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I met Sarah and Ryan late into the planning and I was totally thrilled! Sadly the circumstances surrounding it weren’t great for them and probably caused some undue stress, but I couldn’t have been happier to have been part of this amazing day with such a caring and loving couple. It’s not every day that a bride stops everything she is doing just to make sure we have eaten. Seriously! They both have huge hearts and I wish them best. Much love!

Ceremony and Reception: Nicolette Island Pavilion

 

 

giveaday2017

The past few months have been tumultuous at best for most of us, and like most others, I find myself compelled to do something instead of simply saying something. I’ve learned that the best thing we can possibly do to fight negativity is to breathe it’s opposite – positivity – into existence as often and vigorously as we can muster.

Last year, I launched #giveaday. I wanted to take a more active approach to living life with intention, with purpose, and to make a difference in other people’s lives. This year I wanted to go further, so I asked my dear friend and amazing photographer Athena Pelton to join. She didn’t hesitate and with a heart as big as hers I wasn’t surprised. She cares and loves deeply the people she meets and it shows in her art and everyday life. Plus, every wedding needs a photographer, too!

Which brings me to the exciting and wonderful and crazy kick ass news:

Athena and I are giving away a wedding film + photography package (I know!! Right!?!?!) We will meet with you, talk about the day, help with the schedule, shoot the day of events, edit it into a beautiful, artistic story, and deliver it to you at no charge. Of course, there’s a catch (but don’t worry, it’s a good one.)

Each of us is donating a day of our time, and we ask that the winning couple do the same. Hence the name “Give a Day.”

Here are all of the details and how you can enter to win (it’s easy, we promise):
Note: The wedding can be in 2017 or 2018

  1. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Athena: Instagram and Facebook.
  2. Look through my website (and Athena’s) ( and, sometime (any time) in the next two weeks post your favorite photo of Athena’s and favorite film of Christpher’s on Facebook or Instagram (separate App needed to post films to instagram ex: Repost) with a reason/explanation as to why you like it (or love it!), and include #athenapelton #skyfocus and #giveaday2017. Please tag us so we can see.
  3. Submit an inquiry through the contact form on either one of our websites letting us know when you’re getting married, and where, and fill us in on your story. Please also include what charity you are planning to donate your time to and why.
  4. Most importantly: If selected on March 7th (two weeks from today!), you must be willing to dedicate a #giveaday (a whole day) to volunteering for the charity of your choice or equivalent to a full day (8 hours) for both of you (or combined total of 16 hours).

All entries will be put into a drawing and the winner will be randomly selected. That’s it! We will select a winner on March 7th.

Important Tidbit: The winner must complete their day of charitable time prior to the big day. You need not be local to Minneapolis. We are accepting entries from all over the country (or the world!) and will only require travel costs to be covered by the winning couple.

Now sure how or where to start giving back? Here are a few charities at the top of our list in case you need some ideas. Of course, we love it if you choose something close to your own heart and passion.

The ARC
Arthritis Foundation
Animal Humane Society
Bridging, Inc
Habitat for Humanity

I don’t have the vocabulary to explain how beautiful this day was or how much these two love each other. Just watch!

Special Thanks to:
Fab Event Design
L’atelier Couture Bridal
Munster Rose
Mad Chicken Studio 

It’s about that time to get in the mood for another season of amazing parties thrown by our amazing couples. And no one throws a party like Jane and Peter! Can’t thank them enough for including me in their day and being so warm, gracious, and of course Fun. Cheers everyone! Let’s have an awesome season.

I’ve said it before: I LOVE MONTANA! When I first arrived there a day or two before the wedding, smoke filled the sky from the wildfires burning nearby. It was so thick you couldn’t see the rugged mountain range or the blue sky above. I was worried, and I know Mallory and Alex were thinking about it. They had planned their perfect day at the foothills of some of the most beautiful mountains in existence. It was home to Alex and, after moving from picturesque San Francisco, it was now home to Mallory. A place to start their lives including the beginning with their marriage. Sadly, I woke up the morning of the wedding to the same thick haze of smoke. I won’t spoil how the day played out, but I just have to say it again: I love Montana. Thank you to Alex and Mallory for welcoming me into your celebration.

When I set out to tell Jeff and Jessica’s baby story, none of us knew quite what to expect. But isn’t that how it goes with babies… Most importantly, I wanted Jeff, Jessica, and big brother Graham to tell baby Violet their stories before she came into this world. I wanted a baby story that included much more than the moment Violet was born. With that came introductions, an incredible battle fight scene, and loving moments of a family of three- before they became four. Welcome, Miss Violet.

I think the title sums this wedding up appropriately. Despite not feeling super to start the day Jen was absolutely determined in her heart to get married to Breandan and she beautifully did just that. The wedding was so amazing and visually stunning in every way. You could tell they poured their hearts and creativity into this wedding. I wish them nothing but the best going forward and a long and happy marriage!

My dad. My compass. My leader. My go-to guy. My DAD; he’s the one constant presence in my life that I look to for love, friendship, and guidance. This same theme echoed true  on Corinne and John’s day. Their fathers’ love and presence were especially remarkable. Corinne’s father triumphantly walked her down the aisle after surviving stage 4 cancer, while John’s late father looked on from his spiritual home as the newlyweds celebrated their love.

I humbly salute Corinne and John’s fathers. These men helped to raise two warm and compassionate souls that it was a great pleasure to meet.

Standing on the shores of Lake Superior this summer I watched a beaming bride in her wind blown dress step into a canoe, hewn by her father’s own hands, embark upon the shore, and journey uphill to her waiting groom. In the quiet simplicity of Annika and Matthew’s wedding, love was proclaimed true to its complex buoyancy.

Today, as a newly engaged man, Annika’s vows speak to my heart in new ways. I hear in them reminders that “family” takes on new meaning. Empathy and understanding become a bedrock upon which to lean. And to not be defined by love, but to define it. A wedding such as theirs is a rarity, and I consider myself truly blessed to have been a witness.

Meeting with Menia and Terry was like a gust of fresh, summer air had rushed into the coffee shop. All at once witty banter, laughter, and wedding planning were tossed up, twirled around, and set down in our laps. We did our best just to keep up. And on their wedding day, the banter, laughing, dancing, and energy did not stop! Maybe the mother of the bride didn’t end up looking exactly like Beyonce, but no one seemed to mind. Besides, even she couldn’t have out-partied these incredible families.