Carina Photographics Guest Blog | First Looks

As wedding coordinators, we get asked quite frequently about photographers – how long to hire them for, what types of photos to ask for, timeline etc. One of the M A I N questions we are asked about is whether or not to do a First Look.  So we turned to one of our favorite photographers, Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics for her thoughts about including this in your day and decided we would share her advice with our favorite people!

To Look or Not to Look? Having a First Look on Your Wedding Day

One issue I see a lot of couples struggle with is if they should do a First Look, or if they should wait to see each other when they first walk down the aisle. As a wedding photographer, I have worked with couples in both scenarios. While both ways can work well, there are a few distinct advantages to going with a First Look prior to your wedding ceremony.

The First Look begins with some private time for just the two of you…alone. Unlike your walk down the aisle in a public arena where all eyes are focused on you, these private moments, where you see each other separately from the more formal portraits, are often extremely special for you both. You are able to exchange meaningful gifts, relax, and think about the moments to come. This quiet, contemplative time also serves as a break to calm your nerves. This pre-ceremony atmosphere creates a smooth, steady flow through the day’s events.

Not only are you in top form, but hair and makeup are still fresh and you are still comfortable in your wedding attire. Often times, wedding days and wedding wardrobes can be hot, so people look less and less fresh as the day moves on. Seeing each other in top form will happen if you choose to do your First Look right away.

After the First Look time has finished, we take some posed photos of the two of you. While we still refer to these photos as “posed”, rest-assured that we use our expertise to create images of you that look relaxed, natural and intimate. These photos are the ones that most often end up on walls and in prints or albums. We also take these photos privately, away from bridal party and family members, if possible, to continue to capture candid emotions and moments together.

Once your portrait time is finished, you are able to regroup with bridal party and family members and complete as much of your posed, formal group portraits as possible prior to your wedding ceremony. Once your ceremony is complete, you are then able to spend as much time as possible mingling with your guests and not forced to break into posed photos afterward while wishing you could be somewhere else.

All-in-all, including a First Look into your wedding day is an amazing experience, and one I highly recommend!

Special shout out to Joanna Carina for her insight on to look or not to look, letting us feature her on our blog + showcasing some of her A M A Z I N G photos! To learn more about Carina Photographics, check out her website: http://carinaphotographics.com.

Abby + Casey | Rolling Ridge

poW O W – we are still so in love with Abby + Casey’s special day this past fall. Fall weddings are some of our favorites, because the leaves are B E A U T I F U L at all of the venues that we go to!

While the ladies prepped for the day ahead, the Rustic Elegance team of Kierra, Kristin + Kellie showed up to Rolling Ridge Barn ready to roll [at Rolling Ridge – see what we did there?]. We A D O R E this beautiful barn space, almost as much as we love the owners, Randy + Nancy. They are S O easy to work with, and very sweet. Short Stop Catering was also a dream to work with – we loved collaborating with them to make sure that everything was prepped and ready for the guest arrivals.

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The decor from this wedding was A M A Z I N G! They had a fun and unique guest book – guests signed postcards and placed them in a suitcase [that just happened to be Abby’s Great-Grandparents H O N E Y M O O N suitcase – how adorable is that?!]. This couple rented the display hutch and buffet table from Rustic Elegance and it looked perfect. Abby’s brother made this super F U N photo booth backdrop – there were holes to put your face through  [adorable]. Luckily, Guytano Magno Photography captured some G R E A T shots from this!

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The ceremony was a beautiful outdoor ceremony situated on the foundation of the old barn. Abby’s dad sang and played a special song for the [even more] S P E C I A L couple, and it brought many tears to the eyes of guests. As a surprise for the couple, the parents hired a “live painter” who painted their ceremony – it was one S W E E T wedding gift!

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Post ceremony, guests were treated to a cocktail hour and appetizers. Short Stop Catering even provided an ice sculpture [so C O O L!]. After dinner, Abby + Casey started out the night with their first dance to “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” by Bob Dylan. Since the weather was P E R F E C T, they were able to do their first dance outside on the patio! The Brian Kinney Band kept all of the guests engaged all night long – the dance floor was P A C K E D.

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Abby + Casey were so kind to donate their flowers after the wedding, and the Rustic Elegance team brought them to a senior center the following day. We L O V E D being able to put the smile on their faces.

To the happy couple – thank Y O U for including Rustic Elegance in your beautiful day. The memories that were made are U N F O R G E T T A B L E, and we are so happy for you both.

Special shout out to Guytano Magno for sharing these A M A Z I N G photos with us to feature on our blog!

