Small Michigan Backyard Wedding

Garden Weddings

You might remember photographer Heather Jowett from this gorgeous ballroom wedding we featured a few months ago. Today she is back to share the most beautiful, down to earth intimate wedding. Ali + Marc are doctors living in Kansas City, but decided to fly back to their hometown of Chelsea in Michigan to have a small celebration with the people that matter most to them. It’s what Heather perfectly titles as a “Backwards Elopement” – they flew back home to get wedded with their close friends and family!

Chelsea Michigan Wedding Heather Jowett Photographer
michigan small wedding

Chelsea Michigan Wedding Heather Jowett Photographer

michigan small wedding
Chelsea Michigan Wedding Heather Jowett Photographer

michigan small wedding
Chelsea Michigan Wedding Heather Jowett Photographer

michigan small wedding

View all images from this small Michigan wedding

From Heather Jowett: Ali and Marc contacted me because they wanted to do something a little different with their wedding. They’re both doctors in Kansas City, but they had decided that for their marriage ceremony, they wanted to do something special, and intimate, with their closest family. Thus, the backwards elopement was born. The flew from Kansas City to Michigan to get married in the backyard of Ali’s childhood house. In attendance was only the bride and groom, each of their parents, the groom’s brother and his partner, the bride’s grandparents, and myself (well, Ali and Marc’s two adorable pooches were there as well, as is obvious in the pictures).

I’ve been photographing wedding for 6 years, and this was one of the most special things I’ve ever been asked to be a part of.

Most of the details were lovingly handmade by their families. Ali’s father agonized over the placement of the arbor he built for his daughter to get married under. The mothers baked delicious pastries and trimmed hydrangeas from Ali’s mom’s garden. They also conspired from Kansas City to Michigan on how to collect photos for a quilt they were going to surprise Ali and Marc with. Ali’s father even put together their super personalized cake topper, painting the dogs to match.

We all broke bread at the Common Grill in Chelsea, Mi, and while sitting at the table with them, their families made me feel like one of the gang, like I was meant to be there.

To me, what’s special about this wedding are the choices that lead up to it. The couple are both doctors. They could have afforded a lavish wedding in the grandest ballroom with 200 friends, family, and acquaintances in attendance. Instead, they chose to make it about themselves, their commitment, and their families, but at the same time, still make it beautiful.

Wedding Vendors (Chelsea, MI):

Venue: Bride’s Childhood home / Photographer: Heather Jowett / Caterer: The Common Grill in Chelsea, MI / Florist: The bride and groom’s mothers / Officiant: Groom’s father / Wedding Dress: BCBG / Shoes: Juicy Couture



11 comments
  1. lydia {ever ours}

    her dress is so sweet. love the details. and that venue is adorable too.

  2. Emily Heizer, Photography with Flair

    Oh! You ran it! You ran it! I know the gal who shot this, she was looking for a home for it! What a perfect fit and you ran it so fast, wow! I loved this wedding, it was gorgeous. I love the image of the bride coming out the side door and the groom facing the opposite way in front of the purple door- such an awesome moment!

  3. Hannah @ Sparrow+Spark!

    This is so sweet! I love the flowers and the cakes- great colours.

  4. Samantha Martin

    I am LOVING this! So sweet and simple and intimate.

  5. jen

    absolutely lovely! as someone who did a small courthouse wedding with just our parents i love this!

  6. Marianne Wilson

    Too frickin cute! I love small intimate weddings. Heather totally rocked this out, it is so simple and so sweet.

  7. Razvan

    Love the intimate feel and the beautiful details!

  8. Michelle

    Heehee love the dogs! Nicely captured.

  9. sam hurd

    i’d be rockin in that hammock. love weddings like this!

  10. S&P wedding freaks

    The dogs r so cuite!!!! And we love every thing else

  11. Chardonnay | Stella Event Design

    What a beautiful wedding! If you didn’t know there were handful of guests, I would’ve thought it was a bigger wedding. The beauty of the event wasn’t passed over because of the size of the event. This was very well done!

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