If you’ve never had the pleasure of exploring the North Shore of Lake Superior, take this as your sign. As a full-time wedding and elopement photographer based out of Minnesota, the North Shore holds such a special place in my heart. To say that I jumped at the chance to photograph my virtual assistant’s anniversary photos would be an understatement! Courtney and Khris’ Palisade Head State Park adventure session filled my heart with so much joy.

As I mentioned, Courtney is actually my virtual assistant! (Check her out on Instagram @cpproductivity) 🤗 Courtney and Khris made the drive up to the Duluth area a couple days earlier to do some exploring. Even though the weather wasn’t exactly cooperative during their stay, they made the most of it. The morning of their session, we met up for some much-needed coffee before looking for the perfect spot for their photos. We started off at Tettegouche State Park; my husband and I actually got engaged there! It was much fun showing them around some of my favorite places.

Palisade Head Adventure Session

We hiked out to an overlook where Palisade Head was in the background; they instantly knew they had to have their anniversary session there! Our morning together had been spent watching the radar like a hawk. Just as we decided to make the quick drive to Palisade Head, we saw some massive storm clouds rolling in over Lake Superior. When we got to the top of the park, Courtney quickly changed and we scurried down to the cliff’s edge. Courtney and Khris were such troopers as lightning was literally flashing just behind me! We knocked out their session pretty quickly and made it back into the car before the rain started to come down.

This Palisade Head State Park Adventure Session truly was such a sweet one to capture. The North Shore brings so much peace to my heart; there’s nothing more special than sharing that with others. If you’re looking for more Northern Minnesota content, stay tuned – more coming to the blog soon! Can’t wait?! Let’s be friends on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos). 😊✨

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Palisade Head State Park Adventure Session

North Shore Minnesota Palisade State Park adventure session

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Can I let you in on a secret? Even as a full-time wedding and couples’ photographer, my husband I struggled to find the perfect song for our first dance. 😅 If you’re like Bradyn and me, music plays such a a special part in a relationship. So if you’re at the stage in wedding planning where you’re searching for the perfect tune to slow dance to with your honey… I gotchu. I created an entire playlist of songs for your first dance, just for you!!

Before you dive into the playlist, I want to encourage you to search for a song that really reflects your relationship. Music is one of those things that has the ability to bring us right back to a moment… So make sure that the song you choose does just that. After all, in years to come, you’ll listen to your song and be brought back to your wedding day, surrounded by all of your favorite people.

Pop open a bottle of your favorite beverage, cozy up on the couch (or practice your dance moves), and turn on this FIRST DANCE PLAYLIST 🎶 full of the perfect songs for your first dance 🥂

Additional Resources:

3 Alternatives to a First Look
What to Include in Detail Photos
You already know 😉 let’s be besties over on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos) ✨

Wedding Tips

Songs for Your First Dance

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Let’s talk about first looks! If you and your honey are still up in the air about whether or not to have a first look, have no fear. I’ve put together a sweet little list of 3 Alternatives to a First Look. As a full-time wedding photographer, I have seen my fair share of first looks, traditional “first looks” in the ceremony, and everything in between. Whatever you decide, my biggest piece of advice is to do what feels right for you. Lets’ get into it!

1. Private vows

One of my favorites! If you are nervous about spilling your heart in front of hundreds of your family and friends, this can be a great, intimate option for you two. You can stand back-to-back or face each other while holding hands and speak from the heart. When it comes to the ceremony, you can say a variation of your private vows, or say traditional vows; whatever feels most comfortable!

2. First touch

I love this option! You and your spouse can stand back-to-back, or around a door/corner from each other and simply hold hands and talk. If you choose to not have a first look, you most likely won’t see or talk to your spouse until the ceremony. A first touch can help calm some nerves and give you a few moments of peace and quiet together before jumping into the rest of your day. Such a sweet alternative.

3. Private letters

If you want everyone (including your photographer) to sob on your wedding day, write letters to each other before the ceremony and read them privately. This allows you to step away from chaos the morning of your wedding day and take a deep breath with your person. This is intimate like the vow option, but often includes more inside jokes and can be a real tear-jerker.

There we have it, friend! 3 Alternatives to a First Look. Once again, do what feels right for you and your honey! If you’re also in the market for some Wedding Day Exit Tips, click here. As always, be sure to follow me over on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos) for behind-the-scenes and even more Wedding Tips

Xx,
Morgan

Wedding Tips

3 Alternatives to a First Look

  1. […] 3 Alternatives to a First LookWhat to Include in Detail PhotosYou already know 😉 let’s be besties over on Instagram (@morganelizabethphotos) ✨ […]

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Want to know one of my favorite parts about a wedding day? Working with my sweet couples and their bridal party. What an honor to not only connect with the bride and groom, but also to spend quality time with some of the most influential people in their life.

And, when it comes to bridal parties – I’ve seen it all. The spunky, energetic group. The drunk before 8AM group. The introverted group. The “I hate photos” but “I love them” group. And guess what? I love it all!

When it comes to photos of bridal parties on a wedding day, I have discovered that most people expect stuffy, posed photos that take hours.

