Melissa & Parker | Duluth, MN Wedding Photography

An intimate micro wedding in Duluth, MN

An intimate micro wedding in Duluth, MN

Duluth has always been one of my favorite cities in Minnesota. Although I’m based in Minneapolis, I will take every opportunity possible to travel north – especially for wedding photography in Duluth. I was so thrilled when Melissa and Parker decided to work with me for their intimate Duluth-based wedding.


Planning and consulting with couples is a large part of my process – it’s important to me that each couple has the right amount of time to cover their photography needs. Melissa and Parker went the micro-wedding route (a small group of their 45 closest family and friends), and as such, together, we created a micro wedding photography package of four hours.


Our day started with getting ready photos and the wedding ceremony at Duluth’s historic Cotton Mansion. Cotton Mansion was built in 1908 by Joseph Cotton, who earned his money as a corporate attorney for US Steel, and an independent council for John D Rockefeller through the mid-1930s. The 16,000 square foot mansion is filled with original gorgeous hand-crafted details, including stone, exotic woods, Fifteenth Century Italian marble, hand-lain mosaics, and hand-crafted plaster frieze ceilings. It was a classy, stunning backdrop, and I would go back in a heartbeat (Fun Fact: I photographed the ceremony in my socks. The mansion’s original hardwoods are untreated, and they ask that you change into clean shoes, or go in socks. With only four hours of coverage to complete everything on our list, I chose the barefoot route).

After an intimate ceremony with their parents in attendance, Melissa, Parker and I took a few photos inside and outside the mansion before departing to Old Main Park. Old Main Park is what remains of the University of Minnesota – Duluth’s original “Old Main” building, which was mostly destroyed by a fire. Parker surprised Melissa with a visit from their puppy (he had discreetly texted me the day before with the heads-up). After photos at Old Main Park, we went to Chester Park for more Couples Photos. Chester Creek is my favorite park in Duluth – it feels like going to a state park along the north shore without ever leaving the city.

After Couples Photos, we joined the rest of Melissa and Parker’s guests at Pickwick Pub & Restaurant. Melissa and Parker greeted their guests, we finished family photos, and shared a couple toasts. After dinner, I took Melissa and Parker down to the shoreline of Lake Superior for dusk photos along the water. When we returned, they cut the cake and I enjoyed their beautiful dessert spread (I’m a sucker for a great dessert table). We finished the evening with a sparkler send-off, a special add-on as the cherry atop their beautiful day.

Congratulations Melissa and Parker!

Photography: Rachel Lahlum Photography
Bride’s Dress: The Wedding Shoppe – St. Paul
Getting Ready & Ceremony: The Historic Cotton Mansion – Duluth, MN
Photo Locations: Old Main Park; Chester Park; The Lakewalk
Reception & Dinner: Pickwick Restaurant & Pub
Sparklers: Wedding Day Sparklers

Melissa’s details were absolutely gorgeous!

A private, pre-ceremony first look between the bride and groom.

Cotton Mansion’s grand staircase is an elegant, classy way to make an entrance to your wedding ceremony!

A marriage on the front porch, with only their parents in attendance.

A shared kiss between the bride and groom inside the mansion’s grand foyer.

Couples photos at Chester Park! This park is in Duluth, but it feels more like the north shore.

A private dining wedding experience at Pickwick!

Lakeside photos after sunset along Duluth’s lakewalk.

A sparkler sendoff to end the evening!

I love photographing weddings! (I hope you can tell). Planning a wedding? I’d love to chat!