Vendors:
Venue: Rolling Ridge Weddings & Event Center
Food // Bar // Desserts: Short Stop Catering
Rentals: Rustic Elegance
DJ // Band: Brian Kinney Band
Ceremony Music: L’unica Quartet
Florist: Floral Arts
Photographer // Photo Booth: Guytano Magno
Transportation: Executive Express
Hair // Make-up: SM Makeup Inc
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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Tips + Tricks | Guest Book Ideas

The day of your wedding can F L Y by. There is so much to do, so many people to talk to, and so much to enjoy, all wrapped up into a small amount of time. One way to ensure that you remember your special day forever [even though we already know you will never forget marrying your B E S T friend], as well as involve your guests in your day, is by having a guest book to capture the “day of” memories. Historically, wedding guest books were simple books with blank pages for guests to sign a note of well wishes for the newlyweds. Throughout our time as wedding coordinators, we have seen lots of C R E A T I V E guest book options that stray away from this tradition, and make it a little more E X C I T I N G. We thought we could put this all into a TIPS & TRICKS article for our favorite people!

WOODEN TREASURES
Jumbo J E N G A: First of all, who doesn’t love Jenga? With the latest craze of “jumbo” size yard games, we’ve had a few previous couples [Anne + John & Amy + Sas] who had their guests sign a note to the bride & groom on each piece of their game. Now, whenever they play Jumbo Jenga, they are reminded of their special day, and the people that celebrated with them!

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Shadow box [with wooden pieces]: Shadow boxes are another C U T E way to get your guests involved. A few of our couples have used a shadow box with a small hole in the top, and little wooden circles [Emily + Kyle], or hearts [Amy + Kevin], for guests to sign, and then place in the shadow box. This keepsake would look G R E A T anywhere in your home.

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Letter at Last: Now that you & your partner [most likely] share the same last name, another F U N idea is to purchase or create a wooden letter with the first letter of your new last name, and have your guests sign it. That way, you can use it as a decoration in your home, and always know that you are surrounded by the L O V E of all your wedding guests for years to come.

S P E C I A L State: Whether it’s the state you are married in, or the state you’re living in, another idea for a guest book is to have a wooden cutout of the state of your choice. We had a couple do this [Rachel + Brad], and it turned out B E A U T I F U L L Y.

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Decorative wooden sign: Purchase or craft a wooden sign with your favorite custom quote, and have your guests sign a note on your it. Maggie + Corey decided to do this, and the finished product was nothing short of A M A Z I N G.

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ANNIVERSARY IDEAS
Let’s W I N E about it: Do you and your partner love wine? If you answered yes, this guest book idea is P E R F E C T for you! Purchase some wine bottles, and update with cute labels for your 1 year, 5 year, 10 year, etc., anniversaries [you can find A D O R A B L E ones on Etsy] that guests can sign. We had a couple do this [Kristina + Derek] and guests could not stop commenting on what a fun way it was to celebrate the anniversaries to come!

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S I M P L E, but perfect: Add a mason jar with popsicle sticks for guests to sign a note on. Have a sign next to the mason jar explaining to guests that you and your new partner plan to read these sticks on your first anniversary, and cherish them for years beyond.

PHOTOS TO CHERISH

Photobooth B O O K [of memories]: If you have a photobooth at your wedding, opt to have the machine print out T W O copies, and have a blank guest book where guests can paste in their photobooth memories and sign a fun note to the happy couple.

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Oh S N A P! [Polaroid Cameras] – Have a few Polaroid cameras on a table, along with a blank guest book. You can have guests paste their snaps into the guest book, along with a note that you will cherish forever. If you wanted to enhance this photo station, consider adding a rustic frame with string and clothespins [hey – Rustic Elegance has one to rent!]. We had a couple [Andy + Stephanie] use polaroid cameras, and we are sure that those memories are still F U N to look at!

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MAKE IT YOUR OWN
Hobby Decor: If there’s something love to do as a couple, try to incorporate that into a fun guest book idea. For example, we had an A M A Z I N G couple [Kate + Nick] who love to kayak, so they decided to find small paddles and have their guests sign the paddles [what a F U N keepsake!].

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W A N D E R L U S T: If you love to travel, think about having your guests sign a globe. We haven’t seen a couple do this, but thought it would be a U N I Q U E idea for anyone with the itch to explore the world. You could even pair it with a cute sign saying “You mean the W O R L D to us!” [punny, we know!].

Quit H O R S I N’ Around: Do you have a love for animals like Christine + Jeremy? This C R E A T I V E couple decided to have guests sign a saddle, to further embellish their love for horses [& we loved how special it was to them].

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OTHER NOTABLE IDEAS:
F A M I L Y First: Another idea that we have seen from a few couples [Kailee + Derek & Katie + Danial] is having guests stamp their thumbprint on a family/friend tree! This is another keepsake that would make for G R E A T home decor, and memories for a lifetime.

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P I C T U R E S Q U E paintings: If you and your partner love art, or are looking for something different from the rest, consider providing a painting of something special to you, and having your guests sign it. Amy + Sas did this with a picture of the barn they were married in, so they won’t ever forget the place where two became O N E. Mel + Chris also opted to have guests sign a cartoon picture of them [& their adorable pup] that will look G R E A T in their home.

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Staying C O Z Y [& warm]: As we work with couples in MN/WI with G R U E L I N G winters, Lauren + Drew opted to have guests sign quilt squares that would be made into a wedding quilt for them to use [how adorable is this?!]. We are sure that it still keeps them warm in their hearts too!

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Guest books are a F U N + M E M O R A B L E keepsake to revisit the details from your special day for the rest of your lives. As a couple planning your wedding, choose something that shows your personality, and have your guests add their special touch. We absolutely adore all of the creative ideas that we have seen throughout the years at Rustic Elegance, and continue to be A M A Z E D by our couples and what they come up with each time.

Paige + Steve | Camp Chaos

Paige + Steve were such a F U N – L O V I N G couple and we loved working with them in order to create their perfect day.

They hosted their wedding at their family cabin in Wisconsin, that they have named “Camp Chaos” [fun!]. 8.26.17 had forecasted rain, so we began setting up everything inside, despite the couple’s true wishes to have their ceremony outdoors. Last minute, it looked like the rain would hold off, so with the help of the groomsmen & Rustic Elegance team, we were able to move all of the chairs outside and were able to make the couple’s wish come true! The wedding party for this wedding was H U G E [9 on each side which made it so F U N]. The reception was held inside a tent, which the cocktail hour and dance were held in the barn. The decor inside of the tent was S T U N N I N G, and included homemade centerpieces by the bride’s dad. He took trees from their property and sliced them, making wood runners for all the table [all so beautiful – what a talent to have!].

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Paige + Steve opted to rent their head table from us [and it turned out to be P E R F E C T in the space!]

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Despite a little rain throughout the rest of the night, friends & family were able to enjoy a night of good food, dancing, and I C E C R E A M. Paige + Steve chose to have MN Nice Cream as their dessert vendor for the night. It was so fun! They bring in their ice cream truck and a variety of flavors. Kellie tried vanilla ice cream topped with cookie dough, oreos, and topped with glitter for a B E A U T I F U L touch. MN Nice Cream has homemade ice cream and all guests get to pick their own toppings – such a fun way to provide endless options for guests to choose from. After everyone was full from ice cream, the dance floor was packed as Rick with Flow Event Group had the music P U M P I N G. As the dance continued, guests were able to enjoy s’mores by the bonfire.

The look when you see your future W I F E for the first time that day [l o v e]. Day of Coordinator, Paige + Steve, Family Cabin_0252.jpg

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The men wore some A M A Z I N G suits with fun patterned ties – a F U N combo!
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And the ladies with their mix-and-match D R E S S E S were the definition of #weddingpartygoals
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On to the ceremony setting – elegant G R E E N E R Y with simple decor = P E R F E C T!
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The couple had a F U N guest book with their engagement pictures for guests to sign – a keepsake they will keep F O R E V E R!Day of Coordinator, Paige + Steve, Family Cabin_0274.jpg

The reception decor was G O R G E O U S [love the added touch with the lighting in here – thanks to We’ve Got It Covered!]
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We L O V E the way that our rented table looked as the head table
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Dancing into the night as newlyweds – thanks for letting Rustic Elegance be a part of it!
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Paige + Steve – we are still reminiscing over the B E A U T Y that we saw on your wedding day. Your love for one another is truly extraordinary, and we want to thank you for choosing Rustic Elegance to be your Day of Coordinator!

Special thanks to Kate Becker for sharing these A M A Z I N G photos with us for the blog!

Vendors:
Caterer: Mama’s Catering
Bartender: With A Twist
Rentals: Briggs
Decor: We’ve Got it Covered
DJ: Flow Event Group
Photographer: Kate Becker Photography
Videographer: Flow Event Group
Desserts: MN Nice Cream
Bathrooms: Biff’s
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

Nicole + Dan | Bloom Lake Barn

At Rustic Elegance, we work with couples across MN & WI to help their weddings run smoothly and so that they don’t have to worry about the details, and get to E N J O Y their perfect day [no matter what comes in the way]. Nicole + Dan were nothing less than an amazing couple, and were equally great to work with. Kellie was the lead planner for Nicole + Dan, and knew from her first meeting with these two lovebirds that she was going to love working with them.

The wedding was at Bloom Lake Barn & we absolutely L O V E this venue. Adam & Monique are so easy to work with and we had four weddings in our 2017 wedding season at this venue, all which ran perfectly. We would highly recommend this venue to any couple looking for a barn venue.