And let me stop you right there – That’s not for me.

As a full-time wedding photographer and educator, I thrive when working with large groups. Wanna know my secret sauce? Have fun with it.

Here are 3 prompts for energetic bridal parties to hype you up!

1. THE TUNNEL

Create a tunnel with the bridal party and have the couple run through the middle. Have everyone in the bridal party with their hands up, cheering, jumping and having the time of their life. I have my couple take their time going through the tunnel and just soak up time with some of their favorite people. At the end, have them do a little dip or kiss and encourage the bridal party to surround them while jumping, cheering, and hyping up the couple! I guarantee this will get you lots of smiles, giggles and fun bridal party photo.

prompts for energetic bridal parties

2. THE MOSH PIT

Okay, that title is a bit “extreme”, but hear me out. Ask the bridal party to make a circle and put the couple in the middle. You can pose your couple in the middle how you like, but here’s what I like to do: Have them face each other and go bellybutton to bellybutton. Have the bride get picked straight up below the butt and pop a foot out. Then, kiss and spin in a circle! As for the bridal party, ask them to be as hype as they can be — punching the air, dancing and hyping up the couple in the middle. This is one of my favorites!

prompts for energetic bridal parties

3. GREEN LIGHT

Ask the bridal party to get in a straight line. Place the couple 15-20 feet ahead of the bridal party line (closer to you, the photographer). Everyone face the camera and tell them it’s going to be a race! Have the couple hold hands and brace themselves. Count down from 3-2-1 as the bridal party RACES to hug the couple. The first person to touch/hug the couple wins.

prompts for energetic bridal parties

If you try any of these 3 prompts for energetic bridal parties at your next wedding, DM me on Instagram and let me know how it goes (@morganelizabethphotos) – I’d love to see how they turned out!

If you’re searching for more of my favorite prompts, click HERE for the 15 Couple Prompts for Photographers FREEBIE. ✨

Keep kicking butt, friend! You’re incredible.

Xx,

Morgan

For Photographers

3 Prompts for Energetic Bridal Parties

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Maddie and Greg’s Boom Island Park engagement session in Minneapolis, Minnesota was a day that I truly counted down the days for.

The park offered the beautiful Minneapolis skyline in the background, a wide open field, and tons of blooming flowers. Not to mention the beautiful couple AND their dogs, Freddie and Dug! Let me tell ya… I am the biggest sucker for dogs!

As soon as Maddie and Greg hopped onto our consultation call, we instantly hit it off. Not only did they want to include their dogs in the session, but they had the best energy on the call. After our call, I knew we would be 3 peas in a pod because we bonded so quickly.

The energy and love that enveloped Maddie and Greg was such a beautiful thing to witness. We had a blast spending the day together all while soaking up some puppy love. It’s amazing to look back on these last few months at an amazing friendship all thanks to one recommendation.

In just a little over 4 short months, Maddie and Greg will tie the knot at the Gardens of Castle Rock in Northfield, Minnesota. I truly cannot wait to capture the next chapter in their love story and celebrate two beautifully in love people. Be sure to follow along on Instagram @morganelizabethphotos for behind the scenes and sneak peaks! And as always, be sure to catch up on my past blogs if you’re looking for some Wedding Tips.

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Boom Island Park Engagement Session

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Lauren and Justin’s intimate Saint Paul, Minnesota wedding was the definition of a fairytale wedding. This beautiful couple tied the knot at the historic St. Paul College Club

The wedding venue that Lauren and Justin chose is one of my favorites in the Twin Cities. The exterior is impressively elegant; the limestone building coupled with the grand mahogany doors almost takes your breath away. When you enter the foyer, you are greeted by a grand staircase, lined with lush greenery and roses. If that’s not enough, there is a beautiful garden oasis on the grounds for outdoor weddings; you don’t even feel like you are deep in the heart of the city.

Somehow, Lauren and Justin made the space look even more classy with all of the special touches and attention to detail they sprinkled throughout. Lauren (an artist) designed the signage for the big day, chose a beautiful burgundy/wine color for the bridesmaid dresses, and chose the most beautiful floral arrangements to compliment the space.

Lauren and Justin said “I do” in the garden oasis, at the romantic St. Paul College Club during a touching ceremony surrounded by towering trees and string lights. We were then able to capture their love throughout the grounds, even spending some time in their ceremony space taking some really special shots. The dance party their guests created during the reception was definitely a contender for my “favorite” part of the day. But truly, my favorite part was witnessing the love this couple shares for one another. Lauren and Justin are two of the most genuine, humble, loving souls I’ve met. I am so lucky to have been able to capture their special day.

I love you both so dearly!

Drop below your dream wedding venue (no matter where it’s located)! I’d love to capture your big day – head over to my “Book Me” page to inquire. I can’t wait to be your new bestie!

Thankful for you two.

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Intimate St. Paul College Club Wedding

Bride and groom walking on their wedding day

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Coffee addict, F.R.I.E.N.D.S binger, pizza roll lover, adventure seeker (AKA your new wedding bestie!)

Morgan Elizabeth

for the adventurous & laid back