west michigan wedding phtoographer - sunset at warren dunes state park

Every once in a blue moon you meet a couple whose story inspires and has you question everything you know about coincidence and the size of the world. So when these things matched up and I was approached by Sam and Kait to be their West Michigan Wedding Photographer at Warren Dunes State Park – I couldn’t say YES quickly enough.

The Story Begins…

Their story began in a bar in Colorado, but strangely enough, the serendipitous nature of their relationship had its preface at 10,000 ft in Maui’s dormant volcano. Five years ago, my husband Anthony and his two brothers, Jack and Wes, hiked into Haleakala crater for a few days of bro-bonding. Along the way, in one of the most desolate places on Earth, they met a badass chick named Kait.⠀

That night, under the stars, the shared spam fried rice and a handle of whiskey. In the morning, they all hiked out together and then parted ways. A few months later, Sam, Jack’s best friend, texts him that he met the most incredible woman in Colorado. Can you guess who it was? They subsequently began dating and, soon enough, were in love. Their story is one of those that the universe had been saving for the right couple. It’s one of those stories that you tell around bonfires on summer evenings. It’s one that you pass on to your children.

Warren Dunes State Park Wedding

And their wedding was such a joyous celebration of these two families coming together. Kait’s family owns Lemon Creek Winery in Berrien Springs, Michigan – which is about a 10-minute drive to Lake Michigan.

One of the many highlights of the day was the ceremony. It was filled with love and some tears (also officiated by my husband) at Warren Dunes State Park. How funny too that I traveled 2500 miles to shoot a wedding on a beach! But it was so different from what I was used to. And the sunset – holy smokes. It rivaled Maui’s sunsets!

I also loved the live band (Who Hit John), the infusion of wine into their reception (because duh), and their time together out on the shore of Lake Michigan. They chased seagulls, played in the surf, and experienced their first sunset as husband and wife.

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There’s so much more I could write about this wedding.

About how the week leading up to the wedding was blazing hot, but that first cold snap of fall showed up two days before the wedding. And how perfect the best man and maid of honor’s speeches were. How Kip, their dog, started howling after the first kiss. And how I got goosebumps when the sky lit up. And about how I cried no less than three times during the whole day.

Sam and Kait – I know it wasn’t the most natural decision to fly this Maui girl out for your Michigan wedding, but I’m so, SO glad you did. I feel honored to have been the one to capture this special day for you both. Truly. It was a day I’ll never forget. Love you both!

I come back to Michigan once every summer. In 2019, I will be there from June 11-25.

Do you need a West Michigan Wedding Photographer during that time? Let’s chat.

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