Words can’t describe how honored I am that Shelby + Troy invited me to be a part of their wedding day.  A truly intimate event with around 25 of their closest friends and family surrounding them. As they took their vows in their home, her father did a beautiful reading from an early 1900′s marriage sermon, written by his grandfather (I believe!).  Troy’s father sang Amazing Grace to a rapt audience as his voice filled the room.  Even sweeter, her brother performed the ceremony, making their vows not just legal but cherished.  Truly a lovely, intimate, wedding.

Here’s just a tiny peek into our time together, in their charming home:

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Being a part of such a heartfelt day reminded me deeply of why I love weddings. Truth be told, these smaller, thoughtful, weddings are my favorite.  Why? Because it’s all about being surrounded by love and becoming husband and wife. It’s not about the size of the party or all the details in the end, but that they’re married.

Did they have beautiful details? Absolutely! And you know how much I adore the details ;-) But I love that they were there to set the tone of the event, a supporting character if you will, rather than the main event. So truly lovely!

There’s a special place in my heart for these little weddings overflowing with love.  If I’m honest, I also really love that I get to be a more of a guest and fully immerse myself in the wedding.  It’s a really special experience as a photographer.

I have to say, I have the best clients.  By and large, regardless of the size of the wedding party or guest list, the weddings I have the honor of photographing are ALWAYS overflowing with love and joy.  What better accessory for a bride to wear? ;-)

All of this love makes my job the best in the world!

 

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Jennifer Grant Photo

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This.guy. I swear. His cuteness is overwhelming!  I love how he sneaks into my office nearly every afternoon to curl up on my product studio setup. Thank goodness it’s easy to clean!
Such a typical cat-find a hard surface to sleep on when there’s a hundred cozy spots to nap in.
Gah. Love his cuteness.

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handwritten calligraphy

It started out with the PERFECT evening-I’m so glad we were able to reschedule because our first date was RAINY! Sure, we can have fun in the rain but I just knew these two needed a glowing evening.

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These two are the real deal-even after being married for 5 years, their love for each other is going strong!

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We met up at Circa1843 one of my favorite exclusive locations-that’s right, Jennifer Grant Photo is the ONLY photographer allowed to photograph there  (unless you’re having an event there, then you can bring your own photographer if you like ;-)  It’s pretty sweet and I’d love to shoot there more!

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Isn’t their fashion sense impeccable?  Seriously love their skill at choosing colors and patterns that go so beautifully together. Maybe someday we’ll collaborate and make a studio look book to give my clients some really fun and unusual ways to pair things!

 

I had so much fun photographing them-I’m so grateful that Mallory has been stalking me for YEARS and finally reached out to celebrate their five year anniversary. YAY for super cool photo stalkers! ;-)

 

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Like many couples, they were young and on a budget (who isn’t??) when they got married and aren’t head over heels in love with their wedding photos.  I love their solution: hire the photographer they wish they’d hired in the first place to capture their anniversary! Awesome idea guys :-)

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We had an incredible time with these two-every single second of this session was AMAZING and I’m head over heels in love with not only all the photos but their wonderful relationship.  They are a riot and I am truly honored that I had the chance to work with them and get to know them better.

 

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Mallory and Chris have the most adorable vintage truck they call Daisy-and Daisy love to haul antiques home!

 

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To say the weather was perfect would be an understatement-it was over the top amazing and the light was dewy gorgeousness!

 

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During the session, Mallory told me that Chris keeps the romance alive and I got to see first hand with the beautiful letter he wrote for her.  So sweet! He is so tender and loving while remaining strong and the word steadfast comes to mind. It seems very fitting!  They’re both so comfortable in their own skin and their love for each other. It’s a truly beautiful thing!

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These two have the CUTEST fur babies!!!

 

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Which means they have the cutest family!! All of them are well dressed, even Chewie :-)

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We took advantage of ALL the awesome spots around Circa1843 and this time of year, the ivy wall is out of this world with fall color.

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My favorite weddings are those like Erin and Mike’s-high school sweethearts, surrounded by family and friends, and still completely head over heels for each other.  I LOVE the way they gaze at each other and adoringly peek at each other.

It made my heart melt!  They are so sweet together and their love for each other radiates from them.  So sweet!

Here’s just a quick peek into their beautiful day!  Ceremony was at The Most Blessed Sacrament Cathedral followed by a fun trolley ride to The Colony Club where the gilded decor fit perfectly with the entire wedding day.

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Erin had some of the most wonderful remembrances of her father from a custom charm on her gorgeous bracelet to his tie around her bouquet, and a special set of cufflinks she had engraved for Mike with both his and her Dad’s initials that her Dad had worn but never engraved.  Her father was absolutely a special part of her day.

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This beautiful couple currently calls Huntington Beach California their home but Mikaila grew up here in the Metro Detroit area so they came to town to celebrate their union right in Detroit at St. Charles followed by their wonderful reception at the Detroit Yacht Club just five minutes away on Belle Isle.

