Katie & Joe – Ludington Michigan wedding

“Hey girl!”

That’s Joe. Hey girl…friendly, outgoing, and as we learned, a man of incredible strength and perseverance.

Katie. She’s funny, she’s sweet, and you can’t help but love her immediately.

When we first met them in Chicago for their engagement pictures, we had a great time, even though it was a short time. We were excited for their wedding day and to meet their friends and family. We rolled up to Katie’s mom’s home in Ludington where the girls were getting ready. Sadly, Dan had to leave to join the boys at the Mitten Bar for lunch and a micro-brew. I had to hang out with some energetic and fun girls during the hair & makeup time. Fun for both of us!

After a sweet ceremony and a couple of “i-dos” (you only need two), some introductions as a new man & wife, we whisked the wedding party away to some beautiful locations around Ludington, including the beautiful lakeshore, where the guys performed their traditional beer shotgun. As rain started to come down, we packed up and headed to Jamesport Brewery, where Katie and Joe had their very first date. A round, a toast, and then it was off to the reception…..but not before a stop where my brave bride jumped out in the rain for me for some lovely umbrella-covered pictures on a dock. Totally swoon-worthy.

Just before the downpour hit and thunder and lightning crashed, we got a few pics of Joe & his boys on the golf course – golf is a big deal for this guy – it’s his profession!

The reception was full of Katie’s details – she really poured herself into the yellow & grey theme in all the details of this reception. It was absolutely beautiful! We enjoyed a tasty dinner with them, lots of fun dancing, and Katie and I finally got to wobble together!

It was a fabulous day. Katie and Joe, we loved every minute of it and look forward to when we can celebrate with you again!

Lots of love – Lynell & Dan


Shawntel & Rob’s Crystal Mountain wedding

Shawntel and Rob’s September 28th wedding was one of those gorgeous days that makes us want to spend all our time in Northern Michigan. The trees were just starting to turn at Crystal Mountain, the temperature was comfortable, and the skies were absolutely gorgeous.

We started our day by splitting our time with the girls and guys, entering into the fun & fray of the getting ready, and knocking out a few pictures before the ceremony started. I got more and more excited as I saw all of Shawntel’s adorable DIY details (down to the hand-made napkins!) come together….and couldn’t wait to see it all at the reception!

But that’s a fast forward.

Backing up….as we got ready to jump on the chair lifts for the hilltop ceremony, a lovely light cloud settled over the hill, providing the most perfect light for everyone to watch the ceremony (and for us to photograph it!). The creamy sky complimented the soft greys & blushes of her colors, proving that fall weddings don’t have to all be dark colors. It was romantic, and oh-so-lovely.

And the ceremony….so many smiles, and a few sweet tears out of Rob. It was simple, sweet, and so perfectly them. After the ceremony we had some time with the family, bridal party, and then got to explore parts of Crystal with just Shawntel and Rob. Capturing the joy shared between them was so easy – because it was so joy-full!

As they kicked off the ceremony, the speeches by their best man and matron of honor were touching – and hilarious – as we all heard again the story of how Shawntel & Rob got started! A little office romance…..super sweet!

After a lovely dinner, some serious heel-kicking took place thanks to their fabulous djs (whose names I can’t remember, but if I do, I will update this post so they get the credit they deserve!). It was truly a fun celebration for so many, and Shawntel & Rob, thank you for having us be a part of it!

– Lynell & Dan


Brittany & Andrew’s Blustery Charlevoix wedding

Well, it was windy. That’s for sure.

And windy made for big waves, a blowing dress, and a beautiful Charlevoix wedding for Brittany and Andrew.

One of the things I appreciated the most about Brittany and Andrew was their focus on what mattered – the ceremony, and the celebration with their family and friends. They both are pretty “no-nonsense,” and while their day was no-nonsense, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t full of beauty. From the first moments we joined them to the last dance with them, we saw beauty everywhere….in the skies, in their happiness, and in the celebration by their friends.

