Love stories, visually told.
Sts. Peter & Paul Ceremony, Gem Theatre Wedding Reception
When I met with Stacey and Mike, it was like meeting up with old friends. Immediately, their warm demeanor and friendly smiles put me at ease. Then, come to find out, Mike is also a photographer…I knew they were going to be an awesome couple to work with. Mike and Stacey got married at my favorite church in Detroit, Sts. Peter and Paul and later had a Gem Theatre wedding reception.
If I could sum up Mike and Stacey’s wedding in just one word, it would be “sentimental.” Some weddings are opulent. Some weddings are emotional. Mike and Stacey’s seemed to have the perfect blend of elegance, friendships, memories, emotions, and moments of thoughtfulness.
Mike’s wedding day began at the Detroit Athletic Club. The guys enjoyed a lax morning and were treated to engraved watches and matching Yeti tumblers to help them get through the day. Mike seemed to get ready calmly and methodically. While his groomsmen jeered him a little bit, he was stoic, shrugging it off and focusing on something far bigger and more important. It was interesting to see; most grooms go with the flow. Mike was the captain of his own ship today.
After Mike was ready, he helped his son Charlie get ready. It was then that I understood his demeanor. It wasn’t just a life-changing day for him. It was a life-changing day for his son Charlie too. It is hard to put into words the tenderness and care Mike gave Charlie throughout the day. It wasn’t just Mike that was inviting Stacey into his life; Charlie was too.
Before Mike could meet his bride, Stacey had a small gift for him. On one of their early dates, Mike and Stacey walked the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Stacey found beautiful, smooth black stones, which she kept stopping to pick up. Mike called out to her, requesting that she walk beside him. She kept those black stones and incorporated the diamonds of her late father’s wedding ring into a pair of cufflinks for Mike to wear on their wedding day. It was so sentimental and such a beautiful gesture.
After drying a tear or two, I headed over to the Westin Book Cadillac where Stacey and her bridesmaids were getting ready. I almost felt bad knocking on the door; all I heard from the outside was raucous laughter.
Stacey was all smiles, all day. The slightest compliment, comment, or observation would bring so much joy to her.
With all of the preparations out of the way, it was time for their first look. They shared a first look at the James Scott Memorial Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit.
After a few moments alone, it was time to photograph their formals. Belle Isle was surprisingly empty, leaving us all of its beauty to photograph against. We started at the Belle Isle Casino before heading to their Gem Theatre wedding reception.
On our ay down Jefferson, we detoured to an area just north of the Riverwalk. Sometimes, finding five minutes in your schedule and doing something sporadic is completely worth it on your wedding day.
Next, we arrived at Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church for the ceremony.
One of my favorite aspects of this church is that the bride and groom actually face the congregation. This is so nice because it far more welcoming and makes the wedding more inclusive. The guests get to see and experience the wedding along with the bride and groom.
With an exchange of vows, rings, and a kiss, Mike and Stacey were married.
After the ceremony, we headed to the DIA for some bridal party photos.
We made one quick stop at to Detroit’s Eastern Market before heading to their Gem Theatre wedding reception.
When we got to the Gem Theatre, I had a few minutes inside the reception area before guests started to arrive. I loved every detail, down to the Michigan-themed drinks and key ring for guests to remember the night. The Gem Theatre is one of my favorite venues for a wedding reception if you are looking for something with a bit more character and charm in the city. It is classic Detroit. (You can see another recent wedding I shot there here.)
With the toasts (and incredibly honest and self-embarrassing Best Man story) out of the way, there was only one thing left to do…