lex + heidi MARRIED!! Custer State Park wedding photographer
categories & archives >>

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
categories & archives >>

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
categories & archives >>

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? ;-)

tarrise + amy MARRIED!! Sioux Falls wedding
categories & archives >>

I thought the Black Hills were humid this summer, and then I went to Sioux Falls for Tarrise and Amy’s wedding and every time I stepped outside, I instantly felt sweaty everywhere! Thankfully most of their wedding festivities were indoors (with plenty of a/c) and none of us actually melted into a puddle. While inside, it was easy to forget about the sticky weather because of all the lovely moments and details! Like these gorgeous dahlias and roses! And her Kate Spade Keds! And Amy’s first look with her dad!  Somehow I convinced Tarrise and Amy and their wedding party to take a few photos outside at a park. Everything was SO GREEN and they all looked SO GREAT and we were all SO THANKFUL for those tiny, sporadic breezes! Those tiny, sporadic breezes made Amy’s veil flow so beautiful, I couldn’t help but take just a few extra pictures of the new Mr. and Mrs. Amy + Tarrise – Thank you SO MUCH for having me come all the way to Sioux Falls for your wedding! I may complain about the humidity, but I will always be grateful for being a part of your day! I hope your first few days as a married couple have been fantastic!

john + natalie MARRIED!! Black Hills wedding
categories & archives >>

John + Natalie are such an inclusive couple. They spoke to each other and their kids and their guests during their vows, and they insisted on spending as much time with everyone gathered as possible. Still, they managed to stay connected to each other through glances, inside jokes, and a hand on the other. Natalie’s grandfather’s wings – I love little details like this!!Natalie *loves* the rain, and was so excited when the clouds came over and dropped a few raindrops on them on their wedding day! Some of those loving glances right before the ceremony! :-) When John proposed to Natalie, they were surrounded by cairns. John didn’t notice (he just kept walking until they found a secluded spot), but Natalie asked asked if he picked this spot for a reason. When he asked why (and what was a cairn, exactly), Natalie explained, “A cairn- the rock formations hikers build for each other to tell other hikers they are on the right path, they are going the right direction. A cairn is a symbol of balance and kindness in doing good deeds for others.” The cove was full of them.

In the days leading up to their wedding ceremony, John, Natalie and their kids each found a rock to stack into a cairn for their unity ceremony. To remind the children that John and Natalie will always guide them on the right path, to help them find balance in their hectic lives, and to know that there will always be a hard and steadfast foundation in their home for the kids to return to. Such a lovely, personal touch! We had the perfect window of time before their reception started to grab just a few more photos. These ended up being some of my favorite from the day! (I love a good overlook!) When we came back, everyone sat down for dinner and their kids each said a little something to them. It was sweet and funny, but my favorite part was John’s hand on Natalie’s back as they looked at and listened to the kids. Again, so inclusive towards others, while still staying connected to each other. The two photos above were pretty much the only sweet/romantic dancing photos of the evening. The rest of the dance looked a lot like this.. crazy moves and multiple dance-offs!John + Natalie – thank you so much for including me in your special day! You and your family are so kind and fun, and I loved watching all of your interactions throughout the day. I hope you had a lovely time in the Black Hills for your wedding and the surrounding days! :-)