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Mikaela & Nathan’s Wedding

June 9th, 2013

Star Wars Christmas Special. That’s how Mikaela and Nathan jokingly referred to their wedding day. When they set their wedding date several months ago, they chose May 4th because Nathan is a big Star Wars fan (“May the Fourth Be With You”). However, their dreams of being married outside under a huge oak tree at the Mayowood Stone Barn were buried under 15 inches of heavy, wet snow in a record-setting, late spring, snow storm that covered a narrow strip of Minnesota, just days before their wedding. Though the couple was disappointed, they took it in stride and the ceremony locations was changed to the loft of the barn, which was also beautiful. Lit by twinkle lights and skylights, the old barn had a very warm and natural glow.

Mikaela started off her day at Salon Chic where she and her bridesmaids, all in their pajamas had their hair and make-up professionally done. What a fun sight to see these beautiful women with their gorgeous hair, all wearing PJ’s. Mikaela had a lace wedding dress and proudly wore her “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” gifts, which were presented to her by the mothers.

Nathan, focused his early morning attention, along with the other groomsmen and set-up crew, to get the remaining details ready. With the amount of work to be done and as stressful as it was, Nathan handled it well.

Things to know about Nathan and Mikaela: They love to laugh. They love movies, theater pop-corn, board games and having fun. We loved how their wedding was so different and really showed their personality through little things.

The ceremony was uniquely theirs. Instead of a unity candle they lit the lantern that Nathan used when he proposed to Mikaela. Their wedding vows left the guests and each other in tears and laughter. Their love for each other was so beautifully expressed and shown through the vows they spoke to each other.

After the ceremony, tables were set up for board and lawn games upstairs so guests could hang out, play games while eating movie theater popcorn, ordered specially for their wedding. The seating arrangement for dinner was according to tables named after some of their favorite movies. The Grand Entrance, with Star Wars theme music, ended with the bride and groom battling it out with light sabers on the dance floor. Star Wars bobble head vs. Disney Princess Cinderella cake toppers for their wedding cake made out of rice crispy bars, and drizzled in marshmallow frosting with cookies on a separate platter. They also arranged for us to do a photo booth with props, for fun pictures they will use as a gust book. We enlisted our friend and photographer Matt Harthan to help us with this. Everyone enjoyed the couple’s fun humor and jokes throughout the night. We are so happy for Mikaela and Nathan and truly pray for their marriage to be filled with many years of endless love and laughter.

Bride and groom embracing on a snowy day
Wedding bouquet and shoes in window at the Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, MN
Macro shot of Wedding Bands on wooden window cill
Bride dressing in rustic setting at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, MN
Triptic of bride and bridesmaids details
Bride preparation
Family seeing the bride for first time
Groomsmen getting ready
Bride with bridesmaids behind her in a line
Flower girls playing on steps at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, MN
Bride coming out of dressing room as flower girls look on
Bride and bridesmaids doing team huddle
Father of the bride putting on veil
Flower girls, bride and father ascending stairs
Father walking bride down the aisle
Father giving bride away
Bride and groom kissing then walking down the aisle and flower girl picking up rose pedals
Bridal party formal portrait on yellow couch

Groom with bride in background
Bride and groom portraits at Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, MN
Bride and groom
Three views of rice wedding crispy bars cake
Bride feeding groom rice crispy bar
Wedding photo booth
Looking in on reception and dance at the Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, MN
Mayowood Stone Barn at night

Slideshow (best viewed full-screen):

Sara & Eric’s Wedding

May 19th, 2013

As we’ve mentioned in our blog post for their engagement photos, Sara & Eric first met each other when Sara was in middle school and Eric was in high-school. But it wasn’t a rosy start; their story almost sounds like a movie plot. They didn’t think too highly of each other, but as time progressed their interest in each other changed and they started dating when Eric went off to college. They’ve been dating ever since, and with the love & support of their families, they tied the knot.

It has been exciting getting to know them and be a part of their planning of their wedding day. It was hard not to be emotional with them over the celebration of their lives joining together. We truly felt a part of this celebration.

In typical Minnesota fashion, the weather went from sun to rain, then to snow. We were able to sneak the couple off to the Plumber House to take some photos before the rain started. We wrapped up formal photos at the church as the snow started to fall and guests began to arrive. The warm glow of ambient lighting cast a romantic feel over the ceremony and reception. The ceremony had it’s share of laughter, tears, and heart-felt moments, and the reception was quite the joyous occasion.

Some details about the day: Sara had her hair done at Hair Studio 52 and her makeup done by her good friend, Cindy. The flower arrangements were done by Flowers by Jerry. The reception was held at the Blue Moon Ballroom where they had wonderful staff and very friendly catering by Ye Old Butcher Shoppe.

Wedding couple, Sara and Eric at near Plumber House
Wedding dress on wooden hanger
Bride and groom getting ready
Bride getting ready while groom plays pool
Bride looking up over shoulder
Groom waiting for first look as bride walks toward him while wiping tears
First Look
Bride and groom on cold day at the Plummer House in Rochester, MN
Wedding couple next to stone wall
two photos of bride and groom on cold winter day
Crazy wedding formal
Wedding ceremony with lit up cross and white christmas lights
Bride and groom wedding kiss
wedding couple kissing after ceremony
three pictures of Blue Moon Ballroom in Rochester MN
Bride and groom cutting cake then dancing
Wedding couple dancing at ballroom

Video Slideshow (best viewed full-screen):

Sara & Eric { Preview }

April 6th, 2013

Here are a few teasers from yesterday’s wedding with Sara & Eric.

Bride looking over groom's shoulder at Plummer House in Rochester, MN
Bride in archway at Plummer House in Rochester, MN
Black and white  photo of Bride and groom kissing
SaraEricPrev 04

Mary & Jeff’s Wedding

December 25th, 2012

Amy and I were thrilled to go to Chicago to photograph my cousin Mary’s wedding. We photographed Mary’s sister, Katie’s wedding a few years ago—that was the first time we met Jeff. We knew right away, he would be a great fit for Mary, and a strong source of encouragement and joy to her. Mary is a writer, and loves quotes and movies. Jeff is a comedian and is great at giving her new quotes to hang onto. He seems to put a smile on Mary’s face whenever we see them, and always has us laughing.

When we set out to photograph this wedding, we had all sorts of expectations, and our personal timeline in preparing for our trip to Chicago with our family of 6. However all that was shot down when we both came down with the flu the week of the wedding. I don’t think we have ever been so nervous about weather we would be able to photograph a wedding before. However, with lots of answered prayer, we were able to travel down to Chicago, and felt much better the day of the wedding.

Mary and Jeff were married at Saint Nicolas Church, in Evanston, IL (near Chicago), during the month where they celebrate All Saints Day, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead. There is a large hispanic population that attend the church and this is a month-long time of celebration/prayer time in remembering those who have passed away. In honoring the deceased, people bring in photos of their loved ones to display on any flat surface available in the church. They light candles and say prayers for them. While these traditions were quite new to us, it was neat to learn about, and the decorations, provided a nice colorful backdrop within the church.

Another interesting tradition at St. Nick’s was to “visit with the Virgin” which goes along with the unity candle, during the wedding ceremony. Off to the side was this very beautiful painting done by one of the Hispanic parishioners of roses tumbling from Our Lady of Guadalupe to the people around her. Look for those photos in the slide show. The art work and symbolic detail is amazing.

With so much family coming in from out of state, there was a great vibe at the Prairie Moon of family being reunited even though many had met for the first time. This couple was surrounded by many who were thrilled to come, and we truly feel blessed to not only witness, but to participate in some small way to making this day special. Congratulations, and Jeff, welcome to the family!

Bride and Groom on bench
detail of wedding bouquet and ring
Detail of Wedding ring & earrings
Bride in preparation looking out window and getting buttoned up.
Father adjusting groom's shirt
Groom getting ready next to wooden church cabinets
Bride under arched doorway
Bride and maid of honor
Bride walking down aisle with parents
Photo of groom reacting to bride coming down the aisle and a wide angle shot of ceremony in historic St. Nicholas Church in Evanston, IL
Wide angle of Catholic church with wedding ceremony
Bride placing ring on grooms finger and the first kiss
Bride and groom embracing in arched doorway
Groom kissing bride under arched doorway of St. Nicholas Church in Evanston, IL
Mini cupcakes at wedding reception and bride and groom by wedding cake
Reception area at Prairie Moon restaurant in Evanston, IL
Kids with fake mustaches
Bride reacting to Maid of Honor's toast
Reception fun

Slideshow (best viewed full-screen):

Debra & Timothy’s Wedding

December 6th, 2012

Debbie and Timothy are great to have as next-door neighbors. When they announced their engagement, we were excited to share in their joy. Tim grew up on a farm near Plainview, MN and has deep roots in that area. So, it made perfect sense for their ceremony to be held in the little chapel about a mile down the road from the old farm. The church is no longer in use as a church, but is kept up and maintained by the owners of the property. Kerosine chandeliers glowed, casting light on the beautiful woodwork and left the atmosphere warm in spite of the outside chill.

