Grand Forks | East Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer - Summer Wedding at The Hopper Danley & Gorecki Alumni Center

Grand Forks | East Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer - Summer Wedding at The Hopper Danley & Gorecki Alumni Center On The University Of North Dakota’s Campus With Tyler & Jordan

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I met Tyler & Jordan close to a year ago at a wedding show and was instantly connected to their story! I had a blast with them during their engagement session as we took some awesome winter photos which included key elements of their love story: Their home, the restaurant where they got engaged, sipping on some scotch and whiskey, their dogs, and the love of the outdoors! The only bad thing about it was that we had to wait so long for the wedding so we could have some more fun working together!

Their wedding day Finally arrived on August 24 and took place on the UND campus at the Hopper Danley and Gorecki Alumni Center. Little did we know that we would be faced with a couple huge obstacles as the day began. It just so happened to be UND Student Move-In Day! Exciting….RIGHT?? Oh…I forgot to mention that there was also major construction on University Avenue! This all created the perfect storm of things to make you stress out on your wedding day! It was almost impossible to get to the Gorecki as traffic was backed up all the way down University Ave all day! It was Crazy!

Despite all of the craziness, everyone arrived and the day began as Tyler and Jordan’s families all worked together to get the day’s events back on track! Weather-wise, it was a beautiful day out and the wedding party was so much fun to work with as we trekked all over the campus and found some stunning areas for portraits!

The rest of the day went off without a hitch and as the students and traffic gradually died down, Tyler and Jordan exchanged vows, had their first kiss, and walked back down the isle as husband and wife! It was a beautiful intimate ceremony with my first ever “scotch-whiskey unity ceremony” I’ve ever photographed!

Then it was back to the Gorecki for the celebration where there was more laughter, some tears of joy, fine food, and crazy dancing!

I’m so happy that I crossed paths with this amazing couple a year ago and I was able to tell their wedding day story! Congrats…and thanks to Tyler, Jordan, and their families for letting me into their lives over the last year so I could preserve these precious memories for you all!

Venues: Hopper Danley Spiritual Center The Gorecki Alumni Center

Dress: Allen Evan’s (Moorhead)

Florist: Hugo’s Family Marketplace

Cake: Paola’s Pastries

D.J.: Harmon Entertainment

Make-up: Kennedy Olson

Hair: Hair By CK

Event Design: An Elegant Affair

Photographer: Shawn Morrissey Photography

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Watch Tyler & Jordan’s Wedding Day Highlight Film:

If you’d like to discuss working with me for your wedding day…just click the button below to reach out and say HI!

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Grand Forks | East Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer - Summer Wedding In Crookston

Grand Forks | East Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer - Summer Wedding In Crookston

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I first met Ariel last Fall at a bridal show and when I got to hear a little bit about their wedding plans up until that point, I knew I wanted to be a part of their big day! June 22 came extremely fast and the day began with steady rain showers which worried us because we all had high hopes of doing a majority of our photographs outdoors at various locations.

By the time everyone was dressed and ready to go, most of the rain had stopped and I was able to take the groomsmen and 1 groomswoman (groomspeople) outside and get some great shots in downtown Crookston. Then we hid the groomspeople as we sneaked the bride and her bridesmaids outside for some fun shots around the church.

As we were finishing, it started raining again which put a damper on our plans to head to a nature center for Ariel and Bryce’s First Look. We had a “plan B” for this to take place inside the church but when I asked Ariel what she REALLY wanted to do…she said, “Let’s go to the nature center!” (My kind of bride!).

The groom and I drove out to the nature center and the gate was locked! I had to find a place to stash the groom because the bride was about 5 minutes behind us and if he simply stayed in my vehicle...they would've seen each other. So he hid around the corner of a nearby building (outside in the rain). When the bride arrived and her father unlocked the gate, we had to cover the car she was in with umbrellas so we could move the groom into position. Once we did that, we had to have the bride's father drive her right up behind the groom because the grass was knee high and it was soaked from the rain! At this point, my feet were soaked and my pants were as well from the knee down. We finally got them both into position and the father (and other helpers) drove back out and we did their first look. All of that was totally worth it because the groom's reaction to seeing his bride for the first time was priceless!

The rest of he day was so much fun and everything else went off without a hitch! We DID have some slight coordinating to do as we literally stopped traffic to get a shot of the entire wedding party in the middle of the street in downtown Crookston…but other than that, everything was amazing!

The church was packed with friends and loved ones who all came to see Ariel and Bryce become husband and wife. There were plenty of laughs and tears and soon the entire group was partying and celebrating as the brand new husband and wife shared their first meal together!

It was quite the adventurous day and I couldn’t be more honored that Ariel and Bryce chose ME to capture all of these amazing moments! Congrats to the newlyweds!!

Venues: Trinity Lutheran Church Crookston Inn

Dress: LeAnn’s Bridal Fargo

Florist: Crookston Floral

Cake: Susan Winger

D.J.: Thunderbolt Sound & Light Show

Make-up: Evan Hartjen

Photographer: Shawn Morrissey Photography

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If you would like to chat with me about your upcoming wedding…simply click below to reach out and say HI!

Grand Forks | East Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer - Summer Wedding In East Grand Forks

Grand Forks | East Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer - Summer Wedding In East Grand Forks

My 2019 wedding season kicked off with a BANG in early June with Michelle and Jon’s big day! The day started off at about 90 degrees and 600% humidity but that didn’t stop us from venturing outdoors and making some awesome wedding day memories!

Everyone was so amazing to work with and there was still one important shot I was hoping to get with the entire group out on the street with Grand Forks’ City Hall in the background. The only problem was that it was about a 5 minute walk and by the looks of the sky, we were looking to have some severe thunderstorms hit us any minute! I just reassured Michelle and Jon that it was good luck to get struck by lightning on your wedding day…and we started walking! We got over there, lined everyone up (including Children and 1 GroomsDog) and got our shots. We got back to the church with no time to spare as it literally dumped rain the second we got inside!

Rewind to about 2 minutes before we got inside as we were walking back to the church, the bride’s Father drove by us in his pick-up and saw his daughter walking down the street in her wedding dress and must’ve stared a bit too long because he hit a curb and jumped the truck over the curb and kept going! Everyone got a good laugh at that, but it stood out to me as one of those extremely rare moments that I get to see during someone’s wedding day that not everyone gets to be a part of.

The rest of the day was filled with special moments as 350 of Michelle and Jon’s family and friends sat together and watched the two exchange vows, rings, a kiss, and their walk back down the isle as husband and wife!

As the celebration moved to The Ramada, it was still pouring rain out and it was chilly! I remember wishing I had a jacket which was crazy considering that hours earlier, I thought I was having heat stroke! I guess that’s how Summer Wedding Days go in ND/MN!

Everything all said and done…it was a beautiful, action-packed day with an incredible bride and groom who I was so honored to have trust me with capturing all of these memories for them!

Congrats Michelle & Jon!

Venues: Sacred Heart Church Ramada | Grand Forks

Dress: Kristen’s Bridal

Florist: Wy’s Floral

Cake: O’ For Heaven’s Cakes N’ More

D.J.: Backspin Productions

Make-up: Jody Lopez Premier Aesthetics

Hair: Fringe (Jadie Schuh)

Photographer: Shawn Morrissey Photography

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Watch Michelle & Jon’s Wedding Day Highlight Video!


5 Common Mistakes Couples Make While Wedding Planning

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5 Common Mistakes Couples Make While Wedding Planning

Congratulations!!!! You’re engaged and everything is so exciting in your life right now! If this is your first time being engaged and planning a wedding…this process can be lots of fun…but you’ll also find out soon enough that things can get overwhelming and even stressful. There are so many details that need attention and decisions that need to be made…not to mention all of the money those details and decisions will end up costing you.

You’re going to probably reach out for help at some point to friends, family members, Facebook groups, Pintrest, Youtube, and Google…all of which can offer help and inspiration. This blog post will let you take advantage of a very different and UNIQUE source for helping you plan your wedding. That source is ME! I’ve been photographing weddings for almost 14 years…and in that vast amount of time, I’ve seen pretty much everything. I’ve seen almost every possible way a wedding can go wrong and I’ve condensed all of that in to the 5 most common mistakes couples make while wedding planning. I’ll go over each one with the hopes of preventing YOU from making the same mistakes I see couples making over and over so you can have a fun-filled, stress-free wedding day!

So let’s get to it!

Wedding Planning Mistake #5: Inviting too many guests

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This may seem like it doesn’t need mentioning, but you would be surprised how many couples make this simple mistake. When planning your guest list, make sure the number of guests you plan on inviting fits within the capacity limits of both your ceremony and reception venues! If your reception venue can fit 200 people and your guest list is 350…DO NOT send 350 invites out assuming that only 50-60% will rsvp YES. When your wedding day rolls around and you have 50 guests too many…it would be absolutely horrible to have to turn those guests away... some of whom may have travelled a great distance to be there for your wedding! Most venues simply can’t add 5 more tables at the last minute. Fire codes limit the maximum number of people allowed in the venue. A safer guideline would be to assume that 80% of the people on your guestlist will reply YES. Safer still is not sending out more invites than your venue can hold. If your venue can hold 200 people…do not send out more than 200 invites. Trust me…the last thing you want on your wedding day is to have to turn away a group of people who took time out of their lives to be with you on your wedding day because you sent out too many invites!

