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Madison Minnesota Engagement Session – Colby + Halie

This Madison Minnesota Engagement Session with Colby and Halie, the newest 2025 MBDN couple, turned into yet another breathtaking spring engagement session. I cannot wait to celebrate these two next spring in Madison, Minnesota.

Madison, Minnesota Engagement Session

For their engagement session, we started off the hour with some short and sweet portraits with their sweet babies. I am a huge advocate for including your kiddos in your engagement session, since they are such a big part of both your lives. After the kiddos took off exploring, we made some magic focused on just these two lovebirds. Madison’s Centennial Park made for the PERFECT spot for the first location. It has the prettiest line of trees which created the most magical lighting for their portraits. The area offered lots of shade and had the most perfect shade of greens!

Halie wore the prettiest blue floral dress, which complimented perfectly with Colby’s outfit!

After the kiddos took off with grandpa, Halie and Colby had fun dancing and twirling. We got the most adorable blanket photos! During our hour together was so fun! Halie and Colby are both so laid back–they made my job SO easy! Every time they looked at each other, I could tell how much they love one another, truly. We took off to finish our session at the old Skelly gas station in Madison, requested by Halie. The Skelly was such a fun and unique way to end their Madison, Minnesota engagement session. We were able to take some creative shots there–eeekkk!!

All in all, I cannot wait to celebrate these two next spring on their wedding day!

madison-mn-engagement-session

madison mn engagement session

madison mn engagement session

All photography credits go to Moments By Danielle Nicole.


CLICK HERE to learn about the MBDN Wedding Experience!

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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madison-mn-engagement-session

May 26, 2024

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If you just got engaged, here are 10 things to do after getting engaged! But first off, congratulations on your engagement! As a photographer who has captured countless love stories, I’m thrilled to share some insights on the next steps after you’ve said “yes!” This is an incredibly exciting time, and there are some important things to consider that will help make your journey to the altar smooth and joyful.

Here are 10 things to do after getting engaged, from a destination and South Dakota wedding photographer and videographer’s perspective.

1. Celebrate Together

First and foremost, take a moment to bask in the joy with your partner. This is a special milestone, and it deserves a celebration. Whether it’s a romantic dinner, a weekend getaway, or simply a quiet evening together, savor this moment before the whirlwind of planning begins.

2. Share the News

Before announcing your engagement on social media, share the news with your closest family and friends. They’ll appreciate hearing it directly from you rather than finding out online. This also gives you a chance to see their reactions and share in their excitement.

10 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

3. Get a Ring Sizing and Insurance

Ensure your engagement ring fits perfectly by getting it sized. Additionally, securing insurance for your ring is crucial to protect against loss, theft, or damage. It’s a small step that offers significant peace of mind. Most insurances have a free ring cleaning service every 6 months, so definitely do that and make sure to clean your ring right before your engagement session and wedding!

10 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

4. Set a Date (or a Range)

Discuss with your partner and decide on a potential wedding date or at least a range of dates. This decision will influence many of your subsequent planning steps, including venue selection and booking other key vendors like photographers. Picking a range of dates or a season you like best is KEY to ensuring your top two vendors (like venue and photographer) have a similar date open!

10 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

5. Create a Budget

Start discussing your budget early. Knowing how much you’re willing to spend will help you make informed decisions and avoid financial stress. Consider all aspects of the wedding, including the photographer, venue, catering, and attire.

South Dakota Wedding Photographer and Videographer

6. Draft a Guest List

Begin drafting a preliminary guest list. Having an estimate of the number of guests will help you choose an appropriately sized venue and manage your budget more effectively. It’s easier to make adjustments to the guest list early on than later in the planning process.

7. Consider a Wedding Planner

If your budget allows, hiring a wedding planner can be incredibly beneficial. A planner can handle the logistics, recommend trusted vendors, and keep everything on track, allowing you to focus on enjoying your engagement.

CLICK HERE to download my free wedding planner guide!

10 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

8. Gather Inspiration

Start gathering ideas for your wedding. As a photographer, I recommend creating a vision board with your favorite styles, themes, and color schemes. Platforms like Pinterest, wedding magazines, and blogs are fantastic resources. This will help communicate your vision to your photographer and other vendors.

10 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

9. Plan an Engagement Photo Shoot

An engagement photo shoot is a wonderful way to celebrate your engagement and get comfortable in front of the camera. These photos can be used for save-the-date cards, wedding websites, or simply as cherished keepsakes. It’s also a great opportunity to build a rapport with your photographer before the big day.

madison mn engagement session

10. Enjoy the Moment

Finally, amidst all the planning, remember to enjoy being engaged. This period is a unique and special time in your life, so take moments to relax and relish in the excitement. Whether it’s date nights, engagement parties, or simply spending quality time together, make sure to appreciate this journey.

Planning a wedding is a beautiful adventure, and these steps will help you start on the right foot. As a photographer, I look forward to capturing the love and joy of this incredible time in your life. Happy planning!

All photography credits go to Moments By Danielle Nicole.


CLICK HERE to learn about the MBDN Wedding Experience!

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

Or check out the WEBSITE!

Check out the socials!!
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10 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

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This Madison Minnesota Engagement Session with Colby and Halie, the newest 2025 MBDN couple, turned into yet another breathtaking spring engagement session. I cannot wait to celebrate these two next spring in Madison, Minnesota.

