Seriously, how does one narrow down images to just a handful of highlights when you are at a wedding for 9 action-packed hours? There’s never a dull moment when Kristy and Alex are in the room! Aside from the genuine love they share for each other, the giggles and laughter was a true demonstration of their friendship. See for yourself…
Venue: The Grands at Mulligans | Decorations & Florals: The Wedding Connection | Cake: Cold Spring Bakery | Party Bus: Prestige Transportation | Dress Designer: Allur Couture | Bridal Shop: Celebrations in St. Cloud | Videographer: the Groom’s Dad | Photographer: Xsperience Photography
Cara and Justin had a whirlwind romance before exchanging vows September 27th of 2002. Fifteen years later they find themselves on a frozen lake in a frigid 9 degree evening, with winds whirling once again, reminding them of the romance that began a beautiful journey and gave them two amazing children.
Getting married is the easiest part of a marriage. Yes, it is stressful and a huge decision that impacts your future greatly; but saying yes to the proposal is exciting, planning is exciting, and the wedding day is fun. Your love deserves to be celebrated as you begin your forever together, but 15 years of marriage…now that really deserves to be celebrated!
Since winter is so unpredictable here in Minnesota I wanted to keep their Anniversary shoot simple. We chose a local lake as a backdrop and called on Dee from Dees Decorating to add a stunning feature…this beautiful floral arch created with artificial florals that can endure the bitter cold. Local florist Falls Floral worked their magic and designed a sweet bouquet to match the floral arch. The dress Cara wore was the start of the color scheme. I saw it on Joswen.com and had to have it! I knew the lake would either be blanketed in white or at least a gray ice tone so I kept the design in the cool tones. Cara took care of the boys attire and I found this delicate soft blue dress for Cameryn on Dillards.com. ALL this planning and the day arrived with the prettiest soft snowflakes. Cara had her hair and makeup meticulously done by the talented Nikki Popp, only to head outdoors and have the wind create a style of its own. So days of planning turned into 3 (very cold) five minute increments of shooting-first of the design, second of the couple, third the whole family. Oh Minnesota, gotta love you!
STYLIST/PHOTOGRAPHER | Xsperience Photography $750
HAIR & MAKEUP | Nikki Popp
ARCH | Dees Decorating
BOUQUET | Falls Floral
CARA’S GOWN | Joswen.com $179
CAMERYN’S DRESS | Dillards $79
Imagine it’s your wedding day. The day forever takes on a whole new meaning. The day you have prepped, planned and re-planned for the past year and a half.
You wake up at 6am after a restless night full of nerves and equal amount of excitement. You head to the salon where you sit for 3 hours with your bridesmaids. Then your anxiety kicks in as you realize you’re running 15 minutes late to meet your photographer at the church. You apologize and the photographer assures you that everything will be just fine, but you still feel rushed to get your dress on. Then the dress is on. You take a moment to breathe and realize that in a few minutes your husband-to-be will see you looking your finest. You see each other and suddenly it all feels so real. All that planning and styling is right there in front of your eyes, all your family and wedding party waiting for their turn to be in photos, and the weather outside is anything but warm. You have a shot list about 3 pages long and your vision is outdoor Pinterest-worthy photos. You head outdoors and your excitement instantly turns into frustration because your beautiful complexion is now red and chapped from the bitter cold, the wedding party would rather be in the warm indoors, and the flower girl is crying. You tough it out and settle for indoor photos the second half. After an hour and half of smiling, the groom is beyond done with photos and you’re starving because you didn’t have time to eat breakfast. You feel anxious thinking about the 200 people staring at you for the next hour. But you did it…you’re now married! You want to have a moment with your new husband, but that’s going to have to wait because now you have to hug all 200 people. Soon (well about 45 minutes later) it’s party-time. Yay! Social Hour, dinner, cake-cutting, first dance and bed…or wait…there’s still 4 hours left to dance. But bed sounds so great right about now.
