Surrounded by colorful trees and their closest friends and family, Emily and Marcus said yes to forever during their wedding at Tandale Nature Barn in Brighton, Michigan. Tandale Nature Barn is a modern barn amidst rustic surroundings that even features a treehouse you can stay in for the wedding night.
The weather and scenery were perfect for the fall ambiance the couple was hoping for. The trees were just starting to change color and it wasn't freezing. Emily looked stunning in her floral lace wedding dress. She got ready with her mom and bridesmaids before meeting Marcus for their first look. Beneath the delicately falling leaves, Marcus was eager to see his bride. After soaking each other in, Marcus and Emily explored the wooded grounds with their wedding party, and with the beautiful fall weather, it was like taking a casual walk in the park with friends, just in fancier clothes.
Marcus and Emily's wedding ceremony was held outside and officiated by a family friend. Emily was walked down the aisle by her dad to join Marcus in front of a wooden geometric arch adorned with beautiful flowers. For the sake of tradition, Emily's dad shared a few words with Marcus before giving his daughter away. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktail hour outside before heading into the barn for dinner and dancing. Emily and Marcus made their grand entrance and cut their delicious tiered bundt cake. They included their dog Winston in the cake decor and cocktail napkins, which were both so cute! Next was their first dance together and they had a choreographed dance prepared that was easily one of the best choreographed dances I've ever seen. It was so much fun to watch and you could tell they were both having a great time.
Inside the barn, all of the details and decor came together beautifully. Hues of fall colors throughout made the modern barn feel cozy and welcoming. The barn also features string lights across the ceiling so you feel like you're dancing beneath the stars. There were so many sentimental touches that Emily and Marcus incorporated throughout their day. Marcus wore a watch that was his father's, and Emily held a handkerchief that belonged to her great great great grandmother, which might be the oldest personal item I've ever photographed. We even recreated a wedding photo of Marcus' dad. In the original photo, Marcus' dad is shown surrounded by his groomsmen and family getting ready for his big day. Since his dad passed a couple of years ago, having him recreate this photo with his own groomsmen and family was a beautiful way to honor him and have his spirit included in a few wedding photos, even though physically he couldn't be there.
After dinner, Emily and her dad shared a dance which was also choreographed and Marcus shared a dance with his Aunt Paula. There was so much love and family presence throughout the day. As the bride and groom thanked everyone for coming, Marcus mentioned that he was prepared to be emotional and feel the sadness that rightfully would accompany this day without his parents. Instead, he noticed that all he felt was joy, especially when he was Emily walking down the aisle; it was the most joy he has felt in years. It was a beautiful testament to the love Emily and Marcus share and the support they've received from their loved ones during a difficult few years.
During dinner, I briefly stole Emily and Marcus away to catch the last bit of sunset through the trees, the sun and golden leaves made for a beautiful scene. I know all too well how quickly the day can fly by and soaking up the first moments of newlywed bliss shouldn't be reserved for only the honeymoon so I love giving my couples a moment away from everything to take it all in. As a couple, Emily and Marcus have grown stronger through the challenges life has brought in recent years. It was important to them that all the love and emotions of the day be captured, both happy and bittersweet. When I look at the photos from their day, I see a spectrum of emotions but overall, two people madly in love who I feel so fortunate to have met.
Thank you Emily and Marcus for trusting me to document your special day! I am wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness together!
All my love,