I first met the newly engaged couple, Lindsey and Jordan, on the twin cities during the winter and I was immediately seduced by their project to get married in the birth place of the bride, Stillwater, MN. For that reason they chose to host their wedding Reception at the Loft at Studio J, located in Downtown Stillwater, Minnesota. It’s a large event center!
After their gorgeous engagement session in Saint Paul, they were about to tie the knot!
If you haven’t yet seen it yet, I invite you to have a look at their engagement photos, the crazy part on a St Paul’s roof top, a romantic part at the Kellogg BD, and the first part of the Rapsberry Island.
- The Bride’s Getting Ready in the St. Croix River Valley Minnesota
- The Groom Getting Ready in a Loft Downtown
- First Look and Wedding Photos
- An efficient photo session from St-Croix Shore to the Courthouse
- Ceremony at the Ascension Episcopal Church
- Escape with your Wedding photographer during the cocktail hour
- Wedding Reception at the Loft at Studio J
For her big day, the forecast was not very promising and the temperature pretty low, which I noticed while I was driving from Rochester, to Stillwater, Minnesota.
Lindsey decided to get ready surrounded by her relatives and bridesmaid in her parents’ house. When I arrived, she had her hair and make-up being processed. The result was simple and sophisticated at the same time. So, while she was seated, I took detail pictures of her wedding gown, her shoes, jewels and rings. I was not surprised she chose such an elegant open back dress. Lindsey, as confirmed by the choice of her photographer, is a person of upscale taste (joke).
When ready, she was not only beautiful; she was transformed into a majestic and stately princess. She has something rare, an unparalleled natural grace: she has this little shinning thing in the eyes that (only) smart people have. In addition she has the sweetest and kindest of the mothers (I mean, the representation of St Mary in paintings). And finally her big smile offers to others the joy of life (OK, I stole this sentence from her sister’s speech, but it’s true). What a dream for a wedding photographer capturing such a stunning bride!
It’s on Mainstreet that the groom got ready in a penthouse with scenic view on the Saint Croix River. Inside the loft, the guys were relaxed and enjoying the brunch while remembering some memories from school.
Jordan asked his brother to help him fix his suit. Those two were making jokes all the time, which allowed me to capture lovely moments. The ambiance was pretty cool and I tried to create unforgettable pictures, using natural and artificial lights. Moreover, Jordan is smart and good-looking, a perfect groom with charm, making it easy for me to photograph.
The bride and groom had their first look in the backyard of the Parents House, with the woods as a backdrop. The groom was amazed and speechless. Then, they opened their letters and she made fun of him because she finished reading before him. What a joyful show for all the witnesses that we were.
Then, we took the Trolley with all the bridal party to downtown in order to taket the couple and bridal party pictures.
We first stopped at the wedding venue, the loft at Studio J, in order to enjoy the natural light coming from the windows. I played with the crystal chandelier, the backlight and the memorable antic picturesque Coca Cola wall.
You got it, the photo session was a bit faster. It’s not the recommendation I give in my pre-wedding planning checklist. But it turned out well! The reason is that we previously did the engagement session on Saint Paul, at the Raspberry Island, Kellogg Mall Park and the incredible rooftop pictures. During the current photo session, the bride and groom felt at ease, knowing what to do and we used every precious second of this photo session to capture their love.
During the planning process, we considered going to the St. Croix Boom Site, but given the weather we adjusted and decided to skip that part.
After the Loft at Studio J, we went to the waterfront, adjacent to the Lift Bridge, to take pictures on the St Croix River. I integrated the marina and the steamboats in the pictures and you can see the Wisconsin’s shore on the back. I also used the trolley to take bridesmaids and groomsmen pictures. Then we enjoyed the historic Washington County Courthouse for some bridal party pictures on the staircase and some couple pictures in the courtyard.
Finally, we moved to a luxury house to celebrate this special day with the close family members. We also took some family portraits.
The wedding ceremony was held at the red brick Ascension Episcopal Church, adjacent to the Stillwater Library. By the way I covered a small wedding on its roof top a couple of months earlier.
So, the bride walked down the aisle with a lot of emotion. My priority was to catch it in an unobtrusive and documentary way.
The lightning conditions inside the church was quite terrible (and no flash allowed by the officiant, what could potentially be a source of problems). Nevertheless I managed to push my equipment to the maximum of its capacity and handle this low light environment. Sometimes, church rules are a real disappointment!
As a photojournalist and having covered a lot of celebrations in Minnesota, this one was a memorable one! As a matter of fact, Lindsey continuously looked at Jordan with passion. Sometime the church and the stress of the ceremony put a distance in the couple. But here it was the opposite: a real connection between those two lovers. It created some timeless and romantic photographs that I hope they will cherish when looking at their wedding album.
And then they exchanged vows and she said “I do” and became husband and wife!
When they stepped out of the church, guests threw confetti on the newly married couple.
While guests slowly arrived one by one at the reception, the bridal party headed up to Stillwater historic downtown to have a drink. While we walked down Myrtle St., we used fountains to shoot some posed portrait. Also, when we turned in Mainstreet, I did more candid and photojournalistic shots, with all the bookstores and antique shops in the background. We stopped at the Feller coffee (https://www.lorahotel.com/food-drink/) for a glass of wine. It’s where I used the fireplace to catch those breathtaking and spectacular pics. After the Cocktail Hour, we all headed up to the reception area to celebrate their unique wedding reception.
Among the plenty of chic wedding venues that offers Stillwater, Lindsey and Jordan decided on the loft to celebrate their wedding day.
It’s a renovated historical building with bright wood floor and vintage red brick, adorned with trendy decoration elements everywhere (modern and post industrial) that provide the venue with a funny personality. The dinner was good and the speech memorable, with an exceptional traditional sister’s dance!
Then the bride and groom opened the dance floor with their first dance, fallowed by the father-daughter and mother-son dance. Soon after all the guests join them to dance under the variety of songs coming from the DJ speakers.
Before leaving them for their nuptial night, I took them a last picture of them using the wood staircase.
I can’t thank enough Lindsey and Jordan to choose me and trust me to document their wedding day in Minnesota. From the planning process to the last picture, it was more than a real pleasure to work with them.
BRIDE DRESS Annika Bridal
Dress Designer- L’amour Calla Blanche
Church Ascension Episcopal
FLORIST Rose Floral
HAIR STYLIST Tina Voss at Viva Voce Salon
GROOM SUITE/TIE/BOOTIE DKNY
GROOM SHOES Johnston and Murphy
VENUE AND CATERER The Loft at Studio J
BRIDAL PARTY DRESS & WEARHOUSE Raffine Bridal Shop Sorella Vita