Gathered Oaks Wedding. Michelle + Justin.

I met Justin after he joined the team as the residential science nerd at my husband’s brewery. He’s so funny and kind, and my daughters adore him. Shortly after getting to know Justin, he got engaged, and I got to meet his beautiful other half, Michelle. She is incredibly selfless and so sweet, and she and Justin make such a good match! When they asked me to shoot their wedding at Gathered Oaks, I was pumped beyond words. 

This wedding was so cool, you guys. Gathered Oaks is a gorgeous venue in Alexandria, MN. Michelle and Justin’s day was full of emotion and personalized touches and lots of loved ones coming together to celebrate. They celebrated two cultures coming together, two families being joined. It was pretty magical, and I’m so thankful I got to be a part of it.

Every detail was thought of, and when their planned outdoor ceremony had to be moved inside because of weather, the staff and Gathered Oaks made it happen and it was just as beautiful inside the barn! We decided to use the location where the ceremony would have been held as the spot for their first look, and it was such a special moment. Lots of great memories from this day. I’ll stop talking and let you see the photos now. So, without further ado, please enjoy the beautiful Michelle and Justin and the images from their gorgeous wedding!

Vendors
Venue: Gathered Oaks
Florals: European Floral
Officiant/DJ: Mark Haugen

Kara + Logan. Gooseberry Engagement Session.

So, it’s already March of 2020 and I haven’t shared ANYTHING from my 2019 season. Being a mom of three crazy girls and holding down a photography business is no joke. Blogging has been the least of my priorities, and so, you’ve all missed out on a LOT of work that I have not yet shared. So today, I’m taking the time to share! Here’s a Gooseberry engagement session from the fall! Yay! 

Kara is special to me because she taught my oldest two kids to read. That’s right. She’s a kindergarten teacher. My kids’ kindergarten teacher. She’s everything you want in a teacher for your kids and a client for your business. She’s bubbly and fun, and patient and understanding. She’s adorable and adventurous. So, getting to know her over the last couple years has been such a blessing. When I finally got to meet Logan, it just made sense. He is the quiet artist type. He’s more reserved, but not too serious. He’s got a great sense of humor and a passion for craft beer. Actually, Kara does too. She now works part time at the brewery where my husband brews. I love these two together, and I can’t wait for their wedding this summer!

Anyway, I’m so excited that I got to go do a Gooseberry engagement session with them! These guys got engaged up on the North Shore, so it just made sense to do their engagement session there too. You know I’m a huge fan of tall pines and waterfalls, so we took a road trip up to the shore in the fall. Anyway, I’ll stop chatting now and just show you pictures. Here is a glimpse into Kara and Logan’s Gooseberry engagement session!

Locations
One: Amnicon Falls State Park
Two:Gooseberry Falls State Park

St. Croix Falls Engagement. Petra + Drew.

I’m so excited to finally share this St. Croix Falls engagement session with you!

I met Petra and Drew at a wedding reception last June. We hit it off instantly!  Petra asked me, as Drew so lovingly put it, “in a flood of excitement” a million questions about wedding venues and planning and photography. They were recently engaged, and I was happy to answer every last question. I was so thrilled when I got an email from Drew a few weeks later inviting me to shoot their wedding this June!

Every time I get to see them, conversation flows so naturally. They are genuinely interested in both telling their own stories and listening to mine. It’s wonderful. I’m thankful to have met them, and I can’t wait to celebrate their wedding coming up in a few short months. 

In the meantime, here are some photos from their engagement session back in October. We met up in town for tea and pastries, where of course, we had a wonderful time chatting.  Then we went into Interstate Park for their St. Croix Falls engagement session. It was the very first flurries of snow, and now that *hopefully* the snows have ended, I’m finally getting around to sharing these with you! 

Location
 Interstate State Park, St. Croix Falls, WI

Jillian + Andrew. Winter Engagement Session.

Let’s talk about Jillian and Andrew’s winter engagement session! I’ve known Jillian for awhile now. Her family is good friends with my husband’s family. So I met her shortly after I started dating Ben over 10 years ago.  Jillian is great. She’s bubbly and funny and loves Jesus, and her whole family is known to break into song on occasion. I’m so so happy that she has found the man she’s going to spend forever with! 

These guys went through a lot to find each other.  They met on online after months of getting message upon message from weirdos and meeting up with a few duds. Finally, they met each other and it was about as close tp love at first sight as you can get. 

I didn’t meet Andrew until the day of their engagement session. We met up for coffee first, so we could get to know each other a bit before heading out to shoot.  I asked him what it was about her that drew him in, and he answered by saying that she is the most positive, energetic person that he’s ever met. He also mentioned they they laugh together and that she’s going to be a wonderful mother to his 5 year old daughter. Jillian said she loves Andrew’s commitment. To his business. His family. His daughter. and now to Her. She told me that Andrew is constantly putting others before himself and that was the most attractive quality about him.

