Steph & Nath
Wedding at the barn in Minnesota
There is a lot to say about this wedding, it is one of my favorite weddings of the year!
After their engagement session at The Minnehaha Dog Park and at Harriet Island, the big day was finally there and it was a breathtaking reportage in the Goodhue county at the Bullard Creek Barn.
Indeed, if I had to sum up Steph and Nath’s wedding using few adjectives, I would say simple but genuinely authentic, humble but highly tasteful, warm and beautiful.
Table of Contents
Before diving into the wedding day, let’s take a minute for the first look and the bride and groom photo session.
The bride and the groom wanted to have their first look before the ceremony at the Bullard barn (Goodhue County, MN). Afterwards, they decided to use the Red Wing landscape to make their couple pictures.
The groom was waiting his fiancé on the Bay Point. He was wearing a suit and a pair of shoes that he bought in Red Wing (Josephson’s Men’s Clothing).
The stunning bride came in her elegant dress from Essence of Australia. Her shoes were from DSW, and the jewels from Golden Treasures (St. Paul, MN). The bride’s hair was styled by Brooke Warwick (Salon Serenity Red Wing, MN), and her makeup by Donna Kreye (Red Wing, MN). The colorful flowers she was carrying came from B&Ds Farm (Northfield, MN).
When they discovered each other, I almost saw tears of emotion in the groom’s eyes. How not to be touched by such a romantic first look!
Then we followed with the couple session. The bride was smiling all the time and both of them were pretty relaxed.
Later we went to the historic Red Wing downtown, at the Sea Wing Memorial (close to the Saint James Hotel). Then we finished with the panoramic point of view on the bluff. As a Minnesota wedding photographer I really like taking picture in Red Wing!
And, finally we drove 6 miles away from Red Wing downtown to the Bullard Creek Farm where all the bridal party and family were waiting to be photographed.
The groomsmen were wearing the same blue costume as the groom, and the bridesmaids some Bordeaux gowns (Sorella Vita at Raffine Bridal & Josephson’s). The clothes matched with the blue sky and the fall warm colors.
When I arrived at the barn, I was pretty enthusiastic!
First I had an amazing nice-looking couple to photograph, and secondly I had this renovated old red barn as a playground as a backdrop.
The Bullard Creek is nestled on the side of a hill. Indeed, Goodhue county is quite famous for his hills. So at first sight, you already have a nice scenic overview on the flower valley and its lush vegetation! Moreover, the venue is a combination of several spaces taking place on several acres:
- The old historic red barn itself
- A kind of metallic warehouse or storehouse made with iron where guests will have dinner
- A kind of big garage
- A big garden with huge trees where ceremonies are usually celebrated
- A big house with big garages, which is, I believe, the owner’s home
- A small private swimming pool
- A large lawn field that is used as a parking
All that is surrounded by a countryside landscape: fields, forest, creek, cows. In other words, a vacation landscape, idyllic for an outdoor wedding!
On this sunny day of September, all the colors had popped up and the Bullard Creek looked a very homely place to host an event.
Of course, what I like the most in the old historic barn is its iconic shape. Despite its renovation, the inside of the barn (i.e., the original construction itself), is all made of wood beams. I had never seen such architecture before. I took pleasure trying to understand which beam was a supporting pillar and which beams were in tension. (Yes sometimes I am a nerd).
In the same way, the decoration was all about wood and simple rustic nature. That created a very warm atmosphere for guests to dance and discuss. Indeed, this authentic wood barn with its wood floor offers an undeniable country charm that just makes you feel comfortable. Thereby it is the perfect place to celebrate a wedding. Such a space gifted with such a genuine rural soul inspired everybody to share a fresh drink (specially during this hot day) and to enjoy life (especially during this happy event).
It was under a deep blue afternoon sky that the ceremony took place, protected from the sun by the large shade of several majestic old-century oaks.
It was a very nice union handled by the officiant Pastor Justin Boeding (from United Lutheran Church). The bride and groom decided to have a symbolic ritual: to plant a tree. Actually, it was more about watering the tree than planting it! The moment was at the same time very fun and full of emotions. Especially when they exchanged their rings!
