Cathy and Chad's wedding in the Black Hills near Custer, South Dakota was as idyllic as weddings get for me.
First of all, Lee drove me there and assisted me, which made me feel like a pretty, pretty princess to have help from my Husband. Oh, off season weddings, you are a dream... We made a trip out of it and went to wine tastings, visited friends in Wyoming, and caught a plane to Minneapolis for an extended trip after the weekend. Plus, the temps were so warm for this winter wedding that we woke up and went hiking! Once to scope out locations and once with the bride and groom! Yes, dress and all!
Secondly, Cathy and Chad are the best. As if you didn't already know this when I said I went HIKING with the bride and groom but let me count the ways...
They are related to Jana and Brandon, whose wedding I photographed last winter, so we already knew each other. Jana even officiated the ceremony! They were super laid back and supportive of each other, which just makes the process way more fun. They chose to host their wedding in the woods at the State Game Lodge, AKA the "Summer Whitehouse"~ ONLY an awesome historic building cozy with fireplaces and interesting taxidermy. 😉 And, they value simplicity and beautiful details. Cathy selected pretty pieces like her heirloom black hills gold bracelet and Chad was married with an antler encrusted wedding band. These adornments and the stunning evergreens and twinkle lights that covered the reception space were the only pretty details they needed. Just a dream. Needless to say, I loved photographing this wedding.
I met Chad and, briefly, Cathy at Chad's Brother's wedding last winter so it was such a thrill when Cathy called and asked if I would photograph their wedding as well! I love this "in-the-family" business! And while I was hesitant to book a wedding six hours from home, in DECEMBER, I agreed. And I'm so glad I did! These two were into a no fuss, beautiful day. They chose not to select a bridal party so we had the whole afternoon to catch up while I photographed Cathy's details and then headed out to have their first look at a near by lake. Lee and I stood by while Chad and Cathy met for the first time on the dock and after a few sweet moments we headed for the incredible rocks at the back of the lake. Nothing like a wedding day hike to get those fresh air-good vibes rolling before the ceremony. And you guys, it was sooooo worth it! It was gorgeous back there and Cathy and Chad looked absolutely amazing. So sweet and breathtaking... images I only dreamed we could capture at their winter wedding. 🙃 We were all on Cloud 9 as we hustled back to the State Game Lodge.
It was a lovely evening celebrated with only the most important things. Friends, family, a touch of style, tiny cakes.., and each other. What a perfect day. Thank you Chad and Cathy for asking me to share it with you. ❤️