After our coffee date, we headed out to a nearby park for their winter engagement session. The temp was 5 below zero. I think that’s the coldest session I’ve ever done. But we still managed to have a blast. We spent more time in my truck chatting than actually out taking photos, but what we did get was gorgeous! 

I’m so happy for these guys. I’m pumped that I get to shoot their wedding this spring! So without further ado, here are the photos!

Location
Montisippi Regional Park

2018. Year in Review.

2018 has been such a great year! I got to meet some really kind, generous, hilarious, and just plain fun couples. I got to photograph my first birth.  I also started to play with food and beverage photography, which has been a learning experience. Of course, I also went on a few adventures with my family. So, this is a conglomeration of all of that.  Thank you all for supporting my business this year.  It means the world to me.

On a personal level, and not included in the photos, my year was full of big changes! We sold our perfectly lovely neighborhood home that we built 3 years ago and bought a 1969 fixer upper on a beautiful little piece of property.  It’s been fun starting to renovate it and make it our own, but I do miss having a dishwasher. My oldest daughter started Kindergarten. She goes to a cool little charter school, so I’ve officially been promoted to that mom that drives back and forth to school to drop off or pick up kids in our new (to us) SUV. I promise I won’t get any bumper stickers or window clings. Anyway, that’s enough about me! So, without further ado, here are the photos….

Leona + Mike. Wedding at Maplelag Resort.

Leona and Mike had such a cool wedding at Maplelag Resort in Callaway, MN.  It was the perfect place for them.  Leona + Mike live on 40 acres of land.  They love the outdoors and the quiet lifestyle it lends itself to. BUT they also know how to have fun.  Leona grew up in New Jersey, and we all know Jersey likes to party. So it was important that they had a place where all their family and friends could come from all over the US and celebrate with them, and not have to worry about finding lodging. Maplelag Resort delivered everything and then some.  A beautifully scenic location, all the lodging you could possibly need, and a great big dance floor. Not to mention delicious food and homemade cookies always out for the taking. 

Now, let me tell you about the bride and groom. The first time I met them in person was at their home right around Christmas 2017.  They wanted to do their engagement session at their home and around their property.  They had a Christmas gift for me! A bottle of red wine from a local winery for me, and a crowler of beer from one of their favorite local breweries for my husband Ben, who happens to be a brewer himself.  It was so very thoughtful.  And as I’ve spent more time with the two of them, that it the one word that continually comes to mind to describe them.  Thoughtful.

Each interaction was intentional and made me feel like I was part of their family. At the wedding, they even gave Ben and I the most darling little caboose to sleep in. When checking in, the Maplelag Resort employee said “Woah. you must be special if they gave you the orange caboose!” Later we found out that the bride and groom were staying in the red caboose right next door. Leona said that most of the lodging had shared spaces. They wanted to make us feel comfortable, and give us a fun little weekend away, so she gave us the nicest, most private lodging. So so sweet! 

I’m so grateful to have met these two beautiful people, and so thankful that they chose me to capture their wedding day at Maplelag Resort. Leona and Mike included some unique things into their wedding day. Instead of a unity candle or sand ceremony, they each took a jar of dirt from their childhood homes and poured them together onto a tree that they planned to plant at their home together. They also mixed up the entrance into dinner with a New Orleans-style second-line wedding parade with a live jazz band.  SO fun.  Take a look at all the beautiful moments in these photos, and please leave a comment to let me know what you think of their gorgeous fall wedding at Maplelag Resort!

Vendors:
Venue: Maplelag Resort
Bridal Gown: Jenny Yoo
Bridal Shoppe: Affairs by Brittany 
Florals: Sola Wood Flowers
Band: FM Kicks
DJ: Now, That’s Entertainment

Tori + Greg. Minnehaha Engagement Session.

Tori and Greg live in Arkansas, where its warm ALL year round. Yet, they came the North in the middle of winter for their Minnehaha engagement session. And they were total troopers.  Tori told me they went out and bought winter jackets the DAY BEFORE. How great is that?!

Let me tell you a little bit more about this couple, because their story is what made me want to work with them so badly! Tori is from the midwest. Greg is a southern boy. They’re both serving our country in the Army.  If you know my family, you know that the Army is near and dear to my heart. My uncle, Sgt. 1st Class John J Tobiason, was KIA in Iraq back in 2007, but that is a story for another time. Back to Tori and Greg. These two met at the Bataan Memorial Death March in New Mexico, which is an event honoring soldiers of WWII. Only a couple days after meeting, they both headed their separate ways, but stayed in touch and started dating long distance.  

Eventually Tori moved to Arkansas to be closer to Greg. Fast forward to 2016: He found out he was going to be deployed to Africa, so he planned a little weekend away for the two of them and popped the question. She, of course, said yes!