We started the day at the Weathervane Hotel with them while they got ready, then had their first look and a few moments together on the docks where they had their engagement pictures. Some “well-wishers” even let them climb up on their boat for a few pictures – fun fun!

They were married at Community Reformed Church right on US-31, and their beautiful celebration was at the Belvedere Club overlooking Lake Charlevoix. Perfect, perfect, perfect in so many ways! They also had the cutest table numbers – a photo of their sweet dog wearing a different number around his neck for each table!! It was a great way to incorporate him in their celebration.

As Dan and I departed for the night to leave them to their dancing and celebration, we remarked about just how simple (and simple is a good word) and sweet the whole day was.

Brittany & Andrew – please continue to find joy in each other, and in the simple & the sweet!



Brad & Ashley – Spring Lake Country Club wedding

Turtle Power.

It was what brought us here, together, today. Well, that and a heaping dose of love.

When Ashley and I talked (we didn’t get to meet until much later) she shared that Brad LOVES the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and they were going to incorporate them into the wedding somehow. Loved it! Truthfully, I probably watched the movie back in the 80s more times than I should admit….so I won’t admit to numbers!

We weren’t able to meet them until not long before the wedding, where we got to know them over drinks and conversation at Perrin & some grapefruit IPA. In that time we learned about their story…how they met….started dating….and fell in love. Brad touched our hearts that night when he described the first time he saw her before their first date and said to himself “don’t screw this up….” and he didn’t.

Brad loves her so tenderly and with great strength all at once. Ashley loves Brad in such a beautiful fun and pure way. It’s lovely to behold, and we got to see it all day long on their wedding day.

They got married under a giant willow tree along the banks of Spring Lake, surrounded by friends & family. Ashley’s brother was the one to marry them – and there may have been some tears involved.

Following a ceremony full of laughter, tears, deep breaths and adoring looks we all celebrated at the Spring Lake Country Club. I think you’ll see via the pictures just how well she incorporated the “Heroes in a Half Shell” into the wedding. Even we donned masks and joined in the fun! With a couple like Brad and Ashley, you can’t help but just have FUN with them!

B & A – I hope that your life continues to be fun…to be surrounded by superheroes who keep you safe, and your may your love grow stronger every day.


Sim & Steve – Camp Blodgett Wedding Photographer

I liked them immediately.

Cups of coffee, good conversation, and for the boys, a connection over beer. This happens a lot – the brewmance that develops between our male clients and my lovely husband. I like it, it works. It felt good right from the start. I called Dan right after our meeting and said “I hope they pick us…..oh, and Steve REALLY loves beer too.” Instant connection.

I was also excited because I LOVE Camp Blodgett weddings – AND it was on a Monday! They are so pretty, typically very relaxed, and guests really enjoy the location – fabulous view of Lake Michigan, sand between their toes, and almost always a beautiful sunset to enjoy. This one was no different – everything about the day was beautiful.

The day of their wedding was so fun – relaxed, and about celebrating with friends & family. It was very intimate – a small wedding – but those who came had traveled from all over the world to be there. I remember when we talked and discussing it being on a Monday….and was that strange she worried? Well, as a bride who got married on a Sunday, I will always go back to this – those who love you will be there even if it’s on a Wednesday at 9 am. And they were! The numbers may have been small, but they made up for it in distance traveled and in the strength of their relationships with both Sim and Steve.

It was also cornucopia of languages. I did fine with the English, but the Turkish and German had me beat (I could have handled a little Spanish or even Dutch!). Kudos to those who managed all three of the languages present – WHEW!

The ceremony was brief, personal, and precious. The celebration was fun.

The cake – delicious (Yay, Cakabakery.) The flowers, lovely – shoutout to Elements of Elegance! A traditional german beer drink as their signature cocktail. Tasty food. Turkish dances. Glorious sunsets, and lots of laughter.

I can honestly say that their wedding felt like a day hanging out with friends….we still worked, but we got to experience something even better – a good day with friends. Because that’s what these two do….they make you feel like you are a part of their “clan.” No wonder people traveled so far to be with them. You can’t help but love them.

