Every year our Rivets and Roses team goes on a retreat before the wedding season kicks off. This year it brought us to Round Lake in Brainerd, MN. It was the perfect opportunity for us to recharge and connect as a team. Eliesa Johnson, owner of our studio, lead the two day retreat by pushing us to think about our values/goals independently and as a team. She brought back notes from the recent 99U conference that she attended in NYC. It was filled with ways we can all little by little push ourselves to connect with our work in a bigger way. We left feeling inspired, educated, connected, and satisfied from all the amazing food Eliesa’s husband, Nick made for us. You will also see a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread made by Rivets and Roses photographer Jess Ekstrand that we ate fresh out of the oven with butter. Cheers to another amazing team retreat down in the books!
It is such an exciting time for the both of you and the next step is to plan your big day. Along with that comes finding a wedding photographer and then taking your engagement photos. You may be someone who is stoked about it and has everything planned out already or you are someone who is looking for the photographer’s advice of what to do and how to prepare for your engagement session. We have heard the questions and have the answers!
Where should we take our engagement photos?
Let’s start with you two as a couple. What is it that you enjoy doing together? Where do you spend most of your time? What kind of hobbies could be incorporated into your session that reflects your life together? It doesn’t have to be so literal either. If you spend a lot of time together in a general place, pick out a few spots that represent the area. These can be landmarks such as iconic signs, parks, or bridges that define where you live in.
What should we wear?
We get this questions a lot. Like a lot a lot. Make sure you pick out at least two options to bring variety into your photos. Avoid any loud colors or patterns that would clash with the other. Think about the location as well and what would be appropriate. Layer up if you want to have more options . Bring a jacket, hat, or scarf that can be played with. If you just aren’t sure, bring all the options and have your photographer help you decide.
When should we take them?
It totally depends on your timeline. If you are using the images for a save the date, you’ll want to do them in the timeline that fits best for your deadline. The time of year will also be a big factor into when you should take your engagement photos. Having all four seasons can make it hard to choose but you can’t go wrong! Use your judgement on what kind of scene you want for your photos. The season will set the mood for your and help determine the type of clothes you’ll wear.
How long is the session?
Every engagement session is different and based on what you have planned will be a factor. We suggest having one to two specific locations to visit and allow 30 minutes at each location. Your photographer should be able to get a good amount of images in that amount of time. Pro tip: change your outfit for the second location.
What if it rains?
If you are really tied to a bright sunny day, reschedule your session. If you are up for the rain, having an umbrella will add to the fun and make a great theme throughout your photos. We suggest also having an indoor location planned out so you don’t spend the entire session out in the rain.
What is the best indoor location?
We so wish we had a magic answer to this question. Many indoor locations require a photo permit and have restrictions. You can rent a photo studio or get permission at the desired location before hand but there aren’t many indoor locations that allow photos without it. Restaurants or cafes can also be considered. Just make sure to get the approval first and then go in for a drink to celebrate your engagement!
Can my pet be in the photos?
The answer to this question is always a big YES from us. We love when they are included!! Your pet is a big part of your life so having an in home session can be a great way to include them. If you have a dog and want to bring them along to your outdoor session, we suggest having someone along to hold onto your dog for the moments they aren’t in the picture.
On a very snowy February day Athena and Carleigh were ready to embrace the winter storm and do their engagement session at St. Olaf where these two high school sweethearts attended college. The land that Athena works on frequently for class has been an important part of their lives on campus. It had long pathways of trees and open fields that Athena farms in the warmer months. As the two of them are leaping into the next chapter in June it was the perfect time to capture this space with the two of them before that transition. Cheers to Athena and Carleigh!
We live in a time where couples who meet on Tinder or Bumble are getting married but Tumblr deserves all the credit in Jessica and Sam’s case. These two met by sending Tumblr content back and forth without sharing a word at first. It was the humor and connection they had through their strand of messages that led them to like the person on the other side. After finally breaking the ice these two knew there was something special between them. Sam eventually moved from Indiana to Minnesota to be with Jessica and proposed.
Their intimate winter wedding at the 5120 Restaurant and Onyx Bar brought their families together to witness their marriage. With close friends and a group of Sam’s online pals meeting for the first time it really made for a special celebration. Congratulations to the new Mrs. and Mrs. Oak!
It’s a new year and 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of Rivets and Roses! It’s a great time to reflect on a decade of business - where we’ve started (with one photographer) and how we’ve grown into a full wedding photography studio. It’s also a time to think about what’s ahead.
