Zoe Deal Photo Co

Kat + Ryan | Woodsy Wisconsin Elopement


The St. Croix River Valley will always have a very special place in my heart. And if you’re looking to elope in Wisconsin, this could be the place. The rolling hills of eastern Minnesota + western Wisconsin welcome a plethora of beauties, from tall cliffs and lookouts to hidden waterfalls and lazy creeks.

Magical Landscapes

I spent my childhood exploring this landscape. My parents met as teens in this place, just yards from the steady heartbeat of the St. Croix. They brought me back time after time to explore and learn from the harsh rapids and deep potholes. But it wasn’t until high school that I visited Osceola, WI for the first time. The excursion with friends saw me peering over the edge of a steep waterfall and wading into the slow rapids of the river, being pulled lazily downstream.

Right in downtown Osceola, a staircase descends into the heart of the valley to Cascade Falls, a beautiful waterfall that crashes into the earth to create a narrow stream. A boardwalk and trail system winds with the stream as it connects with the St. Croix River under the Osceola-Scandia interstate bridge.

I chose this place to have my own senior photos taken. As photography became my path, I brought other high school grads here as well to celebrate their uncharted future under the canopy of deep green.

When I returned to the Midwest, I knew that this special place would welcome lovers just as willingly. I put together a little group of creatives, and we arrived just before sunset. As we descended the staircase into the valley, I took a deep breath. And the cool, endless breeze to open my eyes to Kat + Ryan’s playful yet quiet love. Perhaps someday, I’ll follow this feeling and elope in Wisconsin too.

A Wisconsin Elopement

This shoot is the second of my “Four Corners Styled Shoot Series.” The project is effort to rediscover my creative spirit + hone in on my photographic style through experimentation. Each of the four shoots dives into a different element: earth, water, fire and air.

For this woodsy styled elopement, I chose the word water and — by extension — the idea of dusk, calm, reflection, repose, love + doubt. I wanted this to feel as steady and immutable as river fog, to experiment with darkness and embrace passion + fluidity + silence.

From the start I knew Kat + Ryan were perfect for this vision. They are fun, silly + so kind to each other, but they’re also intentional, passionate and completely at ease in their lovers arms.

I also worked with a few local wedding vendors to make this vision a reality.

The stunning vintage dress comes from Sienna Cole Bridal in Forest Lake.

The fabulous Kirstin from K Kay Designs provided the stunning bangles + earrings.

The shoot signaled a huge pivot in my style + goals, and I hope these make you feel some sort of way. And if you’re planning to elope in Wisconsin, I’m here to help! Reach out via my contact page for more information about my packages and offerings.

If you’d like to see more from this project, the other shoots are available here:

Urban North Loop Styled Wedding(Earth)

Black Beach Styled Elopement (Fire)

Woodsy River Wisconsin Elopement (Water)

Here’s the full list of vendors and their Instagram usernames:

Photographer: Zoe Deal Photography | @zoedealphoto 

Dress: Sienna Cole | @siennacolebride

Models: Kathryn Charlotte + Ryan Yost | @mytwentyorsocents + @skateyost

Jewelry: K Kay Designs | @kkaydesigns

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