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English Hills Country Club Wedding in Rockford, MI | Crystal and Alan

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We had a beautiful spring day in Rockford, Michigan for Crystal and Alan’s wedding!  Crystal’s day began with hair and makeup at Tanaz Hair Boutique and Day Spa in Grand Rapids.
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After leaving Tanaz I headed up to the ceremony venue, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Rockford, where Alan was getting ready with his groomsmen.
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Upstairs, Crystal was helping her daughters get ready before getting into her dress.
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Crystal’s mom and sister helped her get into the dress.

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After the ceremony we headed to downtown Rockford for photos of the wedding party and the bride and groom alone.  Underneath an overpass might seem like a strange location to take wedding portraits but the light was great and I loved the lines and geometry.

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The old railroad trestle nearby made a great framing device for this portrait of the bride and groom together.rockford michigan english hills wedding photographerrockford michigan english hills wedding photographer

 

There were few leaves on the trees at this point in the year so shade was scarce and we had a lot of hard, direct sunlight.  Instead of trying to hide from it we were able to work with it for some dramatic high-contrast images down on the boardwalk.rockford michigan english hills wedding photographerrockford michigan english hills wedding photographerrockford michigan english hills wedding photographer

 

For this shot next to the old railroad cars, I used flash to spotlight each couple and keep the background darker and more moody.  I love the surreal look that this technique gives and try to do it at least once at each wedding.

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After we finished up in downtown Rockford we headed to English Hills Country Club for the reception… but first we needed to take advantage of the location for a few more bride and groom portraits.  After that it was time to go indoors for the reception!

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rockford michigan english hills wedding photographer

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I always encourage my couples to schedule 15 minutes or so to step out from the reception around sunset for some portraits of just the two of them. The light has a beautiful quality at this time of the evening that is much different from what we can get earlier in the day.  It makes for some lovely romantic images and it’s a great chance for the bride and groom to take a break from all the excitement and have a bit of time alone together.

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After some more dancing and general reception fun, I looked around to see if I could set up one more awesome portrait of Crystal and Alan before I finished shooting. I decided to use a telephoto lens and shoot down the narrow space between the backdrop of the head table, with lots of blue string lights hanging, and the wall. I used a flash behind the couple to light them up and this was the result. I love the dreamy feel of this photo that comes from the out of focus lights on the left. For me they resemble bubbles and lend an almost underwater feeling to the image.

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