You see lots of outdoor weddings on blogs and in magazines, because they are beautiful, and because natural light makes for some awesome photos. But as someone whose wedding took place in a church and a restaurant, I know that the experience of an indoor wedding is no less special. And as these shots from Sarah and Stephen’s celebration prove, you can end up with some pretty great photos…

Sarah’s bouquet was wrapped in a piece of the wedding gown that both her grandmother and mother wore, and wore a hair comb embellished with beads from their dress.

The ceremony took place at St. Mary’s Student Parish on the University of Michigan campus.

The church ceremony was followed by an intimate dinner: “We wanted to celebrate our life in Ann Arbor with family and friends. We are also both from Michigan, so using local and Michigan vendors was really important to us. We had been looking for an intimate venue that would make our reception feel like a big family dinner. The space perfectly fit our group and was so beautiful complimented our neutral vision perfectly. Zingerman’s also has amazing food and service, and they were a pleasure to work with!”

Guests were invited to sign Jenga pieces instead of a guest book – what a brilliant idea!

Strings of party lights cast a cheerful, warm glow over the entire dinner – and made for some incredible indoor photos!



What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  I love the photos and look of my parents’ wedding 35 years ago. They had a very intimate and simple family wedding with all ivory flowers. I always thought it was the perfect idea and, luckily, my husband agreed! I also wanted very classic invitations, menus, and programs and have an incredibly talented sister who designed everything for us inspired by my parents’ invitations.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  I have two! My favorite moment with my husband was during our first look. We got to have our private moment to take in the day, and it definitely helped calm our nerves. My dad’s toast was another favorite part of the day. He always gives amazing toasts and this was his best yet. By about 30 words in we were all crying and laughing hysterically at the same time. He gave such a great description of our family and my wonderful new husband.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Figure out what would make Steve and me feel relaxed and comfortable on our wedding day and stay as true to that as possible!

What advice do you have for other brides?  Keep it simple and don’t get caught up in the details. I loved how elegant and clean the look of our wedding turned out to be. It’s too easy to get carried away with every idea you get from other people’s weddings, so just pick a few things and do them really well. We also had a welcome party for all the guests who arrived the night before and it was an amazing chance to greet everyone! It was a fun way to bring our families together and made the reception even better.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  Steve and I started dating in high school and have been through so many transitions together. We knew we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us and it felt like everything came together perfectly.

Photographer:  Heather Jowett / Ceremony: St. Mary’s Student Parish / Reception venue, Catering: Zingerman’s Events on Fourth in Ann Arbor, Michigan / Dress: Magdalena Gmyr via The Gown Shop / Shoes: BHLDN / Veil: Sara Gabriel / Suit: Burberry via Saks Fifth Avenue / Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew / Stationery:  Mollie Ponto, / Floral Designer: Sweet Pea / Music: Steve Wood Band / Cake: MacKenzie’s Bakery
16 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings
  1. Ron

    That Jenga set is awwwesome!!

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  2. Hey Wedding Lady

    So lovely – their lighting scheme is fabulous against the exposed brick!

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  3. dylan

    These photographs are incredible. Mad props!

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  4. The Gown Shop

    We loved working with Sarah to create her custom Magdalena Gmyr bridal gown and Sara Gabriel veil. She was such a fabulous bride to work with! Sarah and Stephen’s wedding is everything she had described she wanted at her first bridal appointment – I love seeing the full look come together! <3 Congratulations! xo

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  5. Patti Wheeler

    Planning Sarah and Stephen’s wedding with them was the highlight of my spring! Thank you so much for having me, and Zingerman’s, be a part of this truly perfect union. Every time I see these photos, I’m transported back to the room full of love and warmth, and I am so happy. I agree, your dad’s toast was wonderful, and had me in tears! What a lovely day.

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  6. Mercedes

    Indoor weddings are just as lovely as outdoors. This is sure proof of that!

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  8. Justin R

    Beautiful wedding and the photographs are top notch!

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  9. Luann

    Just wondering where you found those lights for your backdrop. There are so pretty. My daughter would like to do this.

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    • patti wheeler

      Hi Luann!
      We order the lights from Have a great time planning!

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  15. Steph

    How did you get the lights to do that in the background? Did you use several strings at different lengths and them attach them somehow? I’m getting married in a barn and would love to do something like this for added lighting.. plus its stunning!!!

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