Detroit, Michigan | Candlelit Loft Wedding at Eastern Market | Christina + John

detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (446).jpg

Christina and John's candlelit evening wedding in Detroit, Michigan was absolutely beautiful and full of love and family. The day started with the guys getting ready at The Westin Book Cadillac, John actually tied all the guys bow ties, making sure they looked perfect. During this time I had the opportunity to photograph their rings and ring box, let me tell you they win hands down for most unique rings AND ring box. The ring box was made by their son, and John's ring is not your standard band. 

After the guys were all ready we ventured to the Eastern Market area for some fun formals before the ceremony started. The murals around Eastern Market are beautiful and perfect backdrops for pictures. The ceremony started right at sunset; the glowing light coming through the windows just made everything magical with the candlelit aisle. Christina and John's ceremony was so emotional, you could feel how strong the love between the two of them and their children. 

The reception was just on the other side of the ceremony area, and was decorated beautifully. I have to tell you, their guests were a HOOT! Between the dance floor being full the whole night and some very awesome dances it was a wonderful night. All in all, it was truly a perfect day; Christina and John completely compliment one another. He is always smiling (as is Christina) and loves her deeply, and quietly. They are, indeed, a perfect match.

Christina and John, I am so happy that I got to be there to witness the beginning of your next big adventure together. Thank you a million times over for being so incredible.  Your love and compassion is contagious and I absolutely loved being surrounded by it on your wedding day. Cheers to many more decades of love and happiness!
 

detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (1).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (5).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (15).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (17).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (22).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (25).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (23).jpg
detroit-michigan-westin-book-cadillac-groomsmen-getting-ready-sydney-marie-photography (27).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (19).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (21).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (29).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (31).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (34).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (35).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (3).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (8).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (12).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (17).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (41).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (43).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (48).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (51).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (52).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (56).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (70).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (59).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (78).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (80).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (86).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (94).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (93).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (88).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (96).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (101).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (105).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (107).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (112).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (121).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (122).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (128).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (131).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (139).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (140).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (134).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (149).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (151).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (153).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (156).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (160).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (163).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (168).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (180).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (183).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (181).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (210).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (213).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (240).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (245).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (247).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (255).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (259).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (263).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (265).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (269).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (272).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (277).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (280).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (274).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (283).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (286).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (288).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (303).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (306).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (313).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (317).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (322).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (327).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (336).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (352).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (358).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (359).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (371).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (379).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (386).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (389).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (391).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (394).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (397).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (398).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (408).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (414).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (451).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (453).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (458).jpg
detroit-michigan-eastern-market-loft-wedding-sydney-marie (466).jpg

How I kept my wedding and honeymoon under $10k (and how you can too!)

Jesse and Sydney-678.jpg

Catchy title right? It's not clickbait.

I've been really transparent with my own wedding planning, so I really wanted to share the real numbers and how I kept my own wedding under the $10,000 budget I gave myself.

Let's start of with the numbers. The total cost of my wedding was $9,323.30!

Here's the breakdown: 

Wedding photographer: $3,500
Venue Rental (for 3 hours): $300
Catering (including gratuity and outside dessert fee): $1,211.60
11 Pies (was buy 10, get one free): $176
10 Benches for Ceremony: $360
Officiant: Friend did it for free.
Ceremony site: Free (friend’s backyard)
Groom’s Tux: $150
Wedding Dress: $80
Dress Alteration: $185
Flowers (bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and including delivery): $694.30
DJ (for three hours): $275
Whirlpool suite for two nights: $655.48
Hotel for wedding night: $217.41
Wedding favors (donating to two of our favorite charities) $200
8 cards with wedding favor info: $37.44
8 frames for wedding favor cards: $8.48
Three dress hangers with names: $36.81
Invitations: $206.80
Bride + Groom chair signs: $19.74
Makeup bag: $22.70
Vintage stamps: $15.75
Card Box: $20
Guestbook Frame: $8
Wood Flowers: $96.43
Photo frames for bouquet: $7.40
Photo holders for tables: $17
Photos for reception: $40
Marriage License: $23
Centerpiece boxes: $66.70
Ring box: $55.50
Bridesmaids necklaces: $28
Bridal Flats: $20
Bride’s wedding band: $11
Sharpies for guestbook: $5.49
Bra: $18
Shapewear: $25
MOG gift: $24.95
FOG gift: $55
Groom’s gift: $73.24
MOB gift: $30
FOB gift: $15
Groomsmen gifts: $68.98
Bridesmaids gifts: $27
Groom’s band: $35
Officiant gifts (for everything she did for us): $200

Jesse and Sydney-118.jpg

Any food/spending we did on our honeymoon was out of the money we received at our wedding (and we did have some left over that went into our bank account when we got home) 

HOW DID YOU DO THIS??? 

