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!
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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!
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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!
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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!
This GORGEOUS Detroit country club wedding was such an honor to photograph. I love being a Detroit wedding photographer and getting to see all of the amazing suburbs and hidden gems of the city. This particular place feels like an oasis from the city, perfect for Ann Katherine and Jermaine. There is quite the story behind it too if you read on!
Ann Katherine and Jermaine found me online as they are both living in Washington DC area. It was no easy feat planning from so far away but these two absolutely nailed it! Their love story began in the summer of 2015 when the two and a large group of mutual friends attended the Vintage Virginia Wine Fest in Centreville, VA. During the event Jermaine played it cool and stuck with some of his friends, leaving Ann Katherine scanning the crowd for him throughout the day. When the group was departing the venue Jermaine rushed on the bus and saved a seat for himself and Ann Katherine. After a long day of wine tasting the two sat together on the bus ride to Arlington and enjoyed a two ounce bag of Planters peanuts, spontaneous karaoke, and terrible jokes. Unsurprisingly, ten days later Jermaine and Ann Katherine went on their first date! The two enjoyed each other’s company over a few margaritas at a local D.C. Mexican restaurant. Ann Katherine gorged herself on chips while Jermaine was clearly too nervous to indulge. What followed was a month-long courtship, during which Jermaine planned some of the most unique dates, including a night out at the Newseum for a movie premiere. Just before Ann Katherine’s 27th birthday they made it official. Jermaine promises to keep Ann Katherine on her toes with spontaneous dates throughout the marriage!
The couple planned on marrying at a different country club not too far from Meadowbrook, but when they experienced a tragic fire it was up to them to quickly search for a new venue just 2 months before! Luckily Ann Katherine’s mother was able to show them Meadowbrook and they fell in love! Not something every couple has to experience, but I knew if they could get through that everything else would be a breeze!
It was so fun walking into where they were getting ready and just instantly feeling at home. Both Ann Katherine and Jermaine are the most welcoming and kind people I’ve met. They both made sure the day went smoothly and even was ahead of schedule! Any Detroit wedding photographer or any wedding photographer for that matter will tell you that rarely happens! Ann Katherine had her makeup and hair done by Jamie Jean Beauty and looked stunning! She also wore a Lazaro Bridal gown that went so well with Jermaine’s gray suit from Men’s Warehouse.
They opted to not do a first look and seeing Jermaine’s face while Ann Katherine excitedly walked down the aisle was such a sweet moment. We got some great photos of their families and then headed out to explore more of what Meadowbrook Country Club had to offer! I loved getting some time with just the two of them and seeing them interact! These two are perfect for each other! We then enjoyed an amazing dinner and a PACKED dance floor thanks to Detroit DJ Entertainment.
It was a full day with lots of fun, family, and photos! Congrats again to the happy couple! Wishing you the best in your long and happy marriage!
For more information on how to hire Liv Lyszyk Photography feel free to head to the Contact Form to learn more! Check out the blog posts below for more weddings and engagements!
I have been putting off blogging this wedding because that means that it’s actually over and I never wanted this day to end. Chelsea and Cody of Wildflower and Whimsy are the absolute best! From the very first email when they first were looking for a Michigan backyard wedding photographer I knew we’d be a perfect fit. Chelsea has the most joyous spirit which balances perfectly with Cody’s quiet and gentle demeanor. They just are so lovely!
Chelsea and Cody met on a blind date, a fun story that was shared during their sweet ceremony. She says “Cody & I both knew we loved each other the night we met. He’s the ying to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly. We are completely different but so the same. We share a mutual love of kindness towards everybody, cherishing the little things and never going to bed angry. Our relationship is nowhere near perfect but we work very hard on it every single day. I know this love will last a lifetime”. The pair owns an incredible home decor business and wanted to include as much of their own work and creations for the day. It turned out so special and perfectly captured the two of them.
This Michigan backyard wedding took place on a relative’s property on Coldwater lake in Coldwater, MI. The house bumps up against a canal which allowed the wedding party to arrive to the ceremony by boat! It was a perfectly Michigan entrance! I love being a Michigan backyard wedding photographer and seeing all of the personal touches that each location adds. As I mentioned Chelsea and Cody made all of the decor which really spiced up the place and made it their own! I loved walking through the space and really getting a sense of their style. I got to capture an incredible first look and then we all headed to a friends property! It was nice getting to go somewhere while family and friends finished up the final touches for the couple. After the ceremony we headed on a quick boat ride and then right into the reception. The homemade taco bar thrilled everyone and the dances brought tears to everyone’s eyes. With both Chelsea and Cody losing a parent the memorial table with photos and the memorial dance was so special.
I’m so happy to know these two, it was an honor being their Michigan backyard wedding photographer. They both embody what it is to have a strong selfless relationship. I know that we will remain close for years to come and I’m just thrilled that they are finally married!
For more info on Liv Lyszyk Photography check out the blog posts below! To get in contact please go to the website and fill out the contact form!