Interview with Jamey Ritter of Bemused Design & Photography
We know we don’t have to tell you how important photography is for your wedding day!
Your photographer should be one of the very first vendors that you hire for your wedding, because they book up very quickly! And no two photographers are the same, each with their own style and personality, so be sure to do your research.
We love all the great advice that Jen Jensen of Ps 139 Photography gave us during her interview! Read ahead to hear more about her photography business, what her services include and her recommendations for those getting married in the Bayfield area!
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Ps 139 Photography.
So what is there to know? Well, I love people! Especially one certain man named Josh who has been my best friend and hero…I mean, husband for going on 21 years now and the four beautiful children we have been blessed with! I love being able to photograph the connection between people and the beauty that they have inside and out! The time in a student’s life before the end of their High School year, finally a senior! The awkward years for a child when they are about to be a teen and not really a kid anymore…helping that “tween” really gain confidence in who they are by seeing beautiful photographs of themselves. The wedding day of two people crazy in love who can’t wait to get to the honeymoon (oh man, I remember that like it was yesterday, not 21 years ago!). Kids running around crazy with parents who think they aren’t cooperating…I live that everyday…so that doesn’t phase me and I love to capture the realness of your children and family on camera so you can look back and remember how crazy and fun that stage of life is! This is what I love!
If I could choose one place to have a gift card or to win a shopping spree it would be an office supply store! Yep, that’s what I said, office supplies…the wonder of gel pens in medium or fine blue, pinks, purples, and black and mechanical pencils, Sharpee markers and highlighters and oh, the joy of sticky notes, all colors and shapes and sizes of sticky notes…makes me think of how God made you and me…wonderfully and joyfully and different, in all different shapes and sizes! That’s what Psalm 139 talks about and why my business is named what it is–because God made each of us fearfully and wonderfully and I want to showcase that amazing, beautiful creative creation to the world!
Photo of Jen Jensen taken by Luke and Cat Photography
How did you get into wedding photography?
I first started photography with families and then a friend of my sister asked me to do their wedding. I was SOOOO nervous! I rented gear I didn’t have yet, charged so little that it cost me money to do the wedding (oops!), found another photographer to shoot with me (insurance of two getting shots I might otherwise miss on my own, plus it’s someone to freak out with and rejoice with!), and we did the wedding day. There were tornado sirens going off in a nearby town close enough to hear them and a piece of my gear blew out of my hands in the wind and instantly sunk in the Fox River! I look back at those photos and some I’m impressed by and others I wish I could go back and edit them all over again!
I was told in my training that you’ll either love or hate weddings as a photographer. It actually took me a while to decide and when I started doing weddings the way I do I now LOVE wedding photography the most! I enjoy so much getting to know the bride and often the groom as well or the bride’s mom. I love traveling the journey with her, helping her to navigate through the months before the wedding. I love coaching the bride and groom along during their engagement session to know how to pose and not feel awkward. I absolutely love making the bride, groom, their wedding party and their family laugh and feel comfortable and not dread the photos of the day! I love the excitement and often tears of joy and gratitude when they see the first wedding photos I show them! I love how by the end of the day I feel like I’m a part of their family and they seem to feel the same about me!
What is the most challenging thing about wedding photography?
Wedding photography has many many challenges from the difficult family members, posing the different shapes and sizes of the couples, sometimes the drama of the day, the varied lighting and new locations but those things don’t bother me too much — this is a quote from my website and I mean it: “Crabby people? Let me help with that. Chaos? I won’t stress out. Wardrobe malfunction? We’ll be patient and make the most of the time. Big noisy family? Got that too, so no problem!
I think the most challenging part is the weather—something I can’t control but we just have to make the best of it and relax and have fun while getting the shots that we need! Patience and baby powder has always paid off with weather that isn’t ideal! Oh and clear umbrellas—what a genius idea!!
I would say that my style is clean, bright and timeless. I love to have fun and see natural laughter and I love romance, intimacy and tender moments as well! Connection between people in a photo is very important to me as well!
I like to have a complete experience for my couples. I don’t want them to miss out on what I know makes that experience memorable, enjoyable and worthwhile! I include an engagement session so that we can get to know one another and how we all work around the camera. The first wedding I shot, the groom never smiled for the camera! If I had done an engagement session ahead of that I would have been prepared for the wedding day with tricks up my sleeve. I also include personal consultations to see the wedding album options, get to know each other to see if we’re a good fit and to plan the schedule for the day so we don’t miss any essential photos and care for the couple and the wedding party well throughout the day. A 2nd photographer is included as well—this allows for more photos, more coverage and more fun! Also included is an amazing mega album that looks and feels incredible! One of my grooms ended up booking with me because he was so impressed with the album and said they had to have it! All of the digital images that I edit (generally 70-100 per hour of coverage) are also included and shared on an easy to use and beautiful to look at online gallery that can be shared with family and friends around the world! I like to spoil my couples so some super gifts and surprises are also a part of my most commonly selected wedding collection!
