If I had to describe Morgan and Justin's wedding day in 3 words it would be, heartfelt, genuine, and sincere. Not only did they pick one of the most gorgeous wedding venues in Michigan (The Blue Dress Barn.) Their day was laced with special details and touching moments.
I didn't know them prior to booking, but we immediately hit it off. I was lucky enough to shoot not only their wedding day but their engagements and a special Christmas session where Justin surprised Morgan with a puppy! I am incredibly honored to have captured not one, but three huge milestones for the Giola's, and can't wait to see what their future holds!
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Their gorgeous wedding day took place on October 2, 2021. We were blessed with warm temperatures and slightly overcast skies that created stunning light and shadows throughout the day (A.K.A. a photographer's dream.) The grounds of The Blue Dress Barn feature a beautiful backdrop of mature trees and lush landscaping, along with a unique, eclectic bridal suite.
The morning was relaxed and the vibes were high as Morgan got ready with her trusted crew of bridesmaids. They wore matching taupe rompers alongside Morgan in white. On the other side of the venue, Justin and the boys poured drinks and shared toasts in honor of the soon-to-be newlyweds. We snapped a few photos before I headed back to Morgan for a pop of champagne and the final dress change.
Getting Ready & Champagne Toasts
Emotional Bridal Suite Moment
Emily's sister stepped in to help Morgan into her wedding dress as unfortunately, their mother had passed away a few years back. It was a beautiful, emotional, and very touching moment for the two of them. I was holding back tears behind the camera. It was important to everyone to make sure that their mother's presence was felt that day. And both families contributed amazing efforts to honor her memory.
After everyone was in their wedding attire and the final touch-ups had been made, it was time for Morgan to reveal herself as a bride. First looks are one of my favorite parts of a wedding day because each reaction is unique and priceless. Morgan looked absolutely beautiful and her dress was jaw-dropping, to say the least! We did a first look with the bridesmaids, Morgan's father, and then with Justin. We also did a first look with the groom and his mother which was incredibly sweet!
Bridesmaid First Look
Father-Daughter First Look
Mother-Son First Look
Bride and Groom First Look
I always recommend that my couples do a first look because it helps to ease any nerves, gives you a private moment together before the ceremony, and allows us to capture bride and groom portraits while your hair and makeup are fresh.
Bride and Groom Portraits
The ceremony was beautiful perfectly orchestrated by their pastor. Morgan and her dad have a special handshake that they performed just before walking down the aisle which was such a fun addition to the ceremony. Everyone stood and was smiling ear to ear as they gracefully walked towards Justin. Each of them exchanged personal vows and locked them in a box before officially being announced, husband and wife. It was such a sweet moment for everyone involved as these two have been together for nearly 10 years!
Honoring Morgan's Mom
As mentioned previously, there were many ways that Morgan's mom was honored throughout the day. She attached a small family pin and locket-sized image of her mom on her bouquet and displayed photos of her at the ceremony and reception. I also secretly reached out to Morgan's sister before the wedding for photos of their parents on their wedding day and tried to replicate some of those images for Morgan to treasure.
After the ceremony, everyone made their way into the barn for dinner and drinks. Morgan's dad surprised them with funny and meaningful gifts and gave an incredible speech. He had everyone laughing and tearing up as he gave tribute to his late wife. She loved Justin and Morgan together and mentioned how proud she would be of them.
The reception featured a barbecue-style buffet with donuts in lieu of cake. There was lots of dancing, singing, drinking and just a good time celebrating with all of their loved ones. Morgan and her dad the dancing with a slow song that turned into an upbeat choreographed number. It was epic! The DJ had everyone up out of their seats with all the best early 2000's songs like, "Hey Now Hey Now" from the Lizzie McGuire movie.