Shortly after coming back from the 100+ degree heat of his deployment, they drove to the midwest for Christmas, and met up with me to adventure around the Falls in the snow. That’s super impressive. Man, I love adventurous couples!!

They are getting married later this month, and I cannot wait to be a part of it! I really wanted to share these photos with you all (or should I saw y’all?) before their wedding.  So without further ado, here are some of my favorite frames from their wintry Minnehaha engagement session!

Location
Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis, MN

Clara + Zach. In-Home Session.

This in-home session has been on my list of things to blog for awhile now. It took place in the fall of 2017, and I’m so pumped to finally be sharing it! Clara and Zach moved to Minneapolis pretty recently (like a year ago or so) and bought the cutest little house.  Clara really wanted to use their home for their engagement session, and I LOVE in-home sessions, so I was pretty excited about that. It ended up raining that day too, so it was a good thing we spent much of it indoors. 

I had so much fun with Clara and Zach during their in-home session last fall! They made me homemade pizza, and it was delicious. We laughed a lot and I had a great time getting to know them more. Here are a few things Clara and Zach love: Music Festivals. Cats. Tea (although Zach loves coffee as well). Reading Books, and generally being cozy home-bodies. 

I might not be a cat person, but I’ll gladly spend any rainy day sitting at home with a good book and a cup of tea, so we hit it off pretty well. I cannot wait for their wedding later this year.  It’s for sure going to be a good one! So without further ado, here are some of the photos from our gloomy day, happy hearts, in-home session.

Location: Minneapolis, MN

2017. Year in Review.

It’s been such a great year! 2017 was filled with so many wonderful couples.  Each one unique and all of them awesome. I got to work with people from all over the US, from the west coast (California) to the east coast (Boston). I even had one bride all the way from Brazil. And I didn’t ever have to leave the midwest. I had the best of both worlds. I got to meet so many cool people from all over, but I got to stay close to home so I could spend the most time with my three little girls.

This year, I shot more weddings than ever before, and even got to shoot my own mom’s wedding! That one was pretty special. I feel so honored to have been a part of each and every one of the weddings. Thank you for sharing your love stories with me.

I also had so So SO much fun shooting engagement sessions this year!!  So many adventures were had.  I got invited into homes and fed dinner. I went on hikes, and explored new places.  I got rained on, I got a few bruises, and I broke a few rules, but I got to know some truly awesome people.

In 2017, I also started exploring other sides of photography. I took some photos of my explorations into baking. I made french macarons for the first time…and then probably 5 more times after.  Also, a carpenter welcomed me into his workshop, and I got to capture his process making beautiful barn doors. (check that out here) I’m looking forward to doing more things like that in the coming year. Side note: If you own a small business and would like to do something like that, let me know! I’d love to be a part of telling that story.

Thank you.

I had so much fun with all of you.  Thank you for helping me to build my business. Thank you for supporting my family. Cheers to you and the last year, and here’s to 2018. The best is yet to come. 

Nicole + Jacob. Stonewall Farms Wedding.

Nicole and Jacob got married at Stonewall Farms in the middle of nowhere AKA Willmar, MN. It’s a gorgeous venue and the family the runs the place is just as lovely. BUT this story isn’t about them. It’s about two of the kindest, most caring high school sweethearts and the day they said “I do.”

It was a beautiful August day, and when my husband and I got to the venue, Nicole was quietly getting her hair and makeup done. It was so peaceful in the room. You could tell Nicole was ready to marry the man of her dreams.

And he was DEFINITELY ready to marry her.  When Jake talks about Nicole, his eyes light up. Not just his eyes. His entire face. He genuinely cares more about Nicole than he does himself, and it’s pretty awesome to see. (If you ever meet Jake. Just ask him about his wife.  You’ll see what I mean.)

Nicole and Jacob’s ceremony at Stonewall Farms was one of the most Christ-centered, beautiful ceremonies that I’ve been able to witness. It took place under rows of tall pines while standing in front of a cross. They had a foot washing ceremony to symbolize their willingness to put themselves aside and serve one another. Then, they took communion together before turning and serving communion to all of their guests. It was truly special. The entire day was.

At the end of the night, Nicole asked if we could grab some night portraits. I don’t often shoot portraits at night, but I’m so glad she stretched me to do it! I think they turned out so well!  Afterwards, they were going to get ready to leave straight from Stonewall Farms and head to a family cabin for their honeymoon. I’m sure they had a fabulous time! Now, go ahead and take a look into their wedding day!

Vendors
Venue: Stonewall Farms
Hair and Makeup: Cristina Ziemer Beauty
Bridal Gown: Allure Bridals
Dress shop: Aubony Bridal
Florals: Blessings & Blossoms
Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations
Videography: Narrate Studios 
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