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Inspiration, advice, ideas and quality vendors for couples looking to plan their unique and personalized wedding.

New York Proposal

Posted on Feb 28, 2017 in Featured, Real Weddings | 0 comments

What could be better than a proposal in New York? A proposal in New York…in the snow! Just when I saw Anja & Marek walk up to the Gapstow Bridge, big snowflakes started to fall out of the sky. It was like a scene from a movie when Marek went down on his knee to propose. Anja was over the moon as you can see from the photos. Afterwards the three of us spend some time in the park & because of the snow the park was pretty empty that day which helped us to capture some beautiful memories for them. We ended the day at Grand Central for some city shots before these two walked into their new life together.

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Photographer:  Sascha Reinking Photography//Reception Venue:Central Park, Gapstow Bridge//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Snow White Inspired Vow Renewal

Posted on Feb 14, 2017 in Featured, Stylized Shoots | 0 comments

Once upon a time…

Shari & Kyle have been together over 6 years & other than their wedding they have never had professional photos taken together. Being a hopeless romantic at heart, Shari loves any story about true love, including all fairytales, her favorite being Snow White. Knowing this, I suggested we do a mini vow renewal inspired by the story of Snow White instead of just a simple couple’s session. Incorporating trends occurring with today’s weddings, we created a whimsical story of Shari & Kyle’s own personal fairy tale. Shari donned a backless Allure gown & carried a Marsala toned bouquet.

The natural landscape of the snow & tall pine trees created the perfect setting while Just Lovely Weddings & Events created a charming ceremony backdrop out of gold leaves & red apples. Little red hearts inspired by the huntsman aspect of the story, strung in the trees just in time for Valentine’s Day. All in all it was a perfect day & Shari & Kyle said they had a great time recreating this classic story.

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Photographer:  Maura Jane Photography//Dress Store: Bridal Elegance by Darlene//Makeup Artist: c Johnson makeup//Equipment Rentals:Garcia’s Tents//Design & Decor: Just Lovely Wedding & Event Planning LLC//Cake Designer: New Mexico Pie Company//Floral Designer:Something Special with Flowers//Tuxedo & Mens Attire: Suits Unlimited//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Wedding

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 in Featured, Real Weddings | 0 comments

“Do you believe in soul mates?” A question I asked my childhood best friend after a short time of feeling an inner connection between Brad & myself that was undeniable. A connection that I hadn’t ever felt before…it was like a magnet. Our feelings led us together after a few short months. We knew early on that we would spend the rest of our lives together, but marriage was not necessarily in the equation.

“Will you marry me?” asked Brad one evening while casually enjoying dinner. Not taking him seriously, & thinking he was half joking, I smiled & said, “I love you, honey.” From that day forward, Brad asked me to marry him just about every…single…day! For almost two years, my reaction to his heart warming question was the same…. “I love you, honey!” We were both previously married with 4 beautiful children between us. Our kids were our focus & I wanted it to stay that way. I felt that nothing would change between committing our lives together & being officially married. As time went on, our connection & commitment grew stronger & stronger. The thought of marriage started to settle in & what I once thought would be a distraction for my kids, actually transformed into an example of love. And instead of following my mind, I began to follow my heart. The same heart that felt the magnetic connection to Brad, the same heart that my children felt safe in, & the same heart that God was speaking to me through.

On January 16, 2015, my answer to Brad’s question changed. We were on a getaway with friends at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island. As we were getting ready for an evening out, Brad turned to me with a sparkle in his eye & asked his classic question…. “Will you marry me?” …this time, on one knee with a ring in hand. With a beating heart, I quickly said yes to becoming Brad’s wife. Exactly one year later, we said “I do” on the Grand Lawn at The Sanctuary.

