The primary reason for my trip to Michigan last month was to attend and photograph the wedding of Erinn’s sister Heidi and now-brother-in-law Seth. Seth’s family has deep roots in Hart, Mich., which is halfway up the state near the shores of Lake Michigan. In fact, the 80-acre property where the reception was held has been in the family for some 150 years. The wedding was in a very cute country church, made of stone and exceptionally dark wood. Both settings made for a very photogenic wedding. For the week prior, Erinn and family had been vacationing and preparing for the wedding in a lovely rental home on nearby Pentwater Lake, while Seth’s family prepared the property and readied enough food for 200 guests from his parents’ home, which sits on the above mentioned property. Meanwhile, I was traveling to Lake Orion and northern Ohio to visit my sisters and their families.
Michigan during the summer is pretty damn beautiful and is one of the most lush, green places you’ll ever see. However, to keep it that green requires plenty of rain, which the weather forecast had been predicting unwaveringly in the form of thunderstorms, from 10 days out all the way to the night before the wedding. The wedding itself would have gone off without a hitch, but bad weather would have been trouble for a reception protected only by three wall-free tents. Fingers crossed, everyone kept their heads up and proceeded as planned. What else can you do? I was actually pretty confident that there would be no rain, since it was AccuWeather making the prediction. They’re pretty consistently wrong in my experience ,and had they been predicting sunshine, I would have been worried.
On the morning of the wedding, we awoke relieved to the pleasant surprise of clear skies in all directions. The girls headed out early to have their hair done and, upon returning, everyone started hustling to get ready. At which point I started clicking. Long story short, it was a great wedding and went off without a hitch. The setting was beautiful, everyone was in good spirits. It was also great to see how much family participation went into making the day special. Seth’s mother and sister spent countless hours in the preceding week preparing enormous amounts of food for both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. The main entree was fresh pork, which Seth and his brothers prepared themselves from a locally bought pig. And by prepared, I mean bought, killed and dressed before cooking on a giant barrel grill. The slideshow omits those photos, but I may post some later. His brother Cody also did the flower arrangements while his father, Heidi’s father and Seth spent an entire afternoon in the sweltering heat building the dance floor. They even put in extra effort by screwing the boards together so the floor could be recycled for later use in refurbishing a garage. Though Erinn says that, judging by the way Seth’s parents danced, she wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t just keep it as a dance floor. It was great to see that all of their hard work paid off.
Everyone danced into the night with things wrapping up around 2 a.m. Not a cloud formed all day. The next morning I awoke at 6:30 a.m. to thunder and the sound of rain on the window, causing me to smile before falling back into slumber. Whatever force that had held off the rain for the day had finally let go, and the clouds had rolled in. I don’t care what they say about rain being good luck on your wedding. The amount that fell that Sunday would surely have ruined the reception. That afternoon, as Erinn and I drove south to Muskegon, the rain fell so hard that we almost had to pull over for lack of sight. I’m sure it made the following day’s cleanup a pain, but in terms of the wedding I’d say we all lucked out.