Rustic, Vintage-Inspired River Birch Lodge Wedding – Hartland, MI

July 29, 2010 |  by  |  Weddings  |  Share

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If you are a casual visitor to this blog, you may be under the impression lately that all we shoot is engagement sessions!  I have been a very, very, bad blogger, and I apologize.  I’m quite behind on my wedding blogging, mainly because wedding posts tend to be HUGE, and very time-consuming, and it’s just so much easier to throw up a “quick” e-session.  But rest assured, YES, we photograph weddings.  And we’ve done a lot so far this summer.  And with a bit of luck, they will start showing up on the blog much more frequently.

That said, I invite you to settle in – you may want to grab a cup of coffee, or possibly a snack, because this is a long one!  icon smile Rustic, Vintage Inspired River Birch Lodge Wedding   Hartland, MI   Heather & Tom’s  April wedding was nothing short of amazing.   I know that’s a word that gets thrown around a lot, especially on wedding blogs, but it’s appropriate here.  They chose a magnificent location – River Birch Lodge, in Hartland, MI – which is rustic and beautiful and completely fitting for a couple who loves the outdoors and lives in Colorado.  And they had the most lovely details to compliment the setting, including a lot of handmade, DIY touches that really set their wedding apart.

[EDIT: I have written another post about this venue here, with lots of info and advice to consider if you are planning an event there.]

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Heather wore a Nicole Miller gown, and her jewelry and gloves were vintage.

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Her earrings were handmade to go with her necklace and other accessories.

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Heather’s engagement ring was custom made, in clay, by Tom and then cast.  I believe Tom made the bands too.  (Random Trivia: This is the second couple we’ve photographed at River Birch Lodge who made their own rings!)  Aren’t the beautiful?  They are sitting on a sweet little package of tree rings that served as a favor for the guests.

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How handsome is this groom?!?  We love when we can photograph the groom getting ready as well as the bride.

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Heather’s accessories were gorgeous.  She has amazing style.  And because I know someone will ask, she got the birdcage veil on Etsy.  (Etsy has so many fabulous wedding accessories – whatever you can dream up you can probably find there.)

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Heather, you are STUNNING.

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Heather & Tom chose to do a First Look before the ceremony.  I am sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I cannot emphasize enough how fantastic First Looks are.  We always, always, get amazing photos, the couple still has their moment, and it makes for a much more relaxed day.  It also makes your timeline a breeze, as your photography and formals can be completed before the ceremony, so you are free to enjoy your reception and spend time with your guests afterward.

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…And that is why you do a First Look!  icon smile Rustic, Vintage Inspired River Birch Lodge Wedding   Hartland, MI

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Married!  icon smile Rustic, Vintage Inspired River Birch Lodge Wedding   Hartland, MI

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River Birch Lodge is an intimate venue, with a sprawling layout, and lots and logs of rustic details.  Picture a log cabin you’d find after driving up north for 5 hours, except it’s within an hour from Detroit.  The home is full of fantastic architecture and details, including an arched door imported from Europe, supporting beams made from real tree trunks and two fieldstone fireplaces.  The lodge also serves as an Inn, with a master suite and guest rooms to sleep up to 20.

The wine in the photograph above was made by Tom’s late grandfather.  He made a bottle of wine for each of his grandchildren to open on his/her wedding day.  I thought this was such a beautiful idea.

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How charming was their wedding cake with the love birds on top?  The orchids on the cake are the same kind that are on the side of Heather’s ring, and they grow natively where they live.

Heather & Tom surprised their guests with a choreographed swing dance – they were great!

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Whew!  That’s it!

Heather & Tom – we had such a blast documenting your day.  Thank you!

If you’d like to help this couple win a print credit, please leave a comment below! icon smile Rustic, Vintage Inspired River Birch Lodge Wedding   Hartland, MI   (details here)   If you’re a guest and want to see all the proofs, click here!