Michelle and Tim's Supreme-Court-Inspired (Yes, Really!) Wedding in the North Loop

Michelle and Tim’s engagement story begins with Tim furious at Florida.

On the eve of the 2016 election, Tim had planned a grand surprise proposal for he and Michelle’s Florida vacation; there were friends involved, the ring was packed for a trip to the Sunshine State and Tim had his speech memorized.

On election night, as both Michelle and Tim watched Donald Trump’s election with shock and dismay, Tim grew angrier and angrier at Florida’s role in the upset.

“There’s no way we’re getting engaged in Florida,” he thought.

So Tim unpacked the ring, called off the Florida plan and proposed here in the North Loop, the place he and Michelle have called home for two years.

Did I mention that political life is a key component of Michelle and Tim’s relationship? From the beginning, they bonded over their passion for justice, their love of documentaries and their commitment to discuss tough things with one another, to examine the world and find their place in it with intention.

This past fall they both began attending law school, and it was inspiring to hear them talk about beginning this journey together, as passionate lawyers and partners in life.

For their wedding Michelle and Tim wanted to plan a day that gathered all their people together, a comfortable, communal celebration of love and family. As a nod to the city that had been the backdrop of their love story, they chose 514 Studios in the North Loop as their wedding venue.


Getting Ready

Michelle and Tim decided they wanted to wait to see each other for the first time at the ceremony. Tim got ready at the Hewing Hotel with his groomsfolk and I love that you can feel his anticipation as he puts on his wedding clothes and this sweet photo of him writing down his vows in this beautiful keepsake notebook.

Michelle got ready at 514 Studios, upstairs from the venue space is a beautiful natural light photo studio and, especially since the day ended up being a bit windy and rainy, it was the perfect spot to capture these lovely, light-filled photos of Michelle and her bridesfolk without exposing anyone’s finery to the elements.

There are so many sweet moments here: Michelle tearing up as soon as she saw her brother who was also her Man of Honor; Michelle’s mom pinning a family heirloom ring into the pocket of her wedding dress so she could carry her past with her; and Michelle, glorious in her beautiful Ann Barge wedding dress, taking a deep, excitement-filled breath - you can almost feel her thinking “It’s really happening!”


The 514 Studios Wedding Ceremony

The first time a couple sees each other on their wedding day is always full of emotion, and Tim teared up as soon as Michelle started walking down the aisle with her dad. Both Michelle and Tim (and their families) shed lots of happy tears during the ceremony; all these photos of them overcome with emotion are so sweet.


Bridal and Family Portraits

Just after the ceremony, the weather had cleared enough for us to find a sheltered nook outside to to take some portraits of Michelle and Tim, their wedding parties and families. Posed family portraits tnd not to be anyone’s favorite part of the wedding day, but I always try to take some because it marks a big moment in time for any family and everyone is looking their best! My trick to making it feel really effortless: have a plan and keep it simple. After a few fun photos, we headed into the reception.


The First Dance and 514 Studios Wedding Reception

The reception was so beautiful, styled and catered by Fork and Flair, with little details throughout to capture a springtime vibe, weave in Tim’s Italian and Michelle’s Norwegian heritage, and nod to their shared passion for the justice system.

I loved the cocktails named after influential judges past and present and tables named after the current supreme court justices, with the head table as Obama-nominee Merrick Garland of course.

Michelle and Tim had their first dance just as they entered the reception to “That’s Amore,” the sweet, sentimental Italian favorite. When I first met Michelle and Tim, they talked about their wedding being fun, family-style, and gathering all their people together. This first dance set the stage, everyone was laughing and singing along, swaying with their arms around each other. Tim was serenading Michelle, Michelle was beaming... it was a perfect moment.


Portraits with a Secret Sunset

While I had originally planned sunset portraits with Michelle and Tim, because of the overcast weather I suggested we take the photos at dusk, after the sun had set. When the weather is overcast, the setting sun doesn’t get low and colorful and glowy, instead the best lighting happens after the sun is below the horizon, when the world is suffused with the last light.

Michelle and Tim agreed so we went out to 514 Studio’s sheltered courtyard, hung with twinkly cafe lights to take some relaxed, romantic photos.

We were about to head back inside, and there was this magic moment. For the first time all day, they sky cleared and a band of beautiful light and color appeared right at the edge of the horizon. So I had Michelle and Tim walk a little down the alley behind 514 Studios, with the backdrop of the stunning sunset colors and the iconic North Loop brick.


Dessert and Dancing

The remainder of the happy wedding day was filled with delicious dessert and dancing. Michelle and Tim had both a traditional tiered wedding cake and a ringed Norwegian wedding cake called a Kransekaka. And then they, and all of their loved ones, danced the night away.


Dearest Michelle and Tim, it has been incredible getting to know you both in the past year. Thank you for giving me an authentic window into your relationship, letting me snuggle with your sweet pups, and for being such a fun, thoughtful, intentional couple. Your wedding was a perfect representation of your love and your communities, and it was such an honor to be there. Congratulations Michelle and Tim!

So many creative people helped make Michelle and Tim’s wedding beautiful and special: Venue, 514 Studios; Tim’s Getting Ready Venue, Hewing Hotel; Styling and Catering, Fork and Flair; Day-of Coordination, Maven Events; Rentals, Ultimate Events; Flowers, Lilia Flower Boutique; Wedding Cake, Gail’s Cakes of Minneapolis; Kransekaka, Taste of Scandinavia; Signage, MalkaMolly; Invitations and Papergoods, Minted; Ceremony Music, Ovation String Quartet; DJ, Midwest Sound; Rings, Shane Company; Michelle’s Dress, Anne Barge; Bride and Groomsmaid’s Dresses, Jenny Yoo; Menswear, Saavi Formalwear.


Are you getting married or looking for a photographer? Check out my wedding portfolio, and download my info and pricing magazine for more information about my work as a Minneapolis wedding photographer. 

Alyssa L-K