stefani & adam. 3.14.15

As I kicked off the 2015 wedding season with Stefani and Adam, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how I ended the 2014 season with Kayleigh and Brandon –  60 degrees and sun, sun, sun.  On October 25th, mind you.  Welp, on March 14th it felt like the exact same day weather wise - 60 degrees and sun for days.  It was almost like those four and half bitter cold months in between didn’t even happen – ALMOST.  I guess that’s Minnesota for you, and it made for one happy me.

Stefani and Adam’s day was great in every other way too.  The reception was fantastic – beautiful venue (Oak Ridge Hotel and Conference Center in Chaska), delicious food, great company (shout out to table 18:), and that cake… that almond cake with cream cheese frosting (take note, people) — so stinking scrumptious.  Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the most creative groom’s cake I have ever laid eyes on (see below).  What stands out in my mind the most though is the way Stefani, Adam and their families made me feel like more than just their wedding photographer.  Everyone welcomed me with big smiles, and taking ample time to sit and enjoy everything was a nonnegotiable requirement.  It’s things like that, that can make a long, adrenaline-filled day of photographing go by so, so fast.  Enjoy a few of my favorites from 3.14.15!

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kayleigh & brandon. 10.25.14

This was my last wedding of the 2014 season, and man was it amazing.  I love fall.  So much.  However, because it’s also my busiest time of the year I don’t actually get out in it as much as I’d like (I’m definitely working on the whole outdoor studio concept).  Now, considering that Minnesota is Minnesota, one might think that hoping to have an outdoor wedding the last weekend of October would be a bit of a stretch, no?  Well, Kayleigh and Brandon were graced with 60 degrees and sunshine, my friends.  PERFECTO.  I was in raptures all day, running around in the sun, leaves crunching under my feet (yes, I was THAT happy).

Everything else about their day was equally as lovely — from the picturesque venue set on tons of land (Rum River Barn and Vineyard, Hillman), to the rustic fall decor, to Brandon’s father performing their marriage…  It was a celebration that I was so happy to close out the wedding season with.

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shaun & rachel. 10.3.14

Holy buckets, I don’t even know where to start…  Well, first I guess I should preface this post by saying that I’m going to be a little biased as I type here.  Shaun is a cousin of mine, and I for one love a good family wedding.  I think you have to have a pretty lame family not to!  I had a few folks ask me that day how I was able to balance work and play — I’m not really sure.  I’m used to scaling the outskirts of the reception venue and photographing from a third person point-of-view — an outsider’s perspective.  Being more socially involved was a completely different way of documenting for me, but I think it came down to just enjoying it.  I had a great time, and man oh man, I think the same goes for everybody else.  The dance floor was packed all the way through the last song, and I’m pretty certain most people would’ve stayed all night if that had been an option.  It just goes to show that nothing (not even 40 degrees and WIND, WIND, WIND…) can get in the way of an amazing day.  Shaun & Rachel are pretty damn lucky.

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logan & jacqueline. 9.27.14

First off, I just want to say that autumn is the greatest time of the year.  Hands down.  I love a great excuse to get out and photograph during September and October.  Enter Logan and Jacqueline…

These two were married at the Historic Masonic Temple in Winona, which is a ceremony venue that I never in a million years would’ve thought of (it’s an old theater!), but having a love for the old-school myself, I think it was flippin’ amazing.  It was truly a beautiful ceremony that will always stand out in my mind, for sure.

I’ve known Logan for ages (not gonna lie, I may have teared up at one point during the ceremony, which is super bad news for the photographer), so it has been great getting to know Jacqueline as well, and I was so thrilled to be part of their day.  Check out a few of my favorite milliseconds.  I think they speak for themselves.

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sandi & mike. 9.13.14

I was so honored to take part in Sandi & Mike’s wedding celebration.  After having moved to the cities last winter, a fabulous cousin of mine referred me to them, and the rest was history — they were booked.  It’s amazing what word of mouth can do to help spread the love, trust me :)  Anyhow, these two have been together for 10 years and finally decided to make it official in September.  I wasn’t there to photograph for long, but it also didn’t take long to see what a great support system they have in their friends, family and each other.  Enjoy!

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chelsea & josh. 9.6.14

So, I’ve been super spoiled with the beautiful weddings this year.  It makes my work so fun when I’m shooting in amazing wedding and reception venues, beautiful weather and have a stunning bride and groom to work with.  Josh and Chelsea’s wedding day was no exception to this.  Their ceremony was held at the insanely beautiful Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels in Winona.  I can remember attending a wedding there when I was like nine, and being totally in awe of it’s timeless beauty and intricacies.  I’m pretty sure I paid zero attention to the ceremony whatsoever, I was so busy taking in the details.  Anyhow, everything about Josh and Chelsea’s day was as beautiful as that church.  Including the bride and groom themselves.
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lisa & brady. 8.9.14

I enjoyed every bit of Lisa and Brady’s day — from the emotional first glance to the fabulous band at the reception.  What sticks out the most to me though, is a portion of our shoot after the ceremony.  As much as I adore choosing fun locations to take pictures, I love it even more when a couple has a place that is significant for them, making our location a no-brainer.  Lisa & Brady  have kept coming back to the same spot since the day they started dating, and hold onto your hats, because it is a beautiful one.  I frequented it myself, mostly as a teenager, and it’s fun to know that it’s a place that other people have held sacred.  What I think I love the most about this place though, is that it is a serious rocky hike in heels and a wedding dress, but Lisa pulled it off with finesse, and of course it turned out to be 200% worth the risk of a broken ankle.

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matt & abbie. 7.26.14

This was an amazing day, my friends.  Not only did everything go off without a hitch, but I think the 2 minutes of sprinkling rain during the ceremony at the Garvin Heights lookout was a beautiful sign of good luck.  It made for a couple of great pictures too.

What stands out to me the most about Matt & Abbie’s wedding day is that EVERYONE had a blast.  This group (bride, groom, wedding party, family and all guests) knew how to have a great time, and of course that’s what really makes a wedding.  It also makes me love my job that much more.  CHECK IT OUT.

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paul & kaitlin. 8.2.14

Paul & Kaitlin are one of the first couples that I booked for the 2014 wedding season.  It’s really crazy when I think about how long I truly work with a couple; it isn’t just for one day, it’s often times for a whole year (or more) leading up to the big day.  We meet for a consult… email back and forth about details, timeline, photo ideas, etc… some couples do engagement photos…  I definitely develop a relationship with my clients, and I’m so fortunate that they all have been amazing to work with this year.

I have to say, if you’re looking for a fantastic wedding venue in Winona, look no further than the History Center.  Holy buckets of natural light, Batman!  Kaitlin & Paul’s wedding is the second I’ve shot there this year, and between the beauty, character and lighting, it’s a photographer’s dream.  A stunning couple doesn’t hurt either…  Check ‘em out ;)

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britt & sam. 7.19.14

First off, I want to say that I have these two to thank for helping me jumpstart my career in the cities — they were my very first Saint Paul wedding, which is so great to have under my belt.

Britt and I played softball together eons ago, and even though we both went to UW-Madison for our undergrad (On Wisconsin!), it had been years since I’d seen her.  Of course, I was totally stoked when she contacted me to book their wedding.  It’s always so great when someone who I knew “back in the day” asks me to photograph their wedding, because then I feel like I get to know them all over again, except now I also get to know their other half (i.e. Sam :).

Britt & Sam’s entire day was beautiful, but I will admit I got a little carried away with their “first glance” photos on here.  I just can’t get enough of them.  There was so much anticipation before they saw each other, and it definitely shows.  So sweet.

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