This is my first official Mother’s Day. I’m so excited celebrate with my daughter and relax the day away. Although I can’t help but look back at all the people that helped ‘mother’ me along the way and shape me into the Mom I’ve become.

To my Dad: You took on the role of both mom and dad. There were so many things you didn’t understand about raising girls–but you figured it out wonderfully. You learned how to put our hair up in ponytails thanks to the vacuum cleaner. You learned how to do the laundry correctly after a few mishaps with bleach. You learned which feminine products to pick up from the store along with a chocolate bar (smart man). You also taught us how to work on cars, showed us how to deal with hardships, and always made sure that we were well taken care of. You let our imaginations run wild as well; if we thought we could fly you built us wings, if we thought the flooding yard was a lake you built us a boat, and if we thought we were homemakers you built us our own tiny house. You went above and beyond at all times. You are the best!

To my Sisters: I got to be the pretend mom when I would baby-sit you and looking back I loved all the time we got to spend together. I love not only being able to call you my sisters, but my friends as well. All six of you are awesome in your own unique way and it’s fantastic. It’s been amazing to watch you all grow and some of you become moms as well!

To my Step-Mom: You didn’t always have it easy with the addition of four more girls to your household, but you tried your best to work with us all. You welcomed us along on your adventures. You accepted who we were and helped us become who we are now. You loved us as if were your own. My favorite times with you have been the quiet moments, like picking blueberries out in the woods or those relaxing moments at camp.

To my Aunts: Thank you for your encouragement and for helping to boost my self esteem when I needed it most. You truly shaped and guided me during the teen years when I didn’t have a mom around. I feel blessed to be so close to each and every one of you.

To my Best Friends: I’m so thankful to have you gals in my life! You were the first ones I called when I found out I was pregnant and the ones I turn to for advice constantly. You gals have been with me through thick and thin. You have stood by my side on my wedding day, helped out with my baby shower, and have given so much to Cora. I’m so lucky to have called you my BFF’s for so long now.

To my Grandma: I miss you everyday, but I’m so thankful for all the years we got together. Thank you for taking me on bike rides when I was too little to ride a bike. Thank you for saving articles in newspapers and mailing them to me while I was away, your letters were always the highlight of my week. Thank you for letting me photograph you when I was first getting into photography and for always being my cheerleader. You are truly missed.

To my Mother-In-Law: I feel so lucky to have you in my life. You have truly allowed me to break out of my shell and become more girly. You introduced me to my first mani/pedi and you showed me that it was ok to treat myself to a shopping day. Your love, patience, and trust has always been appreciated.

To my Husband: You are the reason I’m a mom now. Your help throughout the pregnancy was tremendous, you always made sure I was well taken care of. Now that Cordelia is in the world you have really went above and beyond. You have given me the ability to spend so much time with her by taking on more of the work. You have always made sure that I had everything I needed in order to take care of her properly (food, water, sleep, shower..etc). You are so incredible and I hope you know it.

Last, but certainly not least, my sweet little Cordelia: You are my world. You have taught me patience, you have shown me a love like no other, and you make so happy. I have loved watching you grow these past five months. Every new stage that comes along is my new favorite stage. No matter what happens in life I will love you unconditionally. You are so loved little one!

Happy Mother’s Day to you all. I’m so thankful to have you all in my life. Xoxo-Jen

P.S. This Rose Gold designer dress was FREE from Rent The Runway for my birthday, how cool is that?

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After our little session we were parked in the van admiring the sunset and warming Cora up. Alex snapped this one randomly and it’s truly one of my favorites.

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Wedding Tips

Planning a wedding is an overwhelming experience. Brides turn to their friends, family, Pinterest–any place they can for advice and ideas. With so many couples getting married for the first time there are many unknown pieces of the puzzle; how much time do I need for photos, what are the traditions I want/don’t want for my wedding, how many favors should I actually order and so on. It’s important to trust in your vendors and ask for advice! That is why today we are giving the advice that we should have been given while planning our own wedding–DO A FIRST LOOK!

