Downtown Rapid City Winter Wedding


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It isn’t every day that the dreamy outdoor wedding becomes a downtown Rapid City winter wedding, but that is exactly what happened for Azia and Gabe.

High school sweethearts, Azia told me that their relationship started in a rebellious way. Apparently, at the start each family didn’t really approve of their status. They stuck with it though, because “When you know, you know.” And after some long distance work for a while, the two have finally been able to start their lives together and grow along side one another. They began renting their first apartment, started their individual careers, and last month, they tied the knot.

When Azia and I originally talked about planning her big day, it was going to be an intimate outdoor wedding. After a few months went by, that turned into something a little bigger. The week of the wedding, the weather had completely different plans.

That is why you hire a professional photographer. Someone like myself, loves a great plan, but knows how to handle changes and starts making backup plans the minute the original falls through.

The weekend of the wedding was absolutely beautiful – 60s, sunny, and just downright gorgeous. It almost felt like spring. However, if you’ve lived in South Dakota for very long, you will know that the weather changes overnight like a snap of the finger. Tue2day, February, 22 came along and the weather was, less than ideal.

The sun went into hiding, the roads were covered with snow and ice, and the wind was downright chilly. I think it was about -30 degrees Fahrenheit when I started my car. So the outdoor wedding that Azia had hoped for became an indoor wedding at the Rushmore Hotel where they were hosting their reception celebration.

Knowing about her love of plants (check out her engagement photos!), I called Jolly Lane Greenhouse before heading over to take detail photos. The owners are absolutely wonderful to work with and I love their space. It’s cozy, warm, comforting, and always has a stunning set of displays. They were 100 percent on board with me using their location as an alternative for the wedding party photos.

Although, after talking with Azia, we decided that it would be best to keep everyone off the roads and at the hotel. And, so that is what we did! Azia and Gabe had a beautiful knot-tying ceremony followed by a short session of family and wedding party photos that lead right into their fun after-party and reception.

Favorite Memory from this Rapid City Winter Wedding

One of the most unique sections of the reception was the sibling dance! Instead of the traditional father/daughter dance, Azia and Gabe dragged their sisters to the dance floor and shared a special moment together. It was by far my favorite part!

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Video is a much quicker turnaround than photo, so I was happy to share this highlight edit with the couple less than a month after they said, “I do.”

Other Vendors

Venue: The Rushmore Hotel + Suites

Officiant + Coordination: Melissa Diedrich

Dresses: Audra’s Bridal Gallery

Bridal Bouquet: Forget Me Knot Floral

Hair + Makeup: Tina Fletcher, Jaime Monreal-Burke, and the Bride herself. All important people to the wedding. Azia is a hair stylist and beautician, that is actually how we met! Jamie is her sister-in-law, and Tina is Azia’s good friend. They also happen to work in The Best Little Hair House downtown.

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