After the ceremony, they first stopped at a small local bar and park for pictures, then were greeted warmly by guests as they arrived at the Stumble Inn 2 in Plainview. We are so very happy for you both and are happy to be a part of your wedding day.

Groom by country fence post on with clouds rolling in
Groom holding farm kitten
Two images of boquet on vintage gas pump
Older gentleman lighting kerosene lamps
First look bride coming to meet groom in old country church
Girl looking out stained glass window
View of wedding ceremony through kerosene chandelier
Wide angle views of ceremony in an old country church
Black and white images of bride and groom in old country church
Tim and Deb hugging
Two images of bride and groom in front of old country church in rural Minnesota
Formal wedding portrait along the side of old courntry church
Bride and groom walking by tall trees next to a veiw of a rural valley
Rolling clouds with bride and groom embrasing by old country church

Slideshow (best viewed full-screen):

Mikaela & Nathan’s Engagement

November 19th, 2012

Movies, popcorn, boardgames… These are some of the interests that Nathan and Mikaela share that make them seem like a fun couple to hang out with. We spent the evening splitting our sides, yet trying hard to pause laughter long enough to get in a few photographs in during their engagement photo session. We loved how fun and carefree they were in front of the camera—not at all camera shy. The weather called for clear skies, so they drove down from the cities, only to be met with a somewhat dreary sky over Rochester. Not really sure what we were all in for, Nathan & Mikaela were in great spirits and up for the adventure.

We tried to work fast to beat the quickly fading fall light. However, the overcast, and sometimes rainy sky however quickly choked out any existing available light so we improvised by bouncing flash and then eventually heading downtown outside the historic Chateau Theatre (now Barnes & Noble store). They both enjoy watching movies together so the theater lights seemed fitting. The lantern used in the earlier photos was also something of meaning to them since Nathan had wanted to use as part of his proposal to Mikaela.

We can’t wait to photograph their wedding this spring and look forward to being a part of there big day. A little warning to those invited, be prepared to laugh; they’re a hoot.

Engagement photo of woman whispering into ear
Engaged couple hugging in forest with red lantern between them
Engaged couple laughing together under tree
Peering through branches at engaged couple kissing
Two pictures of engaged couple kissing
Engaged couple dancing in front of old historic Chateau Theater which is now Barns and Noble in Rochester, MN

Krista & Billy’s Wedding

October 12th, 2012

Krista and Billy were married near Harmony, MN, at Krista’s parents house who lives in the country. Rolling hills, beautiful valleys, wild flowers, hay bails, and horses. It is beautiful country. When we arrived, they had a huge white tent set up outside, to seat all their gusts. It was quite a beautiful sight to see, sitting on the hill, almost glowing in the sun light and the side flaps, tossed by the wind. With much planning and time spent on their decorations, Krista and Billy naturally went with a country theme. Cow boy boots, burlap, sun flowers, and even horses and a side saddle. We were also pleasantly surprised to find they even used photos from our engagement shoot together as bottle labels on the homemade wine.

We witnessed so many touching moments throughout the day. It was great to share and capture these moments that will be remembered for a lifetime. It really was a wonderful task we immensely enjoyed. The amount of love and support for this couple could be felt and seen throughout the day.

Neat little things that stood out to us were the tractor rides from the parking area up to the ceremony location. Signs painted with scripture verses and other neat sayings on them. On the brides bouquet, she had attached pictures of her grandpas, and other family members who had passed away. Just the touching remembrance in this simple act seemed so precious. For their reception, they chose to go with an ice cream bar instead of a traditional cake, which fit right at home with their country theme. The father-daughter dance left many in tears. A local DJ the Harmony area, Karaoke/DJ Joe MC’ed the event at Wheeler’s Bar & Grill. From young to old, everyone was engaged in the fun.

Krista and Billy, we are so happy for you both. We pray for your lives to be deeply blessed and filled with much joy and happiness. Thank you for having us as part of your wedding day.

