Winter wedding in Mankato, MN

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Dan and Lisa got married on a chilly December day in Mankato, MN.

Dan is the dad of Amanda, a good friend of mine, who is also a photographer. I have to admit it felt good to be asked to shoot a wedding of a fellow wedding photographer! It was also just a little pressure if I’m being honest!

These two planned this wedding in 7 weeks and looking at the photos I don’t think anyone would know it was done that quickly. It was simply a beautiful wedding! Their day with me started with a fist look in the chapel of the church, Grace Lutheran in Mankato. Lisa was nervous and excited and it was cute to see how the two of them relaxed each other once they finally got to see one another. We did family and wedding party photos shortly after the first look. The cold weather was a challenge but we did do a few very fast photos in the 10 degree weather - I think it was very worth it!

Their ceremony was a sacred time where they exchanged vows. Lisa’s family is very musical and most of her family did something special in the ceremony that made it so personal and meaningful. I was able to get some really neat shots from the balcony where they were singing from and overlooking the ceremony.

One of the things about the whole day that touched me the most was how they found a beautiful way to incorporate my friend Amanda’s daughter, Juniper. In August Juniper was born stillborn when Amanda was 37 weeks pregnant. The heartbreaking death of Junie, who would have made her flower girl debut, has shaken the family. These two acknowledged her absence by making her an honorary flower girl along with her big cousin and Amanda served as Junie’s escort carrying a single red rose to the altar in her daughter’s place. I liked that gesture so much! (though I would have LOVED to photograph Juniper’s beautiful face being escorted down aisle!)

A cocktail hour and reception followed the reception at Mankato Golf Club. The sunset was a pretty one full of yellows and oranges (which I choose to believe was Juniper saying hello on her grandparents’ wedding day. Orange is Amanda’s color, not even favorite color; it’s more than that, it IS her color and as such has become Junie’s, too.) I chose to backlight them and I love LOVE how that really was able to show off both the couple and the amazing sunset.

They served their guests dinner, treated them to more family music, a video slide show as well as a game. It was one of my last weddings of the year and I loved capturing it!