Minnesota wedding photography

Mr. and Mrs. Trevor!!

This wedding holds a special place in my heart, because the bride, Emily, and I go way back. Our first memory of each other was in about 6th grade in swim club and even though we knew each other well in high school, we were never really close until after graduation. Emily and I have been thru some real life together. You know, those for-real-life-or-death-moments, we've been thru those! I am so grateful for these moments, because it's allowed us to have a very deep,honest, real and unique friendship that I haven't experienced with anyone else in my life. Emily has also been one of my biggest supporters of everything in my life over the years and it's been so much fun to see how each of us has grown to realize our dreams over the years!Emily is one of those girls who has been planning her wedding since she was a little girl. She knew exactly how she wanted all of the details to come together and this was a true DIY wedding! Emily, her friends and family had regular craft-days leading up to the wedding, sewing the table cloths, making gift bags, and even hand-writing all of the signage and place settings! The wedding took place at The Round Barn in Red Wing, which was a lovely location and Thistle Floral Design created some amazing flowers for the event! Emily also collaborated with local designer, Luci Kandler to make custom bridesmaid dresses that were perfect for the occasion! Emily's sense of style shined thru in every detail - from her amazing necklace to her red lips, this wedding was truly all Emily.My favorite part of Emily and Matt's day was their ceremony. They both wrote their own vows, and they ended up sharing their first date story. It was so obvious to me, just how perfect these two were for each other, because they had both fallen in love...literally the moment they meant each other. Matt is the perfect match for Emily and I'm so so so happy for them!

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Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Trevor! I am SO happy that my team and I could document this day for you!


Mr. and Mrs. Petty!

Fair warning blog readers – this is a long post! Clayton and Lydia had an incredible wedding this past weekend, and their day also holds an incredible story. The wedding took place at a private property in Byron, Minnesota and by the time we arrived to begin shooting, the weather had taken a turn for the worst. The sky was literally black and a slew of hail was flying down from the sky. Of course, everyone was on pins-and-needles, watching the radars and hoping that the torrential rains would stop – after all, Clayton and Lydia had planned for an outdoor wedding. One thing I loved about the couple was that despite all of the rain and mud, they were still game to go outside, even if that meant getting rained on or standing in high winds! Nothing was going to ruin their wedding day.

Everything went on as planned, even though there was still a threat of rain, but by the time all of the guests were seated and Lydia was walking down the aisle, the clouds literally parted and the sun was shining. It was a little bit of a miracle, considering the weather that morning!

I have a bit of a personal investment in this couple. I grew up with Clayton and we were friends at very influential parts of our young lives. It’s been amazing to get to know Lydia and them as a couple. One thing is for sure, I couldn’t have chosen a better person for him. They have a great sense of humor together and beyond that, there is a level of deep respect, love and pride for one another. I was very honored to be chosen as their wedding photographer and to have the opportunity to document such a big day in my ole’ friends life! It was also great to see so many faces at their wedding that I hadn’t seen in over a decade! (Crazy – I know!)

At the end of the day, the outdoor wedding was brilliant, the ambiance in the barn was absolutely perfect and Clayton and Lydia were married!

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Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Petty! I am thrilled for you two and am so excited for everything your future holds!


Mr. and Mrs. Grossman!

Katie and David’s wedding marked the official start of the 2012 season for all of us here at Photogen Inc! It feels SO great to get back to photographing weddings again and selfishly, I love to see my team on a weekly basis again! Katie and David’s wedding was a beautiful occasion that took place in St. Paul, Minnesota. The rain held off on us and we had a gorgeous day for photographs! Their ceremony took place at the Church of the Assumption in downtown St. Paul and their reception was at the historic St. Paul College Club on the oh-so-beautiful Summit Avenue. Special thanks to all of the ladies over at Camrose Hills for the gorgeous arrangements as well!

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Congratulations to Katie and David on tying the knot! We are SO happy for you!


Mrs. and Mrs. Newquist // Part 2!

