WHITNEY + BLAKE | SPEARFISH WEDDING

Mar 22

THE LOVE STORY

After graduating from college, I moved to Watford City and took my very first teaching position at one of the elementary schools there.  Having moved to a town where I didn’t have any connections or friends, I was very reserved and kept to myself. Fast forward a bit, I ended up meeting Blake, a local rancher. We clicked instantly.  I’ve always been slower to warm up to people, but he was able to bring me out of my shell immediately and we were able to talk about anything and everything, even though we had just met. We found out very quickly that we had so many things in common–from the way we were raised to the things we both wanted out of life. We always joked that we were the opposite-sex versions of one another. We can always tell what the other person is thinking, just by looking at their expressions. We have a terrible habit of saying the same things at the same time and we can never finish a game of rock, paper, scissors because we continually play the same hands over, and over, and over again. It’s honestly been such a blessing getting to experience life with each other and I am so grateful to have found someone who loves me as completely and wholeheartedly as I love him. 

WWM: What was something that was personal that you included or had in your wedding.

My mother passed away when I was in college, so it was very important to us that we did something to remember her on our special day. On my bouquet, I had a pennant with a picture of my mother and a little phrase on the back of it. I placed it on my bouquet so that she was with me as I walked down the aisle and throughout the day. We also requested a song in memory of her during the wedding dance, in which we invited everyone out to dance with us. It was such a memorable moment and made me feel as though she was celebrating with us, if even from afar. 

WWM: What is your biggest tip for brides having snowy weddings or anticipating snow on their wedding day?

Let go of the anxieties and worries around the things you can’t control. Our biggest fear was the weather not holding up for us and all of our guests taking the time to travel to the Black Hills. Blake and I had to make a conscious effort to tell ourselves that regardless of what the weather did, everything would still fall into place the way that it should–and that’s exactly what had happened. We could have worried ourselves sick trying to predict the weather and constantly checking what the weather was doing, but we knew in our hearts that the people who meant the most to us would still show up for us on our day, regardless of any obstacles presented by weather. 

A NOTE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER

WWM: Tell me something that stuck out about this wedding for you.

Blake & Whitney chose an amazing venue. The Barn at Aspen Acres has natural light in every room, a clean, crisp appearance & photogenic areas for everything from getting ready to the ceremony to outdoor photos. If wedding photos are your top priority, evaluating the light and appearance of your venue makes a huge difference in how the aesthetic of your wedding photos will turn out. Whitney’s decor was simple but yet made a statement. I loved how her style was consistent throughout the entire wedding setup. It didn’t overwhelm the venue but added enough flair to stand out.

Blake and Whitney chose to see each other for the first time as she walked down the aisle. Although I’ll always be a contender for first looks, this moment between the bride and groom was priceless! I love seeing couples plan their day to their own liking and prioritize what is most important to them. Because after all, that is what it’s all about in the first place. Pleasing everyone is impossible, let alone exhausting. Do your best to shake off the pressure and go with your gut when planning the day!

WWM: What is your biggest tip for brides having snowy weddings or anticipating snow on their wedding day? Any tips for photographers shooting snowy weddings?

If you’re planning a winter wedding, don’t be afraid to go outside for photos! Dress your bridal party warm with matching jackets, fur or long sleeve dresses. Bridal jackets are so popular right now too, wear one in some of your bride + groom shots! (Stylish and will keep you warm) Photos in snowfall or even just with snow on the ground are so unique and magical. Take advantage of it even if it’s just a 10-minute session. And have hot cocoa or coffee ready 🙂

Shooting in snow can be tricky. If the lighting is harsh, I try to shoot in the shade so that the snow doesn’t reflect off of the client’s skin too brightly. Watch your white balance –  I usually shoot a little warmer than usual in snow cover to avoid a blue tint. I also underexpose a tad. The brightness of the snow has a tendency to blow out photos. It’s a lot easier to brighten a dark photo than salvage a blown-out one. Last but not least… watch out for those dang footprints haha. Shoot in fresh, untracked snow for a clean final product! (and less time cloning footprints out post-process)

Photographer: Rylee Marie Photography, @ryleemariephoto
Videographer: 605 Media & Entertainment, @605mae 
Florist: Kayly Shae Floral, @ksfloraldesign 
Venue: The Barn at Aspen Acres, @blackhillsbarn
Dress/Veil: White Lace Bridal, @whitelacebridalnd 
Bride’s Boots: Corral Boots, @corralboots 
Groom’s Boots: Ariat, @ariatinternational
Grooms/Groomsmen shirts: Cinch, @cinchjeans 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie, @azazieofficial 
Bridal Hat: Frickin Hat Company, @frickinhatcompany
Groom’s hat: Frickin Hat Company, @frickinhatcompany
Jewellery (Rings/wedding bands, earrings): Rings/Bands-Zorells, @zorellsjewelry, Earrings-
The Branded Blonde, @thebrandedblonde 
Hair: Joyful Styles by Syd, @joyfulstylesbysyd
Makeup Artist: Hannah Langerud Makeup Artistry, @hannahlangerud

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