Years ago, I photographed Kristin’s senior photos at Van Hoosen farm on a cool autumn day. I vividly remember her bright blue eyes piercing the ombre of reds, yellows, oranges, and green shades that nature provided us as the backdrop. With every click of the shutter, her beauty radiated. I remember thinking that, one day, she would make a beautiful bride. Imagine the honor when years later, she asked if I would be her wedding photographer. That same beauty and charm was on full display, first at their Easter Market engagement session, and again at their Detroit Whiskey Factory Wedding.
Kristin and Alex started their day at Detroit’s Foundation Hotel. It was a casual, laid back morning that set the tone for the rest of the day. One of the things I emphasize with all of my couples during the planning phase of the wedding is to think about the experience you are designing for you and your guests. Give yourself enough time to be present. Create an environment and a timeline that will reduce your stress and allow yourself to fully embrace each and every moment. Kristin and Alex took that advice to heart; their day was perfect, from the prep to the end of the night, rooftop photos.
Alex was the first to get ready with a little help of his best man and best friend. Like Kristin, his genuine and caring demeanor can even been seen and felt in his portraits.
Once the groomsmen joined us, naturally some jocularity followed.
While Kristin was getting the finishing touches done, we took a few detail shots to commemorate the day.
Kristin got ready in the gorgeous Apparatus Room attached to the Foundation Hotel.
I am drawn in and influenced by space. When I saw the outline of a feminine figure in the painting, I wanted to create a softness and tenderness in Kristin to compliment it.
With both Kristin and Alex ready, it was time for their first look. Even before Alex got to see his bride, he was fighting back tears, a beautiful tell about his love for Kristin.
Two things that are so important to know as a photographer are never interrupt the moment and shoot through the moment. If you do those two things, you often times capture stories unfolding like the one below. Admiration, tenderness, intimacy. (Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.)
After a few minutes of Alex and Kristin enjoy seeing each other for the first time, they both had gifts for each other. Surprisingly, this is a practice that is less common than one would think. Personally, I think this (and specifically the card) is a wonderful opportunity to emotionally set the stage for the upcoming vows.
Alex and Kristin are both avid rock climbers, spending their free weekends down in Kentucky climbing. Practical and personal, Alex got Kristin new climbing shoes.
On a more sentimental note, Kristin got cufflinks inscribed with Alex’s mom’s handwriting.
With the gifts exchanged and the anticipation to see each other dissolved, Alex and Kristin were ready for some photos prior to their Detroit Whiskey Factory Wedding.
After our time at the Foundation Hotel, we visited some of Detroit’s finest landmarks for photos.
Finally, it was time for their Detroit Whiskey Factory wedding.
Alex and Kristin wrote their own vows, which of course, had references to rock climbing.
Just like a proposal, there is always mixed emotions of elation, relief, and joy after the decisive moment of saying “I do” and walking down the aisle.
With the cocktail party going on downstairs, Kristin and Alex took a few moments to themselves. This little loading dock room off of the main ballroom was the perfect spot to get away.
You’re not going to NOT have some bourbon!
With their Detroit Whiskey Factory wedding reception underway, everyone was ready to enjoy themselves.
Once the dance floor opened up, Derek Hall with The Block Party did an amazing job packing the dance floor, mixing music, and keeping the party going.
As the sun began to set, we headed up to the rooftop of the Detroit Whiskey Factory. Here, I wanted Kristin and Alex to just “be.” It was a wildly fun day with all kinds of emotions. Giving them both the time and the space to just reflect and let them celebrate would provide some authentic photo opportunities.
Alex did offer to dip Kristin, which we happily accepted!
Special thanks to Lauren and the crew at Beautiful Day Planning for helping make the day flow seamlessly. Kristin and Alex – thank you! Incredible and memorable wedding!