Amanda + Tyler | Traverse City Michigan Wedding

I owe a lot to Amanda and Tyler.   They really opened my eyes and allowed me to see even more clearly how life should be lived and specifically how weddings should be celebrated.

The bottom line was a life lesson for me, do what you want, be who you are and surround yourself with the people in your life that will celebrate that with you.  That is precisely what these two did on that glorious weekend, in Michigan, and it was inspiring for Pam and I.

We ultimately owe meeting Amanda and Tyler to our Chicago bride, Brenna.  Amanda saw her images and Brenna told her to call us.   At first, Amanda and Tyler’s wedding plans kind of felt like a tennis match.  The wedding was originally to take place in Traverse City, Michigan.  Months later we received an e-mail  stating they decided to move their wedding to Aruba.   No problem, I thought, we will go where ever you want us to go.  Time goes by and we get another e-mail.  They decided to move the wedding back to Traverse City!

In the end the reason for the changes was simple.  They felt themselves getting caught up in the chaos of what a wedding can be and felt they needed to simplify things and go back to those life lessons.  Do what you want, be who you are and surround yourself with those people that will be there to celebrate all of that with you.

Additional things I loved about this wedding? I loved the simplicity of this event. I loved the fact that their good friend got ordained on-line and delivered one of the most personal services I ever witnessed. I loved the fact that they read their vows off of a Kindle. I loved being able to watch these two enjoy each other. I love how Amanda said to me that she loves how  Tyler fixes his hair the way he does….she finds it cute.  I loved how this was not just about them and how they made sure each and every one of their people, (including us) were taken care of.   Most importantly I loved that they were 100% themselves that day with no apologies.

The details:

Rehearsal dinner- Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Ceremony and Reception: Private land on Lake Leelanau

Caterer: The Cook’s House

The images:

I wanted to start off with a detail collage to help you all with the look and feel and taste of what that weekend was.  I say taste as I can still seriously taste the amazing food prepared by the Cook’s House.  That corn was to die for. Amanda also put so much work into all of the details of this wedding including what I felt was one of the best ideas I have seen, a clothes line full of photos of her guests.  Awesome.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at the vineyard that included a pig roast.  A new experience for some.

Amanda spent the morning of the wedding getting ready with her two sisters.  On their way to the ceremony location Pam caught a great moment of playfulness between Amanda and her sister.

Tyler’s parents have a lake house in Traverse City where Tyler got ready.  Here his mom checks out the rings.

His dad then helps with the cuff links.

Tyler heading to the ceremony site.

Meanwhile back at the ceremony site another life lesson was unfolding.  That red massive thunder storm was heading straight for us approximately 45 min before the outdoor ceremony that Amanda worked so hard on and dreamed of was supposed to happen.

As her family stood by in support it became increasingly apparent that the dream ceremony was going to have to be moved inside.

Despite all efforts by her family and friends to craft ideas it was decided to move the ceremony inside the barn.  Here Amanda’s dad talks over the plan, friends organize and  Amanda and her mother wait in the brides room.

To help the mood Tyler delivers a gift for Amanda.  A personalized necklace she wore at the ceremony.

Determined not to the let the weather ruin her day, Amanda jokes as her mom puts on the necklace saying she felt like she was being blessed by her mom.

As plans develop up in the barn to rearrange for a ceremony, their friend Chris prepares for his officiant duties.

This really was a group effort. Waiting for the call for the ceremony to begin, the Cook’s House head chef waits to escort the bride on umbrella duty .

Amanda and her parents make their way down the newly formed aisle.

The ceremony.

Chris was feeling the heat of the moment…..literally.

Just as the ceremony ended the storm passed and the sun came out.  As Amanda and Tyler rounded the corner of the barn as husband and wife she said to him, “it was better than I could of ever imagined, I love you”.

Life lesson number two that day.  Sometimes you just gotta believe and let serendipity take over.  I personally was never worried about the weather as time and time again when something does not go to plan on a wedding it always ends up better than any of us could have ever planned. Life has a way of doing that.  I am so thankful it happened the way it did for Amanda and Tyler.

Perfect light for some fast portraits.

Amanda bought these parasols while overseas on vacation in hopes guests would have used them to block the sun.  I felt it appropriate to put them to good use for a portrait.

Amanda’s sister delivers an emotional yet perfectly funny toast.

Tyler’s brother follows with an equally emotional toast.  So well done and a joy to listen to.  Here Tyler’s mom greets him back at the table.

Amanda and her sister.

The weather made for a beautifully foggy sunset that lead to a perfect evening.

The first dance.

The party.

Perfect evening for releasing floating lanterns.

Amanda and Tyler are not Jewish, but lots of their friends are and insisted on doing an impromptu Hora.  Amanda is not so sure.

Amanda’s mom and sister enjoying the music sounds delivered by a good friend.

The end of the night being driven to their hotel by a good friend because their taxi failed to arrive.  Serendipity baby!

To Amanda and Tyler.  Thank you so very much for inviting and inspiring us.

Tyler and Pam








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Speechless. And that RARELY happens.


Diane McVety

Hey Tyler–what a beautiful job you and Pam did! You managed to capture the feeling of that night–we will look at these pictures for years and be able to go back to those moments. Thank you!

Fantastic storytelling here! Sweet rainy wedding!!

Jon A. Ruud,sr.


Joy Dillingham

Wonderful story. Beautiful wedding and photos! Much happiness!

Wow. Tyler and Amanda: these are amazing photos. I’m so happy for you two! The story of your wedding day brought a smile to my face and then a tear to my eyes. And then another smile to my face shortly after. Everything looked absolutely beautiful. All the best,

Shirley Sanders

I am Tyler’s Aunt, Jerry is my brother. I had hip replacement surgery on July 12th, so was unable to attend the wedding – these photo/s and comments made me feel a little closer to the event,and brought tears to my eyes.
It was a great presentation – Wow!!!

so many beautiful moments, and so many great photos. well done tyler!! (the photographer… and the groom too!)

Carrie Chester

Amanda! You look gorgeous! What a happy day for you! I’m so glad that you shared your photos with me! Congratulations, again! 🙂 Carrie

Marcy Chudnov

Tyler & Amanda,
Wishing everything that is good in life!
These pictures are wonderful & show that it was a wonderful and very happy wedding. You all sparkled!
My best,
Marcy Chudnov

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