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The Lynch Family – Hidden Falls Family Session

outdoor natural light minnesota family session

I had an amazing time with this wonderful family!  We visited Hidden Falls in St. Paul to capture some photos and had a blast on the stony beach and exploring the woods.  If you haven’t been there, I definitely recommend visiting and exploring!  The park has almost seven miles of trails, so there is plenty to see!  The kids were so excited for their pictures, and gave me some great smiles.  They are so incredibly sweet with each other!  This family is just filled with love for one another.  And how gorgeous are mom and dad?  We had a fantastic time walking along the river, skipping stones, and playing around on fallen trees.  Thank you for a great day, Lynch Family!

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Andy & Katie – South Dakota Winter Wedding

south dakota winter wedding

Andy and Katie’s wedding was on a snowy, but warm, day in rural South Dakota, and I was lucky enough to play two parts in this wedding – photographer and guest!  Andy is my husband’s best friend from childhood, so we were able to bring our whole family to celebrate this beautiful occasion.  Andy moved to South Dakota 6 years ago, and it was there that he met his gorgeous bride, Katie.

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We held Andy and Katie’s first look on top of a hill overlooking Katie’s family farm.  The snow on the ground didn’t bother them even a little.  We were all kept warm by the love shared between them!

We were able to visit the farm below them for some portraits of the whole wedding party, and I loved taking advantage of the gorgeous worn wood on the side of the smaller barn.  When it was time to warm up, we made our way to the church.  St. Agnes Church in Utica, SD is a tiny, quaint church just east of Lesterville that was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  It’s so small that it doesn’t even have an indoor bathroom!  But it was a beautiful ceremony none the less, and Katie and Andy positively glowed as they exchanged their vows and became husband and wife.

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Their reception was held at the Lesterville Community Center, and it was an absolute blast!  They decorated the space with strings of lights and stunning red and gold arrangements.  There were personalized fortune tellers or “cootie catchers” on every table so the guests could all play question games about the bride and groom.  Everything on the sweets table was to die for – so delicious!  There wasn’t a dry eye in the room during the speeches, but mostly because we were all laughing so hard!  Andy and Katie’s family and friends had an amazing time celebrating this beautiful couple’s wedding!

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Andy and Katie are now expecting their first baby together, and I could not be more excited for them!  Congratulations, you two!

 

Getting Ready: Private Family Farm

Ceremony: St. Agnes Church (Sigel Church) – Utica, South Dakota

Reception: Lesterville Community Center – Lesterville, South Dakota

Lacy and Greg – Summer Wedding at Minnetonka Orchards

wedding at minnetonka orchards

A beautiful day for a beautiful couple! Lacy and Greg planned an amazingly fun day for all of their friends and family, and I’m so happy that I was there to capture these memories for them. Since ever I met with Lacy and Greg and they told me about what they wanted to include in their wedding, I was daydreaming about it! BTW! I hope you didn’t miss their engagement photos , which involved snow, beer , blankets and many laughs.

Lacy and Greg made sure that their loved friends and family felt involved and celebrated as well. You can see they chose to have a wedding that matched their spunky and awesome personality, they truly did and awesome job! They chose the orchards in the late summer, which were beautiful and so spacious ! The breeze of fresh air was needed for those hot days we had in Minnesota this time of year. The venue has so many options, fun little quirks and colors! There are trails, apple trees (well, yes, of course), pine trees. They also included entertaining little details for their guests in mind, like hayrides, bonfires, popcorn, yard games, (my fav) playful dinosaur tattoos, and awesome music for their recessionary!

How can a wedding involving dinosaur tattoos, gold glitter, and tuba music be anything other than fantastic??  And just wait until you see all the delicious goodies served at the reception! Go to the bottom to check out their super sweet vendors!

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After everyone was dressed and ready to go, we traveled to Minnetonka Orchards, where the wedding and reception took place.  I stole Lacy away for some quick portraits before we met Greg at the ceremony sight so he could get his first look at his beautiful bride.  The look of absolute joy on his face when he saw her could bring a tear to any eye!  We spent some time taking photos in the orchard before meeting up with the rest of the wedding party for some “too cool” group shots.
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After Lacy and Greg said their vows and made a very stylish exit, it was time to really start this party!  They set up an AMAZING reception for their friends and family, complete with a giant outdoor jenga game, temporary dinosaur tattoos for everyone, activity sets for the kids, donut and popcorn bars, and food trucks.  Their party lasted long enough that they even supplied late night snacks!