Rivets and Roses is a wedding photography studio that’s founded on providing affordable wedding photography while also delivering a high-quality product. All of our photographers are hand-picked by owner, Eliesa Johnson of Photogen Inc., which ensures we have the best artists out there working for our team. It also provides our clients with more creative options. Each of our artists has a different photographic style, so as couples come to our website, we invite them to look through everyone’s portfolios to find a connection with the photographer that’s perfect for their wedding day. When couples book a Rivets and Roses artist, they know they are getting the best-of-the-best in the photography business, along with the experience of being taken care of by our studio. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
One major shift we’ve realized in the current wedding market is the rise of the “budget photographer” and why this is important to newly engaged couples. Yes, affordable wedding photography has always been an option, but our current economy is ever-changing and couples are looking at planning their weddings entirely differently. We took a deep dive into why affordable weddings and elopements are more popular than ever among the Gen Z and Millennial generations, along with reasons why choosing an affordable wedding photographer is a fantastic option.
The Millennial generation has statistically been waiting longer to get married. According to The New York Times, the average age of marriage is now late 20s to early 30s, which leads to an increase in the amount of couples who are self-funding their own weddings. Because of this, couples often opt for longer engagements and put a higher priority on how they spend their wedding budget.
To be frank, Gen Z and Millennial couples have a lot going against them. They’re coming out of college with more school debt, health insurance is more expensive than ever, and the housing market is at its peak. Even though our economy is currently strong, cash flow is remaining fairly minimal. These are also generations that value travel highly, so when it comes to planning a wedding, they often look to invest more in a honeymoon experience. These couples are absolutely willing to invest in their wedding day and in amazing vendors, but they also want to make sure they’re working with businesses that have these common values:
A Mission-Based Business: Couples are looking to work with vendors whose cultures and beliefs align with their own values. Here at Rivets and Roses, our studio has put diversity and equality at the forefront of everything we do. Additionally, we have more couples than ever mention that the reason they book Rivets & Roses for their wedding photography has to do with the fact that we are an inclusive company where everyone is welcome.
2. Hyper-Global or Hyper-Local: Working with an affordable wedding photographer can open up other possibilities. Lots of couples today opt for destination elopements and they’re also bringing back courthouse weddings. Both options provide them with small, intimate events and more money to fly out their perfect photographer or shop local. Our photographers at Rivets & Roses serve both our local market and clients whose weddings are more global, making for really fun weddings!
3. Simple and Minimal: There’s no doubt that we’re in a time of tidying up our lives. Marie Kondo’s philosophy is thriving and the minimalist lifestyle is a breath of fresh air—and this also applies to weddings. With more couples planning smaller weddings, they’re also looking to simplify their budget by working with affordable wedding photographers.
Overall, quality is still key. Just because a couple doesn’t have (or doesn’t want) to spend money on a luxury-level wedding, doesn't meant they want to compromise the quality of their wedding day. These couples also aren’t looking for a cheap option, they are looking to be economical. These current generations are savvy, creative, and thrive on relationship-driven connections. They also value quality and heirloom products. Photographs are always the lasting product from a wedding day and one which will stand the test of time and technology.
Here at Rivets & Roses, we’ve found a way to make it all work. Quality images, an amazing experience, and an affordable price point. And to make it even better, couples get to choose a photographer that fits their style. We know your wedding—and your budget—is important and we can’t wait to work with you on your wedding day!
What a way to end the 2018 wedding season! Katie and Amanda filled my heart with their late fall wedding at Chowgirls at Solar Arts.
There was a fresh coat of snow on the ground and the sun was shining bright the morning of the big day. Katie got ready at the Lowes Hotel while Amanda got ready at the Solar Arts building. Their first look surprised them both when their wedding dresses were revealed to one another. In the first few moments of taking photos, Katie was so in awe of Amanda’s dress that she stopped posing to look at the details again. Their floral was done by their amazingly talented friend, Kyle of Ginger Root MPLS. Katie’s wedding party had bouquets and Amanda’s side had a floral ring to stand out between the two sides. It was a beautiful touch that was added into their wedding aesthetic.
The couple had roots in the Saint Anthony Main area where they first lived together. The sun went behind the clouds and a slight snow fall came through as we took photos on the Stone Arch Bridge. When everyone was back at Solar Arts in preparation for the ceremony, Katie and Amanda shared personal vows. Moments before their ceremony they played rock paper scissors. Even though Katie won that game they both were winners by the end of the ceremony. Their reception was filled with stories shared about the couple and dinner by Chowgirls. They had their first dance to Yellow by Cold Play and had their dad’s meet them on the floor for a shared father daughter dance. Everyone joined them with their best moves on the dance floor to celebrate the couple.
