Dear Future Couples,
Hey, new friends! You’re here, you did it! You said a resounding “YES!” to your next adventure together, and that’s kind of a big deal. This love note was written just for you. If this is our first meeting, hello! I’m Bailey, lover of Lake Superior, craft beer, and witty banter. Together with my bearded British husband and our giant lap dog, Summit, we call Duluth, Minnesota home. Ever in pursuit of more passport stamps, we’re always planning the next adventure! I thrive capturing rustic, elegant weddings in the north woods. More than that, I love serving couples who want a marriage more beautiful than their wedding day.
As a boutique wedding photographer, I work with a select number of couples each year. Apart from simply being a wedding vendor, I love serving each couple with a heartfelt, handcrafted experience. Because of this, it’s essential that we vibe well. Our connection is key in crafting those authentic, full-of-life images you’ll cherish for decades. And real talk? When you fully trust your photographer, magic happens. So let’s get to it: Do any of the following resonate with you? We just might be a good fit!
We might be a good fit if…
1) You want a marriage more beautiful than your wedding day.
You’re not just planning a wedding day; you’re planning a marriage. This celebration isn’t just a one-day thing; it means infinitely more. By focusing on the why of your wedding, you’ll keep what matters most front-of-mind. When things get a little stressful, it’s just a hiccup in the journey. You know that life together will be full of joy, laughter, heartache, and new adventures. You also know that love is an active choice. You’re ready to embrace the hard work of choosing love, not just today, but in the years & decades to come.
2) You want a wedding that feels even more beautiful than it looks.
Sure, beautiful wedding details are lovely, but only in the spirit of creating a day true to who you are as a couple. If there’s a technical hiccup on your wedding day (and there will be), you choose to see the big picture. What matters more are real moments with the people you adore. Together as a couple, you’re deeply invested in your friends & family. You wouldn’t be where you are today without them! Your priority is being fully present, so can experience every moment fully: The quiet anticipation of slipping into your wedding gown, the butterflies of your First Look moment, belly-laughs with your besties, and happy tears during your vows. Forget about everything looking pristine! You much prefer raw, unfiltered emotion. That’s where the good stuff happens.
3) You crave a wedding that feels comfortable & relaxed, where you can let go and be fully present together.
We’re all familiar with Netflix gems like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Bridezillas” (uff da!). Let’s put it this way: You’re probably running in the opposite direction from most of these brides! Drama isn’t a word in your vocab; it’s more in your nature to be chill and go-with-the-flow. But that doesn’t mean you won’t plan a wedding with intention. You’ll design a wedding day that allows for spontaneity, without worry of what’s next or where people need to be (and any wedding photographer worth her salt will help you craft a wedding timeline so you can be fully present & in the moment!). Whether it’s mingling with your guests with a cocktail in hand, dancing to T. Swift with your bridesmaids, or sneaking away for a few sunset smooches, you’ll plan a day with ample breathing room, allowing for beautiful, unscripted adventure.
4) You believe dogs are people, too.
Maybe you already have a pack of ‘em, maybe you’re still longing for one. If you have a dog, he or she will likely be involved in your wedding day! Let’s be real, dogs are totally family members: They go on camping trips, have their own birthday parties, and are worth every bit of dog hair (don’t forget to register for that Dyson!). Last year, 4 out of 5 Bailey Aro couples owned a dog. Let the record show: Those pups may have received their own care packages during the planning process, wink-wink, nudge-nudge. 😉
5) You’re sentimental old souls who love tangible, meaningful deails with a story.
Whether it’s Grandma Bev’s gold locket fastened to your bouquet, or homemade orange bitters for all your guests, one thing is clear: You believe wedding details are more than just “stuff.” A far cry from those endless wedding magazine checklists, your preference is a few thoughtfully-chosen details, all selected with great care. When planning your wedding, you ask yourselves, “What do we love? What makes us us? How can we infuse our story into our wedding celebration?”
6) You delight in gorgeous, thoughtful presentation & packaging.
Remember how I mentioned that details are more than just “stuff?” You love pretty presentation and thoughtful gifts, not because you’re materialistic, but because you appreciate the thought & care that goes into such things. Plus, you’re kind of old school. Although you love technology (holla, fellow Apple addicts!), you prefer tangible books, albums, and printed photographs. Your images come fully alive only when printed, so whether it’s a leather coffee table book or a wooden heirloom print box, your photos won’t spend life on a hard drive.
7) You love to forge your own traditions, especially if they’re unique and reflective of who you are as a couple.
Maybe you want to shake things up and have your grandmas be the flower girls. Perhaps you’d prefer a table stacked with sea salt & caramel donuts, rather than a four-tier cake. Maybe you’ll skip the unity candle, and share a home-brewed beer you whipped up together. Whatever your traditions are, they mean something to you, even if they aren’t “the norm,” even if they’ve never been done before. Embrace that!
8) You’d prefer to invest in a select few areas of your big day, rather than completing an exhaustive checklist.
As a couple, you have a keen sense for what matters most. You’re on a mission to select a few solid gold wedding vendors who make your heart go giddy-up! When you find the right professional, you’re excited to invest in them & trust them with your whole hearts. My advice? Take those wedding “checklists” with a grain of salt. You have permission to decide what matters most to you, and make those things happen!
9) You crave adventure.
Whether it’s a hike in the woods or a paddle around the lake, you love spending time in nature together. What’s more, you don’t mind a little dirt on your wedding dress hem — in your eyes, that makes for even richer memories. If this means wearing TOMS instead of Badgely Mischka heels, you’re all there! Regardless of where you currently live, you’re probably a north woods couple at heart, meaning you embrace mosquito bites & faintly smelling of pine, because, well, they’re badges of honor! When you think about your wedding images, you hope they’ll be captured with a spirit of adventure (and maybe a little wandering off-the-beaten-trail).
Bonus! – 10) You might understand the long-distance thing.
Maybe you spent part of your relationship in different cities, maybe you attended different schools across the country, or perhaps there’s an ocean separating you. In any case, you get that long distance is tough, but so worth it. In 2016, I am blessed to work with several couples who’ve done long-distance, including three international couples who are going through the immigration process.
Time for a quick back-story: Before we married, my husband & I did three years of long distance across the Atlantic (so if you’re dealing with distance, I feel ya!). Because my husband is British, and we chose to live in the States, we had to endure the long, exhausting process of obtaining a Green Card. It’s amazing how many couples I’ve connected with because of our story! If you’re on a similar journey, please know that I’ve been there & would love to encourage you through it.
Are you raising your hand to any (or all) of the above? Do you have that giddy, this-is-the-one feeling? Then let’s connect! I’d love to treat you to my favorite cozy coffee house & hear your love story. As of March 2016, I am currently wooing 2017 couples, with a few remaining spots for 2016 Elopements. I can’t wait to hear from you!