When we first received an email from Erik + Allison, which was about a year ago, we were thrilled to hear more about their plans for a destination wedding in South Haven Michigan. Allison was looking for Chicago fashion wedding photographers who would travel with them for their destination wedding taking place at the beach along the shores of Lake Michigan. ( Not only are we huge fans of editorial fashion wedding photography, but we also love destinations and photographing beach weddings. ) And at the time Allison had no idea, but South Haven is a VERY familiar location to us as Sarah’s family for over 15 years had held an annual family reunion and August vacations there. So without hesitation I told Allison, we honestly know that town inside and out and we are a prefect Chicago photographer for her destination. Michigan has several amazing beach towns up and down the coast stretching from the Indiana lakeshore border up to Traverse City ( and even Mackinac Island. ) Although these smaller towns sit along the same body of water as Chicago, the Lake Michigan shoreline along Michigan has amazing dunes and rolling sandy beaches which is distinctively different than it is in Chicago. On a clear blue sky day, the lake can almost look Caribbean ( of course sans the saltwater and oceanic animals. : )
About 180 friends and family wedding guests, nearly all from the City of Chicago, travelled to Michigan to help Erik + Allison celebrate their destination dream wedding weekend in South Haven. The resort E+A chose Lake Bluff Inn & Suites hosted both the couple’s lakefront ceremony and outdoor tented reception. Located about 10 minutes South of the lighthouse, harbor and downtown South Haven, Lake Bluff features a waterfront setting perched high above the Lake Michigan coast up on a 70 foot grassy bluff. For the entire weekend, the resort had wedding guests roaming around, so the grounds were buzzing with a lot of wedding talk. When we arrived the day before the wedding, everyone was excited to learn where the ceremony would take place the next day. Luckily after the morning rain passed, their picturesque ceremony proceeded bluff side positioned between the hotel and Lake Michigan providing the gorgeous lake as the backdrop and scenery behind the couple for their ceremony. It was breathtaking.
A few weeks before the wedding, we discussed the four of us definitely stopping by one of the most picturesque spots in town by the lighthouse where the waves crash along the pier’s break walls and the boats move in and out of the harbor. Erik + Allison decided to keep their bridal party small ( it was only the two of them with no one else standing up in the wedding ) so the four of us planned to break away from the wedding celebration to capture wedding day photos on the pier near the South Haven lighthouse after the ceremony. While on our way into town, we passed by a vintage car and said wouldn’t it be amazing to include that vintage corvette convertible in our photos. Well, we decided to turn around and ask. The gracious retired couple, now local to South Haven but originally from Wheaton Illinois, was gracious enough to let us spend a few minutes with the newly wedded couple for wedding photos in the vintage 1962 corvette and classic car. We couldn’t have asked for a better setting, the red light house, paired with the glamour of Allison’s dress style and classic fit of the Hugo Boss tuxedo Erik chose… we loved how all of these elements provided the setting for an amazing editorial wedding fashion spread in front of us. E+A you guys looked incredible — we hope you love your wedding day bridal session photos in town as much as we do.
And thanks again Erik + Allison… we greatly appreciate your undeniable hospitality to us over the weekend and hiring us as your day of photographers, inviting us to the rehearsal dinner bbq, and not to mention booking a day after, trash the dress photography session. We couldn’t think of two people more perfect for each other and we’ve felt honored to see how beautifully life is unfolding for you both!
Erik + Allison’s Chicago to South Haven Michigan Destination Wedding incorporated a combination of vendors from Michigan and Illinois:
Destination Wedding Location: South Haven, MI
Beach Ceremony + Reception: Lake Bluff Inn & Suites, South Haven, MI
Day of Coordinator: Kameron Daughtery
Custom Dress Designed by: Maria Rendina
Bridal Shoes: Lauren Jones ‘Ava’ Sandal
Tuxedo: Hugo Boss
Caterer: Jay Marcoux from Phoenix Street Café, South Haven, MI
Menu: Chicken, Shrimp & Steak Kebobs, Tuscan Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Michigan Green Beans and Cupcokes + Cookies for Dessert
Cake: Cupcakes by Donna Zervos
Flowers: Marco Alexander from Susan Friedman Design Group, Chicago
DJ: Allison says: “BEST DJ IN THE WORLD!!!” Essence Entertainment Premier DJ Services, Downers Grove
Hair: Kerry Mark Salon & Day Spa, South Haven, MI
Makeup: Suzanne Benakos
Custom Veil: Sandra’s Designs, Lombard 630-629-2884 ( all custom made to order )
Don’t leave the blog just yet, see our other photo session with Erik + Allison.
Visit our day after, Trash the Dress Photography session on the beach.