Matt and Sam’s absolutely amazing fall wedding at Ivory North Co. was everything we could have ever wanted from a wedding day and so much more! We are so glad that we were able to play a part in this amazing day and we just want to take a minute to express extreme gratitude to Matt and Sam for being so amazing throughout this entire experience. It was truly a blast!
A month before Matt and Sam’s wedding day, the owners of Ivory North Co. reached out to us about their wedding. We knew April and Blake before they opened their venue as fellow photographers in the industry and we were so pleased to hear from them!
April and Blake were reaching out because they had a couple who was having their wedding the following month and was in pickle when it came to finding a photographer. They asked if we were available for their date and if there was any chance we could be there to shoot their wedding! As we excitedly raced to the calendar to see if we had that date booked, our spirits dimmed as we realized we already were booked for a wedding that contacted us a few months earlier.
As I slowly started typing out a message to April and Blake explaining how we weren’t able to shoot the wedding, Aaron grabbed my hand and encouraged me to take a second. We reread April and Blake’s message where they told us that the couple had been forced to reschedule their wedding twice due to COVID. Our hearts sunk as we had heard from so many couples who had their wedding plans squashed or hindered due to the pandemic. We couldn’t imagine what this couple was feeling as they were finally approaching the day of their wedding with the possibility that they may not have someone there to capture it.
It was at this point that we started throwing out the idea that one of us could shoot the other wedding while the other went and helped out Matt and Sam for their wedding day. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “That sounds like a pretty good game plan. I don’t see the issue!” You see, Aaron and I were always in this business together. We never split up for a wedding to shoot alone and we certainly weren’t planning to.
But Aaron looked at me and told me how this was just another learning curve in our business and we could take this opportunity that perhaps scared us and turn it into room for growth. He explained that we could try this out and at the end of the day, at least we could say that we tried.
Before I agreed to anything, I wanted to make sure that our couple who booked with us prior to this would be okay if we split up. It was not an easy conversation to have for me because I put so much of myself into my business and I didn’t want to disappoint them. After explaining the situation to them, the couple encouraged us to do what we needed to do and expressed that they trusted us that, no matter what, they would be happy with their photos.
And just like that… we were booked for Sam and Matt’s day.
For the next few weeks, the anxiety that I had about shooting this wedding alone built up more and more. I remember, each night as we got closer and closer to the day, I went through the same anxiety cycle. Before we knew it, the day was upon us. As I pulled out of the driveway, Aaron followed along behind me. He wasn’t set to be at the other wedding for a few hours so he was going to help me get situated at Sam and Matt’s wedding.
Listening to calming music on the short drive over to Ivory North Co., I did my best to ground myself and reassure myself in my abilities. As I parked the car and we got ready to step out, I remember looking in the mirror in the car and repeating to myself, “You can do this. You can do this. You can do this.”
When I entered the bridal suite, it was like all of my worries began to float away. The bride walked up to me, embraced me in a big hug, and thanked me so much for being there. Following the bride, the rest of the bridal party and the hair and makeup ladies greeted me like old friends. In an instant, it felt like I was right back in my normal element and I started doing my thing just like I would if Aaron was going to be there for the whole thing.
As I took pictures of the girls getting ready, the energy in the room was infectious. The drinks were flowing and the room was filled with giddy laughs. I think the previous reschedules of the wedding caused for the excitement in the room to magnify. The bridal party went outside to pop some champagne and it felt so awesome getting to capture these beautiful women as they celebrated.
Following the champagne pop, the bride got into her dress and, let me tell you, some tears came to my eyes. Sam was just so ready to get married and that reassured feeling floated through the room. After snapping some shots of her in her dress, we did a first look with the bridesmaids. Not everyone does this for their wedding but, after this wedding, I highly recommend you set aside some time for this. It’s such an amazing thing to witness as your best friends revel in the joy and excitement from your big day.
Crossing over to the barn, I went to capture some pictures of the guys getting ready. Along the way, I walked Aaron out to the car and it was a bittersweet moment to have to say goodbye but the love I had felt already put me at ease and I knew I was going to be okay. Walking into the barn where the guys were getting ready, just like the girls, drinks were flowing and the general feeling in the room was that nervous excitement we all know and love.
After the groom got ready, they had a special request for their wedding day. They each wrote a letter to each other that the other would read in private. This was a moment for the two take a minute, breath a little, and read reassuring words from their soon-to-be spouse. Again, this isn’t something every wedding couple of ours does. But it was such a sweet moment and I was so happy to be able to capture it.
Heading to the woods with the groom for the first look, he expressed to me just how ready he was to see his bride. The letters they had wrote to each other served as the perfect precursor to their first look as it elevated their excitement to see each other. Any nerves the groom was feeling while getting ready had turned into eager anticipation.
