Jess + Destiny. It's hard to put into words what they mean to me now. I've spent less than 12 hours with the two of them in my life. But a chance phone call from a guy named Jess lead to me driving 9 hours away (while still being in the same state) to document their elopement. When he first approached me, he mentioned getting married on the point of a bay overlooking Lake Superior with a beautiful 1800's lighthouse in the background. That was enough to get my ears perked up. Little did I know, this lighthouse serves as a bed & breakfast, while still being a fully-operational lighthouse operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. What did that mean for us? It meant we had full access to the lighthouse itself, and they decided to get married ON TOP OF THE LIGHTHOUSE. Nothing but clear, fresh blue water below them. The total attendees were myself, the two of them, the minister, and the owner of the lighthouse B&B to be the second witness besides myself. It was one of the most incredibly beautiful things I've ever been involved in. The craziest part of it all? Jess + Destiny had only known each other a total of seven months or so at this point, but there was zero doubt in my mind (or theirs) that the two of them were supposed to spend every last day of their lives together. Jess was moving up from Atlanta for a new job, and Destiny dropped everything, came up to Michigan, and they got married in one of the most unique places they could think of in a state they’ve never known. We started the day in Marquette (about an hour away from our final destination) to meet up, and then grab the marriage license from the courthouse. It was the perfect little small-town, Upper Peninsula place to slow down, and just revel in the fact of what the day was about to bring.
This day just had so much to offer. An incredible location, a freaking good looking, creative, hilarious couple (with a rad beard and tattoos to boot), and tiny little touches that made this elopement simply them. A friend of Jess made an amazing custom puzzle box for their rings. Both rings were cast out of metal from a motorcycle Jess had that nearly killed him less than a year earlier in a terrible wreck. The metal was salvaged from the wreckage and turned into their rings (as a complete surprise to Destiny). Oh yeah, and that whole cake thing? Freaking cookie cake that they picked up at the mall before coming up. I’d call that a win.
Honestly, these two are some of the sweetest people I've ever met. Love was true focus of this day. Not a schedule (they picked their date around my availability), not other people, not food or drinks or money, just what they each meant to one another. Obviously, a setting like this for an elopement comes around once in a lifetime, and I couldn’t imagine it all going down in any other way. I’m just still stunned and honored that I get a chance to tell stories like this.
Want to be further inspired? Destiny is a seriously talented illustrator. Check out her stuff on Instagram.
So sit back, enjoy and just drink in this Lake Superior goodness. You’ll be glad you did.
Big Bay, MI :: 05.23.14
Elopement Venue :: Big Bay Point Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast