It is crazy the difference a few years will make. In the midst of Covid, weddings and the restrictions that we being placed on them, were changing by the day. No more than 10 guests, then 40 guests. Tents were okay as long as there were no walls. Catered food was acceptable, but only if it were individually packaged. In short, it was a wild time to get married. However, in one of the most memorable wedding of the year, I photographed Kaleigh and Scott’s wedding. It was an intimate affair that looked nothing like the original wedding plans. At the end of the night, after fireworks showered guests with a needed reminder to celebrate during those darker days, I asked Kaleigh “so was your wedding what you expected?” “Even better!” she exclaimed. It was through Kaleigh and Scott, and a mutual couple Sydney and Max, that I met Erica and Ben. Good people hang out with good people, and Erica and Ben were no exception. We had so much fun during their engagement session that we lost track of time. It left me dreaming about the fun we would have at their wedding. At the end of their Madison Building wedding, we snuck out to take one last end-of-the-night shot. I asked Erica the same question. She just looked at Ben and started laughing in her warm, signature laugh that I loved capturing all day. I took that as a “Yes!”
Erica and Ben both started their day surrounded by friends, laughter, and good music while getting ready at the Marriott at Detroit Renaissance Center. We started our day hanging out with Erica and her bridesmaids. I don’t think there was anyone as excited as Erica to get married that day. Her excitement was contagious.
Once Erica was ready, we checked in on Ben, who was ready to put on the finishing touches before their first look.
The groomsmen were also present and ready for the day. Rather than simply line them up and take a standard photo, I wanted to acknowledge the groomsmen but literally put the spotlight on Ben.
One of the best things about working with Ben and Erica was the trust they put in my vision as their photographer. Knowing that Erica was a historian of Detroit and was drawn to more elegant elements of the city, I suggested they do their first look in front of the Fisher Building. It was a bit daring as we literally stopped traffic, but I would say it was worth it.
Following their first look, we stopped by one of my favorite places to shoot, Cadillac Place Apartments. Photographing Erica and Ben was effortless as all they did was smile and laugh in each other’s presence.
After spending some time together, we met up with their bridal party at the Detroit Institute of Art.
As we wrapped up shooting formals in the city, it was time to head towards the main event: their Madison Building wedding. Guests would be treated to an amazing evening with a rooftop ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception with iconic Woodward Avenue as their backdrop. As guests took their seats, it was time for the ceremony.
Guests fully took advantage of the unique experience of the Madison Building’s rooftop cocktail hour. Meanwhile, Sam from Wholehearted Events was making sure the reception space was perfect.
Following a wonderful dinner (I will be dreaming of those short ribs for a while), guests were invited back to the rooftop to begin the celebration.
Ben and Erica’s Madison Building wedding was filled with my favorite type of image to document: real wedding moments. Erica’s fulling living in the moment highlights her genuine excitement. I love it! These type of images are filled with emotion and invite all those involved to relive that moment every time they view the image.
In one of my favorite moments of the grandkids took a photo with grandma, which then broke out sporadically into a celebration around grandma. Again, real moments. Real emotions.
As the partying continued into the night, Ben and Erica snuck out of their Madison Building wedding for one last photo to highlight their day. Looking through all of these images, I share Erica’s response to my question. How was the wedding? A smile and laugh seems appropriate. It was awesome.
Venue: The Madison Detroit
Coordinator: Wholehearted Events
Music: Star String Quartet
Florist: Viviano Flower Shop
Rentals: Event Source
Rentals: Endless Flowers
Beauty: Ali Glaske