Charles and Ashley’s wedding was held on a very cold winter day at Castle Farms in Charlevoix Michigan.

We started out at a local hotel for some getting ready pictures. It was a lovely spot with a couple of very nice hotel suites. In particular, the bridal suite is very spacious and has ample room for a good size group. Ashley was getting her hair done and her makeup touched up when we arrived. Maurice & Patrick bounced back and forth between the groom’s room and the bride’s room having fun getting some very nice getting ready shots.

A note about the filters and black and white photos…
Patrick Abel wedding photograph
Patrick A. Photographer

I would like to call your attention to the black and white shots next to the color pictures. People often wonder what black and white looks like on a very similar shot to a color photo. We’ve deliberately chosen throughout this blog several examples of this very point. We’ve also picked some different filters and put them side-by-side of identical images. You can see how in an edit process there’s latitude to increase or decrease a particular filter saturation or put an image in black and white.

In most of our blogs we don’t have duplicates like this but we thought it would be important to try to display that a little bit here in this blog and show the editing process at work.  After everyone was ready and things were being loaded up, we headed out to Castle Farms in Charlevoix Michigan.

Charles and Ashley’s first look and service upstairs…
Maurice H. wedding photographer
Maurice H. Photographer

The couple met for their first look on a beautiful staircase. We had come into the location knowing a lot of the spots we wanted to use, so as we worked around in the cold, the couple didn’t have to wait and wonder what we were thinking. Everyone moved fairly quickly and this is important to note that good planning often produces some of the best pictures. Especially when it’s this cold!

The service was held at the West end of the upstairs large banquet room. It is a gorgeous room with old field stone walls. My understanding is this section of the repair work was part of the original building and kept with an original look. When I say it’s fantastic, I really mean it is fantastic!

The service came off without a hitch. Ashley & Charles shared their vows in front of their best friends. I believe the service lasted about 15 or 20 minutes. After the exchange of vows, we took a few key family photos. Generally family photos take about 10 or 15 minutes. With a couple of more night shots, the couple got ready for their grand entrance into the room.

The party was on…

It was a ruckus applause that they were greeted with. It was so exciting and so much fun to feel the exuberance of the guests as they welcomed the new couple into their party. The dance photos after the meal are absolutely stunning in this room. High above, the drapes that hung from the ceiling create a gorgeous semi-circular shape above the couple. It is particularly nice from a distance when you can see the room and the tables and the draping. It’s just gorgeous!

Ashley danced with a dear family friend that helped raise her and Charles danced with his mom. It’s so beautiful to see families embrace a couple in this way. It was very moving to watch. Later in the evening, the party was well underway and we went outside for some night photos. Once again, we had a plan in place so they weren’t standing in the cold for long but you can see just how beautiful a gorgeous winter shoot can be!

We can’t wait for our next Castle Farms wedding!

In your journey to see more great wedding photography from around West and Northern Michigan, check out this link for weddings here.

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The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame Special Moments Photography
Knot Hall of Fame

Getting Ready:  The Earl of Charlevoix MI
Wedding Service:  Castle Farms in Charlevoix MI
Reception:   Castle Farms Upstairs Ballroom
Photographers:  Patrick A.  &   Maurice H. 

We transition now to the service in the main ballroom upstairs. 

This room is part of the old building and made from the most beautiful field stone. A little history about Castle Farms. It was originally built by an executive with Sears and Roebuck Company for their livestock trading and sale. Life was a different time when Sears was an enormous and successful company with their hand in a lot of different things. It is my understanding that they even sold prefab homes that you put together yourself. It’s quite an amazing story but this particular place was a farm for their livestock sales.

Some years later it was eventually sold and fell into disrepair. At some point along the way in the 70s they started doing concerts at this location. There were some very big names that came in. It was the biggest concert venue in northern Michigan and people would come from the Upper Peninsula and all over Northern Michigan to see some of the best acts of their day.

Today at Castle Farms in Charlevoix MI…

Eventually that came to an end and again was left to nature and the weeds started to grow everywhere. The property was eventually bought by a very industrious woman who had a vision. She had many of the old dilapidated buildings repaired and has made a fantastic destination wedding location.

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