Madison, Minnesota Engagement Session

For their engagement session, we started off the hour with some short and sweet portraits with their sweet babies. I am a huge advocate for including your kiddos in your engagement session, since they are such a big part of both your lives. After the kiddos took off exploring, we made some magic focused on just these two lovebirds. Madison’s Centennial Park made for the PERFECT spot for the first location. It has the prettiest line of trees which created the most magical lighting for their portraits. The area offered lots of shade and had the most perfect shade of greens!

Halie wore the prettiest blue floral dress, which complimented perfectly with Colby’s outfit!

After the kiddos took off with grandpa, Halie and Colby had fun dancing and twirling. We got the most adorable blanket photos! During our hour together was so fun! Halie and Colby are both so laid back–they made my job SO easy! Every time they looked at each other, I could tell how much they love one another, truly. We took off to finish our session at the old Skelly gas station in Madison, requested by Halie. The Skelly was such a fun and unique way to end their Madison, Minnesota engagement session. We were able to take some creative shots there–eeekkk!!

All in all, I cannot wait to celebrate these two next spring on their wedding day!

madison-mn-engagement-session

madison mn engagement session

madison mn engagement session

All photography credits go to Moments By Danielle Nicole.


CLICK HERE to learn about the MBDN Wedding Experience!

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

Or check out the WEBSITE!

Check out the socials!!
Facebook
Instagram

madison-mn-engagement-session

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After celebrating their magical intimate backyard wedding day, it’s with great excitement that we introduce the newlywed couple, Ethan and Karen Ruby. Their love story is as unique as it is heartwarming, filled with moments of laughter, shared passions, and a deep commitment to creating a family.

Their Intimate Backyard Wedding Day

Hosted at Ethan’s parents’ family farm, the setting provided a rustic and cozy backdrop for their special day. The ceremony was particularly touching as Karen shared her custom vows, not only to Ethan but also to his children, Kori and Will. Promising to be a dedicated partner to Ethan and a loving bonus mom to his kids, Karen’s heartfelt words left a lasting impression on everyone present.

What I Loved About Their Wedding

One of the most memorable moments was the first look. It wasn’t just a private moment between Ethan and Karen; it included Kori, Ethan’s daughter, who walked with Karen and had her own first look with her dad. This touching inclusion highlighted the deep bond forming within their new family. The day was a blend of intimate moments and family connections, making it feel like a heartfelt reunion of family enjoying one another in celebration of Ethan and Karen’s new chapter in their love story. Despite the rain that sprinkled throughout the day, the weather only added to the charm and intimacy of the occasion, with guests enjoying the cozy atmosphere.

Another favorite and unique moment during the day happened to be their ceremony. Ditching the traditional chairs and seating arrangements for guests, the couple had their guests stand in a circle surrounding them, while they said their vows to one another. Because of this, the atmosphere made it feel like the guests were taking part in saying “I Do” alongside the couple with their support. Due to several guests and family members requiring an interpreter, it only increased the feeling of inclusion. It brought tears to my eyes to see how much Ethan and Karen value their friends and family and planned their wedding day around everyone else’s needs.

The Decor Theme

The reception reflected Ethan and Karen’s shared love for hunting and the outdoors. The decor was thoughtfully crafted, featuring shotgun shells as part of the table landscape and elegant drapery in Ethan’s dad’s shed, creating a beautiful and personal environment. Instead of a typical reception party, Ethan and Karen chose to focus on spending meaningful time with their guests. Homemade food added a comforting and communal touch to the celebration, making everyone feel at home. The entire day was a testament to their values and love, leaving a lasting impression on all who attended.

How Their Intimate Backyard Wedding Came to Be

Karen’s journey to love began when she moved back to South Dakota. Fate had a plan in store when she reconnected with her cousin Audrey, who happened to be friends with Ethan. It wasn’t long before the two were introduced, and a beautiful relationship blossomed from that first meeting.

The Ruby’s Proposal Story

Ethan’s proposal to Karen was as memorable as it was unconventional. The couple shares a love for the great outdoors, and it was during a deer hunting trip that Ethan decided to pop the question. As they were getting ready by the vehicle before heading into the field, Ethan turned to Karen and asked her to marry him. The moment was made even more special with the presence of Ethan’s daughter, Kori, who not only witnessed the proposal but also had the important task of picking out the engagement ring. It was a perfect blend of their shared passions and family bond.

What They Love About Each Other

When asked what they love most about each other, Ethan humorously mentioned Karen’s “outstanding personality.” Beyond the humor, their relationship is built on a foundation of shared sense of humor and mutual respect. Karen admires Ethan’s role as a father, cherishing the moments she gets to watch him with his children, Kori and Will. His dedication to being a great dad is one of the many reasons she loves him deeply.

Their Favorite Pastimes

Ethan and Karen enjoy a variety of activities together, but their favorite is spending time with Ethan’s children and hunting. These moments of togetherness, whether it’s the thrill of the hunt or the joy of family time, are what strengthen their bond and create lasting memories.

The Rubys’ love story is a testament to finding joy in the everyday moments and the power of two families becoming one. We wish Ethan and Karen a lifetime of happiness, adventure, and love.

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding

intimate backyard wedding




All photography credits go to Moments By Danielle Nicole.

CLICK HERE to learn about the MBDN Wedding Experience!

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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intimate backyard wedding in castlewood, sd

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Picture this: a The Element + Goss Opera House wedding in downtown Watertown, South Dakota in April 2024. But here’s the twist – instead of sunny skies and gentle breezes, we’re talking about a day filled with strong winds, dark clouds, and heavy rain. Yep, Mother Nature decided to throw us a curveball. But you know what? It only made the whole thing more special.

