Ernie + Kristi | How to Plan Downtown Grand Rapids Engagement Photos

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If you're reading this post, more than likely you're trying to figure out what you should be doing for your engagement photos. 

Am I right?  If so, then you're in luck! I'm about to walk you through how we planned, styled and photographed an fashion themed engagement session in downtown Grand Rapids at an exclusive location.

1) Engagement Photos Always Revolve Around The Couple

We ask lots of questions to get to know them you as a couple. 

For the fashion engagement photos, we photographed Ernie and Kristi, two amazing people who we have loved getting to know. Ernie is a brewer in Grand Rapids and Kristi is a hair stylist, which after meeting them, we knew they'd be a great fit for our fashion themed engagement session. 

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2) Where Should We Have Our Engagement Photos Taken? 

Great question! Ernie and Kristi allowed us to choose the location for them based on the idea that it would be in downtown Grand Rapids, feel urban and be a great spot for photos (naturally). Since we live in downtown Grand Rapids, we are familiar with so many hidden gems for photo spots.

We have lived at The Morton in downtown Grand Rapids for a few years and one conversation we've had over and over was "I wish we could photograph a couple in the unfinished spaces this building has to offer! They are a treasure!" 

So we chose three locations inside The Morton (that ended up turning into four).

The first two were unfinished condos on the top floors of the building. One has extremely high ceilings and the other is an end unit that provided a unique skyline view over downtown Grand Rapids.

The third location was in the old ballroom on the main level of The Morton. It's not visible from the exterior of the building (so the public doesn't know it's there), but the large atrium once served as the lobby for the original Morton Hotel. We then headed into the basement of the building where the original bank vault (yes, the building was a bank at one time too) is still in place. 

**Engagement Planning Tip -- choose a photo location that offers several location options. The Morton is a great example of not having to leave the "main location" but we were able to accomplish four completely different looks inside of 60 minutes. 

3) What Should We Wear For Our Engagement Photos? 

After describing the type of fashion themed session we were looking to craft, I put together a Pinterest board called "Fashion at The Morton". It was a collection of looks to guide these two as they chose attire for their engagement session. 

Fashion at the Morton Pinterest Board

Fashion at the Morton Pinterest Board

Prior to the session Ernie and Kristi sent over photos of what they'd chosen for outfits. It turns out the first outfits they put together were the ones they wore for their session. Kudos to Kristi for putting together such great combinations! 

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4) What Will We Do During Our Engagement Session?

You've chosen a location, set a date with your photographer and picked an outfit (or two). The day of your session arrives and you meet with your photographer. 

"What do I do with my hands...." is a question we are often asked when photographing a new couple (by the way, this is normal reaction).

During the first few minutes of our session with Ernie and Kristi we wanted to make sure they understood how to pose together, where their hands went (when not wrapped around each other) and the best way to smile at the camera. 

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Then it was time for creativity to take over.

Ernie and Kristi became very comfortable in front of the camera as we took them around The Morton during our 60 minute engagement session.

5) Why Should I Have An Engagement Session?

There are so many benefits of having a photographer help you plan your engagement session. Just a few of those reasons include: 

**Get to know your photographer
Wedding photographers are so much more than just someone holding a camera and clicking a shutter! Your photographer will spend more time with you on your wedding day than almost any other vendor. Think about it, if you don't have a good rapport with your photographer, things have the potential to go sideways in a hurry. An engagement session allows you to spend productive time with your photographer.

**Grow more comfortable in front of a camera
Do you feel threatened when a camera is pointed your way? Do you go stiff and awkward when asked to have a photo taken? If that's you, don't fear! The goal of a photographer is to help you become comfortable in front of the camera and after a little coaching, you'll be amazed at how comfortable you feel! Having an engagement shoot gives you a chance to develop that comfort BEFORE your wedding day.

**Build trust in your finished photography 
Wedding photography is a major investment and you're paying a photographer ahead of your wedding in HOPES they create amazing photos. That can be scary for many couples. Even though you've seen their online portfolio, many couples have trouble imagining what their OWN photos could look like. Having engagement portraits taken is an amazing way to ease your mind! After you see your beautiful images, you'll have a much clearer sense of what kind of images your photographer can create for you (and you'll have a greater sense of trust in their ability as a professional). 

**Enjoy an unexpected bonding activity 
If you're like my wife and I, you're busy. You're being pulled in 18 different directions at work and you're now planning your wedding day. During your engagement shoot, you get to leave that all behind and simply be together. Planning an engagement session and then having your photos taken will be something you remember for your entire lives!

**Create portraits of the two of you in non-wedding clothes 
Your wedding portraits will be cherished forever, but having professional portraits of the two of you in more everyday clothing gives you additional images that you can use in so many different ways. Your wedding photos will be very clearly tied to that specific event, but your engagement photos can be super versatile! 

**You'll have photos to use for wedding purposes 
This is probably the reason that leapt to your mind when you saw this post, and it's an important one! Save the date cards, thank you cards, a wedding website, a guest book ... all of these are important aspects of your wedding planning that will benefit SO much from beautiful engagement photos! 

If you're looking for a photographer for your upcoming wedding day, we would love to chat with you and see if we are the best fit for your needs.

The best way to reach us is via our Plan Your Wedding questionnaire. With it we have helped hundreds of couples take the stress out of planning their wedding day.

