the white dress bridal shop

christine

So full disclosure.  As I am sure you have figured out, how can we possibly have a Bride of the Month when we have barely been open yet?  (We can’t fool you, smarty pants.)  Well, it’s true.  Our very first Bride of the Month didn’t get her dress at The White Dress.  But, that doesn’t make her any less fabulous (as you will soon see).  And Christine graciously decided to give us a hand by showing all of you just what being Bride of the Month means.  Thank you Christine!

And one last very important note.  All photographs, unless otherwise noted, are by Kai Heeringa Photography based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.  (And as you will see, Kai and Kayley are jaw dropping ah. maz. ing.)

So, without further ado…

{Meet Christine.}

Christine wed her now husband, PJ, on September 3, 2011.  It was a lovely, but hot (and we mean H-O-T) day.  Still, with the love that was in the air at Heavenly Scent Herb Farm, the guests at Christine and PJ’s wedding only remember the very touching wedding ceremony.

{Are those tears drops?  Or something else…}

Before we delve into the rest of the gorgeous wedding photos, let’s take a step back in Christine and PJ history…

Christine met PJ during her senior year at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  And though the sparks started flying almost instantly, they were headed into a long distance relationship as they each went different ways post-college.  Christine ended up in New York City for a year, and then moved back to Michigan to get her degree in Nursing.  PJ on the other hand, had one more year to finish up at school before he spent a short stint in Ohio (in his home town) which was followed by a move to Washington, D.C.  After three years in their long distance relationship, Christine finally had the opportunity to meet PJ in Washington, D.C. where she started her first nursing job.

{Captured by the lovely Katie Campbell.}

Christine felt sure that as soon as this move happened, PJ would propose.  Well, we all know what the antsy girlfriend gets – more wait time!  However, their relationship flourished as they were finally able to spend time together on a weekly basis for the first time since college.  But wait Christine did.

About two years after Christine’s move to the Nation’s capital, PJ popped the question!  As they both shared a love of Scrabble, PJ decided to use this classic board game to surprise Christine with his first word, “M-A-R-R-Y  M-E”.  Christine couldn’t have been more thrilled with his surprise, and their 13 month engagement began.

{An engagement photo.  Katie Campbell Photography.}

Christine jumped in head first having been anticipating getting married for quite some time.  Her first decision?  The venue!  This item on the checklist was a bit troublesome for the couple though.  After finding what they thought was their perfect venue, they put down a deposit and started working on the rest of the details for their day.  Then a few weeks later, a bump in the wedding planning road – the venue had a strong possibility of closing.  Both Christine and PJ were crushed as they had started dreaming about their perfect wedding at that particular location.  But instead of risking their money and wedding day dreams, they decided to pull out of this location, and moved on to Plan B.  (And Plan B, was oh so amazing as you will see below!)  So, Christine’s advice:

Do not stress out too much when something goes wrong!  Everything happens for a reason and even with our seemingly huge setback in the first month of planning, everything turned out perfectly – I couldn’t have asked for a better wedding!

Another big decision?  The wedding colors!  Christine choose the unique combo of purple and green.

{Christine with her girls.}

Christine decided each girl could choose which bridesmaid dress they wanted to wear, but had them all made out of the same fabric and color.  This provided a cohesive look, yet also added some visual interest in the photos.  And let’s not forget that each girl really got to show her personality and personal style through her dress!   Props to Christine for allowing this creativity!

{Don’t you just love how the purple pops with the green?  It is like the trees were ready for Christine’s wedding!}

{The girls get some props.  Which were also a nice bit of shade from the sweltering sun and heat.}

{The bride’s shoes are even showing off the primary wedding color.}

When Christine looks back on her wedding day, she recalls vividly her wedding ceremony, as the most memorable moment of the day:

The weather was so beautiful and we were surrounded by all of our loving friends and family; PJ and I stood across from each other throughout the ceremony.  I believe that at that moment, I was the happiest I have ever been.  I remember looking at him the entire time and smiling from ear to ear.

{Here comes the bride.}

{Christine was all smiles – no tears – on her big walk!}

{Exchanging wedding bands.}

And their love was felt by all that day…starting with getting ready!  It seemed that nothing could get Christine nervous, worried, or stressed.  (Another exemplary quality for brides – staying calm and relaxed on your wedding day!)

{Christine bonding with her girls before she dons the dress.}

And what we all have been waiting for…the dress shots!  Christine’s gown was made of shimmering taffeta, and featured a glamorous scooped neck and bejeweled waistline, which turned out perfect for the hot  and sunny day they were blessed with.  Beside the fact that taffeta is a lighter weight material, she literally did glow in her love that day.

