Ceremony At Aster Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
The previous article features a couple session on a rooftop (on St Antony, in the Cities), taking place before the day of their ceremony. I tried to explain how important are those engagement sessions and how they can impact on the final result.
Let’s go back to Heather and Zach’s beautiful wedding hosted at the Aster Cafe. She teaches kids art while he is often on the road for his job: pastor in the army. I am impressed how the bride managed to perfectly put together everything for their special day. I first met her in a coffee shop in Minnesota, in need of a great wedding photographer on the Cities to cover her ceremony. She explained to me the wedding of her dreams she was planning to hold at an old authentic restaurant. She was her own wedding planner, so we tried to design the best time line for her big day. I’m will share the bride’s feedback at the end of the article.
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On their unique day, I arrived earlier to catch some pictures during the rehearsal. I wanted to make sure I will be ready for the real ritual. At this time, the closest family members were helping with fixing the last details of the decorations and the sound system. Funny fact: I already knew the officiant from a previous marriage celebration! It was a pleasure to meet him again.
Preparation at the Bridal Suite
Then the groom and the bride went to get ready in the bridal suite, surrounded by their best friends and relatives. The bridal suite is a nice room, with three big windows, facing the Mississippi, and behind the scenic Minneapolis skyline.
Heather didn’t have any makeup stylist, she used her artistic skills to do her own hair and makeup. I was pretty afraid (when she told me that) , but as you can see, the bride was more than stunning in her wedding dress!
Then we took advantage of this nice room to take a couple of shots, using the natural light and the brick wall of what used to be a warehouse.
The bridal suite has a second floor with some Art Nouveau-style lamps that I enjoyed including the wedding pictures.
The Union of two families
Then the ritual started, with music, and the bride walked down the aisle. The Aster cafe team had set up a white sheet as a backdrop with some tiny LED lighting all the longer of the aisle that produced a magical atmosphere. The arch was hiding the historic glass door and prevented any reflection of my flashes on the windows.
It was an intimate celebration, the husband and wife decided to invite only the closest family. Thus they were surrounded only by the most important people in their life. The officiant was great. The ritual was pretty formal, after they exchanged their vows, she said “I do”, then they put their wedding rings on their fingers and were finally married!
Afterwards we escaped for the family pictures in the courtyard (where there is a big tent), and we came back to enjoy the reception.
Memories and magical moment
After the tradition of the wedding cake cutting, and sharing a glass of champagne with cocktails, they opened the ball with their first dance and quickly invited all the guests on the dance floor. Even in the middle of the afternoon and sober, their friends founded motivation for dancing on the music, to the rhythm of the groom’s playlist. I shot a lot of candid photographs, hoping to create unforgettable memories of this big day.
The good side of an intimate wedding is that they had the time to speak with all the present couples, friends and family members. Moreover, they had several candid shots of each person.
Grand Exit at the Aster Cafe
Finally, came the grand exit, and the husband and wife invited their guests to line up outside the wedding venue with bubble bottles. That was a romantic and magical moment. After the grand exit, they jumped into a carriage specialized in riding tourists which is kind of a romantic means of transportation! That brought to this vintage wedding a touch of rural and elegance from an old time. Then, they went away and discovered their new life together. Happy end!
Should You Plan Your Wedding at the Aster Cafe?
Minneapolis offers a lot of venues specialized in weddings that all have their specificities. The Cafe is a lovely quaint restaurant to host a party and reception. It has a stunning and historic dinner room (named the River Room), which is all adorned with statues, lamps, luxurious red leather chairs, chandeliers, mirrors, and many rustic furniture. In other words, you don’t need to spend money on floral decoration, rentals, and designer vendors in order to transform a simple site into a romantic one. Its authentic old vintage style creates a timeless and memorable backdrop. That’s why I believe, it’s a good wedding reception venue for those who plan to have a small wedding and don’t want to spend hours in a DIY wedding. It is a good match for the wedding budget.
A Picturesque Location for the Best Photographers Only
That said, you may have noticed the natural light coming from the windows created a strong backlight effect. It means that the lightning condition is very difficult, and to have good result you deeply need one of the best wedding photographers in Minneapolis (preferably a French one: p), who will work with off-camera flashes.
That said the chandeliers and the tiny LED spread across the room generated a real magical atmosphere to the venue.
Venue Surrounded by Several Photo Spot
The Cafe is located on SE Main Street, downtown Minneapolis in the historic warehouse district and now renovated. Thereby, it’s surrounded by a lot of wedding venues and good spots for your photography session. It lets you think of the old brick buildings, the view on the Mississippi River and the city Skyline, and several walking distance parks.
One iconic location of St Anthony District is probably the St Anthony Main Theater, with its electrical bulbs. It’s a place loved by tourists during weekends!
We should not forget to mention their patio and courtyard with a huge green tent (the Shasta Tent). I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to take photos with the Shasta!
What’s more, it accommodates a nice bridal suite, which is great for pictures and convenient to get ready.
An additional point is that, more than cocktails, they also offer catering service (they have all the facilities for corporate meetings).
Finally, the wedding coordinator will guide you to make sure everything goes smoothly and their team is very friendly and helping. Anyone you ask will tell you server was very attentive. Check their reviews (and the bride review) to have a better idea, and look at the newlywed’s testimony below regarding her experience.
Heather and Zach small wedding remember me this wedding at the public library of Stillwater, Minnesota. It was a small wedding, with no rehearsal ceremony, but the coordinator who was the bride’s uncle. In took place on the rooftop with an amazing point of Vue on the Stillwater and St Croix River, including a dog!
To conclude, I’m honored that the bride and groom trusted me to cover their exquisite reception. The Aster Cafe is one of the classical venues in Minnesota and if you plan to get married there, don’t hesitate to contact me!