Life is always ready to teach you a lesson if you are ready to learn. I received a Facebook notification that my friend Sam Stevenson mentioned me in a post. His friend, Ryan, was asking for wedding photographer recommendations. Sam tagged me and replied, “He is the best!” I was fortunate enough to photograph both Sam and Laura’s proposal in Chicago and engagement session in Detroit. I messaged Sam, “Thanks for thinking of me, but these things never work out.” Ryan’s post already had over 130 comments when Sam threw my name in the hat. 130! You can imagine my surprise when Ryan called me asking to set up a time to meet. When I found out they lived near downtown Clarkston, I suggested we meet up at one of my favorite places, the Union Woodshop. By the end of our time together, we were already planning out the photography for their Holly Vault wedding.
Ryan and Andrea planned their wedding around two components – spending time with each other and making the guests feel special. Both were accomplished with great success. Every aspect of their day – from prep to reception – took place within a few blocks of each other. Both Ryan and Andrea got ready in the loft of the Holly Vault. Normally, when someone tells you they are getting ready in the suite at the venue, it is a worry some scenario for photographers. It normally means a former janitor’s closet turned “bridal suite” with horrible lighting and mismatched decor. Not in this case. The suite above the Holly Vault was spacious, comfortable, and well decorated with multiple updated rooms for the bridal party to get ready in. Walking into this space to start the day, I knew we were going to get some great photos.
Generally, the bridal party remains separate throughout the morning. However, there were two VIP members who got to float between rooms.
After Ryan was dressed, Andrea had a gift waiting for him.
Just down the hallway, Andrea was getting ready.
Andrea got dressed with the help of her mom.
While Andrea was finishing up, Ryan was patiently waiting to see his bride for the first time.
Ryan couldn’t stop smiling upon seeing Andrea. The moment, and the photos, were beautiful as they just naturally unfolded.
Once they had a few minutes to connect, it was time to take some more formal photos. I loved the look of the room, so we stayed there to start before walking the streets of downtown Holly.
Creating beautiful images of these two is practically cheating. Not only are they easy to look at, but once they are in each other’s presence, the smiles and fun come naturally.
Once I saw the American flag, I knew I had to incorporate it. I have great respect for anyone who served our country and Ryan is no exception. I get to live my dreams because of all the men and women who sacrificed and fought to protect our freedoms. My sincerest gratitude to all those who have served.
Right around the corner from their Holly Vault wedding was an antique shop with ivy growing up its white walls. What a perfect compliment for this couple and their wedding colors.
After walking around the city, the bridal party joined us for some photos as well.
A few blocks from their Holly Vault wedding reception was their ceremony at the Holly Chapel, an adorable little chapel that fits perfectly with the town’s vibe.
During the ceremony, there were a few laughable moments, including when the groomsman all took a shot of relief after Ryan said “I do.”
With the ceremony done, it was time to head back to celebrate their Holly Vault wedding reception. Flowers of the Forest did an excellent job transforming the space with their floral arrangements.
In one of the most special moments of the day, Brother Elsey serenaded Ryan and Andrea as they shared their first dance. The talent that came from these three was incredible.
Once the formal dances were done, the dance floor remained packed the rest of the night with the help of Rusch Entertainment.
As the night wound down, I pulled Ryan and Andrea away from their reception for one last set of photos. Downtown Holly has an iconic street called Battle Alley, where Italian lights blanket the street and create a warm and romantic scene. It was the perfect place for a little break and getaway for the newlyweds. It is so important to take time on your wedding day to make some memories and be present wit you just the two of you. Judging from the love and joy in these photos, I would say memories were made.
Venue: Holly Vault
Chapel: Holly Chapel
Film: Happy Kamer Productions
Beauty: Hannah Price
Floral: Flowers of the Forest
Dress: The Wedding Shoppe
Entertainment: Rusch Entertainment
Entertainment: Brother Elsey