I knew it was going to be a crazy fun wedding about 20 minutes into Bill and Erica’s engagement shoot. Normally, I have to add a little energy into a shoot and cut the awkwardness that comes along with having your photo taken. Nope. Instead, I was trying to keep up with these two, their joking, laughing, and cuddly moments. I walked away that day not only happy with the results, but thinking to myself, “these are good people.” You can see it in the way that they look at each other that they care, they love, they support, and they give 100% to each other. Needless to say, I was excited (and honored) to be photographing their Henry Ford Museum wedding.
The morning started off with Erica casually getting ready with her bridesmaids at the beautiful The Henry, Autograph Collection; one of Metro Detroit’s finest hotels. This was my first time photographing in the hotel and it didn’t disappoint. Erica got ready is a spacious suite where we utilized some of the space for special moments later that morning.
One of the things I love documenting on the day is the whole transformation into a bride then, once they are ready, a little portrait session to capture the beauty and excitement. Erica was absolutely radiant as a bride. Once she was ready, she shared a first look with her dad before later sharing one with Bill.
One of the first things you notice when you walk into the Henry is all of the unique and various art decorating the walls. Bill had a colorful triptych over the couch in his room, which gave a little pop to his classic tuxedo.
Just like the bride, the groom deserves a little special attention on the wedding day too. During prep, my wife, Becky asked Bill how he and Erica met. While Bill was nonchalantly getting dressed, he told their love story of knowing each other as kids, dating in high school, and all the places life took them. He then explained the moment he knew Erica was the one. I was touched but knew I needed to keep shooting. I looked over and Becky was wiping away tears out of the corner of her eyes. More than anything, the story showed Bill’s character. He is a kind, caring, and supportive man with integrity.
Sometimes, photos are more than just a pretty picture with nice lighting. Sometimes, it capture more: a story, an insight, a personality… one of the nicest compliments I ever received as a photographer was from my friend Bill Hamilton who told me, “You have a special talent. You capture people’s’ souls.” I never really believed him for a few years but always carried that compliment with me. With this photo of Bill on his wedding day, I am starting to believe.
I know Erica was excited; it was finally time for their first look!
I love when couples give each other cards or gifts to each other on their wedding day. It is one more opportunity to show your love and build anticipation for your wedding and life together. Plus, the gift itself takes on additional meaning as time goes on. Bill gave Erica a personalized book of their story. Erica gave Bill a book too. I will leave it at that 😉
Since we had such a beautiful room, we stayed there to take a few photos.
Next, it was time to head over and start their Henry Ford Museum wedding. Our time at the Henry Ford Museum started just with Bill and Erica. I love the clean and classic look the Henry Ford Museum offers as a backdrop.
Photographing in the clocktower is a favorite for brides and grooms. The lighting wasn’t quite what I wanted when we arrived, so with the help of some off camera flash, we kissed Erica with some warm “sunshine” and complimented her elegance.
As we wandered the museum, we found all kinds of little nooks to shoot in.
Before their Henry Ford Museum wedding started, Erica and Bill were joined by their bridal party for a few images.
As the museum began to clear out, guests of the wedding found their seats. It was time for Bill and Erica’s Henry Ford Museum wedding. Their ceremony took place in the Anderson Theatre and was officiated by Mark Ephraim.
This is always one of my favorite moments of the wedding. You never know what you are going to get as a photographer as the bride and groom walk down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife. Bill and Erica showed their excitement and everyone joined in to celebrate their love and joy.
As guests enjoyed themselves at cocktail hour, we photographed some details of their beautiful Henry Ford Museum wedding.
I knew Bill and Erica took a few dance lessons but I was not ready for their performance. A slow dance turned into dips, spins, and a dramatic ending with Bill’s triumphant reaction being pretty priceless.
With the formal dances over, it was time to party.