Wedding Dress hanging in barn above cowboy boots.
Wedding Bands, ear rings, bracelet, & garter
Wine bottles with engagement pictures as labels
Cowboy boots with sunflower boquets sticking out of them
Bride getting dress on and makeup
Black and white photo of bride next to small window
Bride and bridesmaids in cowboy boots for rustic, country-style wedding.
Father kissing bride on forhead and close-up of sunflower boquet dfad
Father pulling veil down over bride
Bride and bridesmaids looking out window through blinds
Triptic of father walking bride down the aisle in an outdoor wedding.
Outdoor wedding ceremony under tent
Bride & groom during ceremony. The bride is resting her head on grooms shoulder
Bride and groom holding up Thank You sign.
Groom leading a horse with the bride riding around barn while shaft of light iluminates in front of them
Horse trying to eat wedding boquet
Bride and groom kissing over the back of a horse
Tractor pulled wagon with Just Married written on the back
Father tearing up at father-daughter dance

Slideshow (best viewed full-screen):

Sara & Eric Engagements

October 3rd, 2012

Sara and Eric are such a neat couple. They met in middle school and started dating when Sara was a freshman in high-school and Eric was a freshman in college. They are both big Twin’s fans so we had a fun time building pictures around that. We are looking forward to photographing their wedding spring of 2013.

Engaged couple in front of old red door
Two pictures of engaged couple laughing together
Engaged couple laying with heads together
Two pictures of engagement couple looking at one another
Engagement couple with heads together looking at camera
Engagement couple embracing with woman's hand on her fiance
Engaged couple with Minnesota Twins baseball jerseies and caps
Engagement couple embracing at sunset
Baseballs showing wedding date on them with couple out of focus in background

Dajana & Michael’s Wedding

September 25th, 2012

Dajana used to be a fellow graphic design coworker of mine back in 2006-2008 and we’ve collaborated on a few projects since then. She is a wonderful designer and friend. She grew up in Croatia but her family was displaced during the war. Michael had recently travelled to Croatia before they met and a friend at a party thought they should be introduced. The rest, as they say, is history.

You can see Dajana’s exquisite taste for design exude in self-designed invitations, programs, monogram, and other fun elements woven throughout the day.

After a beautiful ceremony at St. Pius Church, we were able to whisk them away to Quarry Hill for some quick portraits. The day was beautiful and the grounds dazzled their full color array of fall wildflowers—a very romantic backdrop for a photo-shoot. The golden hues matched perfectly with the yellow-ochre accents. We loved the yellow balloon they brought and incorporated it in many of the shots there.

There were so many other neat elements about this wedding we just loved. The divine-tasting cupcakes and baklava made by Dajana’s mother, were a hit. I’ve had desserts made by her before, and have to admit, that I can’t think of any deserts that tasted better than hers. The catering was done by Catering by Design. Their presentation, level of service, and quality of food was amazing. The reception was held at the beautiful Studio 324, creating the perfect, cozy environment for this size wedding reception. We are so happy for you Dajana and Michael! Thank you so much for having us a part of your wedding day.

Mustard yellow shoes with matching wedding bouquets with Billy Balls flowers
Groom getting dressed at the Kahler Hotel
Two black-and-white photos of groom getting suit on
Michael standing in lobby of The Kahler Hotel in Rochester, MN
Two pictures of brides clothes, the first with yellow shoes and bouquet hanging on picket fense and the other a closeup detail shot of wedding dress.
Groom watching bride coming down the aisle
Mother of the bride praying during ceremony
Bride and groom kissing directly after the ceremony and father hugging bride after ceremony
Bride and groom kissing beneath tall fur trees
Bride and groom kissing in wooded area
Bride holding bouquet with billy balls
Wedding invitation designed by Dajana - mustard yellow envalopes with wooden accents
Bride and groom walking down pathway
Portrait of bride in vintage dress and veil reclining on sofa
Three images of wedding reception ambiance with a musician playing the accordion, people mingling, and coffee party favors
black and white image of bride and groom kissing at reception

Slideshow (best viewed full-screen):

Krista & Billy { Preview }

September 16th, 2012

Here are a few teasers from yesterday’s wedding with Krista & Billy.

Bride and groom hoding Mr. and Mrs. signs
Bride and groom in pasture with horses
Bride and bridesmaids showing off cowboy boots
Close up of cowboy boots with Just Married written on the soles