08.02.14 – Shannon and Ryan – Orchard Lake Country Club (Orchard Lake, MI)

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I first met Shannon and Ryan in person a year ago for an engagement photo session in downtown Birmingham.  We had such an enjoyable time together.  I remember them being a happy and fun-loving couple, but Shannon, in particular, was so excited and bubbly!  I remember thinking that day that Shannon reminded me of a former bride, Kaelyn, whose wedding I had photographed a couple years prior! The funny thing was that I had forgotten that Shannon and Kaelyn were very good friends and it was because I had photographed Kaelyn’s wedding that Shannon contacted me for hers!

I once read a book called “Book Yourself Solid.” The premise of this book was to be willing to turn down clients that are not a good fit for your personality and who don’t appreciate your individual style or product.  The point the author was making is that if you find couples who work well with you, who appreciate you and who you get along well with, they will in turn refer you to their friends and family (who, more than likely, share similar traits).  In time, you will not only be booked solidly on your calendar, but you will have “solid” clients who love you and want to give you more business. Since reading the book, I really keep these principals in mind and have found they work.  Kaelyn and Joe’s wedding was a highlight for the summer of 2012.  She, like Shannon, was a perfect bride for my style of photography:  happy, bubbly, excited, friendly and love with her man “Joe!”  My relationship with her and her family, lead me to meeting and photographing Shannon and Ryan.   How ironic that I thought of Kaelyn after meeting Shannon that day last year….and it’s no coincidence that Shannon and Ryan’s wedding was a perfect fit for me as their photographer.

Shannon and Ryan’s wedding day finally arrived!  We began with “getting ready” photos at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.  As usual, I had with me my assistant Nicole and my second photographer David.  The two of them make up my awesome team and are almost always with me on my Michigan weddings.  Nicole normally takes care of my equipment and helps me with lighting when needed. This year, however, I have set her free with a camera at specific times during the day when I don’t need her helping me with equipment.  During the “getting ready” part of the day, before the bride changes, Nicole photographs the bride’s dress , shoes and jewelry.  During Shannon and Ryan’s wedding, she also picked up a camera during the ceremony and reception, offering a third angle to David and I.  She is developing and excellent “eye” and I am very proud of her growth as a photographer!  Several of her photographs have made it into Shannon and Ryan’s highlight slideshow which you can view the by clicking >>>>>HERE<<<<<

The ceremony location was in the “stone chapel” of nearby St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church.  It is a beautiful location for a wedding ceremony and it is no wonder that it might be the most photographed church in Michigan.  As with most weddings here, Father Anthony Tocco presided over the ceremony.  He has kept a book of every couple he has married here over the decades, and faithfully prays for each of them!  By ceremony’s end, and before God and all the guests in attendance, Father “Tony” added one more couple to his book by pronouncing Shannon and Ryan to be “husband and wife!”  A memorable moment during the ceremony happened when the happy couple lit the “unity candle:”  Shannon and Ryan lit the candle, and in blowing out the two smaller candles, they accidentally blew out the unity candle!  The expression of horror on Shannon’s face is priceless!  I actually forgot that this had happened, because they responded quickly! Without flinching and smiles on their faces, they relit the candle!

After the ceremony, the celebration moved on to picturesque Orchard Lake Country Club.  We have photographed a couple of weddings here this year, as well as several others over the years, and it is always a favorite location. The clubhouse has a beautiful view overlooking Orchard Lake.  There is a large patio that is perfect for an outdoor cocktail hour.  Inside, there are elegant dining rooms and a large wood-finished dance floor.  The evening’s festivities began with the introduction of the wedding party onto the dance floor where all the guests were waiting.  That was followed by memorable speeches from Shannon’s father, Ryan’s best man, Shannon’s sister (maid of honor) and her brother.  Cutting the cake followed the speeches and dinner was served.  Entertainment was provided all night long by the legendary Jerry Ross Band, one of metro Detroit’s premier wedding bands!  They are jam-packed with musical talent and simply know how to keep the party at high energy!  When it was time for me to leave, the guests were still going strong on the dance floor!

It was a memorable wedding day from beginning to end! Shannon and Ryan’s had all-star cast of wedding vendors to make it happen, including:

Wedding Planning and Floral Design by A Moment In Time

Video by Fifth and Main Productions

Decor by Special Events Rentals

 

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