I remember the exact moment when I saw him. We were standing at the back of a equipment trailer when he smiled and introduced himself. His smile lit up his whole face and I took note. We were instant friends. At work we chatted and told stories. After awhile we started to hang out outside of work. We explored the town and the Black Hills. We found Art Alley in Rapid City and became regulars at Mustang Sally's. I had more fun with him than I'd ever had in my life.
We had our first kiss at Wonderland Cave. Then several more kisses at Black Hill Caverns, Crystal Cave, Wind Cave and Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns. We kiss in every cave now; it's become our tradition. On the road to each of those kisses we grew to know each other and even more about ourselves.
Then, on Friday, the 8th of July, we began the greatest adventure yet and pledged ourselves to each other in marriage.
The sky was clear and the sun was warm. The ceremony was at Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon, in a private clearing that was edged in giant pines and thick
softwoods. We could hear the creek
running under the bridge and every tree seemed to be a little greener.
Our nieces, Ayden and Ava were excellent Flower Girls. They looked beautiful in their ivory dresses as they carried smaller bouquets of daisies. My Maid of Honor was my closest friend, Amy. She wore a dress in my favorite hue of blue and had her hair pulled up. She looked fantastic! Josh asked his father, Willie to be his Best Man
and he and Amy walked together. Willie, my father, Bob and Josh wore dark suits and matching ties. They looked so handsome.
Our best friend and roommate, Nate preformed the ceremony. As I was reciting my vows to Josh I could hear my voice cracking and see tears in his eyes. Everything that I had tried to memorize seemed to disappear and as I held myself together I told Josh that he had taught me to love and how I pledge myself to him. Josh vowed to me that he'd always let me catch the bigger fish, something I intend to hold him to, and that he'd love me forever. It was very casual and very us. Nate did a great job and free-styled some of the most beautiful parts of the ceremony.
Our friends, Dan and Kindell, took our pictures. They captured not only our families but also the candid moments throughout the day. We love the pictures that they took. They came out beautifully.
After the ceremony everyone headed for the reception, which was at Butch Cassidy Sundance Kid Luxury Suites in Deadwood. The Suites have an amazing patio and since Josh's parents, Uncle and Grandmother had rented the building for the weekend it was the perfect place for our reception.
We really to have food that you'd find at a Southern Style BBQ. There were ribs and brisket, prepared by Willie & Uncle Terry. I have never had BBQ better than theirs. Josh's Mom and Aunt prepared a potato salad and a strawberry salad that were unforgettable. We had made pasta salad, which wasn't so bad either. There was corn, rolls, and fruit in case we were still hungry. Everything was delicious.
We had asked Josh's sister, Jawauna, to make our cake and cupcakes and she blew us away with her red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Our cake she decorated with pine trees, chocolate rocks and even a small deer. It was a winter scene of the Black Hills and it was perfect! We cut it and as we served it to each other, Josh pushed my piece into my face and up my nose and I served him a sweet little bite. Delicious!
When our song, Wagon Wheel, came on we danced, sang and reveled in the moment. We sang it to each other and Josh spun me around a bit. In that moment it seemed to be just me and my husband.
As the afternoon came to an end, we began to realize how all of this excitement had worn us out and we returned to our home.
Later that evening we went to Saloon 10 with our friends and my new sister- and brother-in-laws. We popped in to the Deadwood Tobacco Co. and listened to music until Josh excused us and informed me that our night was just beginning.
We stopped up to our house, grabbed an overnight bag and we were on our way. I had no idea where we were heading. I thought maybe we were going to a hotel downtown and when we passed the last hotel I was truly confused. Then I thought maybe he had set up the tent somewhere and we were headed out to a night under the stars. It was when we were at the top of Strawberry Hill that I realized we were heading to the Fish n' Fry Campground, the place I had been camping when we first started dating. It's always been a favorite of ours and we've often toyed with the idea of camping there again one summer.
Josh had reserved a cabin for us and it had been decorated with a "Just Married" sign and balloons. We had brought Wu because we couldn't escape him and he made his bed on the floor as we made our bed. Josh had brought the computer and a movie, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. He had recreated our first date on our wedding night. It was so sweet that I cried a little. I'm such a girl and I'm so in love with my husband.
In the night it hailed and rained harder than it had in awhile. It was awesome to hear it fall on the metal roof. I felt so snuggled, secure and safe as we watched the movie and sipped champagne. It was the perfect ending to our wedding day.
More wedding photos can be viewed by following this Family Photo's link.