One of my best friends got married.

And I got to be the photographer. I love photography of all kinds, but weddings send my heart aflutter in a different way from other types of sessions (except cows). Emily and I were roommates at UW-River Falls and instantly became close friends. She stood in our wedding four years ago, and when Tom popped the question I was over the moon with happiness for them both. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to be part of their big day not just as a bridesmaid, but also behind the camera.

I wasn't quite sure how I was going to simultaneously be present as a bridesmaid and the photographer, but good ol' COVID took care of a lot of those uncertainties for all of us. Emily and Tom had everything ready to go for an August wedding at a nearby venue, but when everything was upended earlier this spring by the 'rona they took the opportunity to have a much smaller and more intimate wedding at their home in the forests of northern Minnesota. Here's a peek from their engagement session last fall!

You never know what kind of curveballs Mother Nature will throw at you in the Upper Midwest in June, but she held out and gave us nearly perfect weather (it inevitably rained that night, but Minnesota's gonna Minnesota). I headed to the hotel and started snapping away as Emily got ready for their 1:00 ceremony with a few of her closest friends, and then we took off for the water.

Tom's reaction was priceless.

Emily wanted me to get a reaction of Tom seeing her coming down the aisle with her father, as he's a pretty even-tempered kind of guy who doesn't show emotions all that much - and they didn't do a first look. They were married under an arbor by Tom's former boss (a drag-racing chaplain who absolutely rocks) with tulle, lilacs, and other greenery handpicked from the woods around their home by Emily's grandmas. Because it was a small wedding, the family involvement was second-to-none, even by the littlest guest - Tom and Emily's son, Liam, who is nearly 11 months old. He brought lots of cuteness.

Even though the wedding day they originally had in mind was not to be, Tom and Emily didn't let a pandemic stand between them and beginning the rest of their lives together. Plan B turned out better than any of us could have dreamed. I think you'll agree.