Winter Wedding at Lovett Hall
The phone rang. It was my friend Kate, a wedding planner and owner of Purple Clover Events. We just wrapped up Chris and Brittany’s wedding a few days before. I assumed she wanted to debrief, like we always do. Instead, just jumped right into it. “Do you have January 5th open? My client loves your work and it is going to be quite the wedding!” she said enthusiastically. Over the past three years, more and more couples are opting for winter weddings. Luckily, I had it open.
“Looks like I do,” I responded.
“Good, I will confirm everything. In the mean time, send me a contract for eight hours and block off the date in your calendar. It is going to be a gorgeous winter wedding at Lovett Hall. Tons of details, decor…think regal,” Kate told me before she got back to work.
Normally, I meet with the couple and help them plan their wedding day, introducing them to vendors who can help make their wedding day vision a reality. Much to my unanticipated surprise, it is one of my favorite aspects of the job. Petra and Adam’s wedding; however, was a little different. With Adam living in a different state and Petra working closely with Kate, I took more of a passive role in the planning department and was solely focused on documenting the wedding and capturing the details that were important and paid homage to the couple. With that, I arrived at Lovell Hall early and was taken aback when I walked into the venue – it was beautiful. Transformative. Bespoke.
I set up my gear and started working.
During a conversation I had with Petra, I asked her if there was going to be any traditional, cultural, or special events that I should be aware of at the wedding. Petra informed me that she would be paying tribute to her Russian heritage and that her entrance to the ceremony would be special. As soon as I walked into the ballroom, the finishing touches were being put on her cake by Sweet Heather Anne, a boutique cake studio out of Ann Arbor. The cake, dripping with confection icicles, was a scene from the ballet Swan Lake.
Faberge-esqe eggs donned each table setting. When opened, a sweet treat was reveled inside for each guest.
After spending some time in Lovett Hall, Petra arrived and was ready to work. As the crushed velvet coat draped over her, I couldn’t help but notice the fur collar perfectly frame and accent her porcelain face. I wanted to create a soft but strong image.
After a short time in Lovett Hall, we headed for the Henry Ford Museum, located directly across from the Hall. Here, Petra removed her coat to reveal one of the most stunning dresses I have ever seen. The beading glistened in the sunlight; the royal cathedral train was a statement in itself.
After spending some time in the museum, family and guests began to arrive. Adam was getting ready in the library of Lovett Hall. A distinguished gentleman himself, I approached his photos as a photojournalist, not giving him any directions but instead just documenting the moment and capturing Adam as he is.
Next, it was time for the ceremony.
Guests were gathered and waiting with excitement and anticipation. Votive-filled vases lined the aisle, making for an elegant and dramatic setting for Petra to walk down. Lights followed her as she progressed down the aisle to a movement from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Adam quietly smiled in approval as he saw his bride for the first time.
As a photographer, I love this moment. It is normally the first time the couple breaks with character and realizes that they are now married. The reaction and smile is always so genuine.
After the formals, it was time to celebrate their winter wedding at Lovett Hall. The grand entranced, emceed by Nicholas from Elysium Experience, had everyone on their feet.
One of the things no one told me when I started wedding photography (and maybe this is just a quirk I have) but you develop a strong connection with music and people. Adam and Petra danced to an acoustic version of A-ha’s classic “Take on Me.” Now, every time I hear the song, I am brought back to their first dance.
Petra’s dance with her step-dad was equally memorable. To pay her respect to her late father, about half way through the dance, she shared the traditional father-daughter dance with her uncle. He was surprised, moved, and emotional. It was a beautiful moment.
Congratulations Adam and Petra on create a beautiful and memorable winter wedding at Lovett Hall. It was the perfect way to start 2019!