 

Mikaila and Christian are an amazingly sweet couple and I adore the way they make each other laugh, making goofy faces at each other, and just completely being head over heels for each other!

 

Mikaila was a stunning bride and I knew as soon as I saw her gown on the most amazing “Mrs” hanger that it was going to be perfect.  I love the wire hangers with the brides name too but I was swooning over the teal/aqua hanger she hung her gown on at her mom’s home in Grosse Pointe.

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Surrounded by her charming bridesmaids, they helped her make the final transformation into radiant bride along with the help of her kind and wonderful mother.

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She had the most adorable flower girls too-they were in such awe of her!

 

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They said their vows at the historic and beautiful St Charles church, which was like a photographer’s candy store with a myriad of wonderful craftsmanship that just begged to be photographed.  I can absolutely see why they chose St. Charles with its soaring cathedral and antique stained glass.

 

 

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The happy couple were greeted with many little bubbles as they exited the church with smiles a mile wide! Did I mention how much I love how happy these two are?!

 

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Oh-and when I said the bridesmaids were amazing, I totally meant it-when I arrived that morning, they were feverishly finishing up the bouquets and they did an AMAZING job!

 

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It was such a perfect afternoon and I’m so glad we were able to stroll over to the incredible little brick road that the Church is beside. It was the perfect place to capture a few awesome photos of these two in their sweet love.

 

 

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Of course, we made excellent time being just a five minute drive from Belle Isle so when we arrived, we had a chance to walk out to the point and watch a HUGE storm begin rolling in.  It made for some great photographs and you’ll have to ask me about the storm when it hit later because it was CRAZY!!!  Doors flying open, rain pouring it….I’ve never seen anything like it while downtown.  These two were amazing though and didn’t let it damper the evening one bit.  (No, we weren’t out in the rain.  We safely made it back before it began to come down).

 

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I love that Mikaila put on her blue lace Tom’s for the evening-so much more comfortable and so cute!

 

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Samantha and John couldn’t have had a more lovely weekend for their UpNorth wedding in Charlevoix at the fantastic Castle Farms! I absolutely ADORE UpNorth Michigan weddings, especially those on the west shores of Michigan. There is just something very special about the couples and their families who choose to wed up there.

I’m so grateful to have spent more of this summer UpNorth than the past few years-I’m so glad Samantha and John found me through Nina and Dan!

They tied the knot in the knight’s courtyard (my favorite!) and rocked the night away until the last moment.
The evening ended with the ever popular lantern release but it was especially beautiful with the bright moon and a good crowd to make it happen seamlessly!

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Samantha wore the most amazing heels by Nina-she was absolutely STUNNING in them and I have to give her major props for wearing such tall heels for nearly the ENTIRE day!
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Ball mason jar blue and cheerful canary yellow were the colors of the day and they paired so beautifully together!  Their cake was not only beautiful (I love the imperfect perfection of the frosting texture) but tasted amazing as well.  I loved the West Garden room-the light in there is absolutely HEAVENLY, guests had a wonderful time in the private courtyard playing bean bag toss as well as soaking up the beautiful evening, and it was the perfect scene for the celebration!

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After the ceremony, their guests playfully danced ribbons to guide them back down the aisle and the breeze joined in too, making it a magical experience.
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Alone in a crowd…I just love how sweet and perfect and playful these two are together!

After dinner when sunset arrived, we headed out for a few more photos on the grounds of Castle farms, taking advantage of the beautiful fading light and perfectly planted gardens.
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Many times a bride sneaks a kiss just after I put my camera down-this magical moment I *thought* I didn’t get-I thought she moved too fast so I actually asked her to kiss him again, only to find later that I had not only gotten the first shot, but nailed it. Her perfect expression of love paired with his calm joy make this a heart-melting image hands down!
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Most are a nice normal size but there are a few humongous ones as well. #crazyplants
See more of my summer adventures on instagram!

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I love newborns but even more fun is photographing a family as they grow-going from one little one to two or even two to three!

It’s so much fun to see siblings interact with their new little brother or sister and my time with Addison + Quinn was absolutely a dream.

I have so much more to share but here’s just the tiniest taste of newborn baby Quinn’s session.

Mom got in on the action with Addison for some cute mommy/daughter shots (plus plenty with newborn Quinn!)

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And baby Quinn was absolutely PERFECT. So sweet, so quiet-she’s a darling little girl and I can’t wait to watch her grow up!

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It’s so much fun to be a part of capturing the story of their lives. I had the pleasure of photographing the first expansion of Jason and Stephanie’s family when they had little Miss Addison a couple of years ago and was absolutely thrilled when Stephanie contacted me to let me know she was pregnant and already dreaming of another newborn session.

Life is so good!

Enjoy!

