Alex Bentley

June 21, 2017

Alex Bentley 1 Alex Bentley

 

ALEX BENTLEY

JAY COOKE STATE PARK

CLASS OF 2018

 

This guy has a deep appreciation for new shoes, the Packers and his family. (I’m sure he has many other appreciations but these are what we talked about during the shoot!)  I love hearing about the plans, dreams and ideas of the soon to be senior class. Alex has some good plans, staying near to family for one!

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I completely enjoyed getting to explore Jay Cooke State Park with him and his mom, the two of them know how to make each other laugh. I hope you, Alex, have a nice relaxed summer, you can enjoy it now that we got these photos taken care of!

 

 

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Ruopp Family

June 19, 2017

THE  RUOPP FAMILY

ENGER TOWER

DULUTH, MN

 

Grace 1 Ruopp Family

We look forward to our annual family shoot and picnic with the Ruopp Family every spring. This year it was pushed off a little because all our kids are getting busy and scheduling is only going to get tougher the older they get! We met at Enger Tower this year and it was truly a beautiful evening. I loved getting to steal Grace for a bit and hear all about 5th grade in Esko. She loves Harry Potter and playing soccer and basically consumes books. I’m pretty sure she’ll be running the world in a few years.

 

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Janelle + Eric

June 16, 2017

 

JANELLE + ERIC

COPPERTOP CHURCH + HOLIDAY INN

DULUTH, MN

 

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If there was ever a couple who we wish we could have jumped on their airplane and joined them on their honeymoon it would be these two!  For one they went to Costa Rica, which is our favorite place on the planet. For two, they are adventurous and bring the fun wherever they go. The type of couple who you want to just be around and learn more about. It was certainly obvious how much they are loved by the outpouring of friends and family who came from all over the US to celebrate in Duluth, MN a few weeks ago. Duluth was showing off and gave them a beautiful late spring day and we were able to get to Enger Tower for their first look photos and then braved the busy Canal for wedding party fun.  As you’ll read below, they waited along time for this day and we’re so honored to have gotten to celebrate with them!

 

The following written by the bride herself!

Eric and I met in college many moons ago-ha! We had mutual friends so we would see each other out and about quite often. It wasn’t until 5 years after college that we really started to notice each other on more than just a friend level. One of our mutual friends was getting married in Vegas. He was going to Vegas for the wedding and I was going there for my 26th birthday celebration with a few of my friends. We had been talking on Facebook prior to that weekend and he offered to pick me up from the airport because I didn’t have a car. Needless to say we ended up spending the entire weekend together. After that weekend, I went back to Arizona and he went back to Chicago but he would come and visit me in Arizona every 2- 4 weeks. Talk about dedication huh! After a year of a long distance relationship, he decided to move to AZ! And the rest is history.

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Eric and I had been together for 5 years and I was starting to really push the question…..”so when are you gonna marry me? The clock is ticking…..I’m not going to wait around forever!” ha

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It was my 30th birthday and I thought maybe just maybe he is going to propose. Well my actual birthday came and went and no ring. Bummer huh! Well the Saturday after my birthday a good friend texted me and said “Hey I know you have been super busy and haven’t been able to properly celebrate your birthday so let’s get all dressed up and go for drinks!” Needless to say I walked into the restaurant to a loud “SURPRISE!!!!” All of my friends and family were in the room there to celebrate my birthday! I couldn’t believe it. I was completely shocked! Eric and my friend had planned a surprise birthday party! I had no idea. It was so wonderful with decoration, balloons, and a cake! Everyone was sitting around talking and having a good time and all of a sudden Eric gets up to say a speech. He thanked everyone for coming and looked at me and said “there are three things that I have been getting a lot of crap for lately. 1) Throwing you a birthday celebration….. so here’s your birthday celebration 2) getting you a birthday cake…..so there’s your birthday cake and 3)……He got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him!!!!! Of course I said YES!!! – (I’m getting teary eyed writing this just thinking back on that moment). It was perfect, just perfect. It’s one of those days that you dream about as a little girl someday coming true and it exceeded that dream!