As the girls were preparing for the wedding, Nicole and her girlfriends got henna tattoos for the day [which led to A M A Z I N G photos]. 5.28.17 was a day where we weren’t sure exactly what mother nature was thinking. We started their ceremony outside, but it started raining in the middle of their ceremony, so we I M M E D I A T E L Y implicated our backup plan and moved the ceremony indoors. This move created such a thrilling experience for all involved [us included] and created an intimate ceremony unlike any other wedding. Their grand entrance into the reception was led by a drum line [what a fun way to enter as Mr. & Mrs.!]. The guy friends along with the bride & groom entered into the room and met up with the girl friends who were in the middle of the room, and then did a fun group dance while the other guests watched. This was a super cool way to enter and brought some F U N energy into the reception to start off the night.

Nicole + Dan: T H A N K – Y O U from the bottom of our hearts here at Rustic Elegance for giving us the opportunity to work with such an amazing and fun-loving couple like you two as your Day of Coordinator! We are so thankful to work with clients like you, and hope that your life as newlyweds is nothing short of A M A Z I N G.

H U G E shout-out to Tim Larsen Photography for sharing these amazing memories with us and capturing it all on camera!

Vendors:
Venue: Bloom Lake Barn
Caterer & Bartender: Unique Dining Experience
DJ: Transmission Music
Florist: Ivy Rose Design
Photographer: Tim Larsen Photography
Videographer: Alma Video
Desserts: Muddy Paws Cheesecake
Makeup: Makeup by Aleah
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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All smiles with these two – we just L O V E the love they have for one another!
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Having fun pre-ceremony with their friends made for some more smiles + C U T E photos!
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Kellie even snagged a picture with the B R I D E [so cute!].
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The details from this day were simple + so E L E G A N T!
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U H – O H! The rain decided to make it’s way to Bloom Lake Barn in the middle of the ceremony – the couple along with the help of friends + family helped move the ceremony inside!
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Now – time to finish the ceremony I N S I D E [rain, rain, go away!].
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M A R R I E D + loving it!
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More of the G O R G E O U S details from the day…
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First dance as newlyweds – L O V I N G it every step of the way!
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You two are A D O R A B L E – and we adored working with you!
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Round Barn Farm – Styled Shoot

As a wedding coordinator, we have some A M A Z I N G opportunities that come our way. One of such is being a part of a styled shoot. This fall, we were able to take part in a styled shoot at Round Barn Farm, and it couldn’t have turned out any B E T T E R! This barn is located in Red Wing MN, and features [absolutely] beautiful views of the Mississippi River Valley. The barn itself is a sixty foot high round barn, and is surrounded by greenery [fun fact: the barn was built in 1914 – W O W!].

We tried to think a little out of the ordinary for this shoot, and pair some non-traditional fall colors together, while still ensuring that they complement one another, and leave a romantic vibe in the air. We settled on burgundy, gold and black details which turned out to be S T U N N I N G.

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The ladies spent their morning getting ready in the G O R G E O U S bridal suite at Round Barn Farm. JAK Beauty styled our models with some amazing make-up, while Hair Love worked on their hairdos [the outcome was perfect on all of the models – such a good T E A M!].

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We tried to think a little out of the ordinary for this shoot, and pair some non-traditional fall colors together, while still ensuring that they complement one another, and leave a romantic vibe in the air. We settled on burgundy, gold and black details which turned out to be S T U N N I N G.

For this shoot, we were S O lucky to have the help of S O many vendors. The bride’s wedding gown was a feature from Bridal Accents Couture, and incorporated gorgeous lace embellishments. Fringe Boutique provided E L E G A N T gold jewelry for our ladies which added an extra sweet touch. The bridesmaids were outfitted in long, burgundy dresses in two different styles [tip: this style is I N – having your bridesmaids in different styles of dresses looks fun for pictures A N D ensures that everyone is comfortable in their dress!]. Also, because fall weddings can get a little C O O L in the MN // WI area, we featured fur wraps to keep our ladies heated during the shoot. The A D O R A B L E flower girl is wearing a simple white dress with burgundy accents [sash + floral crown] to complement the wedding color scheme. The groom was dressed in a traditional black suit with a burgundy bow tie [L O V E] and pocket square. The ring bearer wanted to be dressed the same as the groom, and the outcome is just too C U T E!

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The florals throughout the day were nothing short of P E R F E C T! Studio B did a fantastic job tying in burgundy, red, and purple arrangements throughout the day. The bouquets even had blueberries [so C R E A T I V E]. Hanging amaranthus were also used throughout the day to add more of the burgundy pop to our shoot.

