Elizabeth & John | West Michigan’s Wedding Photographer

Elizabeth and John…two of the kindest, sweetest, happiest, and so-in-love-you-can’t-help-but-to-smile-when-you-are-around-them kind of people. It was an honor to photograph their gorgeous wedding.

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I’ve known Elizabeth for years – I won’t say how many because that will make me sound old. And she took my breath away on her wedding day. Elizabeth…you are GORGEOUS. ‘Nuff said.

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Big huge thank you to one of my favorite photographers Karen for helping me out on their big day. I love shooting with you Karen! Elizabeth…you looked like a princess!! Your makeup!! Hair!! Those LASHES!! Perfection!

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Haaaaaandsome groom alert!

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I had to work hard to keep it together during their First Look. It was so perfect.

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John has the most expressive smile. And look at the back of Elizabeth’s dress!! LOVE!!!! Oh and we’re at a horse farm. Dream. Come. True.

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I ask my couples to add a bit to the blog in their own words about their day.

What do you remember most about your First Look?
Elizabeth: Overwhelming relief! I really needed to see and be with John at that moment. I felt like I could take on the rest of the day/night after seeing him. 
John:  I remember hearing her dress on the ground, and how incredible she looked!  I wanted her all to myself, but I guess that would have defeated the purpose of the First Look session..

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This one made me teary. 🙂

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Oh these girls!!!! I LOVED your wedding party.

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This is one of my favorite church and ceremony photos. Ever.

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WOOT WOOT!!! NEWLYWEDS!!! Done and done.

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The best part about getting married in Grand Haven? Well where do I start….

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Everyone in the universe should have a photograph of their best friends launching a running bear hug attack. I wish I had one. 😉

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As you can tell…there was none stop laughter with these girls. My abs hurt the next day and my smiling muscles. 😉

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I consider myself a traveling photographer. Growing up in West Michigan – specifically, Grand Haven – and now living in Columbus Ohio, allows me to travel between the Big Ten’s most intense rivalry. I go from Buckeye country to the home state of the Wolverines (and Spartans! Go Green!). Shooting mostly in Columbus, I’m not surprised when my brides and grooms have weddings with an OSU theme built into it. Or when the song “We Don’t Give a Damn About the Whole State of Michigan” comes on at a reception. So when Elizabeth and John told me that their entire wedding theme was built around UofM…I welcomed the change of pace.

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The ballroom looked stunning! Even if you were a Buckeye fan…it was breathtaking.

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And I’m always fired up for a good candy bar. This one was extra adorable with the family photo collage in the background.

 

 

 

 

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Elizabeth’s dad was giving a beautiful speech. Heartfelt. Then after a dramatic pause…he welcomed his guests…from the state down south.

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And we all know how this cheer goes….O-H. So here’s hoping I didn’t lose all of my Columbus blog followers. Let’s cheers to that. 😉

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Elizabeth and John had a choreographed first dance. How amaze is that? It was freaking adorable!!!

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Then the par-tay got started. I’m not kidding you…your guests were ROCKSTARS on that dance floor. I was having a ball!

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I love catching both sets of parents of the bride and groom having fun. Makes my heart happy.

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I could smell this delicious-ness when it came out. I sought out to photograph it immediately.

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Dance party USA. If memory serves me correctly. You girls were breakin’ it down to NKOTB. Right? Maybe Backstreet? No matter…you killed it.

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And this is my favorite dancing photo. EVER. I might frame this one for myself. You guys are the B-E-S-T, BEST, BEST, BEST!!!

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What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?
Elizabeth’s: 
Right before Fr. Jared did the Peace/Kiss the Bride I did a little hop-jump just because I was so excited we were finally going to be married! Everything else was amazing too, but that happiness I felt when we were finishing the ceremony warms my heart when I think of it. 
John’s:  That had to be the moment Elizabeth came into view at the back of the church.  I had already seen her at our First Look, but then I had to wait in a tiny room off the side of the church, and then stand up in front of everybody and wait for everything to start — I needed her up there!
After having a First Look what kind of feelings did you have walking down the aisle in the church and seeing each other in front of your family and friends for the “first time”?
ElizabethI mostly felt calm.  My dad asked “Are you ready, Gracie?” and we set off.  Near the end I was feeling a little weepy so I probably look mad/sad in the photos from trying not to cry!  
John:  I had a long time to worry about our families and friends looking at me up at the front of the church, so I mostly forgot about them and just couldn’t wait until she made it up to join me.  The First Look was nice because we had already gotten a chance to hang out and freak out together, but it didn’t take anything away from watching her walk up the aisle.
Did everything go as planned on your wedding day? Any surprises?
Elizabeth: Can I say that I am not sure?  If things went wrong, people didn’t tell me.  Thank God.
John:  Noooooot exactly.  The ladies’ hair and makeup ran a little long (but Megan kicked ass and got us through our photos right back on schedule!), and there seemed to be a slight miscommunication about which beers the bar was supposed to tap at what time of night, and… everything turned out okay.  On the *good* surprises side of things, Cindi (Sanders) got the theater marquee downtown changed for us (and we can’t wait to see the pictures)!