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The best part of our wedding day for me was getting to see Eric for the first time up on Enger Tower. I was so nervous all morning to the point where my stomach was in knot!. But once I saw him and he turned around all those nerves went away and I knew I was about to marry my best friend and the love of my life.

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I’m sure for most brides the planning process can be exhausting and you work so hard to make sure everything is going to be perfect on that wedding day. I felt the same way but once the day came everything was absolutely perfect, even beyond me expectations! We couldn’t have asked for a better day and we are still on Cloud 9!

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Al and Lyndsey were so amazing throughout the entire process. Talk about two wonderful people inside and out!

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Church : First United Methodist Church

Reception Venue : Holiday Inn

Wedding Coordinator, Flowers and Deco : Northland Special Events

Wedding Cake : The Exchange Bakery

DJ : Sounds Unlimited

Videography: Bryan Jonathan Weddings

 

 

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Erin + Nicholas

June 8, 2017

EN047 Erin + Nicholas

 

ERIN + NICK

DULUTH, MN

It seems like yesterday but it’s been a year and a half since we traveled to Punta Cana to spend a few days in paradise and capture the wedding (and all the other fun happenings) of these two! And now they are expecting their first baby in a couple weeks!   I was so excited to see their new home and see Erin with an adorable baby belly! They’ve opted to be surprised and don’t know if they’re having a boy or a girl. Baby Seymore is going to be loved beyond compare and has a dog sister, Grace, who can’t wait to play!
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Mariya + Andy

June 2, 2017

Andy Mariya Esession 7 1024x715 Mariya + Andy

 

 

MARIYA + ANDY

LESTER PARK + HERMANTOWN HIGH SCHOOL GYM

DULUTH, MN

 

We honestly cannot wait to celebrate with these two coming up in July!  I can still remember meeting them for the first time over coffee last August, I’m always a little nervous to meet new potential clients but seriously, about 3 seconds after introducing ourselves I felt like these two could be lifelong buds of ours.

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Their first meeting was  back in 2007 at the beautiful Gustavus Adolphus College and had spanned long distance for five years and now finally they get to be close to each other in Duluth.  I love that Andy is a 4th grade teacher and had a bunch of good book ideas for me (and my kids, not for ME! haha!)  and fabulous 4th grade stories. While Mariya is super fashionista and hones her skills for Maurices as a buyer… ahem, very cool.  They make each other smile and I have a feeling there will be loads of laughs on their wedding day!

 

 

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Ashlee + Caleb

May 29, 2017

Blog Collage 1495983245174 Ashlee + Caleb

 

ASHLEE + CALEB

BARKERS ISLAND

SUPERIOR, WI

 

These two have an extra special place in our book. Caleb is one of my (Lyndsey’s) stepbrothers and I’ve gotten to watch him and his triplet brothers grow up from little boys jumping around on Pogo sticks to the amazing adults they are today. It has been fun to watch Ashlee bring out the best in Caleb and we all truly believe they are the perfect match.  They’ve grown up together from that very first awkward meeting at the baseball field when they were in high school all the way to their wedding day a few weeks ago.

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Getting to be their photographers gave us the inside scoop on their day and seeing how much they love each other and what it means to have all your family gather around you for support was such a good reminder of why weddings are a HUGE CELEBRATION!  They are so loved!

