Stillwater Wedding by Emily Steffen Photography + Capture Studios
December 22, 2011
Something about this wedding makes me smile. Could be the crazy adorable bridesmaids or the super cute boys all in a row. Could be the whimsical and yet completely lovely style. Or the pure joy radiating out of each image. Might be the little tidbits of fun that are infused into every last detail or the sense of coziness and total love. But I'm pretty sure it's more than that. I'm pretty sure it's the ridiculously adorable bride and groom who are so madly in love you simply can't help but smile. Photographed by Emily Steffen, this wedding is a reminder that at the end of the day...having someone to love is the most important part of your wedding style. Click here to see even more.

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride...Nate and I got engaged 7 years after we started dating and I had definitely spent a good portion of the years leading up to the proposal day-dreaming about our future wedding. We always knew we wanted to have an informal wedding that really reflected us as a couple. Some of our favorite memories included hosting dinner parties and playing lawn games with friends in the backyard. We thought that replicating that casual setting on a larger scale with our all-time favorite people would be the perfect way to celebrate our marriage.

We set out searching for an outdoor venue in the Twin Cities, where Nate and I had lived together for almost 5 years before moving west to San Francisco. We ended up taking a gamble and chose a venue sight unseen and are so happy we did! Our venue, Camrose Hill Farm in Stillwater, MN was an absolute stunner. A historic dairy farm owned by florist Cindie Sinclair, Camrose had the picture-perfect rustic charm we were searching for. The venue had an outdoor space for the ceremony, an area to play lawn games, a covered pavilion for the reception and a rustic cabin for the wedding party to get ready in. The property even had a bonfire pit so we could roast s'mores. We were sold!

For dinner, we knew for quite a while that we wanted to serve pizza. Our favorite restaurant in Minneapolis serves wood-fired neapolitan pizzas and we were lucky to find a wonderful caterer, Nate Lane of Thyme to Entertain, to make delicious pizzas just like them for our big day. Farmington Bakery made fantastic pies and cookies and Nate's mom made “our” pie. (We couldn't imagine our wedding without one of her creations.)

After a lot of the big pieces were taken care of, we could focus on the little details. Our tastes tend to skew a bit more modern/graphic yet we had chosen a very charming, shabby-chic venue so my challenge was to find a way to merge these aesthetics. (I think our theme ended up being “modern + rustic” if that makes any sense at all!) The Invitations and Save The Dates I'd designed essentially set the stage for our color palette: a simplistic combo of black, grey and a pop of red. From there, everything started to fall into place. (We ultimately had to scrap a lot of my big décor plans due to a limited budget, but thankfully the venue had so much built-in charm that it really didn't need any decorating. Score!)

We were very lucky to have lots of help, support and participation from good friends and family members in order to pull everything together. Our families put a great deal of effort into assembling decorations and helping with logistics. One of our close friends officiated the ceremony which made it extremely special and personal. (The ceremony ended up being our favorite part of the day!) Another close friend, Caleb Hawley is a talented musician and he and his band totally rocked the reception.

Our laid-back affair came together better than we could have predicted. It was full of emotion, lots of laughter, our favorite people and a number of happy surprises. We never wanted to have a traditional, cookie-cutter day and I've been told we were successful. We're so glad that the fabulous photographer Emily Steffen and videographer Matt Brue of Capture Studios were there to capture the day from beginning to end. Nate and I are excited to be able to relive our big day through images for many, many years to come.

Wedding Photography: Emily Steffen Photography / Wedding Cinematography: Capture Studios / Flowers: Camrose Hill Flowers / Ceremony + Reception Location: Camrose Hill Flower Farm / Wedding Dress: Nicole Miller / Hair + Make-up: Erin Dennison / Caterer: Thyme to Entertain / Dessert: Farmington Bakery