A few weekends ago I had the pleasure of venturing into the northwoods of Minnesota (huge shout out to my girl Kelsea for second shooting), to document a pretty-little summer wedding. I first met Danielle + Terry over coffee this last winter, and it was love-at-first-joke. Danielle + Terry are two of the wildest, weirdest and wonderful-est people I’ve ever met. I’ve never been around two people more in love with or committed to making the other laugh, and their wedding at Juliane James Place was a testament to their awkwardness, humor, and flawless style. From the painstakingly crafted paper flowers to the costumed and choreographed first dance, the pie – pizza and dessert! – to the handmade invitation suite (Danielle made them!), their wedding was beyond beautiful.
But this wedding was so much more than the pretty stuff. The editorial details. The paper and the cocktails and the china. This wedding was honest and real and laid back and fun. Exceptionally fun, actually. It was summer-meeting-autumn in the most magical way with soft light and a cool breeze. The sounds of the leaves rustling through the immense woods provided the soundtrack of the day, punctuated by the soft staccato of the last of summer’s cicadas. It was the beginning of the very best chapter of Danielle + Terry’s story so far, and so remarkably reflective of who they are as individuals – and who they’ve become together. They welcomed their day – and all who ventured into it – with open arms and a hearty laugh.
Here a few favorites from their beautiful day.
Chitra and Ben were married in central Wisconsin under sunny summer skies and cool autumn breezes. Their wedding was the perfect representation of each of them, from the lefse and beer and Wisconsin cheese plate to the Achaar (made by the couple’s incredible Indian condiments company, Brooklyn Delhi) and curried chickpeas and guests adorned with henna. Their wedding day was filled to bursting with culture and heritage and history. A perfect fusion of seasons. Of lives. Of two different stories – two different pasts – seamlessly merging into one new story as rich and intricate as the weaving on Chitra’s bridal sari. Here are a few favorites from their wedding day:
Miki + Kristel emailed me earlier this summer, asking about my availability, wondering if I was able to document their intimate little wedding in Minneapolis. They were set to get married on the rooftop of their apartment building in Uptown, and then head to dinner at Bar Lurcat. The event would be small, they said, sixty people total, and was all about family. Love. Joy. The instant I met them I knew theirs was a story I was destined to tell. They love Mexico and graffiti and the smell of old books. They celebrate the tedium of every day and take nothing for granted. They are two of the most authentic and amazing individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. They are kindred souls, to me, to each other, to each beautiful person they come in contact with. You can feel it in their presence. It’s remarkable, honestly. Moving. Humbling.
Miki’s best man (and grandfather) Merlin was unable to attend the wedding due to his ongoing battle with cancer, so Miki decided to have the bus, already slated to transport the entire guest list from the ceremony to the reception, take the guests to visit him. When we arrived, everyone spent a few moments with Mick, laughing, crying, and celebrating the joy of the day as well as his role in each and every life standing before him. To see him, surrounded by his family and those he loves most in the world, filled with such immense joy and love was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever photographed. To watch as Miki reveled in every ounce of Merlin’s overwhelming response to the literal outpouring of people surrounding him was like nothing I’ve ever seen.
It was profound. There isn’t any other word for it.
I have said over and over again – sometimes probably too much – that I’m honored to be invited in so many beautiful stories, and I mean it. To have borne witness to Miki + Kristel on their wedding day – in the throes of over-the-top emotion and wonder and joy – was already more than enough. But then, to witness such a miracle that is the love they have for Merlin put me over the edge. It was all I could do not to sob. So I swallowed hard and stepped back onto that bus, and headed for the reception with an ache in my heart – a heavy remembrance of my own grandfather, the man who walked me down the aisle a decade ago and handed me over to DRL – and a smile – for the love I just encountered – so unbelievably wide, on my lips.
Here are a few of my favorite images from their perfect and vastly indescribable wedding day: