May 4, 2016
On a cold night last December, as I sat in the back of my parents’ car on our way to my grandmother’s home for our annual Christmas celebration, my phone buzzed. It was a message from my former Hallmark classmate, Jen Dederich. She asked if I would be willing to help put together and teach at a workshop next year with her and April Violet. I gasped and my heart skipped a beat. Earlier that month, I had started to feel deep down in my soul that I needed to teach and share more in 2016, like it was my calling for the new year. As soon as I saw that message, I felt like it was a sign to pursue that feeling. Little did I know by responding “YES!” to that simple message would completely change my life for the better.
After months of planning, thousands of emails sent, tons of Skype dates, and many long nights of putting everything together; Explore North Workshop finally happened this past weekend and exceeded any possible expectation I had for it! The entire weekend was an absolute dream come true! Twelve amazing photographers joined April, Jen, and myself at Lake Superior Barn for a truly magical experience. We spent our days leading our attendees in photographing two gorgeous styled shoots (a wedding and an engagement session), teaching them the important pieces of running a business, helping them strengthen their brands, and giving them new and improved head shots that reflect who they really are. The most wonderful couple, Chris and Liz, joined us for the weekend as not only our Engagement Session models but also as gourmet chefs who prepared fabulous meals for us everyday! I seriously wish I could hire them as my own personal chefs!!
Our nights were spent gathered around the fire or the dining room table, laughing and openly talking about our successes and our struggles. I watched as the attendees grew closer to one another and offered helpful words of advice and encouragement to their new friends. I think the last night at the Barn was definitely everyone’s favorite! Under plaid blankets and warm coats, we gathered outside around a huge fire overlooking Lake Superior. We roasted marshmallows and danced to our favorite wedding reception songs. We even held a mini dance competition and did the Cupid Shuffle together! As we danced under the starry night sky, the incredibly beautiful Northern Lights came out and started to dance with us. It was truly one of the most awe-inspiring moments of my life, one I will never forget.
This past weekend has left my head spinning and my body tired in the best possible way and I wouldn’t change a thing. I adored spending time with our wonderful attendees and hearing their stories! For me, this was my favorite part. These wonderful, amazing people came together at our workshop and created an unbreakable bond with each other. Their love and kindness for one another has inspired me beyond words! I already miss their smiling faces and hilarious jokes that would make me laugh so hard I would cry. I know our workshop would have not have been the same without them. It’s because of them that this workshop was so fun and life-changing!
Today I’m sharing Part One of our Explore North Workshop with images from the beautiful Written in the Stars Bridal Session styled by Mint and Lovely Studios. I’m still swooning over the stunning tablescape, the pretty flowers, and our GORGEOUS bride and groom! Tomorrow I’m sharing Part Two of Explore North Workshop complete with our styled engagement session photos, the three of us teaching our hearts out, how beautiful Lake Supeior Barn was, sharing my love for our awesome sponsors, the Northern Lights, and more of my favorite behind the scenes shots!
Alyssa and Anna always make the most stunning rings ever! I want to take their Elise ring home with me!!
Mint and Lovely designed custom constellation inspired stationary. These pieces are just too beautiful!!
Mollie Kae totally rocking it with hair & make-up!!
Ahh! That laugh! So wonderful!
These two are too cute and adorable for words!!
This starry, hand-dyed linen takes my breath away!!
Beautiful laser-cut names from Everlaser add a fun and playful take on the traditional name card.
Getting that great tablescape shot!!
Awww, my Group One girls!!
Seriously, so beautiful!!
Karli from Cake and Cookie completely outdid herself with this galaxy inspired cake!!
Ahhh, SO in love with this table!!
The sunset made our styled shoot even more gorgeous!
The many talents of Haley!!
I’m so incredibly thankful for Emilee & Haley from Mint and Lovely Studios!! They seriously are so sweet and genuine!
HUGE thank you to all the wonderful vendors who were involved in this beautiful shoot!! We are forever grateful!!
Event Stylists + Stationary: Mint and Lovely Studios // Wedding Dress Designer: Leanne Marshall // Bridal Boutqiue: Flutter Boutique // Floral Designer: Saffron & Grey Couture Floral Design // Engagement Ring Designer: Alyssa & Anna Fine Jewelry // Hair + Makeup: Mollie Kae Hair & Makeup Artistry // Cake Designer: Cake and Cookie // Hand-dyed linen: Aeva // Lasercut names on table: Everlaser // Rentals: Event Essentials // Jewelry: Lizzibeth // Venue: Lake Superior Barn // Models: Katrina & Brock