Wedding Planning Mistake #4: Not having a rain plan

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If you are planning an outdoor wedding and simply hoping that it won’t rain…you will be a nervous wreck the entire week of your wedding (especially in ND and MN)! Don’t waste your whole wedding day worrying if it’s gonna rain or not and ruin everything you’ve been planning for the last 6-12 months! Instead…have a solid “Plan B”. If the venue you are having your outdoor ceremony at doesn’t have an option for an indoor ceremony in case of rain…It would be a smart idea to start looking into companies in your area that rent tents. You may not want to put money down on renting a tent and lose that money if it doesn’t rain and you never use that tent, but the alternative is…not spending the money renting the tent and then it rains and you have nowhere for you and your guests to take shelter. Think of putting money down for a tent as insurance and a piece of mind (which, on your wedding day, is priceless). If you are planning an outdoor event, start looking for tents to rent 6-9 months in advance so you can be sure some will be available and you can budget them in.

Wedding Planning Mistake #3: Hiring a friend instead of a pro

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You’ve spent countless hours planning, not to mention thousands of dollars on your dress, venues, food, etc…and there will be no “Do Overs” on your wedding day. It’s vital that you hire professional wedding vendors, who know what they’re doing, to make sure your wedding day goes off without a hitch. Even if you are on a tight budget…your wedding day is NOT the time to let your friends “practice” their hobby. Your friend my have 10,000 followers on Instagram…but that doesn’t mean they can handle photographing a wedding. Your cousin may put together the best playlists ever and keep house parties bumpin…but that doesn’t mean they’ll make an awesome wedding DJ. INVEST money into hiring professionals for the most important day of your life and let your friends enjoy the day with you.

Wedding Planning Mistake #2: Getting trashed the night before the wedding

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Your wedding is tomorrow!! Yippie! You’re so excited and to make things even better…you get to be with all of your closest friends and family at the groom’s dinner! This is where many couples make a mistake they always regret! Drinking WAY too much the night before the wedding can turn your wedding day into a disaster. I’ve seen couples that hired me for 6 hours of photography coverage show up 3 hours late because they were sick from the night before. On top of that, alcohol makes your skin flush red which is VERY unflattering for photos. (sometimes…even Photoshop can not help). Coming in 3 hours late puts all of your hired wedding vendors behind and that can exponentially slow down your entire timeline…even bring it to a halt. If you were supposed to be a the salon at 9 am and didn’t get there until 9:45…that not only puts your hair and makeup back 45 minutes…but that compounds on top of all the other events on your timeline. Now makeup starts later, which means getting dressed starts later, which then means flowers get pinned on later, and so on and so forth! It can be a total disaster and I’ve seen it happen more than once. So have fun at the groom’s dinner the night before but skip the drinking if at all possible. You will have such a better wedding day if you avoid this common mistake…and you’ll have the entire wedding evening to have drinks with all of your friends.

Wedding Planning Mistake #1: Not Hiring An Experienced Wedding Photographer

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You may have been dreaming of your wedding day since you were a little girl. You’ll spend countless hours between now and your wedding day planning every important detail. You’ve spent hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars on your dream dress and thousands more on the venues, music, flowers, cake, decorations, and other key elements. It only makes sense that you INVEST in preserving all of those dreams, hard work, and money by hiring an experienced photographer who specializes in weddings!

Your dream day is not the time to hire an up-n-comer or hobbyist because you want to save a few bucks. Concerning photography, price is usually directly proportional to quality and experience (I.E…YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR). If you hand over the enormous responsibility of preserving your wedding day memories to someone who may have only photographed 1 or 2 weddings because they are super cheap…you will find out soon after your wedding WHY they were super cheap! And at that point….there’s nothing you can do…your wedding has already taken place. You can’t go back in time and do it again.

Think of it this way…you wouldn’t go to a primary care physician if you needed open heart surgery (would you?)…I bet you would search for the most experienced cardiologist around…someone who specializes in hearts and you can trust to give you the best care possible. Both are doctors, but one is WAY more qualified to help you with your special needs.

One Value that an experienced photographer who specializes in weddings offers you that others don’t is “PEACE OF MIND”…and on your wedding day….that is PRICELESS!

There you have it! 5 Common Mistakes that couples make while planning their wedding. Your wedding should be super special and the more you do in the preparation stage to squash any common mistakes…the more time you can spend having a blast on your big day! I really hope that these 5 tips helped in some way!

Want more info about MY wedding photography/video services?? Click below to reach out and say “HI!”



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Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now comes planning your big day! There’s so much that goes into wedding planning and it can definitely start to get stressful fast! This quick blog post is going to focus on hiring your wedding photographer and how to make sure you choose the right one for you and your wedding. Let’s face it…you’ve probably already searched for wedding photographers in your area via Google or Facebook and were overwhelmed with the hundreds of choices! If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you want your wedding to be the most special day of your life and that preserving those memories is VERY important to you. If your wedding photography is something you place a high value on, then finding an experienced PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer is a must.

So how can you tell if a photographer is an experienced pro who you can trust with the most important day of your life, or an inexperienced hobbyist? Many sites online such as WeddingWire, The Knot, and Martha Stewart Weddings offer articles titled something like: 20 THINGS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE HIRING THEM…or something similar. Then you read it and it’s all generic questions that really don’t help you weed through all the photographer to find the few good ones. You’ll see basic questions like: “How many weddings have you photographed?” “How long have you been in business?” “Do you have a portfolio I can view?” “Can I see a shot list?”…etc…

Couples who haven’t gone through this process before don’t really know what to ask a professional photographers so they ask these generic questions because that’s what Martha Stewart said to ask…when in reality…those questions don’t really help you at all. Let’s face it…you should be able to look at a photographer’s website and see their portfolio, how long they’ve been in business, blah blah blah. How does that help you figure out if a photographer is right for you?

IF your wedding photography is super important to you and you want an experienced trust worthy professional… if you follow my 5 pieces of advice below, you can easily narrow down your potential photographers and save yourself tons of time and stress.

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So…without further adieu…

A few key tips to help you determine if you should trust a particular photographer to photograph your wedding are:

  • Check for reviews  on places like Google Business, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook…etc… Also check the photographer’s website for reviews and testimonials. See if past clients rave about trusting their weddings to that photographer. If there are no reviews…either that photographer hasn’t shot enough weddings to accumulate any, or the ones they DO have are negative and they don’t want you to see them.

  • Ask the photographer if they have liability insurance. A photographer who has liability insurance takes their business seriously. You can be sure that they are an ACTUAL professional and that they are aware that they need to protect their clients (and themselves) from any misfortune. What happens if 2yr old Timmy trips over a lightstand and gets seriously injured?? A professional who has insurance is one that gives you piece of mind on your wedding day and that’s one less STRESS you need to deal with.

  • Have they had their work published in print or on recognized wedding blogs? You can rest assured that if recognized blogs or magazines are willing to showcase that photographer’s work on their site or magazine, that they are a choice you can trust with your big day. Most publications have strict guidelines for submissions and they get thousands to choose from each day! If your potential photographer has their work published on wedding blogs or in magazines…it’s a sure sign that they know what they are doing.

  • Ask to see examples of Full Weddings (at least 75 pics) from 3 different weddings they’ve done and ask that at least one of those is an INDOOR WEDDING. You are looking to see how a photographer’s work looks when the lighting is challenging. Shooting outdoor weddings is a bit easier due to the abundance of natural lighting (from the sun). There is a lot less for a photographer to worry about and it’s easier to produce high quality, smooth, flattering images. But what if your ceremony, or reception, is indoors?  Church lighting is never ideal and reception lighting is almost unworkable for some photographers who do not have the know-how to use their own “off camera” lighting. Look for shots from inside a church during the ceremony and some from the reception (First Dances, Cake Cutting). If these images are not crisp and clean, then ask yourself if they can handle your wedding day.

  • Meet with them in person before hiring them to see if you “CLICK”. Whoever you decide to trust with capturing your wedding day memories will be by your side more than any other person during the day (quite literally). From hair and make-up to the reception dance floor, your photographer will be attached to you the entire time. So…this may seem obvious, but you want to make sure that person is someone you get along with, have shared interests with, makes you laugh, helps you through stressful moments, and is calm/cool/professional. Set up an in person meeting with them just to chat over coffee. If distance prevents meeting in person, set up a Skype (or Zoom) call. Think of it as a blind date. You are trying to see if this person is a good fit to invite into your life on the most important day ever! If they annoy you or butt heads with your personality, it will most definitely make spending 8 hours with them on your wedding day, miserable. AND…if any wedding vendor refuses to meet with you before you hire them, it should be a HUGE red flag! Save time, money, and stress and move on to the next possible person.

There you have it! 5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Wedding Photographer For You. Finding the right photographer for your wedding day should be fun and exciting…not a stressful frustrating hassle. Use these 5 tips to instantly narrow down the mine field of photographers to the select few that can be trusted with the giant responsibility of preserving your wedding day memories!

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If you would like more info on MY wedding photography/video services, just click below to reach out and say HI!

Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer: 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must!

Grand Forks | Fargo Wedding Photographer: 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must!

