Joannie & I had the honor of being the wedding photographers for Steve & Kaitlin at their wet and wonderful Superior Shores wedding!
Yes, it rained quite a bit on their wedding day, well actually a lot. But there were enough gaps in the rain to make their wedding one that we’ll never forget!
When Joannie & I left the studio early on August 20th, it was raining cats and dogs in Mounds View, MN. It had stopped raining by the time we got to Duluth, but it was far from a dry outlook for the rest the day. Despite the shaky weather, everyone was very cheerful and upbeat that Steve & Kaitlin would indeed get married on the beachfront at Superior Shores Resort and Conference Center like they wanted to.
A Very Pretty North Shore Wedding
Steve & Kaitlin’s decorating crew did a great job giving their Superior Shores wedding a very special look. One of the cutest touches was the decorated arches on the footbridge leading to the lake. That’s where we decided to place Kaitlin’s beautiful wedding dress for photos. It was a gamble that we could pull it off without rain, so we kept it in the plastic bag and put it back in right away. It started raining very hard about 10 minutes after we got back inside with her pretty dress!
Rain Rain Go Away!
We continued to take candid wedding images of the wedding party getting ready in their hotel rooms. All the time I was just hoping we could get outside for a few wedding party photos. Low and behold, the rain stopped after a while, allowing Steve’s first look with Kaitlin to happen right there on the beautifully decorated bridge.
Wedding party photos on the beach were up next, all the while groomsmen kept umbrellas close by just in case. By this time it was lightly sprinkling off and on and the wind was starting to speak up too, so I knew this outdoor session had to be a quick one.
We created quite a few very nice images of the whole wedding party, the boys alone and some pretty breezy images with the girls. The wind was the signal to get a move on, so we sent the wedding party back to the hotel and Joannie & I worked quickly to at least get a few nice photos on the beach of Steve & Kaitlyn. For all we knew, it might have been our only chance outdoors for the rest of the day! The resulting images with the stormy skies and rocky shoreline turned out pretty cool!
By the time we were heading back inside, Mother Nature gave us a little push with more steady rain. This time it looked like it might just stick around for a while. So, we improvised.
Time To Get Out Of The Rain
The staff at Superior Shores were nice enough to allow us to use the hotel lobby fireplace as our backdrop for more wedding party and all of the family portraits. We took full advantage, photographing lots of family combinations that will be enjoyed for many years to come.
It was kind of crazy at times with hotel and wedding guests passing through the lobby, but that’s what can happen at a destination wedding. Everyone just kind of hangs out together. It is one of the things I like most about destination weddings, lots of togetherness and the bonus is that since Joannie & I are staying there too, we get included in just about everything. It’s like we’re temporarily adopted by two families. Nice!
By the time we finished up with the family portraits, the rain had stopped once again, but for how long?
The decision was made to go for their Superior Shores wedding ceremony on the beach. The Reverend Dee Pederson from Bethlehem Lutheran in St. Cloud, MN was presiding over the ceremony. She asked me to give her a signal if it looked like the ceremony had to be cut short by the weather.
Time To Get Out Of The Rain, Again!
What a wonderful setting for a wedding! Steve & Kaitlin’s Superior Shores wedding was just beautiful! The only hitch was yet another round of heavy rain was heading our way, the weather App on my phone showed it taking direct aim at us, so I held up my hand to get Dee’s attention and she immediately started to talk a bit faster, so I knew she got the message! To be sure, a minute later she paused and asked out loud how long she might have, I told her about five minutes.
Pastor Dee proceeded to have Steve & Kaitlin exchange their vows, wedding rings and hold a “Unity Cross Ceremony” in remembrance of Steve’s mother who passed away when he was about 14 years old. Dee left out a few things at the end of the ceremony that was then added to the beginning of their Superior Shores wedding reception just a little while later. No problem.
Steve & Kaitlin were now married! They (and everyone else) hurried back to the hotel ballroom just as the rain started up once again!
Time To Celebrate!
Their Superior Shores wedding reception was really fun (and dry)! Now that everyone was inside and out of the rain, a great social hour followed by a crazy Grand March got the evening going on the right track. All of the “missing pieces” from the wedding ceremony, including very pretty music from Beth & Les Hazleton got dinner off to a great start!
During dinner, there were the usual funny speeches and toasts, but one thing stood out from the rest. Steve’s dad reading a card that his mother wrote to her son for his wedding day, written years before he was to even meet Kaitlin. There was hardly a dry eye in the house, including me. What a wonderful moment to witness.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
After dinner, the rain let up once again and I was itching to give Steve & Kaitlin more Superior Shores wedding photos at this pretty outdoor location. So we rounded up the wedding party and headed outside. We walked out the door to witness a rainbow! Since the sun was setting in a few minutes, we worked very quickly to get images that included this pretty signature from Mother Nature before it was gone.
We no sooner finished that, the sunset turned it up several notches too! It was a pretty wild 10 minutes or so that no one could have expected on this wet day!
The dance was up next and it was a fun one too! The dance floor was packed all night long, with Steve hardly ever stopping. Steve & Kaitlin told us we were done and so I put some (not all) of our gear away and we joined in the celebration! That was a really fun time!
Come On In, The Water’s Fine!
I snuck a few more dance images in right up until closing time. Just before the dance came to its conclusion, Amanda, who’s awesome destination wedding we photographed in January at Grand View Lodge, came up to us and informed us that the wedding party was going swimming in Lake Superior at the end of the dance. She wanted to let us know “in case” we wanted to photograph it. I guess there was a reason I didn’t put everything away earlier after all.
I was up to the challenge, but despite a nearly full moon, it was almost pitch black outside due to heavy cloud cover once again. So we borrowed the DJ’s flashlight and set out to attempt to cover something that I can safely say, we’ve never done before!
I had both of our powerful WITSTRO MoLight AD360II strobes units out on the beach to shed light on “Steve & Kaitlin’s Swim Team!” But could I capture anything in focus in near total darkness? Joannie held the flashlight on the swimmers and low and behold we got this unique wedding photograph!
I put the hidden moon back in the final image for good measure. Artistic license, ya gotta love it!
Steve & Kaitlin; Joannie and I had a blast with you guys! Your Superior Shores wedding was so fun and despite the weird weather day, it turned out very cool photographically. I think the music video tells the story of your wedding day quite well. I know you’ll get some good laughs and warm feelings each time you watch it. I’m very excited to show the rest of your images in the days to come. It should be a pretty cool wedding album too! Thank you! –M&J