Crystal Mountain Wedding


Fall wedding in Northern Michigan

Crystal Mountain Resort

Thompsonville, Michigan

Treehouse Studios Photography

Sometimes, the best memories are made when things don't go according to plan

Tiffany reached out to me just six weeks before her wedding day, panicked because her original photographer had cancelled on her. Finding a new photographer on such a peak fall wedding date in the Traverse City area was going to be a challenge!

Ahhh . What a nightmare right?

Tiffany, being resourceful and determined to resolve the issue quickly, created a post requesting an available photographer in a local Michigan Wedding page on facebook. As it turned out, the only Saturday I was available between Labor Day and Halloween was Tiffany's big day. It felt like destiny.

Together, we worked on planning her wedding photo shot list and timeline, feeling confident in our preparations. Since Treehouse Studios is located just a few minutes away from Crystal Mountain, it was easy to plan for portrait locations and send examples of the beautiful fall foliage in the area to Tiffany and Corey. As a local wedding photographer familiar with the grounds, I knew all the best spots for capturing stunning pictures on the mountain and around the village.

peak fall foliage view from Crystal Mountain Michigan
Crystal Mountain Resort sign in the fall
Crystal Mountain cottage beside the pond with a fountain

Rain on a Wedding Day

Thompsonville, MI, October 15, 2022.

The vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow painted a picturesque setting for this Northern Michigan autumn wedding. Although the ground was damp, we remained optimistic that the sky would eventually clear up.

When I arrived, Tiffany was already in her bridal suite, putting the final touches on her hair and make-up. It was a joyous meeting and we were eager to begin capturing all of the stunning details of her special day. Although the flowers had not yet arrived, my talented second photographer (& husband), Todd, and I carefully transported Tiffany's dress, rings, and shoes across the bridge to take artistic detail shots near the pond and ceremony location.

Preparing for the Big Day

After capturing the stunning details of the wedding, Todd and I split up to document the wedding party getting ready. I returned to Tiffany's suite, while Todd went to a nearby cabin where Corey and his groomsmen were preparing.

The timeline crashed to a halt when we faced a few challenges during this time, particularly with the flowers. The florist had forgotten the order, which resulted in a flower shortage and the need to create some last-minute replacements. We had to improvise and find local flowers for a few boutonnieres, luckily we were able to find some roses nearby. Pinning them to the jackets proved more difficult than expected, but my quick thinking and some floral tape came to the rescue.

It's common to encounter unforeseen obstacles on a wedding day, especially during the preparation phase. That's why we always allocate extra time in the morning. Thankfully, preparations went smoothly after that, until we stepped outside for group pictures with the bridesmaids.

The sudden rain may have disrupted the wedding plans, but it also brought a unique charm to the day.

Our photo timeline was once again interrupted and we quickly pivoted to help move the ceremony inside. This was an all hands on deck situation, so Todd and I temporarily set down our cameras and got to work moving ceremony flowers.

As the guests huddled inside the cozy reception hall, the couple exchanged their vows in an intimate setting that felt all the more special. The raindrops pattered against the windows, adding a soothing soundtrack to the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the newlyweds and their guests were able to take advantage of a break in the rain to capture some stunning post-ceremony photos at the base of Crystal Mountain. The fresh rain had left everything looking vibrant and the wedding party popped against the backdrop of the wet foliage.

As the reception got underway, the rain resumed outside, but the cozy atmosphere and warm company kept everyone's spirits high. Todd and you captured some beautiful candid moments of guests chatting, laughing, and enjoying the delicious food and drinks. Despite the unexpected change of plans, it was a perfect day filled with love and joy.

An Unforgettable Hallway Ceremony and Reception

Perfectly imperfect

The hallway ceremony was a unique and intimate experience that left a lasting impression on all who attended. The close quarters and cozy atmosphere only heightened the excitement and anticipation of the moment, making it truly unforgettable. As Tiffany walked down the aisle, guests were able to appreciate the intricate details of her dress and bouquet, and witness the genuine emotions on her and Corey's faces.

After the ceremony, the reception hall was transformed into a lively cocktail hour, with guests enjoying signature drinks and delicious hors d'oeuvres. The atmosphere was electric as guests mingled and chatted, creating a warm and welcoming environment. We captured candid moments of laughter and joy, immortalizing the happiness and love that filled the room. As the newlyweds took a moment to revel in the joy of the day, we knew that these memories would be treasured for a lifetime.

So we stepped outside

The rain took a break

A Change of Plans: From an Unplanned Backdrop to a Beautiful Location
Our initial location for family photos didn't pan out, but we ended up finding a stunning backdrop that was easily accessible. We quickly snapped some family photos before joining the rest of the bridal party on the shuttle to the top of Crystal Mountain. After taking some fun group formals, we headed to the reception. On the way back, C & T stopped to take some breathtaking portraits in a few spots.

Tiffany and Corey's wedding reception at Crystal Mountain Resort was truly unforgettable.

The ambiance was perfect, making it an ideal setting for their special day. The delicious strawberry shortcake bar was a hit among the guests, and the private midnight dance was the perfect way for the newlyweds to share a romantic moment.

It's not uncommon for weddings to face some obstacles, but Tiffany and Corey handled it with grace and poise. Their commitment to each other was evident in the way they smiled and held hands throughout the night. The midnight stroll was the cherry on top of a perfect evening, allowing them to reflect on the beautiful memories they had created.

It's heartwarming to see a couple so in love, surrounded by their loved ones, and enjoying themselves to the fullest. Tiffany and Corey's wedding reception was a testament to the power of love and the joy that comes from celebrating it with family and friends. It's a night that they will cherish forever.

The night came to an end with a private last dance and romantic midnight stroll