February 5, 2019


In northern Minnesota, many of our social gatherings occur around a fire. We’re not talking a couple logs for roasting weenies and marshmallows, oh no. We mean business up here, so our fires are often rip-roaring, flames-reaching-for-the-sky bonfires. It is hard to find a Friday or Saturday night that does not lend itself to a little ignition, a little spark, a little kindling.

One night at one bonfire, it was more than just the wood that was heating up. Travis–whose friends joke about his impossible “must have” lists for girlfriends, was told he just had to meet Stephanie; Stephanie was basically told the same. Both went into the meeting optimistic but realistic. No crazy expectations, no promises. It was just a meeting.

A meeting that lead to a date at Palmer’s in Hibbing. And then another. And then a kiss–a big one, as Trisha the officiant described. It all lead to Travis asking the most important man in Stephanie’s life, her son Christian, if he could marry his mom.  

Christian said yes, as did Stephanie, which led to a wonderful winter wedding at the edge of the wilderness the first Saturday in February.

When her planning began, Stephanie had hoped that there would be snow and that it wouldn’t be too cold. She joked that for sure February 2, 2019, would be the coldest day of the year. Imagine our collective worry, then, as the forecast for the Polar Vortex brought weather as frigid as -55 below zero within two days of the wedding; our collective sighs could no doubt be heard around the world when that coldness was replaced with temperatures nearly 90 degrees warmer, just in time for their weekend.

And it was the perfect weekend. A few sunrays glinted off the snow that hung on the boughs, the warmer weather made the shawl and a cape the perfect accessories more than a much-needed necessity, and the little log chapel in which these two said “I do” was cozy, quaint, and perfect for the intimate ceremony held before a couple dozen of the couple’s closest friends and family.

The ceremony itself was a total family affair. Christian was front and center with his mom and her love, all three making promises to one another. Travis also addressed the young man, letting him know how lucky he was and that he couldn’t ask for a better son. All three took turns participating in the creative unity ceremony Travis humorously called “The Angry Box”–a bottle of wine and two letters explaining their why were sealed in a box for a time when they need a reminder of their vows or on their fifth anniversary, whatever comes first.

After a weekend with a winter wonderland of a wedding, this couple is heading out into their married world by taking ten days away in the warmth and waters of Belize. After that, they will no doubt snuggle into married-ness as a family, enjoying day-to-day life and no doubt a bonfire or two.

Best of luck to you, Travis + Stephanie!! Congratulations again!!



V E N U E // Little Log Chapel and Wilderness Wedding Barn

C A T E R I N G // Cedar Creek Grille

H A I R  + M A K E  U P // Bala Spa

R I N G B O X  + W I N E B O X // Etsy    

Enjoyed this up north winter cabin chapel wedding? You may also want to read about this Gunflint Trail fall elopement or this summer camp wedding! Enjoyed this up north winter cabin chapel wedding? You may also want to read about this Gunflint Trail fall elopement or this summer camp wedding!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



At home on the road. Forever-focused on authenticity and the thrilling art of creation; always found in the moments that leave me breathless and in awe. 

After fourteen years as a high school educator, I stepped back through a door I thought was closed. Journalism came back into my life. Armed with a Masters of Arts in Communication, I was again challenged and prepared to tell the stories that would become history, but with a twist: It is now your legacy of love that I document. The tension I seek is that from every tear, smile, laugh, and moment of love on your wedding day. 


© 2015-2024 Kayla Lee Photography + Design LLC

Design by Tonic


Privacy Policy