I recently returned from Minneapolis, Minnesota where I shot the wedding of Mattie Crawford and Vince DiDona. When I have the chance to head out to the midwest it’s usually an opportunity to see a lot of old friends. In this particular case the brides family and I go back a number of years – I met Mattie eight years ago in Florida when we were both lifeguards. But I met her family years later while attending school in Michigan. I photographed the second half of her gymnastics career for our college newspaper. Vince was a college wrestler, and while I don’t recall shooting him at his meets, I do remember photographing a number of his groomsmen that were on the team.
So, there were of course a lot of the gymnasts from college attending, as well as other friends that I knew from school but hadn’t seen in many years. It was awesome to catch up and see so many people. And I joked with Mattie that it would probably be a lot easier to shoot her walking down an aisle instead of flying and flipping through the air, hahaha.
I flew out to Minneapolis one day after returning to Socal from the SF Bay Area where I was the week before shooting the Balatoni wedding. So the quick turnaround was somewhat tricky – especially knowing that I had to return to the Bay after flying home to Socal from Minnesota. Yep. Lots of traveling right now.
But it was awesome to see Mattie’s family again. Honestly, I can’t believe had been five years since seeing all of them. It makes you realize how fast the time really does go by. It had only been two years since I last saw Mattie and Vince at the Knudson wedding in Michigan during the summer in 2009. Everyone looked the same, so it was like no time had really passed as I caught up with the family after arriving. The Crawfords are wonderful people and truly made me feel like family during all the sports events I would see them at during college – which was awesome since I was 3,000 miles from my own family.
I met a lot of the extended family, friends, and Vince’s family as we passed the time before heading to the rehearsal.
The wedding was going to be at St. Boniface – a huge old catholic church. The pastor who would be marrying Mattie & Vince turned out to be a very cool guy. He told me I was more than welcome to use flash as long as I wasn’t obnoxious about it. AWESOME. You have to love any catholic church that allows flash – I would say that 9/10 do not. The rehearsal was a breeze, and everyone shared in laughs as they figured out order of events and people for the ceremony.
Dinner was after at a nearby park where the families had decorated the picnic area with lanterns and candles.
Mattie and Vince’s wedding day was incredibly smooth. I spent the morning hanging out with the bridesmaids and bride, as usual. The problem, if you call it that, is that I hadn’t seen most of these girls in five years… so catching up a little bit was inevitable and I had to keep some conversations short so I could bounce between the rooms the girls were getting ready in.
After heading to the church we did a first-look that way we could shoot all the family photos before the ceremony. It helped shuffle everyone out the door after the wedding, and allowed us time to go out and get a few images with the downtown skyline in the background. The image above we tried twice. And there was just no way we were going to get everyone’s faces showing with 21 people on a high-traffic bridge on Friday afternoon… ha!
The reception was a blast and I even had time to sit and catch up with the Favazza family who attended the wedding! They are Lisa’s family from the Knudson wedding two years ago; and I would definitely consider them one of my many extended families out in Michigan now, haha. I also had time to catch up with the gymnast girls more, and even Mr. Langley, one of the gymnast dads I used to see and talk to at all the meets. Really it was just awesome to catch up with everyone. Makes me realize I need to take a trip to MI and the Great Lakes areas soon. Or maybe after winter…
Saturday after the wedding was pretty chill. I actually didn’t end up taking any photos and instead socialized and relaxed with everyone. We all had a picnic out in the park and spent the evening hanging out at the hotel.
Minneapolis was great. I had an awesome time and it’s a really cool area in the parts that I got to see. Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually be heading that way. For those of you who remember, earlier this year I was one of the nationally selected applicants for the Viking’s team photographer position. They postponed interviews unfortunately so I don’t know if it will open up again to continue the interview process.
Mattie and Vince, I had an awesome time. Vince, your family is wonderful and I’m so glad I got to spend some time getting to know them in between all the running around. Mattie, you know I love your family, they’re amazing. To everyone else that are old friends or new, it was great catching up, and awesome to meet the rest of you between all my running around.
After the break are over 150 images from the wedding. As usual I’ll throw in various captions here and there. Otherwise simply enjoy them, I liked a lot.