Now imagine…You wake up after a full nights rest. You eat at the breakfast buffet. You enjoy a mimosa while your Dad cracks jokes to your soon-to-be-hubby about getting cold feet. You send the guys off to get ready and have a beer, while you and your awesome photographer fix your hair, take a few candids and detail shots, then put your dress on. You are filled with nervous excitement, but still feel relaxed because today you’re marrying your best friend. You have your first look and all those wedding day feelings are just as real as if you had been planning this day for years (even though it took a few weeks). There are tears, hugs, a scenic drive, and at last you’re on top of the world saying your vows. ok…maybe not on top of the world, but you are up pretty high in the mountains! It’s chilly, but within 20 minutes you have all the pretty pictures you had envisioned. You have an appetizer, a beer, feed some nosey ducks by the lake, snap a few more lakeside photos for fun, and then head back to enjoy a nice meal as newlyweds. You wish your friends and family were there, but you know you’ll celebrate with them in the near future. As they look through your album, they feel as if they were right there beside you. You share your stories and you party…because you have enough energy to do so;)
An elopement isn’t for everyone, but if the first scenario makes your heart race, as it did for Mindy, then ease the stress and just enjoy each other. Hire a photographer who is willing to research beautiful locations and create a style that suits your personality. Still have fun dress shopping. Still plan a reception back home…because they’re fun! And make sure your big day is documented so your loved ones can witness the two of you becoming one.
Here is how Mindy and Brandon celebrated their start to forever…
She wore a stunning gown from Macy’s with hair piece and fur donated by AW Bridal (because they’re awesome!) along with some boots to show off her cowgirl style. He wore a vest and tie from Burlington and almost lost her ring in a game of poker at the Peppermill Resort and Casino…ok that may have just been posed for a picture;)
PLANNER | Xsperience Weddings
REVEREND | Dorie A Alameda from Lake of the Sky Weddings
FLOWERS | Falls Floral
FUR & HAIR PIECE | A.W. Bridal
DRESS | Macy’s
VEST & TIE | Burlington
CEREMONY LOCATION | Emerald Bay, South Lake Tahoe
LAKESIDE LOCATION | Richardson Park
FLIGHT TO RENO | HOTEL: Peppermill Spa Resort and Casino
Erin and I had been chatting back and forth for a few weeks trying to come up with the perfect location to create a memorable engagement shoot for her and Tyler. We finally found a date where all three of us were available and decided on their family’s lake property in the woods. Well…plans change!
The snow was coming down in giant flakes and I instantly went into photographer mode. I made my 12 year old daughter model for me, but in typical 12 year old style she only gave me 5 minutes. I was grateful for her cooperation, but not completely satisfied. I knew Erin and Tyler were spontaneous so I threw it out there, with my fingers crossed, that we meet up in a couple hours and take advantage of this gorgeous Minnesota winter evening. Ironically exactly one year ago to the date they got engaged so it seemed like the perfect time to document their love. They hurried home from work, got ready in record time, and this is what we got…
We will be trading in the snow for white sandy beaches when we celebrate their wedding in Mexico next May!
This is one of those times you’ll be scrolling through and catch yourself smiling the whole time. The kids were so fun to capture. They had moments of tears and moments of giggles and hugs…and often 5 minutes apart (why would a wedding day be any different than a normal day right:)
Abby and Adam exchanged vows in Abby’s hometown church in Pierz, MN January 20th. We were blessed with a beautiful 38 degree day. After the below zero temps we were experiencing, it felt like Spring time! Abby said “Everything went so smooth, well, besides when everyone left for the reception and we realized we didn’t have our keys so we had to hitch a ride with our photographer.”
PHOTOGRAPHER | Xsperience Photography
RECEPTION VENUE | Pierz Ballroom
FLOWERS | Pierz Floral
DRESS | David’s Bridal
HAIR | Bobbi Brisk MAKEUP | Bride
HAIR PIECE | Meis Boutique (Etsy)
CAPE | capeandcrown13 (Etsy)
DJ | Hot Shots, Rice, MN