Photo Credit: Ps 139 Photography
Advice I would give and always given when a bride or groom inquires with me is:
- Find a photographer that you connect with, that you know has reputable work both inside and outdoors, has great reviews and includes a CONTRACT. Book early and talk with him/her about the timeline of the day and when the best light is to have the ceremony and the majority of the photos. Be willing to be flexible to get what they say is the best light!
- Book a wedding coordinator to help you with the day, especially if you are coming to Bayfield as a destination wedding. She will help you take a lot of stress off and make the day even more special!
- Ask your coordinator or your photographer for recommendations for videographers, venues and caterers, booking those next.
- Real flowers and bigger more colorful flowers photograph better than artificial and small.
- Remember that what lasts after the day is the photography, videography and your vows! Don’t skimp on those areas and you will have no regrets!
Here in Bayfield, Wisconsin we don’t hibernate inside all winter waiting for summer to come. We embrace the beautiful snow, cold, ice caves and the many outdoor activities and sports. Mollie + Isaac did not disappoint with their outdoor January wedding.
Read more about this beautiful winter wedding along with their advice for planning a winter wedding of your own!
Photo by JaneCane Photography
Isaac is a full time fire fighter and EMT in Burnsville, MN . I own my own hair and makeup business and do lots and lots of weddings! Isaac and I met a few years before we started dating at our CrossFit gym in the cities, we quickly become best of friends and didn’t see anything beyond that. All of our friends thought a little bit different and asked when we were going to start dating! Once we finally decided to go for it we never looked back, and each day was better than the last! We now have a perfect little baby boy Axel and couldn’t be more thrilled for our little family! We can’t wait for forever!
We had a very laid back casual outdoor January wedding! I was on Madeline Island with family and a few close friends getting really at a family home, took the ferry across bright and early so I could be able to style Isaac’s hair… he had strict orders of keeping his eyes shut.
We then traveled to Isaac’s family’s dock on Lake Superior to do our first look, we couldn’t have picked a better location! Then off to Good Thyme for our ceremony where my brother officiated our big “I Dos.” Someone was definitely watching out for us- gave us 40 degree weather in January! We then ate a wonderful brunch and our perfect day was complete.
Isaac was born and raised in Bayfield and I have family connections to the area, having traveled there a lot growing up. It seemed the perfect place, and not far for the majority of our family.
The advice I tell all of my brides – Don’t worry and stress about the small things, no one is going to notice besides you. Think about the big picture and the outcome of the day: getting to marry your best friend!
Did you get engaged or married in Bayfield? Did you spend your honeymoon here with your newlywed? We are searching for real love stories, taken place right here in Bayfield, Wisconsin!
Named the most romantic town in Wisconsin by Discover Wisconsin, Bayfield is perfect for honeymoons, weddings, elopements and getaways. We would love to learn more about you and feature your love story!
Photo Credit: Studio10 Photography
What do you need to do?
For the chance to be featured on our blog, please comment directly on this blog post or onto the original Facebook post with the following:
1. Is your love story a proposal, wedding or honeymoon?
2. Date of your love story
3. A little summary of your story
4. Bonus: A picture of you two during your time here!
This is open for couples, if you are a wedding vendor please do not submit your client’s story. You are welcome to tag them, but it is up to the actual couple to submit.
Nothing is as beautiful as the never ending white snow and pine trees here in Bayfield during the winter. You can incorporate both pine trees and branches throughout your entire wedding, really embracing the winter forest theme. We have gathered some of our favorite ideas to help inspire your winter wedding!
Bring the outdoors in for your ceremony; pine trees and branches make a beautiful addition to your space! Feeling adventurous? Bundle up in a fur shawl and have your ceremony outdoors in the snow!
Photo Credit: Alison Conklin Photography
Set the mood for your winter wedding by sending stationery that reflects your theme!
Keep the forest theme strong by incorporating the outdoors into your centerpieces! Pine branches, tree slices, and birch bark are just a few ideas to go along with a winter forest wedding. Add candles or fairy lights to make the mood very warm and cozy!
Photo Credit: JoPhoto
Photo Credit: Erin Kate Photo
Although favors are becoming optional these days, if you do decide to give your guests a favor choose an eco-friendly gift like pine tree plants!
The famous Old Rittenhouse Inn is an appealing venue for many brides and grooms who want to incorporate the historic charm of Bayfield into their special day. Whether looking for a place for guests to stay, a location for the rehearsal/groom’s dinner or a special venue for the wedding itself (or all of the above!) – The Old Rittenhouse Inn provides an ideal backdrop for your Bayfield wedding.
We spoke with Wendy Phillips, the Wedding and Event Director at Old Rittenhouse Inn, to learn more about their venue and everything it has to offer.
Wendy prides herself in being an organized and detailed person when planning your wedding from afar. Read ahead to hear what advice she offers and what she can do for you and your wedding, elopement or honeymoon!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Old Rittenhouse Inn.
Old Rittenhouse Inn was started by my in-laws 41 years ago. Interestingly enough, I started my first job here when I was 16, met my husband and ended up getting married here! I have been the Wedding & Events Director for the last 13 years. Old Rittenhouse Inn was the first bed and breakfast in Wisconsin 41 years ago. Now it is comprised of 2 Victorian mansions and a guest cottage. We offer 20 rooms all year around along with gourmet dining.
