George and Lexi’s wedding was absolutely amazing! They chose Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Higgins Lake, Michigan because it is a place that is very special to both of them. Kind of like home you could say. You see, Cross Country Ski HQ has been family owned since around 1975 by George’s parents, and now by George’s sister and brother in law, Mariah & Stu. Also part of this historical shop is the Stone Turtle Yoga Studio where Lexi has taught and practiced alongside her dearest friend, and now sister in law, Mariah. Not to mention, George and Lexi both love nature and all its beauty. This was the perfect location for them to be married at.
It rained off and on all day. As it neared time for guests to arrive, it was beginning to look like the walls to the reception tent would need to be put up and the ceremony would be moved inside the tent. Then, about 30 minutes before the ceremony, as guests were arriving, the rain magically stopped. This happened throughout the evening with the rain. It would rain, then miraculously stop in time for the first dance. Then the rain started again for dinner, then stopped long enough for more photos. The rain always stopped when it needed to. It’s like Mother Nature was in total control of the timing for the day.
The ceremony was so beautiful! As guests made their way to their (socially distanced) seats, Lexi’s brother (and brides-man), Jacob, beautifully played the acoustic guitar. George’s sister, Mariah was their officiant. She started the ceremony by asking everyone to close their eyes and be present, as she guided everyone through a brief grounding meditation. As George was escorted by his parents down the aisle, Jacob began to play the harp. He played Everything In Its Right Place by Radiohead as Lexi’s Mom and Dad walked her down the aisle to George. I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful that song sounded on the harp! It was amazing!!
As you can imagine with Mariah being family, her ceremony was very personal, natural, and so inspiring. George’s mom and Jacob each also shared special readings that left most of the guests a little misty-eyed. George and Lexi had a very unique ring exchange. The guests were invited to say, along with George and Lexi, The One Ring Inscription from The Lord of the Rings as they placed the rings on each other’s finger at the same time.
One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them. One ring to bring them all in and in the darkness bind them.
George, Lexi, and I walked down one of the practice ski trails for some photos. Most people only see some of these trails in the winter season while skiing. I think it’s just as beautiful in the summer season with the big full trees, with just a hint of fall color beginning to show on some of the tips of the leaves. We were able to also do a little sage cleanse to remove negative energy. As I clicked away with my camera, they lit the sage and each slowly waved the sage around one another, removing all bad energy from the past, and bringing new, fresh, positive energy to their future. This was a beautiful sight (and smell) to witness, and especially photograph.
We made our way back to cocktail hour where guests were drinking, visiting, and enjoying the beautiful wooded scenery all around. Since George and Lexi are creative souls, they obviously have some very creative friends. A couple of artists friends of theirs made what could seem like somewhat of a wishing well. Only this was not a well. This was something very different and spectacular. There was a small sign that read, “Begin with a wish for George and Lexi, vocalize carefully into the blossom, insert crystal sphere to activate.” When you drop the crystal sphere into the blossom, it makes this awesome mystical sound that is really hard to put into words. Just above this blossom, at the top of the hill where it was sitting, there were these two giant hands. They kind of looked like alien hands. If you were standing up there, you could hear the crystal sphere being dropped into the blossom, as well as wishes being made for George and Lexi. I believe that when you drop the crystal sphere into the blossom with your wish, it is released out of the hands and into the universe.
The band played I Wish by Stevie Wonder and George and Lexi had their first dance as husband and wife. After their dance, George’s dad gave a speech and blessing before dinner. He called on a family member to join him in signing the Taj Mahal song called Free Song. Then everyone joined in singing and clapping.
Rise up children shake the Devil out of your soul; Rise up children shake the Devil out of your soul; Rise up children shake the Devil out of your soul; Rise up children shake the Devil out of your soul.
At each place setting, there was a small gift for each guest to take home with them. Some plates had a nice little succulent while others had a baby White Spruce Tree to be planted. During dinner, toasts were given by George’s younger brother and Lexi’s close friend, (and bridesmaid). Hearing such heartfelt, and sometimes funny, words from those closest to them really proves how loving and inspiring George & Lexi are to one another, and to others.
Lexi and her dad danced to Onward by Yes for their father/daughter dance. The look in her dad’s eye when he would twirl his little girl was one that only the most proudest of dad’s would have. George and his mom danced to Mr. Tambourine Man by Bob Dylan as George’s three siblings and their dad sang along with the song to them. Then everyone danced the night away under the stars (and clouds due to some rain showers).
Sweet, unique moments like these are what makes these photos so meaningful. Two amazingly beautiful souls. Celebrating true love, their unique and non-traditional way.