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If you’re recently engaged and starting the amazing journey of planning your wedding…Congratulations!!! The engagement phase in a relationship is so exciting and you’re probably going to get sick of answering the questions that all of your friends and family members will throw at you (I.E….How did he pop the question? Have you guys set a date? Can I see the ring? etc…) Let’s be honest though…Telling the story of your proposal will probably never get old!

Now, you may be the type of person who has Engagement Photos as the first thing to do on your list…or you may be the type of person who thinks, “We don’t need engagement photos because we already have tons of pics of ourselves on our phones!” You might even be somewhere in between maybe wanting some engagement photos but having so many questions in your head. No matter which of these molds you fit into, I’m going to give you 5 Reasons Why An Engagement Session Is A Must so you can document this amazing time in your lives and be able to look back decades from now and relive everything with your precious family you’ve built over the years! So here we go….

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Reason Number 5: Awesome Photos

Most couples would be shocked that this isn’t the #1 reason to get engagement photos taken (more on this later)! Every couple needs amazing photos (that aren’t cell phone selfies) for save-the-dates invitations, and announcements. Most couples love their engagement photos so much that they can’t wait to show off a gorgeous piece of Wall Art or a keepsake album. Plus you can elevate your social media game with dramatic and bold PROFESSIONAL images that will set your pages apart from the pack. Hopefully, this time in your lives happens only once…so make sure you invest in a pro who will help capture your unique love!

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Reason Number 4: Being Your Best Selves

You waited your entire life to get engaged! Now that you’re finally here, it’s your time to SHINE! So be sure to make the most of it! Go a little outside of your normal everyday “look” and put your very best selves forward! Wear that stunning dress and pair of heels you’ve been wanting to try out. Get your hair and make-up professionally done. Have your partner stand out in that suit and tie you love them in. You will most likely get multiple wardrobe changes, so why not use one to look (and feel) like movie stars for a short time and live it up?

Close your eyes right now and imagine it’s 10 years in the future and you’re sitting down looking through your engagement photos. Picture one of the images in your head. Do you see yourselves in t-shirts and jeans in front of a brick wall? Or do you see yourselves in a Killer black dress and black heels with your full bodied hair blowing in the wind laughing as your fiance in his black suit and tie holds you tightly as you sit in front of the beautiful sunset? When you look back 10 years from now on this very special time, how do you want to see yourselves?

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Reason Number 3: Intimacy

During your engagement session, you will get the chance to cuddle, hold hands, hug, and even kiss your fiance. It’s such a wonderful experience and many couples leave their engagement session even closer than they were before! Use an engagement session to enjoy being intimate with your future partner and build an experience for both of you to remember as one of the many you will have together!

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Reason Number 2: Gaining Confidence

As you look though other peoples’ engagement photos online to get ideas and inspiration, you may notice that they all look like models who have been posing for photos for years. You may get thoughts in your head like, “My photos will never look like that!” or “I never take good pictures because (insert insecurity here)!” Guess what? More often than not…those couples you’re comparing yourselves to felt the exact same way! A lot of couples are either shy or insecure in front of the camera and that’s totally OK! The last thing you want to feel on your wedding day, though, is insecure. That’s why it’s important to have an engagement session…so you can get some experience in front of the camera, and working with your photographer, so when you see your photos (if the photographer did their job) your insecurities will melt away leaving you stress free for your wedding day. Picking a photographer who is easy to work with and guides you every step of the way will help you build confidence and soon, some future bride will be looking at your photos online thinking that YOU were probably some model who’s been posing for pictures for years!

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And The Number 1 Reason That An Engagement Session Is A Must: To Build Trust With Your Photographer!

You don’t want the first time you work with your photographer to be your actual wedding day! If you’re not used to your photographer’s methods or techniques, you may be distracted, or even annoyed, by them on your special day. Plus, your photographer is the one person who will be right there by your side more than any other person (even your fiance)…so it’s SUPER IMPORTANT that you feel at ease around them and even enjoy it. You don’t want to find out on your wedding day that you can’t stand your photographer’s personality…TOO LATE…you’re stuck with them for at least 8 hrs now! Consider an engagement session a “Trial Run” on building trust with your photographer. If you’ve worked with them before your wedding and know WHY they do things a certain way and get to see how awesome your photos turned out…then you will be totally at ease come your wedding day because you now TRUST your photographer. That trust is how your photographer gets the best wedding day images possible!

So…as you’ve just read, an engagement session is WAY more than simply getting photos taken. It’s an experience where you get to be your best selves, gain confidence, get intimate, build trust with your photographer, and YES…get some amazing photos of one of the most special times in your lives! So find that perfect Photographer for you (click HERE for my tips On How To Find The Perfect Photographer For You) and schedule an engagement session so you can experience everything you just read and get one step closer to having that perfect wedding day! Congrats!!!!

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Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres - 2019 Bliss In The Barn

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres - 2019 Bliss In The Barn

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Late last Fall, I was having a talk with JoAnn who is one of the owners of Naastad Acres in Hatton, ND and we had an idea of putting on our very own wedding/bridal show right at Naastad Acres. It didn’t take long to decide that we wanted to bring that idea to life and so…Bliss In The Barn was created!

Over the next few months, we got together with some of the area’s leading wedding professionals and, together, we all started planning Bliss In The Barn. We wanted to do something unique where brides-to-be could not only talk to wedding vendors about products and services, but could also see those products and services “in action” during Bliss In The Barn’s 4 different styled mock weddings!

After months of hard work, April 14th finally came and we were so pleased with how everything turned out! We learned a lot throughout this process and we are already figuring out improvements for next year’s event because, after all, our goal was to create something that will be around for years to come!

We had 26 top notch wedding vendors, 48 V.I.P. brides, a V.I.P. Experience, 4 styled mock weddings, and even a Grand Prize that was valued in the thousands of dollars! And we can’t wait to do it again next year….and even bigger AND better!

All of our event’s wedding vendor’s were so amazing and you can see some of their incredible work in the photos below! Our vendors included:

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Shawn Morrissey Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer/video

Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling Wedding Planning, Floral, Event Design

Brooke’s Floral/Events/Styling Floral & Event Styling/Design

Tip Top Tux Formal Wear Rental

Kristen’s Bridal Wedding Dresses & Formal Wear

Katie Aasen Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Paola’s Pastries Wedding Cakes/Desserts/Bakery

Ground Round Food/Catering

The Pedal Health/Fitness/Wellness

Rodan & Fields Skin Care/Eyelashes

Generations Salon Hair/Spa

Signature Jewelers Jewelry

Jadie Shue Hair/Make up

Point Paradise Stables Horse & Carriage Rental/Stables

Dance Man Dan DJ/M.C./Reception Entertainment

Hud Sun Wellness Health & Wellness

Abbergail Graphic Design/Stationary/Invitations/Save-The-Dates

Oh For Heaven’s Cakes n’ More Bakery/Wedding Cakes

An Elegant Affair   (Decor and rentals

Harmon Entertainment   (DJ and Music)

Bon Voyage Travel   (Travel Agency)

Herbie The Photobooth Camper owned by Gathered - Boutique Rentals & Events     Moorhead, MN

Deitrich Bus Service Bus Rental

Heart & Soul (Live Musicians/Band)

And a very special THANK YOU to my models before the event Klaudia & Nick Holkup who are a past wedding couple of mine and I enjoy working with again and again!

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If you were one of our Bliss In The Barn Brides and are in need of a photographer/videographer for your wedding…I would love to sit down with you and hear all about it! Let’s go grab some coffee or drinks and chat!!


Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: North Dakota Wedding Show At Naastad Acres

Grand Forks Wedding Venue Naastad Acres

2019 Bliss In The Barn Bridal Expo

Naastad Acres, Hatton, ND

April 14th, 2019 12pm-3pm

April 14th is less than a month away and we are working hard on making sure everything will be ready for our 2019/2020 brides who will attend the area’s newest, most unique, bridal/wedding show.

Bliss In The Barn will take place in Hatton, ND at Naastad Acres on Sunday April 14th from 12pm-3pm. If you are beginning (or in the midst of) your wedding planning journey, then this event is being brought to life JUST FOR YOU!

Come out to Naastad Acres on April 14th and from noon until 2pm, you can visit with nearly 30 specialized wedding vendors who have come together to help you find the perfect pieces to fit your wedding planning journey! Then from 2-3pm, you will become a guest at the venue for 4 different stylized weddings where you will actually get to witness some of our amazing vendors in action so you can see how certain aspects of your wedding could be handled!

