It’s always a really cool experience when you meet two people before they’re a couple. I met Sarah over 20 years ago (crazy, right?!), when we were in middle school. This was long before I ever thought about being a wedding photographer, but crazy to think I actually shot someone’s wedding that I met in my early teens. We both met Nick about the same time, almost 3 years ago, when the 3 of us stood up in our friends Nicki and Bryan’s wedding. Since Nick and Sarah were really the only single people in the wedding party, they were razzed by everyone to go on a date. Little did we know that in just over 2 years from that night that we’d all be getting back together to celebrate their wedding!
Sarah and Nick were married at St. Aidan’s Catholic Church in Livonia by Reverend Kevin Thomas. The ceremony included a traditional Catholic mass, including communication and prayer before the Virgin Mary. Because the wedding ceremony & mass took place earlier in the day, we had plenty of time to head to downtown Detroit for photographs with their bridal party in their party bus. Sarah pretty much gave me free reign to choose where to go for photos, as long as we would capture the essence of the city her and Nick both love.
April 1 was the first nice day we’ve had in the Metro Detroit area since Spring began, so the downtown Detroit area was really hoppin! All the people around the different stops we made added to the excitement of the day. We were able to squeeze in stops at The Illuminated Mural, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Renaissance Center and Detroit Riverwalk, and even took the party to new heights by going to the top of The Z parking garage, which offered incredible sights of the Detroit city skyline.
By the time we were done gallivanting around town, we were ready to party! Sarah & Nick chose the Meeting House Grand Ballroom in Plymouth to hold their reception. Even though they looked at about a handful of reception venues, Meeting House was the first and they couldn’t stop thinking about it… and no wonder they decided on it; the hospitality was outstanding! It’s been a family run business for the last 50 years and Todd and Tracy really made everyone feel right at home. Also, the food was amazeballs!; it was some of the best wedding food I have ever had!
From the moment we walked into the reception, you could feel the love of Sarah & Nick’s family and friends. We enjoyed toasts by Nick’s best man, Charlie, and Sarah’s bridesmaid/cousin, Martha, as well as a prayer before digging into dinner. The dance floor was rarely empty, as everyone brought their dancing shoes. Sarah’s 93-year old grandmother even joined Sarah’s brother Scott on the dance floor, creating a super sweet memory for their family. Everyone danced the night away, all the way to the last song. Keeping with tradition of all of our friend’s weddings, and honoring the nights we used to party together in Canada, Sarah selected American Pie by Don McLean for the last song. Everyone got up off of their feet and joined the bride and groom in one huge circle to dance and say farewell to the wonderful day we spent celebrating together.
Congratulations to the newlyweds, Nick and Sarah Napela! Enjoy your honeymoon in Hawaii (and don’t be afraid to bring back some of that fabulous weather to your friends back in Michigan!)
Also, a real special thank you to Sarah Gough for shooting with me for the day! The story of Nick & Sarah's wedding would not have been complete without your help!
Church: St. Aidan’s Catholic Church, Livonia, MI
Reception: Meeting House Grand Ballroom, Plymouth, MI
Bride’s Wedding Gown & Bridemaid’s Dresses: The Dress Shop, Howell, MI
Shoes: David’s Bridal
Groom & Groomsmen’s Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse
Flowers: Celebration Flowers & Gifts, Canton
DJ: Mike Staff Productions
Transportation: A List Limo
Cake: Holiday Market
Invitations: Vista Print
Bridesmaid’s Processional: Canon in D
Bride’s Processional: Trumpet Voluntary
Recessional: Rondeau Mouret
Bridal Party Reception Entrance: Lose Yourself (Instrumental)
Bride & Groom Reception Entrance: Hustlin’
First Dance: You’re The Inspiration, Chicago
Father/Bride Dance: The Way You Look Tonight, Frank Sinatra
Last Song of the Night: American Pie, Don McLean