Katie + Brett had a bit of a challenge planning their wedding. While they both called the Minneapolis area home, they also recently moved away for jobs and school – not even together but in separate states! Luckily they weren’t too far away, so we were still able to meet, as well as have an amazing time during their engagement session at Como Park Conservatory last year. After a lot of driving and remote planning, their wedding day in January was finally here!
We began their big day by getting ready at the Intercontinental Hotel on the St Paul riverfront. Such an amazing, modern, chic hotel! Once the two of them were ready to go, we headed over to the Landmark Center for Katie + Brett’s first look. We were up on the fourth floor in the spectacular Chief Justice Room. Such an amazing moment, I was even tearing up too. Afterward, we had fun taking portraits of the two of them together throughout the Landmark Center’s beautiful architecture.
After Katie + Brett’s portraits, we photographed their wedding party images and family portraits at the beautiful Landmark Center. We then headed up to St Stephen’s Catholic Church in Anoka for their wedding ceremony – they were so joyful! After a few large group portraits following their ceremony, we headed back down to the Landmark Center for their reception.
The Landmark Center was sparkling and glowing for Katie + Brett’s reception. They started with a cocktail hour, then followed with their grand entrance, dinner and toasts – so many laughs and tears! Finally, the dance floor was jumping with their DJ and dance party. Everyone was having so much fun!
Katie + Brett, thank you so much for including me in your big day. I am so honored to have worked with you, and I wish you the happiest life together!
Wedding Prep: Intercontinental Hotel St Paul
Wedding Venue: St Stephen’s Catholic Church
Reception Venue: The Landmark Center
Wedding Dress: Jacquelin Exclusive
Hair/Makeup: Madolyn Ayers
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Wedding Rings: Necker’s Jewelers
Florist: Friend of Bride (Brooch/Bead Bouquets, Boutonnieres and Centerpieces)
Catering: Design Cuisine
Wedding Cake: Taste of Love
DJ: The Wedding Collective
Wedding Invitations: Noted Design
I get a lot of questions from brides and grooms about engagement photography and engagement sessions. Today I thought I would give some more details to answer some of those questions.
You know the old saying “Practice Makes Perfect”? If you want to feel more comfortable in front of a camera prior to your wedding day, it would definitely help to get some practice. Engagement photography is the perfect opportunity!
My engagement sessions last around 1-2 hours, depending on the location and/or activity you’ve chosen. We generally work in the last two hours before sunset when outdoors, or almost any time when indoors. I want to help create a memorable experience that works best for you. So please don’t hesitate to ask if you have suggestions or ideas in mind.
As an added benefit, the photos we capture from your engagement session are also perfect for Save-the-Date Announcements, Guest Books, Engagement Albums or Gift Prints. They are often cherished by couples simply because they showcase the two of you spending time together, often doing an activity you enjoy, without the formality of wedding day activities, wardrobes, locations and timelines.
Where to Go
Selecting locations or activities that are meaningful and important to you will almost always result in better images. Think about how you like to spend time together and activities you both enjoy when considering options.
Some location ideas include: a park that is a favorite hangout; a beer brewery or winery; an art museum; the college campus where you met; on a rented trolley, canoe or boat; a fair or carnival with rides; a destination or public garden; a picnic in a park or near a river; a barn; a bowling alley; an antique store; a skating rink (summer or winter); a playground; or a baseball field. I am always available to offer suggestions or give advice if you are having trouble deciding on your preferred location or activities. Don’t hesitate to let me know!
~ Consider slightly dressier options or cocktail attire (sport coat, dress, etc.) that can be modified to be location appropriate if needed (ex. rolling up khakis if on a beach, etc).
~ Be comfortable. Select clothing that fits well and that compliments your figure.
~ Avoid matching, but strive to compliment and coordinate each others’ outfit selections. Try to compliment each other in color, style and level of formality.
~ Choose solid colors (not white).
~ Things to avoid: sleeveless dresses and shirts (no bare arms/shoulders); baggy clothing; clothing with logos or loud, clashing patterns; cargo shorts/pants; sweats or track suits; athletic shoes; flip-flops; crocs; men’s sandals.
~ Feel free to bring two outfit options each (or a few more if you want advice from me on which options work best together.)
~ Layers and textures translate well. Don’t be afraid to layer jewelry, scarves, sweaters, jackets or other combinations in order to create depth in your outfits.
~ Don’t forget the details! Accessories, nails, shoes, etc. The level of care on even the little things can add up. Choose neutral nail polish if using.
~ Brides: consider combining your hair/makeup test with your photo session, or consider having your hair and makeup professionally done for your session. It will add a little glamour to your photos and help you to “pop” more in the session.
~ Don’t stress! Engagement photos should be fun…and they will be if you let yourself enjoy the experience. You might even consider having a date night after your session and enjoy the evening celebrating your engagement!
Feel free to check my Pinterest “What to Wear // Engagements” board for visual representations of wardrobe concepts that work well together. And be sure to let me know if you have any other questions – I would love to help you achieve the engagement photos of your dreams!
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 House Salon
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