“There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.” – Lord Byron
I am originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and just this past year I started advertising in Michigan for weddings as well as Chicago. It not only gives me a chance to shoot weddings in my gorgeous home state, but also an excuse to see my family on a summer weekend, which never happens in this line of business 🙂 I received an email from Beth and Rob inquiring for wedding photography for their Southwest Michigan wedding in September. They explained to me that they were renting out an entire day camp for their wedding and I was immediately intrigued and excited! Can it get any better than a camp wedding in the woods of Michigan? The entire wedding was held at the Circle Pines Center in Delton, Michigan. When I looked up the location I discovered that Circle Pines Center is a member-based, non-profit, education and recreation center. They run a children’s summer camp with 294 acres of land with rolling hills, hardwood and pine forests, meadows and frontage on Stewart Lake. Can you say GOR-GEOUS!?
As the wedding day approached I was a tad nervous because rain was forecasted, so I packed up my equipment and all of my umbrellas and hoped for the best. The morning of September 17th was overcast, but the rain was going to subside (yay!). Beth and Rob (and their amazing friends and family) but so much love, sweat and (I’m sure) tears into planning this amazing wedding and it showed in all of the details.
The ceremony was held in the camps “Labyrinth” as guests lined the couple in the circle formation. As Beth’s father walked her down the tree-lined aisle it took Robs breathe away. As Beth and Rob said their vows to become man and wife the sky cleared and the sun beamed down on them. It was amazing to say the least. After the ceremony the guests lined up along the path and let the newlyweds walk through – with hollers and high fives the entire way! The dinner was served in a beautiful white tent and on the menu was AH-MAZ-ING pulled pork and chicken smoked by AuSable River Smokehouse, one of the best wedding meals I have ever eaten hands down! After dinner all of the guests moved over to the stone pavilion which was all decked out with uplighting and lanterns hanging from the rafters in the ceiling. The bride and groom danced their first dance surrounded by their love ones. Immediately after the first dance small white candles were distributed to the crowd. Rob got on the microphone and explained to their guests that this day was not just a joining of him and Beth, but a joining of all of their friends and family. To symbolize this Rob and Beth lit their candles and then went into the sea of smiling faces and each candle was lit by another candle. It was an amazing thing to photograph and witness. Beth and Rob had not one, but 10 wedding cakes of various flavors, or as I call it #cakeheaven. Just when you think this wedding is the best thing since sliced bread…there’s more! For the guests who stayed late into the evening there was a wooded path that led to a giant bonfire where the couple had a custom s’mores table set up and an acoustic guitar player singing tunes. You have not lived until you have eaten a maple bacon toasted marshmallow under the stars….just sayin’.
Beth and Rob are two of the sweetest people that you will ever meet, the love they share and joy for life is evident in the way they look at each other. Every single detail that went into planning this day was just beautiful. I could not be more thankful to be a part of it! Rob and Beth – here’s to many s’more years of happiness and laughter – see what I did there 🙂 xo – Lisa
Venue: Circle Pines Center, Delton, MI
Video: Wedlight Productions
DJ/Lighting: TJ Monte Productions
Catering: AuSable River Smokehouse
Bartending: Mobile Bar Tenders, Tonya Winston
Wedding Cake: Ella’s Pauline Confectionary
Wedding Coordinator: Natalie Bazon
Makeup/Hair: Makeup by Sarah