Being able to be a part of a family's story is why we are photographers. That couldn't be more true than with Jake and Nikki's Bissell Tree House wedding in October.
Nikki is the younger of two girls in her family. We were fortunate to photograph Ryan and Kristin's Grand Rapids wedding just a few years ago.
This time however, it was Nikki's turn to say "I do" to the love of her life, Jake.
Their wedding day was filled with all the intimate moments that you dream about. Getting ready, having hair and makeup done at her parent's home. Having her mom help put her dress on. Spending a relaxed morning with your closest girlfriends. Photos with mom and dad at their home. It was the perfect start to Jake and Nikki's wedding day.
The ceremony was held at Kuyper College's Chapel in Grand Rapids. Many of the formal photos with Nikki, her bridesmaids and parents were done at her home, which meant the "pre-ceremony" time was very relaxed. A few portraits of Jake, the groomsmen and Jake's parents were taken prior to the ceremony and then it was time for Jake and Nikki's ceremony.
Following the ceremony, a few family portraits were taken at the church and then it was off to the Bissell Tree House so Nikki and Jake could see what the reception space looked like after having worked on so many details over the past year. As you'll see below, the colors, decorations, place settings and other details had some type of animal theme that came from the zoo (lions, tigers, etc).
Since they arrived before their guests, we used the balcony spaces around the Tree House and the downtown skyline as an amazing backdrop for photos for both the wedding party and Jake and Nikki.
One of the best touches of the day was the fact that Jake and Nikki could ride the funicular down from the Tree House to greet their guests as the reception began. It was one of the best ways they could have said "Thank You for Coming" that we've seen yet.
Following cocktail hour where Jake and Nikki were able to mix and mingle with guests, a wonderful meal was served by Applause Catering and dancing began shortly after with Greg from Entertainment on the Move at the helm.
As the sun set over downtown Grand Rapids, guests danced, drank and enjoyed the wonderful fall evening, celebrating Jake and Nikki's marriage.
Ceremony Location: Kuyper College Chapel
Reception Location: Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo
Hair: Michele Poorman of Textures Salon
Makeup: Stephanie Kik of Urban Obsession
Jewelry: DeVries Jewelers & Blue Nile
Wedding Dress: Becker's Bridal
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid's Dresses: David's Bridal
Groom's Attire: Bunny Tuxedo
Flowers: Events by Ludema's
Officiant: Gust Bassianotis of ForeverTwogether
Bagpiper: Joe Harmon
Catering: Applause Catering
DJ: Entertainment on the Move
Wedding Cake: Kimberly's Cakes
Chair & Linens: Special Occasions West