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Michigan Maritime Museum Wedding | Mary & Matt

A Perfect South Haven Wedding on the Luckiest Day of the Year

Michigan Maritime Museum Wedding

As a wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing many beautiful moments, but Mary and Matt’s Michigan Maritime Museum wedding in South Haven will forever stand out as one of the most enchanting days I’ve ever witnessed. It was truly the luckiest day of the year, with the warmest weather so far this year (my favorite!) and a truly remarkable couple whose love was a joy to document.

With views of Lake Michigan right down the street, I began the day at the bride’s parent’s home. Fit with hair and makeup stations for the wedding party with The Pretty Committee, the bridesmaids, bride, and mother of the bride got pampered as I photographed the couple’s smaller details like their rings, invitations, and Mary’s stunning dress from Becker’s Bridal.

The day seemed to speed up once we arrived at the Michigan Maritime Museum, a venue that offers a unique blend of history and stunning natural beauty. Situated on the picturesque Black River, the museum provided a perfect backdrop with its docked ships adding a nautical charm to the wedding festivities.

Mary shared two first looks before Matt’s and they did not disappoint! We had an impromptu first look with her brother and then her bridesmaids saw her for the first time. I think you can tell by everyone’s reaction that they are all so happy for her and I love seeing how supportive and emotional people get on wedding days for the couple!

Then it was time for one of the most memorable parts of the day as Matt finally got to see Mary. We had a quiet spot near the docks where they could see each other for the first time. The anticipation was palpable, and when Matt turned to see Mary, his expression was one of pure love and admiration. Mary was grinning from ear to ear as they embraced in a hug and it was a tender, intimate moment that I was honored to capture!

I loved having this time after their first look to photograph portraits of the couple, the wedding party, and most of their family photos. It felt relaxed as we used the sunshine and heat to our advantage along with the air-conditioning of the museum to cool off. Mary looked absolutely stunning in her dress from Becker’s Bridal. The gown was a masterpiece, combining timeless elegance with modern sophistication. Its intricate floral details and flowing silhouette complemented Mary perfectly while Matt looked like a proper gentleman in his suit from The Black Tux with blue tie to compliment the scenery!

The outdoor ceremony area was bathed in warm sunlight, with a gentle breeze coming off the river—ideal conditions for Mary and Matt to share their vows with one another as guests listened intently. Before we knew it, the couple had exchanged rings, kissed, and were walking down the aisle again!

Because they had decided to do a first look, they also got to enjoy their cocktail hour. The outdoor cocktail hour space overlooking the Black River was nothing short of spectacular. The sun was slowly going down, casting a golden hue over the water, creating a romantic ambiance that set the tone for the evening. Guests mingled and enjoyed the view of the ships docked nearby, which added a unique maritime flavor to the celebration.

Their indoor reception space at the Michigan Maritime Museum greeted guests with simple and elegantly designed tables and a showstopper centerpiece above their dance floor. As the evening progressed through grand entrances, toasts, and first dances, the party moved to the dance floor where laughter and joy filled the air. Many enjoyed the setting sun on the balconies as they caught up with one another before Matt’s culinary skills shone through in a surprising twist. As a chef, he wanted to share his passion for food with his guests in a memorable way. At one point, he and Mary appeared on the dance floor, passing out caviar—a delightful and unexpected treat that everyone enjoyed. It was a true reflection of their personalities to share in the delights of food with everyone and a highlight of the night!

Mary and Matt’s wedding was a celebration of love, luck, and perfection. Every detail, from the breathtaking venue to Mary’s exquisite dress and the thoughtful personal touches, contributed to an unforgettable day. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, enhancing the beauty of the surroundings and the joy of the occasion.

As their photographer, I felt incredibly lucky to be part of such a special day. It was one of those rare weddings where everything aligned perfectly, making it a dream to photograph. Mary and Matt’s love for each other, combined with the idyllic setting and flawless weather, creating a truly magical wedding!

Congratulations again Mary & Matt on your Michigan Maritime Museum Wedding!

Vendor Team

Venue | Michigan Maritime Museum

Photographer | Stephanie Parshall Photography, LLC

Day of Coordinator | Lauren Kay Weddings

Hair & Makeup | The Pretty Committee

Design, Decor, Florals | Adorn MI Event

DJ | DJ Adam Freeman

Vintage Dish Rental | Debby Does Dishes

Wedding Dress | Becker’s Bridal

2nd Photographer | Matt with Juneberry Media

Rings, Earrings, and Neckace | GV Jewelry

Catering | White Horse Farm Catering

Cookies | Cookies on Call

Suits | The Black Tux

Invitations | Minted.com


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