Okay, let’s kick off this post with one of the cutest engagement stories we’ve ever heard (from the bride):

“I love the Disney movie Tangled, and I’ve always been infatuated with floating lanterns! Michael was in Grand Rapids visiting me right before Christmas ’14, with an amazing proposal plan. He took me to a delicious hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant (he intentionally was trying to be “unromantic” as he puts it, because he didn’t want me to get any hints about what was coming). I am a very hard person to trick, so I give him lots of credit for the way he totally surprised me on this one.

After dinner, he said “Elise, I have a little adventure for us!” as he said often, so I didn’t think anything of it. He brought me to the property where my parents were building a home on a lake. We got to the property- it was dark and cold out, and he said “I know you love these floating lanterns, let’s light one.” I thought nothing of it, so we lit our floating lantern. Then suddenly, I look across the lake and see 40+ floating lanterns in the sky! Shining with their magical light! It was unreal. I turned around and saw Michael on one knee. I was so surprised! “Leasie, will you marry me?” He got me good! He had coordinated with all of my family and friends to be a part of the proposal- they were across the lake waiting for us with lanterns! It was so special.”

Adorable! About six months later, these two were wed, and they invited us along to capture their big day!




The girls started their day at the Bride’s home, where they were pampered, dolled up, and slipped into their stunning gowns. Meanwhile, the guys suited up at Cascade Hills Country Club, and prepared for the big day.


Photography by Hilary Barreto

Next, the couple headed to Grace Episcopal Church, where they had a sweet ceremony… we absolutely adored Michael’s reaction to seeing Elise as she walked down the aisle. They had a beautiful ceremony, and it wasn’t long before they were kissing, announced as man and wife, enjoying a rose petal exit, and being whisked away by horse and carriage. The perfect start to their fairy tale!


Photography by Hilary Barreto
Photography by Hilary Barreto


The reception at Cascade Hills Country Club was to die for! With decor and floral by Events By I.Candy, each table was perfect… tall candelabras, blush petals, roses, flickering lights in mercury glass, and of course the stunning canopy they created above the dance floor using blush linens and vines; every detail was perfect. The couple entered, and were immediately greeted by a full dance floor with friends and family to celebrate.

One of our favorite parts of the day was when the bride surprised the groom with a special song! It’s not very often a bride has an amazing voice, and she gave us all goosebumps with her perfect serenade. They then enjoyed their first dance before a night filled with cake, desserts, more dancing, and of course, a Tangled-inspired lantern release.


Photography by Hilary Barreto


We had so much fun with this beautiful couple, and we’re so glad they included us in their big day.

Congratulations on forever you two!

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