I have known Christina for a half dozen years now! Christina is the Social Events Manager at the Henry Ford and the friendly face that I always look forward to seeing whenever I am photographing a wedding at the museum or Lovett Hall. When Christina contacted me in the Fall to inquire about the possibility of my photographing her own wedding, I was thrilled! To say I was honored that she even thought of me is an understatement! Every once in a while I get the opportunity to photograph the wedding of a friend or family member, but Christina would be my first ever Event Planner! These were her very words to me: “I kind of can’t believe it still, but I am recently engaged! It feels surreal to be working with events and weddings and now starting to think about my own!” Not only can I not think of a person more deserving, but I was just as excited for her to know she found her “Mr. Right!”
I arrived in Detroit the day before the big event and was invited to meet up with the happy couple at a nearby pub where they were celebrating early with family and friends. I had not met Tom prior but knew he had to be a terrific guy to win the heart of Christina! Sure enough, Tom was as gracious and kind-hearted as I knew he would be! It was great to catch up with the two of them the night before their wedding and to meet some of their friends! It was also great to have a room provided for me at The Henry Hotel where I would get a great night sleep, wake up for room service in the morning and take the elevator to the floor below where I would begin photographing Christina and the girls getting ready for the big day!
The day was everything I knew it would be! Christina was beautiful! There was tons of emotion in the air, the January winter weather was cooperating, Lovett Hall was decorated to the nines…everything a photojournalist like myself could ask for! My second photographer, David Yarnall, provided photo coverage of Tom and the guys getting ready back at his and Christina’s residence. The guys, too, were in good spirits, and found time to get out on the street and replicate the famous Beetles’ Abby Road LP cover. Tom’s best man even shed his shoes for the photo opp! Soon afterward, Tom was on his way to the Henry Ford Museum clock tower where he would lay his eyes on his bride in waiting! Christina, patiently was standing on the second level as Tom entered the building and headed up the grand stair case. What a wonderful moment this was to photograph! David and I had two angles at a distance as the couple embraced and had an emotional moment to themselves!
A short walk through the museum, a few artful portraits utilizing the incredible architecture, archways, and chandeliers, and we met up with both families for formal group portraits in Lovett Hall, the location where the rest of the evening’s events would take place. As the guests arrived, the wedding party hid upstairs and out of sight. Last minute adjustments were made with Christina and her veil. My photo team took advantage of the extra time, getting a sneak peek and photographing the exquisitely decorated ball room. Clearly, with one look, anyone in the business would know that the beautiful floral arrangements had the signature of the amazing Ralph Bellisario and the team of Bellisario Florists.
The ceremony was held in the main floor of Lovett Hall. Once the guests were seated, the moving ceremony was able to begin. It was led by Kensington Church minister Danny Cox. The processional of the bridal party began from the beautiful staircase that connects the main floor to the upstairs ballroom where the wedding party descended from. Both of Christina and Tom’s mothers led the processional and lit the two candles on the alter to be used for the unity candle later on in the ceremony. Tom followed with his son and daughter on each arm. The remainder of the party processed until all that remained was Christina. She walked down the stairs and was met by her mother, who escorted her through the center aisle leading to Tom. It was an emotional exchange as Christina’s mother hugged Tom and handed him her daughter’s hand.
After the ceremony, the guests cascaded upstairs to enjoy cocktail hour before being seated in the main ballroom. I joined Christina and Tom outside where a horse and carriage was waiting for them to give them a romantic tour around Greenfield Village. Prior to getting into the carriage, we were able to capture a few romantic portraits of the newly married and very happy couple! I left the couple to enjoy some personal time together and joined my team with the guests for the remainder of happy hour. Soon after, the grand entrance would follow and the celebration would begin for the newly weds! After introductions were made for the wedding party, the couple followed to rousing cheers of all their guests! Christina was first up on the microphone to welcome the guests and thank everyone who helped make the day so special! Toasts were then made by the Maid of Honor and Best Man , and a wonderful dinner was served.
It was an incredible wedding! One I will never forget as I was so very honored to participate in this beautiful event! It is always fulfilling to me to be able to capture beautiful moments for all of the weddings I photograph. To be able to photograph a dear friend, whom I have worked many events with as co-wedding professionals, and to see her so very, very happy, made this even more meaningful to me! Enjoy some of my favorite photos of the day by scrolling below. You can also see all my favorites set to music in a highlight slideshow by clicking >>>>HERE<<<<<