What services does Old Rittenhouse Inn provide for weddings and honeymoons?
For weddings we offer full service, wedding and event planning. We can do as little or as much as desired. We can refer officiants, photographers, florists, musicians, and bakeries and provide music, chairs, all of the setup and cleanup of the event, catering services, full wine and liquor, and lodging services. For smaller elopements we can even provide witnesses!
For honeymoons we offer a special Honeymoon Package, which includes a room of your choice, a candlelight dinner at Landmark Restaurant, homemade sweets, cookies & bottle of champagne for your room, a keepsake Old Rittenhouse Inn ornament, a hand-crafted mug with glazed Old Rittenhouse Inn, and a choice of two Bayfield preserves.
How many weddings to date have taken place at your venues?
In the last 13 years since I have been the Wedding & Event Director we have done more than 300 weddings. Weddings have been taking place at Old Rittenhouse Inn since opening 41 years ago, so that number would be much larger!
Tell us a little bit about the process of hiring you to plan a wedding.
We offer a free consultation and tour for anyone who is interested. After determining the clients needs we provide them with a general proposal. Once someone has determined they want the Old Rittenhouse Inn for their wedding, we require a deposit and signed contract. After receiving the deposit and signed contract, we start the planning process! I do a majority of the planning during the winter time, which couples appreciate having most of the details worked out far in advance.
Tell us about elopements.
Elopements have become very popular in the last 4-5 years, this may be due to the fact that we began heavily marketing elopements around that time. We have an elopement package that is basically a one-stop-shop. We cover all of the major things people would be looking for in an elopement. Typically elopements are for 2-10 people, and we can provide witnesses if needed.
Do you have many couples who were married there return in the years to follow?
Many couples return every year for anniversaries. It is really sweet to see people come back year after year and eventually come with babies in tow. I have couples come back that were married by my in-laws years ago.
Do you have any recommendations for brides looking to get married in Bayfield?
I highly recommend you plan in advance, especially for the larger weddings. There are a limited amount of venues that can cater to larger groups, and they book up quickly. Keep in mind lodging can book up quickly too. All in all, Bayfield is gorgeous. There are so many neat things that people do these days with their weddings. I say do it! Bayfield is more natural to me, orchards, woods, and gardens offer many pretty and unique experiences.
What is a piece of advice you tell all of your clients?
The biggest thing I stress to all of my clients is don’t forget your marriage license! One time I had someone show up with a Minnesota license. You need to be very careful with marriage licenses. Couples can overlook it, leave it until last minute or just not prepare for it as they should be. Educate yourselves on the laws as far as which state/county you live in and what documents you need to bring with you.
Married on a frozen Lake Superior – now that is a winter wedding!
Every year the channel separating Bayfield and Madeline Island freezes over, becoming thick enough to drive back and forth on. Locals plow and sand the route, creating a way to get back and forth. Ryan, who grew up in Bayfield, and Shui, his bride, have a love for Lake Superior and decided to take full advantage of the Ice Road in a completely unique way! Read about their wedding and how they went about getting married in the middle of winter out on the beautiful ice in Bayfield.
Image by Riverstone Photography
Ryan and Shui had an outdoor winter ceremony on February 28, 2015 on the Lake Superior Ice Road between Bayfield and Madeline Island. A small, intimate ceremony is exactly what this couple had in mind. With 12 in-person guests and family Facetiming from China, they had their unique ceremony on Lake Superior. Ryan has family in Bayfield and always loved Lake Superior. Shui’s name actually translates to water – so it was no surprise that they wanted to incorporate Lake Superior into their ceremony.
Around two weeks before their wedding date, Ryan’s mother made the suggestion of getting married on the Ice Road. Since they were planning on having a small, quick ceremony they knew this could work! They found a spot on the Ice Road where they could be out of the way of traffic and set up an arch. Everything fell together perfectly and they had the unique wedding they were hoping for. Following their ceremony they quickly bundled up and had a small reception at Ryan’s parents’ house. Then this past August they had a large reception at the Bayfield Lakeside Pavilion.
Image by Riverstone Photography
To prepare for an outdoor winter wedding, the couple made sure to dress in many layers. February 28 ended up being quite a cold day, but that didn’t stop any of their guests from celebrating with them. Their plan B if it was too cold or if the Ice Road wasn’t open was to either go to one of the Bayfield marinas or Ryan’s parents’ property. Either option would still keep them outside and near the water – like they wanted. For any couple looking to get married outside in the winter, they would recommend to dress very warm and to stress to your guests that it can get very, very cold out on the ice. Ryan and Shui also agree that an outdoor winter wedding is easiest when the ceremony is quick and the guest list is short, in case plans need to be changed last minute.
Ryan and Shui are very happy with how their wedding turned out. They said their guests were excited to attend the unique ceremony and everyone had a really fun time. Not many people can say they were married on the ice of Lake Superior or even attended a wedding out on the ice! If their story has inspired you to take advantage of the Ice Road for your own wedding, please visit here to learn more about the Ice Road.