As Winter Shifts to Spring: Modern + Moody Wedding Inspiration

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

In Michigan, December-March really is an off-season for weddings… Many local brides shy away from getting married during the harsh, unpredictable winter months. Instead of hiding away under blankets and yearning for spring, photographer Alyssa McElheny, along with event designer, Auturel, decided to highlight this seasonal period! How, you may ask? Well, by putting together a gorgeous editorial that focuses on that winter-to-spring shift!

Alyssa shares: I’m usually very drawn to color in images so the idea behind this shoot really pushed me in a direction I haven’t been before. Michigan is currently very dead, brown, and lifeless. We’re having a bit of an early spring this year, so there’s no longer snow covering the ground. In the next few weeks, we’ll be seeing the beginning of blooms on our trees and the first flowers pushing themselves out of the dirt. I wanted to capture the strange meeting point of seasons in one shoot. Where the dead meets new life. Brown, lifeless grasses meets meandering, popping blooms.

Quite the concept, right? Just wait ’til you see how it came to fruition!

red invitation

Wyld Sage Designs crafted this hand-painted invitation, that served as a major *pop* against the rest of the muted palette. Aren’t the floral illustrations divine?

The Outfits

illusion back dress

Candlesticks GALORE + one gorgeous vintage-inspired gown by Divine Atelier from Spring Sweet… ooh la LOVE!

black jacket groom

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Doesn’t his shirt remind you slightly of indigo shibori? The groom’s trendy look was put together with pieces from DenymJachs NY, along with shoes from Red Wing Heritage.

golden rose bouquet


The Ceremony Space

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

We adore the way white walls can be transformed + the major creativity that goes into doing so!

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Auturel installed a HUGE pampas grass wave on the white wall to serve as the focal point. Alyssa tells us that she and her husband spent over 5 hours gathering all the grasses to use! It definitely paid off… I mean how cool is that installation?! 

golden bouquet

fishtail braid

Fishtail for DAYS! Major props to hair stylist, Kelli VanHarn, for knocking it out of the park with this one!

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

gold bridesmaid dress

To bring a bit of boho-inspired glam to the day, this bridesmaid STUNNED in a golden gown from White Fox Boutique.

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Alyssa shares: Myself and about 10 other vendors (hair, makeup, videographer, calligraphy, florist, models, DJ, chef, stylist, etc.) met in my blank white studio space early one Sunday morning to bring this whole concept together. Over 30 Michigan-based vendors were involved in this shoot and I don’t think anything this big has been done in our area previously!

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

My goodness, the sleeves on this modern Chantel Lauren beauty from Spring Sweet.

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

The Tablescape

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

The long farm table was covered in a velvet linen from Nuage Designs. Custom geometric black plates were made for the meal, and paired with gold flatware for the ultimate luxe ensemble.

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

The Delicious Bites


The menu included colorful artisan tacos, made in house, by the taqueria (Donkey Taqueria) across the street from the photography studio. 


drip cake

Simple, yet SO cool. We love a good drip cake, like this one by Buttercup Baked Goods, especially when it’s topped with all sorts of season fruits!

The Details

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

bridal hair piece

A plum lip color, plus warm brown tones for eyeshadow make one powerful duo, especially when expertly applied by Morgan Nicole. And how gorgeous is that braided up-do Kelli VanHarn created, with the Twigs and Honey hairpiece?

Winter to Spring Wedding Inspiration

Serious WOAH. Way to go to the team behind this editorial + all the moody magic! For a deeper look into this winter-to-spring style check out this clip from Gabby Hulst Storytelling.

photography: Alyssa McElheny Photography // venue name: Alyssa McElheny Photography Studio, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA // event design: Auturel // florals: Auturel // wedding dress: Divine Atelier // wedding dress boutique: Spring Sweet (dress + hairpiece) // hairpiece: Twigs and Honey // bride's shoes: Free People // bride's ring: Katie Dean Jewelry // bridesmaid dresses: White Fox Boutique, Spring Sweet and Iconoclasp // getting ready robes: Ali Nicole Bridal // hair stylist: Kelli VanHarn // makeup artist: Morgan Nicole // groom attire: Denym and Jachs NY // groom's shoes: Red Wing Heritage // videography: Gabby Hulst Storytelling // paper goods: Wyld Sage Designs // calligraphy: Wyld Sage Designs // catering: Donkey Taqueria // cake: Buttercup Baked Goods // desserts: The Cakabakery // tabletop rentals: Gigi & LaClede // furniture rentals: Lockwood Tables // linen rentals: Nuage Designs // specialty rentals: Hamlet Interiors // music: AB // models: Jodi Hoekstra, Lindsey Noel and Kevin Pritchard // second wedding dress: Chantel Lauren // wedding dress boutique: Ali Nicole // other hair piece : Bride la Boheme // rentals: Fancy Fray // bride's other shoes : James Smith // desserts : Mokaya // silk ribbon: Auturel // groom's attire: Descendant of Thieves // other robes: For Love and Lemons // groom's attire : Joes Jeans // rentals: ​Woods + Water Clayworks // rentals: West Elm // rentals: Scout Design Company // rentals: Emerald Crane