Ivory North Co. has this amazing barn-like enclosure that can be used for first looks and other pictures. Tucked away in the woods, it allows for the perfect amount of light and serves as a nice, secluded area for pictures away from the craziness of the day.
As Sam approached Matt for this first look, their energy seemed to draw each other closer and closer. When Matt finally turned around, the look on his face was priceless as he took a step back to get a good look at his beautiful bride. It was a beautiful moment and served as a great reminder as to why we enjoy first looks so much.
Following this magical first look, we took wedding party pictures and it was so amazing to see everything come together. Everyone was just so excited to be there to witness Sam and Matt get married and it was so great to witness all of these amazing people show up to support this amazing couple. After these pictures, the whole wedding party got together and mixed some drinks to ease the nerves.
As all of the wedding guests filed into the ceremony area, the day officially began. Walking around the ceremony, all I could hear were whispers about how excited everyone was that Matt and Sam were finally getting married.
As Sam walked down the aisle, the excitement in the air had come to a point. It felt like everyone was eagerly looking on, awaiting for them to say, “I do.” Scattered laughs soared through the air as the two exchanged sentimental, yet comical vows.
Finally, after two tumultuous reschedules and all of that stress, the happy couple walked down the aisle as husband and wife. And they all lived happily ever after… (But they had to get their party on first!)
As social hour dwindled on, everyone was more than prepared to greet the newlyweds as they entered the reception. With a round of applause that sounded like it had been building up for two years (because it actually was), the crowd roared as Sam and Matt entered the reception, rocking their matching PitViper shades.
The wedding party and guests indulged in amazing wings from Lily’s Wings food truck and some amazing mini cupcakes. One of the great things we have been able to witness when it comes to these weddings that had been disrupted or rescheduled was seeing the way people were connecting after spending two years apart due to the pandemic. For many of the people at this wedding, it was the first time seeing each other in a long time and it was so great being able to see all the people connect after spending so much time apart.
After we got some food in our systems and reenergized, I stole the couple away from the craziness of their reception for some solo shots of the two of them. This is one of my favorite things to do whenever I shoot a wedding because it not only gives the couple an excuse to escape the day for a minute but also allows for some great photos with the newlywed glow!
Sam and Matt told me they wanted some photos of them shotgunning some beers in their wedding attire. After a mutual friend of the bride and groom literally bit into the cans to make the holes, Sam and Matt chugged their beers and it was just a really fun moment to be able to capture.
This wedding was in the beginning of October and if you know us, you’ll know that we absolutely love Halloween! We had done a spooky photoshoot at an engagement session earlier in the week where we had carved pumpkins to fit on the couples’ heads. The pumpkins were sitting in the trunk of the car when I was loading all of my gear for the wedding and I didn’t have time to unload them. As we were outside taking pictures of the couple shotgunning their beers, the idea hit me!
I asked Sam and Matt if they were down to take some pictures wearing the pumpkin heads. Now, some couples would look at me like I was absolutely crazy but Sam and Matt took on the challenge head on and were so down with all of my shenanigans. They put on the pumpkin heads and I snagged some awesome shots of them as the pumpkin bride and groom.
After our fun little escapade, we went back in to the reception for the parTAY! Sam and Matt had their first dance and it was so special watching as the bridal party looked on with tears in their eyes. After the first dance, the whole place hit the dance floor (including me)! It was such a great way to dance away all of the fears and inhibitions I had about the day.
After this wedding, I went home and I began importing the photos. As I began editing their photos, I started kicking myself for ever doubting myself. This gallery turned out amazing and it has remained as one of our favorite galleries to this day!
The main lesson I learned from this wedding was that I should trust myself and my capabilities. As I explained, I had so much anxiety about shooting this wedding alone. In the end, all of that anxiety was so unnecessary and unfounded. I will be forever grateful for this wedding because it allowed me to realize my true potential as a wedding photographer. Even though I prefer working with my husband and I do believe we work better together, I am able to shoot a wedding alone and my talent does not waver because of that.
To Sam and Matt, thank you so much for trusting me and being so incredibly welcoming! I seriously would not have been able to overcome my anxieties without the warmth i received from you both.
To April and Blake over at Ivory North Co., thank you so much for hosting this absolutely beautiful wedding at such a magical venue! You both continue to be such an inspiration to Aaron and I and we are so grateful that you asked us to shoot this wedding.
If you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! If you’re looking at getting married at Ivory North Co., bring us along! We’d love to shoot there again! Contact us here! If you want to read about a wedding we shot on the North Shore up in Lutsen, MN, check out our blog here! Wanna hear about other venues that we enjoyed shooting at? Check out our blog on our Top 5 Favorite MN Wedding Venues here!
As always, stay awesome! xoxo