Heather and Michael

A white dress, intricately covered in lace, waited for its bride inside St. Catherine of Siena.

The beautiful bride, Heather, was ready with a bouquet of summer flowers on a warm sunny day.

Michael, the day’s main man, was surrounded by friends as he prepared for the ceremony.

Lilies and roses added a touch of color

to the hue of the ladies’ dresses.

The ceremony was breathtaking.

After the ceremony, we headed over the the Lawton Heritage Community Center for a perfect reception filled with moments to remember.

Superman cuff links.

We headed indoors where it was, thankfully, much cooler.

One of the bridesmaids made sure luck would be on their side by placing a penny in her shoe. There was no tape to be found, so stickers were used. At the end of the night, the penny was still in place.

Heather and Micheal, it’s true — you are awesome! View the rest of the online album here. I hope every day is as fun as your wedding day was.

Vintage Appeal

When I first met with Sarah to talk about her wedding plans, I was beyond excited. She and her fiance, Jonathan, both paid a great deal of attention to every last detail.

Her something blue.

White blossoms and peacock feathers.

The flowers.

The dress.

Everything came together perfectly.

They got ready for the big day at the fabulous Friendship Farm in Schoolcraft. The handsome groom, Jonathan, was tucked away inside a barn — the perfect spot for an intimate first look at the lovely Sarah.

I’ve had the pleasure of photographing at the farm before and love the outbuildings, covered porches and quaint gazebo surrounded by flowers. Sarah and Jonathan both looked amazing.

Sarah and her sisters. Gorgeous (and extremely nice).

The wedding party kept the entire day relaxing and fun.

Sarah and Jonathan shared a final kiss before heading off to the fun.

The transportation fit the tone and swept them off to the beautiful Lawton Heritage Community Center for the ceremony and reception.

The ceremony was perfection.

We headed outside for a few more pictures while the guests enjoyed food stations throughout the Community Center.

Then, back indoors for some dancing and great company. We did steal a few minutes in between to have a little bit of fun when no one was looking.

I think this picture has made my list of all-time favorites.

Congratulations Sarah and Jonathan! View the rest of your online album here. I really enjoyed spending your special day with both of you, your friends and your wonderful families. May every day of your lives be filled with love.

What I’m Growing

As long as I’ve known them, my parents have gardened. When I was little, my mom used to gather up the veggies and fruits on the hottest days of summer. She would heat up the kitchen of our little house as she canned and preserved them so they would last us a while.

Some of my fondest memories were of my mom with her long brown hair flowing out from under a kerchief tied around her head to keep the sun off while she kneeled in the dirt pulling and picking. At a very early age, she taught me how to plant things. I remember studying the seeds before we put them in the earth, covered them and added water. The corn seeds were my favorites because they were hard and wrinkly like plastic corn except they were real and full of sleeping life. As I poked them into the ground just below the surface I wondered if they would grow.

My father had grapes–purple, white, green, and red. He harvested them in the fall and my brother and I would stomp them in containers until the juices ran out. He would add lots and lots of sugar and with some knowledge and what seemed like magic, he would make grape juices and wines.

My husband and I have talked about gardening for years. We considered containers and discussed things for our larger than average back yard at the time. When we took our boys to visit my parents, they would instantly head out to the garden to see what was growing. They had-sleep overs where they would help pick orange, red and green things to eat.

So, it was inevitable that we would start a garden the minute we had space to do so. I still don’t have painting done and some walls have holes that need patching and bathrooms are missing sinks and mirrors, but we have a garden!

We spend a great deal of time out here beyond the entrance gate.

My boys, now 6 and 3, helped me plant. They help me water. They help me weed.

They check on the progress more than I do and run back to offer a report on what is growing.

Today we harvested our very first–four jalapeno peppers. Much more is on the way. I have vowed that we will eat or use everything that grows. So, I will be looking up some new veggie recipes soon.

This is my favorite section of the garden:

It was recently full of these:

They turned into lovely orange blooms and will soon grow into pumpkins. We planted two different varieties and there are blossoms upon blossoms. If everything goes well, we are going to be up in our eyeballs with carving pumpkins this year!

The boys also like to be in the garden because there are lots of interesting things to be found under leaves and in the dirt.

I like to be out there with them because I hope in some way I’m passing on something to them that they will one day remember with a special warmth in their hearts as time spent together growing veggies along with memories of us. I hope they are taking with them a fondness for the earth and a small sense of what it’s capable of. I like to think we are growing people in our garden.

Erika and Bryan

The wedding of Erika and Bryan was held on a Friday in early summer after months of planning and excitement about the big day.

When I first arrived to get pictures of the ladies getting ready, I noticed the feeling was one of calm with a sense of peace that the day was finally upon us. Erika was surrounded by friends and family who were all ready to pitch in and help make the day a perfect memory.

Erika had spent months planning each detail such as her colors and flowers.

And picking her perfect dress.

And anticipating the day.

The ladies were beautiful on the lawns at the Kalamazoo Country Club.

Where they would later come together to celebrate their wedding at a very fun reception filled with loved-ones.

The gentlemen were ready for the day and looking quite stunning in their attire.

Erika and Bryan couldn’t stop radiating happiness throughout the day.

The entire wedding party was wonderful to work with. I thoroughly enjoyed being around each of them.

We headed off to the Covenant United Reformed Church for the ceremony which was held in the evening and made for the perfect start to a memorable evening which ended back at the country club.

Congratulations Erika and Bryan! You guys are amazing. I enjoyed every moment of your special day. View the rest of your online album here.

June Backyard Flowers

I’m finding myself very busy and in the middle of the wedding season. But, I also want to capture pictures of the flowers in my yard to save for the cold winter months when I have more time to play with them. Hopefully they’ll help remind me of warmer days. I keep trying to take a few minutes out of my weekends to take the camera outside and gather these things for later use.

Here are a few, then back to weddings for me.