Cheers to Katie and Amanda and all that the future holds for them both!
Rebecca and Melaney met in Madison, WI while attending school at The University of Wisconsin and working on campus. After their engagement they decided to move to Minnesota where Rebecca is originally from. All in the same year they planned their wedding and began making home in Saint Paul, MN. Their wedding day began at their place with family and friends that were in the wedding party as they got ready. Their first look was down the street at the local library where they both anticipated the moment happening. After a shared breath to start the day these two locked hands and were ready for all that was ahead. Their ceremony and reception at the James J. Hill Center was the perfect touch of history and elements of Fall for their DIY October wedding. The night hit off with a roast by their friend that had everyone in tears from laughing. It continued with a big celebration of the couple and live music for the dance floor. Congrats to Rebecca and Melaney!
Amy and Sam are part of this amazing friend group of couples that I have been so lucky to have worked with and photographed. When these two reached out to me I instantly knew their wedding day would be a blast. Little did I know how much fun it actually would be! They had friends and family come together at the Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, MN. Their ceremony was down the road at Antlers with White Birch golf course in the background to tie their mutual love of golfing. A cocktail hour at the Whiz Bang Bar followed with passed hors d'oeuvres and one hell of a great time by the lake during sunset. The couple shared their first dance on the dance floor with their guests and the celebration of this beautiful couple filled the night with throwback jams and dance moves that didn’t stop until the night ended. Congrats to Amy and Sam!!
Floral by: Ginger Root Floral MPLS
Have you ever heard of a couple growing their own flowers for their wedding day? Me either. Well, not until Jeanie and Adam. Not only did they grow the flowers, Jeanie made bouquets and crowns the morning of the wedding at 300 Clifton. I probably shouldn’t leave out the fact that Adam had been curing a ham for 16 months prior to the wedding and had it sliced and served up during cocktail hour at their Bauhaus Brew Labs reception. Mind. Blown. Congrats Jeanie and Adam!
Drew has been in my life since 6th grade and was the first openly gay person I knew. He was such an inspiration to me and many of our mutual friends growing up, so this engagement session was such an honor to photograph!
Drew and Scot met while working at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis and they quickly became a big part of each others lives. However, Drew went off to work on the road for Sesame Street Live for a few years but the two of them stayed in touch through it all. It was no surprise once Drew came back to settle down that the two of them would finally embrace their love and move in together. On the 4th of July this year, Drew proposed to Scot during fireworks. We celebrated their engagement starting at Longfellow Grill with mimosas and a gorgeous fall walk near the Mississippi River on two different sides of town. Congrats to Drew and Scot!
Megan and Tom got married on one hot and beautiful summer day in Minneapolis. There is no doubt that when I think of a summer wedding in Minnesota, this is exactly what I picture! Sun, some heat, and a breeze that comes in exactly when you need it. Congratulations to this classy duo!
Jesse and Ben got married in a friend’s backyard in Forest Lake on one seriously hot day. Their day came together with a number of elements from friends and family along with just a touch of Disney here and there. Jesse’s sister and mom made her veil. Jesse’s brother-in-law designed their invitation. The mother-of-the groom sang during the ceremony. And the father-of-the bride even made the arbor Ben and Jesse got married under. Congrats to these two sweethearts!
It was a blast capturing John and Sophie's wedding day as people from all over the world (literally) came to Minneapolis to celebrate with them. John and Sophie live in Chicago, so you would think planning a wedding in Minneapolis for guests from all over to attend would be a challenge, but not for these two! They were incredibly on top of every detail you could think of, while still making it personal and special for themselves.
This gathering of friends and family from near and far was truly beautiful to witness as they surrounded John and Sophie with all of their support and love. Some members of Sophie's family hadn't seen each other for 10 years! Cheers to you both for not only making your wedding beautiful, but for hosting so many of your closest people so well. We hope their new adventure to Germany after tying the knot is a blast!
There is something truly special about being a photographer and being able to witness so many weddings. Watching couples, and families, join together. Kara and Ryan’s ceremony at Maple Ridge Farm was truly special as Ryan not only voiced his commitment to Kara, but also to Kara’s daughter. This ceremony and their walk down the aisle as a family were a couple of my favorite moments of the year.