Rebecca & James | Rochester, Minnesota wedding photography

It was a beautiful autumn evening last October when I first met Rebecca & James near St. Cloud, Minnesota at Saint John’s University & College of Saint Benedict for their engagement photography session. Their wedding day was very similar.

For their wedding, it was one of those beautiful autumn days in southeast Minnesota. There was a slight breeze that cooled your skin while it was warmed by the bright sun shining overhead. Inside the church, there was the common feeling of anticipation as Rebecca & James got ready in different rooms, awaiting their chance to see each other for the first before the wedding ceremony.

bride getting ready

There’s always a level of excitement around the bride & groom on a wedding day. Whether its family or friends, people are just filled with happiness & love…

bride hugs friend

After some pictures of James & the guys, Rebecca was finished getting ready and it was time for them to see other for the first time as a bride & groom. The courtyard at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church was a perfect setting. As they met, it was as if the sun was literally reaching down to them, giving them a warm blessing before their wedding…

the sun shines down on bride & groom

What is in the act of a hug?

Think of how many times you’ve hugged someone. Whether through sports or gratitude or while saying good-bye. Every hug, though so similar in action, can mean so many different things at the given time. Think of how many times a parent hugs their child. A simple moment filled with so much love. As the child grows, they start to hug back. They begin to understand the feeling of being loved.

I sometimes wonder if it would be possible to write down every thought & emotion that occurs when a parent hugs their child after walking down the aisle on a wedding day. An act so simple, but yet it means so much. I feel that if you truly watch a hug, you will see the love between parent and child…

groom hugs his mother

Speaking of hugs, after the ceremony, the beginning of a hug can be filled with so much joy…

happiness between sisters

Since the weather was absolutely wonderful, we had to take advantage of it. A stop at the History Center of Olmsted County provided the perfect autumn backdrop…

the newly married couple

A little pre-celebration drink amongst friends at Kathy’s Pub before the wedding reception…

celebratory drink at Kathy's Pub in Rochester Minnesota | ©2009 Shannon Porter Photography

Sometimes everyone just wants a kiss!

lots of love

Downtown settings can make for great wedding day images…

a perfect place for a kiss

walking together as husband & wife

After arriving at the DoubleTree Hotel for the wedding reception, Rebecca & James had a very amusing slideshow play during dinner. Everyone had a smile & a laugh at the expense of Rebecca & James…

laughing at themselves

Cake was served and the dance was to begin. They both looked so happy & content with each other as they danced their first dance…

their first wedding dance

James had let me know that the reception was filled with people who love to dance. He wasn’t wrong! He made sure to empty every seat and then the dancefloor fun began!

dancing with Grandma

wedding guests getting down

Y - M - C - A

Once it was time for the dollar dance, it seemed as if everyone wanted to dance with Rebecca…

nobody dancing with groom during dollar dance

…and before you knew it, there was so many that were dancing with him that he couldn’t get away!

groom getting swarmed by dancing women

I was made aware of a late night “tradition” at Saint John’s University earlier in the day. With St. John’s alumni in the crowd, it wouldn’t be the same without playing “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. While some alumni stayed true to tradition and sang the song with their pants down, family members tried to keep it rated “G” by handing out boxers & briefs to all the men in the crowd for a surprise to James…

Saint John's University tradition - "Piano Man" by Billy Joel

It really is something to witness all the happiness & joy that is involved on a wedding day. To see young & old, dancing together on the dancefloor at the end of the night to the sparkle in the eyes of the bride & groom as they look at each other during the ceremony, the love that is shared by everyone for two people – is like one big group hug. Congratulations again Rebecca & James! May you relive your wedding day forever…

kiss between bride & groom


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