Your wedding day can be anything you want it to be. I know that’s something we say a lot, but it really truly can. And that doesn’t necessarily mean eloping in Iceland or having a tropical destination wedding. It can also be a small event for your closest friends and family, with a day full of things you absolutely love. Laura & Joe did just that for their food-filled vintage Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center wedding!
From the moment we met Laura & Joe, we knew they were something special. Laura is on a North Star Roller Derby team (AKA she’s a badass), and tore her ACL shortly after her first date with Joe. She knew he was the one when he took care of her throughout her entire healing process even though he had only known her a matter of days. The two of them love their dog, their friends, the outdoors, all things vintage, and above all FOOD! If you know me at all, you know these are also my favorite things. We were immediately obsessed with them and over the moon when they chose us to photograph their wedding day.
Their day started out at Celeste St. Paul, a hotel in downtown St. Paul that used to be a convent and arts conservatory. This place is full of so much history and beautiful details, and some pretty gorgeous light for detail and getting ready photos. One of my favorite detail of Laura’s was this vintage cape shawl that added a touch of drama to her look. It was already embroidered with her new initials when she found it – definitely meant to be!
The rest of the day took place at Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center in Hastings. This event space is perfect for intimate events, and has huge walls of windows overlooking the surrounding park and bluffs. The grassy area along the bluffs is such a dreamy ceremony space – especially in the fall!
Laura & Joe’s first look took place on a small bridge behind the gathering center, surrounded by a forest filled with autumn hued leaves.
After the first look, it was time for wedding party photos! The bridesmaids each wore jewel-toned velvet gowns that somehow both complemented and popped against the fall backdrop. Their whimsical wildflower bouquets were created by Green Goddess Floral. Laura included a sweet bracelet that belonged to her mother at the base of her bouquet – a lovely tribute to be included throughout the day.
After family photos, the couple snuck away for a few photos of just the two of them before hiding away for the ceremony.
The ceremony took place on a grassy field overlooking the bluffs. Such a dramatic location for such an intimate event. The love between these two was absolutely palpable throughout the entire day, but never more so than on their faces during their ceremony.
When we said before that Laura & Joe love food, I’m not sure you fully understood how much these two LOVE FOOD. Their cocktail hour included a massive charcuterie platter and beautiful cheese cake (cake made out of actual wheels of cheese) from France 44, as well as personalized cocktails. Even the decor on the tables was edible – juniper berries and rosemary! Instead of a formal dinner, they hired Red Wagon Pizza to bring down a wood fired pizza oven so people could eat as many different types of pizza as they wanted. They also served three different types of cake from Ink Sweets. And when I say served, I mean they actually sliced 9 whole cakes themselves for their guests. Because that’s what they wanted to do.
One more special detail that Laura & Joe included in their day was a live illustrator who did fashion portraits of the guests! Claire Ward Illustration does beautiful work and all of the guests who were able to have their portrait drawn were so excited to show off their illustrations.
Although the day was cloudy and we didn’t get much of a golden hour, these two still found time to sneak away again for more photos of the two of them, and a little quiet time together.
After speeches that made everyone cry (from laughing and also sweet, happy tears), it was time to dance! Instant Request DJs crushed it, per usual and the floral girl made a re-appearance in her cow PJs (a request from the bride) 🙂
Huge thanks to Laura & Joe for trusting me with their gorgeous Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center wedding! More weddings with cheese cakes, please! I am so grateful to have been a part of it, and I hope it inspires you to do include what is most important to you on your wedding day as well!