2013 is a monumental year for my photography career. Not only is it the 10th anniversary of DZ Photography, but it is also the 20th year I have been making a living as a professional wedding and portrait photographer. Since Kari and Adam were my first wedding of this big year, I thought I'd surprise them. I was fortunate enough to have my "second shooter" for the day be none other than Barry Howell, owner of Picture Place Photography in Vadnais Heights, MN. Barry not only shoot my wedding nearly fourteen years ago, he is also the guy who taught me how to shoot weddings back in the Hasselblad days. Kari & Adam had no idea they were going to be treated to 55 years of combined professional wedding photography experience covering their special day. They were absolutely thrilled and the results speak for themselves!
The wedding ceremony and reception both took place at Crow River Winery in Hutchinson, MN. Prior to the couple arriving, Barry and I got a full tour of the backend of the winery facility which gave us a couple of really unique options for photos. This beautiful venue recently finished a huge renovation project and just started doing weddings onsite in June of 2012 The reception was held in The Great Hall which reminded me very much of one of my favorite wedding reception venues near the Twin Cities, The Crown Room in Rogers, MN. Barry and I had a great time taking advantage of all of the picturesque locations throughout the winery. The balcony above the tasting room, the dramatic hallway leading into the ceremony room, and even the open double doors in the bride's "getting ready" room gave us plenty to work with. Every wedding venue has a different look and feel, but ultimately it's a real joy getting to work with a couple that gives us full creative license to create an amazing collection of images like Kari and Adam did.
As a seasoned wedding photographer who has pretty much seen it all when it comes to weddings, I can really appreciate the thoughtful little details Kari put into the day. She selected these cute personalized charms for each of the bride's maids and attached them to each of their bouquets. Kari and Adam also made these really cool wine cork picture frames that displayed their favorite images from the engagement session we did last fall. As you can imagine it fit perfectly with the theme of the venue. It's usually a challenge to find that one magical moment of the wedding day that just makes everyone melt. It was awesome to keep finding one sweet moment after another as we captured chapter after chapter of their storybook wedding.
Before the reception festivities got under way, we snuck out with the wedding party for some outdoor photos in the chilly winter afternoon. Even though temps had now dipped into the upper teens, it wasn't cold enough to keep the guys from showing off their super hero t-shirts! One of my favorite shots is the one of Kari's red shoes as she stands in the snow with her dress hiked up a bit. I love a bride that just goes with the flow and embraces the day no matter what it brings. Just about when I started to loose feeling in my picture taking finger, we headed back into the warm and cozy hall.
The delicious dinner was catered by Joan Halter and her crew from Joanie's Catering LLC and the wedding cake/cupcakes were elegantly done by Kay's Kakes, both located right in town. Kari and Adam did an awesome job choosing very neat lighted centerpieces at each table. The little LED lights added so much and were fun to incorporate into the reception shots. About 15 minutes before the first dance was to begin, we grabbed the newlyweds for one last series of photos outside. A dense fog had rolled in since the sun set which created a very ethereal mood. Add to that a beautiful arbor covered in twinkle lights topped off with a rising moon in the night sky and you've got a beautiful yet challenging scene just waiting for two very excited photographers! An epic image to end an epic day. Congrats Kari & Adam!