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When Lauren first contacted me interested in using our hop farm for her wedding ceremony, I wasn’t sure we could pull it off. Our launch date was set for July 21st and there was/is still a lot of construction that needed to be done and I may have tried to talk them out of it. But they were set and really wanted to have their wedding at a hop farm and in the end I promised to do what we could to make it happen. With the help of some really good friends, on July 1 I photographed my first wedding at my new wedding venue. So here we go, our first official wedding ceremony at Hoppily Ever After Farms.

The day turned out to be absolutely beautiful, but not before Mother Nature had to remind me who was in charge that day. A huge storm rolled through bringing pouring rain, hail and tears. It started exactly 30 minutes before their first look. I tried staying calm, because there was absolutely nothing I could do at this point. A year of dreaming, 16 months of back breaking labor were all resting in Mother Nature’s hands. We waited it out under the bathroom tent praying that it wouldn’t create too much of a muddy mess – it is a farm after all. Thankfully it ended literally 5 minutes before Lauren & Paul arrived and the mess left behind was minimal.

I started early that morning setting up and when I stepped into the gardens after the storm, I had an entirely new perspective and needed a second to stand there and breathe. (Thanks to Kacey for the picture). The moment I had been living my life for these last two years was here, our first wedding on the farm. But I still had work to do. I was calm on the outside, but inside, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a hot mess. Standing there in this moment, I realized that it was happening. Our absolutely crazy idea was all coming to fruition. The gardens were looking their absolute best, the electrical was in and I knew I had the very best people there to help me.

Paul & Lauren grew up together but lost touch. Their mutual love for craft beer brought them back together when they reconnected on an Instgram post by Griffin Claw. 2 years later they celebrated their love for each other with a craft beer themed wedding on a Hop Farm with a custom wedding brew from Harsen’s Island Brewery. I know I’m completely biased, but how cool is that?

Her bouquet was from Ecoflowers and she purchased dried hops from Black Creek Hops for the boutonnieres that she made herself.

Love these moments with Lauren and her Mom…

But these moments with Paul’s daughter Maddie had me in tears. After the ceremony, she looked upset and I overheard her tell Paul & Lauren, “I’m just so happy”…

The Secret Garden was filled with people, love and laughter the entire afternoon and so was my heart.

Since our hop plants are still babies and not fully mature, we weren’t able to use our intended ceremony site this year, but we created a space outside of the gardens that worked perfectly.

Lauren had her Grandmother escort her down the aisle and it was such an beautiful moment. I just love the way Grandma is holding her Granddaughter here…

When I stood back to do my pull back shot of the ceremony, I lost it and started crying. Here I was, photographing a wedding at my wedding venue. So much of my blood, sweat and tears went into this very spot and now Lauren and Paul were standing there committing their love to each other with 75 of their closest family and friends. I still can’t process it all, 2 weeks later.

Not only was I in tears so many moments in those quick 2 hours that they were here, but the vows they spoke to each other had everyone in fits of laughter. It was one of the funniest, most personal and honest vows I’ve heard.

I have to give a big shout out to my good friends Derek and his wife Clare over at The Block Party. They came to set up sound for the ceremony and tunes for cocktail hour. It really wouldn’t have been the same without them. You guys are amazing and THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Lauren and Paul, thank you so much for trusting us and choosing Hoppily Ever After Farms for your wedding venue and me as your photographer. From beer tasting and your engagement session to the big day we have had so much fun working with you and are more than honored to have been such a big part of your special day.

Congratulations and Cheers!

 

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  • Heather Arneil-Roberts

    Great job Shannon it is perfect ReplyCancel

Kevin had the pleasure of photographing this gorgeous wedding.  Lijiao and Paul’s big day was at the Detroit Athletic Club. Between the rich, elegant atmosphere and the stunning skyline views, there was no shortage of impressive things to look at – but your eyes kept coming back to Lijiao. Her white ballgown, dramatic cathedral veil, and gorgeous, glowing smile stole the show. Paul certainly couldn’t look away, and was obviously head over heels in love with his beautiful bride. A short and sweet ceremony, followed by an intimate family dinner and some time on the roof to soak up the Detroit skyline… it was a perfect wedding day.  Here’s some favorites…

Congratulations Lijiao and Paul!

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Bridget and Nathan’s wedding was on a typical Michigan spring day. Bright and sunny in the morning, pouring in the afternoon! But it’s good luck when it rains on your wedding day, right? And as luck would have it, the Detroit Yacht Club is a totally gorgeous space, and the ceremony inside was intimate and beautiful. Bridget kept everyone laughing the entire day, but nobody was smiling brighter than Nathan, especially during their First Look. They wrote their own vows, and more than a few people were dabbing their eyes. It was so warm and heartfelt – if that’s one little peek into how these two feel about each other, I can only imagine the years of love and joy that lay in front of them. They just fit together, and it’s obvious to anyone watching them. The reception tables were decorated with wood from a tree at the camp where they met. Bridget also wore the same shoes that her mother got married in. These little personal touches were sprinkled throughout their day, and it was just adorable. The Block Party kept dance floor packed all night and the high heels came off as everyone conga’d the night away. You read that right, there was a CONGA LINE! It was such a fun, happy day, and I loved working with them to capture it. Here’s some favorites…

Vendor Love:

Bridalwear: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids: J. Crew

Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse

Flowers: Fleurology Design

Bakery: Chocolate Bar Cafe

Entertainment: The Block Party 

Venue: Detroit Yacht Club 

 

 

Congratulations, Bridget and Nathan! #Fleshmanandwife

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I met Lauren and Paul for their engagement session at Wahby Park in St. Clair Shores. The park is gorgeous – fountains, bridges, weeping willows, and a walking bridge. It was the perfect spot to celebrate their engagement and take a few portraits of their new family. Paul’s daughter came along for their session and made the session so much fun. I loved watching their family interaction.  But Lauren and Paul alone… these two are all smiles around each other – the laughter comes easy and often. We finished off the evening at a brewery and toasted to their upcoming nuptials – they are our very first wedding to debut Hoppily Ever After Farms!

Cheers to Lauren and Paul, see you soon!

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Kourtney and Cardell are such fun, family-oriented people – I got to meet their daughter Kalli at their engagement session and it was so sweet to watch them interact as a family. They’re both low-key and laid back, and very, very much in love. Since they both love the outdoors, we took a stroll around Marine City and ended up by the river for some shots on the water. Kourtney just lights up when Cardell smiles at her… which was pretty much all the time. A great day with great people. Can’t wait to work with them again later this month!

 

Congratulations, Kourtney and Cardell!

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