There’s been many events over the last few years that make me realize I’m getting older. Things like photographing my little sister’s senior photos in 2012, seeing my birth year on those signs at the store that says you need to be born on or before that year to drink or buy alcohol, and now photographing my childhood neighbor’s Howell wedding. All the “kids” I knew growing up, now are married and/or have kids of their own. It’s crazy to think of all of us as adults, but time truly flies faster the older you get.
COVID Had Other Plans
Originally Amee and Justin were supposed to get married in June, however with all the COVID restrictions they had to start from scratch with their reception plans. They moved from an indoor hall to a tented reception on her mom’s gorgeous property. After all the rearranging of plans and everything, Mother Nature tried her best to interfere. The forecast had called for thunderstorms starting at my arrival and lasting the rest of the evening, however only a handful of sprinkles fell towards the end of the reception.
For the first half of the day, I got to hang with Amee and her wedding party. When I arrived Amee was getting the finishing touches done on her make-up. The wedding party were all hanging out in their custom robes and slippers, even the flower girl! The cohesive “getting ready look” of matching robes always looks SO good in photos.
Historic All Saints Wedding Chapel in Howell
Once everyone was dressed the party bus came to pick them up and take them to the historic All Saints Wedding Chapel in Howell. If you’re having a smaller wedding, this is adorable! It will hold up to 120 guests and has a balcony as well. The chapel opened in 1880 and has a stunning brick exterior. The front of the building has double wooden doors and steps. It’s shaded in the afternoon and is a prime location for any family or wedding party photos. The inside has been updated a little bit and AC added, which was a lifesaver since it was so humid on Saturday.
Downtown Howell Wedding Photos
After the wedding party is done, I like to take the couple off by themselves to get a few images and let them enjoy each other before they get to the reception. Downtown Howell has so many great spots to stop for a quick photo or two. We decided to walk a couple blocks over to the Alley District to capture some sweet moments between them. Amee and Justin warmed up quickly in front of the camera and rocked their photos! The juxtaposition of the historical brick buildings and their loving embrace, is nothing short of magical. And do you see those paper lanterns in the background?! How freaking cute!
A Familiar Face
After the party bus picked up the couple, Shawna and I made our way back to our cars. We grabbed the most delicious mango smoothies from Uptown Coffeehouse to help us cool down and headed to the reception.
Back at the house, they had a huge tent set up in the backyard and parking marked off for all their guests. A rose petal walkway guided the way from the base of the deck stairs to the tent. While I was waiting for them to get announced, I overheard a woman talking nearby. Instantly I recognized the voice, it was my bus driver from middle school through high school! Mrs. Patty was THE coolest bus driver ever, I mean she drove a motorcycle to work and listened to classic rock on the bus. It doesn’t get much cooler than that. It was so nice to see her after all these years and catch up for a minute.
Under the tent there was plenty of room for everyone to move around and it was all open air. Enzo’s Catering had a delicious buffet set up across the dance floor. After dinner was over Amee and Justin cut the cake then had their first dance. This is one wedding tradition that always makes me emotional. I just love the way the parents watch their children dancing, unaware of the smile across their faces and tears running down their cheeks. It’s like in that moment, they truly realize they aren’t their round faced little babies anymore. Gosh, I couldn’t even write that without my eyes watering, I’m such a sap in my old age!
We ended the night getting funky to the Cupid Shuffle. As we walked back to our cars, the Edison lights came on inside the tent and set the whole yard aglow.
Ceremony Venue: All Saints Wedding Chapel in Howell, MI
Reception Venue: Amee’s mom’s backyard
Officiant: Judge Mike Hatty
Amee’s Dress: David’s Bridal
Justin’s Tux: Brighton Tux Shop
Catering: Enzo’s Catering
Cake: Wedding Cake Art & Design
Pies: Grand Traverse Pie Co.
Hair & Make-Up: Rylee Heyza & Jamie
DJ & Photobooth: The DJ Guy