Interested in seeing how filling out one form could help save your dozens of hours in your wedding planning journey?

See for yourself --> Click Here to Find the Form.

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Ken + Mallory | Northern Michigan Wedding at Caberfae Peaks

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We are so happy for Mallory and Ken. 

The reason we are happy for them is we both knew them as single individuals wondering what the future held for them. 

Then one day my wife said to Ken, "Ken, I know you want to find someone. What kind of qualities are you looking for in a woman?"

You can read about what happened next, how they began dating, were engaged and began planning their wedding for October.

They chose Caberfae for their wedding celebration as each has family spread across Michigan. The location became a destination wedding for both families. 

**This is a great tip for couples planning weddings. If you cannot settle on either of your home towns for your wedding, search for a location that can serve as a destination for both sides of your families. 

Caberfae offered a "rustic country" feel for their wedding day and with these two being from the country, it was a wonderful location. Hair, makeup and getting ready were all done on site, which was another bonus of the Caberfae location. 

While Mallory was getting ready in one building, Ken was getting ready in the other building that Caberfae offers to couples and wedding parties. 

Mallory and Ken both wrote each other great notes of love and encouragement on their wedding day.

Mallory included a watch as her grooms gift. Ken loved it.

**A watch is a great gift for your soon to be husband. 

As we helped Ken and Mallory plan their wedding day, we suggested they see each other before the wedding ceremony. 

This accomplished two things:

1) We had more time for photos of the two of them and their wedding party

2) We took advantage of better light during the afternoon as sunset in late October is around 6pm.

Their ceremony location at Caberfae was magical for their first look. 

With falling temperatures and on again off again rain (which is a possibility with a late fall wedding in Michigan), we headed outside to take advantage of the fall colors in northern Michigan. 

These two only had one attendant each and that made our portrait time outside in the cold weather easier to manage. 

Following their first look and portraits outside, we made sure to build extra time into the wedding day timeline. 

One of my favorite moments from the wedding day are two of the images below where Mallory is hugging her maid of honor. 

In one image she is smiling and excited. 

In the next, you will see the emotion on Mallory's face. 

This is what I love about wedding photography: emotions change from moment to moment. 

Following that moment that Rebecca and I love where Ken and Mallory walked out of the ceremony as husband and wife, we stepped outside and had just enough daylight to step outside and take a few portraits with the newlyweds. 

Guests were able to enjoy cocktails and appetizers and were able to see all the little details these two put together for their wedding day. 

His and hers glasses, custom cake toppers, signs around the space all added to the experience guests had celebrating with Ken and Mallory. 

Following dinner and toasts it was time for dancing and fun. Since Caberfae has such a great balcony, we made sure to take full advantage of it during first dances, both from the lower area and from the upper balcony.

Do you want to plan a wedding similar to Ken and Mallory's? Take notes on what they did to make their day engaging and exciting! 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony, Reception & Catering: Caberfae Peaks
Hair & Makeup: Megan Herrema
Bride's Dress: Becker's Bridal
Men's Suits: All Tied Up by Pat
Ceremony Musician: Warren Kramer
Videography: Carbon Stories
DJ: Eagle Entertainment

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouse and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Patrick + Kari | Downtown Grand Rapids + Watermark Country Club Wedding

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From the first date, to the proposal, to engagement photos and now the wedding, we were there to photograph them all.

That's probably the reason why we felt like family with Patrick and Kari. 

We met Patrick and Kari when they were setup on a blind date by mutual friends at an event for the Saint Mary's Foundation (Up on the Roof specificially and you can read about it here). 

Their Grand Rapids fall wedding happened at the end of October, when weather wise can be hit and miss. Even though there was rain in the forecast, when we took the two of them and the wedding party outside, the rain held off. 

The ceremony was held at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Grand Rapids. The guys arrived ready for photos and the ladies arrived just needing to change into their dresses. 

Needless to say, both the guys and the girls were excited for the day! 

Patrick and his 4 groomsmen rocked the traditional bow tie and tuxedo. It's a trend we are seeing at weddings, especially this fall. 

Many guys are favoring the move back toward the traditional black tuxedo with bow tie as it's a classic look that goes with most color palletes. 

After photos with the guys and one pair of ripped pants later (it may or may not have happened to yours truly as I was photographing the guys), it was time for portraits of Kari and her bridesmaids. 

IHM has wonderful space and, regardless of how good or bad the lighting was, we used the space as best we could to create great portraits. 

For us, outside was wonderful with a covered walkway, near perfect lighting and an amazing looking bride (yes Kari, you know you looked stunning). 

Then it was time for a quick touch up of make up (their is always time for a touch up of lip gloss, especially when it's "Pin Up") and a moment of pride for Kari's father. 

The church is setup so the bride and her father are tucked away in a small hallway just out of sight from the front of the church (where Patrick was waiting).

Watching these two peak around the corner to see when it was time to go was priceless. Kari was so excited to marry Patrick. 

With his daughter on his arm, Kari's father walked her down the aisle after whispering one last thing into his baby girl's ear. As he walked down the aisle, you can see him biting his lower lip (in my opinion, holding back the tears). 

The priest, Father Troy Nevins, performed a customized ceremony for the two of them and in what seemed like an instant, Patrick and Kari were kissing as husband and wife. 