There will be booth drawings unique to each vendor and a very special Grand Prize Giveaway at the end of the event that you won’t want to miss! Below is a list of participating vendors:

Naastad Acres wedding venue and HOST

Shawn Morrissey Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer/video

Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling Wedding Planning, Floral, Event Design

Brooke’s Floral/Events/Styling Floral & Event Styling/Design

Tip Top Tux Formal Wear Rental

Kristen’s Bridal Wedding Dresses & Formal Wear

Katie Aasen Photography Wedding & Engagement Photographer

Paola’s Pastries Wedding Cakes/Desserts/Bakery

Ground Round Food/Catering

The Pedal Health/Fitness/Wellness

Rodan & Fields Skin Care/Eyelashes

Generations Salon Hair/Spa

Signature Jewelers Jewelry

Jadie Shue Hair/Make up

Point Paradise Stables Horse & Carriage Rental/Stables

Dance Man Dan DJ/M.C./Reception Entertainment

Hud Sun Wellness Health & Wellness

Abbergail Graphic Design/Stationary/Invitations/Save-The-Dates

Ramada Inn Grand Forks Evens/Receptions

An Elegant Affair   (Decor and rentals

Harmon Entertainment   (DJ and Music)

Bon Voyage Travel   (Travel Agency)

Herbie The Photobooth Camper owned by Gathered - Boutique Rentals & Events     Moorhead, MN

Deitrich Bus Service Bus Rental

Heart & Soul (Live Musicians/Band)

Don’t Miss Out On Our Awesome V.I.P. Experience!

We will be offering a unique VIP experience for the first 48 brides who register to attend Bliss In the Barn (Yes…there are still some spots available)! As a Bliss In The Barn VIP, you will get to come out to Naastad Acres an hour early (11am) get a swag bag and sip on champagne while getting a Private group tour of the beautiful Naastad Acres venue and property. Then you can meet with me (Photographer Shawn Morrissey) and get some fun photos with you and your entourage that you can share on social media and then see a small bridal photoshoot where I’ll demonstrate (and educate) how I work with real brides and you can see the final photos later in the show!

This extra experience is only for the first 48 brides how register to attend…so if you want to be one of our 1st VIP’s ever…DON’T WAIT! Sign up below NOW!

Don’t forget to like/follow our Facebook Page so you can get updates:

Bliss In the Barn Facebook Page

We hope to see you April 14th at 12pm for the very first Bliss In The Barn! Please share this post with anyone who is engaged! Thanks and we’ll see you soon!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church And Rhombus Brewing Co. With Lena & Collin Show more

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At St. Michael's Church And Rhombus Brewing Co. With Lena & Collin

Show more

Working with Lena And Collin the past 8 months has been an awesome adventure! I met them early last March at Rhombus Guys Brewing Company with snow on the ground and again last night to deliver their final wedding photos/video at Rhombus with snow on the ground. Our journey has come full circle and It's so wonderful to see them finally married and starting their new life together! Thank you both so much for choosing ME to help tell your incredible love story!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Park River Wedding At The American Legion Coliseum With Leah And Rob

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Park River Wedding At The American Legion Coliseum With Leah And Rob.

After our initial meeting last fall, I couldn't wait to work with Leah and Rob...and after being invited out to Rob's house on a beautiful Fall morning to shoot their engagement session on his amazing property...I quickly realized that working with them moving forward towards their wedding day was going to be awesome!

When the big day finally arrived, I swung by Urban Stampede and grabbed my favorite caffeinated beverage because I knew I would need an extra boost to keep up with all the fun that was to come! I met the ladies in East Grand Forks early that morning at Salon 222 to capture the behind the scenes action of what goes into preparing for the biggest moment of your life!

Next, my journey took me to Park River where the day's festivities would take place. The sun was blazing but there was a threat of thunderstorms in the air. We had a blast taking tons of photos even though the heat was just a tad bit INSANE! Then...right in the middle of family photos, it starts downpouring! Thunder, rain, lightning, and the kitchen sink for about 45 minutes straight which, not only cut into our valuable photography time...but also had everyone worried that the soon-to-start outdoor ceremony would be a wash-out! There was a huge sigh of relief when the clouds finally parted and the sun came back out and dried everything up just in time for the ceremony to start!   

The ceremony was beautiful! Both Rob and Leah have huge connections with music which was showcased wonderfully during the ceremony with live musicians and singers sprinkled throughout. There were plenty of special moments, laughs, and tears...and soon they kissed and walked back down the isle together as husband and wife!

Their family and friends soon gathered indoors and kicked the celebration off in style! Delicious food, unique desserts (always my favorite), plenty of drinks, and of course Leah and Rob would have nothing less than a live band at their party!  

Even though we had to transition from sauna-style heat to a torrential downpour and back again...everyone was a rock-star to work with and I had a blast meeting, and chatting with, all sorts of new people. Leah and Rob are such a wonderful couple and I'm very blessed to have a job that gives me the opportunity to work closely with such awesome people! 

Congrats to the new Mr. and Mrs. Brooks!!

VenuePark River American Legion Coliseum, 101 Sandwood Place, Park River, ND

Dress: Alen Evens Bridal

Hair: Salon 222

Make-up: Elizabeth Locke

Caterer: Howlerz BBQ, Mayville, ND

Band: Helena Handbasket

Florist: Wedding Designs - Edie Rygh


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Watch Leah and Rob's wedding day video below!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At Freedom Church And The Grand Forks Ramada With Katrina And Lukas

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At Freedom Church And The Grand Forks Ramada With Katrina And Lukas

I met Katrina and Lukas last Fall and quickly realized how much fun I was going to have working with them! We ran ourselves ragged during their engagement session which only ended because we each had other plans set up which we were going to be late for! 

Since their wedding day was on June 2nd, we planned for some awesome outdoor locations for photos because, let's face it, Grand Forks weather is ALWAYS perfect for outdoor activities...right??? We couldn't have been more wrong! The weather did not cooperate AT ALL! It was rainy, windy, and sorta cold. Luckily, for us, Freedom Church had a cool "commons" area and some empty office space with amazing natural light coming in so we had some non-traditional options for photos. A couple of photographer "hacks" and some moved furniture later...we were able to get some creative shots and lots of memorable moments documented...(and no one had to get wet or wind blown)!

The ceremony was filled with special moments that made some teary-eyed. There were some moments that made me laugh, and others that made the guests chuckle and smile. Katrina and Lukas exchanged vows (and rings), shared their first kiss as husband and wife, and then headed back down the isle together as a new couple to join their friends and family at the Ramada for some fun!

Once the celebration didn't slow down as everyone enjoyed lots of delicious food, flowing drinks, memorable speeches and toasts, dessert, and some kickin music! A huge celebration to cap off a wonderful journey for the brand new couple! Congrats to Katrina, Lukas, and their families! Thank you for trusting me and giving me the honor of documenting your special day! I had a blast!

Venues:  Freedom Church                  Ramada Grand Forks

Dress & Tuxes:  Kristen's Bridal & Tuxedo

Florist: All Seasons

Cake: Hugo's Family Marketplace

Make-Up: Carly Irene Artistry

Hair: White Horse Salon


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Watch Katrina & Lukas's Video/Photo Fusion slideshow below!

Click the button below to talk to me about your special day!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A University Of North Dakota Wedding With Samantha & Trevvor At Hopper Danley And The Gorecki Alumni Center

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A University Of North Dakota Wedding With Samantha & Trevvor At Hopper Danley And The Gorecki Alumni Center.

After hearing what Trevvor and Samantha had envisioned for their wedding day way back when I first met with them...I really really wanted to be the one to photograph their big day! They told me their wedding would include elements from Star Wars, Lord Of The Rings, Game of Thrones, Video Gaming, etc...

Basically all of my favorite things wrapped into wedding-form! Needless to say, I was super excited when they wanted to work with me and over the next few months we worked together to make sure when summer rolled around, we would have a solid game plan for their wedding day!

When the big day finally was soooo hot outside! I believe it was 96 degrees! That didn't really stop anyone from enjoying every second. The fun started at The Gorecki and then over to the Hopper Danley Center as we got tons of fun photos of Samantha and Trevvor! I told them that I could've stayed at the Gorecki all day photographing all of the cool little details they had set up for the upcoming reception!!

As the ceremony began, I think everyone was a bit relieved to finally be in the cool air-conditioning! As the two bathed in the warm natural light let in from the Hopper Danley's many large windows, they exchanged their vows in front of family and friends. Then with help from their awesome ringbearer, Star Wars droid BB-8 (watch video below!), they were able to exchange rings and were pronounced husband and wife! 

Then it was back to the Gorecki to start the celebration! Awesome food, games, music, and laughter began the evening as the new couple shared their first meal and dance with their friends and family. The entire day was so much fun for me and I genuinely enjoyed talking with all the guests throughout the whole experience. As the evening drew to a close for me...I snuck the couple away for a few last photos as the sun was setting. 

I was honored that Samantha and Trevvor chose to trust ME with documenting their awesome wedding day adventure and I hope that I did them justice! They (and all of the wonderful vendors) were amazing to work with and their wedding will definitely be remembered as the most unique one I've worked at so far!

Venues: The Hopper Danley Spiritual Center                      The Gorecki Alumni Center

Florist: Sadie's Couture & Event Styling

Cake: Oh For Heaven's Cakes 'N More

DJ: Backspin Productions

Catering: Hugo's Family Marketplace-Catering



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Watch Samantha & Trevvor's Video/Photo Fusion slideshow below!

To find out how to get your very own Fusin slideshow for your wedding day or to book me for your special the tab below!



Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Redwood Falls/Morton Minnesota Wedding At Jackpot Junction With Lindsey And Dre

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Redwood Falls/Morton Minnesota Wedding At Jackpot Junction With Lindsey And Dre

2017 was such an amazing year for me! I had so much fun working with my couples and seeing the progress of their journeys from when they first met with me to when they were finally married! When January of this year rolled around, 2018 was already shaping up to be even more I was really anticipating my very first wedding of the year!