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The Round Barn Farm is seemingly B E A U T I F U L by nature. For decor for this shoot, we decided to focus on this natural beauty outdoors, and keep the ceremony sites decor simple. The fun thing about the Round Barn Farm is that they have 2 ceremony site locations to choose from when planning your S P E C I A L day, so we wanted to showcase these outstanding options. For ceremony site #1, We’ve Got It Covered used G O R G E O U S white draping to frame the site, and add a nice simple touch to the ceremony backdrop. We also utilized some of the hanging amaranthus on the ceremony draping, and tied black sashes on the backdrop and chairs for another simple touch. Studio B created a hanging floral ball with burgundy blooms, as well as simple greenery for the couple to stand underneath. Love Letters designed a F U N chalkboard sign at the end of the aisle for added decor [which we A D O R E D]. For ceremony site #2, We’ve Got it Covered used simple elegant white draping on a large tree, paired with an adorable chalkboard [again by the talented Love Letters] at the end of this aisle as well.

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On to the R E C E P T I O N! For this, we styled two different tablescapes – one for guests, and one for the head table. The guest tables featured burgundy, cream, and gold color schemes. The chairs were accented by a burgundy + lace sash to further complement the romantic theme. For the centerpiece features, we used gold lanterns with cream candles, gold floral vases, birch table number holders, floral watermark table numbers + menu cards designed by the great Ink Well Minneapolis, and a burgundy table runner. We also added burgundy blooms, berries, and a subtle amount of greenery compliment our color scheme throughout the tablescape.

For the head table, we used M O R E greenery, as well as a few more black accent details, like plate chargers and napkins. For the head table backdrop, we used burgundy draping with greenery hanging from birch branches. A long garland with gold votive candles was used to center the burgundy bouquets and gold pillar candle holders.

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For the reception decor, Adagio Djay Entertainment added some A M A Z I N G up-lighting to the dance floor, and we were ready to dance [all night long!]. We also featured some cozy couches for guests to sit on in the bottom level of the barn, which were rentals from the Rustic Elegance furniture collection. We’ve Got It Covered added some extra draping for a nice finishing touch to this area.

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And last, but D E F I N I T E L Y not least, our dessert featured a stunning burgundy tiered cake designed by Miss Sara’s Cakery. The top tier was even painted gold to go with the theme. She also provided amazing wedding themed cookies and other small desserts placed on stands and trays to fill the dessert table [which was an old horse wagon situated inside the barn].The dessert stands + platters featured are rentals from Rustic Elegance, and are great options to add a little more rustic decor in to your special day!

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As previously stated, we are S O lucky to have the opportunities to work with some amazing vendors [listed below] at this styled shoot, and we absolutely cannot W A I T to help couples with their Day of Coordinating at the Round Barn Farm.

P.S. Thanks to Jeannine Marie Photography not only for these outstanding photos but also for help putting the amazing details of the day into the above words for our post.

Venue: Round Barn Farm
Photographer: Jeannine Marie Photography
Planner & Decor: Rustic Elegance
Décor: We’ve Got It Covered
Florist: Studio B Floral Designs
Make-Up: JAK Beauty
Hair Stylist: Hair Love
Desserts: Miss Sara’s Cakery
Print/Design: Ink Well Minneapolis
Chalkboard Art: Love Letters
DJ: Adagio Djay Entertainment
Lighting (barn): Adagio Djay Entertainment
Videographer: The Great White Dress
Catering: A’BriTin Catering
Bride Dress: Bridal Accents Couture
Groom Outfit: Savvi Tuxes by Bridal Accents Couture
Flower Girl Dress & Ring Bear Outfit: Bridal Accents Couture
Accessories: Fringe Boutique
Bride/Groom Models: Ali and Shane Ewy
Bridesmaids: Hannah and Angie
Flower Girl/Ring Bear Models: Aubrey & Javin (future Mrs. & Mrs.)

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The Great Dessert Debate

One of our favorite parts of weddings [& probably all of the guests’ too] is D E S S E R T! We absolutely adore the creative ways that couples choose to satisfy the sweet cravings of their guests. Whether you decide on small mini cupcakes or an ice cream truck vendor, the varieties seem limitless. When considering options for the dessert of choice on your special day, we have a few TIPS & TRICKS that we would love to share with you! Which [yummy] dessert[s] will win you over?

TRADITIONAL [ask your parents, they’ll agree]

C A K E: If you like chocolate, vanilla, or a mix of both – traditional wedding cake is always a great option. You can dress it up with a cute cake topper [check out Etsy stores], sprinkles, shimmer, etc. Also, if you opt to go the cupcake route, it’s always fun to have a small cake for the “cake cutting” traditional ceremony [this way, you have some frosting to put on your significant other’s face].
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0065.jpgPhoto by: Kate Becker Photography; Cake: Miss Sara’s Cakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0074.jpgPhoto (top) by: Emily Theisen Photography; Cake (top): Absolute Catering; Photo (bottom) by: Sophisticated Grace Photography; Cake (bottom): Top Tier Delights

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0083.jpgPhoto by: Tim Larson Photography; Cake: Buttercream Bakery

Cupcakes [of A L L sizes]: The best thing about cupcakes is you can have them in assorted sizes. Have the traditional size, giant variety, mini cupcakes or, a combination! Cupcakes also come in unlimited flavor combinations, depending on the bakery you decide to go with. One of our favorite vendors, Nadia Cakes, was featured on Season 1 and 2 of TLC’s show Fabulous Cakes. They have a wide range of fun cupcake flavors and options, including Cookies & Cream, Lemon Drop, Peanut Butter Cup, Salted Caramel, and Vanilla Vanilla [Kellie’s absolute F A V].
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0066.jpgPhoto by: Kate Becker Photography; Cupcakes: Miss Sara’s Cakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0089.jpgPhoto by: Asher Marie Photography; Cupcakes: The Thirsty Whale Bakery

Cookies [& milk]: Cookies are fun, easy, and a wonderful way to share your style. One wedding we helped with had the bakery make each family member’s favorite cookie, and these were noted at the wedding with a sign. We have also had the aunts of the couple make and bring their favorite dessert bars to share. These are such G R E A T ways to get family involved on your special day. Also, consider adding some milk to the end of your cookie selection [because what’s a cookie without milk to go with it?].
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0067.jpgPhoto by: Lisa Jaster; Cookies: Cold Spring Bakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0068.jpgPhoto by: Lisa Jaster; Cookies: Cold Spring Bakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0079.jpgPhoto by: Lisa Jaster; Cookies: Cold Spring Bakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0077.jpgPhoto by: Kate Becker Photography; Cookies: Miss Sara’s Cakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0070.jpgPhoto by: Lisa Jaster; Cookies: Cold Spring Bakery

MOST CREATIVE [trust us, you’ll be happy you read this!]

P I E: This is such a fun idea – pies of all kinds! We’ve seen regular pies baked by family members, or pies by one of our favorite vendors Sara’s Tipsy Pies. She can even provide mini pies, which can be placed on a stick, or pies in mason jars [how fun!]! Sara has partnered with local wine, whiskey, and beer vendors such as 2 Gingers, Liftbridge, Saint Croix Vineyards, Finnegans, Third Street Brewhouse, Winehaven, etc., to add a little twist to her desserts.
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0075.jpgPhoto by: Agape Moments Photography; Pies: Sara’s Tipsy Pies

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0076.jpgPhoto by: Agape Moments Photography; Pies: Sara’s Tipsy Pies

Cheesecakes: You can’t really go wrong with a good cheesecake! The F U N thing about cheesecakes is that you can also get mini cheesecake bites to satisfy the sweet tooth. This is a fun option to upgrade from regular cake that we [absolutely] adore. Check out Muddy Paws Cheesecake for some G R E A T options!

Cake Pops [little rounds of deliciousness]: Cake pops are another creative alternative to cake or cupcakes. You can display cake pops in mason jars, on cake pop stands, etc. They are also super easy to make if you are a D I Y queen and have all of the right equipment.
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0085.jpgPhoto by: Asher Marie Photography; Cake pops: The Thirsty Whale Bakery

Want s’more? [the answer is Y E S]: North Mallow offers a traveling S’mores Bar which includes 9 different flavored artisan marshmallows, a variety of different graham crackers, chocolates, and candy bars! They also bring along a “Roast Counselor” to give suggestions on how to make the perfect s’more [graham cracker + marshmallow + R E E S E S = yes please!].

NEW & NOTEWORTHY [because why not?]

D E S S E R T trucks [how cool is this?]: One of the C O O L E S T new ideas that we have seen is catering in a dessert food truck. We’ve seen an ice cream truck [Minnesota Nice Cream], and are waiting for this to catch on to more weddings [we are aware that there is a cookie dough truck – N E E D to try this!].

[Mini] Dessert Shooters: Not a huge dessert fan? One idea for those wanting a L I G H T but sweet treat is adding mini dessert shooters as your dessert. These can come in different types of pudding, mousses, etc., and can contain all sorts of flavors.

D E S S E R T bars [of all types]: Another noteworthy idea for desserts is to consider adding a D I Y serve yourself bar of desserts! It could be a pie bar, cookies & milk bar, caramel apple bar, crepe making station, or even an ice cream sundae bar! A great friend of ours This Little Piggy Catering can help provide an ice cream bar or crepe making station. Their ice cream bar includes – delicious Bridgeman’s Ice Cream, peanuts, strawberries, cherries, M&M’S, Reeses, Oreos, sprinkles, warm hot fudge, and warm caramel. They also offer a 1919 keg of Root Beer for floats as well [ok this is S O fun]. Their crepe making station features Nutella, Caramel, Banana, Cinnamon twist, Lemon Supreme, Strawberry, Banana Strawberry Supreme, and Chocolate. It allows your guest to order just what they like [& you too]!

Cotton C A N D Y: We haven’t seen a couple do this yet, but think it would be S O fun to add a cotton candy machine to your dessert options, especially if you’re getting married on the fairgrounds. Think about this fun [& not overused] dessert idea.

AN ASSORTMENT OF YOUR FAVS [& we are sure we’ll agree]

Mix & Match: There are S O many different desserts you can mix & match. It could be all cupcakes, but some mini sized and some regular sized, to cake pops and a traditional cake, or maybe cookies & an ice cream sundae bar [we could go on for D A Y S with options]. There is no “wrong” when it comes to your desserts & pairing a few great tastes together.

F L A V O R S: Most desserts come in multiple flavors [unless you’re sticking to one G I A N T cake]. Don’t forget to have a variety of flavors for your guests to choose from [& also watch for food allergies that you’re aware of for your guests], but they are going to be so grateful either way!
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0069.jpgPhoto by: Nicole Spangler Photography; Donuts: Angel Food Bakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0090.jpgPhoto by: Eileen K Photography ; Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0081.jpgPhoto by: 99 Perspectives Photography
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0072.jpgPhoto by: Nicole Spangler Photography; Dessert bites: Angel Food Bakery

DISPLAYS [we can help!]
Hey – let’s D I S P L A Y: The way that you choose to display your desserts can also dress up your reception space. Rustic Elegance provides a variety of display options to rent for your special day. We have plenty of cake stands, cupcake stands, wine barrel table, a vintage hutch, etc., that we would L O V E for you to use. When thinking about where you’re going to put your desserts, think about where your guests will be post dinner [hopefully on the D A N C E floor] and consider placing the desserts in an area close. Also, consider who is going to place your desserts on the display [& keep it full]. Will it be the dessert vendor, family, friends, or your day of coordinator [we can do that!]? Plan for this ahead of time so you aren’t stuck with a ton of extra sweets post-wedding [unless you want that – we wouldn’t mind it].
Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0071.jpgPhoto by: Kate Becker Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0073.jpgPhoto by: Asher Marie Photography ; Cake: The Thirsty Whale Bakery

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0084.jpgPhoto by: Jeannine Marie Photography 

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0082.jpgPicture by: Jennifer Togal Photography; Cake: Nothing Bundt Cakes

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0088.jpgPhoto by: Kelly Birch Photography 

As you can see, there is a ton of V A R I E T Y when it comes to desserts at weddings. You can go from traditional to something new, or a little of both, and you & your guests will be extremely happy. If you’re planning your wedding now and are looking for a vendor, check out our Vendor page for some [fun & amazing] ideas!

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0078.jpgPhoto by: Shelly Paulson Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0080.jpgPhoto by: Emily Theisen Photography 

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0086.jpgPhoto by: Eileen K Photography

Day of Coordinator, Tips + Tricks, The Great Dessert Debate_0087.jpgPhoto by: Asher Marie Photography

Kate + Nick | Nicollet Island Pavilion

Kate + Nick – where to start? This couple was a D R E A M to work with, and we are so lucky to have had the experience to work with them!

6.17.17 was an absolutely dreamy sunny afternoon. The set-up for the day ran smoothly and fluent, thanks to some of the awesome vendors that we got to work with. Mintahoe Catering had the appetizers prepped and ready for the Cocktail Hour – they set up a B E A U T I F U L display of delicately placed fromagerie & charcuterie platters, as well as an outdoor bar [that was well stocked for the guests arrival]. Once cocktail hour began, the guests enjoyed appetizers, drinks outside, and yard games. The couple brought their own bag boards with their family crescent on them [ok how C U T E?!].

Post-cocktail hour, guests were guided into Nicollet Island Pavilion for the reception. The decor was set with a clean, elegant vibe with a splash of greenery. The bride had 8 foot tall black & white photos of the couples parents and grandparents on their respective wedding days & it provided an extremely meaningful touch to the decor. Instead of a traditional guest book set-up, this couple opted to add two oars to a table for guests to sign. Their love for kayaking together gave them the idea for the non-traditional guest book, and we adored it! The wedding party was announced, and Kate was [elegantly] escorted in by her now husband, Nick. The newlyweds started off the evening with their first dance, to “Let It Be Me” performed by the Bluewater Kings Band.

The vendors for the night [all A M A Z I N G and are listed below] were such great team players. Mintahoe Catering did a perfect job with the table setting – everything was placed with utter precision. Munster Rose arranged all of the gorgeous floral arrangements and it couldn’t have looked any better. For a musical touch, the Bluewater Kings Band were fun, F L A W L E S S, and extremely professional. Desserts were provided by Cocoa & Fig  and  they had a large assortment of desserts including pies on sticks in the shape of Minnesota [adorable], fresh fruit tarts, and gooey cupcakes D R I P P I N G in flavor. Thank you so much to Ryan A. Stadler for sharing these photos with us!

Kate + Nick – we are so B L E S S E D to have been your Day of Coordinators. You two were such a cute couple to work with, and we wish you all the best in your new married life!

