Wedding at The Allure - Jennifer & Todd

The morning I arrived at The Allure in Laporte Indiana for Jennifer & Todd's wedding, I got out of my car and appreciated the wonderful warming light falling around The Allure. While it may have been a tad bit windier early on, it faded away and allowed us to bring our bride outside all while she easily maintain her beautiful hair styling.

Walking to the main floor I find myself inside the beautiful and spacious bridal suite at The Allure. Jennifer got to relax and welcomed being pampered by Makeup By Keria and her very own sister (plus MOH) Danielle. They both did an amazing job as Jennifer couldn't help but say she felt just like a princess.

Once we were able to capture her dress, getting ready and the details of her morning, I decided it was time to go meet up with Todd and see how him and his groomsmen were doing. Practicing music, steaming shirts and talking Star Wars... I'm cool with that. We photographed the stud that is Todd as him and his fellas were getting ready. Oh and maybe played with light sabers... But we're adults... So they were NICE light sabers. :D

The moment everyone was done getting dressed it was time for the first look. Having let Todd know where to go he made his way to the spot and awaited his bride. Jennifer was so excited walking up behind him... The look of happiness on her face and anticipation on his, our groom turns around and what happens is priceless.

With those moments now captured forever we move to photograph some portraits. Some formal, most not, the not so formal ones are always my personal favorite. Everyone knocked their portraits out of the park and the entire bridal party was a blast to hangout with. There is a lot of energy and care with their friendships and you'll notice that instantly with these two. Ceremony time.

Pairs by pairs loved ones came walking, sometimes dancing, down the aisle towards Todd and his groomsmen. Shortly after everyone made their way down, our groom's soon to-be-wife starting making a b-line toward Todd... The moment he laid eyes on here, he become overjoyed. Todd's love for Jennifer is so freaking powerful that seeing Jen, again, made him well up with emotion, passion, and love. Their love is a force of its own. #iDO

Walking up those steps from the ceremony into The Allure's grand ballroom with everything setup... It's a-freaking-mazing... There were the beautiful floral arrangements, and center pieces carefully placed around the room and tables. Vivid and mood driven lighting & sound provided by the D.J and of course the uniqueness of the Allure. The bride and groom took a moment to soak it in, but only a moment as they would start prepping for their first dance soon.

The guests were seated and eagerly awaited the bridal party. With everyone's attention to the stage, the bridal party emerged from behind the curtain to welcome and appreciate their guests, friends, and family. With a roar and applause from their guests, they made their way down and started with an open dance, bringing everyone together.

*

Jennifer & Todd. You two are some amazing people and I am very thankful I have gotten the chance to befriend you both. I cannot thank you enough for entrusting us to capture your wedding day and believe in me as well. I cannot wait to see what you two do in this life together.

 

Cheers,

Wes

Sam & John's Beiger Mansion Wedding

Sam & John are two people that really make it hard not to like them. They're funny, kindhearted, genuine and just a blast to be around. They invited me to photograph their beautiful intimate wedding at the beautiful Beiger Mansion Inn.

We started out the morning at Kalon Hair Lab with their stylist working on the hair and Makeup by Keria applying her brushes to bring out the best for Sam and her wedding day.

Once they were all finished it was time to head to the Mansion and to have our beautiful bride get into that dress and walk down that aisle to see her man.

Palais Royale Wedding with Abby & Vincent

The morning of Abby & Vincent's wedding we started off at Bangs Salon in South Bend Indiana. While all the girls were getting "beautified" for the day, I got the chance to walk around and capture candid moments of the morning.

Once the girls were finished with their hair & makeup it was time to head to Sunnyside Presbyterian Church to prep for the wedding ceremony. All the girls went downstairs to do some finishing touches and get their dresses on. As the girls were finishing up and getting ready, Vincent and his groomsmen arrived and patiently waited till it was time for the ceremony.

With time drawing closer for the ceremony, we all took our places. Vincent at the alter, the bridesmaids walking the aisle and Abby having a moment with her father right before she was about to walk. A moment later the doors flew open and Vincent got to see his beautiful bride. Their appreciation for each other during the ceremony was entirely apparent. The "I do"s were spoken, a kiss was had and an aisle was walked down. It was amazing.