It was to be for Lindsey and Dre and take place in the Morton/Redwood Falls, MN area which is a very special place for me! (My Mom and Dad were married there and I have been visiting that area most of my life). It's a beautiful area filled with history and culture! The week before the wedding, they got 14 inches of snow dumped on them which luckily melted away before the wedding day (Mostly anyways)!

The morning of the wedding, I was to meet the girls at the salon to take some photos of their I headed out extra early so I could go get some awesome pics/video of the amazing landscapes, waterfalls, and wildlife which always seems to recharge my soul! I don't know how many deer I came across...none of which seemed to mind me passing by on foot! 

Once at the salon...the day went into full swing! The hustle and bustle of wedding days can make hours go by in what seem like minutes! The ladies were all having a blast getting ready for the ceremony and once I made it to the casino and met up with the fellas, I could tell they were enjoying themselves as well! The weather was a bit too windy and chilly to do much outdoor photography...but we all braved it for a few fun photos!

The ceremony was filled with emotion as tears of happiness were not short of supply! You could feel the love from everyone involved as Lindsey and Dre exchanged vows, shared their first kiss as husband and wife, and walked down the isle towards the giant celebration waiting for them in the ballroom next door!

The reception and dance truly showcased the fun nature of this couple! Besides the awesome food, flowing drinks, jammin' music, and fun dancing...guests also enjoyed the photo booth,  pool tables, and bean bag toss games! There was something for everyone and as the evening came to a close, Lindsey and Dre had experienced their first kiss, first meal, and first dance as a brand new husband and wife! 

It was such a fun day for me and I'm so happy I was able to be a part of it! Congrats to my very first new couple of 2018!

VENUE: Jackpot Junction Casino/Hotel

DRESS: David's Bridal (Mankato)

DESIGNER: Oleg Cassini

FLORIST: Blossom Town

CAKE: Custom Cakes By Michelle

DJ: DJ By Will

HAIR/MAKE-UP: Salon Cella - Sarah Okins

DECORATORS: Rockin Red Barn

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Please Enjoy The Video/Photo Fusion Slideshow Of Lindsey and Dre's Big Day!


If You Would Like To Meet With Me To Discuss Your 2018 or 2019 Wedding...Please Click The Button Below!

How To Plan Your Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Area Wedding. Grand Forks Wedding Photographer

He finally popped the big question!

You said, “YES!”


Now that you're engaged, everything is exciting! You're probably bursting at the seems with happiness and have announced it to everyone you know...literally! 

Everything in your journey together has led you RIGHT HERE! Your BIG DAY is coming and if you haven't already found out...planning everything is going to be ALOT of work! It can be fun and exciting, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. If you're reading this right probably means that you're hoping for a little guidance on where to begin. 

When my wife and I first got engaged (almost 5 years ago), the world of wedding planning was completely new to both of us. Though, at that point, I had been photographing weddings nearly 8 years...I really didn't pay much attention to everything that went into making someone's wedding day so special. Neither of us really had any idea how much things cost, or how far in advance certain things book up. We got married in Duluth, MN and even with the access of the almighty Internet and Smart was difficult (and stressful) trying to find everything we were hoping to make part of our wedding day. 

Doing Google searches for venues or dress shops can give you dozens of results for each service you search. How do you know which one will fit your needs, story, and personality the best? You can waste countless hours of your lives contacting each one and waiting for replies or relevant information. Some websites don't even address your specific questions or concerns! You may need to make decisions fast or the service, or venue, you are hoping to have for your wedding may book up while you're waiting to hear back with the answers to your questions. Trust's frustrating!  

Though our wedding was super special and we both were so happy with everything...we still wish the planning process could have been a lot less stressful for us. So I wanted to do something for future Brides (and Grooms) to help their planning process be as stress free as possible so they can focus on enjoying the engagement phase of their journey and have more time to just be in love!

That's why I developed this guide. I've been photographing weddings and engagements for 13 years now and in that time, I've worked with tons of other wedding professionals and vendors. When I got married, I wish I had an industry professional who, not only would've pointed us in the right direction, but also provided us with contact information and answers to most of the basic questions asked for each service in question. 

I hope that this guide will provide you with some direction and/or useful information. It may be updated so check back often. The vendors highlighted in this guide are all elite professionals with tons of wedding experience. I have worked with each one and am proud to have their names and businesses highlighted in this guide! 

Without further adieu...



The Dress

One of the most important pieces to your wedding day puzzle is, of course, THE DRESS. This is a big one! Some women have been dreaming of the perfect dress since they were little girls.

Bridal gowns have had a long and changing history...going back to ancient Rome where brides wore white robes as a tribute to Hymen, the god of marriage and fertility and were accompanied by their bridesmaid. Medieval weddings were mostly arranged and were more political than for love. Therefore, the bride's appearance reflected directly on her family. Her garments were of rich and bold colors and expensive materials like furs, silk, and velvet.

The all white bridal dress is relatively new, tracing back to 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and wore a relatively plain white satin gown adorned with orange blossom wreath headdress with lace veil and eighteen foot train, carried over her arm. The wedding photo was published around the world and all white wedding dresses became the rage overnight! Back then, garments had to be hand washed and getting an all white gown completely clean by hand was impossible...therefore, all white wedding gowns were for society's elite who could afford to buy such a gown and only wear it once. The white color was never a sign of the bride's purity...but an elite status symbol.

Being such an important symbol of the modern day wedding, many women can feel overwhelmed at the prospect of picking out a dress. So how do you make sure you find that ONE dress that is perfect for you and your special day? Consider finding a trusted full service bridal boutique/store. 

Grand Forks Wedding Dresses

Kristen's Bridal

Grand Forks, ND                                      Kristen's Bridal on INSTAGRAM
2650 32nd Ave South                              Kristen's Bridal on FACEBOOK



Kristen's Bridal's business is "BRIDES" who better to ask, than owner Nancy Zalewski, what are some of the most common questions brides ask when coming into Kristen's Bridal to seek out their perfect dress? 

1. How long have you been in business?

Nancy - "We are a family owned business which is happy to be celebrating our 40th year in business! We have worked with thousands of brides in the Grand Forks (and surrounding) area to help make their big days even more special!"

2. Do you offer in-house alteration services?

Nancy - "Yes, we are a full service shop offering an in-house alteration department and have an alteration staff on hand to make sure your dress will be perfect for your special day!"

3. How Early should a Bride-to-be choose, and purchase, her dress?

Nancy - "To make sure there is adequate time to get everything just right for your wedding day, a bride-to-be should decide on (and purchase) her perfect dress at least 9 months before the wedding date."

4. Besides Bridal Gowns, do you offer any other wedding related attire for purchase or rent?

Nancy - "Yes...we have one of the largest selections of Mother's Dresses in the area along with bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and tuxedos for the men in your wedding party!"

5. What sets Kristen's Bridal apart from the rest?       

Nancy - "As mentioned before, we are a Full-Service shop with an on hand alteration staff who is dedicated to your happiness...but more important than that is our experience helping brides' make their dream days come true for over 40 years! Being a family owned business, it is our goal to make each bride feel like they are part of our family!"




One of the first things to take care of when starting to plan your upcoming wedding is finding (and booking) the perfect venues that will help round out the look and feel of your special day.

There are so many factors to consider while searching for the venue that you'll end up celebrating your wedding at with all of your family and friends. It can seem overwhelming if you don't know where to start, what you should be asking, and who you should be talking to.

Now...If you're planning to have a religious ceremony, chances are that you already have your ceremony venue chosen. It may be your family's life long church and that's fantastic! However, for the purpose of THIS guide...I am going to focus on a couple of uniquely amazing venues that are open to everybody and can accommodate BOTH the ceremony AND the reception! 


The Gorecki Alumni Center

3501 University Ave Stop 8157
Grand Forks, ND 58202

Contacts: Keeley Gregoire

                Amy Sansaver

(701) 777-2611                                       The Gorecki on INSTAGRAM                           The Gorecki on FACEBOOK

The Gorecki Alumni Center on UND's campus is a remarkable venue. It is a sleek, contemporary, architectural masterpiece! It's massive walls of windows allow for an unlimited supply of natural light to bathe your ceremony in...which, during the summer months will last until late into your reception! The staff are all amazing to work with and the Gorecki can handle many different styles, and sizes, of ceremonies and/or receptions! Without a doubt...the most versatile venue in the Grand Cities (in my opinion)!

1. How many people can your venue accommodate? 

Amy - "Our venue is one of the most versatile venues within the community. We are flexible on our guests' accommodations pending the type of event you host.

a.       If you are looking for a wedding ceremony, we host up to 250 guests inside the room for theater style seating.

b.      If you are looking for a seated wedding reception we can host up to 215.

c.       If you are looking for a reception style wedding reception we can host up to 350."

2. Can anyone book the Gorecki, or is it exclusively for UND Alumni? 

Amy - "The Gorecki Alumni Center is open to anyone!"
3. Do you have an In-House caterer, or a list of preferred caterers…or do I need to provide my own? 

Amy - "We do not supply catering. Catering must come from one of our approved licensed vendors that is found on our website. For reference, this list consists of: Ground Round, Blue Moose, Hugos and UND Campus Catering. We actually do not allow guests to bring in their own food/alcohol. Catering services will also provide all service ware, tables cloths, etc."
4. Are you licensed to provide alcohol services? 