There's something very magical in the air at a same sex wedding. I mean, really, everything is the same, yet it's different. In a wedding with a bride and a groom, photographers usually tend to favor a little more coverage of the bride over the groom. When photographing a same sex wedding, you have two brides or two grooms and as an artist, you have to look at things a little differently and treat the couple more equal. It was actually a great eye-opening experience working with two brides, and it made us change some things around the studio (ie - suggesting that the forms we use have the option to say Bride & Bride or Groom & Groom and not just Bride & Groom).

The most inspiring thing for me while photographing this wedding, and the one difference that stuck out to me the most while documenting this day, was the total shift in energy. Not only were people very exited about the wedding, but the purpose and meaning behind this wedding meant a lot more. Alyson and Jesse were not only choosing to commit themselves to each other, but the idea of marriage, pre-leagalization in Minnesota, meant so much more to them. They were choosing love over the law. They were choosing to live out their civil rights as a couple and sending an inspiring message to their family, friends and everyone who was involved (and have since seen) their wedding. Marriage means more to Alyson and Jesse than I've seen in a lot of couples and I think the difference is this: They were not getting married, because 'that was the next step in their life'. They were not getting married, 'Because it seemed like the thing they should do.'  They were getting married, because they truly believed that they wanted to spend, share and commit their lives to one another - regardless of their sex, regardless of what was deemed acceptable by society, and regardless of what any of their friends and family thought, they simple wanted marriage. I do believe that marriage means so much more to the gay community. These are couples who have fought, and continue to fight, for their right to love openly and be committed legally to their partners. It's an absolutely beautiful thing to both witness and be a part of same sex weddings, because it's a true victory for everyone involved.

If you are interested in finding out more about what people are doing in Minnesota to fight for marriage equality check out OutFront Minnesota. Minnesota is currently facing a "marriage amendment" that will be on the ballots in November asking voters to define marriage as between a man and a woman. If this ballot initiative passes, it will bar legislature or the courts from passing marriage equality in the future. Check out Minnesotan's United to find out what Minnesotan's are doing to fight against the marriage amendment. The HRC -Human Rights Campaign is a great place to look for information on other states' fights for marriage equality.

Alyson & Jesse's wedding ceremony was one of the most pure and honest moments I have seen as a wedding photographer. I'll let the images speak for themselves.

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Again, a huge thank you goes out to all of our fabulous vendors - really, a creative team, that helped Alyson and Jesse pull off such an incredibly beautiful day! To see our list of vendors, check out Mrs. and Mrs. Newquist // Part 1. Also thanks to Minnesota Bride for publishing this wedding, the first same sex wedding published in Minnesota!

Cheers to being with the one you love!


Mrs. and Mrs. Newquist // Part 1

Alyson and Jesse have such an incredible story.These two met back in 2006 while both were living and working in Brooklyn, NYC. When they started dating, they agreed only to go on 20 dates and that would be that. Clearly, they grew to love each other far too much to simply let each other walk away, and ever since then, they have been Alyson and Jesse. One of the things I admire about their relationship though, is the fact that they are very much so still their very own independent people, as well as an amazing force together! The couple traveled from coast to coast before finally settling down in Minneapolis.

When they started looking for wedding venues, they couldn't ever quite find exactly what they were looking for. Around the same time, Alyson & Jesse started kicking around a crazy idea..."What if we created our own dream venue for our wedding and also created a space where other people could use this for their weddings in the future?" Here's the thing about Alyson and Jesse. When they set their mind to something, they are all in and they will create something amazing and solid. From that point on, Juliane and James Place was officially born, which is now one of Minnesota's newest wedding venue's available for rent!

I first met Alyson at Joynoelle's shop. Joy was having a little get together and I just happened to pop in. When I walked thru the door, I remember Joy saying,"Oh hi Eliesa! We were just talking about you!" Alyson and I chatted for about 3 minutes and it was clear that she was my perfect client and I was totally on board with photographing her wedding! It was literally, a perfect match. Alyson started rattling a list of all of these ideas she had and on top of that, her and Jesse would be wearing custom Joynoelle dresses....I mean, it took all of me to not jump up and down right there and it just kept getting better and better!

Alyson and Jesse literally brought together a dream team of vendors, who I must recognize for helping create these gorgeous images below...

