Brittany & Andrew | Winona, Minnesota wedding photographer

On August 8th, I was back home from my Minneapolis wedding and ready to go for my third wedding of the month here in Winona. It was somewhat fitting that I had been traveling long distances prior to Brittany & Andrew’s wedding as travel & long distances played a large part in both of their lives individually & as a couple. Granted, driving to the Twin Cities and back isn’t as far as Europe, but it’s travel nonetheless. You see – Andrew’s parents took him on many trips as a child. They both studied abroad in Europe. And Brittany travels a lot for her job. They also used it as a theme for their reception. They chose to stay distant and not see each other before the ceremony. As they say, “distance makes the heart grow fonder” and I feel that there’s definitely truth to that statement for these two.

Back to the wedding day itself, it was your typical August day in Minnesota – HOT & HUMID. It’s actually been somewhat cool all summer long, but on this day, it was unbearably hot. And Minnesota humid on top of it. So as I arrived at the Chapel of the Angels of Saint Mary, everyone was on the same page to limit the outdoor shots – especially prior to the wedding. Needless to say, we didn’t take any outdoor photos until afterwards. Even then, it didn’t last long.

Inside, Brittany was awaiting my arrival to put on her dress and her mother & sister were there to help as her bridesmaids looked on…

bride putting wedding dress on

It’s always an interesting scene when a bride gets ready and I feel is a integral part of a wedding day. Think about it, you have a woman in normal, casual street clothes and then she becomes a bride before your eyes. Being a male photographer, there are times when I’m not allowed in the room and that’s perfectly fine – I have no problem with that. I mean let’s face it, there are times when certain body parts need to be exposed and I don’t necessarily want to take photos of those body parts anyways. But when those parts are covered and I’m positioned to where I need to be so I can’t see those parts – I’m able to document this transition of a woman becoming a bride it can be a beautiful thing to see…

helping hands

Look how happy the bridesmaids were when they saw Brittany with her dress on!!!

bridesmaids happy to see the bride

bride getting some makeup

I love this image…

bride adjusting her birdcage veil

If I could insert an Emeril Lagasse “BAM!” right here, I would for this next image. It screams elegance…

duotone image of bride

Meanwhile on the side of the church, Andrew was getting ready as well with a little help from his brother, who was also his Best Man…

groom getting some help from his brother

After formal pictures and keeping Andrew from seeing Brittany – which wasn’t in their initial wedding planning, but we made it work – it was time for their ceremony. Soon the distance that kept them apart would be no longer and they would be together. Brittany was all smiles as she walked down the aisle with her parents and when Andrew saw her for the first time, he gave her a big squeeze – getting rid of that distance between them…

groom hugs bride during ceremony

It was a beautiful ceremony in one of the most beautiful churches in the area…

the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels in Winona, MN

After the ceremony, they walked hand-in-hand out of the church together – with the biggest of smiles on each of their faces…

smiling their way out of the church

and just as he started the ceremony, he ended it with another big hug for Brittany… so much for distance.

groom hugs bride after ceremony

After some group pictures, we then made a quick stop by the lake under Sugar Loaf for a few photos…

bridal party near the Rose Garden in Winona, MN

bride & groom at Lake Park in Winona, MN

We were then off to Signatures Restaurant & Visions Event Center for the wedding reception. Brittany planned the decor to be as elegant as she looked…

table decorations at wedding reception

peacock feathers on wedding cake

string trio playing at wedding reception

Visions Event Center wedding reception

As dinner was served, all the guests started the customary “clanking of the glasses” to have the bride & groom kiss. However, Brittany & Andrew had other ideas. They love to dance. So instead of clanking glasses, they made the guests dance for a kiss. I learned a new wedding dance that day. I present to you – “Washing the hair”.

wedding dance - washing the hair

The bridesmaids & attendants couldn’t pass up a dance either…

ladies dancing for a bride & groom kiss

Then it was time for speeches and Andrew’s brother had a speech that touched on the topic of that distance. He told everyone about when Andrew traveled up to see Brittany one day and it was so touching that nearly everyone was wiping tears… including groomsmen…

moving speech by Best Man/brother of the groom

Soon it was time for their first dance under a beautifully decorated dance floor. A perfect to start the wedding dance…

first wedding dance

Then the real dancing started and I’m sure went late into the night…

wedding reception dance at Signatures Restaurant/Visions Event Center

I’m so thankful to have been able to document your wedding day, Brittany & Andrew. While there may be times when you’re faced with distance between you physically, you will always have each other’s love right there with you – in your hearts. I wish you both the very best.

bride receives a kiss from groom

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    • August 26, 2009
    • Reply

    I just clicked in to get a better look at that STUNNING shot of the bride, but I felt like I attended the event.

    • September 21, 2009
    • Reply

    Wonderful and very touching. Loved it. Thankyou

    • October 1, 2009
    • Reply

    I agree-i felt like I was there! What a stunning and beautiful bride and wedding. Thanks for sharing.

  1. I saw the minimalist photo on Flickr and had to check out the whole set. 🙂 Great stuff! I love the B&W of them rushing out of the church — that’s always my favourite shot from a wedding and you nailed it. Great emotion and I love the motion blur.

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