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We knew it was bad luck to see each other before the wedding but we didn’t know why. We also heard about that one special moment when you lock eyes with each other down the aisle. Here’s the real truth behind it all. The superstition of not seeing each other before the ceremony came during a time of arraigned marriages. The families didn’t want the couple to see each other prior because they would be more likely to back out–this was during a time when the bride was often traded for money, animals, and so on. Lovely right? Now let us move forward to that ‘one special moment’ that everyone talks about. That moment is completely overwhelming. I was so beyond excited to see Alex looking dapper in his suit at the end of the aisle–but all I wanted to do was hug and kiss him, ask him if he liked the dress I picked out, and I wanted to fix his tie. Instead all I could do was stand there quietly in front of our family and friends and say I do. Having all eyes on you is already awkward enough and then add in all the emotions being built up inside.
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Shortly after our wedding we started planning timelines for our wedding clients. We saw the importance of doing a first look/reveal and want to share the reasons why they rock!

  1. Emotions are high enough on wedding day. It’s nice to get the crying out of the way in advance. This doesn’t mean you won’t tear up during the ceremony, it just means you won’t be a blubbering fool.
  2. Your hair and makeup is flawless! The day has just begun and you are rocking the bridal look. Plus, if you do cry you have time to touch up your hair & makeup on the way to the ceremony.
  3. It’s so much more romantic to see each other for the first time when you two are alone versus standing in front of everyone at the ceremony. It gives you two time to be with each other and take in the fact that soon you’ll be married.
  4. You’ll have more time to be with guests! Typically on wedding day it goes ceremony, 2+ hours for photos, and then finally reception. That 2+ hours your guests are waiting around. By doing the first look/reveal and photos prior to the ceremony you can go directly to the reception with your guests.
  5. It’s more relaxed! By doing photos in advance the pressure seems to lift away. You can just relax, focus on getting married, and enjoy your reception with your guests.

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To us it seems like a no brainer–first looks are amazing! Now at least when you decide the timeline of the day you know there is options. We hope this helped you out and made you consider doing a first look on wedding day.

 

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They planned for a winter wedding, but their March wedding was treated to 75 degrees and sunshine. The streets were alive with people out enjoying the sun. Inside the Grand Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota the bridal was prepping for Annie & Matt’s wedding day. They started their day by doing a first look/reveal down near the lobby of the hotel. The small room had big personality! Faux animal heads, wrap around couches, and dramatic lighting. It was a dream to photograph in! Next the bridal party joined up and we all headed off to explore downtown Minneapolis together. The city backdrop was just what Ann & Matt were looking for! They had cars passing by honking in congratulation, people shooting out, “you’re beautiful!” to the bride as she passed, and onlookers watching the fun. After all the photos were complete it was time to head back to the hotel and get ready for the ceremony. The room was simply decorated but still made a statement. The red curtains blended in perfectly with the red bouquets of the bridesmaids and the detail on the groomsmen’s ties. The ringbearer (their son) and flower girls ran down the aisle and made the guest erupt into laughter. Their ceremony was filled with love, laughter, and special moments. Afterwards guest were treated to cocktails as the room was quickly flipped to the reception space. Between the centerpieces, cupcake bar, and candle light the space came to life. Guest enjoyed the food, drinks, and sweets while watching the speeches. Next it was time for the first dances. It was beautiful to watch the love that Ann & Matt have for one another as they danced their first dance. The night carried on with party music and a packed dance floor. Meanwhile we snuck the couple away for a few minutes. Not only was it perfect to be able to cool off a little, it was also a chance for us to grab a few more ‘wow factor’ images at night. Annie & Matt’s wedding day came together beyond beautifully. And even though it wasn’t winter anymore–I’m sure they weren’t complaining. Thanks again Annie & Matt for allowing us to capture your special day. Enjoy!

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Ceremony & Reception venue: The Grand Hotel

DJ: Pat at Double Trouble DJ’s

Floral: Pristine Floral

Cake & Cupcakes: Angel Food Bakery

 

 

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We love being able to capture same sex weddings. There are always filled with so much joy, love, and color! Take this amazing wedding for example; Jen and Dannah had an explosion of seafoam green and coral, their loved radiated in every photo, and it was the best day ever!

We are totally jazzed that Equal & Forever thought so too and featured it on their amazing blog. Come check out this amazing same sex wedding that began in Green Bay, WI at a bed and breakfast and ended in Marquette, MI at a brewpup. Cheers to the beginning of many more adventures. Click here to see the full feature.

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