Category Archives: Minnesota

Engagement: Kelli & Heather

We love Kelli & Heather’s idea of including friends in their engagement shoot—what a beautiful way of documenting our communities along with our love!

From Kelli: Heather and I met playing roller derby for the North Star Roller Girls, in Minneapolis, MN. Roller derby tends to become more of a lifestyle than a hobby, so we spent a lot of time together at practices, traveling to away bouts, attending PR functions, and just hanging out with our mutual friends on 8 wheels.

Eventually our friendship turned to more, and after a few years of dating, we decided we would spend our life together. I proposed to Heather in August of 2016, by hanging one yellow streamer in our bedroom for each day that we had been together and a blue streamer for each day since I knew I wanted to marry her. It was a lot of streamers and I think I nearly gave myself carpal tunnel syndrome cutting them all. However, it was definitely worth it for the look on Heather’s face when she came home from work, opened the door and walked into a sea of blue and yellow.

We went into our engagement photos knowing that we wanted them to be an honest reflection of us and who we are. We took our photos in two sessions. We first did pictures outside our home in Minneapolis, the city that we love. We included some shots in our roller skates and derby attire, since that played such a vital role in the early days of our relationship.

In October we did a second session at Afton State Park, just a short drive outside of Minneapolis. As surely any true blue Minnesotans must be, we are avid campers and hikers so being outdoors in this location felt very natural (pun intended). We have a little “inner circle” of close mutual friends from our roller derby team that agreed to come along and take part in some of the photos. They are often our companions on hiking and camping trips, so it was really fun to be able to show that connection in our pictures.

We were so happy with how the pictures turned out and feel like they really capture an authentic version of us our life together so far. Our photographer, Tamika Garscia, is also a dear friend and does amazing work. We are looking forward to our wedding in January of 2018, which will also be held in Minneapolis.

Photos courtesy of Tamika Garscia.


Event Credits

Location: Minneapolis, MNPhotography: Tamika Garscia
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Wedding: Susan & Raff

From Susan: Our unlikely meeting and union is a bittersweet story with a big life lesson about beautiful and amazing things coming from sadness and tragedy. On the day my mother died, a beautiful angel entered my life: my amazing grace, my leap of faith, my bee charmer. From that moment, we both knew that what we had found was a great gift of life, one to be cherished, nurtured and protected. We spent some time working our individual ways to our new path together (one that I had not traveled before and one that had many times been unkind to Raff): that of a lesbian couple. Our deep soul connection and beautiful love carried us through as we disentangled ourselves from old, unhealthy places and grew ever closer together into a new and brighter present and future light.

When we decided to marry, it was the natural next step for us, and it was a thing that Raff had believed would never be something life would offer her. We attended a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol together when gay marriage was signed into law by Governor Dayton in May of 2013. Progress, more light. We received our marriage license in the mail on the day the Supreme Court Decision, that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples, was made on June 26, 2015. My sons, ages 23 and 19, signed that license on our wedding day, sealing us together as a family and as a testament to societal change and equal rights that benefit us all. There have been so many signs, so much support for our love and such strengthening warmth from those close to us. Our day was laced with all of this and more. Our two amazing young men have been with us from the beginning, and my sister Sally saw what we could not yet name on that fateful day. She has been our biggest cheerleader and support.

The day of the wedding was stunningly beautiful. It was everything we imagined and more. There was a rare kind of weather that comes to Northern Minnesota only a few times a year. The temperature was perfect, 70 degrees with full sun, and a light breeze to keep the insects away. The light danced among the changing leaves and sparkled on the faces of our friends and family, as we gathered near a pond to make the declarations and vows written by us. Inside the barn was a warm, intimate atmosphere where people talked and got to know each other. We were feted by old friends and family with deep words that touched the hearts of us all. We danced to the live band into the wee hours. The music, the Judge, the sentiments, the food, the joy, the laughter, and the love flowed through us and our group of 75. We like to say that we are still riding the “Magic Carpet Wedding” ride. I am writing this 3 weeks later. We are still high on the love and wonder of it all. We had so much fun planning our barn wedding. During our planning, we visited this site many times. We are happy to add our story to A Bicycle Built for Two to inspire others. Our advice: make your day for you, what you want it to be about. Then stop, breathe and take it all in each step of the way. Less pageantry and more authenticity will make everyone present feel your love.

Photos courtesy of Lisa Fleming and the couple’s friends and family.


Event Credits

Attire: Miscellaneous selected by us over the course of a year.Cakes and Dessert: How Sweet it Is//Duluth, MNCatering: The Duluth Grill//Duluth, MNFlorist: Lois Hoffbauer//Duluth Farmer's MarketLocation: Esko, MNMusic: Scottie Miller and the Scottie Miller Band with special guest Jennifer GrimmOfficiant: The Honorable Judge Dale WolfOther: Processional: "True Companion" by Marc Cohn (sung by Scottie Miller)// Recessional: "I Choose You" by Sarah Bareilles (recorded version)//First Dance: "Glitter in the Air" (sung by Jennifer Grimm)Photography: Lisa Fleming (Truck, B&W group photo, Couple Front). Other photos by friends and family.Stationery: All invitations and thank yous individually hand-painted by Raff, program designed by Susan. Raff also made bees wax candles in small mason jars for all of our guests.Venue: Hemlock Preserve//Sue & Adrian Watt//Esko, MN
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Wedding: Alyssa and Ashlie

From Ashlie: When Alyssa told her boss in NYC that she was moving to Minnesota for a graduate program focused on women in sport, her boss told her to watch out because they looked like “a bunch of lesbians.” Good thing she was right! For the first few months after Alyssa moved to Minnesota, she heard about a mysterious Grilz character who had good hair and style. We actually don’t remember the first time we met, probably because one of us was dressed like Waldo (Ashlie) and the other like Ace Ventura (Alyssa). We “met” on Halloween 2009, so it is pretty fitting that we were married on Halloween weekend in 2014!

