Kickin' off wedding season 2019 the right way with the sweetest, most loving couple! Jackie and Mitchell Weidner were married last weekend in Lake Henry, Minnesota at the beautiful St. Margaret's Catholic Church followed by the reception at Sportsman's Den just down the road. The weather forecast didn't look good with rain being almost a certainty, forty degree temperatures and the wind blowing. But sometimes (and often in Minnesota this spring) the weather forecast is wrong. Yes it was still cold and windy but NO RAIN! YAY!!!
Now I often get asked about how I organize and help plan out a wedding day and often it really varies for each couple. One of the main differences in days is if the couple chooses to see each other before the ceremony or not. Jackie and Mitchell wanted their first look with each other to be when Jackie was walking down the aisle. A very traditional approach that requires lots of planning and communication with the wedding party and family, but it often works out beautifully. I thought it would be kind of fun if I walked you through the progression of the day in this instance. So here is just a little sneak peek into Jackie and Mitchell's day.
I always arrive plenty early on wedding day to scope out locations, see what the weather/wind is doing, introduce myself to the wedding party and of course check in with my fabulous bride and groom. Once I am unloaded and my gear is set, the first thing that I photograph when arriving on wedding day is all of the little details that the bride wants captured. This varies for every bride but usually includes the dress, flowers, the invitation and program, jewelry, and of course the wedding rings. Sometimes we get the grooms details in there too but usually not. I am obsessed with real flowers on a wedding day and these were absolutely stunning. Created by the ever talented Michele at Freeport Floral.
After the details are complete, the bride finishes getting dressed and we capture all of the portraits that we can without the bride and groom seeing each other. So usually this is all the photos of the bride with her girls and the groom with his guys. I plan about an hour for these, keeping everyone separate, and then everyone back and tucked away at least thirty minutes before the ceremony.
After these portraits, I usually get everything all ready for the ceremony and capture guests arriving or the bride and groom with their attendants beforehand. Jackie had a special prayer with all her girls before the ceremony and I think that may have been one of my favorite times of the day. I say that but really how can you choose one with such a great couple?
Then the time everyone has been waiting for has arrived and it is time to get married. When I photograph a ceremony, it is very important to me to be respectful and try to be as non-obtrusive or distracting as possible. I begin at the front of the church to capture everyone coming down the aisle (and of course to capture the groom's reaction). After everyone is at the front, I move back along the sides and remain at the back and sides making sure to capture all the important moments. I loved when Jackie and Mitch first saw each other. They were both grinning from ear to ear and you could just feel the love!
After the ceremony is over, the first thing that we do is capture the family portraits. In this case, we did them all inside of the church because it was what the family preferred. Then we captured the full wedding party all together inside and outside. Once these portraits are all done, then the family and wedding party can head to the reception and leave the newlyweds to enjoy some quiet time alone together and capture their portraits. We chose to do these both in the sanctuary and outside. When I shoot inside a church I typically try not to do everything at the altar and rather capture some unique views as well.
Jackie and Mitchell were such great sports when we went outside in the cold and wind. Poor Jackie was getting jerked all around by her veil but what a stunning veil it was! Wowza! It was so worth it and absolutely gorgeous! They didn't even seem to mind because they truly were just enjoying being newlyweds and soaking it all in. Their love will be everlasting and was a beautiful thing to witness.
After the wedding couple is done with their portraits, it is time to celebrate! We head to the reception and I try to capture as many details as I can. Keep in mind that the rest of their guests are already there so I do the best that I can in just a few short minutes. Then the bride and groom are introduced and it is dinner and time to party!
What a blessing to be a part of Jackie and Mitch's wedding! I love my job and truly have the greatest clients! Congratulations on your new marriage Mr. and Mrs. Weidner!!!
Thank you to these vendors for helping make their day so great!
Ceremony: St. Margaret's Catholic Church, Lake Henry, MN
Reception: Sportsman's Den
Bridesmaids dresses: Bill Levkoff
Groom and groomsmen attire: Michael Kors from Richmond Bridal
Hair: Jen Miller
Makeup: DeAnna Leiser and Teresa Bogie
Florist: Freeport Floral
DJ: Joe Orbeck
Cake: Cold Spring Bakery
Photographer: Stacy Holtberg, Design Studio by Stacy