Our favorite moment of the day is watching the bride and groom walk out of the sanctuary for the first time as husband and wife. Patrick and Kari did not disappoint as you will see in the images below. They were beyond excited and you can see it in their eyes and their smiles. 

Following the ceremony we took family photos and then it was time for a quick wedding party portrait. 

Their wedding party made the day fun and exciting not only for Patrick and Kari, but also for us. Their group was full of jokes, laughter and great attitudes.

**Key wedding planning tip -- choose wedding party attendents that will have great attitudes throughout your wedding day, regardless of circumstances. 

We were WAAAAAY ahead of schedule at this point, which meant as the party bus arrived (right on time thanks to the handy dandy wedding schedule), we had time for 2 photo locations in downtown Grand Rapids.

The first location we were able to sneak inside and if you're not familiar with it, it's the old entrance to the Welsh Auditorium on the south end of DeVos Place. The interior space is amazing and we were lucky the doors just happened to be open. 

We then took the group outside and used the amazing architecture outside the building for individual and group portraits as well. 

Just down the street is another place we have fallen in love with as a photo backdrop. The geometric patterned wall is on the side of a building near Founder's. It's built so that the afternoon sun hits the wall perfectly. 

One new idea came to us during Patrick and Kari's wedding, which was to capture a great portrait of each wedding party attendant with their significant other. We used the wall as the backdrop and what do you think? Is this something we should continue to do in the future? 

Watermark Country Club has one of our favorite banquet rooms in Grand Rapids. Half the room has windows that look across the golf course and having natural light in your reception is wonderful for your arrival. Then when the sun sets, the mood changes and everyone is excited to party. 

The setup of the room was nothing less than spectacular! Patrick and Kari were able to enjoy time with their guests as they made sure to arrive for cocktail hour as well. Patrick is from Kentucky and therefore bourbon bottles were used as centerpieces. 

For your reception, personal touches like this go a long way in making the room feel like home.

While guests were mixing and mingling during cocktail hour, we took Patrick and Kari outside for about 5-10 minutes to create some portraits at Watermark Country Club. 

These two braved the cold weather and threat of rain like champs and even though the sky wasn't blue, it did have rolling clouds that provided a dramatic backdrop. 

Guests were then seated and it was time for the "grand entrance" which set the tone for the evening. Guests were up on their feet and I don't know if we've heard such a loud roar from guests before. We knew the night was going to be electric! 

Formal dances began with Patrick and Kari and carried into Kari with her father and Patrick with his mother.

Following those formalities DJ Cameron Ridley LIT UP the dance floor. There was not a break in the action for the first hour of dancing and Patrick and Kari were right in the middle of it. 

They wanted a great party and with the help of their friends, family and a wonderful DJ, they did exactly that. 

Do you want your wedding to be as fun as Patrick and Kari's was? Take notes on what they did to make their day engaging and exciting! 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony Location: Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Reception Location: Watermark Country Club
Wedding Dress: Caela Scott Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Hair & Makeup: Design 1 Salon & Spa
Flowers: Gail VanderLaan Floral
Men's Suits: Men's Wearhouse
Party Bus: Affordable Limousine
Cake: Watermark Country Club
Linens: Special Occasions West
DJ: Cameron Ridley

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouse and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Peter + Emily | Downtown Grand Rapids Wedding + Thousand Oaks Reception

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Do you want your wedding day to be fun?

Then you're going to love looking through Peter and Emily's Grand Rapids wedding photos.

We met them through their jeweler in Grand Rapids, Almassian. We put together a photo shoot and video about Peter's proposal on the Blue Bridge in downtown Grand Rapids.

After working together once, they asked us to photograph their wedding and the photos you'll find below are the culmination of that initial referral from Trent at Almassian Jewelers.

The wedding was held in downtown Grand Rapids at a church we had never been to before: Mayfair Christian Reformed Church. The church is tucked in a neighborhood between Michigan Ave and Fulton St and if you're looking for a beautiful ceremony location with amenities, Mayfair CRC might be the place for you.

That is something to think about as you plan your wedding: Where will the wedding party be getting ready? Will they have their own spaces to get ready in? Mayfair CRC has separate spaces to get ready in and prior to the wedding.

One of the best moments of the morning was watching Emily open a card from Peter where her first comment was, "Wow, he wrote a lot more than I did..."

Peter and his 6 groomsmen, 2 ushers, 2 ring bearers and Emily's dad got ready but before it was time for photos, it was time for Emily's gift for her soon to be husband: Shinola watch -- the exact one that he was hoping for from his bride to be. 

A groom's gift is a tradition that many of the couples we photograph still participate in. We have seen gifts as extravagent as exotic honeymoons to simple (yet meaningful) gifts such as a framed photo be gifts to each other. 

After 20 minutes of photos with the guys (we always try keeping actual photo taking take short prior to the ceremony), Emily wanted her Dad to see her for the first time. 

The photo below says it all.

She met him outside and the tears began to flow. 

After a few minutes with her father, her bridesmaids made sure hair and makeup were back in place (this is the reason to wear waterproof mascara). 

Emily was stunning (as was the entire bridal party).

We had perfect light for portraits and Emily was a natural (after a few minutes of coaching). 

Rather than provide programs, Emily and Peter had custom designed posters made that guests would see as they entered the sanctuary.

Anything that is custom designed on the wedding day adds a great touch to the elegance of the event - just make sure it's well done (as Emily's was). 