Joining us were our most favorite people in the world. Our four children, & 40 of our closest family & friends. The people who have supported us during good times & bad, never judged, opened their hearts & accepted us for who we were. Our small gathering was magical & what we believed to have been God’s plan. We have committed to live our lives together by these words, “Love is patient & kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, & it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, & endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT

Among our guests was Brad’s younger brother, David. As kids they battled regularly, but today; David is battling for his life. Three months before our wedding David was diagnosed with a glioblastoma; stage 4 brain cancer. After immediate surgery, weeks of radiation & chemotherapy & coupled with several visits to Duke Medical Center, David was determined to be there for us. A selfless example of love & brotherhood that we will cherish forever. Together with their two youngest brothers, Donald & Bob, all four wore hats to honor their hero. “Hat’s on” to the most courageous & determined brother.

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Photographer:  Pasha Belman Photography //Apparel: Nyoni Couture//Hair Stylist: BOND Beauty//Calligrapher: Kristen Henderson Calligraphy//Design & Decor: Ooh! Events//Floral Designer:Out Of Hand Florist//Shoes:Prada//Event Venue: The Sanctuary//Invitation Designer:Wedding Paper Divas//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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New Year’s Eve – Henry Ford Museum

Posted on Dec 30, 2016 in Featured, Real Weddings | 0 comments

You couldn’t ask for a more unique soiree – a New Year’s Eve wedding inside of the Henry Ford Museum. Guests in black tie attire, dancing under the Spirit of St Louis, & mingling throughout a plethora of antique cars. A perfect evening topped off with a perfect kiss at midnight.

The whole day was a classy & beautiful affair. The bride & her bridesmaids got ready at the established Townsend Hotel in Downtown Birmingham, arguable Metro Detroit’s finest hotel. The bridal party looked like they walked off of a runway; they were all gorgeous. Donning simple black dresses, the served as the perfect compliment to Melissa’s stunning white dress.

Melissa & Matt were highschool sweethearts, having been together for over 10 years. Melissa, a salon owner & stylist, made sure that no detail was overlooked. They got married at Our Holy Name, another landmark of Birmingham Michigan. Their black-tie reception was held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. A unique venue where guests can sample gourmet meats & hors d’oeuvres while roaming through a collection of American artifacts & classic cars. The dining area was located at the main atrium & was christened with a 40 foot Christmas tree. Candlelight gently illuminated the room & highlighted the warmth of the decor. The first dances had the perfect backdrop – The Spirit of St. Louis – dangling overhead. The guests partied until midnight, when many of them enthusiastically shared a kiss. At the clock struck 12:00, Matt & Melissa dipped, sharing a passionate embrace, which was frozen in time with a series of photos. Overall, it was one of the most elegant & memorable weddings I have ever shot.

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Photographer:  BTW Photography//Dress Store:Bridal Couture//DJ:Double Trouble DJ’s//Cake Designer: Holiday Market//Floral Designer: Parsonage Events//Transportation: Rochester Limousine//Reception Venue:The Henry Ford Museum//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Mount Norquay Session

Posted on Nov 5, 2016 in Featured, Real Weddings | 0 comments

From the Photographer: With above zero temperatures, the warm sun, mountain air & two people in love, it really was the picture perfect day. We hiked to the frozen waterfalls of Johnson’s Canyon, slid down a snow covered hill to giant icicles below, & climbed up on top of the world at Mount Norquay to capture the most epic of engagement photos.

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Photographer:  Alicia Nicole Wopereis Photography//Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Bohemian Destination Wedding – Elbow Cay, Bahamas

Posted on Nov 2, 2016 in Featured, Real Weddings | 0 comments

From the Bride: We chose to have our wedding on Elbow Cay because we are both beach babies & feel a very strong connection to the ocean! The beach is place that brings us so much happiness & peace. We wanted the sand & the sea to be an integral part of our wedding, & were so excited to make our commitment to each other with all of our loved ones there, & with the waves rolling in beside us. We wanted a laid-back, beach vibe for our wedding, & looked into many places, both in the U.S. & abroad. As we focused in on what we really wanted, Elbow Cay became the clear choice. Our first trip to the Abaco Islands was for our friends’ wedding on Guana Cay in 2010. Elbow Cay was one of the islands we explored while on that trip, & we fell in love with it. The only mode of transportation is by golf cart, bicycle or foot. It’s a small island (only 6 miles long & ½ mile wide at the widest point), but there’s SO much to do – world-class snorkeling & scuba diving, fishing, surfing at Garbanzo Beach (one of the only surf breaks in the Bahamas), walking around the settlement of Hopetown, climbing to the top of the Elbow Reef Lighthouse, sunbathing on the spectacular pink sand beaches, & of course, just relaxing or reading in the shade.