Amy - "The center does not provide alcohol serviceGround Round and El Roco are the approved licensed vendors to supply alcohol service."

5. How far in advance can I reserve my date?  

Amy - "We accept reservations as far in advance as you would like to make. Typically, wedding dates book out about 1 year in advance. Most of our 2018 weekends are chosen, however we accept weddings any day of the week. If you're flexible with your date; you can book on any notice that is adequate for you."
6. What else would you like a potential Bride and Groom to know about The Gorecki? 

Amy - "We would be thrilled to host your special day! Booking at the Gorecki Alumni Center provides you with an event coordinator that assists in your wedding planning needs as much, or as little, as you want. We specialize in making sure your wedding day is exactly as you envisioned and successfully portrayed at our venue. We hope you find the Gorecki Alumni Center to be a good fit for your special day!"




14969 16th Street NE (22.68 mi)

Hatton, North Dakota 58240

(701) 317-8221

Naastad Acres on FACEBOOK

Be Sure To Click The Gear Icon On The Bottom Right And Select 1080 HD To Watch Videos In Hi-Def!!

Not too far outside of Grand Forks near Hatton, ND lies Naastad Acres and if you've just become's well worth the short drive to go out there and see what they're all about! When my wife and I were planning our wedding, we wanted a barn wedding and the closest one we could find at the time was in Wisconsin. Now...our wedding ended up being super special and everything we wanted...but if Naastad Acres was around back then, we would have definitely booked with them!

What started out a little over a year ago as a backdrop for a lovely family wedding has snowballed into one of the most grand and unique venues around the area! Naastad Acres is WAY more than a small little barn wedding venue. They have literally EVERTHING you need to have the perfect wedding on their beautiful property! AND...they are still adding amenities! 

Please...don't take my word for it...hear what owners JoAnn and Jon have to say:

1. Tell everyone how Naastad Acres came to be what it is today.

JoAnn - "Naastad Acres, has been a dream of ours, since leaving the hospitality business in the early 1990's. We knew it was something we wanted to get back into. John and I had been employed with Tharaldson, Enterprises Inc.,  John was on the development end and I was on the operation side.   Learning from different franchises, helped us to understand what we needed in order to have a product that stood out. Our favorite franchise was the Marriott brand as their moto was not to satisfy, but to go above and beyond and "IMPRESS" your guests.  We knew that we wanted a higher end venue and our main focus is the quality of service that our guest received.  We are committed to going that extra mile in making sure that we have guest that want to return.

This piece of property has some unique qualities, as it rest on the plains, is surrounded by tree rows, is conveniently located with paved roads from all directions, including the driveway.  It has been our home for the past 18 years, and we wanted to share it with others.  We love adding to our family and everyone who comes to the farm becomes family. We wanted that warm touch that made you feel comfortable like home, with a resort feeling, so you could relax enjoy your event and let us serve you.

We can handle many events; weddings, family reunions, retreats, company picnic, small or large group events. We are here to serve."

2. Are the ceremonies held INSIDE or OUTSIDE of the Barn? 

JoAnn - "We have not yet had a wedding in the barn, but it certainly could happen with a smaller group. We call the barn the "Little Red Barn" , the size of the barn is 34 x60. At this time, our weddings have been in what we call the court yard. We have a large pergola as the main focal point of the yard. The pergola has a complete sound system, it is set up for handling the entire service. The barn is surrounded by stamped plank concrete, and most dances have been out under the stars with the barn as the back drop and the tent for covered seating. We are open to work with whatever our couple wishes are. We have had a bride come from the barn, and we set up her chairs and another alter." 

3. Do couples drive way out there for their ceremony and then have to have everyone drive elsewhere for the reception? 

JoAnn - "We are set up to handle everything for the event. Our weekend packages have the party coming in at 8 am on Friday for decorating and rehearsal. We have an outdoor kitchen along with a commercial kitchen, in order to handle the grooms supper. We have sleeping quarters for up to 22 people in our Grain Elevator, so people would not have to leave the property at all.

 Second day would consist of getting ready for the wedding. We have two salon chairs for hair and makeup, we call the dome the "hen house", as there is plenty of room for the ladies to relax and get dressed. The dome consists of a small kitchenette, sleeping for 4 and a complete bathroom. The evening of the wedding the dome is included for  the bride and groom to stay. Our gift to them. "

4. What size ceremonies can your venue accommodate?

JoAnn - "We have done weddings as small as 100 and the largest has been 300 wedding /400 reception. It is 10 acres so there is lot's of room and many options."

5. Are there hotels close by so the wedding party doesn't have to drive so far?

JoAnn - "Our Grain Elevator can sleep 22. The Dome "Hen House"  could sleep 4 and the Barn has a pull out sofa in the loft and a futon. The wedding party should not have to leave the property at all! We will be adding more rooms in the future. At this time we do allow for 5 campers $50 per night and $10 tents. 

For wedding guests and family...we have a list of hotels in the area, along with some bed and breakfast places. We recommend bus services if they have guest staying in the Grand Forks area. We have a listing for that as well."

6. Are you licensed to provide alcohol services?

JoAnn - "We are a full service bar, and are able to serve adult beverages, wines, beer and mixed drinks. It is run as any other bar, no outside alcohol is allowed due to liability. Our bartenders are trained and carding is done when guest come on to the property. They are wrist banded before any serving of alcohol. Safety is the utmost importance to us."

7. Please tell potential couples looking for wedding/reception venues anything else you want them to know about you! (Why should they come book their wedding with you?). 

JoAnn - "We would love to have people come out and have a personal tour with us. The property is set up for our guests, and we are committed to making their events... Impressive!"



Florist/Event Stylist

Flowers can play a giant role in your wedding day. The right flowers can be the heart for your celebration and really set your wedding apart from the rest. Décor and the proper styling of your event can also make it unforgettable so Finding the right florist and event stylist is key when it comes to bringing your wedding day vision to life! Who better to sit down and discuss your wedding vision with than the very first Floral Designer in North Dakota to offer event styling/coordination services from a single vendor?

Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling, DBA

When I spoke with Sadie, she gave me the answers to some of the most common questions she gets asked by brides-to-be on a daily basis. 

1. How many weddings do you handle per year?

Sadie - "We typically handle between 40-50 weddings per year, but we can always accommodate more!

2. Do you have examples of your work to view (Live or photos)? 

Sadie - "Examples of our work can be seen on our website, FB "Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling, DBA North Dakota as well as Instagram "SADIESFLORALND"

3. What are all of the services you provide? (Bouquets, centerpieces, décor,, full event design, etc...)??

Sadie - "We provide full-range floral design and event styling/coordination services. We have some that just utilize us for bridal party flowers. We also have clients that have as coordinate their lighting, linen, floral, miscellaneous décor items.  We enjoy assisting clients with events of all sizes. We like our small, intimate events as much as our elaborate events. We do have the ability to accommodate events with 800+ guests!"

4. What sets you apart from other florists/event stylists?

Sadie - "We have over 12 years experience with event design/floral design and have executed over 1000 events.  We have done events with about any style desired. We have a 3000 sq. ft studio with vases/candleholder/décor items that fill our walls.  We were the first floral design studio in North Dakota to offer event styling/coordination services from 1 vendor."

5. What's the most important thing you want a potential customer to know about you?

Sadie - "Overall, it is the client's event and not ours. As a result, we pride ourselves on making their vision come to life for them!"




You have tons of family and friends gathered all to join in the celebration of your wedding day. After the's time to feast together and and toast to the amazing day you had and the bright future that lays before you. The food you choose as your very first meal as husband and wife can make a significant impact on your entire day...not only for you...but also for all of your starving guests. What a couple chooses for their wedding day meal/s could be the talk of the evening between guests (whether it's good or bad talk depends on the choices you make). 

The reception venue you decide to book may have their own food service that you must use...or it may give you a small list of approved caterers that you can hire to bring food into their venue. If the latter is the case...odds are, that Hugo's Family Marketplace is on that list of approved caterers! If cannot go wrong having them cater your wedding reception. There are so many choices...all of which are delicious. 


Hugo's Family Marketplace

Catering Manager   701-738-2935

Ann Vossekuil - Event Coordinator   701-746-0688



I asked the fine folks at Hugo’s some questions that brides and grooms often have when thinking of hiring a caterer for their wedding day. 


1. How long has Hugo's been catering weddings?

Hugo’s has been catering weddings for close to a decade now!

2. Is Hugo's licensed by the state?

We have state and city licensees and get special permits for events as needed.

3. If a future bride and groom were thinking about having Hugo's cater their do they start the process? (Who should they contact? What information should they bring with them? Etc...)

For catering, contact or 701-795-2935. Cakes at Floral at They should bring their wedding date, time, estimated number of guests, possible menu, any questions they have, and also a deposit to hold the date.

4. Does Hugo's offer event packages or is everything A' LA CARTE? 

We are flexible to the customer’s needs. If they need the whole meal catered or just a few party trays delivered, we can make custom quote for them.

5. Does Hugo's offer any other wedding related services? (cakes, Flowers, etc...)?

Yes, cakes, and flowers. If you book your cake, flowers, and catering through Hugo’s, we offer a 10% discount.

