Noue and Jeff’s wedding at Spring Lake Park Reserve’s Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center in Hastings, MN this weekend was absolutely stunning. The amount of love and joy for this couple was breathtaking and I’m so happy I was able to document it.
Noue and Jeff’s love story started on Tinder three year ago. According to Jeff, Noue basically attacked him (with affection) on their first date…something I can totally see her doing haha! From then on they dated and started falling in love. They both are avid fishermen and love being outdoors or going to their cabin.
Their cabin is actually where Jeff proposed to Noue, too. Jeff bought a new fishing rod for new and when he gave it to her, there tied onto it, was an engagement ring.
Noue and Jeff define the cool, relaxed, adventurous, outdoorsy couple in love, which is what I hope for when photographing couples. Every photographer wishes for laughter, goofiness, joy, and down-to-earth couples who love the people in their lives. And that, my friends, is Noue and Jeff.
The day started of sunny with a chance of rain. This seemed appropriate because during their engagement session, we narrowly avoided being rained out.
We started at the venue, putting final touches on decorations and putting out various desserts (all lovingly baked by Noue), before heading to the hotel to get ready. Noue and Jeff were surrounded by family all day and were as cool as cucumbers. Once everyone was made up and dressed we drove back to the venue for portraits. During their first look, Jeff and Noue laughed and danced with each other, showing just how great a pair they.
Clouds started rolling in and after a brief little rain shower it was time for the ceremony. The ceremony overlooked the Mississippi River and their self-written vows brought tears to everyone’s eyes. It was truly a beautiful wedding that felt 100% them.
After the ceremony everyone gathered in the reception center and started prepping for dinner. Instead of speeches, Noue’s family asked everyone to participate in a Hmong wedding tradition. Each guest was given two white strings, one for Noue and one for Jeff. Each string represented a blessing. As each guest tied their string around Noue’s and Jeff’s wrist, they said a personalized blessing. I can’t tell you how beautiful and significant this was to witness. It was als oa really nice way to incorporate Noue’s heritage.
I am so grateful to Noue and Jeff for letting me be their photographer. It is my blessing to them to have a long, happy life together and to always catch the biggest fish. I cannot wait to see how life continues to bless Noue and Jeff. Should they like, I’ll be there to photograph every big event along the way.
CEREMONY VENUE: Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center
RECEPTION VENUE: Schaar’s Bluff Gathering Center
PHOTOGRAPHER: Lauren Baker Photography
CAKE ARTIST: Noue Vang
DESSERT ARTIST: Noue Vang
BAND/DJ: Complete Wedding & Events
RINGS: The Shane Company
OFFICIANT: Jodi Denzer
Lauren played such a meaningful role in our wedding, capturing the day in photos that we'll look back on for the rest of our lives. She kept Scott and me calm and sane - Lauren is a miracle worker! She put in 100% effort and gave us her very best, and that means so much to me. Seeing our photographs makes me so excited and so happy that Lauren was with us on this journey.
We just wanted to say thank you again so much for your amazing work. You were seriously incredible to work with and we loved the locations you suggested for both our engagement shoot and the spots in Stillwater. We were very worried about getting professional photos done since we had never done it before, but you made the process so easy and made us feel so comfortable. Thank you!
There was a chunk of time in our wedding planning when we thought we'd go without a professional photographer to save on cost (terrible idea!) but once we met with Lauren, we knew we'd be in good hands. She checked in often and asked questions that got us thinking about other parts of the wedding that we probably would've missed. Lauren captured exactly who we are as a couple!
Lauren and her team are so much fun to work with! She made us feel so comfortable on the day of our wedding, providing both silly and helpful cues to help us relax and be ourselves in our photos. Lauren’s background in dance is super helpful in recognizing simple posture changes that make a big difference, too. Oh, and the photos we got are just stunning!
My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.
I've been in several weddings and have worked with a multitude of photographers and I never felt as confident as I did with Lauren. I love how professional she is. She helped with the timeline way in advance and we stuck to that timeline the day of. She was also able to professionally and firmly keep unruly family members settled and focused and navigated family drama beautifully!