Photo strip guestbook orchard wedding minnesota

Big photo strip guestbook!

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It was an absolute blast and an honor to capture this special day for Lacy and Greg , and your amazing warm’hearted family. Congratulations to the two of you, and I wish you many happy years dancing together!

Ceremony & Reception: Minnetonka Orchards (Contact: Kelly Delisle)

Florist: Kim, Artemisia

Music: The Teddy Holidays

Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal

Alterations: Samantha Fromm Haddow

Ring: Antique estate ring from Filigree Jewelers

Food Trucks: O’Cheeze and Vellee Deli

Donut Bar: Glam Doll Donuts

Late Night Snack: Carbone’s

Decorating: Ultimate Event

Bartending: With a Twist

Rock your wedding timeline : Planning for brides and grooms

Wisconsin Bride with Vintage Umbrella

It is pretty easy to feel overwhelmed about your wedding day timeline!  But if you plan your timeline with two things in mind : photography and food, you can make sure most of it will run smoothly. Ok, I would throw one more thing in there: light! Light changes depending on the time of the day, so it is quite important that you and your photographer keep this in mind for portraits.

Here are my tips for a super general timeline to start making your own timeline!  These guidelines are meant for brides and grooms, moms, best friends and all the ones chipping in to plan your beautiful wedding. If you have a wedding planner, they probably will do this for you!

a) Start with a rough draft around the ceremony.

3 PM Ceremony

3:30 End Ceremony 

 

b) Write down  30 minutes before the Ceremony to freshen up and hide from guests! This is also very common for some venues, specially for a church ceremony, please make sure to talk with your  venue about these guidelines.

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony 

c) Add 20 minutes after the ceremony to greet the guests (Around 20 min for each 100 ) if you are planning on having a Receiving line or dismissing your guests.

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony 

4:00 End Receiving line (150 guests)

d) Now go back up and Add Formal Portraits time before the Freshen up time. Note: If you are NOT having a First Look then jump to point j) . Add at least 30 minutes for the family formals. Ideally we would add a whole hour, consider this in case you have long families, kids, grandparents, different situations like divorced parents, etc. This whole hour is a blessing too if anything runs late so we don’t run into the “freshen up” time cushion in there.

1:30 Family Portraits

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony / Receiving line

4:00 End Receiving line (150 guests)

 

e) Now add time for Bridal Party Portraits. Again, at least 30 minutes. This means everyone in your party needs to be ready for pictures at this time! If are you adding kids, ushers, personal attendants to the pictures, make them know as well. If you notice, we are reaching noon, and if you are taking outdoor portraits in the summer, this could mean harsh light. Depending on the time of the year , of course. Consider moving your ceremony later if possible. Consider splitting the time before and after ceremony for couple and bridal party pictures.

1:00 Bridal Party

1:30 Family Portraits

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony / Receiving line

4:00 End Receiving line (150 guests)

4:30 Cocktail hour / More Bridal Party Photos

At this point you can see that  that you will have a bunch of people with you during the freshen up, all your family and bridal party. Consider offering a snack of food right after portraits (makes everyone happy too!) . Another option would be to show some videos, or even a family movie while everyone waits around in a room :)

Lucy-and-Brian-Wedding_gibbs_farm

f)  Add 30 Minutes – 1 hour with couple. Here is we think about the first look (where?) You can put the first look right before the Bridal Party (even merge them together) and then use the remaining time after family portraits for more couple portraits. I recommend this to people that worry about their families arrival . If you are worried I prefer we take your pictures after all other pictures! Use a combination of before and after Ceremony since sunset pictures are more FUN!

12:30 First Look

1:00 Bridal Party

1:30 Family Portraits

2:30 (Maybe) More couple Photos

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony / Receiving line

4:00 End Receiving line (150 guests)

4:30 Cocktail hour / More Bridal Party Photos

5:30 (Maybe) More Couple photos

Couples photos are the favorite part of the day for  us photographers, because we see you alone and relaxed, and because we love-love-love being able to capture the most unique portraits for you two! This is why we recommend an hour, so we can get a lot of good pictures and we can make sure you are the most relaxed . The first 15 minutes of photos of the first look are more about you two just looking at each other and catching up about your day!

g) Add 1-1:30 hour for getting ready shots , basically for when you want your photographer to arrive . I recommend that your mom , personal attendants and all bridesmaids get as ready as you can because they will be with you in the pictures putting on your dress.  In fact, if I could suggest how to go about YOU getting ready, I’d say do: hair of everybody at 4 AM! HAHA. Ok, seriously, hair takes so much time. Make up should be getting done about when photographer is arriving so they can take some pictures of that as well. This time allows time for candids and lots of details- jewelry, wedding dress, shoes, flowers, stationery and rings. Have everything ready for your photographer or leave a designated “stuff” person that can point us to the “stuff” so we don’t have to bug you!

