This journey has been a joy and has covered multiple states. Anya was a bridesmaid and lantern lighter in a St. Paul friend's wedding a couple years back, we all met up for lunch in Stapleton CO, chatted over the phone in Minnesota, and finally on this day stood atop a mountain in Steamboat Colorado to profess forever promises to her Josh. Simply epic day at Marabou Ranch. This private ranch estate gave them access to the acres of untouched land that surrounded us as Anya slipped on her dress. Tears of excitement flowed like the river outside her cabin as her favorite ladies sent her to see her groom. Josh had a little extra swag today, but even he couldn't hold back his nervous chatty energy as he waited on the bluff for his bride. His catch. Their friends brought plenty of fun as many have been Olympic-hopeful ski racers to adventure buddies through life and were up for anything! Adventures were a bit of the theme today as following the ceremony Anya threw waders on over her dress to join Josh in the stream. Are you kidding, how cool is this girl?! Fitting since the same attire fly fishing started it all when Josh had gotten on one knee to propose. The reception lodge was decorated to the delight of guests by the wonderful crew at One Fine Day. The night fell upon us, the temperature dropped, and the fire crackled as loudly as the country band roared. All was so right in the world and two anglers in love had caught more than their limit. I miss you guys and your family and friends so much just writing this, and tell your mom I will take her up on her invite to stay again soon.
This day started out with Loren thinking he was going camping with his bride to celebrate their 10-year Anniversary. Camping they did, but his wife Ellen had a little something up her sleeve first. The day started off fairly normal: a sitter was arranged for their three children, texts were exchanged wishing each other a happy day, and dinner plans were lightly discussed. However when Loren arrived to the gravel path leading to their campsite, instead of a tent bag to set up he was handed a suit to put on. Game-changer.
Instead of mosquitos along the path he found photographs and verses strung up with clothes pins and yarn. Signs led the way that asked the question: 'Will.....You.....Marry.....Me.....AGAIN?' Around the bend standing at the altar was his beaming bride! Loren's jaw dragged on the gravel as he stepped up to be led through their recommitment ceremony and communion. Instead of a unity candle, they made art together for their home. Their videographer friend Dan West along with his wife Heather were deeply committed behind the scenes to pull this surprise of a lifetime off. After the ceremony, the five of us had a little picnic to celebrate, then off we went to do an adventure-themed bridal session off into the fields and trees; a shoot that Ellen has dreamed of for over ten years with the Love of the life. I was overwhelmed with joy! These two are indeed a benefit and blessing to all the world.
This romance started long ago, but might have hit one of its pinnacles during a special canoe tip into the chilly waters of Lake Superior on our engagement session. Kaitie was showing off her adventurous side and Josh was keeping the day on track. I could see in that moment and the moments that followed, how these two are just made for each other. The wedding day would not be short on adventure either. Heck, let's just start this day off with Kaitie and Josh seeing each other for the first time on a Helicopter Pad staring at the skyline of Minneapolis. Brilliant! The talented Juilia LaCroix had to the planned and timed out to perfection as Kaitie made her way with her dad up the ramp to see her anxious groom. The emotion caught them both by surprise as they shared a long embrace and took several deep breaths. I cleared my eyes as well and we headed down to start the party with some of the craziest people I have met in a long time. We had a blast near the Guthrie and the ruins outside Mill City Museum! Calhoun Beach Club was breathtaking decked out by Russell at Wisteria to tie in the love these two share for Duluth and the North Shore. He nailed it! Guests phone cameras were out the moment they stepped into the room and again as the newly weds entered the room. As the rain came to bless the day, the warmth of the community in the ballroom would shine bright. Since neither offered to sing, we opted for kissing in the rain. Thank you both for your friendship, your loving families, and for letting me take my adventure shoes along wherever we go together. I am your fan.
The historic Minikahda Club knew it was opening its doors this day to a stellar couple. First of all, I am a HUGE fan of these two. Family is center for Mary and Austin. Their families have already become part of mine as Mary's grandma was the administrative manager for years for my father. On Austin's side, we would be bonding in Steamboat for another family wedding. Families couldn't get any more fun than these! There were so many special moments and exchanges that gave me permanent goose bumps. After an emotion-filled first meeting, their friends joined in on the fun and the party was on. This was the first wedding I have ever photographed that featured both an indoor and outdoor ceremony as the rains chased us from the deck creating a memorable moment for all the guests. The final vows were completed downstairs in front of the hearth and the two set out to celebrate with their best friends upstairs. Mary's taste was evident in all the fine touches to the ballroom, and guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. At the end of the night, we did a bit of a rain dance outside to scare away any clouds. The beauty of the rain is that it made the photographs even better. My heart left full and happy for these new friends.