and used the giant commercial fridge to stock self serve craft beer for guests!
This whole weekend was such an incredible testament to the power of community and love. Morgan and Abe put together a gorgeous celebration of their union and I’m so happy I was able to capture it. I know that Morgan and Abe have a lot of incredible things ahead of them!
To learn more about Liv Lyszyk Photography or hire us as your Michigan wedding photographers check out the website! To see more gorgeous couples click the links below!
Jayme and Nikki had one of the best parties I’ve been to at a wedding! The two of them have such fun loving personalities and everything from the ceremony right up until the last song was filled with laughter. I appreciated how laid back the day was and nothing seemed to phase the couple. We had perfect weather making for an excellent beach ceremony overlooking Lake Michigan. The personal touches (and super yummy pie) at the reception made everyone excited for the night. The couple had been looking for a same sex wedding photographer and found me online. We hopped on a phone call and hit it of so well. They told me all about their love story and how excited they were to party with friends and officially be wives!
When I asked them about how the got to this point Nikki said “we set up our first date pretty quickly after we began talking and went to a gay bar in Indiana. The entire night I just wanted to be close to her. We stayed out too late, but I woke up the next morning to a text from Jayme asking to get together again that day. We spent the next 6 months driving back and forth from Illinois to Michigan before we decided that we wanted to move forward in our relationship. Jayme got a job in South Bend and we rented an apartment while we maneuvered living together. In October we closed on our new home! I knew early on that I would marry Jayme. Everything felt so right from Day 1”.
Rocky Gap Park was the ceremony location in Benton Harbor, Michigan. I had never heard of it before now but their overlook deck is an incredible location! We did a first look on the beach below and did most of the photos beforehand. Doing that made for a super relaxing day after. The couple didn’t have a wedding party but instead focused everything on them and their love for adventure! One of my favorite photos from the day is the one of their wedding tattoos, taken from a Brandi Carlile song that was a big part of the wedding. At the reception everyone was delighted with Bullgdog Barbq for dinner and super yummy pies from Grand Traverse Pie Company! One of the other highlights was the amazing dance from Jayme and her dad! They danced to Dancing Queen and honestly it was the best parent dance I’ve seen since photographing weddings!
I am so extremely happy for Nikki and Jayme, their wedding went off without a hitch and had some really fun memorable moments. Both of them looked stunning and seeing their family and friends being so loving and supportive made the day perfect!
2018 has been such an incredible year. It’s been filled with over 60 sessions between portraits, engagements, boudoir, weddings, and elopements. I’ve traveled all over Michigan, to Detroit, Fennville, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Muskegon, and of course tons in Grand rapids. The amount of growth I’ve seen in myself makes me so proud to share this post with you all. I will never stop learning or growing as a wedding photographers, so I can only imagine how incredible next year will be!
Some highlights personally have been buying a house, a new car, and getting engaged to my best friend! This year included a bit of travel too, including Illinois, Indiana, and my favorite, Colorado. All in all it’s been a pretty fulfilling time. So now that I’ve rambled, enjoy my favorite images from 2018!
Check out Liv Lyszyk Photography at her Website Here! To see more of her work head over to the blog posts linked below!
Nicole and Theo are the embodiment of everything I love about being a wedding photographer. They chose to celebrate in the way that felt personal and special to them, having lots of friends present, and tons of great dancing. They chose to do a Windmill Island and Gardens wedding in Holland, Michigan. This colorful and unique venue provided a setting that transported guests to another place, it truly felt like I had hopped on a plane and gone to Europe. Destination wedding without destination jet lag and prices! I am so happy that I was able to work with them and am excited to be sharing their images!
I love hearing the love stories of the couples I work with and asked them how they met, they said “We lived less than a mile from each other but never would have met if we weren’t online dating. Our first date was at Rockwell Republic in Grand Rapids sometime in September. We dated for a few months and we fell for each other. We went from living in separate apartments to Theo basically squatting in Nicole’s apartment until we bought a house in Grand Rapids”. The couple has tons of close friends they’ve gotten to know throughout their relationship and instead of picking just a few to stand with them they opted for an extended portrait time between ceremony and reception to get lots of photographs with all of them! I loved how much of a community feel the day had, everyone helping, laughing, and getting involved in the festivities!
