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The Lavalle Wedding

Katie and Justin’s wedding was EVERYTHING perfect and SO SO SO MUCH MORE. I literally don’t even know how to do this wedding justice in this blog post. 

Lets get the setting right: Minnesota (the infamously known “Polar Vortex” of the world). October 26th, 2019. Lets be honest, when planning a late October wedding in Minnesota, you really don’t know what you’re about to get. Is our wedding day gonna be rained on? Maybe! Will a blizzard hit? Honestly, probably!! 

Well… 10/26/19…. Minnesota…. happened to be the BEST DAY IN HISTORY. Man, GOD WAS WITH US that day. MAMA NATURE WAS FOR US that day. EVERYTHING was PERFECT. The weather was straight sunny and 60 degrees. Say whaaaaaattttt?? Yup. (PS: Katie and Justin’s engagement session was in NEGATIVE 30 DEGREE WINDCHILL WEATHER in January… so maybe this was God letting them off the weather hook since they already suffered the brutal cold once? hahahah)

 

I started the day off with the ladies at the DoubleTree in Bloomington. We were in their presidential suite which happened to be PERFECT for getting ready photos. I mean look at the shots! The lighting was SPOT ON. Katie, I could NOT stop staring at you all day. Your beauty literally took my breath away that day. I can only imagine how Justin felt when he saw you walk down the aisle for the first time… I would’ve probably fell to my knees. I remember posting a preview on my instagram story of you and so many of my own friends were like “OH MY GOD THIS BRIDE IS SO BEAUTIFUL” and all I said back was “yeah I don’t even understand how someone could be so… perfect” 

Okay, now that I’ve dedicated a full paragraph to hyping up how ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY PERFECT YOU ARE… lets go on to other moments of the day. You first look with your dad was a tear-jerker for sure. I mean, his baby girl getting married? Yeah… cue the waterworks.

 

Lets switch off to the guys now. Since the guys and girls got ready in two different spots and Katie and Justin didn’t have a first look, I didn’t even see the guys until the groom + groomsmen photos. (shout out to my second shooter, Jack, for getting the awesome shots of the guys getting ready for me). I should’ve expected that Justin, being a wrestler, would have a few wrestler buddies in the wedding party. Their wrestler sides showed during groomsmen pics (and the individual shots not pictured) as there were SO MANY references. I’d say “okay, silly pose now!” and BAM they’d be doing some sorta wrestler headlock pose… hahahah. I loved it!! 

Katie and Justin got married at Mount Olivet Church — Katie’s parents AND grandparents got married in that same church. WOWOWOW. Talk about generations of traditions. I was sooo honored to be able to document their ceremony at the same exact spot. After their gorgeous ceremony, we went off to shoot full wedding party photos. Ya’ll… THIS SQUAD WAS THE MOST LIT AND FUN GROUP EVER!!!! Like, to the point where I played around and did crazy random prompts because heck, they were DOWN FOR IT (hey maybe that party bus ride and one, two, three too many fireball shots helped with that too) ;)))) Ya’ll made it a photographer’s heaven that day. After full party photos, we went to their venue, Interlachen, and it happened to be golden hour. We got a CLEAR SUNSET, YA’LL! + FALL COLORS? 

THIS. WEDDING. WAS. A. PHOTOGRAPHERS. DREAM. 

 

One thing I’ve noticed some venues do that I SUPER DUPER LOVE and SUPER DUPER HIGHLY RECOMMEND is a bride and groom “first look” with their reception hall. I literally had to bold AND underline that statement because I can’t stress it enough. A wedding day is a literal YEARS WORTH (in some cases more or less than a year) of hard work and visions that come to life. I truly believe a bride and groom owe it to themselves to be able to take it all in for themselves and appreciate their hard work. So, when venues set aside 10 minutes for their bride and groom to have a first look with their reception hall without anyone else in it, I’m like YAAAASSS YAS YAS YAS. Katie and Justin’s reaction say it all. Katie literally teared up seeing her vision come to life. She kept saying “this is perfect. everything is so so perfect.” Meanwhile Justin was smiling ear to ear. Little moments like these truly end up being the big memories down the line. 

 

Ya know the phrase “I’m a ‘people-person'” ? Well, that phrase was the KEY WORD for all of Katie and Justin’s friends, family, and guests. I have never been to a wedding where everyone is literally up and walking around, talking to everyone during dinner. I freaking LOVED this and honestly vibed so much with the guests. If you have all your peeps from allllll over in one room, heck I’d be taking advantage of every second too! We ended the night in my favorite way: sparkler exit. Rather than a sparkler exit with all their guests, they had their wedding party surrounding them. What a perfect ending. 

I said this before and I’ll say it again… BEST. WEDDING. EVER. 

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