Carnival Engagement Session

Carnival Engagement Session

Carnival Engagement Session

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

Jodi & Bruce

Every year our little town of Grand Haven, MI hosts the annual Coast Guard Festival. We’re know as Coast Guard City USA. A big part of the festival is the carnival which takes place right on the main street of Washington Ave, right in front of all the shops. Taking Jodi and Bruce through the crowds of people, we found that you can be surrounded by activity but still only have eyes and ears for your love. Their clothing colors were specifically chosen to coordinate with the vivid colors of the carnival without being a distraction.

Laketown Conference Center Wedding – Saugatuck, MI

Laketown Conference Center Wedding – Saugatuck, MI

Laketown Conference Center Wedding – Saugatuck, MI

Katherine & Miguel

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Katherine & Miguel of York, PA, exchanged wedding vows on the lawn of the Laketown Conference Center.  The aisle was lined with rose petals and the smile on Miguel’s face truly conveyed the love he has for Katherine!  Lots of family and friends joined the fairy tale celebration; love and laughter flowed freely.

Since Katherine and Miguel had such a fun engagement session complete with vintage car, I knew the wedding would be even more wonderful. And I was not wrong.

A wonderful team helped pull off this gala fit for a Disney princess and her prince.  Jaime of Chalet provided many romantic details throughout the beautiful venue.  Take note of the “Beauty and the Beast” reminiscent center pieces completed with a dropped rose petal!  Way cool!  White Dress Events helped Katherine and Miguel put together such a wonderfully thought out day and no detail was left untouched.  The team at Laketown was wonderful to work with and definitely on their game.

Planner: White Dress Events

Venue: Laketown Conference Center

Flowers/decor: Chalet Floral

Video: Xavier Nicole

DJ:  Party in a Box

Cake:  Ryke’s

Old Hollywood Glam Styled Shoot – Frauenthal- Muskegon, MI

Old Hollywood Glam Styled Shoot – Frauenthal- Muskegon, MI

Old Hollywood Glam Styled Shoot

For the bride and groom that would like a bit more drama to the look of their wedding day, this old Hollywood Glam styled shoot is sure to inspire.  The Frauenthal Center in Muskegon, MI provided the perfect backdrop for this all-out, glamorous endeavor.  Pulling together 15 of the area’s top vendors, Cassie of White Dress Events helped pull the vision that Brenda of Brenda Hoffman Photography had for this shoot.  Utilizing in the colors of white, gold and black throughout we aimed to show the discerning couple that over-the-top décor can still be classy and refined.

With the historic old theater so conveniently located, we join forces to bring together the theme of Old Hollywood Glam with the gold, black and white color palette. The black floor provided the wonderful anchor for all the gold items.  From gold flatware, chivari chairs, gold sequin linens, statement-making gold urns and candelabras and numerous vintage pieces the style was complete with no detail left out.  Even a vintage mirror and frames were used for the gold sealed escort cards.  All the gold was anchored nicely with the black rimmed place settings and the black back-ground invitation suite.

The groom donned a classic black tuxedo and the bride was adorned in a sleek gown by Kenneth Winston fit for the red carpet. While fabulously elegant, the gown was also comfortable enough for the bride and groom to enjoy a break on the round settee in the beautiful theater lobby.   A vintage veil, headpiece and necklace added extra softness for a ceremony.  Even the jewelry was vintage with a 3ct antique European cut diamond.

Here is the link for the behind-the-scenes video:

Venue – Frauenthal Center

Make memories at the Frauenthal Center. Our historic building and its beautiful facilities are the perfect backdrop to your special occasion. Whether celebrating commitment and love at your wedding or hosting an intimate gathering, we will help you and your guests enjoy a unique experience no one will soon forget.


Instagram: @frauenthalcenter

Planner, Styling & Details- White Dress Events


Instagram: @whitedressevents


Florals & Design- Wasserman’s Floral & Gifts

Skeeter Parkhouse

1595 Lakeshore Dr

Muskegon MI 49441

[email protected]


Wasserman’s Flowers And Gifts has been proudly serving West Michigan since 1880 , with a large selection of the freshest and highest quality cut flowers , live plants and ever expanding array of gift items , specializing in wedding and event planning .

