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Wedding Day// Ben+Melissa

"As long as it doesn't rain..." The simple sentence that most couples say about their wedding day. Ben and Melissa definitely got their wish! No rain, just plain old scorching Minnesota summer heat. ;) With the high temp being well into the nineties, this beautiful couple tied the knot today under the blazing sun, in front of a classic St. Paul cityscape with friends and family surrounding them. These two couldn't be a happier, more welcoming and genuine pair. And seemed to be surrounded by the same genuine warmth and love from their family, wedding party and guests.

I arrived in time to capture the ladies finalizing their looks, eating a little lunch and playing with Ben and Melissa's very dapper cat (proof below.) After slipping into her Kennedy Blue wedding gown from The Wedding Shoppe Inc. and adding her perfect bolero addition from David's Bridal, Melissa was ready to go see her groom. Harriet Island Pavilion, and the city of Saint Paul, were the perfect setting. Just as dapper as their four legged furbaby, Ben was anxious to see his bride!

With wedding party in tow, and videographer Kevin from Fee Films, we all dodged the sun and enjoyed the breeze during our group shots and family formals. Bottles of water and handheld mini-fans were a staple! Switching things up a bit, guests actually enjoyed snacks and drinks before the ceremony during an early afternoon cocktail hour. Cold drinks were definitely welcome onto the ceremony space as vows and rings were exchanged. A family friend led the ceremony and was able to provide great personal stories, quotes and humor as Ben and Melissa made it official. Tears of joy, and beads of sweat, were plentiful.

Not only were guests anxious to get out of the sun after the ceremony but were ready to eat the delicious buffet provided by Buca di Beppo. And some even tried to dive into the beautiful cupcake tower from PJH Confections in Hammond City, WI before dinner was served. Tisk, tisk. ;) Tony Westlander/Pulse Entertainment and Lighting, was a great emcee! Between keeping the evening moving and the music grooving, he was on top of it! As the sun went down, and the breeze became a little cooler, the cafe lighting, white lanterns and drapery styled by Cici Events were the perfect touches as guests mingled, played games and danced the night away.

My favorite part of the day was definitely taking these beautiful people out for portraits not only during the lovely 'golden hour' but even after dusk getting a little creative with lighting and silhouettes. (Because who doesn't want to be a part of a skyline!)

Ben and Melissa, I truly couldn't be happier for the two of you! It was a JOY being a part of your day and celebrating with you both. Enjoy this recap, and married life.

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