Traverse City, Michigan Destination Wedding | Phoenix Wedding Photographer

Words seriously cannot describe the feelings I have for this amazing Michigan Destination Wedding I photographed last week. I’m still in awe of it all! From the love the bride and groom share, to the whole heartedness of the groomsmen and bridesmaids, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to spend my day with! Both families were an absolute joy to work with, and I seriously just feel so honored to have been chosen to capture their perfect moments!

I met Forrest while stationed in the Army in Germany. He is a one of a kind dude, and can always make someone laugh. Meeting his family, I could see where he got it from. I fell in love with the true genuine love each of his family members had for anyone they came into contact with that week!

Lauren is the beautiful lady that stole Forrest’s heart and became his wife. They met at Ft Lewis since she is in the Air Force, and after a few times of rejecting him for a coffee date in the DFAC line, she finally let him in. Fast forward a little bit of time and you can envision rose petals with a tea candle walkway, leading to the fire pit in their backyard, with a bottle of champagne and a few very specific words to ask of Lauren!! I would say it’s safe to say that the coffee date was a complete success!!

Seeing the love these two have for one another, and how great their families bond with one another, it is no doubt that this Michigan Destination Wedding was a match made in heaven! I knew before I bet with Lauren in person that I would love her, and I did! She is so laid back, and loves those around her so much… I couldn’t have picked a better bride myself!

Forrest… well, I’ve known him for a number of years so…. obviously he is a fan of mine. I’m so glad that he found someone like Lauren, they truly bring out the best in one another! Along with Lauren’s sweet daughter Teagan.

I have to be honest.. while I was hired as a wedding photographer for this very last minute planned, DIY wedding, it was more of a Germany Reunion than anything! I was so stoked to not only be chosen to photograph their wedding, but also get a chance to reunite with a groom that I hadn’t seen since before they left for deployment three years back, and a groomsman I hadn’t seen since I left deployment over 2 years ago… the world is small people. I mean it!!

I honestly could not have asked for a more perfect wedding to photograph. These two spent around $2,500 for all of the decor and locations of their big day! The dresses and vests were all used, and altered by the Maid of Honor. The floral arrangements were all hand picked by the bridal party, then pieced together by them as well. The cake was also made completely by the Maid of Honor!! To say Lauren’s sister, Katie, was the MVP of this wedding is an understatement!!

Stephanie, one of Lauren’s bridesmaids was the hair and makeup artist, as she does this for a living! I don’t think Lauren could have picked out better people to help her pull off this beautiful day!

Seriously.. what a beautiful day!! Sure, Sleeping Bear Dunes was foggy… but we were able to get some beautiful dunes photos that wouldn’t have been possible in clear day light. Sure, the dresses and floral arrangements were still getting taken care of the day of the wedding. Sure, Grandma wasn’t brought to her destination at the time she was supposed to. Sure, there was a Cherry Festival going on, and a PARADE at the time of the reception, so half of the important people showed up late.

But, do you know what? No day ever goes as planned, and at the end of the day… Lauren and Forrest became husband and wife, and everyone was able to celebrate this beautiful union together!!

Oh, did I mention it started to sprinkle during portraits?! I’d say this day was a 100% success!



So…. the details!!

The cake was baked and designed by the MOH.
The dresses were bought from a used store, along with the vests.
Alterations were also done by the MOH.

Hair and Makeup were done by Stephanie, one of the bridesmaids.
Floral arrangements and most of the decor where done by the bridesmaids and MOH.

(Are we catching a trend here?!)

The ceremony was at the gorgeous Sleeping Bear Dunes, and the Reception was held at Park Place Hotel in Traverse City.


I have to tell you, it was so hard to choose my favorites from this beautiful day!!

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