Abigail & Travis

It’s not often that I have to worry about where I am for 24 hours or how I plan to get home. This early December wedding definitely had me on my toes!

We drove up the night before, wanting to beat the weather and also for other commitments. I’ve traveled to Minnesota a fair amount now that I live in North East Iowa, but it’s been mainly to the more densely populated area. I’m not going to lie - I got a bit car sick with the winding roads and crazy hills we drove through in the near pitch black.

When we finally arrived in the sleepy little town I was blown away by how beautiful it was - it was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting. Warmth lend itself from the brightly lit storefronts even though most of them were closed for the evening.

We sat down for dinner with Abigail and Travis for dinner in a quaint little street side cafe and talked about the upcoming day and got to know each other better.

The next morning the chilly wind had picked up and heavy clouds had rolled in. But it didn’t diminish the view of the beautiful town around me. With morning light I was able to fully experience just how gorgeous it was - the town was nestled in between bluffs. Pine trees lined the top of the bluffs and a river wound it’s way through the town, they even had a small waterfall to complete this picturesque Minnesotan town.

Abigail and Travis couldn’t have picked a better place for their wedding. Showing up to the ceremony location, a Lutheran Church turned Non-Denominational, it made a great location with windows to the beautiful views.

The ceremony was simple and elegant - family braved the uncertain weather conditions to support Abigail and Travis. Thankfully the worst of the storm blew past us, but it did leave the roads slightly slick as we made out way to the reception location.

Everyone was finally able to let loose and enjoy themselves. The dancing wore on into the night and everyone was contented and able to enjoy the celebration of the newly formed union.

It was an extremely pleasant wedding and I am so thankful that I have the privilege and honor of working with these amazing couples.

- Stephanie

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Journalistic, Engagement, Wedding

New Dress Shop

I live in a quiet, sleepy town in the Midwest. People know you, they know your family. It feels safe and warm. Business owners are the local historians because they have either owned or been part of their business since they were young.

And then you have people who come in and shake things up a bit, who bring to the table a breath of fresh air. Or a challenge to established businesses. That would definitely have to be Mara. A new dress shop that opened up on Thanksgiving weekend. The owner, Tiffany sat down with me just as the project was being launched and she told me her hopes and dreams for Mara. And I loved every second of it. To help build an experience for brides, family members, mother of the brides, bridesmaids, girls getting ready for prom, and even little girls looking at the beautiful sparkly dresses.

This is an experience more than just a store. It's a dream becoming a reality rather than just a dress. Tiffany has cultivated an experience from the moment you pull up to this converted two-story house to the beautiful gown greeting you in the window. You open the doors and are welcomed with friendly smiles and a warm, classy atmosphere. This woman works in the details, as everything has been converted to match the vision she has for Mara. Their dress fitters are knowledgeable and friendly and will work to make this experience the best it can be.

And the bridal dress room might be my favorite place in the entire town. The light casts down on the beautiful lace and tulle, and it is breath-taking. Imagining being a soon-to-be-bride and walking in this room knowing that "the one" might lie in this room gives it alost a gift like appearance.

If you haven't had a chance to check out Mara, please do!