Mary & Jake

Mary, Jake and I actually attended the same high school. Even though they are a few years younger than me, I knew of them and was so excited when they reached out for me to shoot their wedding!

Getting Ready & First Look

To start off the day I met up with Mary, her daughter and her bridesmaids at Bay Court Park in Waterford, MI. A lot of people use this park to take photos, but with good reason because this park is BEAUTIFUL! We took a few portraits with all of them and some solo photos with Mary and her daughter. It seriously was the best and it was nice having some fun girl time before heading to the ceremony.

Prior to leaving, Mary really wanted to do a first look but NOT with Jake. She actually chose to do a first look with the groomsmen, which I thought was so much fun. Most of the time couples choose to do a first look with each other, but since Mary grew up with most of Jake's friends it seemed only fitting. This is your sign that you don't always need to do a traditional first look with your partner, but it can also be with your wedding party as well!

Summer Wedding in Waterford

After finishing up at the park, we then made our way to Our Lady of the Lakes for their ceremony. Fun fact: that is actually where me and my husband, Joe, got married too! Mary and Jake opted out of a first look and decided to build up the anticipation for Mary walking down the aisle. I actually didn't realize until arriving that the priest who officiated Mary & Jake's wedding, Father Brian, was the same priest who officiated mine. It was such a full circle moment and due to certain circumstances, I thought I would never see him again. I immediately became emotional and started tearing up, but the happy tears... you know? Mary and Jake had a traditional Catholic wedding and they even had their daughter as the flower girl which was just the cutest thing ever.

Portraits

Once the ceremony was done, we made our way back to Bay Court Park to continue taking portraits. One spot in particular where I see everyone taking photos is this building within the park with beautiful archways. What many people don't get to see is the inside of this building, so fortunately for us we got the inside scoop. At the time we were taking portraits, we actually ran into the parks maintenance worker. He stumbled upon everyone in their wedding attire and offered to unlock the doors for us to enter the building - NEVER BEFORE SEEN! Of course we jumped on the opportunity and made our way inside where we were greeted with gorgeous twinkling lights that covered the ceiling. It was a prime location for their wedding portraits and really made the day that much more magical, which I thought was pretty cool.

Reception at Boulder Pointe

Once we finished with portraits, it was then time for the reception! Their reception was at Boulder Pointe Golf Club, a gorgeous location filled with greenery and TONS of space. Filled with so much joy and laughter, it seriously was the best time. We enjoyed a beautiful moment of Mary and Jake during their first dance as newlyweds. Jake even brought his daughter onto the dance floor to dance with her which at this point I was almost balling. Her little heart soared and was having such a fun time being the center of attention with her dad. One thing I have noticed over this past year is that every time I mention a garter toss, almost everybody cringes. What once was a fun tradition has now seemingly become outdated. However, for Mary and Jake this tradition flew high because Mary really wanted to have a garter toss during her reception for the sole purpose of ICING Jake with a Smirnoff Ice. The idea was brilliant and executed perfectly, he didn't see it coming.

To end the night, we really wanted to incorporate a grand sparkler exit. While Mary & Jake's wedding guests went outside to prep their sparklers, I stayed behind with the two lovebirds for their final dance of the night. It was such a peaceful and special moment just for the two of them and it almost was if time stood still. As Mary and Jake exited the venue, they were greeted with sparklers! Pro tip: I HIGHLY recommend getting the sparklers that are a bit longer in length. They last a lot longer than traditional sparklers and if you need to photograph the grand exit a few times, that eliminates the possibility of them running out too quickly! The day was an absolute dream and I feel so humbled and honored to have been there for Mary and Jake during this special time in their life. Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Oh and if you loved this Summer Wedding in Waterford, then you're going to love this Summer Detroit Wedding!

Photos By Gayle does more than just take photos of people. Rather, it is capturing moments of LOVE and HAPPINESS. Singing to the skies, dancing in a field, smiles that hurt because they’re so big. There is nothing else I would rather be doing than photographing these unique details that make you and your significant other a couple. If Mary + Jake's photoshoot puts a spark in you, you know where to click <——— right there!

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Photography: Photos by Gayle

Videographer: Galaxy X Media

Cake: The Bakery Waterford

Caterer/Reception Site: Boulder Pointe

Ceremony Site: Our Lady of the Lakes

Dress: David's Bridal

Tuxedo: Men's Wearhouse

Invites: Zazzle

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I am a Destination Elopement Photographer who specializes in weddings, engagements, elopements, and boudoir. I love to travel to new places so if you are looking for a photographer for any of these events, please contact me here and I will be more than happy to get you started on some beautiful photos of your own!