I think I could write a novel about Genna and Ben and their wedding day so I’ll do my best to keep it short. I met Genna and Ben when I photographed Ben’s proposal on the Detroit Riverwalk and at the time, I definitely did not realize what these two would come to mean to me. About 2 days later, Genna asked me to photograph their wedding, to which, in my mind, I responded, “Are you sure?? We haven’t even talked about your day and I can’t imagine you’ve had a second to think about it!” but that didn’t seem to stop Genna and about 5 days later, basically her entire wedding was planner, so there ya go. Dream bride.
Less than two months after their engagement, Genna’s world was rocked when she and her family lost her father unexpectedly and the vision of how her wedding day inevitably started to change. Later that year we did their engagement photos on Belle Isle, save the dates were sent out and life continued. And the next year, even when COVID-19 rocked all of our worlds, we all assumed and hoped that by the winter time, Genna and Ben would be able to have the large 400 person beautiful wedding they planned at the Italian American Club.
But as time went on, it was clear their wedding plans had to evolve. Again. But nothing stopped Genna and Ben from planning a beautiful wedding, loving their day and enjoying every second of it. Like I said. Dream clients.
When she turned to me right before speeches were about to start at their mini reception and said “This is perfect. This turned out perfect,” I was reminded that when you let go, even just a bit, things tend to fall into place just as they’re supposed to. It’s why when I give posing prompts, I often end with “whatever happens, happens” because if you just be instead of thinking, those are the best moments and therefore photos.
And to say Genna and Ben’s wedding was beautiful is an understatement. They rolled with the punches and in the end, created a whimsical winter wedding in downtown Detroit with the first pop-up first-dance I’ve ever photographed (or seen) and it was epic. It was the perfect balance of traditional and non-traditional and had Genna and Ben written all over it. Keep scrolling for this beautiful day!
With 11 people in each of their parties, it was an early start to the day for each of them, especially Genna and the girls. With a massive hotel suite, lots of food and mimosas all around, Genna and her girls were glammed up with the help of the The Beauty Gals team. While I hung out with the girls and as Genna put on her Maggie Sotterro dress, my second photographer, Sam, hung out with the guys over at Genna and Ben’s house. Lucky for her, there were dogs involved.
Genna and Ben held their ceremony at the Divine Child Catholic Church in Livonia, Michigan where 175 guests (sitting 6 feet apart) came to watch them say “i do”.” Genna lost her dad the year before her wedding and was walked down the aisle by her uncle. Genna had a piece of one of her dad’s shirts sewn into her dress as her something blue which meant he was with her all along on her special day. After the liturgy and communion, the two said “i do” and were finally married!
After the ceremony, we headed to downtown to Detroit for wedding party photos and started at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Genna and Ben’s party looked timeless in their black and white theme. The girls each chose their own black dress from all over with white fur shawls while the guys work classic black suits from State and Liberty. The white and black gave the perfect canvas for their colorful red and purple florals to pop. It may have been freezing but their crew held it together, had fun and Genna and Ben’s downtown Detroit wedding party photos are some of my favorites to date. After the DIA, we went to Campus Martius since it was beautifully decorated for Christmas before taking Genna and Ben over to Woodward Avenue for some city shots (and a lot of honking and attention from everyone walking by!)
With COVID, Genna and Ben weren’t able to hold their reception at the Italian American Banquet Center as planned so instead, Genna had the amazing idea of doing their first dance downtown Detroit in the Belt with a speaker and their bridal party. And as if the moment wasn’t cinematic enough, it started to snow during their first dance….
They held a small reception with just their wedding party and family at a private family venue complete with catering from Italian American Banquet Center, an open bar, speeches and dances with their parents and of course, a cake cutting. It was the perfect celebration of their day and as Genna told me, everything was perfect and fell into place exactly as it should.
This day, with all its ups and downs beforehand, couldn’t have turned out more perfect. Genna and Ben’s Detroit winter wedding with the most amazing pop-up first dance left everyone with all the feels. I’m so grateful to have been a part of their journey from proposal to wedding! Genna and Ben, congratulations and I can’t wait to see where this beautiful life takes you (starting with Hawaii for your amazing honeymoon OMG)!!!!
Ceremony Venue: Church of the Divine Child
Reception Venue: Private Family Venue
Wedding Planning: LDT Events
Florist: Emerald City Designs
Dress: Maggie Sottero Designs
Dress Shop: The Dress Shop
Suit: State and Liberty
Engagement Ring: Ace Diamond
Groom’s Wedding Band: Mirage Fine Jewelers
Bride’s Wedding Band: Orin Jewelers
Bride’s Jewelry: Mirage Fine Jewelers
Paper Goods: Write Impressions
Hair & Make-up: The Beauty Gals
Catering: Italian American Banquet Center
Videography: Timothy Scott Films
Photographer: Emily Kyle Photography