Derek & Melody: Black Hills Wedding Photographer

Derek and Melody, I felt like family among you and your guests.  Thank you for that, and for making this day feel exactly like you. I hope the coast is treating you well, and that married life is more than you imagined. (And also, that you’ve seen a whale.) Enjoy a few of my favorites! —js

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What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?

Melody Says:  I’m going to cheat and do two.  I got really choked up at the rehearsal, especially when the pastor asked me if I took Derek as my HUSBAND.  That word just hit me.  So then I spent the entire morning of the wedding super anxious that I was just going to be totally overwhelmed and cry through our whole wedding.  But we got to the ceremony, and the pastor asked me, and the only thought ringing through my head was this joyful, “Hell yeah I take him as my husband!!”  The second one is at the reception.  At several points throughout the night I kind of stepped back for a minute to take it all in, and I just remember looking around and everyone being SO HAPPY.  People were dancing, drinking, talking, laughing, and overall just having a GREAT time.  And after all my worries about our wedding not turning out right, I thought, “We NAILED it.”

Derek Says:  Seeing Melody for the first time in her wedding dress. That’s when it hit me that we were done planning and it was happening.

Jessica Says: At the risk of sounding cheesy, the way Derek looked at Melody throughout the day. I remember seeing just how excited he was, all the while being calm and confident and caring. It was like he could hardly believe they were here, that she was his, and that he was going to be the one to get to take care of her.

What was your favorite detail of the wedding day?

Melody Says:  Oh my gosh, our flower girls!!  I think I drove everyone crazy oogling over them the morning of the wedding.  They’re beautiful little girls to begin with, and the dresses I picked were just perfect on both of them,  the flower crowns the florist made were everything I wanted and more…they looked like they came straight from a fairy tale.  But also, for real, all the work our friends and family put in.  Our wedding day was a total group effort.  Particular shout-out to my matron of honor, who pretty much became my brain and kept the show running like an absolute pro.

Derek Says:  I really liked how happy all of our friends and family looked all day. We had put a lot into the wedding and it was nice to see everyone enjoy it as much as we did.

Jessica’s Take: Melody’s headpiece was gorgeous. I also liked the bride’s take on florals. She had Cynthia from Bent Willow Design create many of the florals, but the day before the wedding she and her bridesmaids went out and gathered wildflowers. I love that they truly incorporated the feeling of place. (Side note: I was talking to Derek’s sister, Erin, about this. She lives in New York City, and said her reaction to going out to pick flowers was, “You mean, pick them up from Whole Foods?” I’m still laughing about this.)

Any advice for other couples planning a wedding? 

Melody Says:  Read the book “A Practical Wedding.”  I lived and died by that book and its website.  Also, ask your family and friends to do things!  Our reception, for example, was awesome in large part because we asked a good friend to DJ for us.  He’s not an actual DJ, but he can use Spotify (with pre-selected playlists) and a microphone as well as anybody!  We borrowed sound equipment, and it was way more personal to have him run things than some guy who doesn’t know us.

Derek Says: Any advice for other couples planning a wedding? Keep it simple.

What’s the best part about being married so far?

Melody Says:  Being “the Larsens”! We’re like this awesome little unit.

Derek Says:  The pies…definitely the pies.

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A stunning bride.

My favorite:

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Flowers: Bent Willow Design • Catering: Cheyenne Crossing • Hair: Tangled Tresses • Makeup: Sara Ross, friend of bride • Cake: Amber Borkovec, friend of bride • DJ: Eric Herdt • Day-of coordinator: Nick Orlofsky, friend of bride

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