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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mark + Melissa - Brainerd, MN Wedding Photography

When I met Melissa and Mark for their engagement session in February, it was COLD. After the frozen fingers and wind-blown hair, I figured we were due for some fantastic weather on their wedding day. As Memorial Day weekend approached, I cautiously watched the weather, wishing away the rain percentage that kept creeping higher and higher. The day before their wedding was solid rain and chilly - "getting all the rain out before the wedding day," Melissa said to me! I said major prayers that the day of their wedding would turn out to have great weather.

The next morning, I woke up to blue skies! We endured a 10 second rain shower, a breezy day and lots of mosquitos that were fascinated with all of us, but hey - it didn't matter! The sun was out and it was beautiful outside! God was looking down on Mark and Melissa as they became Husband and Wife.

Melissa and Mark opted to do a First Look - where they see each other for the first time in a private moment, that is photographed by me. This is done early in the day before the ceremony, so that photos can be taken and completed before the ceremony starts. 

Melissa wanted to have the First Look on the gorgeous wrap-around porch on her parent's house. It was the perfect place; I felt like I was in a southern romance novel. Or movie.
Melissa and Mark got each other's wedding bands in secrecy, so Mark had never seen his ring, and Melissa didn't know what hers looked like either. They wanted to have their rings on in the photos, so they chose the minutes after the First Look to give each other their rings. Some people might be superstitious about this, but my view is that the rings aren't blessed by the minister, priest or officiant yet, so it's not ruining it.

Melissa's smile is contagious!
Melissa's grandfather passed away when she was in high school. They were very close and she misses him every day. Her family has a crab apple tree planted in his memory in the corner of the yard, and it was the perfect place for a few photos.

Sidenote - Mark and Melissa got engaged on her grandpa's birthday. He has been smiling down on them ever since!
The church had a beautiful back-lit cross up front. Matt and I were fascinated by it. The flowers on the right are in memory of her grandpa.
Their wedding was full of sweet, special, emotional moments. This is one of them that brought a tear to my eye and a lump into my throat.
Both sets of parents came up during the ceremony to pray over Melissa and Mark. So touching.
And then, it was official! Mr. and Mrs.! 
After we got to the reception site, Melissa and Mark wanted to head outside to catch a few more photos of just the two of them. The Arboretum is a beautiful location, and the sinking sun gave us just the most awesome light.

[If you've ever wondered why photographers prefer to photograph either early in the morning or later in the evening, while the sun is lower on the horizon, these photos show why!]
These two are just so perfect for each other. Their personalities compliment each other, they can't help but smile when they look at each other, and they can each make the other laugh like crazy. Plus, with their faith in the center, nothing can shake them.
The father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance were two wonderfully sweet and emotional dances. It's hard to keep my eyes dry, but if the tears come, I can't see to photograph! They did come when I saw Melissa dancing with her father.
Then the party started! The photo below just cracks me up every time I look at it. I'm not sure which groomsman is the one casting the shadow on the wall, but he's seriously tearing up the dance floor!!
Melissa and Mark - Thank you so much for choosing me to photograph your wedding day. It was a pleasure getting to know you two, and your families. I wish you the best of luck as your adventure together continues in Iowa, and I pray for a lifetime of love and fun memories. xx, Laura


  1. Laura - you captured every moment and as I read through the narration between the photos I cried as I went down through the photos. It all began to play through in my head again and I am sooo glad we have all of these photos to remember our day when we look through them years down the road :).

  2. OH my Laura! These photos are just beautiful and convey so much emotion! You have done an outstanding job!

    Mark and Melissa will cherish these forever!

  3. Laura - your pictures are just beautiful! I love your little comments on the pictures, especially the one about Lissa's grandpa (my dad). It definitely brought tears to my eyes reading your beautiful comments about him smiling down on Lissa's wedding day. Thank you, Laura, for your wonderful photography skills and your beautiful personality. I loved your excitement with each picture you snapped! Sue Wentworth

  4. Thank you all so much.

    Melissa - the day was so beautiful. It was my pleasure to be able to document it for you two.

    Sue - Thank you! I really believe he was there, dancing and laughing along with everyone. Thank you for letting me be a part of the day!


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