Where to Start?
Knowing that we live in one of the coldest states – Minnesota – I figured we might as well embrace the frigid season and throw ourselves our first Disney Princess wedding inspired from the movie Frozen, with a wedding for Elsa at non other then the beautiful Eden Prairie Ice Castles. The groom obviously had to be Jack Frost, since both him and Elsa share such similar character stories – orphans at young ages, shy, and gifted with magical powers of making ice and snow.
I studied the couple, so to speak, and treated them as if they were really a client asking me for advice on how to plan their wedding. I, along with countless other talented vendors, took these elements into account for every detail. When writing the wedding invites, neither Queen Elsa nor Jack Frost had parents to include when addressing their guests so, together with Alanna Andes, we wrote an invite that was appropriate for their family situation. When making place cards, Alanna and I thought they would likely enjoy a small intimate wedding, and the location would most definitely be snow covered and icy.
Once I had the plan in place, I realized (at the behest of my husband), that it might be too much for one person to take on by themselves, so I began looking for wedding vendors that would want to join me in creating this amazing wedding. I managed to put together a dream team of vendors that were able to bring along their own great ideas to add to our frozen wedding and really kick this thing into full gear.
We put weeks of work into getting everything just right, so when the day came to finally shoot the wedding – we couldn’t have been more excited. We all met up one morning at the Marriott Minneapolis Southwest to get ready with hair and makeup. The Marriott was kind enough to donate this gorgeous banquet room to us so we could have plenty of space to get our models ready and make snow cones.
We went to work getting our models ready for their big wedding day. Lisa Herman of Simonson’s Salon in Maple Grove and Cassie Van of Be-YOU-tiful Expressions did an incredible job of transforming our model into a very majestic and beautiful, Queen Elsa. Their hardest work though, was probably in transforming our male model into a charming, yet cheeky, Jack Frost. From brown hair to silver, Lisa did a great job making it look fanciful yet realistic.
The groom was wearing a gray 3 piece suit from Express with a teal tony polka dotted tie and black dress boots from DSW.
The bride wore a simple cut out destination dress from David’s Bridal with beautiful silver detailed heels, Crystal cuffs, bracelets, dangle earrings, and a velvet blue clutch from the beautiful Enchante fashion boutique located in downtown Stillwater MN. Enchante’s owner Sarah Quickel had gorgeous mother of the bride dresses and darling bridesmaid gifts, from lip glosses to scarves, filling her enchanting little shop. We loved having her style the bride with subtle, yet glam, accessories.
For hair, the bride wore a long braided updo with tiny crystal picks placed throughout her braid and a custom hair headband donated by Rags to Stitches by accessory artist, Vanessa. Elsa wore this gorgeous headband for the reception and ordered a second one to double as a garter. We also had a custom bow tie for Sven the reindeer to wear as her ring bearer.
After everyone was finished getting their hair and makeup done, we headed over to the Ice Castles of Minnesota – the obvious location for a #FrozenWedding. They were kind enough to let us have the palace to ourselves for the morning so we could get all the right set ups and shots. We hustled to get everything set up and took some pictures of the details while our diva models waited in the warm hotel room.
We went with white chairs for both the aisle and table setting. They were provided by A-Z rental located in Eden Prairie and they were awesome. Things ran a little late in the morning and A-Z rental graciously made two trips out to us to make sure we got what we needed. I would highly recommend using them as they offer a great price and quality rentals.
We used blankets in hues of blues and whites to drape over the chairs for guests to keep warm. Realistically we felt that large warmers, a hot cocoa bar, and a short ceremony would make for a totally realistic outdoor winter ceremony if someone dreamed of having one. Custom snowflake ear warmers were made from Brother Earth Boutique for each seat for guests to have as a thank you gift – which is probably a must have at a winter wedding like this one.
Floral Designer, Jennifer Stehr of Jennifer Stehr Designs, made beautiful ice lanterns to fill with candles for down the aisle and were paired with hundreds of small votives and storm globes from Ikea. It was simple and beautiful making the ice castles the main focal point during the ceremony.
A little chalk board sign was placed at the entrance of the aisle and could have been drawn with so many cute Frozen sayings but we went with, “Baby it’s cold outside” instead because seriously we were working in the single digits for a high of 12 degrees that particular day.
Custom lockets were made for the bridesmaids and most importantly the maid of honor, Anna, Queen Elsa’s little sister. Amy, of Simply by Amy Lynn makes these charming necklaces and they were most certainly the perfect touch to say thank you to Elsa’s most cherished friends and family.
The flowers were simple shades of cream and green with crystal accents and a glam chic stem. They were provided by the talented Jennifer Stehr Designs.