At the end of the wedding ceremony, they walked up the aisle, I climbed on a ladder and we set up a large group picture that included all the guests.
The bride and the groom opted for a long cocktail hour and hence provided me enough time to take some candid shots of almost every guest. As a wedding photographer, the cocktail hour is one period of the wedding day that I like because the relatives and friends are gathered and enthusiastically speaking together. It’s a time packed with smiles and laughs, but also with emotion, especially when some large families finally have the opportunity to gather together after several years without meeting.
Thereby it’s often an honor to take some clichés when I’m sure it will be hung on the wall, and serve in the future to keep family memories.
Moreover, the sunny afternoon provided me stunning light to play with. For this purpose I “kidnapped” the bride and the groom a couple of times to take pictures during the reception.
The yummy diner (by the caterer Meatheads, Red Wing, MN) took place in the biggest room after the fathers’ blessings and speeches. Indeed, both fathers took the microphone. It always creates powerful moments that highlight the strong bonds of a family.
The groom speech was also noteworthy, showing a clear sense of humor and self-derision. When he thanked his parents for having taken care of him and supported him while growing up, he qualified himself as “an easy behaved child, model child, that didn’t require any struggle”. We all had a lot of fun.
After the dinner, all the guests went back to the historic barn, which was turned into the ballroom for the party. I had previously installed all the lightening I would need to enhance the beauty of the wooden barn. Let’s be honest, without additional lighting the barn was clearly too dark for a beginner photographer to take some decent pictures (I mean nice images that reflect the place itself, and not just direct flash on the guests while dancing).
Once it was done, the married couple opened the first dance with memorable acrobatic rock-and-roll moves, followed by the father-daughter and mother-son respective dances.
Finally, after some pictures of the guests partying, I set up a couple of creative pictures at the Bullard creek barn. For the last picture, I took advantage of the natural beautiful scene offered by the shining stars. In indoor venues, I usually use a chandelier for the last photo.
The last image is a photographer tradition I have embraced, taking an opportunity to create an artistic picture, the one printed on the last page of your wedding album. That’s also a moment I can congratulate the bride and the groom and wish them the best.
It was a great honor and pleasure to cover this event. I want to thank the bride and the groom to have trusted me and let me capture all their beautiful moments. I also wanted to say that the bride handled to give to this wedding not only a romantic touch, but also some elegance and simplicity at the same time! Indeed, with this kind of rustic wedding barn, it’s very easy to fall into “the dark side of the force”, and to over decorate it! By trusting the barn genuine quality, the bride managed to keep it graceful. The same for her dress and make-up: pure, classy and elegant!
It was my first time taking pictures in a barn. The Bullard Barn is a great wedding venue and I hope to shoot wedding there again.
To sum up: an amazing couple + great guests + great venue, it’s 100% the kind of marriage which convinces me that my job is awesome!
- BRIDE DRESS: designed by Essense of Australia at Raffine Bridal (Woodbury MN)
- BRIDE SHOES: the famous DSW
- BRIDE JEWELS the gorgeous ring was made by Gold’n Treasures (St. Paul, MN)
- GROOM SUITE/TIE/BOOTIE check the local company Facebook page Josephson’s Men’s Clothing (Red Wing, MN)
- BRIDAL PARTY DRESS & WAREHOUSE” Sorella Vita at Raffine Bridal & Josephson’s
- MAKEUP was done by the talented Donna Kreye (Red Wing, MN)
- HAIR STYLIST Brooke Warwick (Salon Serenity Red Wing, MN)
- FLORIST B&Ds Farm (Northfield, MN)
- CAKE the traditional wedding cake was baked by Cookies-Hanisch Bakery
- CATERER the delicious food was prepared by Meatheads (Red Wing, MN)
- VENUE CONTACT: the rustic Bullard Creek Barn (Red Wing, MN)
- OFFICIANT the very kind Pastor Justin Boeding for your ceremony (United Lutheran Church)
- SHUTTLE/ CAR/CARRIAGE: Minnesota Coaches (Hastings, MN)