2013 Wedding Favorites

It’s that time of year again!  Time to showcase all the beautiful weddings I got to be a part of this past year!  The photos below were the most loved pictures throughout the year via blog posts, Pinterest, and Facebook!

Which one is your favorite?

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a hot pink, glam meets rustic flair backyard wedding (Megan + Justin are married!) – Minnesota wedding photography

Growing up in Minnesota I find I have a certain nostalgia for various places.  Two of these places that I adore aesthetically and culturally is Buffalo (my hometown) and Minneapolis.  Michaela + Cole’s engagement shoot satisfied my craving to photograph in downtown Buffalo, but I was still dying to photograph in specific areas of downtown Minneapolis.  Turns out, Megan was dying to do their engagement session in downtown Minneapolis right around the corner from the spots I had been eyeing for years.  We chatted about our ideas and desires and came up with a perfect blend for her to hit up her favorite spots and mine!  It was epic!  I totally spent about 2 hours with them romping around the city because I couldn’t stop photographing them and continued to stumble on even more awesome photo spots.

Needless to say, after such a fantastic experience with these two on their engagement shoot I was beyond looking forward to their wedding.  I was also so excited because I learned very quickly from Megan that I was going to be in charge of photographing a truly unique wedding – she described their look to me as pink + glam meets rustic flair.  As she talked into further detail I learned I was getting to photograph another backyard wedding, my favorite, decorated with chandeliers, black and white all around with hot pink accents, and a little bit of wood and moss in the mix to satisfy Justin’s craving for the natural look.  The combination of the two of their tastes, obviously, was gorgeous!  I loved the personal flavor of the wedding and the DIY/glam feel to the whole day -can’t say I ever would have imagined those two describing words lumped together!

To see the full wedding story and blog post of pictures CLICK HERE.

To see their engagement session CLICK HERE.

To see more wedding photography CLICK HERE.


location, location, location…



vendor details…

HAIR Renee Douville and Brenda (friends)

MAKEUP Jodi Favata (friend)

CAKE Road House Coffee Shop

FLORIST Candle Light Floral and Nancy Zwieg (Groom’s Mom)

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Vantage / Se7en (Justin Zwieg, Groom) and ReneeNicoleDesign (Renee Rodgers, friend)

LANDSCAPE DESIGNERS Jamison Zwieg, Ron Zwieg, Nancy Zwieg and Nicole Daly (Groom’s Family)

WEDDING PLANNERS Nancy Zwieg, Ron Zwieg, Nicole Daly and Jamison Zwieg (Groom’s Family)

MUSICIANS Sara Jeddeloh and Anna Alvarez

CATERER Dehmer’s Meat Market and Catering Services

WEDDING DRESS L’Atelier Couture Bridal by Amanda Kautt (Vera Wang collection)


Book your wedding with me by filling out my contact form up there or email asunshinemoment@gmail.com.  Looking forward to meeting you!

* about me CLICK HERE or HERE * pricing info CLICK HERE *

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a Photo a Day | September 9 – 15

Hey friends!  Sorry for the less than regular “a Photo a Day” blog posts.  Josh and I are in the middle of moving and traveling so certain things have been neglected.  We move October first so I’d say “a Photo a Day” will fall back into my weekly Monday blog post shortly thereafter.  Until then, I will provide what I can!  This week, I have 5 days of photos to share 🙂

To see more “a Photo a Day” blog posts CLICK HERE.

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WEDNESDAY Mr. Bee broke a leg so he made for a fantastic still subject and later he was gone so we both won 🙂

THURSDAY disc case for my lovely friends Elyse + Kevin

FRIDAY Joshua and my pops endeavored into some manual labor projects together

SATURDAY  a family photo session at Northwestern College in Minnesota (full blog post coming soon)

SUNDAY  an outdoor vow renewal ceremony at Edgewater Park in Woodbury, MN (full blog post coming soon)

My Wedding Shot List

Today is Wednesday Words day and I’ve decided I would like to share a little business secret with you all.  This is a list I wish I could have accessed when I first started photographing weddings.  I remember so many questions running through my mind always.  What kind of staple shots does every bride and groom want?  How many shots of the bridal party should I take and in how many different formations?  How can I best capture the ceremony for the bride and groom?  Well, three full wedding season summers later here is what I have come up with on my own.

Keep in mind these are only the bare essentials.  They are the easy, but necessary shots.  All the artsy stuff, of course, is incorporated also but those are different for every wedding because of the flavor of that wedding and what the day and locations have to offer.  I take WAY more pictures than the list below and have WAY too much fun with creative poses and shots, I know this looks stiff but please don’t fret… I really am fun 🙂  Don’t believe me, check out my work HERE.

Bridal Detail

  • dress
  • shoes
  • jewelry
  • flowers
  • other (handkerchief, special pin, etc…)

Groom Detail

  • boutonniere
  • cuff links
  • tie

Getting Ready

  • just candids but I like to get a bird’s eye picture of the bride applying mascara if I can

Bride Alone
(smiling, serious, and looking over shoulder)

  • full length
  • mid-waist level
  • chest level

Groom Alone
(smiling, serious, and looking away)

  • full length
  • mid-waist level
  • chest level


  • processional: stand (shooting up at people isn’t flattering) near the front of the center aisle, tucked into an aisle if you can manage
  • back, wide
  • right, wide
  • left, wide
  • behind (if available), wide
  • back, 50mm or 85mm
  • musicians
  • audience shots (particularly bridesmaids, groomsmen, bride’s parents, groom’s parents)
  • candids of all the main events (kiss, exchange of rings, vows (particularly their facial expressions during this), candle lighting, etc

Family Portraits
I ask for a family shot list so any additional arrangements come from that form.

  • Bride with mom
  • Bride with dad
  • Bride with parents
  • Bride with siblings
  • Bride with each sibling separately
  • Bride with immediate family
  • Bride with grandparents (if in attendance)
  • Repeat with Groom
  • B & G with both sets of parents
  • B & G with both immediate families

Bridal Party/Couple Pictures

  • B & G smiling (full length, waist level, chest level)
  • B & G looking at each other
  • B & G kiss
  • Ladies smiling in a straight line (flowers held at the belly button)
  • Bride with each bridesmaid separately
  • Bridesmaid’s flowers
  • Guys smiling in a straight line (hands in pockets)
  • Groom with each groomsman separately
  • 3+ more arrangements of both the guys and the girls
  • Full bridal party smiling in a straight line (guys on groom’s side, girls on bride’s)
  • Full bridal party smiling in a straight line (guy, girl, guy, girl, etc…)
  • 3+ more arrangements of the full bridal party


  • your number one job at a receptions is to capture the moments (introductions, cake cutting, first dances, speeches, etc… the list below excludes these obvious needs)
  • ring shot
  • place cards
  • room shots
  • cake
  • table
  • head table details
  • details on table
  • any other visual decor details

These are all the things I have logged in my brain to capture at every wedding.  It’s a sort of mental checklist that I have never written down until now.  Outside all this stuff is all the creative freedom, but these things are important so don’t forget them!

A Photo A Day | July 22 – 28

So I am indeed a slacker.  Missed a couple of days.

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MONDAY face nuzzling morning snuggling 🙂

TUESDAY Carter came to visit at the end of my Book Party and miss Hannah read him a little story (I have written a children’s book and I summoned some close friends over for a reading of it to work out any last minute kinks before I send it out to agents)

WEDNESDAY a newborn session with new little Krueger

FRIDAY Citizen Way at Discovery Church in Elgin, IL

SATURDAY Joanne + Nick are married! (full blog post coming soon)

What’s your favorite this week?