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Words from the bride, Ashlee:

“Caleb and I met through our mutual friend, Katelynn back in high school. I attended Northwood High School in Minong, WI and Caleb attended Solon Springs High school. She was pretty adamant on us meeting, and I did not feel same!! She eventually convinced me to go with her to see Caleb, and his brothers baseball game, and we’ve been inseparable ever since! Caleb asked me out about a month later through Facebook… We were very young at the time, so it didn’t matter to me. I do still like to bring it up to him every now and again to redden his cheeks”

 

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Caleb took me to Wisconsin Point one evening in early August of 2013. We laid next to each other for a long time talking about about life and our future together. All of sudden Caleb presented me my grandmothers wedding ring, and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him! Of course I said yes without hesitation. I did end up asking him to ask me again, but this time on one knee!! He did, and of course my answer was still a yes! We knew at that time we were young, neither of us were going anywhere. So, we decided to wait a little while before we picked a wedding date. Just having that ring on my finger, that my grandmother once wore, given to me by the man I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with, was satisfying enough for me!

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We had set a wedding date a few times, but always ended up pushing it off. We ended up setting the date last spring for May 13th of this year. We of course did what people tell you not to do… and planned a lot of it just a few months before our big day! It actually ended up working best for us though. We didn’t have time to be indecisive about napkin colors, or if we were going to have only two different centerpieces opposed to three! You just had to make a decision, and stick with it! Which I often have a hard time doing, so this was perfect.

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The best part of our wedding day (besides marrying my best friend) was hands down visiting with all of our guest! It’s great seeing people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate us. It’s the greatest feeling! Caleb and I truly are blessed with great friends, and family.

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Venue: Barkers Island

Wedding Coordinator: Northland Special Events

Florist: Northland Special Events

Cake: Johnson’s Bakery

DJ: Pro Sound and Light Show

Hair + Makeup: Abby Raskie

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Mary Kate + Pat

May 19, 2017

Blog Collage 1495198958980 Mary Kate + Pat

 

MARY KATE + PAT

LESTER PARK + BRIGHTON BEACH

DULUTH, MN

 

I love a good love story and these two have a fun one. They had a lot of different connecting points along the way from having gone to the same High School, but never knowing each other, having Pat’s grandparents as next door neighbors to Mary Kate, to having sisters who knew each other… but it was Mary Kate’s dad who became the connector. He and Pat became friends over “construction talk” and the rest is history. They’ve endured a few years of the “long distance relationship” and are really excited for the wedding next winter! Talks of ice fishing, woolen blankets and cobbler have us very excited for their wedding next winter too!

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Blog Collage 1494854533507 The Carlson Family

 

THE CARLSON FAMILY

BRIGHTON BEACH

DULUTH, MN

 

10 years ago… TEN. How is this possible? Well, it is and that’s how long its been since we shot their wedding here in Duluth.  A lot has changed, mainly the fact that there are two new adorable humans on this planet, but a lot has stayed the same… meaning Brett + Jessica still really, really love each other and it’s fun to photograph that.

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They’ve moved away but family is still in Duluth so planning a shoot just a few blocks from where Jessica’s family lives was easy!  Loved reconnecting and being apart of this stage of life as well!

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Blog Collage 1494854618194 The Carlson Family

Blog Collage 1494854737539 The Carlson Family

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Amy + Beau

May 15, 2017

Blog Collage 1494681788279 Amy + Beau

 

AMY + BEAU

CLYDE IRON WORKS

DULUTH, MN

 

It was an absolute joy to get to know Amy + Beau on a professional level, but honestly, the moment I stepped into their home I knew they were even cooler then I thought! The morning of the wedding Amy was getting her hair and makeup done at her and Beau’s home and every time I turned around there was another picture to look at or pop of color on the wall or a custom barn door hanging in the entryway. It was fun to see into to their style and then as the wedding day progressed it was obvious these two are a perfect match!  I’ll let them take it from here and tell you all the good stuff!

 

How we met: We had mutual friends who started dating and wound up playing on a rec-league volleyball team together at Ace’s on 29th in Superior. After one evening of volleyball, Beau and Amy met up with the mutual friends to watch a movie (definitely done on purpose). After that, Beau asked for Amy’s number and set up a date for a few days later. A first date dinner and movie turned into 5+ years together and eventual wedding bells.

 

Blog Collage 1494678460149 Amy + Beau.

