Thank you to all the couples we met yesterday at TCWA’s: The Wedding Fair. 

Engagement Photography: James Ramsay

Locations: Alma, Wisconsin | Buena Vista Park | Groom’s family barn.

As I drove South toward Alma, Wisconsin for the engagement shoot with Katie and James – I couldn’t help stopping along the highways and byways to get a few shots of cattle on a hill at sunrise. Almost on cue, the last animal trotted along the top of the hill before disappearing. This is why I love being a wedding photographer.

After I finished impersonating a National Geographic photographer, I continued driving South to my destination, an absolutely stunning location the couple suggested.

Buena Vista Park is aptly named  as it overlooks the town of Alma, Wisconsin right on the Minnesota border near the Mississippi River.  Even large semis look like ants from this bird’s eye view. Stop reading now if you’re afraid of heights.

Katie and James stopped at a park bench before walking toward the edge of the bluff. Speaking of which, check out our version of the movie, Cliffhanger. I promise an actual couple was not in any real danger during this photo shoot.

See the church below? That is the church they later got married in, St. Lawrence. After spending time on the bluffs, the couple had fun playing on a swing set in the park. It often works for photos to have a playful activity during your engagement shoot. Much more fun than just standing there wondering what to do!

A quick drive down some exciting dirt roads with frogs crossing and we did some more shots in front of the family barn, which the couple later transformed magnificently for the wedding reception! We did a few photos with dramatic natural light in the barn before doing silhouettes in the large barn doorway, which James was nice enough to reposition perfectly for the composition of the photo.

James entertained us by relating stories about tumbling down the hay loft as a child while working or playing in the barn.

Barn weddings are getting more and more popular, but not all of them can be as personal and sentimental as this.

Next update: Photos of how the family barn was transformed for their wedding!

Engagement Shoot Location #1: Black Bear Crossings

Engagement Shoot Location #2:  Como Park

Engagement Shoot Location #3: Como Golf Course

Photos and Story: James Ramsay

We did several locations around the Como neighborhood of St. Paul for Kathryn and Brett’s engagement shots. I grew up visiting Como Park and it hasn’t changed much over the years. Although many of the large oak trees were lost in a wind storm centered in the neighborhood a few years back, Como is still like a little Lake Calhoun in some ways. Less people, shorter distance around, perfect for running or biking laps if you’re the physical fitness type. There are lost ruins, bridges, the Como Park Zoo, the Conservatory, Black Bear Crossings, a carousel of dancing horses, and of course the lake and Como Golf Course. The lovely couple suggested a possible golf theme for their engagement photos, and we just went with it and never looked back. We got to see a 360 degree panoramic view of the sunset over the course. I liked the couple’s idea of symbolizing their wedding date with a six and seven iron for a possible save the date. And check them out doing the Tiger Woods thing, bouncing their golf balls on their clubs. Total pros I tell you. Since we weren’t technically on the PGA Tour for this shoot, we even did putting redemption as Brett brilliantly sunk the shot.

Enjoy this photographic journey of Claire and Jerik’s Prairie Fairie Wedding at the Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul. They were the first couple to book their wedding reception at the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in Downtown, St. Paul. Highlights included live music by the talented Javier Trejo and friends, yummy food by Brasa, reception music by DJ Del 6 and three of the couple’s favorite bands playing the Amsterdam.

Wedding Venue: Dodge Nature Center

Wedding Reception: Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Live Music: Javier Trejo

Reception DJ: Del6

Wedding Food: Brasa

Men’s Fashion: Heimie’s Haberdashery

Wedding Photography: James Ramsay

As summer changes into fall, fall changes into winter. This is a great time to think WARM thoughts with one of my favorite summer weddings. Megan and Joe got married on Lake Minnetonka. There is just something about Lake Minnetonka that feels elegant. If you look closely you may notice a traditional dance, modern wardrobe, and some really cute penguin lollipops that the couple got for their guests! Here the story of Megan and Joe’s wedding day in pictures.

Photos by James Ramsay • Dress by Posh

This photo, titled “Velvet Moment,” was taken by photographer Tom Dunn around 5 a.m. on the Charles Bridge in Prague. Dunn went to the bridge every morning to capture people going to work and lovers returning from the clubs.