Then came the moments.

The moment that Emily's dad walked his only daughter down the aisle. 

The moment that Peter saw his soon to be wife for the first time (and check out the reaction below).

Then my favorite moment. The moment where the bride and groom are now husband and wife and exit the church.

Somehow every couple glances as one another as they walk down the aisle. Take a look at Peter and Emily's! 

We had to make sure and capture a photo of all the people involved in Peter and Emily's wedding day: bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, ring bearers, flower girl, guest book attendant. 

The blue suits are from Woodland Tailoring, one of my favorite local Grand Rapids suit shops to visit for wedding attire (or dress attire in general). 

Then it was time for a few quick portraits around the sanctuary at Mayfair CRC as the wedding party loaded up the party bus.

We like to use the transition times (like when bus is being loaded) to take more relaxed portraits of the bride and groom using the setting they were married in. 

As with most CRC churches, brown pews dominate the sanctuary and I wanted to use the symmetry as a visual element while posing Peter and Emily. 

And then the party bus was ready to go.

If this photo doesn't show you the type of day that Peter and Emily had, I don't know what will. 

Peter and Emily wanted to enjoy the downtime between their 2pm ceremony and 6pm reception. 

We suggested 2 downtown locations and we spent 10-15 minutes at each spot. We then planned to head toward their reception location at Thousand Oaks Golf Club.

The first location, just around the corner from Founder's, had an amazing concrete wall that we discovered recently.

Peter and Emily trusted us to choose amazing downtown locations and with ArtPrize in full effect (September 30 wedding), we wanted to head "downtown" but not get caught up in ArtPrize traffic.

15 minutes at each location gave us time to work with the entire wedding party, just the girls, just the guys and finally the bride and groom. 

Just a few blocks up Cherry Street we used a newly reconstructed road as the second location. Emily told us she was in love with the red brick streets of downtown Grand Rapids, so it was a natural fit.

After just a few photos at the second location (because traffic was too heavy to be out in the road for more than a couple of photos at a time), we headed to Provin Trails on the NE side of Grand Rapids. 

I have to admit, this is one location I've never used for photos, even though I grew up down the road. 

Needless to say, we will go back because the light and natural elements were right up our alley (along with Peter and Emily's). 

Thousand Oaks Golf Club has a wonderful banquet room (that has been featured on our site before). 

Peter and Emily dressed the room well from their cake and donut tower to centerpieces and flowers. 

My favorite photo from this series: During Brandon's best man speech, something funny and memorable was said that got the crowd laughing.

Emily and Peter's reaction is priceless. 

Following a great dinner and greeting guests (yes, many couples greet guests table by table at the reception) it was time for the party to start. Peter showed off his dancing skills with his new bride as their friends and family looked on.

Emily's dad had his moment with his daughter (despite having knee replacement surgery just 4 weeks prior). 

Peter's mom had her moment dancing with her son one more time. 

Whether you hire a DJ or a band, the biggest question you should ask is, "how do you keep the crowd engaged?"

Emily hired their wedding band before she hired us as their photographer and before she even had a venue for the reception. 

She loves the party band Brena that much. And they did not disappoint. 

They kept the floor full throughout their 3 sets of music and dancing may have started at 7:45pm, but it didn't end until midnight (yes, I confirmed this with Emily the next day because I never thought folks would last 4 hours of dancing. But Brena is that good!)

Do you want your wedding to be as fun as Peter and Emily's was? Take notes on what they did to make their day engaging and exciting! 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony Location: Mayfair Christian Reformed Church
Reception Location: Thousand Oaks Golf Club
Wedding Dress: Bridal Elegance
Bridesmaids Dresses: Renee Austin
Hair & Makeup: Heidi Christine's in Ada
Flowers: Posh Petals
Rings: Almassian Jewelers
Men's Suits: Woodland Tailoring
Party Bus: Affordable Limousine
Cake: The Cakabakery
Donuts: The Donut Conspiracy
Party Band: Brena Band

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouse and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Joe + Amber | Downtown Grand Rapids Ceremony and Reception

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A wedding with a reception across the street from the ceremony location? Is that possible in downtown? Yes it is and Joe and Amber's wedding day at Gallery Divani & The Waldron was a perfect example of what a small wedding in downtown Grand Rapids should look like.

The first began at Joe's childhood home where he got ready, along with his Dad and groomsmen.

Joe's mother passed away just 18 months ago and was very much missed by Joe, his father and everyone who knew her. That being said, I wanted to create portraits of Joe and his father that incorporated his mother as well (as well as the things his dad loves, antique cars).  

Amber got ready at her downtown Grand Rapids apartment with her mom, sister and bridesmaids. Ginger, her friendly dachshund, was at home as well and made several appearances.

Being in downtown Grand Rapids means we can step outside and find fantastic photo locations everywhere we look (see the street images below for an example, next to her building). 

It was just a couple blocks to walk down to 15 Ionia Ave SW and Gallery Divani for the wedding ceremony with about 50 guests. Joe and his groomsmen were relaxed (and we made sure to keep them laughing at our bad Laffy Taffy jokes). 

Joe's mother held a seat of honor during the ceremony and Amber was escorted down the aisle by her dad and then her stepdad as she made her way toward her husband to be, Joe. 

From Amber being given away by her stepfather to exiting the ceremony as newlyweds, the ceremony included laughter, tears, vows, exchange of rings and the first kiss.