{The gown from afar.}

{And a close up.}

{Getting help with the clasp.  Every bride needs pampering moments like this on her wedding day!}

{Christine checks out her beautiful self in photos right after she officially became a bride with wedding dress and veil!}

{The touching moment when father sees daughter for the first time as a bride.}

Now you may be wondering – where are the boys?  Well, of course I am partial to the girls and their pretty photos, but I musn’t forget the handsome men.  So, here you go.

{Here is the handsome fellow.  Meet PJ.}

{PJ knows how to rock a photo sesh.}

{And here are the rest of the men.}

{Very GQ.}

Now, back to the girls; more specifically, the bride!  Christine had a small bridal portrait session with Kai and Kayley before the wedding ceremony.  (Again, I can’t get over how they capture every moment so stunningly.  Is that even a word?  If not, then it should be because these photographs are just stunning. ly.  I think the “ly” gives it some panache, don’t you?)

{On the front porch looking gorg-gorg-gorg!}

Christine’s bouquet was comprised primarily of green hydrangeas and white roses, with pops of purple throughout.  It was a magazine-worthy bouquet, made by the lovely folks at Heavenly Scent.  Another bonus for having your wedding at such a beautiful location.

{The top model look.}

And after the sweet ceremony, more photographs were taken!  (So here’s a note brides – get ready for lots of smiling and standing and posing on your wedding day.  But don’t fret – it is totally worth it to get photos like these.)  After a few scenic photos were snapped at Heavenly Scent’s beautiful property, the bridal party boarded a party bus which would tote them around town for more photos…and some good cheer.

{Breathtaking, no?}

{Finally getting a moment alone as Mr. and Mrs.}

{Love.}

{Enjoying the first sweet moments as husband and wife.}

{I just can’t get enough of these two!  Happiness, love, and joy come bursting through their photos.}

{Amazing photo, no?}

Ok, enough with the cute kissing couple photos.  (But I do secretly love the love they capture.)  And because I can’t get enough of Kai and Kayley’s work, here are some more picture-perfect photos of the day.

{The whole gang.}

{Strike a pose.}

{Wedded bliss.}

After the photo session, the party bus escorted the bridal party to Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor, where the wedding reception took place.  While the reception decor kept the same purple and green theme from the ceremony, Christine and PJ added a more glamourous atmosphere in the evening, with sparkly manzanita tree centerpieces, silver chivari chairs, and crystals placed tastefully throughout.

{The head table.}

{One of the tablescapes.}

The celebration began with speeches from the bride’s father, both the Maid and Matron of Honor (Christine’s only sister and best friend), and the Best Man (PJ’s brother).  There was lots of laughter and a few tears, but all words were extremely heartfelt.

{Christine and PJ enjoy the father of the bride greeting.}

{The Best Man gets lots of laughs.}

{And what is a best friend speech without tears?}

Dinner was served shortly after the speeches, and then it was time for cake!

{The cake.}

And this tasty treat is where Christine offers more advice to all you future brides:

If I had to relive my wedding all over again, I would have had a piece of cake…or tried to save one for later.  This might sound a little crazy, but this was the only complaint I had looking back on my perfect day.  After eating a full dinner and then socializing and dancing the night away, I forgot to ask to have a piece set aside for me.  The day after our wedding, PJ and I realized the only cake we had was the bite during our cake cutting!

So, brides remember: eat cake!  Or at least ask to have a slice or two ushered up to your room for a tasty treat at the end of your perfect day.  You will probably be hungry anyway, and you might as well savor one more final moment of your first day as husband and wife.

The night was soon coming to a close, but the party was going strong.  It seemed the dance floor was hopping all night, with one song after another pulling guests onto the dance floor.

{The first dance.}

{The Matron of Honor helping a young guest break it down.}

And as a side note – this is one of my favorite photographs.  It perfectly captures the celebratory and joyful mood of the day.  Plus, what girl doesn’t like to twirl?!

{Dancing merrily.}

And since I have spent so much time focused on the lovely Christine, I thought it appropriate to end this post with a photograph of her man.  The man that completes her life.  The man she will grow old with.  And if this photograph is any evidence, the man she will dance all of life’s dances with.

{Can’t you just feel the happiness?}

  • Closing Credits

Photography:
Kai Heeringa Photography – Grand Rapids, MI

Ceremony Location
:

Bouquets and Boutonnieres
:

Reception Location
:
Weber’s Inn – Ann Arbor, MI

Cake
:
Weber’s Inn – Ann Arbor, MI

Reception Decor and Rentals
:
Chivari Chair Rental – Ann Arbor, MI
Special Occasions – Grand Blanc, MI
Bella I’venti – Brighton, MI

DJ
: