We're the Millers: A Rustic Wedding Celebration
Garret and Alicia: we first met these two back in 2018. I still remember their engagement session like it was yesterday. We had just gotten the smallest amount of snowfall, which made for gorgeous photos on the back country roads. We spent the afternoon on Garret's family property that had the most breathtaking country views.
I knew almost instantly that these two were crazy in love. It was a quiet kind of love, one that was tender and sweet. The way that Garret held on to Alicia with such care gave me an idea of how special the love was that they shared.
In the coming months we would talk about the wedding- colors and themes, timelines and photo lists. The wedding was here before we knew it.
The morning of the wedding, Trent and I packed our gear and headed off to St. James Hotel in Redwing, MN. Let me tell you, this hotel and salon was one of the coolest we had ever seen. The second we walked in the door we could feel the excitement in the air. Alicia was getting her hair and makeup done, surrounded by all of her biggest fans.
Happy Wedding Day Alicia!
Alicia had one of the biggest wedding parties we have ever spent the day with. But each and every one of these girls held such a special place in Alicia's heart. You could tell that these girls had such a love and support for Alicia, it was just an atmosphere that made you feel good. After wrapping up hair and makeup, we headed up to the roof to take some pictures of all the girls together in their robes. I told the girls to get as close and cozy as they could. They all took turns telling Alicia how beautiful she looked. I snapped some photos and we all celebrated Alicia together.
After lots of girl time and pampering, we all headed to the church so Alicia could get into her dress and start preparing for the big reveal. Before her first look with Garret, Alicia spent a few moments with her mom. Alicia is the only girl out of her siblings, so this moment was really special between mother and daughter. I love when we're able to catch moments like these- so simple yet filled with so much emotion.
Anticipation, excitement + nerves flooded through the room as the bride and groom prepare for the first look.
There's no doubt that our bride and grooms all feel these emotions in the moments leading up to their first look. The first look on a wedding day is one of the most romantic and exciting moments we get to capture. You can feel the emotion between the two as they waited to see each other the most important day of their lives.
I still smile when I look at these and see that they both had the same reaction to look down and take in a deep breath before they got the okay to continue on to the big reveal. Trent and I always walk our bride and groom through this moment ahead of time, so that when the time comes, we can take a step back and let them enjoy a few moments alone. Watch for yourselves and see how this first look unfolded <3
Isn't she the most beautiful bride?
After these two shared their first look, Garret didn't want to let go of Alicia, and I don't think his eyes ever left hers. It was the sweetest thing, the way he looked at her. Anyone in the room (or outside in this case) could see how much he cared for her. We moved on to some photos outside of the church before it was time for the ceremony.
The "I dos" and the "I love yous"
The Ceremony was beautiful, and again Alicia made the most beautiful bride. You can see the excitement on her face as she walked down the aisle to be given away by her dad. This special moment is always a tear jerker as dad gives away his baby girl.
Birds and boats and water, oh my!
After Alicia and Garret were officially announced as Mr. and Mrs. Miller, it was time for formal photos! We all hopped onto the party bus and headed to the Pier in Lake City for some beautiful photos on the lake. It was so bright and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. You could hear the birds and the boats, and the waves crashing to the shore. But nothing was as loud as the sound of laughter coming from a group of people celebrating the love of Alicia and Garret.
Group formals wrapped up just in time for us to snap a few photos of the two love birds before we made our way to the reception! I told them to give me their most romantic kiss, and they definitely didn't hesitate to do so!
CEL-E-BRATE GOOD TIMES, C'MON!
The reception was underway! As guests started taking their seats for dinner, the Bride's father grabbed the mic for his speech. Can I just say that, hands down, this was the best speech we have ever heard at a wedding? He made us all laugh, he made us all cry... (literally, he made me cry through my lens) ... it was a speech unlike any other.
At the very end of the speech he gave some words of wisdom from Alicia's grandfather. He called us up to the stage for this moment, to capture a photograph for him. He told Alicia to put her hand down on the table, then directed Garret to put his hand down on top of hers. He asked me to snap this photo as he told Garret-
"That's the last time you ever get the upper hand!"
The room of family and friends erupted with laughter as he ended his speech and prayed over dinner.
Details, Flowers and Work Boots
After speeches we couldn't help but get some detail shots of the decor at the venue. The rustic touches and abundance of greenery was beyond stunning. As we were taking detail shots, we noticed the sweetest piece of all the decor. At the entrance of the venue sat a table with Garret's work boots. In the work boots was a note that read-
"Once upon a time... A hardworking young man Who was raised by his parents To always be a gentleman, asked A pretty, little, kind hearted, Faithful woman to be his wife. She said yes... And They lived happily ever after!"
Just the sweetest, perfect little rustic touch that we couldn't help but document. A story of their love with the most happiest of endings.
Now, let's get to dancing!
From the first dance shared between husband and wife, to dance dance dancing the night away, this group of family and friends sure knew how to get down! We had so many fun moments during this reception, celebrating Mr. and Mrs. Miller!
It's the simple moments that mean the most
After some dancing and singing and hanging with friends, Trent and I decided to steal Alicia and Garret away from some sunset photos. This is always such a special time for the new Mr. and Mrs. In the midst of the timelines and the busy wedding day schedule, sunset photos give the chance for our Bride and Groom to spend a few quiet moments as husband and wife. We gave Alicia and Garret a few prompts, and stood in the shadows while they spent some time in each other's company. As we watched them walk together, hand in hand, we remembered the last line in their story-