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Working with Casey is always a fun time and this time was no different! While I’m usually photographing their newest family additions, this time I had the pleasure of photographing Casey’s other passion: invitations and other paper goods!  I love working with small businesses that do amazing hand-crafted work for their clients like Casey does through Salutations. It’s a fun way to switch things up and I appreciate how my subjects stay right where I set them ;-)  Photographing projects like this make me so excited because I LOVE supporting other small businesses and I know that gorgeous photography can transform a business in the public eye from ‘meh’ to ‘Fabulous!”.  People are so visual these days that having great photography is no longer something for only big businesses-everyone needs to show off their passions in the best way possible so their clients can fall in love with them!
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Introduce yourself and tell us about your story! How do you fill your day when you aren’t designing incredible invitations and the like?

Hello! I’m a wife and mom first, spending my days chasing two wild boys and playing with matchbox cars—and then a designer, paper lover, and serial decorator. The last several years our family dynamic has centered around those two little guys and my husband going through grad school to be a physician assistant. Invitation design is the one thing I do that’s just for me… I love it so much.

>>Jennifer>> {giggles} Serial decorator! I love it. And I think it’s amazing that you manage to do all you do with everything else you’ve got going on. Your boys are so adorably sweet I can’t imagine ever getting much done when you have those two around to keep you laughing and loving.

 

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What’s the story behind your shop name?

I’m the third owner of Salutations, so it was inherited. It originally opened as a paper store in downtown Northville, Michigan in the 1990s which was then was sold in 2004. The store eventually closed after the then-owner began focusing on custom invitations and selling paper to other designers. Eventually I came in as a freelance designer. When the owner decided to go back to a previous career, she offered it to me—and after much encouragement and many prayers, I took the plunge. I do love the name, that it’s unique and perfectly descriptive of what it offers.

>>Jennifer>> I think it’s wonderful that even though you didn’t come up with the name that it still fits and works beautifully.  Your logo is also GORGEOUS by the way!

How did you discover you loved creating custom stationary + wedding invitations?

I’ve always been obsessed with paper and design and stationery. Literally as long as I can remember. Even once I started my career as a commercial graphic designer, I always considered creating invitations and other paperworks to be my special niche. This is the type of work I’m truly passionate about.

>>Jennifer << A girl after my own heart! I am completely addicted to paper and pens and anything that goes with them!

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What are some tips or secrets you have for people looking for an invitation?

A lot of people believe invitations are just paper—and they are, of course. But these are also things you’re sending to the people you love most in the world, to announce and celebrate the most special moments in your life. I think that’s worth doing something completely custom, something that people will pull out of an envelope and say “oooooh.”

 Tell us the process you go through when working with a client to create some magic.

I always begin by finding out as much as I can about each client’s vision. Some people know exactly what they want, and others are looking for more input but can tell me a lot about the other elements going into their event. Usually it just takes one conversation to arrive at a point where I feel comfortable to start putting some ideas together. Then with a little back and forth, a little tweaking, we get to that “love” point.

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What is your favorite thing to create?

I really, really love to do my family’s Christmas card every year, and my kids’ birthday party invitations. Just small, fun projects that are so totally personal. And also, anything for my house. Oh, and also, anything to letterpress. I’m a little obsessed.

>> Jennifer >> That totally makes me laugh-I’m like that about a lot of things. “Oh and..!” But I ADORE letterpress and would totally be obsessed if I could afford it! (I secretly want to get a tiny hand press!)

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What’s something you absolutely HAVE to have on your desk or while you’re working?

Usually a mug of hot tea. And a ruler.

What else are you interested in?

The short list of things I love, outside the living breathing ones in my family, includes cooking, reading, traveling, water (as in, being in, living on, etc), Tiger baseball, Disney World, and Harry Potter.

>>Jennifer>> Who doesn’t love Harry Potter?! ;-) And Dan calls water my ‘first love’ because I am ALWAYS game to go to the water, big or small!

What do you hope is in store for your business?

I think of Salutations as a small boutique operation. I would love for it to be just a really solid small business with a great reputation. I’m not looking for fame and fortune—just to do beautiful work for great clients.

>>Jennifer>> I’m smitten-I already adore your work but that totally seals the deal! I love that your goal is just to do beautiful work for great clients-exactly what we do here at Jennifer Grant Photo :-)

How would you describe your style? 

My style is such a collection of different things. I like clean lines and modern patterns, but I’m very traditional and tend to be a rule follower. I love colors, but at the end of the day muted gray and navy blue are my favorites.  I like things to be beautiful and comfortable at the same time. And I love the water and easy going nautical style. Overall… think Lands’ End meets Nate Berkus meets Anthropologie.

If we want to get in touch with you, how should we do that? 

The site is www.invitationsbysalutations.com. There’s lots of information there and you can see more of my work as well as get in touch.  You can also directly email hello@invitationsbysalutations.com, or call 248.805.1519.

Thanks Casey for being an awesome designer and willing to be featured here :-) I can’t wait to create more lovely photographs of your gorgeous work!

 

 

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