Lacey & Paul outdoor wedding at Stone Prairie – southeast Minnesota

Days before Lacey & Paul’s wedding, good ‘ol Minnesota started pulling its weather strings. It went from nice 50-60 degree days during the week to a forecast of 30′s and the chance of snow. They had planned on an outdoor wedding ceremony at her parent’s property outside of St. Charles, Minnesota which is a few miles outside of Rochester.

While snow would have made for some unique wedding ceremony images, I had a feeling that they and their guests wouldn’t see it the same way as I would. Especially since Lacey & Paul were coming back home from warm & sunny California, where they currently live, to be closer to their family.

I’m sure with many eyes on the weather forecasts from Friday through Saturday morning, looking out the window could have fooled you. It was bright from sunshine with picturesque clouds scattered across the sky. If your eyes made it to a thermometer, you would’ve seen that the temps were in the low 30′s.

That’s Minnesota for ya. (yes, I said “ya” – I’m from Minnesota dont’cha know…)

Needless to say, it was a beautiful October day in Minnesota. Having never been to Stone Prairie, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I did know that Lacey’s parents have taken the painstaking task to bring this portion of land back to its natural habitat after being over farmed from years past. All I could say was, “wow.” It was such a beautiful, serene location with tall prairie grasses, large old oak trees, limestone boulders and a pond which also had a labyrinth next to it. I know there’s more details I’m probably missing, but needless to say, it was beautiful. As I mentioned in my sneak peek post, there was many details to this wedding, and the location made up for some of those details. But that was just the beginning…

prairie grasses at Stone Prairie

There was a pergola where they would be married. As you see in the photo above, there were these different colored lights that would shimmer as the wind blew through the prairie. Upon closer look, the pergola had hundreds of crystals hanging from it. You could’ve sat there for a while in awe of all the colors…

crystals shimmering at ceremony site

As I headed back up the limestone boulder pathway, I entered the reception tent. It was so beautifully decorated as well. I also spotted Paul doing a last minute rehearsal of his vows…

groom practicing his vows

Before the start of the ceremony, there was a calming sense that seemed to settle over everyone and they were – well, feeling good…

feelin' good

Paul walked his and Lacey’s mothers down the path to the ceremony and there’s always that last hug…

hug from mom

As the bridal party made their way to their positions for the ceremony, in the distance I noticed this bright white object. Here it was Lacey and her father, staying out of view from Paul until the ceremony. As they made their way to the pergola, it was so tranquil to watch them walk through the prairie grasses…

bride walking with father during ceremony at Stone Prairie

Smiling so big as they saw each other for the first time, they walked up and took their places in front of their onlooking guests…

the smiling couple about to be married

Those smiles didn’t stop during the ceremony either…

sharing a laugh during their wedding ceremony

After their vows were said, rings exchanged and after the kiss, they walked down the aisle for the first time as husband & wife. With family & friends playing bells during this, they returned back for one other breathtaking moment. They released two doves into the air, which was a perfect representation of the love that was felt that day…

releasing doves after their ceremony

watching the doves fly away

a dove flying overhead

After the ceremony, we gathered for some family portraits and while waiting for everyone to arrive, everyone stayed close to keep each other warm – which made for some great images…

group hug to keep warm

After portraits, the guests made their way to the reception which sat above the ceremony site. There was a number of people who braved the elements and played games consisting of croquet, bocce ball, ladder golf & bean bag toss…

another view of Stone Prairie

tossing bean bags outside

Meanwhile, Lacey & Paul took a few moments before playing some croquet to make a few wedding images with the wonderful scenery…

holding each other close

a bridal portrait at Stone Prairie

After that, it was time for a quick review of the rules of croquet and then it was game time…

discussing the rules of croquet

bridal party playing croquet

As the sun started to set, everyone made their way inside for some warm apple cider – some with the schnapps, some without. No matter what they chose, they were having a good time. Here Paul sharing a laugh with one of his brothers…

sharing a laugh with his brother

It was important to them to continue the preservation of this land & world we live in. This was truly a “green wedding”. After a delicious meal nearly made from 100% local farmers’ products, served on recyclable plates, they were ready for the dance to begin.  As everyone looked on, they danced their first dance together…

their first dance as their guests look on

As the dance opened up to everyone, Lacey was missing in action for a little bit. Then an announcement was made and everyone, I mean EVERYONE, circled the dancefloor and “Clocks” by Coldplay remixed by Rhythms del Mundo Cuba (“Clocks” full song & video here) started playing, and Lacey came running out with a dress on for dancing and her & Paul danced a salsa as their guests cheered them on. A perfect way for them begin a night of dancing during their green wedding…

salsa dancing at their wedding dance

It was a pleasure to be a part of your wedding, Lacey & Paul. Even though the temperature was cold outside, I could see the warmth of the love you both share inside your hearts. Congrats again!

a kiss at Stone Prairie

 

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One Comment

    • October 29, 2009
    • Reply

    awesome pictures, I think 100, 101, and 289 are my favorites, such a great day that was

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