Sim & Steve, as you journey through life together….we hope you continue to share yourself with others, because you have definitely made a difference in our lives.


Lexi & Jeff’s Wilderness Wedding – Upper Peninsula wedding photographer

I’m going to start this post with a warning. It’s going to be LONG. Way more images than normal, more text. Long. But worth it.

See, Lexi is my former assistant. For two full wedding seasons she was my right hand, and sometimes, my left hand too. I interviewed her over the phone and it was done. Instant connection, instant friendship. Little did I know then how much she would impact my life.

Every Saturday morning was a car ride of philosophical discussions, laughter and tears over relationships & friendships, jokes about how many coffee cups I had in the car that week. Lots of red vines licorice.

I had never met someone who was so responsive to my needs that she knew them often before I did. She fetched, she carried, she supported, she really was the best assistant. When she told me she was moving to Florida, I was excited for where her life would go – but I was sad it was moving away from me. But it was good. It was so good. Because she was going with Jeff.

When Lexi started dating Jeff, things changed. She was happier, more energetic, and made some changes with him that took this amazing girl and made her even more confident, open to life, and all around spectacular. I definitely approved of this guy.

As I watched their life unfold on facebook, and eagerly awaited updates as they backpacked across Mexico & Guatemala, I knew at some point I would get “the call” saying he had proposed.

It came. And she asked if I would be a part of her day – and she would move it to whatever day worked for me, and she would make it pretty for me….see…again, there she was still being Lexi. Doing something for ME. I appreciate that, but I also love that even though she spent countless hours growing & making her own decorations to have beautiful things to photograph, what she did was cover that entire wedding in touches of herself.

She is organic.

She is a woman of growth.

She is grounded.

She is life.

And she and Jeff together are wild & passionate and full of life. Their wedding day was a perfect picture of them.

It started just like any other wedding day for us….except nothing like it. We woke up as the rain pounded down on our tent, in the field with everyone else who was at the wedding. We slushed our way down to the outhouse, then gathered around the camp fire.
And checked the radar. Lots and lots of rain…but eventually, it would move.

The good thing about a small wedding where everyone has traveled is you can easily make adjustments.

So we did.

The girls went into town to get ready at a hotel, and as soon as I walked in, I slapped a card down on the counter and asked for a room. Maybe I’m NOT cut out for the most rustic camping ever….and my gear, well, it certainly wasn’t! As the girls got ready, Dan and I went downtown Houghton and had a fabulous fish lunch, and then headed back out to Lexi’s grandparents’s house (look up Superior Shores Road, Atlantic Mine, MI on the banks of Lake Superior WEST of Houghton for a few pre-ceremony photos (and a first look that was not a first look)….and the ceremony overlooking Lake Superior.

The bridesmaids collected wildflowers from the field across from the wedding site and made floral crowns and bouquets. I had made Lexi’s bouquet earlier from field flowers, ferns, and some flowers from the neighbor’s yard. The piece of bark to hold it all together tied the entire thing together.

It was short, sweet, and totally magical.


I mean, COME ON! Where else would that happen???

After the ceremony & a few more photos while the strangely warm Lake Superior waves crashed on the shore, we went back to the field for the reception. So many details….so much beauty. So much energy was poured into that location, that was days before just a field.

The details – there are so many. All of them were created with objects Lexi & Jeff made from family treasures, or plants they grew (and took home & will eat or nurture). I think what I loved best is so much was reused for the wedding – and will be again. Or it was grown. Or hand made. An heirloom. Even the trail mix she made came in jars that can be reused for canning. The jars also kept the bears from getting into the tasty treats. Yes, the bears.

Oh their rings – even THOSE were repurposed, as they were both family rings, and the bands were made by one of the bridesmaids from Lexi’s grandmother’s wedding ring. Repurposed, refashioned and absolutely beautiful. Take a time to look at all their details and see just how much love and attention was given to each part of it.

The food at their reception – incredible, and all grown by or made by (or both) the groom, including the homemade thimbleberry jam and freshly baked bread AND the wedding cake! We all laughed together, and ate until we were uncomfortable, and celebrated two people who are SO LOVED by so many.

