Lindsey + Ron // An Ann Arbor, Michgian Fall Engagement Session

It's happening. The weather has cooled down considerably and fall is in the air! Even though it's not officially fall yet, Mother Nature has her own set of plans, and the colors are changing faster than ever! Every year around this time, I get nostalgic. Out of no where I start to remember all of the fall sessions I had the year prior, and start to anticipate the sessions coming in. I met with Lindsey + Ron on a beautiful, fall day in Ann Arbor last year. Everything about that day was perfect. The weather, the temperature, the colors were all on point. There's something truly magical about this time of year here in Michigan. Engagement sessions are great, because it allows me to really get to know my couples, and vice versa. After being together for many years, they're both right where they want to be, and have hit this huge milestone in their lives. Be sure to scroll through for a glimpse at Lindsey's humor about it. ;)

Since this weekend is their wedding weekend, and honestly, who would have thought we would have this much fall color already, I thought it only fitting to showcase their engagement session. Stay tuned to my facebook page Lia Giannotti Photography, to check out their wedding sneak preview coming soon! Happy early fall everyone! <3

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Codey + Taylor // A Summer's Evening Detroit Engagement Session

You know what they say right? Better late than never? Well that's me on posting these photos! ;) 

Last month, Taylor, Codey + I ran off to downtown Detroit to take their engagement photos. It was the most perfect summer evening. The light was amazing, temp just right, and these two really were icing on the cake. I loved their interaction, small spontaneous gestures, the way one would make the other laugh, and just how connected they were. I told them they seemed like they've been together forever. And to top it off, I told them the last shot was their choice, and what did they do without my even expecting it? Codey picked Taylor up and swung her around in the most perfect way possible. It was the mic drop moment of the evening. 

So in honor of this weekend being their official wedding weekend, here are a few favorites from their session. I honestly can't wait to capture their day, and celebrate with them. Hope you enjoy! 

The Morning after the Big Day // Adventures in Punta Cana, a Caribbean Wedding

A few weeks ago I blogged Patrick + Lisa's Caribbean, Punta Cana destination wedding. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here.  On our first day on the island, we were walking along the beach discussing the wedding day, and we came across this abandoned hacienda tucked far back, behind a forest of palm trees.  The estate and surrounding property had never finished being built. It was pretty fantastic, and literally, stopped us in our tracks. At this point, we knew we had to do a photo shoot there, so the morning after the wedding, we took a field trip back to this jaw dropping estate, and had a fun little session. I wish I could take home the amazing "palm tree forest" located on the property. It was like nothing I had ever seen in all my travels. I hope you enjoy this little bit of paradise! I most definitely have to head back here someday. It was just too good!! 

Patrick + Lisa // A Tropical, Caribbean Destination Wedding // Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."  -Jacques Yves Coustea

This quote is me in a nutshell. All of my happiest memories growing up were by the water. It's why my husband and I chose to live on the water, and why I constantly strive to be surrounded by anything that reminds me of it. The water is what brings me my biggest sense of calm and peace. You can most definitely say, I am cast in its spell. 

I don't typically begin my blogs with a paragraph that's all about me, but I feel like for this, it's quite fitting. When Patrick + Lisa originally reached out to me to photograph their family reception here in Michigan, I thought, absolutely, but who's photographing your actual wedding? We all know how much I am in love with photographing love, and a couples wedding day is the epitome of that greatest love. So when I got the opportunity to photograph a wedding by the sea, it really was a dream come true for me. My heart honestly couldn't have been happier to be there by their side, in such a majestic setting.

So a month ago, we made our way to the Caribbean, and landed in the beautiful, sunny, and tad bit windy island of Dominican Republic. I could feel the excitement and anticipation of photographing in a new place, which allows me to step out of my comfort zone, and be challenged by a new environment. The day of the wedding was windier than normal as the locals confirmed, but it really did work in our favor. I mean, Lisa's dress + that wind were pure magic!

This day really was so special to everyone present. As a wedding photographer, it's my job to document the day. Yes, there are times where I will give directions or prompts, but my absolute favorite moments of the day are the ones I can just stand back and capture what is happening in the moment. Whether it's a mother helping her daughter get ready, or the groom seeing his bride for the first time. Being able to capture those brief, split second moments of the emotions that ensue, the sheer happiness that comes from friends and family, and the couple themselves, are what feeds my soul, and drives this passion of mine. There were so many of these moments present on this day. The wedding was small, intimate, and perfect in every way. Patrick + Lisa were radiating happiness, as were their family. I can't fully express how much joy I felt just being there to witness it and document it. Thank you so much Patrick + Lisa for allowing me to be a part of your incredible day and trip. I can't wait to capture your family reception and continue to celebrate you both! xoxo

Robert + Raleigh// A Classic Grosse Pointe + Detroit, MI Wedding

I'll always remember one of the first things Raleigh said to me when she called me last year inquiring about her wedding day. She was searching for a wedding photographer, and said I got her attention by the way I speak about my wedding clients. She said she could pick up on how much I really love doing what I do, and how much of myself I put into their day. It really caught me off guard because I've never had another bride mention it to me the way she did. From that point, I knew Raleigh was my kind of person. She already "knew" me, and pretty  much summed me up with that statement alone. 

