Hastings, MN Engagement Photographer | Jessalyn and Matt

photocrati gallery Love travels great distances

It took me a few read-throughs of Matt's initial email inquiry to make sense of his request. You see, Matt is a Cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, and he wanted to schedule engagement photos In Minnesota. Simple, I thought. His fiancée must be from Minnesota. Nope. Oh and one more problem. He wasn't engaged either. He wanted to surprise Jessalyn with a proposal.

It turns out Matt and Jessalyn share more than a love for one another. They're woven into to the fabric of the U.S. armed forces. Jessalyn grew up all over the world in the military family, so when it became time to go to college she wanted to find a school as close to family as she could back stateside. She ended up in St. Paul. And though Matt figured a wedding would happen in his home state of Florida, he wanted to have an engagement photo session in Minnesota so that Jessalyn could always remember this special time in their lives. Aww ...

Once I figured it all out, I loved the idea and couldn't wait to meet up with the couple in person. Matt did indeed surprise Jessalyn with an unscheduled visit with the ring in tote. She giddily said yes and two weeks later the engagement photos above were made!

Matt's vision for the session was simple: he wanted it to be outdoors without a huge focus on where they were photographed. Instead, he wanted the love he and Jessalyn have for each other to take center stage. We chose Spring Lake Regional Park in Hastings, MN as the setting as the fall colors were at their peak. In addition we were greeted with a dramatic sunrise upon our arrival, which made me even more excited.

We quickly drove to a farmer's field and captured the first few frames before we even introduced ourselves! I didn't want to miss the gold and magenta hues of the freshly harvested corn set against deep blue sky. After a quick warm up in the car, we finally had a chance to introduce ourselves and plot out the rest of the engagement photos. I think it's pretty obvious Matt's vision came to life. The two were so great to work with, and so clearly enamored by each other's presence that it made simple work for me. I'd love to know what you think. Please comment on or share this post if you like what you see. Thanks for viewing!

— Dan

Owatonna MN wedding photo newspaper | Ben and Deven

Preserve your wedding story today

What did you do on your first date? When is the first time you said "I love you to one another?" Do you know the answer? Will you in ten years? How about in 30? It's OK to admit some of these cherished memories that are focused in your mind today might fade over time. So why not preserve your story today?

At Anthologie, we offer a truly unique product that will not only record and archive the story of how your two lives became one, but will set your wedding apart from the rest. Our wedding newspapers feature an engaging story on the two of you written by talented writers (just read Suzanne Rook's story above), and insightful biographical information to share with future generations.

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Minneapolis Wedding Photographer | Making Sense

seal1 Pushing past a series of roadblocks, Glendon and Jenna find they ‘fit perfectly’

“If at first you don’t succeed … try, try, try again.”

While Glendon Seal didn’t coin the phrase, the story of his relationship with Jenna Sage certainly proves his belief in the adage. And is evidence that persistence pays off.

Though Jenna wasn’t always as quick to move their relationship forward as Glendon would have liked, she couldn’t help but fall for a guy who made her laugh as hard ― and as frequently as Glendon.

The two, both who graduated from Bloomington Jefferson High School, met in the spring of 2010 while working for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

But it wasn’t until a June training session for the summer program that Glendon made his move.

Yes, there was flirting ― and Glendon showing his trademark sense of humor, cracking jokes about how boring the sessions were.

Finally, Jenna agreed to meet him for a drink. Each, they agreed, would bring some of their colleagues and head for the Eden Prairie TGI Friday’s.

Jenna showed up with two other guys. Glendon came alone. Yes, on purpose.

“We pretty much ignored the guys,” said Jenna, laughing at how the evening played out.

Their interest in each other was apparent, they now recall, remembering how their friends left the restaurant fairly early while Jenna and Glendon closed the place down.

Their first real date was the Saturday after their TGI Friday’s meeting. And while Glendon tried to impress Jenna, he now admits he didn’t have a plan other than taking her to see comedian Aziz Ansari at the State Theater.

He was going to take her to dinner, but Jenna insisted she wasn’t hungry so they opted for drinks and a walk around downtown Minneapolis.

Afterward, the city boy decided to show Jenna the Mill City’s sights ― the historic Kenwood neighborhood and its jewels: The lakes.

“I wanted to show her what she was missing living out in the suburbs,” he said.

They laugh about it now, but even as their friendship grew, Jenna continued to keep Glendon at bay.

“She kept saying ‘no’ any time I’d ask her out,” he said.

“We always hung out, always had fun, but I wasn’t sure I wanted a relationship,” she said, adding that she had just finished her master’s degree and didn’t feel ready for couple-hood. “When I met Glendon it was very sudden.”

Jenna’s family had other ideas.


Family ties

Derek and Jani Sage liked Glendon enough to invite him to the family’s cabin one weekend in late July.

“I was probably one of the funnest weekends I’ve ever had,” said Jenna.

The weather was beautiful, and the company was great. They spent the weekend playing cards and sitting by the water, and no matter what Jenna’s family threw at him, Glendon took it with good humor.

“They were very upfront and honest, but very welcoming,” he said.

It was then Jenna began to see her now fiancé in a new light.

As had become a pattern, Jenna had told Glendon she wasn’t ready to see him exclusively. But after the weekend at the cabin, things began to change.

“It was seeing him with my family,” she said of her new perspective.

Finding time to be together wasn’t always easy. Between their jobs, Glendon’s classes, studying and hockey refereeing, the two didn’t often see each other until 9 or 10 at night.

But by then, Jenna knew how well matched they were.

“After I finally decided this is what I wanted, everything just came naturally,” she said.

“From the first day at (TGI) Friday’s we saw each other’s passion for our field,” said Glendon.

He acknowledges Jenna’s initial reticence, despite their obvious connection.

“We were able to talk so freely and openly. We connected, and from then on we challenged each other, but we have the same goals and ambitions.

“It just made sense.”



Jenna’s turn:

"Glendon and I never talked about when we would get engaged, I thought to myself if he would do later, like Summer 2013, but when he hinted at the beginning of 2012 that he was thinking, I thought maybe sooner," she said.

"Glendon would, at times, go back and forth if he was going to do it or not. Sometimes really talking about it, other times stating he wanted to, but being in school made it hard. "Throughout the summer he would talk about it, so when it got to the end of summer, I figured he probably wasn't going to do it.

“When he wanted to go to his grandmother’s I thought maybe he would do it, but then he came down with all his estate paperwork,” she said.

As they drove north, Jenna kept thinking how they’d only been to the cabin once all year and asked Glendon to stop by before going on to Alexandria.

"I didn't think he would propose when we walked down the lake. Once we got to the lake and were just looking out at it, Glendon was acting a bit nervous," she said.

"It wasn't until he put his arms around me from behind and said he had a question for me, that I started getting nervous and then it happened!

“It was just one of those surreal moment you’ve been thinking about all your life, but I was just stunned.”


Glendon’s turn: “I was going to be done with school shortly and I knew I was ready (to pop the question),” he said, recalling how he bought the ring in the spring but a series of roadblocks kept postponing his query.

“I was going to ask her at the cabin, but I worked so much we only got there once that summer. I set everything up, but that week my sister got engaged,” he said.

Not wanting to steal her moment, he waited, only to have his brother get engaged a few weeks after. So Glendon waited a bit longer.

Even then, things didn’t go according to plan. Glendon picked a day to ask Jenna for her hand in marriage, deciding he’d fake her out by asking her to go to his grandmother’s house but instead stop by at Jenna’s favorite place ― her family’s cabin.

But just before the chosen day, Glendon’s grandmother passed away.

“In the past I probably would have thought that it was a sign not to go through with it,” he said. “But every single person who mattered to me kept pushing me, saying ‘When are you going to do it?’’

It was then Glendon revised his plan, telling Jenna he needed to sign some legal papers dealing with his grandmother’s estate. It was the perfect ruse to get her to the cabin.

As they neared the cabin, Jenna played right into his hands, asking to stop at the lake house.

After their arrival, Glendon felt his “heart started beating faster and faster. I checked to see if the ring was still there and we walked down to the water. It was then a large fish jumped out of the lake, breaking the tension.

“She didn’t say yes for what seemed like 10 minutes,” he said, “but it was probably 30 seconds.”

“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to do it.

The cabin means a lot to her mom and grandma and I wanted them to be a part of it. I think that was the way to do it.”



St. Paul Engagement Photography | Glendon and Jenna


photocrati gallery Nothing warms you up on a freezing-cold Minnesota day like a cup of hot cocoa, a few laps around the ice rink — and maybe snuggling up with your fiancé. Watching Jenna and Glendon forget all about the frigid air made it easy for the frames on my camera to keep going as we created their engagement photos in downtown St. Paul this winter.

Glendon referees college hockey games and Jenna is a lifelong figure skater, so visiting the Winter Skate in Rice Park was a natural fit for the couple's engagement session. Though they've been together for years this was actually the first time Jenna and Glendon laced up their skates together. I'm so thankful I was able to be there to capture those special moments. It's plain for anyone to see just how much fun they were having together.

My favorite part of this photo session is how quickly Glendon and Jenna were able to lose sight of the guy behind the camera and just focus on each other. What do you like best? Please comment or share using the links below. Thanks for viewing!

To see more photos from this winter engagement photo session, click HERE.


Northfield, MN Engagement Photographer | Rachel and Philip

You have to hand it to Rachel and Philip — they're definitely troopers. I was somewhat surprised to see the couple dressed in such formal attire when they arrived for their engagement photo session in Northfield, MN back in March - especially since it was quite chilly (it's difficult to tell in the pictures) and Rachel was in a sleeveless dress.

Despite photographing outdoors for nearly three hours with no breaks from the blustery Minnesota air, Rachel and Philip had no complaints for me — part of that may be that they had each other to snuggle up with and keep each other warm.

It turns out the couple's attire served a more meaningful purpose then just having fun with their engagement pictures. Rachel and Philip were hoping to help set the tone for their September wedding at The Grand Event Center in Northfield. With a live band and an evening of dancing on the agenda, they wanted to let their guests know their wedding would be a formal affair. They ended up using some of the images we created for a cool save-the-date card.

In fact, we ended up using The Grand as the backdrop to many of the photos. The locations served a dual purpose as Northfield is Rachel's hometown, and since moving out of state, the photos will always remind her of where she grew up. And though Rachel spent years hanging out in the city's charming downtown, I'm proud to say I still found some vignette's for photos that the couple had never seen before.

I, too, know the downtown area well as I worked as a news photographer in Northfield for four years before opening Anthologie in Bridge Square in 2009. It makes the idea of photographing the couple's Northfield wedding even more exciting. But most importantly, Rachel and Philip have the perfect combination of being easygoing and adventurous that are certain to make for some more stunning images coming soon. I can't wait to see what we come up with on their wedding day!

If you like what you're viewing, please comment, like or share using the handy tools at the foot of this post. And to see even more photos from this engagement session, visit Anthologie's Facbook page.

Contact us to reserve your own engagement photo session and start sharing your own story today!