6. Add anything else you want potential brides and grooms to know about you/your business...(Why should they choose you?). 

We also cater grooms dinners, gift openings, brunches, etc. and we have a grilling wagon in which we can grill on site for you or do whole hog roasts. Feel free to ask any questions you would like and we will do our best to accommodate them.



DJ/Reception Entertainment

When the bride has walked down the isle, the couple has kissed and has become husband and wife, the meals have been shared, the speeches have been said, and the cake has been's time to cut loose and celebrate! 

When capping off your wedding day celebration...the DJ, or band, you choose to hire will be the LIFE (or Death) of your reception. So how do you navigate the sea of entertainment choices for the celebration of your wedding day? skip right to the front of the line and ask to talk to Dance Man Dan! 

Grand Forks Wedding DJ 6

Dance Man Dan



I've had the pleasure of working with Dance Man Dan on numerous weddings and he ALWAYS has the dance floor packed! When I meet with my brides and grooms weeks after the wedding to deliver their wedding photography packages...they always rave about Dance Man Dan and how much fun they had at their reception! He always goes above and beyond for his couples and is one of the best at what he does!

Grand Forks Wedding DJ 3
Grand Forks Wedding DJ 2

1. How long have you been doing weddings? 

Dan - "I have been a wedding DJ for almost 18 years!  Time flies when you are having fun, and entertaining wedding guests is still a blast, after all these years!"

2. Do you use lighting or other effects?

Dan - "I do have special effect lighting.  I also have a few uplights that I put behind my setup for more visual effect.  I do not charge extra for lighting.  The amount of lighting I set up depends on the size of the area I have."  

3. How extensive is your music collection? How do you keep it up to date? 

Dan - "My music selection is vast.  I belong to a music service so I get the newest of the new every month. Working at iHeart Radio also keeps me in the loop of what is hot in both country and top 40." 

4. What sets you apart from your competition?

Dan - "I think what separates me from the competition is my experience and my passion.  Every wedding I book, I DJ myself.  I also take the time to meet with couples to go over all the details a couple weeks beforehand.  It's fun to listen to what couples want to do with their dance that makes it different from other wedding dances they have been to.  I have a lot of fun doing what I do, and I have heard people say that it really shows!

Think about any person you meet while they are at work.  If you can tell they are having fun, doesn't it make everyone around them have fun too?"

5. What else would you like future brides and grooms to know about you?

Dan - "I am very aware that not one guest is there because I am DJ'ing...the focus is always on the bride and groom.  This is kind of interesting...but I keep the church program from MY wedding with my equipment at all times, as a reminder that this day is just as special to the bride and groom as my wedding to my wife Sherry was to me!"



Wedding Cake


The history of the wedding cake is strange...but quite interesting! In ancient Rome, the groom would smash a barley cake over the bride's head and this, somehow, was to bring the new couple good fortune! 

As Sugar became plentiful in England during the mid 16th century...the wedding cake became a symbol of status. The more refined the sugar, the whiter it pure white icing soon became the staple. So, now the color white not only symbolized the bride's purity...but the whiteness was now a status symbol and a display of the family's wealth. A family with a multiple tiered, white frosted cake was held to be society's elite!

Modern day cakes serve as a centerpiece to the couple's wedding celebration and some couples use the cake to reflect their personalities or creativity. A cake can be large or small and still encompass the feel of that couple's wedding day! With so many combinations of flavors and is a modern day bride and groom supposed to decide on the perfect centerpiece for their wedding reception?? This is the best part of wedding planning (for me anyways)...CAKE TASTINGS!

PAOLA'S PASTRIES is a rather new addition to the Grand Forks' community but the moment I saw some of their amazing cakes...I had to reach out and learn more! Being an extremely "VISUAL" person myself...I find myself admiring their wedding cakes like I'm staring at a Monet painting in a museum! Their wedding cakes are literal works of art. If you are looking to make an impact at your wedding reception with a totally unique masterpiece, then Paola's Pastries is where you want to go! If the cakes look so wonderful, I can only imagine how they taste! Yum! 

Paola's Pastries

Owner - Maria Chaparro

110 N. 3rd St.

Grand Forks, ND 58203


Paola's Pastries on FACEBOOK


Paola's Pastries on INSTAGRAM

 1. Tell us more about you and your business. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? How would you describe the style of your wedding cakes?

Maria - "I started baking from home, which I did for years. I've always loved sweets and felt the desire to work hard to turn this dream into a reality. Paola’s pastries opened the doors in May 2017, and we love to make as many different styles of desserts as we can, for us every cake is an experience on it’s own, but we are particularly passionate about unique cakes."

2. How far in advance should a bride place her order for one of your wedding cakes? And how far before the wedding will it be prepared? 

Maria - "Depending on the difficulty of the design the couple has in mind, we would usually need a couple of months in advance to plan everything, we make the cakes as close as possible to the special date but the sugar art decorations can be made weeks before."

3. Besides the wedding you offer any other related services such as cake stand rentals, ceremonial cake knives, delivery to the reception site, or cake set up? 

Maria - "We do have some cake stand options available for events and we do delivery of the wedding cakes with the set up to ensure a good final result."

4. Do you offer Cake Tastings? 

Maria - "We do cake tastings, we like to set up an appointment in advance to make the flavor combinations the couple is looking for."

5. Tell potential brides anything else you would want them to know about you and your business (why should they come to YOU?). 

Maria - "We always want to give our very best to make an unforgettable day even more special. We offer a customized experience to work every detail to give you a beautiful and one of kind cake."




Last, but definitely not least, is choosing a wedding photographer! Now...I MAY be a bit biased (I definitely AM)...but who you choose as your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you face when planning your wedding. 

"Usually", when a couple gets engaged and starts planning their wedding...they first book the venues, then find a dress, then look for a photographer. I say "Usually" because the order in which couples book their vendors can vary depending on the value the couple puts on each vendor. It may be more important for a certain couple to book their dream Band for their reception than to book a certain photographer. Typically, though, couples tend to look for a photographer 3rd on their list.

Choosing a photographer is such an important task because unlike all of the other vendors you will hire...your photographer will be by your side your entire wedding day. Some vendors you may not even see on your wedding day. Others you may only see at the beginning, or near the end of your day. Your photographer, on the other hand, will be with you for anywhere between 6-12 hrs straight! So it's SUPER important that you put time into choosing someone you LIKE and can get along with. 

Secondly, your wedding photos/wedding album will be your very first family heirloom and the only thing from your big day that you will get to actually take home with you and will keep for years to come! 

For these reasons, you want to make educated choices when it comes to hiring a photographer who has the technical know-how AND experience to not only capture amazing photos of your wedding, but do whatever it takes to make sure your day is stress free and enjoyable. 




Shawn Morrissey Photography

701 741 1407    Grand Forks/ East Grand Forks

Shawn Morrissey Photography on FACEBOOK

Shawn Morrissey Photography on INSTAGRAM

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Shawn Morrissey Photography has been around for over 13 years. I've not only photographed tons of weddings, I specialize in them! To help ease your burden of searching through the hundreds of area photographers, I've decided to give you answers to questions I am most often asked by couples who are looking to hire a photographer for their wedding day. they are:

1. Our wedding is somewhere other than Grand Forks...Do you only photograph weddings in Grand Forks, or will you travel?

ME  -  "Though I am based in Grand Forks, I absolutely love traveling and I photograph weddings in all sorts of places other than Grand Forks! In 2018, I had weddings booked in Redwood Falls, MN...Park River, ND...Turtle River, and Fargo! In the Past, I've photographed weddings in amazing places like Wisconsin, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, and even Key West! If you are getting married outside of Grand Forks...don't let that stop you from contacting me!"

2. My Uncle said he would take pictures of our wedding for $300...Why should we hire you and pay you what you're asking? 

ME  -  "If there ever was a time to pick an experienced "PROFESSIONAL" over a "hobbyist" or an up-and-comer, this is it! When it comes to photography, experience is usually proportional to the quality of the product (YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR). A Hobbyist or a bright-eyed young photographer simply won't have the know-how or instincts to turn out the best photos possible for your wedding album. Consider selecting a more seasoned, if slightly more expensive, professional to get the results you crave. If you are spending hundreds (or thousands) on your dress, and thousands more for the rest of your wedding, it only makes sense to INVEST in a professional who will capture your entire day in photographs you will cherish for decades! Remember...THERE ARE NO "REDO's" FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY!" 

3. In which part of our planning process should we REALLY start looking for our wedding photographer? How far in advance do couples' book you for their wedding dates?

ME - "It depends on how important your wedding day photography is to you. If having amazing, high-quality, professional images of the most important day of your lives is something you really potential photographers as soon as you set your date! I, personally, have had couples book me 19 months in advance. Most couples, though, book me 9-12 months out. I only take on a limited number of weddings each year so I can give each couple the time and attention they deserve. So if you set a date that's 10 months away...don't wait 3 months to start contacting photographers. Chances are...if they are in demand...they will be booked by then." 

4. What makes you different from any other potential photographers we could hire for our wedding day?

Me  -  "My 13 years of wedding experience and my unique style aside...I think what past couples enjoyed most about working with me has nothing to do with my camera! It's the experience as a whole I try to provide for each couple.