Our ceremony took place on the (east) Atlantic side of the island, behind a private residence that my (the bride’s) family rented. The ocean color is absolutely breathtaking – many different shades of vibrant turquoise – & so clear, you can see the ocean floor at 30 feet! We had a dear friend, Udi, officiate our ceremony, which we wanted to be very personal, meaningful, & spiritual (rather than religious). He first led an arrival meditation to get everyone centered & present. And later read a quote by Rumi (the Sufi poet), & a passage from one of my favorite books, “Gift from the Sea.” Nature is where Pauly & I find spirituality, & it was essential to acknowledge that. Pauly & I walked down to the ocean by ourselves in the middle of the ceremony, & had a quiet moment together, standing in the water. That allowed us to really be in the present moment, & take in the powerful experience that was happening, all while the salt water lapped at our feet. The ocean was physically a part of our ceremony – it was perfect! We also love to laugh & play, so we “rock-paper-scissored” to see who would say their vows first. Pauly won! We asked the band’s lead singer & guitarist to play Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up” towards the end of our ceremony. Everyone danced & sang along. It was really sweet – such a fun memory!

Pauly & I arrived to the reception via boat (our friend graciously captained us in on his). The reception was held at Firefly Sunset Resort, on the (west) Sea of Abaco side of the island. We had fresh conch salad, baked spiny lobster, Caribbean seafood stew, cornmeal conch fritters, Bahamian mac & cheese, pecan-crusted hog fish, jerk chicken & grilled veggies. Willis & the Illest Reggae Band played at our reception. They are the best reggae band in the Bahamas, & we flew them over from their hometown of Nassau. They put on a fantastic performance & had people dancing well into the night!

From the bride: We met in Colorado through a mutual friend. We had seen each other at many Boulder reggae shows, but never really knew each other. We were chatting one night & realized we would both be in Florida over the upcoming holidays, because both of our parents live there (this was in 2006). A few days after Christmas, I drove over to Pauly’s mom’s house to meet up. We went to the beach in Jupiter, to a bar to meet up with some of his friends, & then to another friend’s apartment in West Palm. As the night went on, we both felt something more than “just friends” was beginning. I remember thinking to myself, “Huh! This guy is really interesting – & pretty cute!” That night of hand-holding & a little kissing had us anticipating the time when we would both be back in Colorado a few weeks later. Once we were together again, our connection grew very quickly. It was clear that we were a great match for each other. I really feel that our relationship works so well because not only do we love each other, but we genuinely like each other too! Each day feels like a fun adventure together. We have a print up on the wall (it appropriately has nautical-feeling font & an anchor) that reads “The Adventure Begins”, & we thought this would be a fitting theme for our wedding.

Pauly proposed on that same beach in Jupiter where we had first spent time 7 years (to the day!) later. We went out to dinner at our favorite seafood spot, & then he grabbed a bottle of (what I thought was) wine & headed to the beach. He started saying all of these sweet things that he loves about me & said “and that’s why I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me?” “What? What? Oh my gosh! Really?” was my response, while jumping up & down. “Does that mean yes?” he asked. “Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” And that’s when he pulled out the bottle & said, “By the way, this isn’t wine, it’s champagne!” We sat on the beach, looking up at the stars, toasting to a new adventure.Pauly has a crazy-good sense of humor, & he makes me laugh every day! He is such a compassionate, loving, & giving person. And did I mention that he’s funny?!?!

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Photographer:  David Lynn Photography//Dress Store: Boca Raton Bridal & Consultants//Floral Designer: Buds N Blooms//Bakery: Cakes for the Occasion//Reception Venue: Firefly Sunset Resort//Band:Willis & the Illest //Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. - Phil 4:13