And it lasted all of 5 minutes (yes, ceremonies can be that fast and Joe and Amber planned it that way).

Following the ceremony, Gallery Divani greeted Joe and Amber with their favorite cocktails: a Manhattan for him and a French 77 for her. This was exactly what they needed following the ceremony as they prepared for family photos.

Since Joe and Amber had not seen each other prior to the wedding, that meant not only did we create images for the bride and groom, we also made sure to spend time creating images that incorporated the entire wedding party. 

Then it was time to go exploring around Gallery Divani and Ionia Street in downtown Grand Rapids. Amber was not the biggest fan of 'walking' all over the place with her dress (and tall heels on), so we worked with the building we had access to.

15 Ionia SW is a great place for portraits and just moving around a couple of floors made the images below so much better! In addition, we were able to step outside and use the side of the Van Andel Arena for a little bit of color for the backdrop. 

Joe and Amber's wedding day plan consisted of their friends and family enjoying cocktails at Bar Divani and then walking about 1 block down the street to The Waldron for dinner and dancing. From the cupcakes stand to the seating chart, Amber did a wonderful job incorporating her personal style into the reception.

Guests were seated and the bride entered the room with authority, getting everyone up off their feet! Following dinner service, they even had a little fun playing "the shoe game" (if you're not sure what that is, simply Google it). 

Many couples ask if formal dances at wedding receptions are necessary or have any particular order. We consistently answer, "It's whatever you want the order and dances to be..." 

Amber took that fact and rearranged formal dances to dance first with her stepdad and then her husband. That way the bride and groom could invite the wedding party onto the floor during their song as well and get the party started (which they did). 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony Location: Gallery Divani
Reception Location: The Waldron Public House
DJ: Rich with Encore DJ

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouses and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Jake + Amanda | Bissell Tree House Ceremony & Reception in Grand Rapids

We met Jake and Amanda because of Amanda's amazing wedding planning mother, Shelly. With the help of the Bissell Tree House Preferred Vendor List (that we are a part of), Shelly reached out to us asking all kinds of questions on what it would be like to have us photograph Jake and Amanda's day.

Being an only child, Amanda decided the best way to begin the day would be to get ready with her bridesmaids at her childhood home north of downtown Grand Rapids. 

She had a friend, Tess, a professional hair stylist, take care of hair for the day, which added to the personal touches at the house. Having her dress hang on the porch she grew up eating with her parents was touching. 

We wanted to make sure the ladies had a great time as they got ready, so it was mimosas all morning for Amanda and the bridesmaids. 

As we photographed the details Amanda had put together, we realized she could not get away from Jake -- even her shoes had his name on them. 

The blending of wedding day details with the details her parent's home made for a great photo setting. It also meant her bridesmaids and best friends were comfortable all morning as they helped her put together the last pieces of jewelry. 

We wanted to make sure and capture the moment of having their daughter ready for her wedding, so we had Amanda's parents head outside with her to visit the road she grew up on as a backdrop. 

She and her ladies jumped into a limo that came to the house to pick everyone up. No one wants to worry about traffic, driving and 'how do I get my car back here' type questions on a wedding day.

Meanwhile, over at Jake's home (now Jake and Amanda's home), Jake and his guys were getting ready and making sure to include cute details (like the corgi socks Amanda got for him a while back, he decided they were wedding day appropriate).

He gifted his groomsmen matching watches and Jake was all smiles at the house (even to the point of taking selfies for social media).

The Bissell Tree House is a beautiful location, but the details of Amanda and Jake's wedding day came together in a unique way we had not seen before. The light pink color was great for then end of summer wedding and you'll love all the details below, including the specialty linens and bows on the chairs (provided by Special Occasions West). 

The ladies arrived at the Treehouse and took a ride up the funicular as Jake and Amanda prepared to see each other for the first time. 

The balcony area at the treehouse is perfect for first looks as Amanda was in place, looking perfect, and Jake came around the corner and saw his bride for the first time. 

After a few moments to themselves (so they could remember the feeling of seeing each other on their wedding day) we walked the wedding party through portraits.

Some together, some just the girls, some just the guys (and just the brothers).

Eventually we wanted to get to a point where Jake and Amanda could be comfortable together and be there just with us, helping create intimate portraits of the two of them. 

Once we were happy with the number of portraits of the wedding party, we moved to a different section of the balcony to grab portraits of the bride and groom with the city skyline in the background. 

After being in the suit and wedding dress for a little while, both Jake and Amanda became comfortable with the camera and just being themselves. Showing a little attitude and enjoying their wedding day up in the trees. 

With one last toast (and a fun moment for everyone in the wedding party) they were lined up and as seating of the parents began, laughter erupted between Jake and his mom (who was about to see her son get married). 

Then it was Amanda's father's turn to proudly walk his daughter down the aisle. Guests were finally able to see how amazing Amanda looked on her wedding day and with one last kiss, Dad gave his daughter away. 

The Bissell Tree House always looks amazing and if you can't tell the wall of windows leans OUT toward the trees making you feel like you're in an actual tree house. 

The pastor was kind enough to have Jake and Amanda turn around and look at their guests and remember what it felt like to stand in front of those they care so much for on their wedding day. 

Writing their own vows, the two of them got each other laughing (and now they have personalized vows to look back on for years to come). 

