Because Kate and Mark live in Florida, I met Kate’s parents first at my Royal Oak showroom back in the Fall of 2013 for our first meeting. I don’t always book my clients without meeting the bride and groom first, but because of my documentary style and my familiarity with the church and reception venue, there was no time needed to finalize their decision. I was selected to be their wedding photographer that afternoon!
On one hand, I was honored and elated to find clients who love what I do and honor me by commissioning me to photograph the most important day of their lives. On the other hand, I felt a bit uncertain because I had not actually met the couple face to face. Even though my style allows for less interaction between us on the wedding day, it is helpful to break the ice and have some rapport before the wedding day. For Kate and Mark however, this concern would prove to be unnecessary because they were as fun and as an easy going of a couple one could meet. It didn’t matter one bit that their wedding day was the first day of our introduction because they quickly adapted to being photographed, and their fun-loving and happy-go-lucky personalities shined immediately.
The day began with my meeting Kate, her bridesmaids, her mother and soon-to-be mother-in-law at the Townsend Hotel in downtown Birmingham. The Townsend has beautifully decorated suites and are perfect settings for the bridal party to use for getting ready for the big day ahead. The girls already had their hair and makeup done, so they were waiting for me to get Kate into her dress. My associate photographer David Yarnall began with Mark and the men at the Homewood Suites in Troy.
We left the hotel within an hour or so of arrival and drove out to the high school campus of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in nearby Bloomfield Hills where the ceremony would be held in the school’s beautiful chapel. Sacred Heart is a favorite ceremony location with its beautiful architecture. It has a beautifully decorated private lounge where the bride often rests prior to the ceremony. The sanctuary itself has detailed and ornate woodwork throughout. The balcony in the rear of the sanctuary allows for a majestic photographic angle during the ceremony. The floral arrangements were gorgeous, as can be expected, from Blumz. After family portraits on the alter, I joined the wedding party on their bus that drove us back to downtown Birmingham for a few photos in front of the historic Birmingham Theater where Kate and Mark’s names were placed on the marquee. We did a few fun photos of the entire bridal party out in front of the theater and walking across the street before finally heading to the reception at the Reserve a few miles up the street.
The Reserve is a gem of a venue! It is classy, convenient and perfectly set up for a fun-filled wedding reception. I have photographed weddings there in the past and looked forward to returning again! The guests were still enjoying cocktail hour upon our arrival but were seated for the grand entrance shortly after. I had my first opportunity to work with the multi-talented DJ Nicholas Hardy of Elysium. Nicholas is an excellent Emcee, musician, DJ, and line dancer! I would highly recommend his service to anyone looking for a Grade A disc jockey and entertainer. I also had the pleasure of working with my good friend and videographer, Lee Thomas of Lee Thomas Films, whom I first met back in 2006. He is an exceptional artist behind the lens and always delights our shared clients with his masterful work. The night had all the festivities, from the grand entrance and toasts to the formal dances and bouquet toss. Nicholas kept the guests on the dance floor the whole night through and you can see some of the very fun party photos below. In fact, check out all the highlights on Kate and Mark’s highlight slideshow by clicking >>>>HERE<<<<