landlocked bride® | midwest + mountain west wedding inspiration

plan a modern wedding in the middle of the country

I feel like everyone I know that isn’t already married has been getting engaged this spring, and a lot of them are planning fall weddings. Today’s wedding is wonderful inspiration for a fall soiree, with the rich color palette, lawn games, and apple cider bar. Danielle and Shane’s personalities also shine through, whether they’re skipping through a field, sipping from some special “wine glasses”, or holding their little boy. This was definitely a day of celebrating love, pulled together with the help of family and friends.

From the Bride:

Shane and I met on what is not the fairly obsolete MySpace. We welcomed our son Gray 3 years later. Shane and I talked on/off about getting married from the beginning. FINALLY in late February of 2012 Shane took me ring shopping… We went to Wedding Day in Burnsville and I picked out 4 rings that I absolutely loved. On April 9, the same day, Shane picked it up!! It burned a hole in his pocket so bad he almost proposed in the middle of Menards…but was able to hold out until we got home later that day. He met me in the door way of our house, got down on one knee and asked me to be his hunting buddy for life, to be his best friend and his wife (not the exact wording, but it’s a little fuzzed in my brain from the good kind of shock). Of course I said YES!
 We originally were not going to set a date right away, but in the end we did: Saturday October 19, 2013. 
 First thing on the list…find a venue that would hold his enormous family! I came across the Crow River Winery out in Hutchinson MN…could hold up to 400 people–our kind of place! It was still in the process of being finished construction wise, but Shane and I took a tour and knew it was the place. We booked it that day… May 2012.
 The process really wasn’t anything truly exciting. I bought things here and there, scoured Pinterest for ideas/inspiration, and leaned quite a bit on my dear friends Stefanie and Stacy who did all my flowers, pulled ideas together for me and thought up the awesome cider/cupcake bar! They also decorated the entire reception…they were the best!
 The day went wonderfully! It was cold, but beautiful. I was so calm and collected through my hair and make up. The girls started getting their dressed on and when that big, beautiful dress came down over my head, that was the end of it…! 🙂
 I will never forget our first dance to Trampled by Turtles “Alone” or when it all hit me during the Grand entrance that it all happened…finally making that step with my love that we had talked about taking for 6 years.
 I wouldn’t change a thing about that day or the people in it.  We were surrounded by loved ones and dear friends and that is how it should be!!

Photographer: Sweet Shibui Photography / -- Select Vendor Type --: Creative Beate- Makeup-Lianna, Hair-Priscilla / Flowers & Decor: Personal friends Stefanie Beilby and Stacy Erickson / Videographer: Maggie Wilkinson / Bride’s Dress: Essense of Australia / Groom’s Attire: Savvi / Catering: B and P Catering / Cake Baker: Sweet B's Cakes

No one could argue that this is both a beautiful wedding, with a very fun-looking reception, looking at these photos. The church is awe-striking, the bridal party looks exquisite, and the bride’s dress is incredible (especially how the bottom fans out when she’s spinning!). The guests and bride and groom are having a blast on the dance floor. It all looks awesome. But my absolute favorite thing about this wedding is just one photo, of the bride and groom sharing a moment sitting down together alone. These moments are so important in a wedding day, as it is a day that joins two people together for a lifetime, and those two people should get a chance to relish it, as well as have an amazing time celebrating. This couple obviously did both, and I applaud them for it.

From the Photographer:

Leslie is a Minnesotan native, but met her groom, Matt, while in college in Texas. All of their Texas friends were shown the beauty of a St Paul wedding, on one of the hottest days of the year. A large formal ceremony took place in the Cathedral of St Paul, followed by a lovely reception at the (thankfully air conditioned) History Center. The wedding party was the epitome of classic beauty in Monique Lhullier and Hugo Boss. The couple showed their southern hospitality and chatted with guests during dinner. The band was amazing and the dance floor was packed the entire night. Leslie even changed into a cute second dress made for dancing.

