Chelsea + Sri / Frutig Farms Ann Arbor Wedding

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From the Photographer

This wedding had a lot of BIG FEELINGS. Big laughs, big cries, big LOVE ya’ll. I’ve been to so many weddings that I can’t count them all anymore, and without fail, my favorites are ones like this. Sure, it’s memorable because it was my first Frutig Farms wedding- gorgeous. It was a stunning Ann Arbor venue, with the best wedding vendors, and the best style… but all of those things are frankly forgettable if you don’t have a couple like Chelsea and Sri. Not to mention their incredible family, but I digress.

Looking through these pictures reminds me of why I’m a wedding photographer in the first place. It’s not about perfection. It’s not about technicality or awards. It’s about that Daddy Daughter First Look. It’s about Sri reading Chelsea’s letter. It’s about that post-ceremony high-five, and the laughter during toasts, and the eye-crinkling grins during the special dances.

That’s why I’m a wedding photographer. That’s what I love.

Vendor Love

Wedding Dress: Beckers Bridal
Forals: Bella Fiori
Hair: Simona Vigh
Makeup: Imagine Beauty Three
Church Venue: St. Francis of Assisi
Reception Venue: Frutig Farms
American Food Catering + Planner: Angel Food Inc.
Indian Food Catering: Shalimar Restaurant
Grooms Suit: Suit Supply
Live Music: Christina Kateri

Wedding Tips from a Real Bride! / Ian + Andrea's Wedding

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From Rachel:

Ian and Andrea are SO FUN. I think it says a lot about them that I took roughly a million party bus pictures and most of them made it into their wedding gallery. They are also sweet. I don’t mean that in a patronizing or glib way. I mean that they look out for other people and take care of them without asking- often anticipating what they need before they have to ask.

My favorite parts of their wedding day were killing time at their new home between the ceremony and reception (that bad a$$ pool table shot was taken in their basement), and the speeches that made me cry like a baby. On both of those occasions, I caught a glimpse into the deep love that they share with the world and how highly their friends regard them. That love will serve them well. It will also spread and grow and make the world better.

Advice from Andrea, the Bride:

“Getting married is stressful, it is as simple as that. There are so many things that go into your big day, and you want all of them to end up perfect. Here are my tips to get to as close to perfect as you can for your big day.

1. Research the venues first, and then book it the earliest that you can. When you’re planning your big day you already have a general idea of what you want it to look like. Getting the wedding venue you have always dreamed of will definitely help you reach your perfect day.

2. Pick a DJ and Wedding Photographer that you TRUST. Don’t just pick someone because they were “cheaper” or because your friend had them. You and your partner are unique, pick someone that makes you feel true to you. Having someone that makes you feel special will make your wedding day feel special.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff! There is so much that happens the day of a wedding, don’t let something small halt your happiness. As long as everything big is secured down, let the little things roll.

4. Take a moment for you (and your partner). Your wedding day is a lot of things crammed into a short day. Make sure you take a moment to celebrate the both of you! Don’t wait until the wedding is over. Pick a moment and look at all of the people there who love and support you. Take a moment that is just for you and your partner and relish in the love.

5. Excel sheets are your friend! Just using a notebook for names and addresses may seem like a fine idea, but using excel will make sure that you are keeping that important information all in one place. The less places you keep information the more organized you’ll be

6. Guestbooks, favors and more! A guestbook can be more than paper, get something unique to you. Buy some artwork to have signed, or the letter of your new last name. That is something you will want to have displayed forever. Favors do not need to be stressful, there are plenty of easy DIYs that take no time at all. Don’t just pick something that everyone else has, have the favor show a piece of you and your significant other.

7. Clear labels. Another thing that makes excel so great is that you can put them to fit clear labels to be printed. Save your writing hand some time, print off labels for a professional stress free look.

Most importantly have fun and smile big. Your big day is once, make the most of it.”

Vendor Love:

Dress: Morilee B.Ella Bridal
Church Venue: St. Kenneth
Reception Venue/Catering: Laurel Manor
Flowers: French’s Flowers
Desserts: Elite Sweets
Grooms attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Invitations: Minted

Sam + Ryan / Downtown Market Grand Rapids Wedding

Grand Rapids Michigan Wedding Photography by Adventure Photo Stories

From the Photographer:

This was the dream ya’ll: getting to finally photograph a Downtown Market Grand Rapids wedding, a bride and groom who rolled with the events of the day and just let their team of vendors make magic, a venue that had incredible natural light and botanicals while being protected from the rain that was falling outside, and a rowdy group of guests that filled the space with GOOD VIBES ONLY.

I’ve seen about a million weddings at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, and I’ve always wanted to shoot there. The lower level is my favorite place to grab a quick lunch from one of the unique food stations followed by a sweet treat from Love’s Ice Cream or Madcap Coffee. Since seating is limited down there, we usually end up grabbing a table in the upper atrium where I would just stare at the wedding event space and dream about the day that I could play with the two story window-walls, clear glass ceiling, and tropical plants that line the entire room.

It did not disappoint. We left for about 10 minutes to grab a couple pictures outside for the sake of variety, but I was able to get some high-end wedding photography accomplished in a short about of time because I was so inspired. The whole day felt effortless. At least for me- the ladies at A Lovely Day Events were working their tushy’s off behind the scenes decorating, coordinating, and getting sh!t DONE. They are incredible.

My favorite part of the night was when I asked all of the guys from Ryan’s rugby team to get together for a picture. After a hilarious group shot, Ryan led the group in their team chant. Sam ran into the middle and it was EPIC.

VENDOR LOVE:

Event Coordinator: A Lovely Day Events
Venue: Downtown Market Grand Rapids
Flowers: Ludema’s
Dress Shop: Fantastic Finds
Dress Designer: Stella York
Menswear: Generation Tux
Bridesmaid Dresses: RenzBridal
Papergoods: Minted
Hair/MUA: Victoria Collins (Hair) / Bethany Jelsema (Makeup)
Cupcakes: Sweetie-licious
Caterer: Slow’s BBQ

Kristy + Dan / Battle Creek Courthouse Elopement

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My cousin Kristy is more like a sister. She is incredibly brave and strong and has had to use those traits to fight for what she loves.

Dan was Kristy’s high school sweetheart, and although life led them on different paths, they reconnected after 23 years to form a new family. Their wedding wasn’t flashy, but they aren’t flashy people. Their love is steady. It stands the test of time and doesn’t need to put on a show. After all they have been through, it is a gift.

I count myself incredibly blessed to know both of them. Congratulations family! Love you.