Concept & Photography – Brenda Hoffman Photography

Instagram:  @brendahoffmanphotography


Fine art wedding and portrait photographer

Linens – Elegant Linen & Design

Vintage Item Rental & Styling – add{vintage}

add{vintage} offers event design, consultation, styling, set-up, tear-down, and a vintage rental collection.

phone: 616-502-5978


Instagram: addvintagestyle


For the shoot I provided styling and vintage items for guest tables, dessert table, and invitation set & escort card displays.

Custom Sign – I Do Signs

Specializing in hand-painted, custom sign art for: weddings, event, businesses, home decor + gifts; & public or private Chalk School classes for you DIYers.



Wedding Rings – J Morgan Jewelers



14k yellow gold wedding bands and a 14k yellow gold vintage style engagement ring with a 3ct antique European cut diamond.

Video – Inspiration Video

Anne Smith

PO Box 314

Grandville, MI 49468



Inspiration Video is a professional, high definition, digital video production company since 2003 – working to create your visual answer. Inspiration Video provided the behind the scenes video for this shoot.

Rentals (chairs, table settings, vintage couch) The Rental Company – Holland, MI

Dress, earrings, bracelet & Shoes – Bianka Bridal



Grand Rapid’s most chic and private bridal boutique offering designs from around the world hand picked for local brides and bridesmaids. – Grand Rapids, MI

  • Kenneth Winston # 1711 $1495
  • Ti Adoro Bracelet $150
  • Thomas Knoell Designs Earrings $275
  • Badgley Mischka Wedge $245

Stationary Items -Jamie Lynn Creative

Vintage Veil, Necklace & Tuxedo – Great Lakes Wedding Gown Specialists



Instagram: @greatlakeswgs

Great Lakes WGS offers complete wedding gown care and restoration of vintage wedding dresses and veils.

We offer anything a bride needs for her wedding gown. Alterations, cleaning, pressing, restyling; as well as offering veils and custom accessories for sale in our studio.  We also partner with XEDO for easy and affordable online tuxedo rentals.  Our team is well-known in the Midwest for restoring and restyling vintage wedding gowns and veils, and our passion is making wedding attire dreams come true.

We offer anything a bride needs for her wedding gown. Alterations, cleaning, pressing, restyling; as well as offering veils and custom accessories for sale in our studio.  We also partner with XEDO for easy and affordable online tuxedo rentals.  Our team is well-known in the Midwest for restoring and restyling vintage wedding gowns and veils, and our passion is making wedding attire dreams come true.

Cakes – Ryke’s Bakery, Catering and Cafe






Featuring cakes, cupcakes, pastries, cookies, and more, Ryke’s will design the perfect desserts for your special day.

For the photo shoot, Ryke’s created 3 custom cake designs. To keep the display visually interesting, we played with dimensions and sizes among the different designs. We kept within the color palette of black, white, and gold while adding some more detailed and glamorous elements, like the gold sequins and the rosettes. It was so much fun to get to play with the Old Hollywood theme and come up with ways to keep the cake designs classic and elegant but also unique.

Hair & Make-up – Flawlessly Finished Event Artists


Tyler & Mary S

International Print Competition Results are in!

International Print Competition Results are in!

International Print Competitions

Professional Photographers of America – Results are in!

I can officially say that I have merited at the international level in photographic competition.  I know that anyone not in the photography world doesn’t really know what that means.  There are local, state, district and then international level competitions.  This year two of the images I submitted received a merit (the coveted gold corner)…essentially a blue ribbon.  They will be on display at the PPA convention in January.

Here is the official press release.

Local Photographer’s Work Goes to International Exhibition

Brenda Hoffman of Brenda Hoffman Photography is honored by peers and jurors for high-quality photography.

Grand Haven, MI August 17, 2017— PHOTOGRAPHS created by Brenda Hoffman of Brenda Hoffman Photography  in Grand Haven have  recently been accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America’s 2017 International Photographic Competition. Hoffman’s work will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 14-16, 2018. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

A panel of 33 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,800 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, 2,660 images were selected for the General Collection and 644 (roughly 11 percent) were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press.