This journey of yours is leading you to the most important day of your lives...and that is how I treat our experience together. I take the time to meet with my couples numerous times to really get to know what is unique about them. This is vital for me being able to tell their one-of-a-kind love story through my lens. I've actually made some amazing friendships working so closely with my couples and that is something that is priceless to me! Your big day is all about YOU and I will do whatever I can to make sure it's a happy, stress-free success!"

(Be sure to see what other have to say about working with me recently HERE!)


5. My fiance and I are not very photogenic people and nervous in front of the camera...How do you work with couples like us? 

Me  - "I'd say that 75% of couples feel like you you are not alone. Don't feel like everyone else I've photographed has had modeling experience and loves being the center of attention. There's nothing wrong with feeling that way. In fact, I felt the same way when my wife and I met with our wedding photographer! I ALWAYS recommend booking an engagement session with your wedding package...for many reasons. Most importantly, it gives us a chance to work together BEFORE your wedding. Consider it a practice run for your big day. I want to have time to get to know you as a couple and for you to get to know me a bit. That way...we can not only get a bit more comfortable working together, but we also build trust. You'll have a fun time and once you see your'll realize that you're both ROCK STARS in front of the camera and that will melt your insecurities away and make for a stress free wedding day!"

6. We would like to meet you in person to ask some questions and see if you are the right photographer for us...Can you meet with us and do you charge a FEE for an initial meeting?

ME  -  "AWESOME!!! I WANT to meet with any potential couples in person and I strongly encourage it! It is SO important to meet your potential photographer in person BEFORE hiring them. How else are you going to get a feel for them and see if they'd be awesome enough to be by your side your entire wedding day? In should be a HUGE 'red flag' if a photographer won't meet with you before you hire them. Look elsewhere, if that is the case!

I feel so strongly about getting to know each other BEFORE we work together that not only do I offer initial consultations FREE of charge...I actually REWARD you for booking a consult!

If you book a FREE no-strings attached consultation with me and afterwards decide you'd like to book me for your wedding will get $200 off your entire wedding photography package!" 

If you'd like to see samples of my work...please check out my





So there you have it!! If you are recently engaged and starting to plan your wedding in the Grand Cities area...I hope this small guide has provided you with SOME value! My goal with this guide is to arm new couples with knowledge to help them relieve some of the stress and frustration of wedding planning so they can spend more time being happy and engaged! Time will fly and your wedding day will come faster than you think...and with everyday life taking up most of your time, getting all of your wedding planning tasks completed can seem impossible at times. 

Having an industry professional point you in the direction of elite businesses, provide you with answers to many common questions, give you contact information, and give you some helpful something "I" wish I had when I was going through the planning stage of my own wedding. So...If you found this guide at all helpful...I will consider it a success.

If you know someone getting married...please forward this guide to them. Also...if there are some questions you may have that aren't covered here, please contact me and I will do my best to add them in. Remember...this guide will be updated as I get new information to help make it better and keep it up to date. 

So...congratulations on your engagement...and best wishes on your upcoming wedding! If you haven't yet picked a photographer, click the orange button below and lets meet for coffee and talk about your big day! If you already have a photographer, I wish you the very best in this amazing journey you have begun!

Click the button above to schedule your FREE No-strings attached consultation and get $200 off if you decide to book with Me! 

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: A Grand Forks Wedding At Hope Church And Grand Forks Ramada With Crystal And David

A Grand Forks Wedding with Crystal & David at Hope Church and The Grand Forks Ramada:

Last Spring, I had to ship off one of my camera bodies to Canon to get repaired. The day it came back, I had to go out to FEDEX to pick it up. As I was driving there, I received a call. It was David calling to inquire about possibly hiring me to photograph his upcoming wedding. Being a military B.R.A.T. I have been all over the country and right away over the phone, I could tell David wasn't from ND. I told him that I could tell he was from the South and I asked where.  "New Orleans", He replied. Right away, I connected with him because I was born a mere 70 miles away in Biloxi Ms and my family's favorite place to getaway is...New Orleans! So I was super eager to meet with David and his fiance Crystal to learn more about them and hear about their big day!

After our meeting I was pretty excited that they wanted me to photograph their wedding! Once summer rolled around, we had a blast doing their engagement session (read about that HERE) and I couldn't wait to photograph their winter wedding.

November 10th finally rolled around and it looked to be pretty cold out. As usual, the wind played a huge part in that. The day started off with me meeting Crystal and the girls at Salon Seva for the preparation of her big day.  Then off to Hope Church where I hung out with David and the fellas for a short while. One of my favorite parts of the day was the guys were pretty set on having their photos taken outside. I told them that it was freezing out and they reminded me that they were "grown men" (their exact words) we went outside for some photos. The first few were fine...then some yelling about hurrying up....then finally screams and yelps. I was laughing pretty hard but we DID manage to get some great shots! It was fun listening to all the great folks from New Orleans trying to make sense of our weather and why we choose to live up here! 

The rest of the day was more of the same: laughter, excitement, anticipation...and so much positive energy! As the ceremony began, Crystal and David were all smiles. As they exchanged vows, rings, and literally "tied the knot"...they were pronounced husband and wife and shared their first kiss as a newlywed couple. And after my very first "broom jumping" we all headed downtown while all the guests headed to the reception.

We wanted a few outdoor photographs and with the windchill it was 0 degrees we worked super fast and then made our way into the Urban Stampede to warm up and ended up getting my favorite photo of the day! After that, it was off to the Ramada where Dance Man Dan had the party waiting for us! The rest of the night was a giant celebration of food, speeches, cake, drinks, music, dancing, and laughter. I could definitely tell there were folks from New Orleans in attendance! 

It was an amazing experience to be a part of and I wish the newlyweds all the best for a bright future together! It was my last wedding of 2017 and there's no other way to cap off such a great year than a celebration like Crystal & David's! Thanks to all the other awesome vendors who made this day so special for Crystal and David! 

VENUES:   Hope Evangelical Church, 1601 17th Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201   701-772-1884     

                  Ramada Inn, 1205 N 43rd St, Grand Forks, ND 58201    701-775-3951                          

Dress: Your Day By Nicole, 102 Broadway N, #103, Fargo, ND 58102    (701) 478-1970            

Florist:  Wy's Floral/East Grand Floral, 1521 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721                         218-773-3400

Bridesmaids Dresses: Kristen's Bridal & Tuxedo: 2650 32nd Ave S, Grand Forks, ND 58201   (701) 775-0567

Tuxedos: Tip Top Tux: 2100 S. Columbia Rd #103, Grand Forks, ND 58201   (701) 775-9303

DJ:  Dance Man Dan   701-741-3343

Hair/Makeup:  Salon Seva,   (701) 795-0156                               

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If You Are Getting Married In 2018 And Are Looking For A Photographer To Capture Your Special Day...Schedule Your FREE Consultation With Me Now to See If I'm The Right Fit For You!

Grand Forks Wedding Photographer: Julia & Kameron's Grand Forks Wedding At The Myra Museum

July 29th was finally here! For Julia and Kameron, it meant they can finally get married! I've been getting to know Julia and Kameron since November of last year and I can honestly say that they have been super excited about their marriage the entire time!

Their engagement session in May was one of the more fun ones I've done in quite a while. From us almost getting pulled over for illegal U-turns downtown right in front of a police car (oops) coffee, to talking about favorite movies and some life experiences...I really got to know them and it was that day that I knew I would have a great time spending the day by their side capturing all the amazing moments of their wedding come July 29th.

Like I said earlier...July 29th was here and man...was it a hot one! It was 97 degrees and humid and lucky for us all...we would be outdoors most of the day! (Light sarcasm). As me, Kameron, and all the groomsmen took off to get some pics in front of Ralph Englestad Arena...I knew I was gonna be a sweaty mess the entire day! I quickly had to shed my button-up dress shirt and immediately felt much respect for the entire wedding party who were in tuxedos and beautiful dresses all day and didn't complain a single time!

Everyone met up at Myra Museum and as we would photograph one group, everyone else sheltered themselves inside in the air conditioning and awaited their photo-op! Time flew by and soon it was time for Julia to walk down the isle. The ceremony was perfect as family and friends watched Julia and Kameron exchange vows, I couldn't help but notice how big the smiles were on the bride and groom's faces! All of their excitement to marry each had been building for the last 8 months and now they were letting it all out!

Everyone continued the celebration at the reception and as the sun began to set and the air cooled a bit, I pulled the bride and groom outside for one last photo...and as I left for the night, I knew I was lucky to watch 2 people as their life long dreams were coming true in front of my eyes (and lens). As happy as that made me...I was MORE happy to get home, sit down, and crank up the A.C. as cold as it would go!

Congrats Julia & Kameron!! 

Venue: Myra Museum  2405 Belmont Rd, Grand Forks, ND

Florist: East Grand Floral 1521 Central Ave NW, East Grand Forks, MN 56721 218-773-3400

Cake: O For Heaven's Cakes N More 1726 S Washington St Ste 68, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58201701-757-2253

DJ: Killin' It Entertainment  1234 s 14th st, Grand Forks, North Dakota, ND 58201701-317-8044

Hair: Dawn @ Ultimate Look  701-330-2574

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