11 AM Getting Ready

12:30 First Look

1:00 Bridal Party

1:30 Family Portraits

2:30 (Maybe) More couple Photos

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony / Receiving line

4:00 End Receiving line (150 guests)

4:30 Cocktail hour / More Bridal Party Photos

5:30 (Maybe) More Couple photos

Minneapolis-Wedding-Reception-Photography-1

h) Finish with Reception time, which should be easier because all portraits are done (and all transporting back and forth to places should be done hopefully – no more heels! ). For us, the  Photographers just need to be aware of what’s going on and when? The main thing now that you have so many people there: food again!

12:30 First Look

1:00 Bridal Party

1:30 Family Portraits

2:30 (Maybe) More couple Photos

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony / Receiving line

4:00 End Receiving line (150 guests)

4:30 Cocktail hour / More Bridal Party Photos

5:30 (Maybe) More Couple photos

6:00 Reception / Grand Entrance

6:30-7 Dinner

i) Other considerations for the timeline would be to leave time for transportation, considering the getting ready locations for bride and groom to be in the same building if possible. Make sure to let your photographer know when the following are happening in the reception:

Toasts

First Dance

Cake cutting

Any other special events

j) No First Look Timeline option:

12:00 Getting Ready

1:30 Bridal Portraits / Bridesmaids / Bride Family

2:00 Groom / Groomsmen / Grooms Family

2:30 Freshen up

3:00 Ceremony

3:30  End Ceremony / Guests Dismissal

3:45 Family Formal Photos

4:30 Bridal Party Photos

5:00 Couple Photos

5:30 (Maybe) More Couple photos

6:00 Reception / Grand Entrance

6:30-7 Dinner

I hope this helps a bit . We want you to have fun in your day, to have the pictures to remember it and for everyone else to enjoy you as well! Be in touch with your photographer and don’t hesitate to ask away.

Wedding Dance Couple Embracing Each other

Niki and Tim Wedding at Madeline Island, WI

Madeline Island Wedding at Lake Superior Couple Walking in the Dock

The day started with the most beautiful view. Breathtaking Madeline Island is a Wisconsin island located in the lake Superior.

Wherever you looked there was water. The sun warmed every little bit of the island, making the already very green trees, shine with fluorescent life.

And there they were, full of smiles and anticipation. The anticipation was exciting! They were getting married on the lake!

Niki and Tim (and Jayla and Andrew)  make you feel like you have been immersed in a Fairy tale . Everyone around them was teary eyed since the start of the day, just because you could feel the love so strong of their beautiful family.

Their family first look was at this amazing spot in Big Bay State Park!

And they had their fairy tale wedding, with the sun in the back, a beautiful breeze, a little sand in the boots, the flow of hugs and the sweet company of their kids.

Madeline Island Wedding

Everything was full of charm, even the hotel!

Madeline Island Wedding

Madeline Island Wedding

Niki’s best friend, Casie, was helping with hair, makeup, flowers and decorations. She was amazing at it , too!

Madeline Island Wedding Boots on the beach, I loved the idea :) They are beautiful!! Madeline Island Wedding

Madeline Island Wedding

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Madeline Island Wedding

Madeline Island Wedding

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Madeline Island Wedding

Madeline Island Wedding

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I wish you the absolute best in your journey together!

Reception and Ceremony: The Inn on Madeline island (Susan Hartzell)
Ring: Shane company
Dress: Rush’s Bridal
Florist, Makeup, Planner & Best Friend: Casie

 

Briana & Adam – Twin Cities Lakeside Engagement

saint paul mn wedding photography

The weather didn’t seem to be on our side when we started this session at Lake Harriet.  The sky was full of big, grey clouds and not even a drop of sunlight.  We might not have been able to have any blue skies for Briana and Adam’s lakeside engagement session, but we got to take full advantage of the soft light all the clouds gave us!  It certainly helped that this pair was so easy to work with and so absolutely in love!

We had many good laughs and took some amazing pictures at the same time ! Yay!