Tom Dunn Debuts Photography Exhibition on Prague During Saint Paul Art Crawl

Photographer witnessed precursors to the spilt of Czechoslovakia 20 years ago; reflects on return visit

Saint Paul, Minn. – Tom Dunn will debut his most recent collection, “Prague” in Studio 204 of the JAX Building during the  Saint Paul Art Crawl, running Oct. 12-14. The JAX Building is located at 253 4th Street East in the Lowertown district of downtown Saint Paul.

Photographs include black and white street scenes, landscapes and the daily life of Prague. Dunn’s first visit to Prague was 20 years ago, when he unknowingly walked into political controversy as Czechoslovakia wrestled with the demise of the state.

“In 1992 there were border checkpoints, armed guards and young people standing on makeshift platforms speaking to small crowds. While the barricades and unrest are certainly gone, the haunting beauty of the city remains.”

“Every morning I would go to the Charles Bridge before sunrise to photograph people going to work and lovers returning home from the clubs… and was awestruck by how romantic and timeless Prague still is today,” said Dunn.

Framed photographs and prints will be available for sale, along with stationary cards and mini-prints. Original fine art photographs make a timeless, romantic gift for a wedding couple or to hang in your home.

Studios participating in the Saint Paul Art Crawl are open Sat., Oct. 13 (today) 12:00-8:00 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 14 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Visit Tom Dunn’s blog for more information about his Prague collection or to order prints.

Andre, romance vacation specialist at Time Travels, Inc. offered her perspective on the city.

“History & romance come together in Prague. When you stroll the cobblestone streets past Prague’s numerous churches, monuments & the castle perched on high you will be lost in it. Don’t forget to go to Old Town square and join the crowd that waits every hour on the hour for the trap door to open on the 15th century Astronomical clock. Witness the procession of Christ & the 12 apostles while the specter of death chimes the bell; an event people have enjoyed for over 500 years.”

Andre’s blog

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Andre on Twitter

This time lapse of the Cathedral of St. Paul was captured in the Summer of 2012 by John Anderson of J Walter Anderson Photo & Video while working with James Ramsay Photography on Rachel and Nick’s wedding. John has over 10 years of experience in the wedding industry as well as a broadcast radio background and hundreds of weddings.

J Walter Anderson Photo & Video

John Anderson



Ten Questions with Matt from Photo Booth Creations

Q: How many people can you fit in your photo booth?

Matt: 15 is the record but I usually tell people 8-10 just to be safe.

Q: What are some of your favorite wedding venues?

Matt: Oak Marsh in Oakdale, Minn. had at least two weddings last week and a class reunion, so we love working with them, they always have fun events going on. Manitou Station in Downtown White Bear Lake, Minn. has a unique classy feel that matches our hand made wooden photo booths. The Outing Lodge in Stillwater, Minn. is a hidden gem and has a special place in my heart because I just proposed to the love of my life, Stacey, in Stillwater.

Q: How many photo booths can you do at a wedding or event?

Matt: We’re doing seven photo booths for Great Clips at an upcoming event at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We’re expecting up to 3,000 hair stylists, so we’re pretty excited about that.

Q: What makes your photo booth different?

Matt: We have a bigger photo booth than some other companies. What’s nice about fitting more people in our photo booth, you can get the entire bridal party or bigger family groups all in the same photo strip!

Q: Do you do any events other than weddings?

Matt: We focus on weddings, senior graduation parties, school lock ins, company events, holiday parties, bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, and any other event where people are having a good time.

Q: How would you describe your photo strips at Photo Booth Creations?

Matt: We have options for black and white photos, sepia toned, and color. The choice is yours!

Q: Can guests get digital copies of your photo strips for Facebook or for personal use?

Matt: The guests can download the photos for free, which means they can print them on their own, order copies for themselves, or “Like Them” and they automatically go to Facebook.

Q: Can you put anything else on the photo strips besides the photos?

Matt: We have options for customized logos that we design, or we can use one of your designs.

Q: Do you do a guest book?