I had never photographed a Windmill Island and Gardens wedding before but had seen photos from friends. It truly is like stepping back in time. Everyone in the area has gone for Tulip Time but experiencing it during late summer was a real treat. It offers some really unique and fun photo opportunities. The couple took the Dutch theme and ran with it, the lace on Nicole’s dress was reminiscent of European design and lace. The tulip bouquet, which was hard to find apparently, was a colorful pop that really made her stand out! I was impressed by how cohesive everything felt without being too cheesy!
This wedding was just the best, lots of color, lots of fun, and a gorgeous location! If you want to feel like you are in Europe but don’t want to actually do all the travel and planning definitely check out doing a Windmill Island and Gardens wedding in Holland, Michigan!
Check out more work from Liv Lyszyk Photography at the links below!
Dan and Paul found me online after searching for an LGBT wedding photographer. It was important for them to have as many LGBT vendors to help them create their gorgeous day at Stetson Chapel and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts! These two are from Chicago but with family in the Kalamazoo area it was an easy choice to plan from afar and pick West Michigan as the location. They chose the gorgeous Stetson Chapel for it’s amazing white walls and huge windows, truly a wedding photographer’s dream church! It was such a fun and playful day all around and one of my favorites from this season!
The couple has an affinity for Ru Paul’s Drag Race and so they incorporated elements inspired by the show into the day. The wedding party carried paper fans instead of bouquets and had flowermen who were some of the most enthusiastic petal throwers I’ve seen! I loved the unique touches that were non traditional but totally embraced their personalities. These are my favorite types of weddings and often I find that as an LGBT wedding photographer it’s usually my same sex couples who veer from tradition the most. There are so many gendered traditions that I personally wish were gone, so I love when couples throw that out the window and do whatever makes them happy with their day!
To learn more about Liv Lyszyk Photography or to hire her please check out the website! For more gorgeous weddings and portraits click the links below to see more!
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!
If you’d like to learn more of contact Liv about wedding and portrait photography head over to the website! For more photos and stories click the blog posts linked below!
Kyra and Kray are two of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Their day was filled with so much love and fun! It was an honor to be their Grand Rapids wedding photographer. This classic downtown Grand Rapids inspired wedding had so many amazing details!
Kyra found me online after searching for a Grand Rapids wedding photographer and during out coffee meeting we instantly clicked. She told me about Kray and absolutely lit up. It was a clear sign that this wedding would be a blast. She said “We met at running club my freshman year, his sophomore year of college. For us it was love at second sight. When Kray and I met, he was actually in a different relationship. I tried my best to just forget about him, but once he became single, that didn’t last too long. We joke sometimes that my determination is what got us here, but I’m always happy that I didn’t give up on him”. I’m pretty glad they didn’t give up because seeing them together on their wedding day made it clear it was meant to be.
We started the day in Downtown Grand Rapids for their first look. It is a popular spot amongst Grand Rapids wedding photographers and there were a few other wedding parties there too! We were a bit nervous about the rain but luckily it held off for them and the overcast day provided amazing skies! Their sweet first look was one of my favorites, if you know Kyra and Kray in real life you know how freaking incredible their smiles are. Their wedding party braved the chilly drizzly day and were so willing to just let go and have fun to support the couple. After we finished portraits we headed over to Christ Church where the ceremony was to be held. this simple but beautiful space really was the perfect place for them to seal the deal. With two members of the clergy Kyra and Kray were able to bring their families together in a wonderfully unique way. We then headed to the Revel Center for cocktails and the reception! Revel Center is a relatively new space in Grand Rapids and seems unassuming from the outside. Kyra told me how she couldn’t believe the place was as gorgeous as it is when she first visited. They’ve done an amazing job creating an intimate reception space near downtown.
The whole day was all smiles, I cannot begin to explain the joy this couple radiates. I’m so happy for the both of you and know you have a strong marriage ahead of you!
Check out more from Liv Lyszyk Photography on her website! For more incredible couples see the links below to read more!