The Happy Gnome Wedding in MN

photographer in Rochester MN

After she walk down the aisle and said I do in the Irving Park in Saint Paul for their intimate wedding, the couple decide to continue their special day at the Happy Gnome.

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Intimate Reception at the Happy Gnome Saint Paul

Tiffany and Jared decided to host their wedding reception at the Happy Gnome. This gastronomic restaurant is located in Saint Paul on Selby Avenue. They chose the This restaurant because the food is good (a mix of simplicity and sophistication). It’s an elegant and picturesque restaurant, convenient located, and they didn’t need a huge wedding venue.

The reception was in continuity with the ceremony: simple, timeless, welcoming, centered on the dearest family members and devoted friends, and offering them fun. The newly husband and wife had set-up a finger print tree (I let you guess the color of the ink), a DIY photo booth with Polaroid, and games.

After sharing champagne, variety of beers from Minneapolis, or other cocktails, they started their luncheon. They ate some delicious hors d’oeuvres and entree! No kidding, that’s one of the best restaurants I have eaten in the Twin Cities. Check the caterer menus, they are delicious!

Some Special Wedding Photos

After the dinner, they cut their wedding cake carefully decorated by Mandee’s Cakes. The top was ornamented by a personalized figurine of the bride and the groom performing dead lifting. I wanted to take advantage of this idea, and involved the innkeeper who helped me design a fake dead lift. We staged a funny picture of the silhouette of the bride on the groom performing dead lifting in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Happy Gnome a Photogenic Place for Small Events close to Minneapolis

I was delighted to discover this wedding venue. It’s a charming well-decorated restaurant. Beside funny gnomes in the patio, they have dark wood panels and a sophisticated ornamented wood ceiling remembering the old world, such a chic gentlemen’s club atmosphere. Adding to that a dark carpet, it’s pretty obscure event space. Thad said, in the sunny day, the several large windows let enter enough natural light for a good professional wedding photographer to shoot pictures in good conditions.

Also, as previously mentioned the food was just succulent! I have no idea of their wedding package, but I can testify the food is more than delicious. And on the top of that the staff was nice and responsive. For your special day, check their Menus and fallow their recommendations (scallops and mussels are mouth-watering).

So, if you are in the process of planning your intimate wedding, it’s definitely a good place to celebrate a small wedding.

So, What Really Made This Intimate Wedding Unparalleled and Unique?

Suspense…. The toasts. Not the parents’ ones (even if they were great), neither the brother’s one (even if it was touching). What really made the reception step out of the box was the kids’ toast.

Toast is usually an emotional moment, but in this small and intimate wedding it was very emotional.

In France we have an expression « the truth come from children’s mouth », and that applies well to this situation. Kids told the bride (their new mother), how much they were happy she married their father and how much they were thrilled to have her as a mother. It’s the kind of very intimate and deep declaration that is not always easy to formulate, especially in public!

Indeed, you have probably already faced a situation you have to speak loudly in front of a lot of people. It’s not easy and most of people try to avoid that, even in small and intimate weddings!

A Special Toast

Well, those children took the microphone (the braver first, so the girls of course), and made a joint declaration of love to their new mother.

It was spontaneous and improvised with their own words, own sensibility and most of all, their own sincerity. It was deeply genuine and beautiful. The bride was crying (and I guess she was not the only one). A Minnesota wedding photographer, I try not to be overwhelmed and to focus on shooting candid pictures, willing to document this moment for them, later. I was thinking of them looking their wedding book in twenty years and remember all that. My eyes were wet, too. When I left, I gave my congratulations to the bride and groom, and I was still emotional with a lump in my throat.

I can’t thank enough Jared to trust me from our first contact on the internet and letting me catch his surprise proposal. And then later, I would like to thank him for his non-traditional wedding. This couple was so friendly during all this perfect day.

This unique day is one of those that make me go back home with a big smile and make me remember why I am a wedding photographer in Minneapolis.

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