I've always been really good at budgeting and finding coupons/sales (THANKS MOM!) so a lot of this came naturally to me. I've listed a mixture of the process I took as well as some tips and ideas on how to save money.

  • Set a budget. This by far is the first thing you should do (besides setting your date!) set a budget and get an idea of how much you want to allot to each vendor. I knew that I could spend 10k on the wedding and I didn't want to go over that.
  • Made a rough draft of the guest list. This is pretty important, I sat down with Jesse and had him write down the people he might want to invite to the wedding. This gave me an idea of how big of a venue we were going to need and also an estimate on food costs.
  • Booked our reception venue. I did a ton of research looking for a venue, I searched The Knot and Google for venues. I knew I didn't want something crazy expensive or that big, since we were looking at 100 or less guests. Basing what I know from weddings I've photographed I'm really only there 3-4 hours and after that either the wedding dies down or the guests are pretty drunk (which isn't always a bad thing just not the wedding I want) The venue I found would rent out hourly, which worked perfect for me since I didn't want a long reception.  ALSO, we saved with our venue since they did their own catering and offered a small deal with a specific food package. We also saved money by not having an open bar, since the reception was short guests bought 1-2 drinks on their own, and no one complained.
  • Booked our photographer. I already had an idea of who I wanted to book, but that doesn't mean I didn't do research and look around. I knew photography was going to be a big part of my budget so I was okay with spending up to 4k. I contacted a few different photographers from their websites, asked for full galleries and really got a feel of who they were. I wanted someone who would capture our day and make it something special.
  • Found our ceremony site (and officiant!) I know, I'm lucky that one of my best friends owns a beautiful farm and that she offered to officiate out wedding (her boyfriend also made our unity volcano!) But there are alternatives for a ceremony that really don't cost a ton, you can usually get a permit to use a local park/beach and getting ordained is pretty cheap online!
  • Picked a smaller bridal party. Since we planned on having a small wedding it was just fitting to have a small bridal party, we only wanted the people that meant the most up there with us. Also, it does save money with bridal party gifts and flowers.
  • Renting vs buying tuxes and bridesmaids dresses. I didn't want to put anyone in our wedding party in the situation that they had to buy their formals. I found online rental shops for both the tuxes and dresses that was super easy to use and inexpensive.
  • Found a Florist who was not full service. This was a big one for me and probably one of the hardest ones to find. I did a lot of researched and emails a ton of different florists but there weren't many that wanted to work with what I was looking for. I didn't want to spend 3k+ in flowers, I wanted the basics just bouquets and boutonnieres. We didn't need anything for our ceremony or reception because neither space really called for it and I wanted to save money somewhere and this was definitely it.
  • Shopping Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Clearance sales and deals. Like I said, I'm all about finding the best deals so most of the necessary small things were bought this way. I bought my dress on clearance, invitations were bought with a coupon code, the card box and guest book frame were Black Friday sales and my ring box was a Cyber Monday sale. It's really about just watching prices and seeing where you can get a coupon code and the best deal.
  • Booked hotels through online deals. Again, I did research for the hotels I booked. I wanted a nice hotel as close to our reception as possible for our guests and for us and I wanted something special for our honeymoon. I booked our wedding night hotel through the hotels website, I have a membership through them and that was the best deal I could find. The other hotel I booked through a third party website that gave the best deal I could find with everything I was looking for.
  • Etsy and Amazon. I LOVE Etsy, and I REALLY LOVE Amazon, so it's really a no-brainer that I used them for my wedding. I did buy my makeup bag, hangers and the vintage stamps from Etsy, which were all so perfect. Amazon recently released a wedding specific area that you can get a lot of the same items that are on Etsy with your Prime shipping (and if you use your Amazon store card, 5% back or financing) so items like my shoes, chair signs and most of our gifts came from Amazon.