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Danielle & Omar – St. James Hotel, Red Wing MN Wedding

Twin Cities Red Wing Wedding  Photography Collage

Danielle and Omar’s beautiful day was full of sentiment. I have been friends with Danielle for a while, and she is probably the sweetest person I know! She is an amazing artist and a world traveler . You can see her kindness and warm heart just seconds after meeting her. When we met Omar for their engagement session, we quickly realized how much these two belong together, how in sync they are, and how much fun they have together.

Their fabulous reception took place at the historic St. James Hotel in pretty Red Wing, MN, and we got to have a lot of fun taking advantage of all of its beautiful nooks and crannies!  We had some rain (a lot of rain actually!) but these beautiful people couldn’t be stopped! Before the ceremony, we had a super romantic first look in the study, surrounded by dreamy dark wood and a dramatic staircase just outside the room for group portraits.

Guitar chords started the beautiful ceremony, which was held in Welch, MN at the Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, a stunning little church that is over 100 years old and located just over fifteen minutes from Red Wing.  Then after the ceremony, we returned to the hotel for the reception and stole a few minutes for pictures in Jimmy’s Pub before going back to party the night away!

Danielle crafted the beautiful ceramics that decorated the church aisles, reception, and eventually their guests’ homes as parting gifts from the bride and groom.

The bridal party was one of my all time favorites too, they were down to business! Everyone was helping, carrying things, keeping the schedule, and doing boutonnieres while still having tons of fun.  But as soon as I said “Pictures,” you wouldn’t believe how quickly they gathered around! The flower girl was with us most of the day as well, twirling around and bringing all of us extra happiness. 😉

 

saint james hotel wedding reception red wing minnesota

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The “Mantilla” from Omar’s family that Danielle wore beautifully!

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Congratulations, Danielle and Omar!  I feel so blessed to have shared this beautiful day with you!

Ceremony:  Cross of Christ Lutheran Church

Venue: St. James Hotel, Red Wing MN

Flowers: Bella di Fiore – Talmatie Janousek and Janette Louden

DJ: Complete Minneapolis

Decoration and ceramic art work by Danielle Fernandez .

See more here:  www.danielleloudenceramics.com/

Madeline Island in Lake Superior dream

Madeline Island Photographer 01

Before I share the photos of this one absolutely gorgeous wedding that we photographed at Madeline Island in Wisconsin, I wanted to simply share my memories of this beautiful place.

We drove and stopped in so many places, just opening our car doors to the breeze, trying to catch with our eyes the incredible views. Took the ferry to find our cabin, which was all kinds of adorable.

This place is full of dreams, full of textures and colors. I can’t wait to go back.

Madeline Island Trip - Big Bay State Park

Big Bay State Park

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Nicole & Scott – Chaska MN Arboretum Wedding

Minnesota Arboretum Wedding Photography

Nicole and Scott had the perfect end-0f-spring day for their wedding at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN.  Everyone there was involved in this intimate ceremony, sharing lots of smiles and happy tears as they all celebrated Nicole and Scott’s life together.  These two are absolutely the best of friends who enjoy every second they spend together, and it was definitely reflected in their wedding!

They went with a simple, classy color palate of yellow, grey, and white, which worked perfectly with all of the beauty that the Arboretum had to offer them.  They decided not to have a first look before the ceremony, preferring to save that first look for when Nicole walked down the aisle, but we took lots of time after their vows to explore the grounds and take some photos of the two of them together.  I don’t think Scott took his eyes off of his new bride the whole time!

chaska mn arboretum wedding - bridal couple in garden

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Isn’t their cake topper adorable?  Nicole and Scott have two four-legged babies that they absolutely adore and wanted to involve in the ceremony, even if they couldn’t come to the Arboretum with them.  In addition to dancing the night away, Scott’s father made an incredibly touching speech, and Scott’s sister and her husband serenaded the crowd with a song.  Everyone danced the night away and went home with a beautiful handcrafted candle.

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Congratulations, Nicole and Scott!  I am so happy to have been included in your special day, and I wish you many years of happiness together!

Vendor Information:

Photo assistant – Gianna

Getting Ready, Groom & Groomsmen – Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center

Wedding Venue – Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Ceremony Site Coordinator – Carissa Pfarr

Reception Site & Catering Manager – Kristyn Wade

Florist – Festivities

Ceremony Music: Cheryl Zylla, A Beautiful Violin

Reception DJ: PM Enterprises

Dress Shop & Designer: Melissa Sweet for David’s Bridal

Rings: Zales

Cake: Buttercream Cakes & Desserts