The over the top candy buffet not only tasted delicious, with candy provided by The CandyLand Store of Stillwater, but looked absolutely breathtaking when styled by Nancy Hilliard of The Candy Dish. Taking simple treats and making them into literal pieces of artwork (she drilled holes into gumballs), Nancy transformed this wedding into something other worldly. From the table settings, to the candy buffet, to the overall wedding planing and vision, she brought her professionalism and ability to create within a theme a complete success.
Alanna Andes, paper artist extraordinaire took full creative expression when making the glamorous crystal chic wedding invites, sugar sparkled place cards, and candy buffet labels. She created the entire look of just a few details noted early on from the blue wedding color, bride’s love for diamonds and ice, and the simple wedding party. The simple elegance of these invites has me swooning over the possibilities for winter weddings.
Finally, we were ready for the wedding. Queen Elsa and Jack Frost said their vows at the alter as they committed to keep winter beautiful and pure by having open hearts and letting the things in their past go. Snowball fights, hot cooca, and fire pits would likely have been roaring to keep guests happy and warm.
The videographer, Olivia of Olivia Shay Film Co., was hard at work catching sweet moments between the bride and groom and capturing the beauty of the details in a way only video can do. I, Ashleigh Rachel of Ashleigh Rachel Photography was doubling as photographer and art director for the day, finding myself forgetting Elsa and Jack Frost weren’t a real couple and wanting to get the portraits beyond perfect for them for a lifetime to come. I think I got them anyways!
Everyone was excited to celebrate the newlyweds in a way that truly embraced the frozen theme. Sven naturally ate his fair share of carrots, Olaf ate more snow cones then accounted for, and Anna and Kristoff dreamed of their warm August wedding.
White plates were decorated with diamond crusted snowflakes and sugar crystal wands from CandyLand. The silver sequin tablecloth was enhanced with large diamond candelabras, bouquets, and, sugar crusted place name cards.
Warm soups, hearty plates of free range organic prime rib, russet garlic potatoes, with a side of roasted zucchini & squash would likely have been served with homemade buttered bread and endless cups of hot chocolate and champagne. Instead of serving cake, they served snow cones with an adorable sign that read, “Do you want to build a … snow-cone?” Nancy Hilliard of The Candy Dish, made snow cones look more glam and wedding worthy then I even imagined possible. To end the night and send off the couple, XL sparklers and sparkly artificial snow was tossed in celebration of this one of a kind love between Elsa and Jack Frost.
What I Learned?
When it was all said and done – we were exhausted, I couldn’t feel my legs, and I thought that maybe I had frost bite – but it was worth it. To see a team of brilliant artists come together, give of their talents, and put together one heck of a wedding on a budget – it was an incredible experience. The dedication that every one of these vendors had to brave the freezing cold temperatures was impressive, and though cliche, it warmed my heart. How on earth our Elsa model managed to take these photos, without looking half as cold as I know she was, blows my mind. It felt great to be part of a team and to make such an incredible dream come true. I hope that it inspires you to dream big for your winter wedding and encourages you to be creative.
The Vendor List
A huge thanks to our vendors for making this happen. There is no way we could have done this without any one of them. Each one brought something amazingly valuable and if I could do every single wedding with all of these vendors I would be one very happy wedding photographer.
- Ceremony Location was at the Ice Castles of Minnesota in Eden Prairie
- Getting Ready Location was at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest located minutes from downtown Minneapolis
- Chairs, Tables & Silverware were provided by family owned business, A-Z Rental
- Gourmet Candies & Popcorn provided by CandyLand the Store
- Snow-Cone & Candy Buffet, Table Decor & Place Settings by Wedding Planner, Nancy Hilliard of The Candy Dish
- Wedding Invites, Place cards, & Candy Labels by Event Planner, Alanna Andes
- Floral Design created by floral artist, Jennifer Stehr, of Jennifer Stehr Design
- Lifestyle Wedding Photographer & Art Director by professional photographer Ashleigh Rachel, of Ashleigh Rachel Photography
- Videographer by professional videographer, Olivia Mann, of Olivia Shay Film Co.
- Makeup & Lashes by Makeup Artist, Cassie Van, of Be-YOU-tiful Expressions
- Hair & Styling by Hair Stylist, Lisa Herman, of Simonson’s Salon Maple Grove
- EarWarmer Wedding Gift artist, Abby Straus, of Brother Earth Boutique
- Necklace Wedding Gift artist Amy Anderson, of Simply by Amy Lynn
- Wedding Gown provided by David’s Bridal (it was actually a former bride’s dress – I shot Sam and Mitch’s dreamlike winter wedding last year!)
- Hair Accessory artist Vanessa Sampson, of Rags to Stitches
- Shoes, Jewelry, and Clutch provided by Enchante the Boutique
- Hair Pins provided by Bella Bridal Boutique
- And a special thanks to my husband, William Harris, for playing Jack Frost – and for his work, Dollar Hobby, for letting him have the day off.