05.10.14 – Joni and David – Orchard Lake Country Club (Orchard Lake, MI)

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Joni and David chose one of my favorite combinations for a church and reception venue when they selected Christ Church Cranbrook and Orchard Lake Country Club.  I live in Southern California, a block from the beach, and I honestly hope to never leave.  Originally a Michigander, however, if I ever moved back home, these two venues represent – in my opinion – the most beautiful area in the Detroit suburbs and where I would want to live.  Choosing these locations literally guarantees any bride and groom stunning backdrops for their wedding day. Both provide beautiful architecture as well as serene and lovely outdoor settings.  I have photographed the combination of these two venues in the past, and have always been more than pleased with the results.

Of course, documentary wedding photography is much more than photographing beautiful settings.  More than anything, documentary wedding photography is about two people, their families and friends, and photographing the unfolding story of the biggest day of their lives.  Joni and David’s wedding day had all of these ingredients and more!  They were fun, happy, emotional, deeply in love, and full of joy!  I was extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to be selected as their wedding day documentarian.  The photo opportunities were constant and plentiful and I could not be more pleased with the results.

This would be my first event working with wedding planner, Heather Bolley of Flourish Event Design.  Heather was in contact with me at least a month prior to the wedding and I could not give her higher praise! This day was as well organized as any I have been a part of!  The day for me began with photographing Joni and her bridal party getting ready at the Detroit Marriott Troy.  I arrived in time to capture Joni receiving a personal card from David.  My second photographer for this wedding, Isabella Leslie of Art Light Photography, started her day with David and the guys.  Isabella stepped in for my regular photographer and did and incredible job.  She has a terrific sense for capturing meaningful and sensitive moments and some of her work is represented in the highlights below.

From the hotel, we all headed over to Christ Church Cranbrook, with great care to make sure Joni and David did not accidentally bump into one another in the process.  The wedding contract was signed prior to the ceremony and the professional bagpiper was in full kilts waiting for his cue to do his thing for the processional.  After a full Episcopal mass, the couple were introduced for the first time as husband and wife and David and Joni led the recessional.  Formal portraits followed on the alter after the guest were on their way to cocktail hour and we had a few extra minutes outside of the church to capture some spontaneous, and slightly posed moments of the happy couple, before heading over to Orchard Lake Country Club in nearby Orchard Lake.

Orchard Lake Country Club is on the shores of one of southeastern Michigan’s prettiest residential lakes.  The setting begs for additional photos of the bride and groom if we have the time.  Doing extra portraits after the ceremony formals for any wedding often means that the couple will need to sacrifice participating in the cocktail hour. With a venue like this, it’s a sacrifice worth making! In the end, Joni and David were able to catch the tail end and share a few hugs with guests on the patio prior to the party moving inside for dinner.

The rest of the evening went flawlessly: the introductions, cake cutting, toasts, and formal dances were perfectly scheduled.  Enough time was left for me to hang out and get some extremely fun dancing photos of the guests who were well entertained by the talent People’s Choice Band.  You can see some of my favorites below as well as see my entire presentation of the highlight slideshow by clicking >>>>HERE<<<< Enjoy!

Of course, the day could not have been the success it was without the following expertise of some of Michigan’s finest wedding vendors:

Bakery: Orchard Lake Country Club

Beauty – Hair & Makeup: Configure Makeup Studio

Florist: Flourish Event Design Phone: (248) 594-3213

Bag Piper: Dave Martin

Entertainment: People’s Choice Band

Coordinator: Flourish Event Design – Heather Bolley

Rentals: Luxe Event Linen

Transportation: All Star Transportation

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