Before they knew it, it was time for the "first kiss" and their exit. 

The exit is one of my favorite moments as a photographer as we are the first to congratulate the newlyweds on their marriage. 

Jake and Amanda had such a special moment after the ceremony. Just watch how they're looking at one another. 

Then it was a little marriage license fun before a glass of wine with guests for cocktail hour (more couples should try to spend cocktail hour with their guests, it takes the energy level up a notch). 

Once everyone had time to mingle with guests (and family photos were officially done), we spent 15 minutes with the wedding party as guests were being seated and captured some fun portraits. 

We always want folks having fun on their wedding day, bridal party included, which means making sure everyone is comfortable with us and also relaxed now the "hard part" (aka ceremony) is done. 

It's usually at this point that the bride and groom are at their most confident and that was true of both Jake and Amanda. 

Then it was time for fun with guests. Their grand entrance was just that - GRAND! 

First two pieces of business to attend to after being announced: cut and enjoy brownie cake and to hear from your best friends as they toast your new marriage. 

Those windows are just breathtaking. The Bissell Tree House does not disappoint guests when the arrive and enjoy an evening, that's for sure. 

Laughter abounded throughout the night as Jake and Amanda danced the night away. 

To complete their evening, we wanted to make sure we used the amazing light and sunset over Grand Rapids. 

We found out these two are beer lovers, so what better way to toast to Beer City, USA than a kiss and a cheers! 

Then it was back to Jake being the funny guy, lightening up the mood with more jokes and the night closed out for us as the new Mr. and Mrs. walked back to their guests and into their new future. 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony & Reception Location: Bissell Tree House
Bride's Dress: Becker's Bridal
Bridesmaids's Dresses: David's Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen: Woodland Tailoring
Hair & Makeup: Tess from Douglas J
Chair Bow & Linens: Special Occasions West
Flowers: Eastern Floral
Officiant: Lisa Perry, Heart Celebrations
Catering: Applause Catering
Wedding Cake: Le Bon Macaron
DJ: DeAnte with DJ Trax

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouses and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Michael + Jillian | Michigan State Garden Wedding

Having a future wedding couple watch us photograph another wedding is the best way for them to see and experience what it's like having Rebecca and I as photographers on their future wedding day.

That's exactly how it worked for Michael and Jillian as we photographed Jillian's older brother's wedding in 2015 (check out Luke and Sarah's wedding at Michigan State). 

Michael and Jillian planned an intimate day with close friends and family and when a couple plans a wedding day with fewer guests, that means they've taken time to really think through the details of their wedding day. 

Those details included everything from shoes, to bridal dress to Jillian's custom made copper hair piece. 

Neither Michael or Jillian are big fans of being in the spotlight. Perhaps you can relate. So having people around them, like mom, was an important part of the wedding day. 

As the anticipation of seeing each other for the first time grew, they put together the final details which included a custom made memory box with their names, bottle of favorite wine and notes to one another to be read at a later date. 

Then it was time for these two to see each other out in the Gardens. We arranged Michael and told him the next person he would see would be his bride.

Jillian enjoyed the walk from her dressing room out to see her future husband. While he waited on pins and needles, she was all smiles as she approached him in the beautiful location. 

She was excited to show off her dress, hair and all the details she'd planned for their wedding day and all he could do was admire her with an unending smile. 

Making sure couples are comfortable while having their photo taken is one of our top priorities. Michael and Jillian seeing each other before their ceremony created a sense of comfort and calmness for both of them. 

This allowed them to have normal conversation with one another and feel comfortable as we provided direction and posing tips. 

The gardens at Michigan State University are a dream location for a wedding. Not only do the bride and groom look amazing, the setting is spectacular as well. We took full advantage of that with Michael and Jillian.

Joy is the best word to describe Michael's quick looks at Jillian during portraits together and with a little bit of coaching they were ready to rock individual portraits. (Jillian knew how to pose with the best of them...)

In what Rebecca calls the "proudest moment for a father", Jillian took her father's arm for the long walk toward her husband. 

After all the planning of a wedding day, this is the moment where both bride and groom are all smiles, knowing the details all came together to celebrate their marriage.

51 guests enjoyed the beautiful setting as Michael and Jillian held hands and pledged their lives to one another. 

With the sun shining and perfect August weather, the bride and groom couldn't help but smile at each other.

Their officiant even had them turn around and face their guests as a way to help them remember the day and the feeling of creating their new life together as husband and wife.

Then the most memorable moments of the ceremony: the first kiss and walking down as husband and wife for the first time. 

Amidst the business of the post ceremony shuffle, we try to help couples take a quick moment just for themselves to think about the way they feel and what this day has meant for them. 

For Michael and Jillian that was a quick moment tucked away in the trees of the MSU Gardens as their guests departed the ceremony site.

Once guests departed, we headed into the gardens to capture the bride and groom with their wedding party. With only a matron of honor and best man, it made the process simple and quick. 

The beautiful setting helped capture the moment of Jillian's life long best friend as matron of honor and Michael's younger brother standing next to them on one of the most important days of their lives. 

On your wedding day our belief is you should imagine who you would like to have attend your 50th anniversary party, then invite those people to your wedding. That's exactly what Michael and Jillian did.

They even had some fun with their portraits, sneaking a kiss every once in a while (or maybe more often than 'once'). 