Proposal: In late 2015, Amy was strongly hinting about hoping for a very special Christmas gift that year as we had bought a house together earlier in the year and had several discussions about taking the plunge into marriage. Christmas came and Amy had to settle for “only” a new cell phone and a new golf outfit. Meanwhile Beau bought himself a fancy new snowmobile he’d been talking about getting for a few years. Amy was a bit disappointed with both of those results.

 

Beau was cooking dinner a couple of weeks later one Sunday evening in January 2016 while Amy was cleaning up some paperwork and paying bills for the new house. Beau mentioned how it was a good 2015 for team McCusker-Thurman what with buying the house, Amy’s new job, and of course Beau’s new snowmobile. Amy shot back with “It should just be Team Thurman!” Beau then awkwardly stopped what he was doing, went into another room of the house, pulled out the ring he had bought a few days before, and tried to play it cool walking back into the kitchen. Amy knew something was up and asked what Beau was doing. Beau presented the ring to Amy and the two had this conversation:

 

Beau: “Would you like to join team Thurman?”

Amy: “Are you serious?”

Beau: “Yes”

Amy: “Aren’t you going to get on one knee?”

Beau: “You want me to do it like in the movies?”

Amy: “Yes!”

Beau drops to one knee and smiles: “Will you marry me?”

Amy: “YES!!!” followed by a big hug and kiss, plus a lot of jumping around the house in excitement.

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Wedding Planning: We started wedding planning soon after the proposal knowing we’d need to get a venue booked ASAP to have the best choices of dates (no one is coming to a wedding on 4th of July weekend). We agreed that Clyde Iron Works was the venue that best fit for us and booked it in April 2016. Then the wedding planning kind of took a back seat for a while with only a few other things getting done (booking a DJ and dessert caterer, finding a wedding dress). Luckily, Amy’s friend Lynda works in the wedding business and started pushing us near the end of last summer to get everything moving again.

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We were able to split a lot of the wedding tasks up, although Amy definitely did more. She spent several long nights planning and getting centerpieces together with Lynda in the last few months before the wedding. It was a mad scramble at the end and very stressful at times (it’s cliche, but we definitely spent way more time arguing about decorations than all of the really important stuff like food, the ceremony, and music combined). In the end it was all worth it as we had a beautifully decorated venue and well planned out wedding day so that everything went smoothly without any stress all day.

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The other thing we discussed quite a bit that we didn’t anticipate is the PR/manners side of the wedding. Who do we tip? Is it rude to include our registries on the invitations? How soon after invitations go out should we start tracking people down for RSVPs? We found countless webpages purporting to answer these types of questions, usually with conflicting answers.

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Blog Collage 1494680454540 Amy + Beau

Blog Collage 1494680826878 Amy + Beau

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Tips: Luckily we had several friends who had recently married who were able to give us some of this advice. Here’s what we found most helpful throughout the process:

 

1. If you can afford it, a wedding planner is VERY helpful. They’ll know all the details that need to be addressed to make your wedding day a success and know all the best vendors. It is invaluable to have someone helping with the planning of the wedding and coordinating everything the day of the wedding so neither of us nor anyone else attending the wedding needed to deal with all of the details while also trying to enjoy the wedding.

 

2. Track all of your expenses and make sure you include everything associated with the wedding. When we first thought about our budget we thought of the big ticket items like the venue, food, vendors, decorations, etc., but there are lots of things we didn’t think about when first discussing our budget for the wedding. Those “other” expenses add up: rings, hair and nails for the bridal party, gifts for the wedding party, save-the-dates/invitations, lunch for the wedding party the day of the ceremony, officiant, tips, groom’s dinner, and many other expenses can creep into your budget. There are many lists of potential wedding expenses online that can be used as a starting point.

 

Also, make sure to include any of the “hidden costs” in your estimate. Sales tax, alcohol tax, and gratuities can add 20% or more to the sticker price.

