Justin and Jessy had the perfect late August wedding at Belsolda Farm. Their wedding day was just like the two of them – filled with joy and laughter, and sweet moments with family and friends.
When Jessy originally reached out to me about photographing their wedding, they were planning for an August 2023 date. While Justin and Jessy had been hoping to get married sooner, the first August date Belsolda Farm had available was for the following year, so they started planning. However, shortly afterward Belsolda contacted Jessy to let her know there had just been an opening in August 2022, and would they be interested in the sooner date? They checked with all of their wedding vendors, and we were all available! It felt like it was meant to be, so Justin and Jessy said yes and started planning their 2022 wedding.
Confession – this post is on the longer side. We’ve truly enjoyed getting to know Justin and Jessy this year and have SO much to share about them! Settle in and enjoy!
Getting Ready in Marquette
Jessy and her bridesmaids got ready in an AirBnb in Marquette. When we arrived to their AirBnB the girls had just gotten back from hair and makeup at Embrace Salon. Everyone laughed and talked as they steamed dresses and had a light brunch.
We snapped some images of the girls getting ready, then Jessy passed her bag of details and her dress off to us to take to the venue. Belsolda Farm has a nice little getting ready area for brides, and Jessy opted to get into her dress there. I appreciated having a little more time with the details because we had a busy day ahead of us!
Nearby the “she-shed” / getting ready cabin there are enclosures with sheep and chickens. I couldn’t help grabbing a couple of shots of this cute sheep – it looked like she was smiling for the camera! 😀
Justin and his groomsmen got ready at his parents’ house in Negaunee.
Jessy and Justin opted against a first look together, but they sent each other notes ahead of the ceremony.
After getting in her dress, Jessy opted to have a first look with her bridesmaids. I loved seeing how excited her sister and friends were to see her!
Belsolda Farm Wedding Ceremony in the Orchard
Belsolda Farm is a 60-acre property including the barn, apple orchards, berry patches, and rolling hay fields. The orchard is set up perfectly for weddings, hosting a number of benches and a sturdy rustic arbor.
Saturday’s weather forecast the week leading up to their wedding had varying chances of rain. Though we heard a few distant rumbles of thunder when we first arrived at the farm, the radar looked clear. Justin and Jessy were able to move forward with their plan of having the ceremony in the orchard instead of moving the ceremony inside the barn.
Jessy’s stepfather Wayne officiated their wedding, keeping everyone laughing as he ticked off a list of things Jessy had requested he “not mention.” Their ceremony was short and sweet including personalized vows filled with inside jokes.
Something Jessy specifically requested when we were reviewing the timeline with her ahead of time was pictures with each of her grandmothers. As a close-knit family, Jessy wanted them to feel included and special as a part of the day.
Bridal Party Portraits
As guests meandered off to cocktail hour, it was time for some portraits of the newlyweds! We headed out to the fields to take advantage of the overcast afternoon. We never know what to expect for weather in the Upper Peninsula – even in August! Most of the week had been hot and humid, but Saturday was cloudy and cooler. Often people are disappointed about cloudy wedding days, but these are actually the best days for beautiful portraits. We don’t have to worry about squinting eyes and harsh shadows – the light is more even and therefore flattering! (Although I don’t think this crew could take an unflattering photo if they tried … )
Quick shoutout to Justin’s groomsmen – as we started getting everyone together for bridal party pictures, I gave my standard speech of “I know this isn’t everyone’s favorite part of the day, but I promise we’ll make it quick and painless, etc.” To my surprise, the guys all responded that they were totally game for whatever we had planned. Can I bring these guys to every wedding, please?! 😀
Belsolda Farm Barn Reception
Justin and Jessy planned a fun, relaxed reception for their guests. Belsolda has a great setup for receptions. The cake table is built just inside the entrance so you never have to worry about inclement weather. Stairs lead up to the main reception floor lit with an abundance of twinkle lights.
Jessy & Justin’s wedding collection included a 16×24 canvas from their engagement session to display on their card table. I love seeing couples be able to show off their pictures to their guests!
Instead of a traditional wedding cake, Jessy and Justin opted for a dessert table filled with donuts from Dunkin. Justin’s Grandma Kennedy baked a small two-tier cake for them to cut. I loved the little dog with a nose full of icing they added as a way to include their Weimareiner, Duke! (See more of Duke at their engagement session here.)
We love listening to the speeches during the reception. It’s another way for us to get to know the bride and groom even better through their family and friends.
First Dances Under the Twinkle Lights
After dinner it was time for the dancing to begin! Justin and Jessy had their first dance as husband and wife to “Long Haul” by Ian Munsick. I had never heard this song before, but what a perfect first dance song it is!!
“No, it ain’t a one day ride
It’s up through the mountains where the coyotes cry
Down through the canyon where the wild things hide
And the cottonwoods fall
Feel the river underneath our feet
We’ll be drowning in a sagebrush sea
Long as I know that it’s you and me
Time don’t matter at all
Girl, I’m in it for the long haul
I’m in it for the long haul”
Next up was Jessy’s dance with her father Mel to “Dance With My Daughter” by Jason Blaine. The lyrics are sweet (Gonna dance with my daughter / Spin her around under the lights / ‘Cause I’m just a father / Making the most of this moment in time), but there were no tears for Mel and Jessy, just happy conversation and laughter.
After that, it was Justin’s turn with his mom to “Mama Raised The Hell Out Of Me” by Mitchell Tenpenny.
Then it was time to open the dance floor to everyone else, starting with the anniversary dance! It was so fun to watch all the happy couples fill the floor as the party REALLY started!
Evening Portraits and Sparkler Exit
With the heavy clouds we didn’t have much of the traditional glowy light for golden hour, but as misty fog started rolling in over the fields Jessy and Justin took a break from dancing to head out for some evening portraits.
Lastly, it was time for the sparkler exit! When planning a special exit, we advise planning to stage this just after dark but before the reception is actually ending. This way more of your guests can participate in the celebration (and more people holding sparklers means better pictures)!
In closing –
Justin and Jessy, we so loved spending the day with you and your family and friends. What an incredible group of people you have around you! Watching the way you each light up when you see the other from across the room, sharing laughs, and simply enjoying being together – that’s true love. Wishing you a marriage full of laughter and adventure together!
Marquette wedding vendors:
Photography: Enjoy the VU Photography LLC
Venue: Belsolda Farm
Event planning and DJ: Taylored Weddings
Videography: Matthew Hill Creative
Hair and makeup: Embrace Salon & Spa
Bridal gown: Essense of Australia
Bridesmaid dresses: AZAZIE
Flowers: Weddings by Jeff Heidtman
Cake: Grandma Kennedy
Catering: Mama Russo’s