Offsite Location Hunting

There is one thing I have been very adamant about recently and that is having an off-site location to take photos with the bridal party and Mr. Sword on our wedding day.

I was never a girl who pictured or thought about a beautiful outdoor wedding. Sure, I love the sunshine on my skin, I love the smell of fresh air and a beautiful city skyline, but I have no problems getting married indoors. I’m an indoors girl at heart. Plus, the atrium at our hotel has high ceilings and tons of greenery so it feels very lush and homey at the same time. Perfect.

That said, I really, really want to take some photos outside on the Big Day! I just can’t stand the thought of every picture taken with indoor lighting when natural lighting is so amazing. Not to mention, no matter what the weather, I want to have photographic proof of it. How will I remember how cold or nice it felt on our wedding or how it looked outside if I have nothing to remember it by?

So come rain, snow, sleet or sunshine, we’ll be outside from about 12:00—2:00 pm on our wedding day capturing it all.

Our first off-site location idea was the famous Mall of America (yes, this isn’t outside but it was going to be the first stop of two). This was good in theory, but bad in reality. Mr. Sword loathes the thought of drones of tourists all staring at us (while I’d quite like that) and I loathe the thought of navigating our large group through said drones of tourists. Plus, my idea for a first look in the theme park was quickly thwarted by the ugly neon colors they have going on in there these days and the fact that you really can’t ask a bunch of people to move out of your way just so you can “get the shot.”

In any case, we tried to find some picturesque spots for photos and took some shots just because we were there scouting. But you won’t be seeing me in a wedding dress at the MOA anytime soon. Note the blurry patrons behind me.




Luckily, we had received a good suggestion from quite a few people who told us Centennial Lakes Park would be a great place for photos! In fact, our photographer has already shot a wedding there and it’s a very popular wedding venue, especially during the warmer months. So Mr. Sword and I decided to check it out while we were in town and we were not disappointed!

Centennial Lakes has tons of great photo opportunities for us and for our bridal party! We plan on doing an hour of just couple portraits and then having the bridal party join us after that and with the many options at Centennial Lakes, we’ll be able to stick with just one off-site location!

The icing on the cake is that Centennial Lakes is literally five minutes away from our Embassy Suites, so we won’t be wasting much time in vehicles transporting everyone back and forth. The goal was to find a location that was less than 10 minutes away and I’m so glad we accomplished that!

NOW you can picture Miss Sword in a wedding dress in all of these photos. And if anyone has a stellar idea for a “first look,” please pass it on! Right now I’m thinking we could walk up each side of this bridge to meet each other at the top. If only I wasn’t so damn klutzy”¦


Mom Sword is helping me pose in the photo below. I know they look a bit dirty, but I can picture our bridal party standing on these blocks looking quite posh.





Is anyone else obsessed with more urban or architectural photographs? I’m dying for photos like these. Parking garages for the win.


image via Pinterest/ Photo by Tracy Routh Photography


image via Pinterest/ Photo by Shannon Nicole Smith

Who knew a car barrier could be so sexy?!?


image via Pinterest/ Photo by Todd Pellowe

(all photos personal unless otherwise noted)

Are you going to take photos at an off-site location before or after your wedding? What do you think of photos in parking garages?


Mrs. Sword

Wedding Date:
March 2013
Nobody ”˜Scept You: A Bridal Brunch
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  1. Member
    elibas 285 posts, Helper bee @ 11:14 am

    I have always wanted to go to MOA; I’m super jealous.

  2. Member
    MrsPadlock2B 488 posts, Helper bee @ 12:06 pm

    I’m having three photo locations but they are all central to eachother only a 5 minute drive between each one. And we have hired a limo for the bridal party so we don’t have to worry about getting ourselves Anywhere. My photo locations are all different so that we get the most variety possible in the 2-3 hrs we have for photos. First is a botanical gardens that has lakes for reflection photos, bridges, gazebos, lush green lawns and trees n flowers. Next photo location is two lighthouses they also have urban type things around them including an old fashioned doorway from last century and concrete pylons sitting on a concrete boat ramp, plus the lighthouses are obvi high up on a cliff so fantastic views of the sea n in the other direction the mountains or city. N the third location is the beach which were timing to be there at sunset squee :).

  3. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 12:45 pm

    I am all for urban pictures. I’ve read about some brides feeling as though they interfere with the setting and ‘date’ the pictures, but personally that’s a plus! Are there parking garages with open-air tops near you, where you could maybe get a skyline shot as well?

  4. panda Bee
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:32 pm

    what a great idea, I need to go location scoping too! need to put that on my list of things to do!

  5. mstoadstool Bee
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:28 pm

    I’m picturing Mr. Sword waiting for you at the top of the stairs with his back to you, and you climbing them to meet him… just an idea 🙂

  6. Member
    samsmartypants 37 posts, Newbee @ 10:59 am

    We saw a bridal party getting their portraits done at Centennial Lake Park! Adorable, plus they got to warm up by the fire inside in between shots.

    Such a great idea to start scouting places – I definitely need to get on that!

  7. sword Bee
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:31 pm

    @elibas: It’s a fun place for sure!
    @MrsPadlock2B: Ohmigosh, your three locations sound amazing! Wish I had time for that!
    @StephK527: Great idea, I think my photographer is gonna look for another parking garage, and yay for someone else liking urban pics!
    @Miss Panda: For sure, I felt so much better once I had found a place.
    @Mrs. Toadstool: I kind of love that idea Mrs. Toadstool! I get goosebumps thinking about it.
    @samsmartypants: Awesome! Love to hear that.

  8. graywolf Bee
    graywolf 725 posts, Busy bee @ 6:04 am

    i like the blocks – thats just begging to be a party portrait! i like the last one too in the parking spaces…how big is the parking garage? maybe there’s a spot number 3## that could be your wedding date?

  9. sword Bee
    sword 1029 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:32 pm

    @Miss Gray Wolf: Great idea girl! And yes I’m so in love with the blocks!

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