With green as the primary backdrop, outdoor portraits will look amazing, but more important is making sure Jillian is relaxed and Michael feels confident. 

The last portrait of the two of them exudes that feeling.

Heading over to the Kellogg Center for their dinner with friends, these two wanted to make sure guests had a few things to do while they waited, including creating a new set of Jenga blocks for their home with personalized messages. A deck of cards adorned each place setting as a thank you gift. 

Jillian brought together the colors of her wedding day with a wedding cake (and dessert table) that included copper details. 

 

The final agenda item for their wedding day was to hear from the best man and the matron of honor as they toasted the newlyweds. 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony Location: Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens
Reception Location: Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
Bride & Bridesmaids: David's Bridal
Groom's Suit: Men's Wearhouse
Hair & Makeup: Mirabella Salon

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouses and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Andrew + Kassandra | Wedding in Lowell, Michigan

A small guest list for a Friday evening wedding in Lowell, Michigan was just what Andrew and Kassandra planned. 

However getting to that point wasn't as easy as it sounds.

A near fatal car collision, a rescheduled wedding date and uncertainty if her father could walk her down the aisle all came into play as they planned their wedding day and began married life.

Through it all, these two approached their wedding day in a sacred way. 

The details that Kassandra put together, the planning it took came in many forms, including jewelry (she wore her mother's wedding pearls as her 'something borrowed'), a hand crafted hair piece, shoes, programs, signage and obviously the most important detail, her wedding dress. 

Kassandra's choice of dress was the first we'd seen like this in 2017: a one shoulder dress. 

Andrew's last minute surprise gift however is something we have seen many grooms surprise their bride to be with. 

The necklace will become a family heirloom because she'll always be able to say "he gave it to me on our wedding day..."

Wedding days are the 'height of beauty and fashion' because a woman spends more time getting ready to see her soon to be husband than any other time during their marriage.  Even putting on the last pieces, like earrings, shows how much time is spent choosing every detail a adorned by a bride. 

Having mom there to help with the final details while her attendants 'attended' her every last need will be a beautiful memory from her wedding day.

Andrew was cool, calm and collected as he was headed upstairs to see his wife (to be) for the first time. 

(We do love first looks by the way. They are very intimate and special. Just ask us how we make them that way)

The bride heading to see her husband (to be) and the groom awaiting his bride (to be) is a moment of joy and anticipation. 

Heading to one of their favorite locations as a couple, Fallasburg Park's Covered Bridge along the Flat River is always a great photo location. 

Photo locations that mean something to a bride and groom make the day more memorable.

I think these portraits should go on their wall, especially the one showing the entire bridge and river.

A wedding day is made special by the friends and family you surround yourself with, especially your wedding party. They make sure you have a great time while having photos taken.

Like debating the question, "What's the best ice cream flavor and why?"

Andrew and Kassandra enjoyed the beauty of a blue sky day, while taking a stroll.

The ladies from different times in Kassandra's life from work, to college, to a niece stood next to her as she became a wife. Andrew's best friend from the military and the two brother-in-laws he's proud to call family were next to him. 

Then the moment of truth comes. Time to pose for a bridal portrait. Kassandra was extremely comfortable in front of the camera and it shows.

Having the two of them be intimate and tender with each other was easy after we showed them how to stand and be close to one another for portraits.

Many times a wedding day can feel rushed to stay on schedule, so we made sure to give the bride and groom a few moments to just take everything in and think about how they felt, how they looked and the beautiful scenery they were able to enjoy. 

Joy, simple joy radiated from both Andrew and Kassandra during this part of their day. 

Returning back to the church, it was time to reflect on what was about to happen. Kassandra was about to become Andrew's wife. 

Wearing her mom's wedding pearls (something old), the bride and her ladies took a moment to express their thankfulness and gratitude to God for bringing she and Andrew together.

Then it was time for "operation keep the 2 year old flower girl happy". As you can see, she was happy, but at the last moment, decided she didn't like being in front of everyone. 

The the only way to describe Kassandra's dad  walking her down the aisle: unforgettable. A few months prior he was in a severe car wreck and didn't know if he'd ever walk again. 

This moment is one Kassandra hoped for since we met and because of his hard work, he was able to walk her down the aisle. 

Earlier in the day her dad even said, "Only on wedding days does my daughter get kisses on the lips. I'm so proud of her and look how beautiful she is!" 

To stand before God, friends and family puts a smile on both Andrew and Kassandra's face.

From their first kiss to the exit from the church, just look at how he adores her (he even took care of her as she got into the car).

Mini dessert options and cake in combination at receptions are sure to please, as is the kind of candy bar these two put together for their guests. Little details, like the married bears, are always fun to see and sweet touches for reception decorations.

Cake cutting represents the bride and groom working together to finish their first meal. Andrew and Kassandra were very cordial when it came to feeding each other cake. ;-)

A groom staring into his new wife's eyes. What can be more romantic (and beautiful to capture)? Just look at the way Andrew stares at his new bride as they dance for family and friends. 

Professional photographers capture single images as well as sequences of fun moments. Like when Andrew and Kassandra began laughing during their first dance. The two of them were laughing and joking throughout the day, but this sequence shows the truest version of them as a couple that we experienced. 

A father who wasn't sure he could dance with his daughter should make everyone emotional. Seeing Kassandra's dad look into his daughter's eyes with pride, not only for himself, but more importantly for the woman she's become, was nothing less than magical.

