Grand Superior Lodge Destination Wedding

Grand Superior Lodge Destination Wedding

Joannie & I had the pleasure of photographing Aleksandra and Brycen’s Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding a couple of weeks ago. While we’ve done several North Shore weddings, this was our first Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding. I have to say that we really loved the resort! A very friendly staff, nice rooms, and majestic Lake Superior just a few steps from your door, what’s not to love about that?

A very pretty, classic wedding portrait of a bride and groom with the famous Split Rock Lighthouse in the background.

A classic wedding portrait of Brycen and Aleksandra with the famous Split Rock Lighthouse in the distance.

Lake Superior Weather

After traveling many miles through heavy fog near Duluth, we arrived on Friday evening to wind and big waves on Lake Superior. Even after we settled in for the night, we could hear the waves pounding the shoreline. I just hoped that things would settle down by morning. There was also a pretty good chance for rain right around ceremony time, so we all were hoping for the best in the morning.

Saturday morning arrived at to was time to get Brycen and Aleks’ Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding day rolling. Thankfully the winds died down significantly by morning and the biggest chance of rain was moved back a couple of hours to around sunset. So all systems were go!

The bride and her bridesmaids standing on a rocky ledge at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in MN. Image was taken from long range with a Tamron SP 150-600MM F/5-6.3 Di VC USD super telephoto lens.

Aleksandra and the ladies on the rocky shoreline at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.

The Wedding Photography Begins

Joannie & I started the day with photographs of Aleksandra and the girls getting ready. Then I bounced back and forth between Brycen’s and Aleks’ rooms getting images of both of them preparing for their big day. I even hand delivered a card and a gift to Brycen from Aleks.

Aleks would then have a first look with her dad followed by Brycen having his moment with his pretty bride-to-be. The sun was peaking in and out of the clouds at that point in the day, so I selected a pretty, shaded spot in the woods for their first moments together. We also did a few formal wedding portraits of the soon-to-be newlyweds there as well.

The groom and his groomsmen standing on a rocky ledge at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park in MN. Image was taken from long range with a Tamron SP 150-600MM F/5-6.3 Di VC USD super telephoto lens.

Brycen and the boys at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.

Split Rock Lighthouse Wedding Photographs

We loaded up the wedding party and traveled (in light rain) about ten miles to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park for the wedding photos that Brycen and Aleks wanted the most. Wedding photographs with the famous Split Rock Lighthouse in the background.

The rain subsided just as we arrived at the Split Rock, we just didn’t know how long it would stay dry, so we left all of lighting gear in the car just to be safe. The good news was that it was nicely overcast, so we wouldn’t have to use our lights for fill light. The natural light was actually near perfect, and we all were surprised when we got to the shoreline to find that the winds there were pretty calm there too!

Joannie and I created lots of pretty and fun images right there on the rocky shoreline. It was also the perfect spot to use our Tamron SP 150-600MM F/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens.

My “Big Boy Lens” as I call it, does a superb job of compressing the backgrounds on the North Shore and I’m still amazed at the images that I can create with it at 600mm. I would be using it once again for some really cool wedding photos back at Grand Superior Lodge after the ceremony too.

A pretty, classic wedding portrait of a bride and groom with their wedding party at the famous Split Rock Lighthouse.

A pretty wedding party portrait of Brycen and Aleksandra with the famous Split Rock Lighthouse as the backdrop.

Family Portraits at Grand Superior Lodge

We headed back to Grand Superior Lodge for family portraits, and by the time we got there, the sun was popping out of the clouds quite a bit. It was now “mostly sunny.” In order to have Lake Superior in the background (the reason we all were there in the first place), that would mean we would need some serious flash power! So both of our high powered WITSTRO MoLight AD360II-C’s came out to play.

Aleksandra twirls in her pretty wedding dress with Lake Superior in the background. Image was created just before Brycen & Aleksandra's Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding ceremony.

Aleksandra taking her dress out for “a spin!”

