Rum River Barn Wedding | Rustic MN Wedding
Together Phoebe and Matt complement each other well. Both comic actors, their jokes swing in and out of the conversations, switching from witty observations to subtle punchlines. When we first started planning how I'd be shooting their wedding, a movie came up - Terrence Malick's screen poem "Days of Heaven". They wanted the photography to have the sweeping poetry and candid vigor of Malick's expertly shot cinematography gem. Having a sense of what they meant, and having seen the film, I plotted & sketched out some compositions. But it didn't quite click until we got there to there that epic MN barn wedding; to that field with a blazing orange sunset. So much of wedding photography is juggling chance and preparedness. You have to be ready at the right time and everyone has to be feeling that moment. That moment happened when the entire wedding party, unplanned, walked out into the field for an impromptu photo session that almost felt like a fashion editorial.
The photography day started with the First Look. Matt surprised Phoebe by waiting for her holding an assortment of colorful balloons. As he was situated facing the hazy field, she approached him. They couldn't hide their joy when they clapped eyes on each other. As he moved in to embrace her, he let go of the balloons, which lifted up into the cerulean sky and probably drifted for miles away.
The day was crisp and the perfect type of weather for a fall wedding. You'll see the fall colors especially during the ceremony later on. With everybody generally herded into the same area during formals, I also got to capture some especially good moments as candid shots. These are some of my faves and I'll typically use a Canon 24mm f1.4 lens for these photojournalistic types of shots, the perfect lens to give that candid feel and capture a panorama of people in one frame.
The bride and groom supplied their friendly compatriots with some stellar moonshine and other goodies. Here one of the groomsmen showcases his welcome gift.
This barn wedding had so many intriguing rustic backdrops to serve as backgrounds. As guests streamed onto the venue, I made sure to capture many candid expressions and interactions. The day was so beautiful that it was hard for these pictures not to come off wonderfully. Sometimes following the flower girl can be a passport to some great moments captured.
The ceremony was endlessly lovely as guests were seated on hay bails to watch the procession, and the bride made her way down the aisle in a stunning and intricately woven Claire Pettibone gown. Watching her walk down the aisle, the groom beamed down at the other end, the sun peering through dense autumn foliage clad in warm yellow and ochre leaves.
Since Phoebe and Matt are both comedians, the ceremony had to have some moments that gave their guests the gift of straying from the ordinary. At one point guests were instructed to fold their programs into paper airplanes and throw them in the air on the count of three. It was a beautiful sight to see all those paper planes gliding through the crisp autumn air, messages of good will flying towards bride and groom.
After the ceremony guests migrated to a different part of the farm where bride and groom featured a petting zoo, complete with puppies, llama, hens, raccoon, calf, horses and fawn. My favorite moment was when the fawn, sharing a moment with the bride, was enticed to try and eat her veil.
And then came a very special wedding moment where the whole wedding party and I walked over to the beautiful rustic field with hay bails and did an impromptu photo session. Most of these were candids, but many of the wedding party, perhaps fueled by a bit of liquid courage, were happy to let me pose them slightly to capture some great editorial shots.
Then came golden hour with bride and groom. This is that moment, which I recommend at all weddings, where bride and groom portraits are shot in that hour or so before sunset. It's one of my favorite times to shoot because the light is so soft and even and golden and wonderful. Typically I'll shoot in the open shade, but to take advantage of the field, I shot with the golden sun subtly falling onto the pair, who seemed relieved to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowd and share a quiet moment.
Then after the sun fell guests gathered in a tent and dinner & toasts commenced. Soon after that guests were then moved over to the barn, where Father & daughter started with the First Dance as guests looked on.
And then came the Hora. This was my first Hora, which is a traditional and raucous dance that occurs at many Jewish ceremonies, where bride and groom are lifted up into the air while seated in their chairs and then guests, holding hands, circle them, increasingly faster, and offering warm wishes to the couple. It was definitely a highlight and a fantastic way to end the night for me.