A Lakeshore Wedding

Todd and Amy Gagner, June 24, 2004

I grew up fishing on Lake Michigan, frolicking on its beaches, soaking in the sun creating precious memories with my family and friends. When planning my dream wedding I knew I wanted Lake Michigan to be the canvas. I selected a private beach location in Pentwater, Michigan as the site of my wedding and chose this location based on its beauty and my attachment to the area. I grew up vacationing in Pentwater and I wanted to share this special place with my wedding guests.

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I selected a beach location because I have a passion for being outdoors and it was the perfect backdrop for my wedding photography (I also wanted to spend my wedding day walking barefoot in the sand). I carefully planned every detail of my wedding myself with support from my family and friends. I spent many weekends in Pentwater preplanning the wedding, conducting site inspections, meeting with photographers, caterers, and bakeries (I coordinated my own music selection). Once the location and vendors were selected, it was just a matter of communicating the details of our wedding to all the hired professionals and to our guests. Because Pentwater was a destination wedding for most of our guests, clear communication included in the wedding invitation was critical to its success. Included in the guest invitation was not only the basic information (date, location, time) but recommendations for where to stay, what they could do while they were there, maps/directions. Each guest was picked up by shuttle from where they were staying and transported to the wedding location, because there wasn't ample parking; therefore, shuttle times needed to be clearly explained, and the bride and groom's itinerary around town was provided so that guests could visit them prior to and after the wedding.

One of the most important details of the wedding is finding the right photographer. I had a vision of what my wedding album would look like and the perfect photographer would provide me with a wedding book that doesn't look like a "traditional" photo album filled with posed photos. I wanted my wedding book to capture the experience of our wedding day in a journalistic style. I selected Alway Photography as our photographer because they explained that the photographs they would capture would tell a story and they could provide me with a unique coffee table book-style wedding book. I'll get back to the photography in a moment.

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My objective for the wedding was to share the beauty of Lake Michigan with our guests by creating a casual, fun, outdoor atmosphere for them to witness our wedding, dine, and dance. We informed guests to dress casual and dress appropriately for the weather conditions (thankfully we had a sunny day). When guests arrived via the wedding shuttle they walked through a beautiful wooded setting to a long set of stairs which took them to a beautiful deck that overlooked Lake Michigan. Guests could mingle on the deck or walk down to the beach where a tent and chairs were placed for the wedding and reception. As guests arrived my husband (at that point not officially my husband) and I greeted our guests (yes, before the wedding) welcoming them as they arrived and to thank them for joining us. Once all the guests arrived the wedding ceremony was conducted on the beach followed by dinner and dancing. The night was magical and the scenery phenomenal.

Now back to my wedding photos--Alway Photography captured our wedding day activities from start to finish. When they sent me an initial proof of the layout of my wedding book for approval I couldn't quite believe what I saw. Then, when I received the completed wedding book I was so pleased--Alway Photography truly captured the essence of our wedding day through a uniquely designed photograph layout combining posed and candid shots. Everyone that previews our wedding book says, "I've never seen a wedding book like this. Thanks Alway Photography for exceeding my expectations!"

Last Updated: 02-14-2019 11:11 AM ID: 703