 

3. Plan your wedding day from the time you wake up until all the gifts are packed in your car and you’re driving home or to the hotel so that everyone knows what their jobs are and when they need to do them. By planning everything out ahead of time (and having Lynda to keep us on schedule) we were able to really enjoy our wedding day without worrying about some details we may not have considered until it became a problem.

 

4. Unless your wedding is very small, you will not likely be able to spend time with everyone in attendance. Make a point to see some specific people, but otherwise just have fun and enjoy the day.

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Best part of the wedding day: We did a “first look” that Al and Lyndsey photographed. That’s when it hit us that it was really happening. After that Al and Lyndsey gave us a few minutes to chat, just the two of us, which was really special and intimate in a day that pulled us in so many different directions.

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Blog Collage 1494681476446 Amy + Beau

Blog Collage 1494681650505 Amy + Beau

Venue: Clyde Iron Works

Wedding Coordinator: Northland Special Events

Florist: Calla Lily

Cake: How Sweet It Is

DJ: Pro Sound and Light Show

Hair + Makeup: Friend

 

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Angela + Matt

April 26, 2017

Blog Collage 1492735571860 Angela + Matt

 

 

ANGELA + MATT

HARRIET ISLAND PAVILION

ST PAUL, MN

These two are pure gold. You are going to fall in love with them, I promise!  We have known Angela for over 10 years and just this last year have gotten to know Matt.  We absolutely agree with Matt’s brother’s speech “Matt and Angela – they just make sense. They always have.”  Follow along below to hear about how Matt proposed, a few funny planning mishaps and hear from each of them about their favorite moments of their wedding day.  We’re so excited for these two and what’s to come!

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We’ll write this from Matt’s point of view, since, well, Angela just got to go along for the ride. One thing you should know about us before this all starts is that we are St. Paul people. We love the city and it was where the wedding was. Also, neither of us are all that great at sitting still. Now you know that, we can start!

First of all, Angela and I went in together to pick out the ring. She knew we were getting close, so I had to find a way to surprise her. I figured, hell, why not propose at 8:00 in the morning and we’ll go from there. So I had some friends invite us to coffee then make up some excuse why it had to be so early in the morning. Her cousin (who was going to be in town and who I had talked to about all of this) had then invited her to brunch. So we had the whole day blocked off. When our friends called to let us know they were running a bit late, I detoured the car up to Dayton’s bluff which overlooks downtown, which is where Angela was living at the time. It was awkward, I was nervous and I think that made her nervous, but I said some nice things, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. She said yes and I told her we were putting our phones away and we’d capture the day on one of those instant film cameras.

From Dayton’s Bluff we went down to Union Depot and hopped on the Green Line. We hit up some classic St. Paul places as well as some places that were important to our relationship. We started with breakfast at Keys Cafe. We then actually did meet up with our friends for coffee at Workhorse Coffee. From there we went to feed the giraffes at Como Zoo. We had lunch at a little place that lets you build your own spring rolls off of University Ave. From there we went to Surely (I know, that’s Minneapolis, but it’s on the Green Line and important in our history), had a beer, and hopped back on the rail and headed downtown – lowertown to be specific. We had coffee at Black Dog (we value hydration, as you can tell) and walked up to grab a beer at Tin Whiskers, the brewery closest to Angela’s condo.

When we got to Tin Whiskers, we had a huge group of our friends and family waiting there for us to surprise Angela. She cried for the second time and we spent the rest of the time before dinner celebrating with them. We took our parents from Tin Whiskers to Big River Pizza for dinner, and after dinner we made a few phone calls and totally crashed. It was busy, action packed, and it felt like the perfect way for us to spend our engagement day.

 

 

Blog Collage 1492734597035 Angela + Matt.

When planning  your wedding did you have any big surprises?

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I think the biggest surprise for both of us was how many more things we immediately needed to have a preference on, and how controversial seemingly mundane pieces of our wedding became. The two that stick out in particular were our plates and our registry.

