Weller Raisin River Room Wedding

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.

Wellers has an off site spot for their brides to get ready in an antique house very nearby in Saline Michigan.

Wellers has an off site spot for their brides to get ready in an antique house very nearby in Saline Michigan.

Gretchens true first look at Dale when she arrived (and had to jump puddles) to get to Wellers Raisin River room for her wedding.

Gretchen’s true first look at Dale when she arrived (and had to jump puddles) to get to Wellers Raisin River room for her wedding.

And this is Dale and Gretchen

And this is Dale and Gretchen’s silliness kicking in… an impromptu reenactment of the first look that never happened at Weller in Saline, Michigan.

With the wedding moved indoors and Gretchen

With the wedding moved indoors and Gretchen’s dad (a true judge) performing the ceremony, everything went perfectly, capitalizing on the intimacy of the smaller, darker location at Wellers in Saline, Michigan.

I have a problem with photographing small children during my weddings. They are stinking cute AND every single thing they are thinking shows on their faces!

I have a problem with photographing small children during my weddings. They are stinking cute AND every single thing they are thinking shows on their faces!

On of the guests is hustling into the Raisin River room for a wedding at Wellers in Saline, Michigan. With continuous down pours, she really wanted to protect that gift!

On of the guests is hustling into the Raisin River room for a wedding at Wellers in Saline, Michigan. With continuous down pours, she really wanted to protect that gift!

Two little relatives of the bride and groom at the Wellers Raisin River room in Saline, Michigan goof off during the wedding reception during the five minutes it wasn

Two little relatives of the bride and groom at the Wellers Raisin River room in Saline, Michigan goof off during the wedding reception during the five minutes it wasn’t raining that day.

Another small relative goofs around with the red noses Gretchen provided to entertain their younger guests at their Wellers wedding in Saline, Michigan. Couples often forget how easy it can be to entertain their small guests until the dancing starts. This was genius!

Another small relative goofs around with the red noses Gretchen provided to entertain their younger guests at their Wellers wedding in Saline, Michigan. Couples often forget how easy it can be to entertain their small guests until the dancing starts. This was genius!

Gretchen gives a toast during their wedding dinner at Wellers River Raisin Room in Saline, Michigan. This room photographs nicely in the center of the room when the lights are up fully and there is still daylight.

Gretchen gives a toast during their wedding dinner at Wellers River Raisin Room in Saline, Michigan. This room photographs nicely in the center of the room wen the lights are up fully and there is still daylight.

The bride and groom play the Dating Game during their wedding reception at Wellers in Saline, Michigan. I loved Gretchen

The bride and groom play the Dating Game during their wedding reception at Wellers in Saline, Michigan. I loved Gretchen’s expressions!

Dale

Dale’s turn during the Dating Game during their Wellers Raisin Room wedding reception in Saline, Michigan.

The first dance in the Raisin River Room at Wellers in Saline, Michigan.

The first dance in the Raisin River Room at Wellers in Saline, Michigan.

A family dances together during a slow dance at a wedding at Wellers Raisin River Room in Saline, Michigan.

A family dances together during a slow dance at a wedding at Wellers Raisin River Room in Saline, Michigan.

A small guest tried to climb a beam during a wedding reception at Wellers in Saline, Michigan.

A small guest tried to climb a beam during a wedding reception at Wellers in Saline, Michigan.

Dale

Dale’s mom gets into the dancing during the wedding reception at Wellers Raisin River room in Saline, Michigan.

Dale and Gretchen dance with his son during the dancing at their Wellers wedding reception in the Raisin River Room.

Dale and Gretchen dance with his son during the dancing at their Wellers wedding reception in the Raisin River Room.

Some of the guests try to elicit a response from a baby they are trying to photograph during a Wellers wedding reception in Saline, Michigan.

Some of the guests try to elicit a response from a baby they are trying to photograph during a Wellers wedding reception in Saline, Michigan.

Gretchen checks in with Dale towards the end of the wedding reception at Wellers in Saline, Michigan. I love seeing intimate moments when nobody is paying any attention to me anymore.

Gretchen checks in with Dale towards the end of the wedding reception at Wellers in Saline, Michigan. I love seeing intimate moments when nobody is paying any attention to me anymore.

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!

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