Despite the wild weather, the scene was straight out of a fairy tale. The colors – blush, white, neutrals, with pops of black – set the stage for a dreamy, elegant affair. And let me tell you, the bride was an absolute vision. She rocked a gorgeous gown by Ellie Stone, and her shoes? Perfection. Her groom, equally dashing in a meticulously tailored tuxedo from Trendz, stood by her side with the absolute best attitude all day.

Hitch Studio coordinated The Element + Goss Opera House wedding and planned the entire day and everything went off without a hitch, no pun intended. The Goss Opera House made for a stunning backdrop for a reception space. Meanwhile, we spent the first half of the morning a The Element, which is a newer rental space in Watertown, SD. Both spaces are designed for more intimate weddings. I can attest to both rental spaces having fantastically sweet coordinators who would do anything to ensure weddings turn out perfect.

Salon LUX did a fantastic job on the bride’s makeup and hairstyle to make her whole look come together. Breanna from Flowers on Main created absolutely breathtaking florals for all the set ups and bridal florals. Becky made some to-die-for french macaroons from Becky’s French Macaroons, while Lisa from Charcuterie Element filled our tummy’s with a scrumptious charcuterie snack for lunch.

Now, let’s talk bridal details about The Element + Goss Opera House wedding.

The bride’s nails? Nailed it. And her jewelry? Talk about fancy – a custom ring and earrings from Crevier Jewelry that were absolutely STUNNING. Oh, and can we take a moment for the invitation suite by Hitch? It was so pretty, it practically begged you to RSVP yes.

Despite the weather trying its best to rain on our parade (literally), love was in the air. Inside The Element and The Goss Opera House, where the festivities took place, it felt like nothing else mattered. The storm outside couldn’t dim the warmth and joy radiating from everyone involved.

This The Element + Goss Opera House styled shoot wasn’t just about pretty pictures.

It was a reminder that love conquers all – even when the weather’s not cooperating. It showed us that sometimes, the most magical moments happen when things don’t go according to plan. And hey, isn’t that what love’s all about? Finding beauty in the unexpected, and celebrating it with all your heart.

The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding
The Element and The Goss Opera House Wedding


Vendor Team Credits

COORDINATOR: Hitch Studio // Natalie Page & Natalie Hoyes
CEREMONY VENUE: Element (Ceremony)
RECEPTION VENUE: Goss Opera House (Reception)
CATERER: Charcuterie Element
PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEO: Moments by Danielle Nicole
FLORIST: Flowers on Main
DESSERTS: Becky’s French Macarons
MAKE UP/HAIR: Salon LUX
BRIDAL GOWN: Ellie Stone Bridal
TUX: Trendz Consignment Studio
JEWELRY: Crevier Jewelry
LINENS: Party Depot
STATIONERY: Hitch Studio
MODELS: Jeryn and Cade


Vendor Spotlights

COORDINATOR:
Hitch Studio // Natalie Page & Natalie Hoyes

MAKE UP/HAIR: Salon LUX

CEREMONY VENUE: Element (Ceremony)


RECEPTION VENUE: Goss Opera House (Reception)


CATERER: Charcuterie Element

FLORIST: Flowers on Main

Flowers on Main


DESSERTS: Becky’s French Macarons

Becky's French Macaroons


BRIDAL GOWN: Ellie Stone Bridal


JEWELRY: Crevier Jewelry


CLICK HERE to learn about the MBDN Wedding Experience!

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

Or check out the WEBSITE!

Check out the socials!!
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

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Steven Mady and Kayla Anderson’s Gathered Oaks wedding day was nothing short of magical. They tied the knot on November 18, 2023. Vowing to love each other for the rest of their lives, the Mady’s celebrated their big day amongst family and friends at Gathered Oaks in Alexandria, Minnesota. Though the couple had hoped for some snow and ice on the water, they could not have had a better November day with full sunshine and 50 degree weather for their outdoor ceremony.

If I were to describe their wedding day in three words, I would say: joyful, intimate, and fun. Our team capturing the Mady’s wedding photos and film with our paradise collection had SO MUCH fun all day. Steven and Kayla truly are such a special couple and fully trusted us to create some magic with them, which led to many, MANY wonderful shots we cannot wait to share.

Now, time to introduce the lovebirds…

Ironically, it was not love at first sight for Steven Mady and Kayla Anderson.

In fact, they both hilariously will admit, “we didn’t like each other at first”, when they met for the first time at the Crystal Springs Rodeo near Clear Lake, South Dakota. They met through mutual friends and their first date actually ended up being an accident. They had made plans with two of their friends to go out one evening. At the last minute, their friends canceled. Steven and Kayla decided to go anyway. Who knew eating some “awful pizza” would open up the start of their love story.

According to Kayla, “Steven & I met throughout high school as our schools faced each other in sporting events. We actually had a strong dislike for each other until 2020. I reached out to him as I knew he was going through a hard time in his life. One of my very good friends from high school (AJ), his girlfriend, Kori, and I went boating with Steven. Shortly after, Steven and I tried to get AJ & Kori to go out to eat with us at Zorbaz in Spicer, but they ended up being unable to come. So, there we were.. our first unofficial date with just the two of us. Then, the rest is history!!!”

Stevens favorite memories of a shared moment occurred before they started dating. They were boating with their mutual friends AJ and Kori. Steven thought it would be funny to drive the boat a short distance away from where Kori and Kayla jumped in the water and they did indeed have to swim back to the boat. In Kayla’s words, “Now doesn’t that sound like an Anderson prank!” Kayla’s favorite memory of Steven was the time he willingly dressed up as the man in the yellow hat from Curious George while she dressed up as George for Halloween.

