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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Congratulations Danielle and Clint! Danielle and Clint were married at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle, on Friday December 19th. It was a nasty day weather wise, snow flying, icy roads, and accidents everwhere. Danielle and Clint along with their hardy guests kept their natural good spirits and had a blast anyway. Danielle, Clint, family and guests have proven that you can have a really nice wedding in Michigan, in a snow storm. The surprising part is that it was actually a lot of fun.. an adventure and something that will be talked about for many, many years.



Watch for much more of Danielle and Clint on my website at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Website Updated

I've finally managed to put up the first Album Design. You can check it out on my website in the Album Designs link. I've been a lot busier than I expected, but I'll have a lot more up soon. This design is 40 spreads long in 12x12 format... that means the spreads are 12x24. I really love the Designed Albums, they tell a story much better than the traditional matted albums.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Matrimony & Cheese - Choosing a Reception Hall

The portion of any wedding that everyone looks forward to is the Reception. That should not be a surprise to anyone, and most Brides and Grooms work very hard and start very early in making a Hall selection. Some halls are so popular that you would have to book them as much as a year and a half ahead... and for special dates like July 7, 2007 (7/7/07), even further ahead. What makes these halls so popular? What makes a good hall? What is a Bride looking for? What is a Groom looking for?
A long time ago I was standing on a lakeshore, in a park, with a couple of bridesmaids. We were waiting for the Bride, Groom, and the rest of the wedding party to exit the limo and prepare themselves for an outdoor photography session between the Church and the Reception. The girls went on and on about how beautiful the scene was and how wonderful the pictures would be. This is natural for the ladies. As for me, I had been here many times before, I had measured the light and planned the shoot like all professionals should... but.. I kept wondering to myself what kind of fish just might be in this beautiful body of water. Now, I am a guy, and I think like a guy. It's not that I can't appreciate beauty for beauty's sake, it's just that fishing is built into most of my gender. As we were standing there two of the groomsmen showed up and I heard the one speak to the other saying "Man, there is some terrific Smallmouth Bass fishing out there.. I'll have to take you out here sometime!" I had an epiphany at that moment. Suddenly I understood life like I had never understood it before. I understood all there was to know about the birds, the bees, and the battle of the sexes. It's all about priorities.
What does this have to do with choosing a hall? Well, everything. The bride will be looking for beauty, for potential, for ambience. The Groom will be looking for Good Food. A Reception Hall with a sweeping staircase, a stone fireplace, or an outdoor garden will catch the Bride's eye every time. The Groom will want to know what the food is like. Pretty simple.

So, what should they, as a couple, be looking for? All of the above and a few things they probably won't consider.

Once your reception hall choices have been narrowed down, here is a few things you should take into consideration:


What is the level of "White Noise". "White Noise" is that constant buzz you hear just over your head that's more annoying than a screaming 2-year-old. When you visited the hall was it during a Reception? Could the guests talk comfortably without leaning in and shouting? Some halls are like empty cans. Music sounds tinny and guests get worn out early and they don't even know why. "White Noise" is a Reception Killer.


When you visited the hall was it a sitdown dinner, family style, or buffet? Was the dinner served in a timely manner or did it take hours to finish the meal and get the clearing done? Dinner should not be rushed, but it should not take a huge chunk of your time either. Switching gears from dinner to party should be painless for you and your guests.

If you have helpful and polite servers, a well kept hall, clean restrooms, management that does not hide in an office, and a time management system that runs smoothly without being pushy, you will have found a hall that the owner or owners take pride in and you will have great service. Watch for these signs as well as ambience (White Noise will kill ambience as soon as the party starts) when visiting.


Prices should be reasonable, but not cheap. Spending too little will save you money, but that's about it. You will wish you had paid a little extra to not have that headache the next day. If dinner starts at 7 and you don't have your first dance until 10, you have just had a problem. You get what you pay for, but don't get ripped off at the same time. Same rule goes for hiring a photographer, or any other vendor by the way.

A personal Note: My Favorite Halls

There a quite a few halls in my area that are great buys... good prices, great service, and/or unique ambience. Gino's Surf is great and getting better every day, Blossom Heath is unique, Lakeland Manor, Barrister Gardens, Fern Hill Country Club, all come to mind, but, I do have a favorite in the moderately priced, extemely well managed, terrific food, good acoustics, and really nice people catagory. Tina's Country House. This is not an ad for Tina's, this is my opinion based on my personal experience. I have been there hundreds of times and this hall is always on top of their game with constant upgrades, a beautiful, well kept garden with service and food beyond reproach. One really nice thing about Tina's is that it really is a "Country House". It's out there far enough that it's quiet, and peaceful. If you are having your wedding outdoors in the garden they even have a magic rosary that keeps the rain away... I've seen it work. I would love to hear comments. What's your favorite hall... why?

