Native American-Inspired Wedding | Stillwater, MN

June 24, 2021
brides exchange rings at their native-inspired wedding

This gorgeous Native American-inspired wedding, full of much culture and meaning and beauty, was one of the hottest weddings I’ve ever worked. I loved how Tooli, who is Native American, wove her cultural traditions in throughout the day. The joy this family shared and how much they loved these two women, celebrating their wedding during pride month (how perfect?!) was incredible. I truly loved everything about photographing this day for Sam and Tooli.

I don’t even know where to start in telling you this story. The story of this perfectly (but also insanely) hot day. Actually, that’s the perfect place to start. We’re talking actual temperatures at 98 degrees in Minnesota in early June.

Bride's mother tells a story at the reception of their native-inspired wedding

The significance of that heat wasn’t clear until late in the evening. Not until Tooli’s mama got behind the mic to tell us a story. (I’m probably not getting all of the details right, so I’m so sorry to any of Tooli’s family who are reading!)

But basically it went like this: Tooli was born on a hotter-than-hell, humid-as-can-be day. Tooli’s grandma told her mom that this meant all the big, most imporant days in that little girl’s life would be just like this one. Uncomfortably hot and humid. (Like a 98 degree day in Minnesota, for instance.) I’ll never forget that story. Or the goosebumps I got hearing it seeing how perfectly it lined up with their day.

I’ve never been to a wedding that wove in tradition, storytelling and meaning in the way this one did. From Tooli’s custom Native American-inspired wedding dress, to the blanket ceremony at their wedding, to the prayer Tooli’s mom prayed over them in her native language, it was an honor to document it all.

I can’t wait to share more photos and stories from this perfect day. Until then, enjoy these gorgeous details that Tooli and Sam spread throughout their wedding day.

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