Allison + Joseph held their wedding at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum on a crisp, cold winter day just past the 2017 New Year.
Following their wedding preparations, the two of them held their first look in the Conservatory inside the Snyder Building, a warm glass room filled with succulents, orchids and other delicate plants. They were so sweet and joyous together. There may have been just a few tears too!
Their wedding ceremony was held in the Fireplace Room in the Snyder Building – a charming, elegant space overlooking the green pond and featuring a fireplace as its centerpiece. Such a perfect atmosphere for a bright, sparkling, chilly winter day! After Allison + Joseph said their ‘I Do’s’, they headed straight out to cocktail hour just down the stairs to welcome their guests. After they spent a bit of time visiting with well-wishers, we snuck out to photograph them among the light sculptures of the Bruce Munro Light Show at the Landscape Arboretum. One word to describe it: WOW!!! Such gorgeous artwork – mysterious, fanciful lights among the trees – it would have been easy to spend a whole night photographing there if it wasn’t such a cold day in MN.
Once we were back in the building to warm up, we headed to Allison + Joseph’s reception at the Snyder Auditorium, with its gorgeous chandeliers and curved ceilings. They had such a wonderful time with dinner, toasts, and dancing! They even followed it up with a dessert bar featuring donuts, cookies and other treats.
Allison + Joseph, thank you so much for including me on one of the biggest events of your lives. I’m so happy for the two of you, and with you every happiness in your new lives together!
Venue/Catering: MN Landscape Arboretum
Wedding Dress: Luxe Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair/Makeup: Hairitage Hous
Bridesmaids Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Rings: Wedding Day Diamonds
Florist: Flowers by Avice
Rentals: Ultimate Events
Wedding Cake: Taste of Love
Invitations: Basic Invite
DJ: Anthony Hemsworth
Videography: Make Your Memory
Chris and Antonio were married last August at the Landmark Center in St Paul MN. As part of their wedding package, they received a gorgeous custom-designed wedding album which was handmade in Italy. It was so spectacular, I wanted to share it today on the blog!
For all my wedding and portrait photography albums, I work exclusively with Graphistudio. They are one of the oldest and most prestigious wedding album producers in the world. They have been operating for over 30 years! All the albums are hand-made at their headquarters in Italy. They offer a myriad of customizations to the albums, including a wide variety of Italian leathers, woods, metals, crystal clear, and other unique materials, as well as a patented lay-flat binding system, HD printing, gorgeous professional photo papers, incorporated protective boxes, etc.
The process for creating the albums is very simple for my couples. Using my many years of design expertise, I create an initial layout of images from your wedding day. I choose images that create a comprehensive overview of all the facets of your day, and incorporate them in a clean, fresh, timeless album layout. I also help you choose from the many materials and colors available, as well as printing options, so that we create something that is unique to you and fits your style and preferences perfectly. From that point, you can review the images and color/material options and request edits, additions, etc, until we finally have a layout that you love. I am even able to show you 3D mockups of the album so you can see the materials and colors together before we send it to production. Once you approve the album layout, I send the final artwork order to Graphi in Italy so they can produce your masterpiece. We receive the completed album in just a couple of months.
Chris + Antonio’s wedding was a very elegant affair. They loved the juxtaposition between weathered stone and wood (featured in the locations we held their engagement session and wedding day first look), as well as the vintage elegance of their Landmark Center venue. For their album box, they opted for the rustic, dark gray Maple material paired with an elegant script font stamped in a gorgeous silver foil. The box was lined with a metallic silver linen and white satin ribbon. The album itself featured a spectacular brushed silver metal cover imprinted with a black-and-white photo of the two of them from their big day. The album was bound with a black, softened Italian leather. To say that we were all blown away when we saw the album in person is an understatement – the two of them were thrilled!
If you are getting married, I highly encourage you to consider memorializing your big day with a spectacular wedding album. It is the perfect heirloom to remember your day for years to come. Let me know if you’d like to visit my studio soon and see samples of my beautiful albums!
Today I put together a little Q&A session with me, Joanna Carina, the founder and lead photographer of Carina Photographics. Hope you enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself. I spend a lot of time during my days at home with my kids, aged 5 and 3, as well as my hubby, who also works at home as a freelance product designer, illustrator and fine artist. I really love being able to spend my time with my kids watching them grow! I started my photography business about 5 years ago, and I opened up my photo studio in St Paul about two years ago, so I enjoy meeting and working with clients there, too.
What hobbies and other activities do you enjoy? I LOVE traveling (I’ve been all over the US and the world, although I have not yet completed my Bucket List!); camping, hiking and being in nature (especially love the National Parks in the US – cannot wait to take the kids when they get a bit older); and also reading and learning new things (especially love taking photo classes and learning new techniques.)
Tell us a fun fact about yourself. Before my husband and I got married, we took ballroom dance classes so we could really dance it up to the jazz band we had for our day. We loved it so much that we kept up on our lessons for many years afterward – we even performed for crowds! We also created the last name “Carina” when we got married – it was based on the name of a constellation.
How long have you been a photographer? I’ve been fascinated by photography as long as I can remember. When I was growing up, I taped photos of beautiful landscape photography on my bedroom walls. In middle school I joined the Photography Club, so there I was in a closet under the back stairs along with 8 other students learning how to roll film and use a photo enlarger. By the time I got to the College of Visual Arts in St Paul for my Graphic Design major, I filled my schedule with as many photography courses as possible. I have always maintained a professional camera setup. My primary interest in the early years was travel and landscape photography, and then later I moved on to portraiture and weddings. I also art directed commercial photoshoots while working for several years as a graphic designer in a marketing firm.
Why did you get into wedding photography? Once we had our daughter in 2011, I decided to leave my graphic design job to stay home with her. Soon afterward, I decided to pursue my love of photography, so I opened my photography business. I found myself photographing a couple of friends’ weddings early on, and I was hooked! Seeing a couple’s love and happiness, being included with one of the most important days in their lives, and giving them such joy at visually reliving their day afterward has been so rewarding and amazing to see. And the bonus is getting to meet and know such wonderful people, along with their families and friends. It’s awesome!
What is your favorite part of the wedding day? My favorite part of the day is the first look and my couple’s portrait session. My couples always start out preparing separately, and they are often sooooo nervous during that time. Then, when they finally get to that moment and see each other, the reactions I see are priceless! Laughter, happiness, relief, tears, hugs – such honest, warm, genuine moments, I can’t help but tear up myself. Then, as we spend our time during their portraits, I see them calm down, relax and look so happy and in love – it’s such an amazing part of the day witnessing them spend that time alone together. By the time we are done with that portion of the day, they are so relieved and relaxed, and happy to head out to the ceremony together.
What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding? First, I would say to make sure to surround yourself with competent professionals. There are so many amazing wedding vendors out there, from wedding planners to caterers to florists to bands, and they can all help you take the stress out of one of the biggest days of your life. Next, I would say, from a photographer’s perspective, please give serious consideration to having your wedding day memorialized in a high-quality wedding album. From showing your friends and family today, to showing your kids and other relatives and friends in years to come, to enjoying it yourself over your married lives, there is nothing that is so treasured, timeless and secure as having a wedding album as a perfect keepsake of your day.
Also, be sure to check my other recent blog post showing the Top 10 Things to Look for In a Wedding Photographer to give more info on that aspect.
Thanks for reading, and please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email, or request to grab a coffee or glass of wine sometime so we can learn more about each other!