The Mady’s love to travel and spend time with family. They have two fur baby pups (Maci & Oliver). Steven is very quiet and shy, very opposite of Kayla, so the saying opposites attract is true in their case!

Steven got down on one knee on July 2nd, 2022.

Kayla told me, “We were celebrating the 4th of July with our friends Hudson and Madi. Hudson was continuously annoying us about going to take a photo on the dock. Annoyed, I finally gave in (it was almost 11pm and I was tired HA!). Steven stood behind me, and when I turned around, he was down on one knee asking if I would marry him! I was so excited, happy, and completely shocked. It was a perfect 4th celebration!”

When asked about what types of feelings she wanted their day to incorporate, Kayla said, “Fall/beginning of winter. A crisp breeze, crunchy leaves, or even better…. a bit of snow. Everyone cozy in their blankets for the outdoor ceremony.” While the Mady’s definitely got the fall, crisp breeze, crunchy leaves, and coziness they were hoping for, we did miss out on a bit of snow. HOWEVER, for their Gathered Oaks wedding they had full sunshine all day, plus 50 degrees, typically unheard of for a Minnesota mid-November season. A “rustic, simple, and nature filled” vibe is absolutely the vibe the couple got for their big day.

When asked about why they chose Gathered Oaks wedding venue as their spot of celebrating their marriage. They said, “We chose Gathered Oaks because of the rustic charm and outdoor/indoor option.”

As a vendor, I can definitely confirm they made the best choice and their Gathered Oaks wedding truly allowed Kayla and Steven’s personalities to shine with the lake and various things this venue offers to its couples. Together, the couple shares a love for camping, ice fishing, dirt track racing, spending time with their fur-babies, and being bums at home! Luckily for them, their venue included a lakeside view and dock, so we definitely made time to incorporate those things into their big day! After the ceremony and receiving line, we had just enough time to get 10 minutes of sunset photos and I KNEW we just had to race down to the dock to take them since the couple spends so much time on and around lakes.

The men wore a black button up with black pants from Amazon, with deep red suspenders, a bow tie, and a customized hat. The hats were a unique accessory that made for fun bridal party photos. In addition, the bridesmaids attire consisted of wearing deep red, floor length dresses. One super fun detail for the girls was their wearing of corsages versus bouquets, which turned out extremely pretty.

Steven and Kayla’s chosen color palette included deep red, black, and a few glimmers of gold.

Steven’s favorite colors are red and black and Kayla loves gold. For their florals, they chose a combination of pampas grass, bunny tails, and wheat. A very rustic and simplistic look that pulled together their color palette and decor.! In terms of Kayla’s bouquet, it consisted of a similar mixture minus the wheat, created by Kayla herself, which turned out beautifully. One amazing factor about having their Gathered Oaks wedding was that their venue already is filled with ornamental wheat grass looking plants so the florals and natural scenery blended together so well.

In their “get to know us” blog questionnaire, Kayla mentioned, “Throughout the three years Steven and I have been together, we have mourned the loss of far too many amazing people. Our wedding day would be incomplete without their photographs near our hearts.” Due to this, they had a wonderful fireplace set up with multiple photos of those dear to their hearts that are no longer on earth. We made sure to get lots of film and photos of their lovely memory photo set up.

One unique touch to their day definitely involved Kayla wearing her mother’s wedding veil.

It was an absolutely gorgeous veil with a beautiful headpiece attached to it. It really pulled Kayla’s entire outfit together and definitely made me tear up a bit while her sweet mama pinned it into her hair, with the help of one of our second shooters, Dakota. Family heirlooms are hands-down one of the best things you can incorporate into a wedding day and we LOVED Kayla’s choice of her “something old”.

The moment Steven and Kayla interlocked cute locks and walked to the lake from their ceremony to toss their keys away forever as their unity ceremony symbol captured everyone in the crowd. What an intimate moment for them and a unique unity ceremony! The fact that this venue offers a gorgeous lake view at sunset is one of my favorite parts of shooting a Gathered Oaks wedding.

Kayla and Steven chose Moments by Danielle Nicole to capture their Gathered Oaks Wedding for a few reasons.

One, Kayla happens to be my (Danielle’s) husband’s cousin. In Kayla’s own words, “We are family <3”. Also, Kayla said “We chose to work with you because of your amazing personality, your ability to make our photos look natural, light, bright, and airy!” As their vendor, one unique idea we chose to contribute to the Mady’s big day was making the decision to add on an additional shooter, free of charge to the couple, so we could get some absolutely EPIC drone shots of their golden hour, sunset ceremony. The shot flying over the open water lake towards the ceremony spot under the trees with the venue in the background was hands down SO worth it.

Gathered Oaks Wedding

gathered oaks wedding

minnesota wedding videographer

gathered oaks wedding

minnesota wedding videographer

gathered oaks wedding

gathered oaks wedding

South Dakota Wedding Photographer

gathered oaks wedding


The Vendor Team

Venue: Gathered Oaks

Photographer: Moments by Danielle Nicole

Videographer: Moments by Danielle Nicole

Officiant: Neil Mendonça

Bride’s dress designer: Morilee

Groom & Groomsmen Attire Designer: Amazon.com

Hair & Makeup: Ellee Bogatzki

Florals: Etsy

DJ/Entertainment/Band: Mason Davis @ Harmon Entertainment

Cake & Desert: Kylie’s Sweets and Treats

Catering: Minnewaska Meats

Invitations: Prints of Love


Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

Or check out the WEBSITE!

