Michigan River Sunset Wedding – Cait and AJ

Picture Perfect Wedding Day

AJ and Cait had a vision for their wedding. A super fun, super casual family style reunion all day culminating in a sunset wedding ceremony IN the river. 

Sunset Michigan wedding in a River
Sunset Michigan wedding in a River

Here’s the scoop:

Tents dotted the edges of the huge plot of land that Cait’s grandma owns along a small river in S.E. Michigan. They had every lawn game you can imagine, set up beach volleyball, a couple of blow up toys for all to enjoy, had a rope swing, campfires, a river to lounge in, kayaks to play in, shade to rest in and oh yeah, AJ (groom AND a professional chef) cooked a huge fish boil for the entire crowd all day long. The grand finale was heading round the bend for a sunset ceremony IN the river.

Sunset River Wedding in Michigan
All day fun on the river in Michigan with games and fun followed by a glorious sunset wedding IN the river in S.E. Michigan.
The bride and groom snuggle on the shore.
The bride's family poses for their elegant backyard prom photo.
The bride’s family poses for their elegant backyard prom photo.
Little boy is scared to try the tire swing over the river in Michigan.
Little boy is scared to try the tire swing over the river in Michigan.
custom sunglasses for all the guests at the sunset wedding in the river in Michigan.
custom sunglasses for all the guests at the sunset wedding in the river in Michigan.
A wedding guest feels the cold of the river despite air temperatures well into the 90s
A wedding guest feels the cold of the river despite air temperatures well into the 90s
One guest tips the other into the river.
Kids takes a turn on the rope swing.
Dog pulls girl to shore in river wedding
The tire swing over the river.
The tire swing over the river.
The crowd on the river bank reacts to the mother of the groom's mom doing the tire swing.
The crowd on the river bank reacts to the mother of the groom’s mom doing the tire swing.
The groom nearly gets a tight choke while on the tire swing over the river during his wedding day.
The groom nearly gets a tight choke while on the tire swing over the river during his wedding day.
Guests smooch and try not to make it into a Corona commercial
Marci Curtis shooting a wedding IN a Michigan River
Marci Curtis shooting a wedding IN a Michigan River
Getting air off the tire swing at the sunset river wedding in Michigan.
Getting air off the tire swing at the sunset river wedding in Michigan.
Horsing around on the platform in the river.
Having fun in the water with their 4th of July swim trunks
super cute baby at the river.
super cute baby at the river.
Deluxe porta potties at the riverside Michigan wedding.
Deluxe porta potties at the riverside Michigan wedding.
The bride snuggles with a guest.
Wedding guest wearing cake on his face.
Pug gets his ass chewed.
Wedding guest gets a friction rash on his way down the wet slide.
Successful fowling in Michigan during a wedding day at a river in Michigan.
Successful fowling in Michigan during a wedding day at a river in Michigan.
Not so successful fowling in Michigan during a wedding day at a river in Michigan.
Not so successful fowling in Michigan during a wedding day at a river in Michigan.
Grandma
The bride
Poptart was a hot dog.
The officiant displays his trophy to the bride.
A little girl starts crying because she was afraid of the water.
Two guests hold hands in the afternoon.
Dinosaur cake topper at the riverside Michigan wedding.
Dinosaur cake topper at the riverside Michigan wedding.
One of my former brides loses the giant Jenga game.
Volleyball serve.
The sister of the bride disagrees with a call during sand vollyball.
Playing to win.
More puppy love.
The groom’s assistant (and mine) helping with the fish boil.
The groom and the father of the bride spread out dinner for the guests.
The bride and her new mother in law take a minute.
The bride and groom in a teeny sort of wheat field.
Taking a love time out in the field.
Baby’s still cute.
So is the dog.
The cup in the setting sun.
The front of their new rap album.
Captain is anxious to get to the wedding spot.
The bride gets a kiss from her dad while her hubby looks on.
A couple snuggle during the sunset ceremony.
A reading during the wedding ceremony IN the river.
The bride and groom react to something someone said during their wedding ceremony.
The kiss at the end of the ceremony in the river at sunset.
Bride, groom and a poptart.
Lots of hugging and tears after the wedding sunset river wedding in Michigan.
The bride and groom on the pontoon boat.
Leaving the wedding ceremony site in the river.
The bride and groom on the way back to shore.
Last gasps of the sunset.
The wedding guests greet the couple back on shore with sparklers and a bonfire.
A sparkler celebration.
Sparkler entrance back on land.
Watching the fireworks.
The groom playing with sparklers.
More sparkler fun.

They were SO lucky!

The forecast for the week was horrible. Storms hit all around us and we barely had a cloud in the sky until sunset. We were running late, the light was almost gone when they captained two pontoon boats up onto a sandbar in the middle of a river. While Cait, AJ and their sweet newly internet ordained wife beater bearing officiant slogged through the mud to the miraculously and newly places lit arch, family members and friends scrambled to set out floating lit lanterns (that really did float!).

I, meanwhile had not quite understood that I would be standing in the river in near darkness grabbed sweet and helpful assistant chef, Jason to hold my flash (which weighs about 15 pounds). He happily hugged that thing for the 20 minutes we were out there. Everyone sobbed as the 7 minute ceremony progressed. A couple of pics with the non swimming rescue dog, “Poptart” (who promptly headed off into the sunset and off the sandbar which meant AJ had to go slogging off to rescue the rescue dog) and we got back on the boat to head back to the riverbank where they were greeted with sparklers on shore.

This really was a once in a lifetime wedding. Cait hired me with a “pack your swimsuit” at the end of her note. I did spend about an hour paddling around in the river with my waterproof camera getting some fun stuff (a first… the swimming, not getting fun stuff!).

This was SO MUCH FUN.

Clearly everyone enjoyed time together, hanging out, getting competitive at volleyball, making new puppy friends, eating amazing food and totally breaking all the wedding traditions. Sure, Cait had some wedding themed things (personalized sunglasses for all the guests), fun personalized drinkware for everyone, a dinosaur cake topper (“oh, we cut the cake this morning when we got hungry”). But the vibe was casual (the bride wore her bathing suit all day with her $18 wedding dress over it), communal and so, so much fun!

Let’s do it again next year!!!

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