Beautiful Intimate Wedding in Custer State Park, SD


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The Black Hills stretches across the plains of the Midwest and serves as an “oasis” to many who call it home. Miranda and Kyle have a lot of memories in the Hills previously, and they decided to book a beautiful intimate wedding in Custer State Park.

From the bride: Our story begins at the lake….

Part of the process when you work with me is my onboarding questionnaire. It helps me to get to know you a little bit more, and I knew after reading Miranda and Kyle’s story that we would be a great fit together.

The details and storytelling aspects Miranda added when writing about themselves is so creative and fun. Don’t take my word for it, read it yourself! And keep a box of tissues nearby!

“1.7 miles, one body of water, and the rest of our lives.

Miranda has lived in multiple states in her lifetime, but she has roots that grow deep in the Lafayette, Indiana area. Those roots, along with Purdue University, are exactly what brought her back to the region. Pursuing her masters at Purdue, Miranda moved back to Lafayette, Indiana in 2016. In September of 2019, Miranda purchased her house on the south end of Lake Freeman, in Monticello, Indiana.

Little did she know, 1.7 miles away, on the same lake, lived a guy that she’d meet seven months later who’d change her life.

Kyle Baer grew up on this lake. From a young boy growing up the hill from Bluewater Beach, to the wakeboarding teenage years when his family lived in the Kokomo suburbs with a lake house on Freeman. He was even baptized at the sailing club when he was eighteen. After living in downtown Indianapolis, Kyle made the same trek back to his home waters in June of 2018.

In November of 2019, the couple nearly met when Kyle was playing music at a local bar and eatery. A last minute change of plans and Miranda didn’t end up attending. It wasn’t until months later they realized this missed connection.

Instead, it was the internet, two smartphones, the same app, and two swipes for the conversation to start, at the end of a nation wide lockdown.

A week or two later, restaurants finally started to open back up. On May 14th, 2020, Kyle pulled up to Sportsman Inn at 7:04pm, a lakeside restaurant and bar. She wore boots, dark-wash jeans, a black v-neck tee shirt, and a Purdue jacket. He wore dark-wash jeans, black Johnson and Murphy shoes, and a grey Wrangler button down. One chicken sandwich, a tenderloin, margarita, lager, a couple orders of fries, lots of conversation, and three hours later… it was closing time, but that didn’t stop them from their first kiss in the parking lot.

It was June 27th, 2020, on the dock at Kyle’s house, they watched the sky change from blue, to orange, to pink and purple as the sun went down. That was the first time they said, “I Love You.” He said it first. Later that night they danced in the kitchen.

The next months included 1.7 mile trips back and forth, a new puppy, hugs, kisses, many meals (takeout and home-cooked), campfires, family gatherings, days fishing off the dock, swimming in the cove, hikes in the woods, dog walks, a sunset picnic on the pontoon, weekend trips, a vacation in Colorado and South Dakota, dancing at local live music venues, time at her family farm, and of course, falling in love…. and more every day!!

In March of 2021, Kyle and Miranda decided that living one life split between two places didn’t make sense any more, even though they were only 1.7 miles apart. It was time to move in together. More time spent together, less stress of “this place or that place,” and the next step in their relationship.

After months of sorting and combining their homes, two of everything became one happy household. On December 4th, Kyle got on his knee, and asked for her hand in marriage. Both Mothers, Kelley Baer and Robin Furrer, were there at the Zoo under the Christmas lights next to a beautiful outdoor fireplace. Although she wears the ring, Kyle still isn’t sure she said yes…. she was speechless, and nodded with excitement.

The date for an intimate wedding was set for September 25th, 2022 in Custer State Park, South Dakota, an outdoor chapel under the trees of the Black Hills; where Randy and Robin spent their honeymoon years ago; where they returned with Miranda many times on family vacations, and where Kyle and Miranda visited on their first vacation together in the fall of 2020. November 5th, 2022, they continued their celebration surrounded by friends and family on the Madam Carroll, the same lake and a few hundred yards from where they first met.

More from Miranda + Kyle’s intimate wedding day

If you stuck with me and read that description Miranda wrote, you will come to understand that this match was made to be. Miranda and Kyle shared so many emotions on their intimate wedding day. Sadness for the family that was unable to be there, joy for the new life they were beginning, intimidation and excitement for the memories that would grace their future together. The day was not short on tears or laughter.

Getting ready at the cabins across from the Blue Bell Lodge in Custer State Park, the two were nearly a few cabins away from each other. So close but out of touch. Miranda and Kyle opted for a traditional first look, and it did not disappoint! After the ceremony, we hopped in the car and drove 30 minutes to Sylvan Lake to incorporate a little sense of nostalgia in their photography and videography. Unfortunately, no burros were in sight on that side of the park, but the images and colors from the fall were stunning.

When photos wrapped up, we got back in the car and enjoyed a beautiful drive back to the lodge for the first dances and formal reception.

This could be you and your partner.

Check out my wedding + engagement bundles and availability.

Want to see more? There are so many memories and moments from this gorgeous fall wedding. Miranda and Kyle booked the combined photography and videography package to remember their day. Watch their highlight film!

Love Note from the Happy Couple

One of the single most important details of planning your wedding is to hire a photographer. The decision to hire Wandering Wilde Media was the easiest and best one we could have made for our wedding! Being from out of state, Sarah made it so easy for us to talk through email/text and she was willing to do whatever she could to make our day awesome! Sarah is very accommodating of what is important to you. She even met up with us before our wedding to pick out a few spots to get photos taken after the wedding and even made time for our engagement photos when we happened to be out in the area months before the wedding. Sarah + Isaac work great together as a team and we couldn’t be happier with our photos and videos! Thank you!

Miranda + Kyle Baer

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