We heart Minnesota so much that we had a destination wedding here. And by destination, I only mean that we had a wedding in a town that neither of us are from or have ever lived. Tofte, MN to be exact. Population 246. If you are familiar with Minnesota, you are surely aware of the North Shore, but for those of you unacquainted, the term “North Shore” refers to the area of Northern Minnesota that borders the shores of Lake Superior. Along the North Shore and Scenic Highway 61 there are many picturesque towns from Duluth to Grand Marais, with Tofte being somewhere in the middle.
We chose Tofte because it is home to Bluefin Bay Resort, which sits right on the shores of the beautiful Lake Superior. Over our six year relationship, we enjoyed many trips to the North Shore including camping trips, a snowshoe/cross-country skiing stay in a yurt, a stay at the historic Naniboujou Lodge, and stays in Duluth to run the world-famous Grandma’s Marathon a few times. So it made sense for us since we wanted something low-key, fun, and scenic. It caused a fair amount of drama only being able to invite 100 people, but once we committed, we made it work by sticking to what we wanted and not giving in to all of the external pressure that comes along with weddings.
So 2010 was the summer of wedding planning for us. We planned it all in six months, and we did a lot of things ourselves. We created our own save-the-dates, invitations, programs, menu cards, table numbers, welcome signs and wine bottle labels.
We were a little hesitant to take one of the only open dates of September 11. A lot of people didn’t want that date for obvious reasons, but after thinking about it, we realized that every day is a good day to celebrate life, love, and the people important to you. We did honor our troops by auctioning off some of Dain’s artwork and donating the proceeds to a charity that directly helps service members.
We wanted our wedding to be unique so we held it outside right on the rocky shoreline of the lake. Thank goodness the morning rain cleared out, but we did have a back up plan. A word to the wise…if you would be devastated by having to use a last minute contingency plan, you should never ever plan an outdoor wedding, especially in Minnesota, where our weather routinely messes with our minds.
Then we held our reception at the Surfside ballroom, which overlooks the lake from a little distance away. We didn’t necessarily do all of the traditional wedding things (no first dance, no bouquet/garter toss, to name a few), but we did it our way and we aren’t looking back.
And now we are on to bigger and better things with incredible memories of the day we made it official.
***stay tuned for in-depth descriptions of the DIY elements from our wedding