I am so excited to share my favorite images from Sam and Rachel's beautiful wedding at Swift River Ranch! I met Rachel last winter when she tried to take MY picture at CeCe and Andrew's wedding. She was funny and full of energy and I was so excited to hear from her that she had gotten engaged! When I met Sam in downtown Billings for their engagement photos, he was less than thrilled with the idea of taking photos in the 95 degree weather, which, I could really understand. But I'm always excited to take photos so I did my best to convince him it would be fun! :) We grabbed a quick drink to loosen up and headed to the prettiest parts of downtown Billings for their session. While we wandered downtown cuddling in corners and on city steps Sam was stoic yet full of personality and humor, I could see why Rachel fell in love with him. On the afternoon of their wedding, while I promised to keep pictures short and sweet, Sam responded. "I want whatever Rachel wants." I was touched by how dedicated he was to making Rachel's dream wedding a reality, and like everyone there, was excited to see them make it official.
Rachel and Sam chose the coolest location for their wedding day. Swift River Ranch is set by the Yellowstone River and therefore is surrounded by towering cottonwood trees. I love the secluded feel the river bottom provides. The grounds were the perfect setting for their outdoor ceremony and the reception barn with chandeliers and twinkle lights made for such a pretty backdrop for their wedding dance.
When Rachel arrived at the wedding venue I was so impressed with how relaxed she was. Her hair was done, she had all her favorite ladies, including her Mom, with her when she arrived, and she was so excited to marry Sam. Her Mom, Rochelle, and her bridesmaids went to work making their bouquets from fresh hydrangeas. They put together the prettiest bouquets with ease and laughed and drank mimosas while getting their makeup done. Ashley, Rachel's sister, pulled me aside and told me about the gifts that each Sam and Rachel had planned as a surprise for each other. Not knowing the other had done the same thing. They chose not to see each other before the wedding so Ashley got to deliver each of the personal gifts. It was so sweet to watch their surprise and emotion as they opened their wedding day gifts from one another.
What was supposed to be a sunny day turned beautifully moody at the clouds rolled in and stayed. The ceremony was laid back and unassuming while holding so many sentimental elements that I loved being able to capture up close! When Rachel's Dad, Jim, saw her just before the ceremony we all got a little emotional and when Rachel and her Dad made their way down the aisle we were all trying to hold it together once again. Sam's father, Doug, even officiated the ceremony. While Rachel carried her grandmother's hand stitched handkerchief along with a family bible that her mother carried on her wedding day as a way to keep her family close throughout the day.
The toasts and comments throughout the night always noted what a great couple they are and how much fun they have together. Watching them together, I could see how Sam loved just being close to Rachel and she lit up when ever he had his arm around her. I'm so glad they asked me to be a apart of their wedding and wish them all the best as Mr. and Mrs. Ensign!! :)
Creatives, craftsmen, and vendors that made their day even more amazing:
Venue: Swift River Ranch
Bride's Dress: Belle En Blanc
Bridesmaid Dress's: David's Bridal
Bride's Hair Stylist: Elke Duncan, Blanco Blanco
Makeup: Bobbi Beuchler
Tux Rental: Men's Warehouse
Engagement Ring: Security Jewelers
Groom's Wedding Band: Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers
DJ: Skinee Beats, Joe Rambin
Wedding Cake: Debbie Werholz
Bar Service: Tiny's Tavern
Videographer: Justin Hutchinson Videography