With the ceremony finished along with the formal photos it was time for this bride & groom to get their party-freaking-started! Of course this calls for some bottle popping, a few drinks, a kickass limo with one badass playlist. Onward to the beautiful wedding reception at the Palais Royale!!

*Cues Fresh Prince Music* - "We.Pulled. Up-to-the reception, about 5pm, with the bride and the groom, and some drinks in their hands..."

As everyone exited the limo and we waved goodbye to the driver, and made our way towards some portraits! We walked around Downtown South Bend Indiana for a little bit and made our way to the fountain in front of the Morris Performing Art Center. While we were capturing some candid moments the people at the Morris were nice enough to invite us in and to take some more creative wedding photos. We quickly finished those images so that Abby & Vincent could get to their reception to start their party!

Walking into the Palais Royale everyone in the group started to venture to get ready for their grand entrance. All the guests were seated and ready. It started with the bridal party busting through the main door and to the head table each adding their own flavor for their entrance.

With all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen having finished their entrance it was time for Abby & Vincent's. Up top from the balcony the two newly weds greeted their guests with quite the elegant waves and received an elated  reaction from their friends and families. Opening those main doors the two of them floated passed their guests with pure joy given to them by an entire room of people they care about.

Ask any bride and groom and they'll tell you the reception seems to happen so quick. Dinner, speeches, cake cutting, first dances, in almost the blink of an eye these fun and wonderful events come and go. Once in a lifetime event, and it feels like minutes when it's all over.

It's one of the reasons I love being a wedding photographer. To capture the memories of the entire day for amazing people like Abby & Vincent.

You two are wonderful, fun, caring and amazing. It truly means the world to me that you trusted me to capture your day and create these images for you. Thank you for believing in me and letting me encapsulate these memories for you.

Cheers,
Wes


Also!

A HUGE thank you to Angie with Belle Behind the Ball as she assisted Abby with planning out this entire wedding. This allowed Abby to fully enjoy her day and really helped give Abby exactly what she needed. As a photographer she and I worked wonderfully together and the timeline was outstanding. She has an amazing team and couldn't thank her enough for her expertise.

 

Kayla & Derek's Notre Dame Basilica Engagement Session

Standing in front of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame University was the first time I got the chance to meet both Kayla & Derek and it took all of about two minutes for us to get warmed up to each other.

We walked inside of the Basilica and stood in awe of its beauty for a few moments before we started to start the engagement session. The Basilica has such beautiful light pouring through the windows, it's a gorgeous building. We only stayed for a few moments though so not to disturb anyone.

Once we left we decided to take a stroll around the campus not only for the scenery but with them being Notre Dame grads, it's nice to let them walk around and breathe in the nostalgia.

Both Kayla & Derek did such a great job in front of the camera. Barely needed to direct anything as they just naturally would begin to flirt with one another and honestly just made my job all that much easier. Lol.

Thank you both for spending some time with me out of your busy weekend for this engagement session and letting us get to know one each other. I cannot WAIT for your wedding day as it's going to be amazing!

Cheers!

Sam & John's Downtown South Bend Engagement Session

On the day of the engagement session was the first chance I got to meet Sam & John. We decided to meet up at South Bend Brew Werks in South Bend Indiana. Before most engagement sessions I like to hang out for a bit, let the camera sit at my side and just talk. This gave us a chance to break the ice, have a beer and chat for a while.

I got to hear about their military background, how they met (oh the stories 🤣) and a bunch of fun facts about them. And of course the moment I found out they were both gaming nerds and also loved the game Overwatch... Well... I mean, what's not to love about these two? Lol.

Had a blast hanging out with the both of them during this esession. They were goofy, carefree and truly just looked like two best friends. It was awesome! While we roamed the downtown South Bend area for some pre-wedding photos we of course had to stop and get some cheese cake... #Priorities!

Thank you both SO freaking much for having me out and letting me take your photos. You're both some kickass people and I hope to one day catch you both on Overwatch, PC of course, lol. 

Cheers,
Wes

Lisa & Jack's Aberdeen Manor Ballroom Wedding

The moment I met Lisa & Jack I knew they were going to be two awesome people to work with, I was wrong... As they are an amazingly kick-ass couple. Since their engagement session I fell in love with their sense of humor and appreciation for one another. I'm overwhelmingly thankful I got the chance to hang out with them on their wedding day.

