Down the Aisle: Jeff + Megan {Destination Wedding - Gun Lake, Michigan}

He was a Chicago-land boy. She, a Pennsylvania cutie. They first met in Denver... back in the summer of '97 when fate bought them together as part of Up With People's Cast B.  Since then, their adventurous love story has taken them around the globe and back more than a few times. Jeff is currently stationed in Alaska as a lieutenant with NOAA. Megan is wrapping up loose ends in the D.C. area and the two will start the next chapter of their adventure together in Seattle. Twelve years (and countless jet-setting miles) after Up With People first brought them together, friends and family joined them in celebration as they tied the knot at the Bay Point Inn on Michigan's Gun Lake. Megan was especially excited about her darling blue heels, which made a small dent in the height difference between she and Jeff. (He's a solid 12+ inches taller than Miss Megan, which is just another reason they're so absolutely adorable together!)


Throughout the day you could often hear Megan exclaim with a squeal of excitement and a hint of surprise, "I'm getting married today!"


One of Megan's bestest friends in the whole wide world is Becky.  Also a fellow member of Up With People's Cast B 1997, Becky was there to witness the beginning of what would eventually bring everyone together on this day in Gun Lake. Becky and her husband Tom are just mere days away from the arrival of their new baby and though they couldn't be with Jeff and Megan in person, they were definitely with them spirit. As a special gift, they had this ring made and sent it to Megan. = GORGEOUS!


Just some general gorgeousness....


Megan's dress was as sweet and charming as she is.


These handkerchiefs have been carried by various women in Jeff's family as they walk down the aisle on their wedding day. The tradition is that you write your name and wedding date on a card and put it in the envelope, passing the handkerchief on to the next bride in the family. The original message dates back to 1932. As Megan is now part of the Shoup family, this was her turn. How fun to look back at their names on a card years from now and remember this moment.... too cool.


Sensitive souls as they are.... Megan, her sister and her mom were moved to tears multiple times throughout the day. Here, I caught her mom the moment she saw a special tag and a pair of rings that had been sewn into Megan's dress.


Moments later it was all smiles as Megan slipped it on.....


The wedding was filled with special surprises and unique touches.... including not one, two, or even three flowergirls. But SIX. (There are only five pictured because the littlest one, Ella, was taking full advantage of nap time.)


Down the road at the Wilderness Pines cottages, the boys were getting ready.


Jeff's mom gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to Jeff's unique plan for arriving at the ceremony (keep reading!).


Yes folks. Jeff arrived to the wedding ceremony ON WATER SKIS.


Here, he blazes past me with a camera of his own (complete with under-water housing).  Look at him rock it out on skis with one hand!


He actually pulled a total James Bond move and wore his tuxedo under a 'dry suit.' When he climbed out of the water, he peeled off the suit, adjusted his sleeves and cuff links, tied his shoes and was ready to roll!


So smooth Jeff. Look out James Bond!


The love of Megan & Jeff's life is their dog, Greta. Greta made her grand entrance by boat as well, and with some help from a few of the flower girls, it was a smooth arrival. :)


The invitations said the ceremony would start at "4-ish." And so... it did. :)


A day that started out rainy (good luck!) turned into a glorious sunny afternoon and proved to be picture perfect!


I love that you can *see* Megan's personality in this image. :) She is so happy to be a bride and to be forever joined with her heart, aka: Jeff. Extra awesome bonus? Jeff's sister Heather was the officiant for the ceremony! I'm tellin' ya, these two had it m.a.d.e!


Unarguably, one of the greatest things about Up With People is all the incredible people you meet. In total, there were seven 'Uppies' from our cast at the wedding (including our friend 'Wurts') and I enjoyed watching the ways that everyone contributed to Megan & Jeff's day using their own special talents and gifts. At one point towards the beginning of the ceremony, it became evident that there was a small issue with the microphone cutting in and out. I thought to myself, 'Where's Wurts? He could fix that!' About two seconds later, he was behind the sound mixer working his magic, and that was the end of the sound problem! ('Wurts' works in production in the LA area and has enjoyed a successful career doing all kinds of fun projects, including having been part of the Academy Awards and other such events for the past 7+ years. The guy really knows his stuff and it shows!) Here, after solving the sound board crisis, Wurts seeks refuge from behind a video camera....


What destination wedding blog post would be complete without a photo of my sweet thing? Emir was rockin' the dock during the ceremony....


As part of the wedding reading, Megan's sister Gina read the Hands of the Bride & Groom. Not sure if there was a dry eye in the house!


Yay! The moment that has been 12 years in the making!


After the ceremony it was onto the boat for a quick trip across the lake for some photos at Jeff's family's summer cottage. I love this image of Jeff commanding the boat with such skill and confidence. He's obviously right at home in the water, behind the wheel!


When we got back to shore, Emir was on deck and caught this gem of an image of Jeff's Dad.... you can see where Jeff gets his James Bond-style moves... :)


When we got back from the boating jaunt, we snagged a few more images before heading to the reception. This is another gem from Emir's cam. He was rockin' it big time!  :)


On to the reception! (side note: that cake was the. best. cake. EVER. For. real! Like a chocolate ho-ho!)


Megan's mom was so funny.... she was especially fond of Emir and repeatedly teased me that I had better be careful or she may steal him away! (He's mine! ) But I hope she enjoys this photo..... :)


Megan & Jeff danced to "Lucky" by Jason Mraz and I coulodn't help but think about how perfect that song is for them. The two of them are so incredibly lucky. Lucky to have found each other. Lucky to have such wonderful families and friends who obviously love both of them to itsy, bitsy pieces and lucky to have their whole lives ahead of them.... together. What joy worth celebrating!


I always lose it during the father-daughter dance, and watching Megan with her dad was no exception. Cute. As. Can. Be!


Let's get this party started!


Why don't we see more 'limbos' at weddings? It seems so vintage classic to me! (And it makes for some great photo opps!)


I love shooting stuff like this... (all done in camera.... no photoshop here peeps!)


Congratulations you both of you.... and your wonderful and fantabulous families! I'm honored not only to know you and have shared our UWP experience together, but to have been invited to and trusted with such an important day in your lives. Thank you from the bottomest bottom of my heart! :) Much love to you both!

PS: Comments are always welcomed! Make my day and drop a note! :)