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Gathered Oaks Wedding

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A Watertown SD wedding in November can go one of two ways: complete blizzard with closed roads or a delightful fall day. The Moeller’s lucked out with the latter of the two. On November 4, 2023, Scott and Lindsey tied the knot. They had the most perfect weather. As any South Dakotan would say, “today would be perfect if it wasn’t windy.” Despite the wind, the sunshine and non-freezing temps made for a day to remember.

After some getting ready shots at the salon, we headed across town to create some epic Terry Redlin Fine Arts Center wedding portraits. Afterwards, the church offered the most magical light beaming through it’s stained glass windows and it easily became one of my favorite ceremonies to date. A few golden hour portraits later and we headed to their reception venue Second Street Station to enjoy some yummy food and dance the night away. Trust me, EVERYONE danced the night away and it was such a fun environment.

Ironically, Scott knew Lindsey for a few years before they first began chatting.

They then matched on Tinder and of course it was a match made in Heaven. Scott loves to fish and, because of that, Lindsey started to enjoy it as well. So Scott proposed to her at the same spot they had our first fishing date and where she met his parents, isn’t that just the cutest, Notebook-type of love story ever?!! Scott and Lindsey are not only a married couple, but dog parents to a poodle named Layla and oh my gosh she is the cutest!

Scott’s favorite memory of their relationship is, in Lindsey words, “From when we were in MX and there was a Silent Disco one of the nights. Typically, being first on the dance floor and trying something new in public, we would be a little more skeptical. However, Scott brought me on the dance floor and we were in sync with each other through the headphones and while the crowd started to join around us and on the outside, all Scott could see was him and I in that moment enjoying each other’s presence no matter who was watching.”

On the flip side, Lindsey’s favorite shared memory is: “Our first fishing date. This was my first time fishing for years and I was determined to act like I knew what I was doing. I caught a Northern and after Scott took the picture and removed the fish from the hook, he told me I could throw it back in the water. I paused for a moment not really knowing what to do with this slimy fish in my hand and my fingers wrapped around its head, so like any typical person would do when they tell you to throw something, I chucked the fish back in the water. Scott looked at me and he goes “TOSS THE FISH ” don’t throw it! I was laughing while he looked at me for a moment. But after a few seconds his face settled into patience, laughter, and admiration.”

“It’s a look that I will never forget and knew at that moment I was falling in love with him.”

During our timeline planning meeting for her Watertown SD wedding, Lindsey let me know her bridesmaids were not going to have a traditional bouquet. Instead, they would carry medal rings with an arrangement of flowers that Lindsey herself arranged and created. They were so unique and I LOVE all of Lindsey’s DIY touches for her big day.

One of my favorite unique touches that stood out of their big day was hands down sneaking Lindsey away, at her bridesmaid’s requests, to take a few photos near the glass windows in the stairwell. Due to it being a tad too dark, we decided to go up a flight to the next floor and WOW! The light, the windows, the staircase, the BRIDE, ya’ll…it was TOO PERFECT. I love those photos and I am so thankful for brides like Lindsey who are always up to sneak away from 5 minutes to take those “hidden shots” most people wouldn’t.

The biggest moment that truly shined above the rest definitely occurred during their Watertown SD wedding ceremony.

Oftentimes, ceremonies can seem repetitive, but not Scott and Lindsey’s. Not only did Grace Lutheran Church have the most spectacular colored glass windows with the most beautiful light beaming through them, but there were so many special moments weaved throughout the ceremony between the couple and their loved ones. From Lindsey’s sister tears of joy and attempts to not look at Scott to avoid making him laugh to Lindsey’s sudden burst of laughter and joy during their unity portion of their ceremony that made me giggle a tad too on the side. All in all, it was a lovely ceremony.

I feel so abundantly blessed I met Lindsey through my last full-time job position at Wurth Electronics. From the moment I met her, I could tell people gravitated towards Lindsey’s bright, cheerful soul. She is kind, thoughtful, and always ready for a good laugh. I love her bubbly spirit and she is always up for the next adventure, and that is what I love most about her. Capturing her Watertown SD wedding was a dream for me!

According to Lindsey, “Danielle has such a kind heart! She is patient, easy going, flexible, and makes any session fun! I appreciate Danielle going above and beyond for her clients by providing so many items to prep for your engagement session and wedding!”

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Terry Redlin Center Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Watertown SD Wedding

Second Street Station Wedding

Second Street Station Wedding

Second Street Station Wedding

Second Street Station Wedding


The Vendor Team

Portraits Venue: Terry Redlin Fine Arts Center

Ceremony Venue: Grace Lutheran Church

Reception Venue: Second Street Station

Photographer: Moments by Danielle Nicole

Officiant: Neil Cheryl Rondeau-Bassett

Florist: Lindsey Groon

DJ: Velocity Entertainment

Cake: Hyvee

Grooms attire: Modern Groom

Bride’s Dress Designer: Wilderly

Caterer: Second Street Station

Makeup & Hair: Key Creations Salon

Invitations: Canva


Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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Terry Redlin Center Wedding

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The Chamberlin’s fall Redeemed Farm Scandia, MN wedding took all their guest’s breath away. The sun shone brightly and filled the farm with the most beautiful crisp fall air. Kirsten and Zebulon could not have asked for a better October wedding on October 22nd, 2021.

Undeniably, the Chamberlin’s Redeemed Farm Scandia MN Wedding included tons of unique photo opportunities. We captured so many unique ideas, such as taking photos with Zeb’s 1965 mustang he has worked on for years, taking some photos of the venue’s 17 hand black stallion, and also a romantic photo from the old barn’s hay loft window overlooking the property and Zeb & Kirsten dancing below.

Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Scandia MN Wedding
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole
Redeemed Farm Wedding Scandia MN - Moments by Danielle Nicole

Redeemed Farm is a “premier destination to host the finest events, Redeemed Farm is a white barn wedding venuevineyard and farm estate on 40 acres in the heart of the St Croix Valley MN wine country – just 35 minutes from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St Paul” (description taken from their website).

Reasons why I love working at Redeemed Farm

Redeemed Farm is absolutely stunning. In spite of the travel distance between my studio and this venue, I adore working at this venue because of the extensive spaces there are to get creative and make magical photos and films for my couples. Seriously, the landscaping, no matter the weather, offers couples endless options for getting the photo that will be plastering your wall for the rest of your lives together. Moreover, the venue owners and staff are delightful and drop everything to meet any need you may have.

What’s special about weddings at Redeemed Farm

As shown in the photos in this blog, I have SO MANY favorite spots. The best part of this venue is no matter what the weather is, you can be sure you will have plenty of space to work with. Some of my favorite spots are the Vineyard Lawn, behind the Stable Chapel, and inside the French-Inspired Bridal Suite. Grabbing a photo from inside the Historic Barn Loft looking down on the property from the large loft window is my most favorite wedding photo I have ever taken!

What ceremony and reception spaces are available at this venue?

Redeemed Farm has 3 beautiful ceremony locations that you can choose from to customize your special day. This venue’s capacity is 175 people guests.

  • Vineyard Lawn Outdoor Ceremony
  • The Stable -White Chapel-inspired Building
  • Historic Barn Loft – Upper level old world design with beautiful chandeliers
  • Two indoor options above for your Plan B which are separate from dining so there is no need to flip a room or share your reception space with your ceremony.  Dining is the main level of 1930 Barn which is designed in all white with modern chandeliers and built in Bar.  Dance is held in The Stable with it’s soaring 30 ft ceilings and white Custom Bar.

How long do we get the venue on the wedding day?

Venue Hours: 9:00 am 1st arrivals and venue opens.  Party concludes at 10:00 with guests departed by 10:30. The venue will remain open until 11:00 for vendor/decor removal.  You have exclusive use of the farmstead. Currently, they book weddings for Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Rehearsal: Rehearsal is held offsite or the day of which is the most popular.

Additional Hours:  Our hours are set by the city, so we are not able to add on any time to allow your event to go later into the evening. If you want to keep the party going, Running Aces in Forest Lake  is a great option for an after party or Stillwater which is 20 minutes from the vineyard & farmstead!

Other Vendor Choices & Restrictions:

Venue Management:  Redeemed Farm’s Venue Director and team remain on-site from the moment you arrive until all guests/vendors are departed and to be on point for any venue needs.  We require a professional Day of Coordinator to manage your timeline and details and be the point of contact throughout the day.  A day at Redeemed Farm is easy, stress free and fun!

Catering Choices:  We have a list of 7 proven Catering Companies that you are able to select from that offer great food, style and service.

Bar Service: We have a list of 2 highly rated Bar Service Companies to choose from.  We are able to serve beer, wine, champagne, seltzer and 2 signature cocktails exclusively.

DJ: Redeemed Farms offers a list of 5 award winning DJ companies to choose from that are well versed in using our high end sound system.  They run sound for your ceremony, reception and dance.

What type of couple will love Redeemed Farm?

Any couple who wants a peaceful, farm-style wedding with a very elegant and sophisticated touch should check out Redeemed Farm. The open space of this venue, plus the touch of new and old architecture truly make this venue one of the best Minnesota has to offer, in my opinion. Any couple wanting lots of gorgeous outdoor scenery in their photos would adore the options Redeemed Farm has to offer them.

Redeemed Farm Rental Cost:

  • Full Day Experiences Starting at $7000.
  • Your payment is divided into 3 payments.  $1000 with signed agreement.  30 days later the balance of 1st 50%.  Six months before your wedding the remaining 50%.
  • Wedding Insurance: Day of Event Insurance is required.  Wedsure or Wedsafe are two online approved resources.  We require $1M with host liquor if alcohol is served.  Rates are $125-200.

The Wedding Day Experience Includes:

Your Day, your choice. 

We have a vetted list of providers to choose from to insure a great experience for you and your guests:

  • Extensive list of Caterers
  • Bar Service
  • DJ Providers
  • No venue fee on catering, bar or DJ bills
  • No food or beverage minimums

On-Site Venue Manager 

  • Seamless coordination with your Event Coordinator and Vendors
  • Polished execution of your vision

Multiple Building Farmstead vs a Single Building 

  • Reception space separate from ceremony allowing for no flips in front of guests
  • Two indoor ceremony options making an outdoor ‘Plan B’ an easy change
  • Chapel-inspired Stable
  • Historic Barn
  • Vineyard Lawn for outdoor ceremonies
  • Vineyard Pavilion cocktail hour space with 30 ft fireplace for social hour
  • Landscaping inspired by Napa creating a destination that is admired
  • Seating for up to 175 indoor and outdoor
  • Bridal Suite
  • Groom’s Quarters
  • Locks of Love for hanging your vintage padlock with wedding date & initials
  • 10 up-scale restrooms
  • Catering prep area hidden from guest view equipped with sink and refrigerator.