Titled “Pause for a Moment,” and “Grand Haven, My Have”) Hoffman’s photographs will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world’s largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

About PPA:

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots that date back to 1869. It assists 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at

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First Looks on Wedding Day

First Looks on Wedding Day

First Look on your Wedding Day

Should you do it or not?

What is a first look?  “First look” is where you set a special time before your wedding ceremony for the bride and groom to see each other for the first time in all their wedding attire.

The standard arguments are about time and when to get photos.  Because I STRONGLY believe the day is about the marriage and not about a photo shoot, I really try to not sway my couples one way or another.  It really is up to them!   I would say about 50% of my couples do a first look.  Below are the standard arguments between the two but the real reason for this post is able to be told through the images.

Walking down the aisle takes, at most, 30 seconds and then you’ve moved into the process of the ceremony.  That means that your groom had the amount of time to take in the view and process what he is feeling before having to move on to listening to the officiant so he can participate in the ceremony.  A recent first look I photographed spoke volumes to my heart as I went through the photographs afterward.  I looked at the time stamps and they had a full 10 minutes of just enjoying those very first moments together.  He looked at her face, her dress, walked around her to take in the full view.  She then shared a private journal with him containing words of love meant just for him.

Then came the silent embrace.  The embrace that brought tears to my eyes as I looked closer and realized that there were tears streaming down his face as he held is bride, knowing the enormity of the love she has for him.  How much more sweet, intimate and poignant of a moment can you get?  And….they could each enjoy and savor those moments together.

So take a look at the images and imagine yourself in their shoes.  Is this something you would like to share with your love?  Leave a comment below to share with us your thoughts.

Direct Link to video

General Factors to consider regarding “First Looks”


  • The first time you see each other is private and shared just between you two (and me with my quiet, ninja-like camera)
  • You both will look your freshest!
  • The nerves of seeing each other for the first time will be gone and then you can simply look forward to and enjoy your ceremony
  • Helps to ensure that there is enough time for the most important photos (the ones of you two!)
  • You can schedule all wedding party photos before the ceremony, so afterwards all the formal images left to take are family photos and then you’ll be able to head to your reception quickly instead of having your guests wait for a longer period of time.
  • This is a great trial run of walking around and moving in your dress before you have to do it in front of everyone at your ceremony!


  • Seeing each other before the ceremony goes against tradition –
  • Did you know this tradition stems from the times of arranged marriages?  I’m betting that YOU chose  your future spouse!

Option #2 | Bride & Groom Photos after the wedding ceremony

  •      You do not see each other before the ceremony and the first time you see each other is when the bride is walking down the aisle.


  • You get to keep up with tradition
  • If you are wanting to have a cocktail hour for guests between the ceremony and reception, taking the bulk of your images after the ceremony will allow your guests to mingle and enjoy drinks while you’re getting your pictures taken.


  • If the ceremony begins late, or family photos run longer than expected, then it’s always the bride and groom photo time that gets cut short.

  • The photo time after the ceremony will take longer so guests will have approximately an hour and a half to two hour break from when the ceremony ends to when the reception begins (this can be a pro or con depending if you want to entertain your guests during this time or not!)


Beach Sunset Engagement Session

Beach Sunset Engagement Session

Beach Sunset Engagement Session

Holland, MI – Brittney & Quinten

We all know that wedding day’s are a once in a lifetime event with no “do-overs” but engagement sessions on the other hand can be rescheduled.  This is exactly what happened with Brittney and Quinten’s engagement session.  On our first try, we were rained out a bit.  But as you can see we made the most of it.  Our second try was a beautiful sunset on the shore of Lake Michigan.  This was great because being at the beach is such an integral part of their love story.  Brittney and Quinten rocked their session.  They quickly became at ease in front of the camera and look like pros!



Upland, Indiana Wedding – W & E

Upland, Indiana Wedding – W & E

Upland Indiana Wedding

Wynn and Ellie

Two Taylor University students, Wynn and Ellie, fell in love and I had the honor of capturing their wedding day memories. It was an easy drive to Upland, Indiana for this Grand Haven Wedding Photographer.  Tears of joy flowed by many throughout the emotion-filled day.

The tears started for me when I was in with the men as they were getting ready and all the groomsmen paused around the happy groom to pray over him; praying for him and his future bride.