Lexi, thank you for being in my life. I’m grateful for every moment I’ve ever had with you. Jeff, take care of her. Or else I’ll make her come make me take care of you (as only a good assistant can do for me).

Love you both!


Deb & Kenny – Greenfield Village Wedding Photographer

I had been looking forward to this wedding for ages. With everything Deb had shared with me about Greenfield village and her plans for the day, there was little to NOT be excited about. Plus, they are the sweetest couple and I knew it would be a treasure to photograph. We started our day with them getting ready & as we arrived met up with another awesome couple – Lane and Mindy of Vintage Storybooks. Having worked with them before, we knew we would have a great day of sharing laughter (and probably some tears) together.

We all crowded around to greet our beautiful bride, then Lane & I sent our spouses off to check on Kenny…who was eagerly awaiting the moment he would see his bride. And that moment…oh, so special, and Deb’s smile – radiant! Absolutely radiant!

From there we had a few hours break – which isn’t normal for us – but Debbie’s father was severely ill, and making time to see him on her wedding day was very important. From what we hear, the staff at his hospital even decorated his room in celebration of that day. Sadly, her father passed shortly after the wedding, but the memories she made with him, I know she will treasure forever. Deb, we still think of you often, and pray your heart & that of your family’s heals.

When we all gathered up again, we got to roam around this beautiful museum, AND go on horse & carriage rides around the village. I felt like a kid in a candy store. So many beautiful things to see, and unique locations for their portraits. So. Much. Fun.

As the ceremony started & Deb walked down the aisle, it was hard not to brush away a tear. Seeing her dad watching her via webcam made it even harder. But the smiles, the sweet looks, the gigantic smiles and the celebration was still fully on display – all through the night. A fun cocktail hour, a little cake in the face, and the sweetest best man speech. If you haven’t yet, go to Vintage Storybooks and check out Deb & Kenny’s trailer. I think from the words of the best man, you will learn much about Deb & Kenny, and you will grow to appreciate them as much as we do.

As we dashed out into pouring rain and on to our ten-hour car drive for Jeff & Lexi’s wedding, we knew we had been a part of a deeply meaningful day.

Deb & Kenny – we adore you & wish you a lifetime of happiness.

– Lynell & Dan


Beka & Steve’s backyard wedding – Farmington Hills Wedding Photographer

Not long before their wedding, Beka contacted us, thanks to a referral from Dan’s Aunt Beth….she said, you never know, just ask, they might be able to do it!

It was a rush-plan wedding, as Steve was planning to start PT School in the fall, and it was now…or later. So, NOW! Beka and Steve have known each other since they were children – their families are close – and everyone pitched in to make this wedding happen, and to make it beautiful. It really was a community wedding. But we didn’t know all that walking in…..

…..and we were met with the most beautiful community.

The welcomes were real & genuine.

Now we LOVE being a part of a wedding, and getting to know a couple, and to building lasting relationships with their friends and family. It was easy to see, very early on, that doing that on this day would be very, very easy. As I settled in (to a flurry of activity) with the girls, Dan dashed off to check on the guys. When we met back up we were both like “you aren’t going to believe” and “look at this” as we “chimped” and shared some early shots we loved.

We all jumped into cars for a quick drive over to the ceremony site, which was in a neighborhood back yard, along a little stream, with tents full of tables with personal touches by Beka and Steve all over. Neighbors & friends walked up carrying dishes to pass, and Uncle Gene was getting ready on the grill. Excitement was everywhere.

And there was no more excitement in the world than in that moment…in Steve’s face, as he waited for Beka, his bride. I think we got 30 pictures of him smiling and waiting, with the look of “let’s go, let’s go” on his face. He was ready, eager, and overjoyed for this moment.

Every wedding is special to us. Every. Single. One. There is a beautiful emotion in each and every one of them. This wedding, well, it was all about joy. Joy, joy and more joy!!!

Fist pumps in the air.

Shouts of acclamation.

