Weddings from Bryan and Mae are some of my favorite for two reasons. First, a whole lot of the beautiful celebrations they capture are in my gorgeous home state (Michigan) and I love the little piece of home. And second, they are phenomenal at capturing a couple’s love. You can see the tenderness in the way they embrace, hear the laughter, and feel the excitement. And, the coolest couples choose these two talented photographers to capture their big day. You won’t want to miss the rest of this one… click here!
From the gorgeous bride … We wanted our wedding to be a celebration not just of our love, but also the love of our family and friends, and ultimately, God’s love for us.
When we first started the planning process we realized that there were so many wedding traditions that we knew nothing about. While we appreciate tradition, and did include a few traditional elements, we wanted to try our best to make sure that each part of our wedding had personal meaning to us. It was initially a little hard for our moms, aunts, and grandmas to understand why all of our bridesmaid dresses were different and why we didn’t have a three-tiered cake to cut together and shove in each others faces, but I think our reasons became apparent once everything came together. Everything from the music, to the vows, to the decorations, to the way we introduced our bridal party felt like us, just as a wedding day should.
It is impossible for me to choose a favorite part of our wedding day because really, the entire day was just incredible. Getting ready was a blast. A couple of my bridesmaids and I started the day with an early morning run. I am normally a pretty quiet and shy person, but I was literally yelling out to strangers that we passed, “I’m getting married today!” and I honestly couldn’t help it! I was just so excited and I wanted everyone else to feel it too. We spent the rest of the morning, just hanging out, listening to music, and laughing about everything as we took turns getting our hair and makeup done. There were also some tears as my friends presented me with a homemade book of pictures and sweet notes from each of them.
The first look was another part of the day that I could just play over and over again in my mind. We had been talking about our wedding for months and it always seemed like this distant thing that I had to look forward to. But as I was walking up behind him it just hit me that it was finally here. It was so great to just stand there giving each other teary-eyed hugs with everything finally feeling so real.
We had the ceremony at a park, which actually had neither traditional value nor personal meaning. For some reason I had just always envisioned myself getting married under a big tree and we happened to drive by this park and find the perfect one on the same day we booked our reception at the Goei center. There were so many parts about the ceremony that stood out to me but my favorite part was probably the prayer at the end. There is really no other time in life when all of the people that you love and care about most are all together. There are people from every phase and friends from every circle and they are all there to celebrate with you. It was such an amazing and unifying experience to see all those people from my life and all those people from Bryan’s life join hands with us in a prayer of blessing for our marriage.
As for the decorations, we made most things ourselves, which I really enjoyed. I was in the midst of a busy grad school semester up until four days before our wedding so I just gave myself frequent study breaks during which I worked on wedding crafts. We spent hours decorating mason jars, cutting fabric and burlap for banners, and searching thrift stores for the perfect plates to use for our dessert tiers. The doors we used at the ceremony were an exciting (and free!) find from the basement of the house Bryan was living in at the time. The doors started out with an aesthetic purpose and became a visual reminder of our vows. All of us make choices each day that are like opening and passing through a door; Decisions to be kind, to express love, to do what is right, and so on. The vows that we made on our wedding day were like opening and passing through a door that we also locked behind us. It was and is a commitment to a lifetime of decisions for grace, hope, love, and faithfulness. Now, those same doors are our reminder of those vows every morning because we made them into the headboard of our bed.
My advice to current brides would be to keep in mind that your wedding day is only the kick-off to a whole lifetime with the person you love. It’s easy to get wrapped up in planning the details for the wedding, but I found myself much less stressed when I was able to take a step back and regain this perspective. I think that because of this, I was truly able to enjoy the entire process of planning and especially the day of the wedding. It was an absolutely beautiful day filled with so much happiness, excitement, and love, and we are so glad to have not only the memories, but also the photos that capture it all so perfectly.