It took Alyssa moving away from Minnesota to Washington for our relationship to develop, but we have always shared a passion for travel, photography, shoes, and loyal friendships. Minnesota is a place of love, friendship, and exploration for us both, so it was only fitting to make it official (and legal) there.

The day was filled with an unbelievable amount of love, energy and the best team of family, friends and professional staff that we could have asked for.

Photos courtesy of Clewell Photography.

Event Credits

Cakes and Dessert: Izzy's Ice Cream (Minneapolis)Catering: Chow Girls (Minneapolis)Location: Minneapolis, MNMusic: D-baz Entertainment (Minneapolis)Officiant: Austin Stair CalhounPhotography: Clewell Photography (Minneapolis)Planner or Event Designer: Fab Event Design (Minneapolis)Venue: Aria Minneapolis
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Engagement: Katie & Tressa

From Katie and Tressa’s photographer: Katie and Tressa flew all the way to northern Minnesota from a small town in Texas. With the prospect of a September wedding on their radar, they knew that they wanted to get married in a beautiful place (Minnesota: check), close to family (again, Minnesota: check), and in a state that recognized same-sex marriage (again, check!). When they reached out to us, we were absolutely ecstatic to drive north and meet them for some location scouting … and to meet the entire family! Katie and Tressa’s love for one another is so evident, and they’re two of the most caring souls we’ve ever met. We’re honored to have captured their engagement photos and even more honored to be involved in their wedding.

Event Credits

Location: Detroit Lakes, MinnesotaPhotography: The Wildernesses
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Engagement: Lea & Leah

From Lea and Leah’s photographer: Lea and Leah’s wedding is the first same sex marriage that we have been able to shoot, which we are incredibly excited about. We have had a lot of friends and family that have been able to marry due to the new law, but they all wanted us to be guests and not shoot their weddings, so this worked out very well for both parties.

This is Lea and Leah’s engagement session. We had a lot of fun with them. They are nature lovers, but lived together in the city, so we tried to incorporate a bit of both into the shoot. There were about three or four locations we shot at around the Twin Cities, some very well known and others a little more off the beaten path. Working with them so far has been wonderful.

Event Credits

Location: Minneapolis, MNPhotography: RKH Images
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Wedding: Molly & Stacy

From Molly: On a chilly Friday evening in October, Stacy and I were surrounded by our friends and family for our ceremony in the beautiful rooftop Skygarden at a downtown Minneapolis hotel. It was chilly, but our guests and bridesmates braved the 43 degree temperatures to watch us exchange vows. The reception and dance followed in the ballroom of the hotel.

We made our day our own in the details. Stacy wore Converse shoes to stick to her athletic roots. I carried a bouquet which held broaches and hairpins given by important women in my life. My bouquet was wrapped in part of my mother’s wedding dress. Our nieces and nephew greeted guests with programs, and each of our siblings was in the wedding party. Because Stacy and I are not big on public displays of affection, my maid of honor and Stacy’s woman of honor leaned in with our bouquets when we kissed to seal our wedding vows. Our first dance was a memorable one, full of quirky dance moves, and it certainly was a crowd-pleaser. These small details made the day truly ours. However, our favorite part of our day was looking out on our guests at dinner and realizing the love that surrounded us. It was our perfect day!

Photos courtesy of Anna at Studio 220.

To see Molly and Stacy’s engagement photos, click here

Event Credits

Attire: The Wedding Shoppe and Bride-to-Be ConsignmentCakes and Dessert: The Sweet RetreatFlorist: Thistle FloralLocation: Minneapolis, MinnesotaMusic: Midwest Lights and SoundOfficiant: Rev. Leigh BrownPhotography: Anna at Studio 220Venue: Crowne Plaza Northstar Hotel and Skygarden
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Wedding: JoJo & Bobbi Jo

From JoJo: Bobbi Jo and I met back in 2009 in a wild summer of long nights filled with friends, fun, and beers. It was one of these nights that there was a hay wagon ride with music and drinks. We kissed and I can safely say the rest is history. In January of 2013 I took Bobbi Jo down to Key West and popped the question. (She said yes!) We started to plan our wedding for June 6th of 2014. Through the planning we started to get frustrated about the small details, what colors and center pieces…etc., making us lose sight of what this day was truly about. All I wanted to think about was the moment I got to say my vows and kiss my bride. We discussed our concerns and decided to change everything. That started with the date– we thought to ourselves, what are we waiting for? Let’s elope! So the date was now set for October 4th, 2013, leaving just two months to throw everything together. My mother and stepfather agreed to host our wedding on their adorable hobby farm in Dennison, MN. We chose this location not only because of its beauty and intimacy, but because it means so much to us and it is a place we both truly felt comfortable. We both decided that having a smaller, more intimate ceremony was important to us. It was a difficult process to widdle down our guest list from 100 something down to 23 people. But when our wedding day came, it was all worth it. Our day was truly about us, our love and our commitment to one another. There were no distractions and the only people there with us were ones who have impacted our lives positively and supported our love. We got to spend every minute of that day together, share in every moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives together. We honestly couldn’t be happier with the way everything went and the choices we made.

From Tricia, JoJo and Bobbi Jo’s photographer: This wedding was such a dream come true for me. I have never witnessed such pure love and adoration in the most beautiful and simpliest of forms. This is how all weddings should be! 

Event Credits

Catering: Jeff Svenddal www.breakingbreadmn.comLocation: Dennison, MNMusic: Mark Grundhoefer & Martin Anderson Sweet Shibui Photography
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