When choosing a hall look at the big picture... the total package... and your budget. Even when the Music's playing you should still be able to have a comfortable conversation. After all isn't a wedding a great time to renew kinship and old aquaintances? Shouting at each other all night won't do.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Truth About Memories - Matrimony and Cheese

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose. -The Wonder Years

There is one thing you can always count on when it comes to weddings... something will go wrong. Maybe not horribly wrong, but every bride has her own personal threshold of acceptable snafu's. For some, waking up with a zit on the morning of the wedding can just about ruin the whole day. For others, it would take a sizable earthquake to shake them up. The former being deep in the Bridezilla class, the latter a Dream Bride. Whatever your threshold may be, suffice it to say that something will go wrong and there is nothing you can do about it. There is no such thing as a perfect wedding. We are all only human after all and few of us are involved in wedding planning enough to be all that much of an expert. The thing to remember and hold onto, is the fact that it is the things that go wrong, the big and the small things, that will be remembered. The perfect wedding would be absolutely boring. Eventually, all the anxiety, worry, difficulties, and stress end up as blended, beautiful memory. Memories are a lifelong collection of moments that require a little bit of bitter to enhance the sweet. Can you imagine the following conversation:

Mary: "So how was the wedding?"
Sally: "Oh, it was perfect.. not a thing went wrong and the weather was beautiful."
Mary: "Nice. So, feel like checking out the sales at the mall?"

Now imagine the same conversation where the Groom and the Best man had to have their stomachs pumped because of a bad breakfast, the minister got your names wrong because you were the 3rd wedding that day and he simply got confused, or the bride and groom get in a car accident 2 days before the wedding and both are all but incapacitated. Sounds horrible, doesn't it.. it was. But imagine the conversations years later.

Memories are funny things. When a loved one passes away, the memories become vivid, and they always turn to those events that were bad when they happened, but time gave them a funny twist and a special place in our hearts so we will not forget. It works the same way with weddings. It's the flawed wedding that holds all the memories... the laughter years after. If something doesn't go at least a little bit wrong, there will be nothing to talk about later. The single most important thing to do on the day of your wedding is to have fun... period. So, relax, plan as best you can, but don't take it personally if something in the plan falls apart.. that's just God putting a little bookmark on your life.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anybody else know this guy?

Just try reading this without laughing till you cry!!!

Pocket Taser Stun Gun, a great gift for the wife.
A guy who purchased his lovely wife a pocket Taser for their anniversary submitted this: Last weekend I saw something at Larry's Pistol & Pawn Shop that sparked my interest. The occasion was our 15th anniversary and I was looking for a little something extra for my wife Julie. What I came across was a 100,000-volt, pocket/purse-sized taser. The effects of the taser were supposed to be short lived, with no long-term adverse affect on your assailant, allowing her adequate time to retreat to safety....?? WAY TOO COOL! Long story short, I bought the device and brought it home. I loaded two AAA batteries in the darn thing and pushed the button. Nothing! I was disappointed. I learned, however, that if I pushed the button AND pressed it against a metal surface at the same time; I'd get the blue arc of electricity darting back and forth between the prongs. AWESOME!!! Unfortunately, I have yet to explain to Julie what that burn spot is on the face of her microwave. Okay, so I was home alone with this new toy, thinking to myself that it couldn't be all that bad with only two triple-A batteries, right? There I sat in my recliner, my cat Gracie looking on intently (trusting little soul) while I was reading the directions and thinking that I really needed to try this thing out on a flesh & blood moving target. I must admit I thought about zapping Gracie (for a fraction of a second) but thought better of it. She is such a sweet cat. But, if I was going to give this thing to my wife to protect herself against a mugger, I did want some assurance that it would work as advertised. Am I wrong? So, there I sat in a pair of shorts and a tank top with my reading glasses perched delicately on the bridge of my nose, directions in one hand, and taser in another. The directions said that a one-second burst would shock and disorient your assailant; a two-second burst was supposed to cause muscle spasms and a major loss of bodily control; a three-second burst would purportedly make your assailant flop on the ground like a fish out of water. Any burst longer than three seconds would be wasting the batteries. All the while I'm looking at this little device measuring about 5" long, less than 3/4 inch inch circumference; pretty cute really and (loaded with two itsy, bitsy triple-A batteries) thinking to myself, 'no possible way!'
What happened next is almost beyond description, but I'll do my best...?
I'm sitting there alone, Gracie looking on with her head cocked to one side as to say, 'don't do it stupid,' reasoning that a one second burst from such a tiny little ole thing couldn't hurt all that bad. I decided to give myself a one second burst just for heck of it. I touched the prongs to my naked thigh, pushed the button, and . . HOLY MOTHER OF GOD . . WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION . . . WHAT THE CRAP!!! I'm pretty sure Jessie Ventura ran in through the side door, picked me up in the recliner, then body slammed us both on the carpet, over and over and over again. I vaguely recall waking up on my side in the fetal position, with tears in my eyes, body soaking wet, both nipples on fire, testicles nowhere to be found, with my left arm tucked under my body in the oddest position, and tingling in my legs? The cat was making meowing sounds I had never heard before, clinging to a picture frame hanging above the fireplace, obviously in an attempt to avoid getting slammed by my body flopping all over the living room.
Note: If you ever feel compelled to 'mug' yourself with a taser, one note of caution: there is no such thing as a one second burst when you zap yourself! You will not let go of that thing until it is dislodged from your hand by a violent thrashing about on the floor..
A three second burst would be considered conservative? IT HURT LIKE HELL!!! A minute or so later (I can't be sure, as time was a relative thing at that point), I collected my wits (what little I had left), sat up and surveyed the landscape. My bent reading glasses were on the mantel of the fireplace. The recliner was upside down and about 8 feet or so from where it originally was. My triceps, right thigh and both nipples were still twitching. My face felt like it had been shot up with Novocain, and my bottom lip weighed 88 lbs. I had no control over the drooling. Apparently I pooped on myself, but was too numb to know for sure and my sense of smell was gone. I saw a faint smoke cloud above my head which I believe came from my hair. I'm still looking for my gonads and I'm offering a significant reward for their safe return!!
P.S. My wife loved the gift, and now regularly threatens me with it! 'If you think education is difficult, try being stupid.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Matrimony & Cheese - tip: Tuxedos