Complimentary Inclusions: 

  • High-end sound system with wireless mics
  • Retractable screens on Vineyard Pavilion and Dining Veranda for weather protection
  • Custom designed arbors for decorating in the Historic Barn and Stable
  • Onsite Venue Management for the duration of your event
  • Tables and Chairs for reception and ceremony
  • Hightop tables, seating and extra tables for your needs around the venue
  • Dinner table layout maps to aid with your planning
  • Easels
  • Screen and Projector
  • Lawn Games
  • Firewood
  • Propane Heaters
  • Parking Attendant with Golf Cart
  • Standby Generator
  • Mosquito & Fly control
  • ADA accessibility

Other Things to Consider:

Tables and Chairs:  Redeemed Farm provides and sets up all tables and chairs for ceremony, reception and dance.

Dogs: Dogs are allowed to be part of your ceremony with written approval.

Security: When alcohol is served or we have more than 100 guests security is required.  We partner with Washington County off-duty Deputy’s.  They are onsite from social hour until 10:30.  Current rate is $50/hour.

Parking: We have a large parking area and attendant provided.  We also have a golf cart to help transport guests if needed.  The farmstead is fully accessible.  We are unable to have overnight parking so rides should be coordinated for all attending.

Décor: Due to individualized style preferences decor is provided by renter.  We are unable to have any live flame or sparklers but there are some great LED candle options.

Certification: Redeemed Farm is fully authorized to operate as a wedding venue in the state of MN.  We have received our Certificate of Occupancy and Use Permit and are in full compliance of all permits and ordinances required from the City of Scandia and the State of Minnesota.

Smoking: Due to significant gardens, grasses and historic buildings we are a non-smoking/vaping establishment.  We do have one designated spot by outdoor firepit that does have a smoking receptacle where it is allowed.

The Story of Redeemed Farm

Purchased in late 2013, this 1902 farmstead restoration has been a labor of love. Upon purchasing the farm we felt a strong calling to share it with others. In 2016, our farmstead became part of a love story called Redeemed Farm.

Redeemed Farm is an aspirational wedding venue aspiring to provide a vineyard farmstead wedding experience based upon unparalleled excellence, significance and love… giving couples a special space to make their most meaningful commitment to each other in marriage.

Meet the Owners: Julie & Jeff

Jeff grew up in the city and led Diversified Graphics, a family owned printing firm for over 30 years.  I grew up in the country on a small horse farm and spent 30+ years in premium brand retail running sales, events and service initiatives.  We were both drawn to a simpler life in the country.  We appreciate the values the rural and farm landscape stand for – values of hard work, artisan production, family, community, creativity, simplicity and faith.

We’ve both been on journeys, many hard, that have been rooted in learning and trusting in the faithfulness of God, His saving grace, His hope and His redemption. We met on a mission trip to Haiti after suffering significant losses in our lives. I was on a Healing Haiti mission trip with a women’s team from church and Jeff was leading a Healing Haiti vision trip with a different church. Ours is a story of Gods Redemption and the reason the farm is named Redeemed. If our stories can help others it would be a blessing for God’s glory.

In addition to sharing the farm for weddings and receptions, we work with local churches and worship musicians to have nights of worship in the barn. We also use the farm to host date nights for couples to strengthen marriages and events… areas near and dear to our hearts.

Venue Facts:

  • Address: 21325 Meadowbrook Ave North, Scandia, MN 55073
  • Email: julie@redeemedfarm.org
  • Website URL: redeemedfarm.org
  • Capacity (ideally for each space if there are multiple): 175 max capacity
  • What’s Included: listed above
  • Catering Options: listed above
  • Google map (see below):

**please note, most of this information was taken from Redeemed Farm’s website in 2023, so please check their website for more accurate and updated information.


Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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Redeemed Farm Scandia MN Wedding

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Kayla and Steven’s summer engagement session turned out perfectly, in every regard. Steven and Kayla traveled from Glenwood, Minnesota, to Clear Lake, South Dakota, for me to capture their summer engagement session. We had such a lovely time together and enjoyed some yummy tacos before their session to catch up on all of their wedding plans. The weather was absolutely perfect with a slight breeze to keep us cool, and even the mosquitos behaved! I am so excited to capture their wedding day this coming November at Gathered Oaks in Alexandria, Minnesota. We are hoping for some flying snowflakes, or at least Kayla is.

These two met in high school while attending different sporting events. Ironically, in Kayla’s own words, “We actually had a strong dislike for each other until 2020. I reached out to him as I knew he was going through a hard time in his life. One of my very good friends from high school (AJ), his girlfriend, Kori, and I went boating with Steven.” Shortly after, Kayla and Steven tried to get their friends AJ & Kori to go out to eat with them, but ended up on what would be their unexpected, first date alone. Zorbaz in Spicer, Minnesota set the scene for the start of their relationship.

As a couple, they love to travel and spend time with family. They have two fur babies–Maci and Oliver. Ironically, Steven is very quiet and shy, while Kayla is the complete opposite. Together, they become a power couple. During Kayla and Steven’s summer engagement session, anyone would notice how big Kayla’s heart is, while how tender Steven showers her with affection.

Steven’s favorite memory of their love story is one afternoon when they and their friends AJ & Kori went boating. Trying to be funny, Steven told the girls to jump into the water, then drove away. Unfortunately, the girls had to swim back to the boat. Too funny! While Kayla’s favorite memory is when Steven willing dressed up as the man in the yellow hat from Curious George, for Halloween, and she dressed up as…well…George.

These two were just way too much fun! Clearly, we got some of my favorite engagement photos ever and I am absolutely positive they are going to bless my camera even more on their big day. I can’t wait for their wedding!

Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography
Kayla+Steven Mady | Summer Engagement Session in Clear Lake, South Dakota with Moments by Danielle Nicole Photography

Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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Want to learn more about jumpstarting your new photography business? I have some exciting news for you! A new online beginner’s course is launching this fall!

I am kicking off my NEW ONLINE BEGINNER’S COURSE this fall-Jumpstarting Your Photography Business!

Right now, I have a waitlist open for early birds who want to receive 25% off the course. If you’d like to join the waitlist, click the link below! My course will be targeted for new wedding or portrait photographers.

This course Jumpstarting Your Photography Business will cover a series of topics, such as your business mindset, legal & business foundations for starting your business, systems and workflows, financial principles, and your fulltime blueprint and deciding when to make the leap from part time to fulltime to pursue your passion for photography!

You will learn from a mixture of pdf guides, online videos, personal testimonies of other successful photographers, and course videos with visual PowerPoint slides.

Not only will you recieve this online course, but you will also receive some AMAZING RESOURCES, such as:

  • My exclusive session and wedding workflow excel and pdf printable charts for my exact workflow.
  • Daily and monthly planners to keep you on track to achieve your business goals.
  • My multi-tab excel tax file I use to track my finances that makes tax season a BREEZE. This file includes tabs to keep track of your overall expenses, overall income per session, projected expenses, mileage, taxes, and sales tax reporting.
  • A full video walking you through my own Sprout Studio Photography Business CRM, along with receiving a 20% discount code if you want to buy it after testing it out for 30 days for free. It is the only CRM to include combine photography galleries and a business CRM in one platform. It offers: Album Proofing, Bookkeeping, Advanced Reports & Analytics, Inquiries & Clients, Payment Processing, Emails, Proposals & Contracts, Online Booking, Workflows, Calendar Integration, Reports & Analytics, Online Galleries, Print Sales, Product Sales, Slideshows, Lab Integration, Email Marketing.
  • 25% Discount code to purchase my Canva Templates for Clients: Signature Bridal Guide (100+ pages); Style Guides for Families, High School Seniors, Newborns, Maternity; Portrait Booking & Pricing Guide, Wedding Booking & Pricing Guide, and etc.
Jumpstarting Your Photography Business Course - Moments by Danielle Nicole

Press the button above to join the waitlist for my new, upcoming course in Fall 2023:
Jumpstarting Your Photography Business!

Wanting to dive in right away? Check out a recent blog post covering the topic of “Pricing Your Photography Services”. CLICK HERE to read!


Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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New Online Photographers Course

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No words describe this dreamy summer maternity session of my dear friend Dakota and her adorable, growing family in Watson, Minnesota at their family’s ranch. Photography is a job that can so easily burn you out. Not only do you play endless amounts of roles within this business (so very thankful for my tax lady!), but sometimes it feels like you will never catch up on everything. It’s the beauty and curse of having your own business. The sky is the limit on what you can do and where you want to go next. On top of that, trying to be creative all the time is truly taxing.

Photography is truly a job you have to train your eye to see the beauty in bad, even ugly, circumstances and draw out the beauty in them to create magic.

Then you have sessions and moments like this dreamy summer maternity session in particular with the most amazing clients-turned-friends. Somehow, your cup of creativity is filled back up again. I’m a little sad it took so long for Dakota and I to meet. I guarantee we would have made great friends in high school. But, I am so glad she DM’d me last year for a “coffee date”.

Since meeting, she’s become my wedding second shooter, my go-to when I need another’s opinion on my latest business venture, the woman and mama I admire, and so much more.

She’s an amazing photographer herself (check her out: Kota Rae Photography). These photos show just a snippet of who Dakota is and how much her family loves her. We all cannot wait to meet Baby B and I’m secretly hoping our boys grow up to become best friends. I am endlessly thankful for Dakota and all the joy she brings to life and to those around her.

Dakota brings so much life and joy to those around her. She invited me out to her family’s ranch near Watson, Minnesota. We took the most epic photos surrounded by the prettiest of wildflowers and winding river. Hands down one of the prettiest places I have shot at yet. We need more places on earth like the Weber Ranch. There would be so much more peace on earth. I’m hoping there’s a version just like it in Heaven to explore.


Meet me, Danielle Nicole, and hear about my own photography business journey!
CLICK HERE to read my introduction blog post!

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Wedding at Riverhaven Events Center
Wedding at Riverhaven Events Center

All I can say is WOW! The newlywed Mr. & Mrs. Straus has the most PERFECT, spring-time wedding at Riverhaven Events Center. It was warm, we had sunshine, and a breeze to keep us cool. Down to the smallest of decor details, anyone could clearly see how much time Darby spent putting together the most magical day. All in all, Tim and Darby had the most magical wedding day.

Tim & Darby met in college at NDSU, through Tim’s twin brother. They enjoy spending time together and with their nieces and nephews. It’s quite apparent for anyone who watches this couple that they truly love one another deeply and they serve one another with servant’s hearts.

All day, Tim and Darby complimented each other in every way possible, and it was so fun to watch them tie the knot at their wedding at Riverhaven Events Center.

Some special unique events were a special dance for Darby’s grandma RoseMary, some amazing speeches that made the building fill with laughter, and two lovely solos sang by a bridesmaid and friend during their ceremony unity moment and first dance. Every little reception detail was simply device and their floral arrangement for their ceremony was absolutely breathtaking. But above all, my favorite moment were the speeches given by family members. Oh, how I wish I had recorded them! All in all, their wedding at Riverhaven Events Center was simply stunning.