Fun ensued on the dance floor with the cupid shuffle, slow dances with the family (a tradition), as was the 'family' dance where smiles and laughter abound. The ladies kept the energy going on the dance floor all night long. 

The laughter throughout the day with Andrew and Kassandra was contagious. All we had to do was make sure the two of them had a great time and the laughter kept going, well past when we exited for the evening. 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony Location: First Baptist Church of Lowell
Reception Location: St. Robert's Catholic Church
Bridal Dress: David's Bridal
Groom's Suit: JF Ferrar 
Hair & Makeup: Kendra at Heidi Christine
Reception DJ: Hugh from Celebration Entertainment

If you're looking for a photographer who will take care of your needs on your wedding day, keep you on schedule and create beautiful images of you, your spouses and all the people and details that are important to you, then be sure to reach out to us. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Jim + Cindy | Pentwater Beach Wedding

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Excitement filled the air as Jim and Cindy said "I DO" in front of friends and family in Pentwater, Michigan.  

To say the evening was magical would be an understatement. 

Cindy, as many brides tend to be, was anxious, excited and emotional. The emotional ups and downs happened while Cindy was getting ready at their home.

However, our associate photographers, Jason and Tara were able to make her feel comfortable and help her focus on what was going to happen in just the next few minutes, seeing her future husband Jim. 

But when she first saw Jim, the excitement stayed, but the anxiety and emotional roller coaster of the morning went away. 

They hosted guests at a private beach near Pentwater where the two recently built a new home, one they were excited to have photographed. They were proud and nostalgic that some of the first memories in their new home was their wedding.

It's always exciting observing the last few minutes before a bride and groom stand before friends and declare their love for one another. Jim and Cindy were no different and soon they were standing on the shores of Lake Michigan saying "I DO" to each other. 

The ceremony on the beach was followed by a fancy party under a tent on the beach. The party did not disappoint guests as they had a wonderful meal, rocking entertainment and a beautiful Lake Michigan summer sunset. 

Jim and Cindy were not only hospitable to all their wedding guests, they too were honored by their friends and family. 

Many thanks to RSVP Events for having us be a part of Jim and Cindy's wedding day.

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony & Reception Location: Private Residence, Pentwater, MI
Catering: Hearthstone Catering
Event Coordinator: RSVP Events
Florist: Bradley Youngstrom
Chair & Linens: RSVP Events
Wedding Cake: Ryke's Bakery
Wedding Band: Bluewater Kings Band

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.

Dustin + Melissa | Bay Pointe Inn Boathouse Wedding

49 guests attended Dustin and Melissa's wedding at the Bay Pointe Inn Boathouse Villa on Gun Lake.

We met Dustin and Melissa at Jeff and Sarah's Grand Rapids wedding back in 2012 (yes, 5 years ago). Since then we have seen them off and on at other weddings we have photographed for their circle of friends. When Melissa reached out to us last year, we were obviously excited to capture their wedding day on camera and help them tell the story of their wedding day. 

They decided to rent the Boathouse Villa at Bay Pointe Inn which is a 3 story remodeled lake house directly on Gun Lake. They reserved the house for the weekend, held their rehearsal on Friday, spent the night at the house and then had their ceremony and reception on the water. Dinner and dancing followed as many of the guests were staying either at the Boathouse or at a room next door at the inn. 

Wedding Vendors
Ceremony & Reception Location: Boathouse Villa at Bay Pointe Inn
Catering: Bay Pointe Inn
Wedding Dress & Bridal Jewelry: Renee Austin
Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal
Groom's Tux: Jos A Banks
Hair & Makeup: Design 1 Salon
Videographer: Khai Le
Wedding Cake: Dreamscape Desserts
Reception DJ: Prestige Sound & Entertainment

We arrived and found the guys almost ready to go for photos and Melissa helped their 4 year old daughter, Lilly, get into her flower girl dress. The details of the wedding day and the boathouse itself made for a wonderful backdrop. 

Dustin and Melissa chose to do a "first look" prior to the ceremony and we then followed the first look with photos of the wedding party around the boathouse property. 

The weather was threatening all morning, but it didn't rain and the cloud cover, as it turns out, is actually better for wedding photos than direct sunlight (especially during the middle of the day). 

Just as Melissa walked down the aisle, the sun came out for their wedding ceremony. Needless to say, it turned out to be a HOT 30 minute ceremony on Gun Lake. 

The ceremony kicked off with Lilly stealing the show as the flower girl and Dustin giving her a BIG hug for doing such a wonderful job. 

Following the ceremony we had quite an extensive list of family photos to take as Melissa and Dustin wanted to make sure all of their guests were a part of family photos. It was a quick process and they handled the family photo time like champions (as did their daughter).

Then it was time for photos around the Bay Pointe Inn Boathouse of just Dustin and Melissa. The boathouse has a TON of great locations for photos around the house and on the lake, so we made sure to take advantage of them! 

After photos with Dustin and Melissa it was time for dinner, toasts and dancing, all on the waterfront. 

Best moment of the night for Rebecca and I? 

Watching Dustin dance with his 4 year old daughter Lilly for the "father daughter dance" before Melissa danced with her father James. 

Tiberius Images is a Grand Rapids photographer that photographs people, places and events. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, they serve clients throughout the world and are available for travel.