Matt: Photo Booth Creations is proud to partner with Creative Memories, based locally in St. Cloud, Minn. They are the best quality available and it always feels good to support another local business. One nice thing about the guest books with Creative Memories, the books are never full. There is always room to add more pages as you go! The brides can even add personalized pages of their own later on.

Q: Do you have any funny stories from your time working behind the scenes at a photo booth company?

Matt: We’ve had two Big Ten celebrities photo bomb at our last few weddings. We had both Goldy Gopher and Bucky Badger at recent weddings.  The mascots had a lot of fun with the brides in the photo booth and it was perfect because the brides were diehard fans.

Editor’s Note: Matt Stillmunkes runs Photo Booth Creations with his fiance, Stacey Flogel. Congratulations on your engagement from Brides Like Us!

Photo Booth Creations


Hand twisted “Bride” hangers are available in many vibrant colors at Bride to Be Consignment in Burnsville, Minn. Perfect for the “dress shot.”

Photo by James Ramsay

By James Ramsay

Editor, Brides Like Us

Bride to Be Consignment is featuring some really colorful “Bride” hangers at their store in Burnsville, Minn. They are designed and hand twisted by Sheana Schlicter of Shindig Photo Booths, also based in Burnsville. Colors and selection subject to availability. They make great gifts for the bride early in the wedding planning process.

Bride To Be Consignment


1133 Cliff Road

Burnsville, MN 55337

Shindig Photo Booths


P.O. Box 2281

Burnsville, MN 55337

Photo by Donae Cotton Photography

Story by Kira McCarty for Brides Like Us

Your Onsite Muse Hair & Makeup Artist

When we fall in love, we blush.  It is an indicator to the person we’re with, that we have feelings for them.
A blushed cheek not only sends subliminal messages to those around us, it is youthful and fresh, and when done right, it can make someone look up to 10 years younger!
The trick is to fade the color from the “apple” of the cheek, up, and back towards the top of the ear.  I love to blend a bit of bronzer just below the cheekbone ( in the hollow) to add extra dimension for photography – Also, if my client’s cheeks could benefit from some extra ooh lala pop.
Here are some of my wedding day favorites:
For Everyone:  Sugarbomb by Benefit
Soft and pretty 4 pack. 1 sweep and you have a natural looking blush,bronze and highlight.
For Olive & Yellow Skin Tones:  Lorac Pink
A cool pink with a lilac base – No need to worry about your blush turning orangey as the night wears on.
For Fair Skin:  So Sweet, So Easy by mac
A cremeblend, bright pink with yellow – perfect for adding some eye catching warmth.
On the peachy side & for tanned skin: Bare Minerals Tulip
I LOVE this color!  It has a beautiful glow that works on tanned skin and those who prefer peachy tones to pink.
“Say I love you, without saying a word”
Ciao Bellas!

Story and Photos by James Ramsay

Editor, Brides Like Us

Posh has fancy mirrors that would make Lady Gaga jealous! RaTaTa Oooh La La!

Posh Bridal Couture is known as one of the leading wedding dress shops in town. Yesterday Brides Like Us dropped in as Posh commemorated the achievement of their One Year Anniversary in Wayzata, Minnesota! Owner Marie and the always lovely Posh girls celebrated in style with champagne and cake from The Country Cake Cupboard and Café for all their guests. They offered special surprise swag bags containing all sorts of goodies à la any celebrity studded red carpet event. Many brides and industry insiders were seen at the event and there was even an early dent in the beautiful and yummy cake! The short list included Matt from Photo Booth Creations, your humble narrator, Kim and Jay from Twin City Bridal Association and wedding photographer Katrina Suzanne Eowyn Hannemann from Studio Laguna Photography. We say short list because that was just in the 15 minutes we were there! Many more stopped by throughout the day. At least two brides were seen picking out the wedding dress of their dreams in the short time we were there. We would post a picture but we would never want to spoil the surprise and joy their fiances will experience when seeing them in their beautiful wedding dresses for the first time. This is one place you are allowed to be yourself, have some cake and eat it too.

Posh Bridal has two locations – one in Wayzata and one in the Semple Mansion in Minneapolis. Their website has all the tools you need to book your appointment.

Posh Bridal Couture

Minneapolis 612.871.4280

Wayzata 952.249.8000