It was the morning of the wedding and we arrived at Clawdia's Beauty Salon over in Michigan City. Inside the brick building awaited the mothers, the bridesmaids and of course Lisa, our kickass bride.

As all the girls were getting ready with getting their makeup applied and hair styled I decided to hang back and capture some candids of them enjoying the treat of being pampered. Minutes later I decided to grab some details of the dress as we had to capture that beauty. While I was at the salon our second photographer, Rick, was hanging out with Jack and the groomsmen. All while our videographer, Joel, is capturing the entire day with our signature "cine-vlog" style video.

Lisa's makeup was applied, hair was styled and everyone had to take a step back as she radiantly floated out with a giant smile on her face, grinning ear to ear. Taking a gander at the clock the gentle back at the hotel started getting ready. Jack put on his tie, slid each arm into his jacket and we all headed to the first look location, Taltree Gardens...

We slowly pull into the gardens and get out to find Jack ready for his first look. Grabbing our gear we head to the first look spot, Jack skips his way there, it was pretty amusing and yet adorable. Lisa arrived wanting to make her way to her soon to be husband, so we did. With Jack's back turned Lisa approached him and tapped on his shoulder. Jack turned around and and with elated excitement he took in the vision of his bride. Taking a bit of time for family formals and bridal portraits we walk around the gardens before we head to Aberdeen Manor for the ceremony.

Everyone got to the ceremony location to find their seats and prepare for it to start. With a few last minute touch ups all the guests and bridal party got into place to get this thing started. Each with an excited smile on their faces, the ceremony, the exchange of rings and the kiss happened in the blink of an eye. And now... Time for bubbles!!!!

They exited the ceremony spot to their friends & family blowing copious amounts of bubbles in at them in celebration! You could tell just how happy the two of them were about getting married... And bubbles, but who doesn't love bubbles?

The reception went out late into the night. There were some great entrances, wonderful speeches, a beautiful hanging cake by Designer Desserts and an unforgettable first dance! (THAT SNOWFALL, RIGHT?). As the DJ played his set the dance floor was rarely empty the entire night and the two of them loved to be on it.

Jack & Lisa, you two are amazing people and I cannot thank you enough for trusting me with your wedding day! You're a couple of badasses and you mean the world to me! You have a "no bullshit" mindset and both are genuinely honest people. Never stop being yourselves.

Cheers,
Wes

Becky & Zach's Notre Dame Save the Date Session

I cannot thank these two enough for allowing me to take their pre-wedding photos with a quick "Save-the-Date" session. It may look warm out but these two definitely toughed it through some chilly winds for this session.

We have a full engagement session coming up as well but we had to get these save the date photos done, especially on the always beautiful, Notre Dame campus.

Thanks you two! :D

Cheers,
Wes

Gina & Patrick's Wedding

I love traveling when photographing weddings, especially when it's in my home state of Michigan. Macomb Michigan is where I got the chance to travel to and photograph the wedding of the wonderful Gina & Patrick Thomas.

Their wedding was at Sycamore Hills with all of their friends & family gathered to witness the day. It was a great time and these two were beyond perfect to spend the day with. Gina's reaction to their first look shows me exactly the love they have for one another and I feel so lucky to have been apart of this.

I cannot thank you both enough for allow me to be apart of your wedding day. Congrats to you both and I cannot wait to see what life brings you.

33rd Annual Bridal Spectacular - Century Center - South Bend Indiana

Waking up on a snowy Sunday morning usually causes us to stay under those warm covers longer than we really should. Typically this would be the case but this was the day of the 33rd Annual Indiana Bridal Spectacular in South Bend Indiana at the Century Center, 5am start time it is!

As a wedding photographer bridal shows are something I personally love to be apart of. It allows me to interact and be more personable with brides, their fiance and even friends and family with whom I could be spending their wedding day with. My wife and I both were excited as this was our first time at the Bridal Spectacular and the turnout was outstanding!

There were a plethora of wedding day vendors from venues, to makeup artists, DJs, bridal dresses, wedding day décor rental of all kinds and more! Brides seemed to be having a blast walking around the bridal expo visiting all of the booths and eating the delicious food. So many vendors had put a lot of time and effort into their booths as well which is always impressive to see.

