I love these moments captured of Shannon and Tim because unless you know what you’re looking at, you may just be convinced that these photos were taken on a tropical island! Truth be told this lush landscape lies in Minneapolis, MN at Minnehaha Falls. Shannon, a native Minnesotan, and Tim, an Aussie, met abroad and have travelled the world together. With a wedding planned in Hawaii, they wanted their engagement pictures to match the excitement of their day, but still have elements of home.
Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming endeavor, so attending a wedding fair is a smart choice when shopping around for a variety of vendors to meet the needs of your perfect day.
I have several engaged friends and family members this year, so I’ve been asked to help navigate through common questions and tips on getting the most from wedding fairs. I thought I’d share them here in hopes they might help you as well!
Here are my top 5 quick tips to get the most out of your wedding fair experience:
1) Go in with a “shopping list” — What vendors are your must haves? - Photographer? Florist? DJ? If you make a list of top 3, you can focus on specific vendors without getting overwhelmed. You will likely get swept up in vendors who specialize in everything from Chalkboard Signage to Duck Dynasty-style camouflage tuxes (yes, this exists!), but have fun with it! Just because you go looking for bread and milk doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in caramel cheesecake ice cream.
2) Print out your info stickers — The Wedding Fair recommends printing your names (as a couple), your wedding date, wedding venue, and email address onto return address sticker labels. A lot of vendors have information sign ups, contests, etc - save yourself the trouble of hand writing the same information over and over at each vendor table.
PRO TIP —> Create a separate wedding email account to use for wedding vendors - if you end up communicating with a vendor you want to book, you can always cc or switch to your regular email account to stay up-to-date. (Make sure you check it for information on a regular basis, but this will prevent you from getting spammed long after your wedding.) Think “Futuremrs.Lastname@gmail.com”
3) Value conversation more than flyers — Don’t feel obligated to submit your information to every vendor or collect brochures from every table. Yes, you can learn a lot by researching the business after the fair (using the brochures as reference), but you don’t want to end up wasting a lot of print materials for no reason. Often times you can get the best feel for a vendor by talking to them directly.
4) Consider your budget, but be open to pricing — According to costofwedding.com, the average cost of a 50-100 guest wedding in Minnesota in 2018 was between $21,337 and $35,561. This is on par with the US average of $33,391 in 2018.
5) Have fun being engaged — planning is only part of the process! Take time to enjoy your fiance(e) and don't sweat the small stuff. If you are worried about going overboard, consider hiring a wedding planner at the top of your vendor list!
Thanks for reading, hope to see you at the next fair!
(I will be at the 1/20/2019 Wedding Fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center).
With soil from both homes, water from the river in-between, and a love that will blossom a lifetime, Katie & Mitch planted a tree as their unifying ceremony. Their vows and love story, (as grade-school sweethearts), is just as sweet as their wedding day. A forest ceremony and whimsical barn reception were a perfect fit for these two! Who said “cheesy” had to be a bad thing?
Beth & Mike's love story "begins in Minneapolis," so it only seemed fitting that I met them for their engagement at the historic Stone Arch Bridge, at the heart of the city. As a special challenge, they asked if I could recreate a photo of Mike's grandparents. "Challenge, accepted!"
I joined Megan & Pat at Surly Brewing Company for their sunny and beautiful May engagement session! Over delicious beer, they reminisced on how their relationship blossomed after meeting at work, Megan's fondness of the color red, and their common interests (including some of my personal faves - like Lord of the Rings and Parks and Rec!).
I can't wait to see these two again in July when they tie the knot!
May 2018 - Spring has finally come to Minnesota and the warm sunlight and budding plants are everywhere! Christina & Albert took advantage of the beautiful weather as we explored the Weisman Art Museum and Victory Memorial Parkway. Their furry companion, Luna made an appearance too!
As the snow melts in North East Minneapolis, I follow Mallory & Shaun on a daytime stroll.
The Twin Cities Wedding & Event Professionals attendees had the pleasure of touring the newest addition to the wedding scene; The Hutton House -- a venue designed with weddings in mind! Large bright and open spaces, multiple ceremony space options, and cozy offerings make this venue irresistible to photographers like myself! I couldn't resist stealing a couple shots of this new space for myself, and can't wait to officially photograph a couple here! Check out the images I captured of the sweet setup below (and gather some inspiration for your own festivities too!).
Floral Decor by Leslie Ann Johnson, Positively Charmed! Custom Ceremonies & Boutique Decor
Cheesecake Bites by Tami Cabrera, Muddy Paws Cheesecake
Raspberry Dessert Cups by Amanda Twait, Unique Dining Experience/Courtyards of Andover
Mini Cupcakes by Dawn Wallerus, Sugar & Spice Custom Cakery
Planning your Hutton House wedding? Let me know!
I enjoyed catching the early Spring light (done entirely in camera) through the trees at St. Anthony Main and Stone Arch Bridge before following Becky & Greg home for a casual date night. Becky was able to borrow Keri Noble's velvet ribbon dress, beautifully crafted by local designer Tess Ross for the Go Red for Women fundraiser.
Later that night we went back to their loft to make pizza, drink wine, and cozy up on the couch!
P.S. This year I've shot more snowy engagement sessions than ever, and I LOVE it! I also love that Becky sought out designer Tess Ross to borrow this beautiful velvet ribbon dress (recently worn by Keri Noble at the 2018 Go Red For Women Fashion Show)! Of course, Greg borrowed a red velvet bow-tie from dad to match!
Teegan and Jenny incorporated a date into their engagement session, which included playing video games at home, visiting a local brewery, and strolling along the Stone Arch Bridge at dusk. Despite the cold temperatures, this winter session leaves me feeling extra cozy.
Jess and Ben explored I Like You, MPLS and The Union Depot in St. Paul for an evening full of warmth.
The first question I get after scheduling an engagement session is "What should we wear?" The location, time of year, and your personality can open up an infinite number of options and it's easy to become overwhelmed. This simple guide offers color combinations and tips to style something unique to you.
I've also provided examples of my own family photo sessions to inspire some ideas in your own wardrobe!
Let's start with the classics; mix-and-match neutrals with a bold primary color (red, blue, or yellow) to create a a seamless look, which can work for almost any setting and season. Think rustic outdoor and cozy home sessions!
A softer palette combines muted colors and feminine tones for a rich color scheme. If you're preparing for a park or garden shoot, these are a great place to start.
My favorite combination of colors (and an up-and-coming trend) is mixing bright reds with vivid blue tones. Don't be afraid to combine patterns between people -- mix geometric motifs with organic shapes like plaids with flowers, or polka-dots with stripes. This can work well against the grey tones of a city skyline or industrial shoot, but isn't off-limits for outdoor scenes!
Feeling adventurous? Pick a bolder pattern and pick complimentary bright colors! You can also choose neutrals and pick one bright color to wear. This lively palette brightens snowy winter shoots, indoor home shoots, and more.
As always, don't forget to layer with shirts and tanks, accessorize with scarves, hats, lapel pins, and jewelry!
With special thanks to: photographers Laura Alpizar, Jennifer Whalen, Evan Sowder, Donae Cotton, and Brandon Werth for capturing my favorite people with me.
Brandon and Erin explored Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville, MN for their fall engagement session. I got to know them (and their two pups!) better as we meandered through the autumn foliage.