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! :)

Matt + Kathleen // A Wintry, Holiday Nights Engagement Session // December, 2015

Wow! Has it really been 8 months since I've last blogged?! Ok, so one of my major New Year's business resolutions is to blog on a regular basis. I have so many photos and amazing moments living in my computer, and I need to get them out for all to see. So, hold me accountable everyone.... more blogging in 2017! It will happen!

As the holidays are fast approaching, well, right at the finish line actually, it dawned on me that I never blogged this super fun engagement session I photographed last Christmas. And with this couple's New Year's Eve wedding coming right up, I thought there's no better time than now!

When I met with Matt + Kathleen last year to discuss their wedding day, they wanted to run an idea by me. They had the green light to photograph their session during one of my favorite events of all time, Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village. If you're local, you know exactly which event I'm referring to. If you're not, let me just create a vision for you. Every Christmas, The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village transforms itself into a holiday wonderland. You are transported back in time. I was going to try to describe it myself, but no one describes it better than the Henry Ford itself, from their website,

" Take a lantern-lit journey into a living snow globe filled with live music, skating, fireworks and tons of winter wonder during America’s premier celebration of the season. Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village is like stepping into a Christmas card from the past — the golden glow from candlelit windows, the scent of roasting chestnuts, the sound of carolers in the distance, the jangle of sleigh bells. This is how the holidays are supposed to be." 

I mean, doesn't that sound simply magical?! I assure you, it is! So anyways, when Matt + Kathleen asked me if I could do their shoot during this live event, I essentially turned into a kid on Christmas morning, and we set the wheels in motion. Take a look at some of the love + magic we captured that night. It was truly so much fun! And a huge thank you to The Henry Ford for allowing us to capture this vision for the soon to be bride + groom!

Merry Christmas + Happy Holidays from my family to yours! See you more often in 2017! <3

-Lia

 

Huge thank you to The Henry Ford! www.thehenryford.org

Getting married? Now booking weddings 2017 + beyond! www.liagiannottiphotography.com

Ben + Melissa // A Snowy, Springtime Ann Arbor, MI Wedding, April 2, 2016

Ben + Melissa kicked off my 2016 wedding season with a showstopping day! I can't even put into words how incredible their day was. They got married on April 2nd, in Ann Arbor, which just so happened to fall on the annual Hash Bash event. This ultimately lead to some really great stories that I know not only they, but I'll be telling for years to come. 

I'll be honest, I'm a little sad to get these photos delivered and stored neatly away on my hard drives. I have had a smile on my face editing these images, as big as the one I had when I was taking them. Ben + Melissa exude happiness, and pure JOY. One look at these photos will show you exactly what I mean. If there was ever a smile so contagious, it would be Melissa's. This day for her and Ben was years in the making, and the happiness, love and joy that was shared between them and their families was like nothing I've ever experienced. I honestly felt like a member of the family by the end of the night. It was just that powerful, and a day I will not soon, nor ever forget. <3

So, as I mentioned, this day was full of surprises and fun stories. A beautiful spring day turned into winter, as we left the church to be surprised with a blizzardy snowfall. We headed out into the city for photos, and even had a celebrity siting of the Violin Monster, who graciously posed for a photo op. ;) We then headed to Literati Bookstore, where Melissa, who's Masters is in Children's Literature, has a soft spot for this beautiful little shop. They typed love letters to each other, found their favorite book in the Children's section, and beautiful memories were made.

Melissa + Ben, I can't put into words how much I loved your day. I know your joy, happiness and love that's evident in your smiles will last you a lifetime. Thank you for having me along. xoxo

 

Ceremony: St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, Ann Arbor

Venue: Weber's Inn, Ann Arbor

Florist: Chelsea Flower Shop, Ann Arbor

Dress: Bridal Couture, Plymouth

Tux: Vera Wang, Men's Warehouse

DJ: Mammoth Entertainment

A big thank you to Literati Bookstore for the hospitality! 

Mitch + Elizabeth // A Dearborn Inn, MI Wedding, September 5, 2015

A few words come to mind when I think back to Mitch + Elizabeth's wedding....classic, beautiful, love story. It was a picture perfect day, filled with summer sun, and lots and lots of love and emotion. 

When I first met with Elizabeth, Mitch was overseas serving in the US Navy. It wasn't until the day of the wedding that I met Mitch, though I had heard a lot about him at that point. He had just arrived home the week before, from fulfilling a six month deployment. He arrived just in time to marry his bride. 

This is where the emotional part of the day really drew from. I have to tell you, these two are incredible together. It really made my heart so happy to see the outpouring of love they have for each other, and that of their friends and family surrounding them. It inspires me to the very tips of my toes, and the day was well, magical. My favorite kind of day. :)

A huge, heartfelt thank you to Mitch + Elizabeth for allowing me to capture these special moments for them. I know I say it all the time, but my clients really do become my friends, and nothing makes me smile more than two people madly in love, and embarking on such an incredible new journey together. Wishing you as much joy, laughter, and love you had on this day, to last a lifetime through. xoxo

Venue: The Dearborn Inn, Dearborn

Florist: Silk Thumb, Wyandotte

Videographer: Drew Mason Video

Out of the office....

Hi everyone! I wanted to let you know I will be out of my office the next few days, attending ImagingUSA! I am beyond excited to be attending this national photography convention, where I get to see some of the most amazing photographers, learn, be inspired, and learn some more! The best part is, I get to bring it all of this new information home with me to incorporate into my business this year. It also allows me the opportunity to look at new products, and see what I like, and what my clients will like as well. This is all so exciting, and I can't wait to be able to put more tools in my pocket and continue to make this business even better! 

I will do my best to respond to emails and inquiries, however, it will most likely be delayed by a few days. If you don't hear back from me, it means I am running from workshop to workshop, and will get back to you on Thursday, January 9th, when I am back to my desk. 

Thanks for your understanding! :)

Lia