We were both home owners before we were engaged and we moved in together before and both homes were about the same size. While we were planning the wedding, we were also decluttering our life. It made sense that since we already had duplicates of most things to just invite people to the wedding and not suggest things they could give us in return. The second another soul got wind of that news, we were hearing all about how rude it was to not provide a wish-list. At the same time, we were reading about how it’s rude to mention anywhere on anything related to the wedding that there is a registry. It was a pickle that we thought we could avoid by not having one and it ended up being more of an issue than we could have imagined.

Perhaps even more mundane than that, after researching rental prices for table settings we decided it would be less expensive to simply buy our dishes and silverware. This should be a simple task. We found some great, nine-and-a-half inch clear plates for our buffet. Now, I’m sure Al and Lindsey know this since they were there and measured the plates, but we did not use the plates that we purchased. Both mothers took issue with how small our dinner plates were, despite us having used them successfully for multiple events previous. For most of the planning, the size of the plates dominated our discussions with our mothers. We eventually got to the point where we said we weren’t going to discuss it anymore and said if they wanted a solution, they were welcome to fix whatever issues they had with our plates. Sure enough, we had ten-and-a-half inch plates for the wedding courtesy of Angela’s mom. We were simply informed they would be there, and they were taken care of at the end of the night.

 

Blog Collage 1492734928698 Angela + Matt

Blog Collage 1492735109443 Angela + Matt

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What are your favorite memories of the wedding?

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Angela:  Far and away my favorite memories of the wedding are the things that were said. From sitting on the floor alone in the hotel room reading the note Matt had written me to hearing his parents repeatedly express their excitement and love for us, it was amazing to hear how people other than myself see our love and intend to support it. It really helped me realize what we were doing. This wasn’t just a big party. This was a celebration of both an ending and a beginning. An end to searching for “my person” – a phrase I used often growing up. Matt’s brother, Joe, said exactly what I’ve felt for a long time “Matt and Angela – they just make sense. They always have.” Hearing others agree that we have each found our person was a perfect way to end the “search period” of life. It was also a celebration of what is hopefully the beginning of a long love story. As my dad spoke during our ceremony, he quoted the ending of my great-grandpa’s memoir, which said “In hindsight, I realize more and more that love was the predominant factor of our lives.” Our wedding day left me so encouraged that we not only had sufficient love for each other to make that the predominant factor of our lives, but we also had an excess of love and support around us to make that true. Looking back, I truly feel like our wedding was the celebration of love that we wanted it to be.

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Matt: I think for me the most memorable moment that isn’t Angela (a lot of the day is admittedly a blur – I’m not sure how you would avoid that) was when we were taking a moment to reflect while the song was playing during our ceremony. It was after a prayer, and I think most people were still bowing a bit, but I took that moment to glance out over the amazing group of people who had gathered to spend the day with us to help witness our commitment and celebrate with us. It was an absolutely humbling moment. I can’t think of a time I’ve been in the presence of so much love and joy of so many people. That moment snapped me into the realization of how gigantic of a point this was in both of our lives. It drove home the, until then, vague notion that what we were doing was a real, important, impactful, and sacred and that we would be held accountable and we would be supported in this journey that we are now embarking on. I’m sure I’m still only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the gravity of the vows we took, but that moment was, for me, the most awesome moment of the night that wasn’t how beautiful Angela looked or how well she danced!

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Blog Collage 1492735317341 Angela + Matt

Blog Collage 1492735624967 Angela + Matt

Blog Collage 1492736157051 Angela + Matt

Ceremony and Reception Venue : Harriet Island Pavillion

Videography : Daniel Flaherty (Bellagala)

Flowers : Handmade by Angela’s mom

Dessert : Cookies and Milk made by Matt’s mom

DJ : Adrian Ramos (Bellagala)

Makeup: Sara Aune Spa Beauty Agency

Hair: Stephanie Felling, friend of Angela

Dresses : The Wedding Shoppe

 

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