Claudia & Dan

Claudia and Dan are such a fun loving couple and you really could tell throughout their entire wedding day. In their free time they enjoy grabbing drinks and doing fun activities like going to the arcade, bowling or painting. Their first date actually consisted of Dan picking Claudia up on his motorcycle, driving around town and going to Claudia's favorite sushi restaurant. They then drove to beach where they sat for hours and talked. Now if THIS isn't the ideal first date, I don't know what is!

getting ready & first look

We started off their day with Claudia getting ready and let me say... she looked like an absolute QUEEN. She actually purchased her dress and her daughter's dress from Etsy. No need to go to a bridal shop because this dress really spoke for itself and truly was one of a kind. While Claudia was getting ready, Dan was getting ready with his groomsmen not too far away. Actually... they were both getting ready at the Westin in Southfield, Detroit. This hotel was their reception space as well!

After finishing up getting ready, it was time for their first look. We headed downstairs to this incredibly beautiful garden atrium attached to the hotel. Trust me, this wasn't just some ordinary hotel. This garden atrium is actually where we did their first look, portraits & reception. Dan first did a first look with Claudia's daughter which was the absolute cutest thing I have ever seen. Claudia then came down the steps and surprised Dan with her insanely beautiful dress and to say he was speechless would be an understatement. They both look amazing next to each other and first looks are seriously one of my favorite moments throughout the whole wedding day.


Once we finished with their first look, we decided to take advantage of this gorgeous space with some portraits. Like I said before, this atrium seriously took your breathe away. It almost transported you into another world which I loved and I just couldn't believe all of this was inside this hotel. A 10/10 experience and would highly recommend for any couple looking for a wedding venue space in Michigan.

We didn't want to use up too much time there, so we headed to our next portrait location which was the Z Parking Garage. Now if you're familiar with my work, you know that I LOVE this spot. It's definitely a fan favorite and I love being able to bring my couples here. It's an open space where you really can run around, be goofy and have fun while having some amazing views of Downtown Detroit.

The rest of the wedding party was waiting for us in the party bus downstairs. After spending about 10 minutes on the Z Parking Garage rooftop, we made our way back to the bus to meet with the rest of the wedding party. We then were on our way for these two lovebirds to finally get married - yay!!

ceremony & Wedding portraits

Claudia and Dan had their ceremony at Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit. Everything about this church had my jaw immediately drop to the floor. The architecture inside and out, the decor, the ambiance... quite literally everything. Of course before stepping inside, I had Claudia and Dan take a few photos outside the church because it was just too beautiful NOT to. The ceremony was just as magical as you could expect. Claudia and Dan had actually written their own personal vows and decided to say them to each other while at their hotel. When the ceremony came around, they said their traditional ceremonial vows.

After the ceremony, we went outside to finish out some portraits with Claudia, Dan and their wedding party! The green velvet dresses that the bridesmaids wore were out of this world. Surprisingly, the maid of honor wore a black dress which was so fun & different! This is for all you couples wanting to do something different, but are scared to - just do it! Your wedding day is all about you, so you should make it how you want it. Don't be afraid to be different :)

fairytale garden wedding in detroit

Since it was quite cold on this day, we finished through with the wedding party portraits back onto the party bus back to to the Westin Hotel for the reception! The reception decor within the garden atrium was just as beautiful as you could imagine. Everything came together so perfectly and because the ceiling was covered in windows, we were able to catch the gorgeous blue hour sky behind us. We finished off the night with some cake cutting and of course... bustin' some moves on the dance floor. What's a wedding without a good dance party, right?

If you loved this Fairytale Garden Wedding in Detroit, then you're going to love this Michigan Wedding at Brengman Brothers Winery.

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 Claudia & Dan's photoshoot puts a spark in you, you know where to click <——— right there!


Photography: Photos By Gayle

Wedding Planner: Shana Shamon @ The Westin

Videographer: Jenna Pomaville

DJ/Music: Tech 3 Productions

Cake/Desserts: Cupcakes & Kisses

Caterer: Westin Hotel

Bridal Dress: Salon Kuraje

Tuxedo: Presidential Tux

Ceremony Site: Basilica of Sainte Anne de Detroit

Reception Site: Westin Hotel

Invitations: 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!