Photographer: Studio Laguna Photography / Catering: Bon Appetite / Flowers & Decor: Richfield Floral and Gardens / Reception Venue: Minnesota History Center / Invitations & Stationery: Epitome Papers / Dress Store: Flutter Boutique / Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhullier / Cake Baker: Queen of Cakes / Band: Casablanca Orchestra / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of St. Paul / Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss

The stark beauty of Fall and Winter, the ominous skies, and the warm smiles of this happy couple. A scene I’ll never ever tire of.

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Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes…. now, that’s a lot of lakes. This can only mean that there must also be 10,000 amazing waterfront and outdoor wedding venues in Minnesota to choose from right? Well, not quite that many, but there are definitely some outdoor and waterfront venues that are worth taking a look at. There are different venues to fit different size guests lists and different wedding styles. From rustic to elegant, traditional to something a bit more modern, Minnesota has it all. For all the Landlocked Minnesota brides out there, be sure to take note, and for the Landlocked brides in the surrounding areas, hopefully you are able to find some inspiration. I’ll let the photos take it from here…

1) Eagle Lake – Willmar, Minnesota

Presentation1 water shelley

{Shelley Paulson Photography}

2) Mill City Museum – Minneapolis, MN

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{Rivets & Roses Photography via The Knot}

erinjohnson erinjo {Erin Johnson Photography}

 3) Round Barn Farm – Red Wing, MN

roundbarn360 roundbarn roundbarn 360 {Studio 360}

4) Maddens on Gull Lake – Brainerd, MN

shelleypaulson maddens brainard maddens shel {Shelley Paulson Photography}

5) The Outing Lodge – Stillwater, MN

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{Geneoh Photography}

Kaylin and Tyler’s small town Minnesota wedding is filled with joy and cheer. When Tricia of Sweet Shibui Photography shared this wedding with me she told me about how much love the two of them had for each other. They were wrapped up in each other’s smiles and laughter nearly all day. And, it’s obvious in each of the photos she took of them.

From the Bride:
We were married on a warm, sunny day in May 2012 in a little prairie church in southern Minnesota. We wanted a rustic, country feel, mixed with the comfort of a more casual celebration. The girls were in tea length, light yellow dresses; the guys wore suspenders and bowties (and boutonnieres made of fishing bobbers!). Though we had a few funny upsets (the aisle runner wouldn’t unroll, one groomsman got the wrong color vest and tie), the ceremony was the perfect mixture of intimate, moving, and fun. On May 19, that little white church was filled to the brim with daisies, mason jars, laughter and love.

Since we met at the Northfield Golf Club in 2009, it only made sense to hold our reception there. After entering the reception under an archway of fishing poles, we sat down to an awesome dinner of… tacos! Our family and friends wrote beautiful speeches (including a rap by the Best Man!), and then it was time for our first dance. Since we planned the wedding without any professional help, it was satisfying to know that we made it all the way to the fun part of the night without any major problems. And when our song, “Then” by Brad Paisley, started to play… that was the moment when it all became real to us. We got to share our first dance as husband and wife in the very spot where we first met, as everyone we care about looked on… that’s a memory we’ll never forget.

Hairstylist: Cole's Salon / Makeup Artist: Cole's Salon / Flowers & Decor: Forget-Me-Not Florist / DJ: Generation Light and Sound / Bride’s Dress: David's Bridal / Groom’s Attire: Men's Warehouse / Bride’s Shoes: TOMS / Photographer: Sweet Shibui Photography

It’s obvious that this wedding was built on and around the things most important to Laura and Nick, and you can see the joy on their faces. I am absolutely in love with what the bride recounts happening to her during her ceremony! So sweet that she was so focused on where she was going and why that she literally couldn’t pay attention to anything else.

From the Bride: 

My husband is a musician, so, naturally, he was in charge of coordinating music for our wedding. We decided on a sweet jazz combo and Nick picked out all the tunes. The only thing I asked for solo fiddle music as I walked down the aisle. The day of the wedding, as I began to walk towards the altar, with my parents on either side, the strangest thing happened: I heard the first few notes the fiddler played and then heard nothing after that. I think the emotion and adrenaline of the day had an effect on me! 🙂