Vendors:

Catering: Mintahoe Catering & Events

Venue: Nicollet Island Pavilion

Rentals: Linen Effects

Desserts: Cocoa & Fig

Floral: Munster Rose

Music: Bluewater Kings Band

Photographer: Ryan A. Stadler

Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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Anne + John | Daly Park

We wanted to throw a little T H R O W B A C K wedding your way for our blog this week. Anne + John got married on 8.6.16, and we are still a little [a.k.a. a lot] obsessed with how cute this couple was, and how breathtaking their wedding was.

Anne + John celebrated their special day at Daly Park. This land was previously owned by the bride’s grandfather, which he then donated to the city to start a park [how S W E E T is this?!]. The ironic part is the last name of the man that Anne fell in love with… Mr. John Park! So, Anne + John Park got married at Daly Park [you can’t make this stuff up!].

Kellie [the F A N T A S T I C owner of Rustic Elegance] met the couple for the first time during a snowstorm at the campground and she brought her dog Skyler along for the ride. Anne + John had their dog Roxy along as well, and the two pups became friends quickly. There’s nothing like puppy love! After meeting with Anne + John, Kellie knew it was a perfect fit and couldn’t wait to dig deep into helping these two plan their wedding day.

The day of the wedding was P E R F E C T! Even Roxy, the pup, was ready for the day with her nails painted. Anne + John were married in a beautiful ceremony at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and following their “I do’s”, moved the party over to a H U G E tent reception at Daly Park. With about 300 guests, the night’s festivities kicked off! Absolute Catering was great to work with – timely, easy to communicate with, and E X C E L L E N T food. Anne had a wardrobe change into an absolutely gorgeous traditional Korean dress – we were in A W E. The night was surrounded by friends, family, and great music from the Bluewater Kings Band [we L O V E them!]. Towards the end of the night, a little Irish-type of dancing broke out and it was so fun to watch. To cap off the night, the Rustic Elegance team spent some time around the bonfire with the newlyweds. Post bonfire, the Rustic Elegance team of Kellie, Lynse & Kelly camped at the campground overnight and had a B L A S T [adventurous ladies!].

Anne + John were married on the same date that Anne’s parents were married, so the morning following their reception, they had an anniversary celebration brunch under the same tent that was used for the reception [talk about S M A R T!]. Anne + John were so welcoming, and invited the Rustic Elegance team to attend the brunch as well [how do we get so lucky with clients? really!].

Anne + John – your wedding was one that we at Rustic Elegance will always cherish, and we are so T H A N K F U L to have had the opportunity to work with you two as your Day of Coordinator. We hope that married life is amazing, just like the two of you!

Vendors:
Reception: Daly Park
Caterer & Bar: Absolute Catering
Rentals: G & K Event Rentals
Reception Music: Bluewater Kings Band
Florist: Plaid Piper
Photographer: Emily Theisen Photography
Bathroom Rentals: OnSite
Makeup: Bella Donna
Transportation: Lake Crystal Coaches
Coordination: Rustic Elegance

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Ashley + Jack | John P. Furber Farm

We LOVED helping Ashley + Jack with their Day of Coordinating at the the Historic John P. Furber Farm! They are just the sweetest couple! We had so much fun chatting about their wedding details over coffee [our favorite way to plan weddings!]

Their day started off with all nine bridesmaids getting ready in the beautiful bridal suite wearing super cute matching robes [with mimosas in hand of course]. As Ashley walked through the ceremony doors [rented from Rustic Elegance], We saw Jack shed a tear as he saw his bride for the first time that day. That made us tear up just a little also! Ashley + Jack filled the Furber Barn with 350 of their fav people!. A’BriTin Catering handled this guest count like a champ! We then placed an entire cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes [which also happens to be our personal fav] on each of the tables for guests to enjoy (thats a lot of cake)! The night continued with lots of dancing fun, how could you leave the dance floor with Adagio playing their good beats?

Ashley + Jack we want to sincerely thank you for including Rustic Elegance in your special day! We loved meeting you two and wish you the best!! We will definitely miss our coffee planning dates!

Vendors:
Venue: John P. Furber Farm
Photographer: Emily Isakson Photography
Desserts: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Flowers: Eclectic Elegance Florist
Caterer: A’ BriTin Catering
Planner/Day of Coordinator: Rustic Elegance
Rentals: Rustic Elegance and A Vintage Touch
DJ: Adagio

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Awh, pretty bride!
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Cakes provided by Nothing Bunt Cakes, guests raved about how delish they were!
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Our barrel and doors are a few of our fav rental items!
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Check out those bouquets made by Electic Elegance!
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The wedding party was THIRSTY, after taking all their photos!
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Awh the first dance under the carefully hung light strings by We’ve Got it Covered
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