laura loves… october edition
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All of a sudden, the kids no longer need me to play with them! Most mornings after breakfast, they play so well with each other all the way until lunch and nap time! I love hearing their silly little conversations and their belly laughs from another room. But at the same time, I’m all, ‘what do I do with all this free time?!’ This month, we got to spend some quality time with both sets of the kids’ grandparents, even surprising my dad for a belated 70th birthday party! I’m still dreaming of the homemade German Chocolate pound cake we made.

For Halloween this year, I dressed the kids up as us – Elodie the photographer, and Milo the park manager. They still don’t know about trick or treating, so we just get dressed, take some pictures, and call it good! :-)

laura loves… september edition
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September was a bit of a mixed bag! I enjoyed some really lovely weddings and our sixth wedding anniversary. I did not enjoy both kids getting sick at the same time, but thankfully their grandparents were here to help out and the colds cleared up in a few days.A question I get asked by many other wedding photographers and professionals is, “How many weddings do you have booked for the year?” Honestly, I can never answer them. I send out my pricing when I’m available, and I give referrals when I’m not. Every year, I am thankful to get to work with the people I do, and every year I claim it’s the ‘best year yet.’ Which is equivalent to those ‘best day ever’ signs that you see at every wedding now – each of those days and each of these years really do feel like the best ever because of who I get to work with!

This year, it really does feel great to be winding down with weddings in September. We’ve had a cold spell these last couple weeks and have already re-arranged our living room to enjoy the fireplace. There is no place I would rather be than snuggling with my husband and our kids in our cozy living room! But who knows, maybe by this time next month I’ll be going  stir-crazy and asking all my friends if we can come over to play! ;-)

Speaking of the kids, Elodie is becoming more grown up and motherly and patient every day. I overhear her playing with Milo, “My hands are full, I can’t help you right now, can you please be patient?” One morning while getting ready for church, she said “I’m going to go get Milo’s church clothes. He’s going to be so stylish!” So helpful and thoughtful! On the other hand, she’s also still a toddler when she says ‘pack-pack’ instead of backpack, ‘heart beep’ instead of heartbeat, ‘ear muffins’ instead of earmuffs, and all the goofy made-up words she says before giggling like crazy.

Milo is starting to talk non-stop, trying to say anything we say. If he doesn’t want his stinky diaper changed, he runs away saying ‘keen cheeks,’ meaning he wants me to think he’s got ‘clean cheeks’ and doesn’t need a fresh diaper. He finishes our meal-time prayers with a big ‘AMEN,’ leads me to the kitchen saying ‘nack’ for ‘snack,’ and puts his foot in my face saying ‘ock’ for me to fix his sock that is falling off. He also said, ‘mo’ meat’ the other night which made his grandma really proud, as that’s what Milo’s daddy said when he was Milo’s age.

I hope you are all enjoying little lovely moments in this changing of seasons!

lex + heidi MARRIED!! Custer State Park wedding photographer
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In my mind, mid-September has always been the perfect time for a wedding. Even before I was married, I was photographing weddings at that time and thinking “this weather is perfect – not summer, not fall, just right.” Then, my husband and I got married mid-September because it was the only date that worked for the photographers I wanted. Now, I get to share an anniversary with this lovely couple you see here!

Lex + Heidi traveled down from North Dakota for a perfect South Dakota September wedding day. The morning was foggy, but by lunchtime the sun came out and shined so bright for these two!
After the ceremony, we had a full hour before Lex + Heidi were needed at the reception, so we went on a little adventure! :-)  Lex + Heidi – Thank you so much for having me at your wedding! I loved being able to create beautiful wedding photos that you will hopefully treasure as much as I treasure my own photos from September 15th a few years ago! :-) Thanks for letting me take you on a little adventure as well! I hope you had a fun couple of days here, and enjoy your honeymoon this winter!

eric + brianna MARRIED!! Black Hills wedding photography
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South Dakota weather can never be planned, but somehow Eric + Brianna Mae timed their wedding out perfectly! We had waves of sunshine come and go, then overcast for their ceremony with just a few sprinkles at the end, rain on the drive to ‘just married’ photos at the lake, then the clouds parted and everything dried out for dinner!