This is just what I did for my wedding, every wedding is different and not everyone has the same priorities as I do. Make your wedding your own, and create some amazing memories to start of your married life together.

 

 

Grand Haven, Michigan | October Engagement Session | Emily + Kevin

grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (90).jpg

Emily and Kevin's October engagement session in Grand Haven, Michigan turned out absolutely beautiful! These two were such troopers in the cold weather and wind! We were lucky that the rain held off for the day (which it had been raining for almost a week straight!) and the sun came out at the end of their session! I had so much fun with these two, Kevin is hilarious and just knows how to make Emily smile. They are seriously cute together, and you can really feel the love they have for each other in their pictures. I love when couples want a specific place for pictures because it means something to them, both Rosy Mound Natural Area and the Grand Haven beach were picked by Emily. 

Emily and Kevin, I can't wait for your June wedding next year in Muskegon, it is going to be an amazing day full of love and laughter. 

grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (11).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (33).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (39).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (41).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (51).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (54).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (63).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (66).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (70).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (72).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (73).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (74).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (76).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (79).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (81).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (85).jpg
grand-haven-michigan-engagement-photographer-sydney-marie (86).jpg

Sawyer, Michigan | Intimate backyard wedding at Rabbit Run Inn | Nicole + Will

Leadwolf | New Album Dreams out November 10th | Grand Rapids, Michigan

Last Friday I had the opportunity to see Leadwolf in Grand Rapids, Michigan on the Dreams tour promoting the new album Dreams coming out on November 10th. I met Nash, the brains behind Leadwolf, a few years back and it's been amazing watching him grow as a musician. We actually worked together and shared a love for the same music which sparked many conversations and lead to a few different photo sessions with product photography of the guitar pedals he handcrafted (he also handcrafts amps too!) and more recently in March with the promo pictures for Leadwolf. (You can see that blog post here) I am so excited for Nash and where Leadwolf will take him, the album is so amazing and heartfelt. Please go pick it up when it comes out this Friday, you will not be disapointed. 

Check out Leadwolf's website (which has a ton of my pictures!) and the store to purchase the new album Dreams and to get some merch! 

leadwolf-nashville-tn-band-grand-rapids-michigan-photographer-sydney-marie (8).jpg
leadwolf-nashville-tn-band-grand-rapids-michigan-photographer-sydney-marie (12).jpg
leadwolf-nashville-tn-band-grand-rapids-michigan-photographer-sydney-marie (1).jpg
leadwolf-nashville-tn-band-grand-rapids-michigan-photographer-sydney-marie (3).jpg
leadwolf-nashville-tn-band-grand-rapids-michigan-photographer-sydney-marie (7).jpg
leadwolf-nashville-tn-band-grand-rapids-michigan-photographer-sydney-marie (11).jpg

Film Scans | Photos From My Honeymoon in Traverse City, Michigan

Two months ago, Jesse and I got married and we went on an extended weekend honeymoon. Since we got married in the middle of my wedding season, we didn't want to go too far for too long. We decided to go up to Traverse City, Michigan and just explore the area and have fun. 

Of course with me being a photographer exploring new places I brought three cameras, my film camera, my travel compact camera and my Instax (which I have a little album I made that I'll be sharing as well.) Below are my unedited film scans from the weekend, which ended up being pretty overcast and a little rainy but we still had a ton of fun. The pictures are from Sleeping Bear Dunes, Old Mission Lighthouse, outside our resort and even a random seasonal road I just NEEDED to stop at. 

I love shooting with film, I've been using it with digital my whole photography career. There is just something about taking that step back and taking a chance on how images are going to turn out. There is no redo, just really knowing your camera settings for the weather and trying the best you can. 

000462810023.jpg
000462810021.jpg
000462810020.jpg
000462810016.jpg
000462810014.jpg
northern-michigan-traverse-city-photographer-sydney-marie.png
000462810011.jpg
000462810009.jpg
000462810006.jpg

BONUS: So I had a few frames left from the roll and brought my film camera with me to Detroit's Eastern Market. The murals there are absolutely amazing and look so good on film! 

000462810002.jpg
000462810003.jpg
000462810005.jpg