As the congregation sang the last song of Sunday church, a little girl and her father quietly slipped out early to head next door to the donut shop - a Sunday ritual in itself for Ericka and her Dad! Ericka would always pick out a colorful sprinkle donut and chocolate milk, and her Dad would ponder his selection before deciding on one particularly delicious looking donut.
On Ericka's wedding day, she planned a special surprise for her Dad. After Ericka's Mom and her Maid of Honor helped her into her stunning lace wedding gown, she took a deep breath and gathered herself for her Dad to enter the room. Ericka's Dad saw his beautiful daughter and at first he could only muster a smile and two thumbs up! Ericka and everyone in the room burst into laughter and then quiet tears at her Dad's reaction!
I could tell by the look in their eyes that a silent thought passed between them; "My little girl is getting married today." Ericka then gave her Dad a mug decorated with pictures of them together and the name of that little donut shop. Father and daughter then shared sprinkle donuts together before he walked her down the aisle to the other special man in her life; Mike.
Ericka's eyes lit up with love and excitement the moment she let go of her Dad's hand and exchanged it for Mike's at the alter. She gave her Dad and family one last look over her shoulder before the ceremony at the Grosse Pointe Academy Chapel began. There are so many reasons I loved working with Ericka and Mike, but I think their ability to make each other laugh, the patience and grace they give to each other, along with their laid-back personalities made photographing their wedding day so amazing!
Ericka and Mike - I feel incredibly blessed and honored to have been your wedding photographer and to be entrusted with capturing your authentic story. You both will forever remain near and dear to my heart and I wish you so much happiness, laughter, and amazing adventures together in your marriage!!
I hope you enjoy a few of my favorites from Ericka and Mike's wedding day!
Ericka did such an amazing job with planning her navy, blush, and gold wedding colors. Everything was classic, timeless, and subtle when it all came together!
Any bride who can wear heels for the majority of her wedding day is a rockstar in my mind! Ericka's Badgley Mishcka heels were so cute, but as soon as the reception started these beauties were off her feet in favor of some more comfy custom Michigan State sneakers! (And Mike being an Ohio State fan had to represent and wear team sneakers too!)
So pretty! The invitations had beautiful rose gold foil on a subtle navy background!
Isn't Ericka a gorgeous bride?!
Here is Ericka's Dad reacting to seeing her for the first time in her wedding gown! I believe that a double thumbs up is like getting a the 4-star movie rating.
I love this gesture of sharing donuts together so much and the CRAZY connection is that MY Dad and I used to have a similar donut shop ritual!! (My choice was always the glazed twisted donut though and my Dad enjoyed the maple donuts.)
Something that you might not know: While capturing the morning details it was like a hurricane outside the windows! As we arrived at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial, where Ericka and Mike were to share their first look, however, the clouds disappeared and the sun started shining - I can't even make this up!! The forecast looked bleak for the whole day, so we kept an eye on the clouds just in case, but because of their choice to do a first look we captured portraits in the beautiful natural light!!
The rain never did return in full force, but if it had and Ericka and Mike hadn't shared a first look, EVERY portrait would have had to have taken place inside. The rain would have been way too strong to even be on the arch lined porches!
One of the most anticipated moments of the day; when the groom sees the bride for the first time!
After the first look, we went straight into romantic portraits!
Ericka and Mike were such champs in the humid air!!
How precious are these little flower girls with their gold and white tulle dresses?!
The grounds surrounding the Grosse Pointe War Memorial provided a stunning backdrop for all the portraits, and there were so many different locations to choose from on this historical property!
Besides just being awesome people and sharing a first look, Ericka and Mike also opted to have an unplugged ceremony! They wanted to ensure that all of their closest friends and family were fully present and not watching through the camera on their phone but instead with their own eyes! A bonus on top of this is that the aisle isn't lined with phones or ipads!
I not only love photographing couples in a genuine, joyful way but my photographer heart also has a soft spot for details! The ladies over at Touch of Elegance Events and Designs did an amazing job bringing Ericka's vision to life!
About halfway through Ericka and her Dad's formal dance they invited up any other fathers and daughters in attendance. I thought was kind of a unique twist on this tradition!
Ericka's mom and her father (Ericka's grandfather) joined them.
The flower girls, encouraged by their dad, also joined in on the father daughter dance!
One of Ericka's grandfathers couldn't attend the wedding due to some health concerns, but he made sure to send the couple a card and a small cake he made for them to share on their wedding day!
Ericka's grandfather also recorded the grace, which was played before dinner by the DJ! His grace was such a special message to Ericka and Mike and at the sound of his voice, even my eyes started to tear up!
Once dancing was in full swing, Ericka and Mike decided to step outside for a little time to unwind together right at sunset! I was able to create some really dramatic portraits for them, and I'm so happy that they decided to add in this little extra bit of portrait time!
Sparks flew as Ericka and Mike were sent off into their next adventure in life together!
Many (many) thanks to the talented team who were a part of creating this beautiful wedding:
Ceremony Venue: Grosse Pointe Academy Chapel
Reception Venue: Grosse Pointe War Memorial
Wedding Coordination: Carrie Gentry of Touch of Elegance Events & Designs
Florals: Mancuso's Florist
Linens: Luxe Event Linen
Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero
Wedding Dress from: Bridal and Formal
Bride's Shoes: Rouge by Badgley Mischka
Makeup Artist: Nikoletta Berishaj
Hair Stylist: Rumorz Salon, Lake Orion Michigan
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
DJ / Entertainment: JD Entertainment
Videographer: Modern Touch Media
Cake: Love and Buttercream
Photographer: Courtney Carolyn Photography
(Also a special shout out to my amazing assistant, Scott! Your help and patience are always a blessing to me!)
Welcome to the CCP Blog! I'm Courtney Carolyn a wedding photographer based just outside of Detroit, Michigan. I hope you grab a cup of coffee and enjoy viewing my latest work, reading up on resources for brides, and getting a little peek into my life! I'm so excited you stopped by! Read more . . .
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