A beautiful backyard wedding in the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic.

When high-school sweethearts Austen and Elisse began planning their 2020 wedding, they didn't envision it ending up the way it did in late May. As the seriousness of the COVID19 pandemic became more apparent and weddings either postponed or reduced in size, this couple decided to stick with their original date and make the best out of the situation. As Elisse's mom told me after their ceremony, "She came to me and said, 'Mom, I just want to get married'. So I told her that's what we're going to do."

Elisse and Austen did their first look and bridal portaits at one of my favorite location, Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Lake. We then went to Austen's parents' house, where they had put together an absolutely beautiful space under a big tree for the couple to be married. Both of their fathers spoke during their ceremony, sharing advice for the couple and words of faith. Following the ceremony, the newly-wed couple was greeted with a surprise arranged by their parents - a drive-by parade of family and friends who couldn't be present at the wedding. The look of surprise and joy on their faces as they turned the corner and saw the long line of cars was something I'll never forget <3