Chris and Emily's Wedding at Aster Cafe in Minneapolis
Emily and Chris live in Chicago - and from our first meeting I knew that they were the kind of couple I love to work with. Emily is warm and friendly and thoughtful; Chris is charismatic and organized and a great listener.
When they were looking for a wedding venue, they fell in love with Aster Cafe - it feels cozy and romantic, and they loved how it set the tone for their intimate wedding. When we talked about how they wanted to experience their wedding day, they wanted it to feel like a reflection of their love and their relationship: they wear their hearts on their sleeves and are emotional, honest people. They didn’t want the day to feel too complicated, they didn’t want to subscribe to traditions that didn’t resonate with them - they wanted to surround themselves with their community, share a meal, and party it up.
Emily and Chris had talked with me about wanting wedding photography that would capture the moment and the mood of their day. They were psyched about having two photographers (I always bring along my partner Tyler as my second shooter), and creating pictures that would take them back to how they felt throughout their day.
The morning of the wedding: setting the scene
Emily and Chris knew that they didn’t want to see each other before their wedding ceremony, and so Tyler and I split up to separately document Chris and Emily in their final preparations before the wedding. Tyler photographed Chris and his brothers as they finished getting dressed for the day, grabbed a drink, and took a walk through downtown Minneapolis on their way to the Aster.
I spent a little time Emily and her mom and sister in Aster’s new bridal suite. They had the calmest energy - Emily jammed out to Lizzo on the radio while she got her hair/makeup done. I love these last couple pictures of Emily right after she got into her dress - it was starting to feel so REAL that she was about to walk down the aisle! You can just feel the excitement and nerves and all the energy.
Emily and Chris’s intimate wedding ceremony at Aster Cafe
Officiated by Chris’s brother (who was hilarious and sweet at the same time!), their ceremony started as guests stood up to watch Emily walk down the aisle and to watch Chris tear up as he looked at Emily in her wedding dress for the first time.
Emily and Chris wrote their own vows, and DANG they were sweet!! Chris’s vows were heartfelt and intimate and a little funny, and Emily (who has a background in journalism) wrote such beautiful words that literally all of their guests were in tears (that includes me - I was wiping tears off the back of my camera!). Their ceremony was intentional and so full of love and community - and in the setting of Aster Cafe’s river room, it felt so cozy and warm and true to them.
Couple portraits at St. Anthony Main
Immediate after their ceremony, Chris and Emily walked straight outside to have a celebratory moment together - and I’m thankful they let me photograph it. They were giggly and sweet and so so happy, and I love all the joy in these pictures!! After a few minutes of just taking each other in, we walked along St. Anthony Main just a bit to get a few portraits with them - some including the historic brick buildings of main street, other pictures incorporating the greenery from the nearby trees.
These two had skipped a traditional wedding party and instead had included their siblings/family members in their wedding - as their officiant, standing up with them during their ceremony, or as their official witnesses. I love how they kept the focus on family/community. At the beginning of cocktail hour, their immediate families did join us outside for a few beautiful portraits together.
Before Chris and Emily headed into their reception, we paused in front of Aster Cafe for a few more portraits together. The weather was starting to get dark and cloudy, which often means that there won’t be a very visible/colorful sunset. I still wanted to capture a really epic portrait and knowing that we might not be able to be outside if it rained later, I grabbed my lighting equipment (okay, let’s be honest - Tyler ran to grab it while we walked across the street. Thanks, Tyler!) and we used a flash to create this fun pop of light behind the couple. I love this portrait because it has such a sense of place - it feels like St. Anthony Main and Aster Cafe, and it also feels warm and emotional and super full of joy.
Emily and Chris’s Minneapolis wedding reception inside Aster Cafe
Emily and Chris headed in to their cocktail hour to greet guests - and the evening just flowed from there. Guests mingled and laughed under Aster’s patio tent during cocktail hour, then sat down at long tables full of greenery for a long dinner. The atmosphere was warm and relaxed - lots of candles and twinkly lights, lots of laughing, lots of champagne! Parents and siblings toasted the couple, and then everyone danced the night away together.
The reception space at Aster Cafe’s River Room had such beautiful ambiance and architecture. And I’m always a sucker for long tables full of family and friends all sharing a meal - so lovely!
Emily and Chris had brought in Belle Amour for vintage- jazz live music during dinner and dancing!! It made their first dance even more epic.