Leah and I traveled to Mill Creek Barn in Michigan a few weeks ago to photograph Kristen and Brandon’s wedding celebration. A few days prior I had been with them as they held their civil ceremony in their home, and was excited to celebrate the union with their family and friends.
Here, Kristen admires her bouquet, which was created by her friend Elizabeth, the owner of Asrai Garden where Kristen works.
Kristen ducked behind a door, staying hidden from Brandon in the moments leading up to their first look.
Their first look ended with a kiss…
…and then we set off for some pre-wedding portraits.
And there were TONS of spots for photos around the Mill Creek area.
An abandoned shed?!?! I was loving the shooting locations!
I wish I had one of these in my backyard.
We shot at that shed for days, but it was worth it. Brandon helped his bride navigate the brush…
…and then we headed back to the barn, where a special couple was waiting to greet us…
Brandon’s mom and stepfather were there, too, ready to smile for the camera.
Also camera-ready was the entire Asrai Garden crew. What a good-looking bunch.
The ceremony was about to begin and the high-spirited guests began to file into their seats.
Kristen was escorted down the aisle by her father…
…who was so extremely happy for his daughter and new son-in-law.
Kristen’s sister, who served as the officiant for the wedding, began the ceremony after the couple took their places.
Brandon listened attentively while Kristen delivered her vow.
And the bride couldn’t keep her eyes off her groom while he made his wedding promise.
With vows delivered and rings exchanged, Kristen and Brandon began their marriage with a kiss.
The newlyweds walked back down the aisle…
…and began to greet family and friends.
There were plenty of congratulations (and hugs) to go around, too!
While Kristen and Brandon welcomed guests, I stepped inside the barn to see what was going on.
What I found were two mason jars filled with the couple’s signature cocktail. This special drink was created by Ben Fasman, who works with Big Star and Violet Hour here in the city.
After enjoying a round of cocktails, Kristen and Brandon settled in for family pictures.
Brandon’s step-father was right there with me for group portraits.
Guests, meanwhile, enjoyed a few rounds of bag tossing during cocktail hour.
This set was custom-made for the wedding by Kristen’s sister!
One guests spent the time exploring the grounds.
Soon after, ears perked up as dinner was announced.
Guests made their way in to the barn, where they found seats and began to dig into the meal.
Kristen’s gorgeous bouquet is best described by the bride herself:
“The bouquets were basically all my favorites. I love the wildflower look with more showy flowers like the dahlias being the focal flower. The dahlias were also local from Hamilton Dahlia Farm. and who doesn’t love veggies in a bouquet?”
Kristen continues: “I love plants, so that’s why half the centerpieces were rosemary (supposed to be good luck at a wedding!), cuban oregano and baby’s tears. The plants were all from a local grower in michigan called Old World Gardens. Our friend provided us with all the produce for the centerpieces.”
Kristen on why Mill Creek appealed to her and Brandon: “We had the wedding where we did and decorated the way we did because we love spending time outside the city. We camp and fish when we can and every fall take a weekend away in a cabin in Wisconsin or Michigan.”
Seed packets were on all the tables as favors for guests.
And a tempting buffet of pie, courtesy of Hoosier Mama Pies, was on display in the front of the room.
The pie cards were held up by little ceramic critters, another contribution from Kristen’s sister.
Here are some more of her adorable creations:
And the table set up for receiving cards was beautiful as well.
Guests were invited to sign the guest book before digging into the meal, which was catered by Smoque.
There were wonderful, hand-made details all around.
I was especially fond of the banners that were hanging from the barn rafters .
And, of course, plenty of greenery was on display.
Following dinner, Kristen’s sister was the first to pick up the microphone and give a toast in honor of the newlyweds.
Brandon receives a hug from his stepdad following his speech.
And Kristen’s dad couldn’t hold back the happy tears during his toast.
Right after speeches, the bride and groom joined each other on the dance floor for their first dance as a married couple.
Next up were the parent dances, beginning with Kristen and her father…
…and Brandon with his mother close behind.
Then Kristen gave the thumbs up for everyone to hit the dance floor.
Not one to shy away from the spotlight, Kristen’s mom broke out her baton and gave everyone a twirling lesson. You cannot imagine how excited I was.
It got hot in that barn as the guests partied heartily to the soundtrack provided by Spectrum Productions.
Kristen’s sister and her boyfriend enjoy a slow dance together.
And proud papa struts his stuff.
Wheee! That looks like fun!
What a perfect wedding!
Before leaving, I took a picture of the rings resting on the heads of the bird display. Kristen writes about them: “There’s not a huge story behind the taxidermy lovebirds. We collect some taxidermy and i thought it’d be cool to have something at the wedding, so I got the birds from a woman in Australia and the artist Jessica Joslin built us the mount from vintage pieces. Brandon is the more outgoing of the two of us, so we got him the more brightly colored bird with it’s wings open and I got the pretty grey bird.”
Congratulations, Kristen and Brandon! Thank-you for sharing your day with me!