Mark & Jessica - Rustic German Wedding

Mark & Jessica's wedding was so much fun! From the pop quiz at the alter (Jessica passed with flying colors!) to the singing broom tradition, Jessica & Mark - and their friends and family - had a stress-free, laid-back, fun wedding. Here's a quick look at their day (click on photos to make them larger):

They got married at St. Lorenz church in Frankenmuth - a gorgeous church that I have had the pleasure of shooting in once before when I photographed bridesmaid Katelyn's wedding last year.

After the ceremony we headed to a bridge. The sun was not on our side, but we still managed to get some fun shots - including my new favorite pose, Beer & Bouquets. After the bridge, we headed to Tiffany's - a local pub and favorite hangout spot. After a couple drinks and a few photos to go with them, we then went to Cross Park and the Hart one-room schoolhouse as our final portrait destination.

After a GRAND entrance, Mark & Jessica and their guests ate, danced, laughed and danced some more!  There were very funny speeches - one that even included the use of props!.

And the rings! The Milk Duds are a story in and of themselves. They are Jessica's favorite candy - so much so that instead of flowers, Mark always brings her a box or two of the chocolate caramel goodness!

CAKE! One of the highlights of any wedding. Jessica & Mark had all kinds of different cupcakes and then a small cake to cut - chocolate cupcakes, cinnamon sugar cupcakes and (my fav) lemon! According to Jessica, the cake they cut was super delicious too. Also - check out their adorable cake topper! They will be able to display it in their home and cherish it as a reminder of their special day.

One of my favorite parts of any wedding is the first dance between the newly minted Mr. & Mrs. They get to finally have some time to themselves, to reflect on the events of the day in a semi-private moment. Jessica & Mark's first dance was no exception.  Then the mother/son and father/daughter dances. Jessica surprised her dad with a polka in the middle of their traditional slow dance!

One of my favorite moments of the reception was seeing the German tradition Sie Leben Hoch for the first time. Roughly translated, it means "they live high" - and they take the high part literally! Mark & Jessica were lifted up in chairs as the celebratory song was sung/chanted. Eventually, they were given baby bonnets - complete with pacifiers! - to wear. The traditional significance of the baby bonnets was lost on me, but it was super cool to learn that they were the same bonnets Jessica's parents wore on their wedding day! The tradition ends with chugging a beer at the bar while being lifted in the air. Not a bad way to celebrate!

After Sie Leben Hoch, there was polka dancing! Lots and lots of polka dancing (and a bit of hip-hop and country the DJs worked in there). Jessica had to get creative with her dress in order to partake in the jumping and jiving. I admire her resourcefulness - a MacGyver of brides!  Finally - the main event, what everyone was waiting for - Mark's dad serenading the room via broom. Apparently singing via broom is a family tradition and happens at every wedding. Originally he wasn't going to do it, but with a little encouragement from the bride and groom he got out in the middle of the dance floor and nailed it. The whole room joined in!

Brad & Kayla - Puppy Love Engagement

Brad & Kayla - what can I say?! They are adorable - Kayla has GORGEOUS big brown eyes and Brad sports a goofy smirk. But then I met Dolla! Who also has big brown eyes, a goofy smirk and enough energy to run around a park for two hours! Dolla also has a penchant for giving kisses and inspecting my camera. After a fun session with these three, I am super pumped for their wedding in September!