Three details I really loved about their wedding: 1) they planted a tree for their unity ceremony using dirt from the homes they grew up at, 2) they had a live band play for their reception, and 3) they harvested their own wedding dinner!!! Buffalo and rainbow trout had never tasted better than they did that night!! Another lovely wedding officiated by the ever-amazing Mary Maisey-Ireland from Your Joyful Wedding. Eric and Brianna asked me if I hear a lot of the same things over and over, and I really don’t! Mary works closely with each of her couples to create a unique, one-of-a-kind ceremony and it’s spot on every single time. One thing I did notice about this wedding was the use of fishing terms, like ‘catch’ and ‘hook’ that she seamlessly weaved into her readings. One of the most awkward, hilarious wedding exits I’ve ever witnessed! They picked a very special song to walk out to, and waited a solid 45 seconds until the main chorus started. Everyone was looking at them, wondering why they weren’t going anywhere. But it was so worth it – it was Brianna’s favorite part of the day! This here, is the queen of his double wide trailer! hahaha!! So we *almost* dodged the rain on their wedding day. The downpour let up, we walked to the shore from my car, and a little trail of a shower swept over them and created this sparkly magic!! We came back to the reception and their families were switching out soaked tablecloths for dry ones, while The Friday Nighters played on. I could have watched this group play all night! With the rapidly changing weather, they had to re-tune between songs, but they all kept going and had a great time!A few clouds lingered, and the Black Forest Inn provided the perfect patio for dinner.Not sure I’ve ever taken a picture like this before, but this was the part of the wedding they were most looking forward to (and rightly so)! Eric + Bmae – Thanks for being so chill and hilarious! Weddings like yours are a real treat – so much fun and so little stress!!! I hope your time in the Black Hills was awesome as always. And so you know, I’m pretty sure I saw a falling star within five minutes of leaving that night, so keep making those memorable commitments to each other!! The universe is rooting for you! ;-)

david + marcy MARRIED!! Sylvan Lake Wedding
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David + Marcy could not have planned a more perfect September South Dakota State Park wedding. The details from Timeless Weddings & Events were so beautiful, as were the flowers from Jenny’s Floral. But my favorite part of David + Marcy’s wedding came from up above – the clear blue skies providing warm sunshine and the perfect breeze to keep everyone comfortable.

Also my favorite was David + Marcy themselves. After having photographed them twice for engagement pictures (because we just had so much fun the first time around and wanted to do it again), they were so at ease in front of the camera. So many last-minute wedding day details can be stressful, but the photo portions of the day were a breeze.

Can we take a moment to talk about Marcy’s dress? You see, she had ordered a beautiful mermaid-style gown with a tulle overskirt, but after alterations were made, she could hardly breathe, let alone sit down in it! So this beautiful number was off the rack, and the veil was made specifically for her. Marcy was comfortable and so she practically radiated beauty and confidence!! And her amazing updo by Tancy at Elite Hair Design helped boost that ‘beauty level’ up an extra notch. ;-)Memorial Day weekend at Sylvan Lake is nuts. Thank goodness for Photoshop! ;-) I loooooove stolen glances anytime throughout the day – especially during ceremonies when the officiant has said something that pulls a heartstring. Mary from Your Joyful Wedding creates and delivers the most beautiful ceremonies – it’s always a treat and an honor to get to work alongside her!! The plan for photos was to climb this rock immediately after their receiving line. The light was perfect, the amount of time before we had to get back to the reception was perfect, and the breeze was BEYOND perfect. Just you wait and see. :-)

Also, Marcy purchased her wedding shoes based on the fact that she would be climbing a rock for photos. My kind of bride right there!!! Poor David was stuck with slippery rental shoes. Oops!!
It’s very possible I shed a tear when I took this photo, and I know it has caused many other tears to fall since sharing it online a couple days ago. This is exactly what wedding photographer dreams are made of!!!
Okay so one more favorite thing about this wedding – the rock candy geode on the cake!!! David + Marcy – Oh man, how do I even begin to thank you for having me photograph you? I loved every minute of your wedding day, and I tried to savor it as best I could because I didn’t want it to end! Don’t be alarmed if I print up a few of these photos and put them up in my own home. Love you both, and I hope these first few months of life as newlyweds go smoothly with the move. Text friends forever, mmkay? ;-)