A lot of men have a bit of trouble with tuxedos. It's not their fault, they are just men and some need a little help in this department. Here's a couple things I ran into just last weekend:

Try your tux on as soon as you get it home.. the day of the wedding is often too late to correct errors... like fit or missing or broken accessories. Tuxedo shops are pushed to the limit around High School Prom and Homecoming time. This is especially important if your wedding is at these times.

Tuxedos come with a card full of Studs and Cufflinks. The studs are used in place of the shirt buttons by a hole above the button. Use the studs when you are wearing a bow tie or Collar Stud. Cufflinks are used by pinching the cuffs together and putting the Cufflink through from the outside... not overlapped as cuff buttons usually are.

Most tuxedos, if not all tuxedos, have openings inside the front pants pockets to allow you to conveniently reach inside and pull your shirttails down. This is a lot easier and much more elegant than pulling your vest up to your chest and jamming your hand down the front of your pants.

The boutonnieres (lapel flowers) are pinned to your left lapel. Lay the flower on the lapel so the top of the boutonniere is about even with the middle of the knot in the tie, then lift the lapel gently while running the pin through the back horizontally. If you do this correctly you will not be able to see the pin at all from the front, and the boutonniere won't be able to twist. Be very careful with roses as pinching them too hard can pop the rose off it's stem.

It's not easy being a man, girls, it just appears that way. Men are not born with that Social Gene that women seem to have... so be understanding and above all patient.

The traditional long tie can be very handy....


Thanks again Megan and Mike.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Megan and Michael

Thank you Megan and Michael. What a beautiful day. You know there is something special about Autumn Weddings in Michigan.. when it's nice, it's really nice. Here's a thank you card. Congratulations on your big day.. it went very well.


Matrimony and Cheese
30 years of Wedding Photography


Matrimony and Cheese. I try very hard to get by without having people say "Cheese", but ultimately I still find myself doing just that. "Matrimony and Cheese" is the title of my book. I've been writing this book for a long time now and using my experiences, good and bad, to offer advice to those Brides who really want to have a beautiful and successful wedding. In 30 years I have seen just about everything that can go wrong and many, many things that can go right. I have an insight that few other's can boast of.
I have photographed thousands of weddings in the Detroit Metropolitan Area and beyond. I have seen more diversity and more changes than almost anyone. I have photographed every culture, every religion, and probably worked in every Church and every Hall in the area.
I will use this Blog to post images, answer questions and give advice .... as well as to thank the many Brides and Grooms who have put up with me all these years... and will put up with me in the future. I am busy working on my new website Photography by Randy... or Randy Indish Photography. I have thought of a few lofty and poetic names, but I think I'll let my work speak for it's artistry, and honor my father and grandfathers by using my own name.