Chris + Beth : backyard wedding reception

Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories





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I’m excited to be back to posting after a several day hiatus and to start things of with Chris + Beth’s Michigan wedding. Thanks for being patient! This wedding is extra special because I’ve known Beth (and her family) for a really long time, so I was honored to be able to document the day. I actually wasn’t the only member of my family involved, as my sister played the piano and my parents helped out with the backyard reception they hosted. From my perspective, it really was one of those weddings where people came together to not only celebrate but to do what they could to make the day happen. Chris and Beth are two people that give so much to others that their wedding was a chance for people to give back to them, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Here is a look at the details of the day, starting with the flowers:cb_blog01cb_blog03

Beth’s gorgeous bouquet was created by her good friend and florist Rebecca, who traveled from Oklahoma City and assembled everything once she arrived in Detroit! I don’t really know my flowers but I love the variety she included – there was so much texture and depth.


The most important part – the ceremony – took place with a completely full sanctuary. I’m not sure what the final numbers were but there had to be at least 300/350 people if not more. There’s something about a good ceremony. It makes everyone who attends think about their own relationships – with their husband or wife, family, friends, and of course God.

Afterwards everyone was invited to a dessert reception at the church, and as you can see the cakes were fabulous (and tasted as good as they looked). I was even more impressed with the decorations they put up, since some lights, fabric, and paper lanterns completely transformed the room into a more elegant reception space. cb_blog05cb_blog06cb_blog07

There were a lot of cute kids (many nieces and nephews of Chris + Beth) at the wedding, and I love the card Lily gave them above. cb_blog08

…and who doesn’t love cake – or talking into a fan? cb_blog09cb_blog10

After a quick birdseed send off Chris and Beth drove off for some pictures before joining the reception. The completely restored car they drove in gave us a pop of color to use in the pictures. cb_blog12cb_blog11cb_blog13cb_blog16cb_blog17cb_blog18cb_blog19

They are so in love! There’s nothing like photographing someone on their wedding day. cb_blog20

After pictures we joined the reception that took place at Beth’s parents home. It was set up for a relaxed yet elegant event with small round tables placed in the front and back yards. Dinner was catered by Just Delicious, and there were amazing hor d’oeuvres that lasted throughout the evening. Table decorations consisted of several small milk vases with low flower arrangements and old family photos placed inside glass jars.


As much as the reception was enjoyable for adults it was also made for kids. In fact, I would rate it as the best reception I’ve seen for kids. There was room to have fun and play (you can see pin the bowtie/rose on the groom/bride above) and the highlight was a pinata that was broken open at the end of the night. An ice cream cart served out your choice of flavor, and the night ended with sparklers!cb_blog21


It was perfect! I hope you enjoyed seeing part of their day and possibly got a little inspiration if you’re planning your own. Thanks again Chris + Beth for letting me document everything – and don’t forget to leave them a comment to help them earn an enlargement. Head over to their gallery to see the full set of images and enjoy!

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