Other than not being able to recall processional music, the day was perfect: we worked diligently together to plan a ceremony that was meaningful, flowed well, and reflected our ideas about love. We both have said that our favorite parts were saying the vows and just looking into each other’s eyes. All of that coupled with incredible support from our parents; an outstanding bridal party, and joy and love from family and friends….I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Many thanks to our vendors and I encourage others to utilize them!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Minnetonka United Methodist Church | Photography: Natalie Champa Jennings Photography | Florist: The Monkey Flower Group | Catering: Chin Dian | Music: Associates of the Groom | Bridal Attire: David’s Bridal  | Groom’s Attire: JC Penny | Bridal Jewelry: Kelly Moe 


My two favorite words from Mandi’s wedding day recap? “Simple elegance.” Their wedding was just that – nothing crazy over-the-top – just simple. Beautiful. And, fun. The main focus was friends and family – they knew that if that was a top priority, the other pieces would fall nicely into place.

From the Bride:
The entire wedding planning process was grounded by our intial thoughts for our wedding day “Simple elegance” which I think we followed through on. I had drooled over wedding after weddings in stacks of bridal magazines, including MN Bride and over wedding blog after wedding blog and found so much inspiration… every day I had new ideas but Joe was the one that kept bringing me back to reality and another important piece… our budget!!! We did lots of DIY and although I can’t say we loved every moment of long grueling nights of invitation prep and mailings… we tried our very best to make it a fun adventure, one that we knew would be over in the blink of an eye! Our family and our guests were the main focus of our reception as well… each and every one of them had helped us to get where we stood that very day, we wanted them to know that and to enjoy themselves! We had guests from all over the world, Joe’s uncle even made it from Korea!! My something old and borrowed was my grandma’s wedding ring that was tied into my bouquet, that way she would be with me each moment of a very important day I wish she could’ve been with us. Not a single thing went wrong on our wedding day… doing a chunk of DIY projects and budget friendly ways around most we could… Joe finally gave in to my want of a “day of coordinator”, which made everything seamless!!! Aside from Joe and I appreciating this splurge, our families even noticed how nice this added touch was. One of our favorite parts of the big day was our first sight… Joe stood with his back facing me on a bridge and each step I took toward him, my heart beat was faster and faster… finally as soon as I got to tap him on the shoulder and turned to see me… everything seemed perfect and all the butterflies of the big day went away for the both of us. From that point on throughout the rest of the day… we had huge perma-smil es glued to our faces. We truly couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day!

Ceremony Venue: St. Andrew Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: Stonebrooke Golf Club / Bride’s Dress: Our Shop / Groom’s Attire: Men's Warehouse / Groomsmen Attire: Men's Warehouse / Invitations & Stationery: Amy Stemper / Flowers & Decor: The LOFT Floral / Bridesmaid Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe / Hairstylist: Mandy Simmons / Makeup Artist: Mandy Simmons / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Lasting Impressions / Transportation: Sexy Limos / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Etsy / Cake Baker: Muddy Paws Cheesecake / DJ: Instant Request / Photographer: Studio Laguna Photography

Pondie and Mark’s lakeside wedding has me pining for a weekend vacation somewhere near the water, and somewhere I can enjoy the last few weeks of summer. It has that perfect garden feel, fun and cheery colors, and a completely joyful couple (who’s smiles are infectious). Rita from Premiere Planning Services did a beautiful job of pulling Pondie and Mark’s vision together and created a timeless and classic soiree for their friends and family to celebrate their love.

Jim Clifford Photography

From the Bride:
It’s hard to know where to start when talking about my wedding. I think I always wanted my wedding to be fun and comfortable but also fancy. People have fun when they are comfortable so that goes hand and hand! I think by fancy, I mean classy or an unforgettable party. My mom is perfect at making things classy and unforgettable! She was key in the magic of my wedding.

My bridesmaids wore dresses that made me want to dance. There were three different colors to suit what looked good on them: clover, honey and baltic blue! I wanted my ladies to feel comfortable and ready to groove! My dress was an elegant one shoulder Vera Wang gown. I looked good :).

The wedding was outside. I felt like if you have a big wedding somehow it feels smaller when everyone is outside! To make people feel comfortable, or smile, our hors d’oeuvres were classics from our childhood: mac ‘n cheese, chicken fingers, pigs in a blanket, and grilled cheese. Our evening snack was s’mores around the bonfire. Unfortunately I never got to the fire, but I heard it was popular with the 10 year olds!