Robert + Raleigh didn't have the "typical" book me to photograph their wedding kind of experience. Not living locally, they decided to hire me based on our phone conversations, and I really couldn't be happier they trusted me enough to do so. I didn't meet Raleigh until about two months or so before the wedding, while in town for a family event. And I didn't actually meet Robert until the morning of the wedding itself. I usually go into a wedding day already having built up a repertoire with my clients, but we really did start from scratch that day, and I can honestly say, it was effortless. I know, I'm going to get all mushy, because that's what I do, but these two are truly two of the nicest, most welcoming people I have ever met. They just exuded this sense of happiness right from the beginning, and I knew from just our phone call a few days prior, their day was going to be pretty incredible. 

Ok, so let's fast forward to the day of the wedding. Though both living out of state, these two wanted to come home for their big day. They chose to get ready at the Detroit Marriott, at the iconic Renaissance Center in Detroit. Now, I will say this, and most people probably already know this about me, but I am a sucker for details. But not only that, I absolutely LOVE sentiment and meaning behind things that are incorporated into a couples wedding day. I am a glorified sentimentalist to the core!  While photographing Raleigh's jewelry, she explained to me that the bracelet she chose to wear that day was a collection of charms her grandmother had given her throughout the years growing up. It was just so beautiful, and so special.

Robert and Raleigh wanted to also pay homage to Robert's Scottish roots and incorporated so many details into their day. Robert's sister knit a beautiful shawl for Raleigh. When I asked her about it, she said it was symbolic of how different generations of Scottish women would work together to knit something. The youngest girl would knit a fairly easy pattern, followed next by the mother, whose pattern was a bit more complicated, and finished by the grandmother, who's pattern was very intricate and precise, and reflected her many years of experience. The detail in the shawl was nothing short of amazing, and it was obvious she put so much love and care creating it.  Absolutely amazing job, Claire! 

Following with more details, Robert's bow tie and suit accessories were ordered directly from a tailor in Scotland. Purple thistle flower was also incorporated into his boutonniere, as well as the ladies bouquets. They all tied into the day so perfectly.

Once finished getting ready, we headed over to one of my favorite Detroit venues, The Gem Theatre in Detroit, for their first look. Robert could barely contain himself while waiting. And can I just say, one of my absolute favorite parts of a wedding day, if not the most favorite part, is when a groom sees his bride for the first time. Whether it's a first look, or standing at the alter, that moment holds so much magic. It's powerful and perfect every single time!  

Following their first look, we drove over to the Grosse Pointe Memorial Church in Grosse Pointe, MI, for the ceremony. I really don't have words to describe the awe of this church and it's surroundings. It's completely breathtaking. Again, as a nod to Robert's roots, a bagpiper led the processional into the church. It was little touches like these that made the day that much more meaningful. 

Something I'm sure these two will never forget is how their wedding day coincided with The Monster Jam event that day, located right across the street at Ford Field on Brush Street. Traffic was crazy, and there were people everywhere. Following dinner and first dances, we decided to head out to the garden area outside The Gem and take some photos with the skyline. We didn't realize however, the two of them would be greeted by throngs of thousands of people all exiting Monster Jam. This of course resulted in so many cheers, whistles, high fives and celebration. It was truly something to see, and the energy was out of this world! It's incredible to see complete strangers show so much joy and excitement for a newly married couple. It always takes my breath away. Mankind at it's finest. Just showing love.

Robert + Raleigh, I feel like such a lucky girl, because I really do believe I get the most amazing clients, and you two are both just that. I feel blessed I'm able to not only document a couples wedding day, but then be able to call them friends afterwards. That is truly so special to me, and being able to experience a couple's most magical day is something I never take for granted. Thank you for that phone call, for going with your gut and trusting me, and for honestly just being so kind, happy, and so in love. The energy of your day was palpable and left me smiling for days. Jeez, I'm still smiling. :) I wish you both all the best always! xoxo, Lia

And one more thing, you're the first couple to ever send me a postcard from their honeymoon! It completely made my day! :)