Door County Wedding Photography: Kayla and Mike's Washington Island Wedding

There are some couples and love stories that give you warm fuzzy feelings from your head to your toes. As a wedding photographer, if you're lucky, you might get to feel this multiple times in a year. This year's weddings knocked it out of the park when it came to epic loves, and Kayla and Mike's outdoor Washington Island wedding just might have been the icing on the cake.

Let me say first that I love Mike and Kayla as a couple. They are incredibly inspiring; from the way their goals and priorities line up, to their adventuresome souls, to their respect and love for one another. Seeing them gaze at one another might just be the Eighth Wonder of the World. Mike and Kayla created a wedding that was so unique to them, it was breathtaking. They planned an outdoor Western-themed wedding on Washington Island at the campground they own together, Washington Island Campground. Mike himself built the altar and ceremony site where they said "I do" (he also built the adorable cabins on site, and we had the pleasure of staying in one of them!). The boys got ready at Mike and Kayla's gorgeous log home that Mike also built (seriously, over-achiever over there...). The guys were decked out in dark brown suits with cowboy boots, bolo ties, and handsome belt buckles. The ladies were stunning in their individual thrifted/bargain neutral tone bridesmaids dresses, each one accentuating the personality of the lady wearing it. Of course, their outfits were completed with cowboy boots as well. Their wedding party was incredibly fun, loving, and delightful. They were the perfect group to surround Mike and Kayla on this special day. 

Rain was in the forecast for most of the day, but that didn't stop the couple from their outdoor wedding dreams. The night before, Kayla playfully advised guests on Facebook to bring an umbrella, the outdoor ceremony was happening rain or shine. Gotta love a girl that sticks to her guns! The weather gods smiled down upon Kayla and Mike, and during their ceremony, only a light mist fell from the sky. The ceremony was covered in a beautifully moody veil of fall colors and romance, popping even more brightly in the rain. As they shared their first kiss, the weather gods winked at Kayla and Mike, gently stirring the breeze to swirl Kayla's cathedral length veil so gorgeously. The wedding party headed to Nelsen's Hall for celebratory shots of bitters, a must for any Washington Island wedding. Kayla asked if we could take wedding party photos at Stavkirke, a Scandinavian church nestled in the woods on the island. She had a clear picture of the images she wanted to create there, and let me just say, we made some serious magic.

Mike's handiwork was on display again at the reception, also held at Washington Island Campground. A handbuilt head table adorned with antler sheds (being avid hunters, I'm assuming Mike and Kayla collected the sheds themselves), sat at the front of the tent, while a homemade bar in the back was lined with shelves stocked with Bulleit bourbon, a favorite of the couple. Kayla and Mike swayed gently in each other's arms for their first dance, clearly lost in a world of their own. Kayla gently cried into her father's shoulder during her father/daughter dance, and Mike shared a touching father/daughter dance with his daughter, Caitlin. The party lasted well into the evening, laughter and music ringing throughout the nearby woods.

Mike and Kayla, you are such an inspiration to those around you that get to witness the way you two love each other. I'm not going to "wish" you anything because I KNOW you are going to spend the rest of your lives together traveling the world, hunting big game, fishing side-by-side, and creating an enviable life for your family. You two are proof that Reel Dreams Come True. My heart is overflowing with emotions for you two, so let me just humbly say thank you for including us in your wedding day story and for your friendship. 

Much love and appreciation,
Kate (and Steph!)