At the conclusion of the family portraits, the time for the wedding ceremony was approaching. So Joannie & I got some nice candids of guests arriving and lots of pretty detail images prior to their wedding ceremony.

Grand Superior Lodge Destination Wedding Ceremony

Brycen and Aleks must have a patch of four leaf clovers somewhere, because the weather turned ideal just before their wedding ceremony and stayed that way the whole time! A nice, soft, overcast sky with no wind to speak of. Just perfect.

A pretty view of a Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding ceremony taken from the lodge balcony above the patio.

Brycen and Aleksandra exchange their vows at Grand Superior Lodge.

Their wedding ceremony was very pretty and filled with sweet, tender moments, some tears, and some laughter mixed in there too. When it was all said and done, Aleks and Brycen were newlyweds!

The receiving line, signing of the marriage license, and the social hour followed on a perfect early fall evening up north.

Lake Superior Wedding Photography

Last month, while we were on our annual North Shore Portrait Weekend, we made a point of stopping by Grand Superior Lodge so we could check it out and have a wedding photography game plan a month before we even arrived for the wedding.

While I was looking around down by the lake, I fell in love with one spot on one of the rocky outcroppings right at the resort. I knew that given the chance, it would produce some stunning wedding photos.

It was time for our Tamron SP 150-600MM F/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens to come out and play again. I would have to be right down by the water to get Aleks and Brycen way back at the spot I fell in love with, about 100 yards away!

A pretty destination wedding photograph taken on a rocky ledge at Grand Superior Lodge on Lake Superior.

Aleksandra and Brycen on the rocky Lake Superior shoreline at Grand Superior Lodge.

I can tell you that it was pretty challenging to hold a lens steady at 600mm, giving hand gestures to the newlyweds and dodging waves that on one occasion came up and over my shoes! But the images were totally worth it!

A great dinner and dancing all night long closed out this wonderful wedding day for Aleks and Brycen. But Joannie & I weren’t done creating images yet.

Light Painting Wedding Photography

Whenever we can, Joannie and I are now creating light painting wedding photographs. As far as we can tell via Google searches, we are the only wedding photographers in the country producing these unique light painted wedding photos. Yes, there are many photographers doing sparklers and setting steel wool on fire and stuff like that, but nothing like we’re creating for our couples.

The problem on this night was the weather. Yes, the predicted rain arrived just when it was time for us to begin the light painting. That and the fact that there were many wedding guests hanging around outside standing under the eves of the building to stay dry. While Grand Superior Lodge is a great looking structure, the back of the lodge is the coolest looking part of the building and that’s where I wanted to light paint Aleks and Brycen’s creation.

The starting image before any light painting of the bride and groom in the rain at their Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding. The couple is standing under an umbrella on the patio during their wedding dance.

The crazy starting image of Aleksandra and Brycen standing in the rain before the light painting began.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

A light painted wedding photograph takes Joannie & I about 30 to 40 minutes to photograph under ideal conditions. Well, rain is definitely NOT even close to ideal conditions! I know Joannie thought I was nuts for even trying this on the eve of her birthday. But when I see something I want, I usually try to get it. After all, I’ve got her for more than 31 years now!

I wrote this blog post that tells the rest of the story, it contains a very short movie that takes you from the start to the finish creating Aleks and Brycen’s pretty wedding photography light painting. It’s fun, please check it out.

A stunning light painting wedding photograph of a bride & groom created at their Grand Superior Lodge destination wedding on Lake Superior. The final fantasy light painting has the couple under under the aurora borealis.

Aleksandra and Brycen’s fantasy light painting under the northern lights!

Aleks and Brycen, Joannie & I are thrilled to have been your wedding photographers! We loved spending the day with you guys at your Grand Superior Lodge Destination Wedding! I know yours will be a pretty cool wedding album to plan with you when you’re ready. Thank you so much! – M&J

“Grand Superior Lodge Destination Wedding” – © 2017 Michael Anderson Photography.

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