One of my favorite moments of the entire evening was taking a pontoon boat from the service to the reception. It was just the wedding party, some champagne and the perfect blue lake. That was the time of the night where I was most present and I could take in how amazing this evening was. My husband says he loved seeing our party wait for us as we landed on the dock for the reception. I agree.

Bruce Henry Band was outstanding. We started music right away, so throughout dinner people could dance. The dance floor was completely packed the entire night! The food tasted amazing and looked delightful. The flowers, center pieces, the bouquets were perfect. We even had live trees wrapped around our poles in the tent. Someone asked my Aunt if we threw the tent over the live trees!

My wedding was an amazing party. It went too fast for us, we wanted more time to enjoy everyone and everything. So many people helped make my wedding happen, but it would not have happened without my lovely fiance (now husband) and my gorgeous mom.

Wedding Planner: Premiere Planning Services | Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang from L’Atelier Couture Bridal  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Flutter Boutique  |  Hair & Make-Up: Salon 526, St. Paul  |  Groomsmen Attire: Heimie’s Haberdashery  |  Photographer: Jim Clifford Photography  |  Florist: Fleur de Lis  |  Ceremony Venue: White Bear Yacht Club  |  Officiant: Tom Watson  |  Stationery: Cracked Designs in Wisconsin  |  Calligrapher: Nancy Danielson  |  Rentals: Tables & Tents  |  Linens: Linen Effects  |  Catering: Create Catering  |  Piano Movers: Manny’s  |  Piano Player: Steve Anderson  |  Cake: Patisserie 46  |  Videographer: Barry Peterson  |  Band: Bruce Henry Band  |  Transportation: Premier Transportation, MN Coaches & Northfield Buses

Even though this is just a style shoot, the simplistic rock n’ roll nature of the details and attire have me jumping for joy. It’s music to my ears (and just about any wedding vendor) when a couple embraces their personal style and lets it shine through in their wedding. And, to be honest, it shouldn’t be any other way. Thank you, Dette, for sharing!

Dette Snaps

From the Photographer:
This styled wedding shoot was inspired by by the idea of an alternative couple wanting to have a somewhat off-beat, yet simple and intimate wedding, in a very unique location. That venue was a gorgeous art gallery in the trendy warehouse district of Northeast Minneapolis {Anita Sue Kolman Gallery}.

We combined this one-of-a-kind location with a modern bridal dress {short + silver sequins!} and bridesmaids dresses in a muted gray tone. We added lots of vintage jewelry {paired with modern leather/studded accessories}, custom-made edgy veils/head pieces, bright spring flowers, matching invitations, French macaroons and some really easy DIY table decor {inexpensive thrift store finds of vases and candle holders, spray painted in our color palette of purples and blacks}. Think rock-n-roll chic meets “New Girl” theme. 

Photography: Dette Snaps | Floral Designer: Flowerama | Invitation Designer: Tate Stationery | Dress Store: Dena Marie’s Bridal | Makeup Artist: Amber Rose Hair & Make Up | Bakery: Sweets Bakeshop | Venue: Anita Sue Kolman Gallery | Fashion Designer: Something Borrowed Bride | Model: Emily Trempe, Kimberly Bowman, Abraham Reddy, Shannon Lee

Although you could never pay me enough money to trash my dress, I sure do love when there is a bride out there willing to go for it. Ally is a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, so she decided to have a little fun Mad Hatter style by “painting the roses red!”

Studio Laguna Photography

From the Photographer:
Ally wanted to trash her dress, her huge, gorgeous lovely dress. She wanted to take scissors to it and embrace her rock’n roll side of her personality. Both she and her husband, David, like Alice in Wonderland, so we decided to tell that story with Ally as Alice and David at the Mad Hatter. We found a private residence that is an antiques graveyard for all manners of items, from an old plane, to a row of train cars, to random dishware. We asked A Milestone Paper Company to create a couple of accessories for us, bought some white roses, and braved the 100+ degree heat for our shoot. By the end, Ally was grateful to cut through the layers and layers of dress to make it short and sassy…and check out those SHOES!