So this is an oldie but a goodie, as my mother would say. We shot Bret & Kristen's wedding last fall at Starved Rock Lodge. Technically it was fall as it was late September but the fall colors were pretty late this year so it was still green all the way through September (and HOT!). But it was still beautiful and this couple was so much fun and so in love and I can't believe I never blogged these images. PLUS Miranda from Simple Elegance did the florals, the decor, the set up and tear down and was an all around rockstar. It was awesome! The ladies from Glass Slipper Entertainment kept the dancing floor packed and it was an awesome wedding celebration.
So we start at the lodge for getting ready photos. The Hennepin room isn't my favorite but luckily someone had a room on the 3rd floor so we changed it up and got Kristen ready in that room with beautiful bay windows. It was a little cramped but we had some fun.
Since they had decided not to see each other before the ceremony, we took the ladies outside for a few photos and some laughs. We stayed around the lodge which is beautiful anyway. As you can see we try to do a mixture of looking at the camera smiling and interactive fun photos during portrait time. What did Claire say to make Kristen laugh, we'll just keep that between us.....haha. But I have lots of tricks up my sleeve to get genuine smiles and laughs. Otherwise I think you should hire Claire to be your bridesmaid because she.is.amazing.
We try to give everyone a couple different backdrops for photos. In this case we used Fox Ridge, which isn't my favorite but the light is perfect. The back patio and indoors by the moose. Kristen saw some indoor pictures I posted from a rainy summer wedding where I used the moose and she loved them so we had to use that spot!!
So then we sent the ladies up to hide out and went to get the guys for pictures. BUT they were goofing around and weren't ready. #typical So we quick got Bret dressed and out for a few pictures! Luckily they are all so photogenic and handsome. :)
Time to get married!! I usually stay back to grab a few shots of the bride headed out and Seth usually goes to the front to get the coming down the aisle shots. Then we kinda wander around the outside of the ceremony set up and try to stay inconspicuous. Seth shoots with a 35 and 85 and I shoot with a zoom lens so we are getting different shots. I love the kids in b&w coming down the aisle and I love how Miranda hung frames in the trees giving us a little frame for our shots!
You guys, we need to group hug more. For real. These guys are doing life right.
Anyway, since we hadn't done any group shots, we took a few of the group and playing some silly games and then sent the party to cocktail hour so we can focus on the couple.
Since we only had about 30 minutes for pictures we just take a long walk back to the lodge. Since there wasn't a small wedding that day, we used the little patio for a few. I learned a few years ago that when you see the sun, use it immediately. Sometimes I would try to wait until I was in a better spot and then a cloud would come and ruin it. So now, when I see the sun, I jump on it. And I 'm glad I did because the sun peeking out are my favorite ones.
So while we don't rely you to choose the locations or poses, if you want to throw out an idea, we can work with it. Bret, being former military, saw this eagle and flag and wanted a picture by it. I love the genuine smiles!!
So the best man brought out a beverage because we gotta stay hydrated so we did a little toast and all had a sip and we were on our way again. We went out to the bridge and circled back around to the lodge. The amazing wedding party had followed instructions and met us by the moose for a quick group shot and then it was onto the reception! #weareneverlate
So the DJ read a love story about how Bret & Kristen met and fell in love and I LOVED it. I loved hearing their story but I also just adored their reactions to it and everyone's cheers and applause. Then we proceed for the first dances. I loved the look of the cafe lights from Suez Linens. They really looked awesome.
So I know it's been ages but this was such a great day and I feel like I made friends for life, cuz you know anytime they are back in town we are definitely getting a beer together. And I loved meeting their crew and partying with them to celebrate the start of their marriage. It was a beautiful day and I am sure they will have a beautiful life together. Stay hydrated, friends. :)