Gretchen & Dale’s Saline, Michigan wedding photography at Wellers Raisin River Room.
May 30th, 2015
So what are a bride and groom to do when their wedding day is by turns storming, threatening, steamy hot and back to down pouring again? Wellers had gorgeous grounds for weddings and frankly, there was just no way it looked feasible to have their wedding outside and be able to take advantage of the beautiful setting. Gretchen really was game for it up until the very last minute, but practicality won out. The ground was thoroughly saturated, the river was swollen and her lovely white dress would have become a mud soaked sponge in no time.
Because Gretchen and Dale had a first look (can you spot the real one and the fake one?!), we were able to get some quick family photos done outside as well as some couples shots in between the storms that just kept pounding Michigan. A note to photographers and couples looking at using Wellers Raisin River Room in Saline, Michigan. This room is very cool looking, very intimate and also one of the most challenging wedding venues to photograph. I’ve shot weddings here often and now how to manage the lighting, but even having the wedding moved indoors to a small area in what is typically the dance floor area (the majority of guests stayed seated at their tables) was a challenge. Here are the technical issues… the ceilings are black, so the light does not bounce or travel far. The black ceilings also have large beams, so any light you do put out will be immediately stopped from spreading by the beams. There are multiple kinds of natural lighting going on. Some is incandescent, some is more florescent, some is natural and some is halogen! Needless to say, the lighting set for where the bride and groom typically are seated is fine when the lights are fully up. The fall off to the guests seating just to the right or left of that one area is quite dramatic, very directional from overhead (lots of shadows on peoples faces) and very red which is hard to tone. You can see in the wedding photo of the toast that the area looks nice in that center area… not too hard to color correct. So you’ll need to use a LOT of off camera lighting, not just bounced. You’ll need a LOT of batteries (the walls had water streaming down them and half their plugs just weren’t working that day… not typical, but with a very old building, who knows!). So anybody out there looking for a wedding photographer for this unique and charming venue, make sure they have a lot of tricks in their lighting bag… they’ll need every last one of them! I was extremely fortunate to be working with a laid back couple AND my favorite ally / DJ, Michigan Wedding DJ, Dan Nichols who made sure I was able to do what needed to be done before moving on. That’s a huge help on a technically challenging wedding venue.
Congratulations to Gretchen and Dale. They pulled off this wedding with style!