These two cuties had some of the most down-to-earth and romantic nuptials I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing as not just a guest, or a photographer, but also as a part of the bridal party! Denae met Shane while she was working at a coffee shop. As a Deputy, Shane would come in for breakfast every day, and one day Denae was asking another Deputy to take her shooting. Shane overheard, offering to take her after work that day. One thing led to another and, as Denae puts it, “we’ve been inseparably happy ever since.”
When it came time for the proposal, we’d been together over five years and I was ready to make it official. One of my best friends was moving to Australia in October of 2015 and I wanted her to capture the proposal on camera. I gave Shane his deadline: early 2015. Sometime in August that same friend suggested that I throw Shane a surprise birthday party. I would only need to create the guest list and then she and another few friends would take care of everything. How could I say no to that?! The day came and everything was perfect. We had 80 people and a band there, and the party was catered. We pulled off the surprise when he came around the corner and saw everyone he loved in one place. Several hours later, as we sang happy birthday to him and brought out a cake, he turned to me and said “do you want to know the real reason everyone is here?” He got down on one knee and changed my life forever. It turned out everyone, including Shane, had been in on the surprise and I was the only one completely in the dark. The band played “Marry Me” by Train while he was proposing and it was the most amazing day of my life.
Wedding Day Fashion
The couple knew that they wanted themselves, and everyone else at the wedding, to be comfortable. I love how their selection of simple black dresses, black vests, jeans, and cowboy boots pop against the lush green mountainside of Lake Tahoe.
Denae “never really thought about [her] wedding growing up,” but knew two important details: that she wanted a strapless dress, and that she wanted to look like a Princess. I think she did a perfect job, selecting a beautiful layered tulle ball gown by Oleg Cassini.
The Bride paired her gown with this pair of gorgeous, detailed Tony Lama cowboy boots and a custom thin blue line garter, signifying Shane’s dedication to the Police force.
Denae knew that she wanted sunflowers, her
favorite flower, “absolutely everywhere.”
Her best friend’s mother hand created
these bright and beautiful bouquets and
boutonnieres for the bridal party,
a perfect pop of color and
country touch to the decor.
The definition of a country girl! The Bride and us Bridesmaids were driven down to the ceremony in the bucket of her Dad’s loader. The reaction of the guests? Priceless.
Denae says that she smiled so much on her wedding day that her cheeks “were sore the next day.” We can see why!
Our Advice for Wedding Planners
Don’t panic. There’s so much to do and it seems absolutely overwhelming, but it all comes together and afterwards you’re left wondering why you spent agonizing hours over the look of your invitations when people would be there anyways because they love you. Make time for each other. We’re on complete opposite schedules, but we still make time for each other on the nights we have together or the hour in between his job and mine that we see each other. It makes my whole day better.
Venue – Private Residence
The Bride’s Cowboy Boots – Tony Lama
Bakery – Atlantis Casino Resort Spa
Tuxedo and Mens Attire – Men’s Warehouse
Wedding Dress – Oleg Cassini
Wedding & Bridesmaid Dress Store – David’s Bridal
Caterer – Big Blue Q