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Sara & Eric’s wedding at Wood Lake Nature Center in Richfield, Minnesota.

Sara and Eric’s Wood Lake Nature Center wedding was in January.

Not all couples want posed pictures at their wedding.  Some want a professional to simply be there and document the day.  So this was my mission for Sara and Eric’s wedding.  To record organic events and emotions as they happened, without a lot of posing, or intruding on the natural order of things.  I love when couples know what they want and trust me like this.

We started the evening with Sara getting ready at a friend’s house for the wedding, doing a few portraits and details.  Seeing herself in the mirror after finishing her hair and makeup made Sara light up with joy.  She took on this inner glow that would follow her for the rest of the wedding.

A Shamanic Wedding Ceremony At Wood Lake Nature Center

 Upon arriving for her Wood Lake Nature Center wedding Sara hid outside of the ceremony room and made some final adjustments to her sparkling wedding crown.  while a fragrant sage smudge stick smoldered and brought healing, joyous energy into her space.  The couple had a lot of shamanic elements in their wedding to express their shared deep spiritual traditions and connection to one another as soul mates.  The burning smudge was a part of this tradition.

If you’re planning an intimate wedding in the winter, Wood Lake Nature Center is an excellent choice to consider. The vaulted ceiling and fireplace make it elegant and cozy.   The guest seating is wonderful, and chairs created a sacred circle around the ceremony space.   The ceremony started with drumming to ground and center the marriage ritual.  Then a rattle was used as their officiant walked a circle around the ceremony space inviting in the four elements of earth, wind, fire, and water.

The couple blessed a marriage crystal on a platform of shifting colored light with their shared energies to keep in their home as a powerful reminder of their commitment to one another as soul mates.

Eric got on his knees during their vows.  Then the ceremony became full of tremendous emotion that had everyone shedding tears together.  It was a deeply shared experience of love.

A quill and ink were used to sign the marriage certificate surrounded by flowers and crystals.

An intimate family-style wedding dinner.

After the ceremony, everyone sat down family style to share in dinner.  Guests laughed together as they told stories about the couple.  Then the cake was cut and then smeared in faces because Sara and Eric’s love is not only spiritual but playful as well.

The night ended with more embraces.  After that, we made a little trip out into the cold for some quiet time before clean up of the wedding feast.

We found this tree of life looking mural with interesting lighting.  With the help of some external flash and a wide aperture, I was able to stand back and let the couple do their thing as I had all night long.  There’s something poetic about how Sara and Eric became the trunk of the tree.  Like becoming one with nature for one quiet moment.

Venue: Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota.

Officiant: Holistic Healer Lena Swanson

Catering: Davanni’s, Richfield, Minnesota

Geode Cake: Queen of Cakes, Edina, Minnesota.

Bouquet and flowers: Artistic Floral, Edina Minnesota.


I’m a wedding photographer in Minnesota.  Above all, I celebrate all types of wedding traditions for all types of people.  If you are seeking a professional wedding photographer to document your non-traditional ceremony I’d love to help you.

Learn about me and get in touch via email HERE.

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