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! :)
Huge shout out to my assistant Nina for being a rockstar (as usual)! ;)
Reception: The Gem Theatre, Detroit, MI
Florist: Jen Osman
Bridal: Maggie Sottero
Bridesmaids: Alfred Sung
Grooms accessories: Lochcarron of Scotland
Hair/Makeup: Megan Foley, Skye Salon, Grosse Pointe, MI