There were tears from the groom as he read the journal his sweet bride presented to him during their first look.  Tears flowed again when the bridesmaids prayed over Ellie moments before she walked down the aisle. And gobs of tears from Wynn’s two sisters as they watched him dance with their mother for the mother-son dance (note that his mom had a tear streaked face right along with Wynn).   Ah!  Such joy!

Thank you, Wynn and Ellie, for the honor of capturing all the emotions that told your story.  May you be blessed and be a blessing to those around you.

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI

Frauenthal Theater Wedding – Muskegon, MI

Marci and Walt Tie the Knot

The day had finally arrived for Marci and Walt to get married.  We met a year and a half before and quickly became friends.  I can still remember the day.  We chatted like we had known each other for a long while and I distinctly remember giving Walt a “high five” as some time during our meeting.  It was a great fit!    We did their Fireman themed engagement session and Marci even helped me run my booth at a bridal show.  To say that I was excited to photograph their wedding was an understatement!

The historic Frauenthal Theather was their chosen venue and we had the run of the place for the day.  Since trusted me and allowed plenty of time for bridal party photos, there really was no stress as we took in the grandeur of the facility.  With the ceremony in the theater and the reception up in the ballroom, it was an easy transition for all involved.  The great team of vendors also made the day such a wonderful success.  I cannot say enough how helpful Rachel from White Dress Events was throughout the day.  Communication was clear and everyone knew where they had to be when, which is such a blessing.  Her assistant Becky even made sure my assistant Sara and I had food.  True team players!

The rest of the team rocked as well!  The food was great, the cupcakes and cakes were nummy, the dance floor was full, the decor was on point and the bride looked fabulous with great hair and dress!  Sure does take a lot of people to pull off an epic wedding…but oh, so worth it!

Here’s a video of their day:


Frauenthal Theater– Venue (one of my favs)

White Dress Events – Planning (my heroes for the night)

Caela Scott – dress (such a gorgeous one!)

Desserts by Design – cake/cupcakes (so yummy!)

Chalet Floral – flowers/decor (fantastic as always)

Harris Hospitality – dinner (always delicious!)

Modern Entertainment – DJ (great team player and kept the party going)

Salon 297 – Bride/bridesmaids hair & makeup (simply perfect!)

Dan Anderson – Officiant extraordinaire

Laketown Conference Center – Saugatuck, MI – Wedding Sneak Peek

Laketown Conference Center – Saugatuck, MI – Wedding Sneak Peek

Laketown Conference Center – Saugatuck, MI

Sneak Peek – Miguel & Katherine

The weather was absolutely perfect for yesterday’s wedding at Laketown Conference center in Saugatuck, MI.  Taking the short drive from Grand Haven, this photographer anticipated a  well-planned event, knowing that White Dress Events was on the job.  Any they certainly did not disappoint!

These are just a few of the images to give you a glimpse of what took place yesterday.  There was love and laughter all around!  Congratulations Miguel and Katherine!  May you have many years of love and happiness of you!  Thank you for the honor of being your photographer.

Team Players:

White Dress Events


Laketown Golf & Conference Center

Chalet Floral

West Michigan Catering

Xavier Nicole Video

Weddings by Paulette (dress)

St. Michael’s Church – Century Club Wedding Sneak Peek – R &K

St. Michael’s Church – Century Club Wedding Sneak Peek – R &K

St Michael’s Catholic Church Wedding

Century Club Reception

Russ & Kelley’s Sneak Peek

Russ and Kelley have already seem most of these  but I’d thought I’d share with their family and friends, as well.  It was a fun-filled day with lots of laughs.  Kelley left no detail left unattended in the planning of the day and everyone had a great time throughout the festivities.  More images will come later but these will give you a glimpse into the fun.

The ceremony was at St. Michael’s Catholic church with the reception following at the Century Club.   Enjoy!

Team Players:

Church – St Michael’s

Reception – The Century Club

DJ – Dream Productions

Flowers – Artisan Flowers

Bakery – Ryke’s Bakery

Catering – Hearthstone

Linens – Wedding Events Decor

Ceremony Music – Lakeshore Strings, LLC




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