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Where did you go on your honeymoon? GREECE! We spent six nights in Athens and six nights on Santorini.  My bridesmaid Shavahn booked everything for us since she is a travel agent with Liberty Travel (Lincoln Park, Chicago).   Our wedding party got us a fabulous tour and dinner at Orizontes (http://www.orizonteslycabettus.gr/en/restaurant), which overlooks the entire city of Athens from the tallest hill (Lycabettus Hill).  The view was spectacular and the food was so delicious.  It was a great beginning to a seriously fantastic trip.  That wedding party was full of really wonderful people.  

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What was the best part?
Elizabeth:  I have two things! The Parthenon is AMAZING. I studied Classical Archaeology so it was a dream come true to see it in person.  My favorite thing on Santorini was our ATV that we rented to get around!  I had so much fun sitting on the back of that thing with the sea breeze blowing my hair while John drove the twisty roads of the island.  Oh, and the views on Santorini are unbelievable.
John:  Hey, no fair – she stole mine!  I was obsessed with the Acropolis and the Parthenon; I never got tired of seeing them towering over us everywhere we went in the tourist-y area of Athens.  I was also really excited about driving along the 1896 Marathon course and taking a morning jog to the ancient stadium where the race course ends.  We also had an amazing time on the catamaran cruise we took around Santorini – it was just so… nice.

Aren’t they adorable?

Best part for me when it came to shooting your wedding? Was how the two of you looked at each other. John, when you smile at Elizabeth, it lights up the room. And Elizabeth has such a look of comfort and ease when she’s with you. Your love for each other was visible and strong. I was touched and proud to be a part of your day. Thank you for trusting me to document your love. It was so awesome. xoxo

Vendors and Those That Helped To Make It All Happen:

Ceremony: St. John’s Episcopal Church, Grand Haven, MI (http://www.stjohnsepiscopal.com)
Reception: Grand Haven Community Center, Grand Haven, MI (http://www.grandhaven.org/city-services/community-center/)
Linens: Elegant Linen Design, Spring Lake, MI (http://elegantlinendesign.com)
Stationary (invitations and seating chart poster): Jamie Lynne Creative (http://jamielynnecreative.com
Caterer: Consider It Done/Desserts By Design by Ellen Vonesh (http://www.dessertsbydesign.us)
Cake: Consider It Done/Desserts By Design by Ellen Vonesh (http://www.dessertsbydesign.us)
DJ: Entertainment On The Move, Grand Haven, MI (http://www.entertainmentonthemove.com)
Dress: David’s Bridal (http://www.davidsbridal.com/HomeView)
Alterations: Kate – costume designer/seamstress @ BalletMet Columbus
Flowers: Essential Designs by Lori DeVowe (http://www.essentialdesignsmi.com)
Hair/Makeup: Studio 206, Grand Haven, MI [Amanda did both my hair and makeup] (http://www.studio206online.com)
Bridesmaid Dresses: They were RENTAL dresses by Little Borrowed Dress (http://www.littleborroweddress.com)

July 19, 2013 - 4:00 pm

JennyBZ - First of all, what a beautiful bride… Her lashes!! Secondly, you know I love me a yellow dress so those bridesmaids dresses are perfection.. Lastly, it’s just too bad such a beautiful wedding/reception had to be ruined by that school up north’s color scheme 😉
I do love me a good candy bar tho and love that touch if having a family photo collage as a backdrop. Great work meggie!

July 19, 2013 - 4:00 pm

JennyBZ - First of all, what a beautiful bride… Her lashes!! Secondly, you know I love me a yellow dress so those bridesmaids dresses are perfection.. Lastly, it’s just too bad such a beautiful wedding/reception had to be ruined by that school up north’s color scheme 😉
I do love me a good candy bar tho and love that touch if having a family photo collage as a backdrop. Great work meggie!

July 22, 2013 - 1:50 pm

Elizabeth - I can’t stop looking at these! I love them so much. Thank you, thank you! 🙂

July 22, 2013 - 1:50 pm

Elizabeth - I can’t stop looking at these! I love them so much. Thank you, thank you! 🙂

July 25, 2013 - 1:22 am

Karen Swafford (John's Aunt) - Excellent pictures. Didn’t see the ones taken in the park of the families. One with me in it.
I like the one of Elizabeth by herself ( Schultz 6 ). I hope I didn’t mess up any of your shots with my picture taking. I tried to wait until you were done taking before I snapped.

July 25, 2013 - 1:22 am

Karen Swafford (John's Aunt) - Excellent pictures. Didn’t see the ones taken in the park of the families. One with me in it.
I like the one of Elizabeth by herself ( Schultz 6 ). I hope I didn’t mess up any of your shots with my picture taking. I tried to wait until you were done taking before I snapped.