Location // Juliane James Place Bridal Gowns // Joynoelle Flowers // Munster Rose Set up and Day-Of Coordination // Laura Mullen Event Design Catering // New Scenic Cafe French Macaroons & Cupcakes // Cupcake Carmel by Sweets Bakeshop Bridesmaid Dresses // Amsale and Jenny Yoo from Flutter Boutique Best Man Attire // Calvin Klein Wedding Design, Stationary Design, Favors & Bridal Accessories // The Bash Collective

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There are SO many more images to show from this wedding, so check Part 2 of Alyson and Jesse's big day! Also thanks to Minnesota Bride for publishing this wedding, the first same sex wedding published in Minnesota!


Published & Making History // Minnesota Bride

Ladies and Gentleman, I would like your attention. For months now, I’ve been dying to share with you the wedding of Alyson and Jesse. This wedding meant SO much to me, for so many reasons, but most importantly for the positive impact I hope it makes in our market and industry overall! Alyson and Jesse are my first same-sex-couple and it was my extreme pleasure of photograph their wedding! It’s been a personal goal of mine to gain more same-sex couples, because I truly believe in gay rights, gay marriage and equality for all. When I met Alyson and Jesse, it was very clear that they were the perfect clients to begin my client base with, and the entire experience with them has been nothing but absolutely amazing!What is even more epic is that I feel like we’re making a big difference and taking part in a little bit of history, because the Newquist’s wedding is the FIRST. EVER. SAME. SEX. WEDDING. EVER. PUBLISHED. IN. MINNESOTA!!!!!! Are you kidding me?!?!?! When I found this out, it really hit me how important this time is for our world and the incredible impact it will have on the wedding industry! I’m a person who is all about making a difference and to be a part of this movement is incredibly exciting to me. I feel honored to be a part of it. I’m also very proud that Minnesota Bride believed in this story enough to publish it, and the fact that this is all happening pre-leagalization in Minnesota is even MORE exciting!!!Alyson and Jesse were two of the handiest and craftiest brides I’ve ever met! These two ladies decided not only to have a DIY wedding, but they purchased 40 acres of land up in Finlayson, MN and opened a wedding venue, called Juliane James Place, for future couples, both gay and straight for the record, to host their weddings and events at! I, myself, have used the space to photography Tara LaTour’s newest collection and also to host the ELEVATE Workshop this past fall! The property is nothing short of gorgeous and I highly encourage you all to check it out! I will be doing a full blog post on Alyson & Jesse’s wedding in the next few weeks, but I wanted to share the news of this incredible feature in the newest issue of MN Bride, which is hitting the news stands as we speak! This feature means more to me, simply because of the issue at hand on gay marriage. I hope it does impact not only our city, but our industry and Midwest market overall! As a vendor, I’m incredibly proud and that is the best feeling in the world!

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You can find the newest issue of Minnesota Bride all over the city from grocery stores to Target to Barnes and Noble, so make sure you check this out! We will also be handing out complimentary issues on Friday and FOUND // The Art of Wedding event! Hope to see you all there!

Mr. and Mrs. Rich!!

Ben and Christina are one of those couples that makes your heart melt. Their love is simple, honest and pure and that is exactly what they revolved their wedding around. Their entire affair took place on an early Saturday afternoon at the Woods Chapel and the entire event was produced by their family and friends. This was a DIY-done-right wedding and I just love the way everything turned out - simply gorgeous!

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Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Rich! Thank you so much for allowing us to document this day.


Mr. and Mrs. Brooks // One Classy Affair!

Lane and Edward are the epitome of class and style. When it came to their wedding, it was absolutely nothing but stunning! The couple's ceremony took place on the Brook's private property and it was absolutely perfect. They finished off the night with their stunning reception at the Lafayette Club! One of the things I loved so much about Lane and Edward's wedding was how timeless everything was! Not only did they look flawless, but Lane wore her mother-in-law's veil, along with a head piece that has been passed down from generations on her mother's side! The couple also wrote their own vows and they were absolutely beautiful!I have so many good things to say about this couple, their day, their family and friends, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

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Congratulations to Lane and Edward on your amazing wedding! It was such a great honor photographing your day, thank you for that!