Hands raised in praise.

Smiles everywhere on so many faces.

Dan and I were blown away, and touched very deeply by what we saw. As we held hands and joined in the praise celebration, we felt like a part of a beautiful community, celebrating an event that was bigger than a wedding. (Ugh, I’m tearing up writing this!!!) I think you had to be there to get it – it was bigger than all of us there.

And you know what? It wasn’t about all the details. It wasn’t about careful planning and timelines and caterers and everything being perfectly arranged. It was simply perfect.

It was a joyous celebration of love. For God, for family, and for Steve and Beka.

We were honored to be a part of it.

The swing dancers at the reception, tree fort, and barefoot dancing with pants rolled up didn’t hurt either! We blew through memory cards, desperate to capture all of the amazing memories of this day.

Steve and Beka, we will remember this day with joy in our hearts for you. We pray blessings of joy on you…for decades to come. But for today….enjoy this quick preview of what we were able to capture of the memories you all made.

– Lynell & Dan


Katherine & Zach’s South Haven wedding

I first met Katherine & Zach last fall when we did their engagement photos. They were sweet, friendly, and totally in love with each other. By the time their wedding rolled around (August 24 in South Haven), not much had changed – they were just as sweet, even more friendly, and even more in love and eager to start their day of celebration!

The weather was perfect. The home (Zach’s parents) where Katherine was getting ready was lovely, and the flurry of bridal activity and Katherine’s excitement got us both excited for how fun this day was going to be. We also got to work with some favorite vendors – our own Dee Mitchell from Elements of Elegance, Allison Bower – the very talented makeup artist – and we finally got to work with friends Jamie & Ian Ball of Shutterspeed Productions. We were all in for a great day with a wonderful couple.

Zach and Katherine had their first look in the backyard at Zach’s home, and we quickly made use of the beautiful surrounding area for family & formal pictures before heading to Beeches Golf club for the wedding under a HUGE tree. I had looked at it ahead of time on line (thank you google maps) but had no idea how large and beautiful it was.

As part of their ceremony, they began the process of nurturing their own tree to plant together….so that as their relationship grows, they are reminded of strong roots, healthy growth, and the loving shelter they can provide for each other. Both the tree they were married under and the tree they will plant were beautiful expressions of Zach and Katherine’s relationship.

One of the most fun parts of the day for me was seeing Katherine’s excitement over everything – her vendors, her friends & family, Zach (obviously – and I mean, look at that face when she looks at him!), her flowers, and her DANCE FLOOR. She had a vision for what she wanted, and thanks to the talented Elements of Elegance – she got her open air lights over the dance floor. It was beautiful…and perfect.

We should probably end this blog post with an excerpt from a poem about a tree….

Deep in the earth today,
Safely the roots we lay,
Tree of our love;
Grow thou and flourish long!
Every our grateful song
Shall its glad notes prolong
To God above.

Katherine & Zach….grow and flourish long!


Gwen & Chris – Traverse City Wedding Photographer

When I first met Gwen, I found the sweetest woman, eager to start her life as Mrs. Miller…..and little did we know at that time that in 2013 we would both become Mrs. Miller. Insert giggles.

Gwen is such a sweetheart, and even helped do some crafting for my wedding. Not only were we going to work together, but we were practically neighbors, and became friends in the process.

When it came to their wedding day, we were so excited to see what unfolded….all the details…the anticipation….and the things we had scheduled for the day. Ceremony on the bay in Traverse City, trolleys up to vineyards, a reception at a place called Frog Pond Village…it just sounded delicious.

And it was. Right down to the fabulous dinner. Mmm, mashed potatoes & pot roast.


The ceremony was so touching, and the celebration fabulous. Seeing Gwen and Chris so happy on their wedding day was a treat for both of us, and it wasn’t just because we were Team Miller(s). We enjoyed celebrating with their friends and family, laughed our heads off, and got to capture some beautiful memories of a long-awaited day.

Chris & Gwen – we look forward to when our schedule slows down and we can celebrate with our new “neighbors,” the Millers!