Sam and Sarah's modern classic wedding in Michigan exuded feelings of romance, friendship, happiness, and good vibes. Their contagious smiles echoed through their guests and loved ones all day. With 3 stunning locations- including the brand new wedding venue Leona Rd in Grand Rapids, and an epic party bus I knew I was in for a memorable day!
Sarah was referred to me by her sister Emily, a talented HMUA and fellow wedding creative. Emily and I have worked many weddings together throughout the years and instantly clicked as both vendors and friends. When Sarah reached out, I was beyond thrilled to be able to capture such a special day for a sweet couple and friend.
Getting Ready Moments at the Embassy Suites
Sarah and her girls started the day at the Embassy Suites in downtown Grand Rapids- a newer hotel with modern features and tons of natural light. Sarah went all out spoiling her bridal crew with matching pink PJs personalized with the girls' names. Each beauty was done up to the nines by the skilled hair and makeup team (which included Emily behind the chair working her magic on Sarah's bridal updo.) The guys were equally as spoiled with custom koozies and liquor bottle decanter favors at the bar!
We took full advantage of the gorgeous glass staircase for bride and groom portraits which ended up being some of my favorite shots of the day! I love utilizing staircases to showcase bridal gowns and long trains, and this one definitely did the trick. The couple also wanted a few photos on their balcony overlooking the city and some spicy elevator photos too!
Emotional First Looks
Once everyone was wedding day ready, we did a first look with Sarah's bridesmaids and father. Everyone's reaction was incredibly sweet and emotional. And per request, we also did a first look with the groom's sisters which was such a super fun addition! A first look, whether with your partner, bridesmaids, parents, siblings, etc. creates such a special memory to look back on for everyone involved.
Catholic Ceremony at the St. Sebastian Church
After first looks, we headed to the St. Sebastian Catholic Church for the ceremony portion of the day. The chapel was absolutely stunning with stained glass windows, cool stone archways, and plenty of seating for their guests. The couple opted for a traditional catholic ceremony which included a full mass and communion to honor their family's religious beliefs. Both sets of parents were beaming with pride and happy tears throughout the entire service.
Wedding Day Portraits
Once the couple was officially pronounced husband and wife, we snapped a few portraits at the altar and downtown Grand Rapids before piling into the party bus to our final location, Leona Rd. This unique venue used to be an old primary school called Leonard Elementary (hence the name Leona Rd which spells Leonard!) After undergoing renovation, it now serves as a beautiful wedding venue with a colorful modern design that cohesively matched Sarah's style and aesthetic. Inside the venue features a wooden accent wall which made the perfect backdrop for family formal photos.
Cocktail Hour at Leona Rd
Cocktail hour consisted of specialty drinks, charcuterie, delicious appetizers, desserts, and a lively atmosphere for guests to mingle and catch up. The groom's sister Kailey happens to be an incredible designer who helped curate the tablescapes and decor and she did not miss a beat! Every last detail was gorgeous. It was so cool to see family members in the wedding industry working their magic on such an important day while simultaneously fulfilling their wedding party duties and celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs.
Sam and Sarah were the second event ever hosted at this venue which made it feel even more special. The owner made sure everything was perfect for them, and it truly was. During the wedding party entrances, the groom's sister had everyone in tears from laughter when she "ICED" random people in the crowd, A.K.A forcing them to chug a Smirnoff Ice right then and there! It set the stage for an unforgettable night of celebration with dinner, drinks, dancing, and celebrating the happy newlywed couple.