Once everyone got settled in the lights dimmed down and it was time for the fashion show. All the brides in attendance appeared to be loving the fashion show and being able to see dozens of beautiful gowns and elegant dresses showcased right in front of them. This show had an amazing turnout and I hope to see all you wonderful brides and vendors next year!

Thank you to the fashion show vendors

Louie’s Tux Shop | Greta’s Bridal & Formalwear | Makeup By Keria | A.C.T II Model & Talent Management | Simply Yours Bridal | David’s Bridal | Noonii Design (stage décor)  | Music Machine (DJ Paul Chamberlin) | Purrfect Occasions (up-lighting) | Markey's Rental & Staging (stage lighting - my hero) | Hair by Kerri Trapp of MAK Salon | Stage Flair Wedding Couturiers |

more vendors listed below

Justine & Cody's Wedding at Blissful Barn

In one of the first meetings I got to have with these two, Justine had told me that Cody and her had met in September of 2012 at the South Bend Zombie Walk... It was about that time when I realized that these were going to be perfect to work with, guess what? True story.

Justine & Cody got married at the Blissful Barn in Three Oaks Michigan and it's quite a beautiful venue. Each of them had their own suite across from one another. The bride and her friends were some of the first to arrive and to start getting ready. While they were all in their suite and turning their beauty dials to 11, I decided to take the dress out in the main area to be photographed as it's a gorgeous dress for a beautiful bride.

Cody and the groomsmen (the band will be touring soon) arrived with wedding garments in hand and a trunk full of pumpkins. Once they were done unloading a few things it was time for the group to head upstairs and start their getting ready process because soon it would be time for Justine & Cody's "around the corner" photo. This is where I roam around the property trying to locate a spot that will both be visually pleasing yet allow them to still stay hidden from one another and guests. Right outside of the getting ready area was the perfect little spot for them, and their moment was amazing.

A little while later it was ceremony time. The guests began to find their seats, Cody and the groomsmen started to line up and fall into their spots. This is where I could see the anticipation growing on Cody, awaiting his soon to be bride with a joyful nervousness... *click* ... Quickly spinning on my heel I turn to see Justine at the top of the staircase lit mostly by the faint glow of the nearby chandlers making her way to her soon-to-be husband... *click* The ceremony was short but very sweet and filled with many loving eyes fixed upon the newly wed couple in awe as to what they got to  witness. "Mawage".

I cannot thank either of you enough for letting me spend the day with you both as well as your wonderful friends and family. Thank you for making me feel like I was not just your photographer but a friend attending your wedding who just happen to have brought his camera. You two are amazing people and I cannot wait to see what you two accomplish in this life together.

 

Cheers,
Wes

 

Venue: The Blissful Barn | Florist: Heaven & Earth Florist | Makeup: Jessica Grammatica | Hair: Jenni Jones of The Beehive | Wedding Dress: Elegance Wedding & Evening Wear | Cake: Rachel Dubree | DJ: The Music Men

Anna & Cory Seifer's Wedding at Norris Estate

Anna & Cory's wedding will stick with me for many, many years to come. Not just because they are two amazing people, their venue, Norris Estate, was absolutely gorgeous and the wedding day was perfect... But because we met, booked and planned their wedding 7 days before Anna was to walk down the aisle.

Due to circumstances out of their control, their original photographer was unable to be there and Anna and Cory needed to find a photographer they could trust with only a week till their wedding day. Luckily our paths crossed and what came out of it is some of my favorite memories to date.

The morning I arrived at the venue I walked inside of Norris Estate's beautiful and spacious bridal suite where Anna and her bridesmaids were preparing for the big day. Dressed in their personalized robes there was makeup being applied, laughter coming from every room of the suite and plenty of pizza for everyone to munch on. Hanging out with the bridal party seemed like I was spending time with old friends.

Once everyone was dressed and ready, portraits were captured, the bride was tucked away and it was time for the ceremony under the giant whimsical willow tree on Norris Estate's property. The ceremony was simple. short and very sweet. Every single person there had some sort of a smile on their face they watched Anna walk down that aisle. I'd go on about the rest of the day but this is where I enjoy letting the images speak for themselves. ;)

I am so glad I got the chance to meet both Anna & Cory as they're both wonderful people with an outstanding sense of humor, which is a big thing for me. I cannot thank either of them enough for allowing me to spend the day with them and hope that your lives are as perfect as your wedding day.

Cheers,
Wes