Let me introduce a very special couple! I had the honor of photographing their wedding this past summer and it was a blast.
I asked Shaelyn if she would write a guest blog post for me about her wedding. When so many details go into planning a wedding, the best part is being able to share it!
"Growing up I never thought I’d have the courage to be a military wife. Tyson & I met April 2014 at a grocery store in Dillon, MT. The day I laid eyes on Tyson I knew I wanted to get to know him more. It didn’t take long to find out he had recently enlisted in the Navy & in June he’d be going to boot camp. We stayed in touch for eight months until we saw each other again & never looked back. Tyson proposed during a port call at a country concert in Chula Vista, CA on August 16, 2015.
Tyson & I had to make many sacrifices while he was stationed in Japan, while I was still in MT. Wedding planning wasn’t easy with him living so far away, but we’re very grateful for our friends & family’s help. We planned our wedding date to be exactly a year after he proposed. Our color scheme was chosen knowing Tyson would be wearing his dress whites for some professional photos. The color chosen was Navy Blue with Sunflowers. Even though the Navy was the highlight of our relationship, Tyson is an avid hunter who wanted to tie hunting into the wedding, so we used shotgun shells to make the boutonnières.
We were very fortunate to get married on his grandparent’s property in “Paradise Valley” in Livingston, MT. It was a beautiful summer day full of sunshine & sunflowers. There were two houses rented next door to his grandfather’s house for each side of the wedding party to get ready in. 16:30 was when the ceremony began. Tyson had his father be our officiary, while both of my parents walked me down the aisle. Tyson’s Aunt & Uncle also played a big role. His Aunt created a breathtaking bouquet out of silk flowers & his Uncle shared the meaning behind it at the ceremony.
"The bouquet represents the lives of Shaelyn & Tyson. There are three sunflowers. The one on the left is Shaelyn & the one on the right is Tyson. The sunflower in the middle represents Christ, as he should be the center of their marriage. The two white spider mums represents the purity of their love coming into this union. The pearls are the pearls of wisdom that they will collect throughout the years. There is twine and ivy that wrap all this together with Christ as the center of this marriage." – Aunt Joann
After we shared our personal vows, we conducted a “blending of the sands” ceremony. The two sands that were used were symbolic. Tyson brought home black sand from Invasion Beach on the sacred island, Iwoto (Iwojima). The black sand was combined with tan colored sand from Montana. The tan sand used was from the location where Tyson & I first went shooting together.
Following the ceremony, appetizers, dinner, toasts & dancing began. One of the biggest highlights of the reception was Tyson’s toast that brought tears to everyone’s eyes. “The Longer the Waiting” by Josh Turner was our first dance song. Choosing our first dance song was an easy agreement. The first time Tyson heard this song was during his first deployment & emailed me to listen to it; I got tears in my eyes instantly.
Our entire wedding was better then we could’ve imagined. We are again very grateful for everyone’s love, patience, & support from planning to the moment we said, “ I do”. Tyson & I agree that the greatest part about the wedding was seeing all of our family and closest friends from all walks of life come together to celebrate our big day."
Wedding Dress: Mimi's Bridal
Men's Rental: Knock About
Hair & Makeup: Polson's Cutting Edge
Flowers: JoAnn Zorn
Catering: FeedLot 49 at The Pop Stand
Cake: Crust & Crumb Bakery
Beer: Blackfoot River Brewing
The wedding venue....
Getting Ready for the big day....
Montana groomsman at their best....
I seriously love when bride and grooms come up with fun stuff like this to incorporate! Finally, the guys have something that says best man and groomsman. The bridesmaids used to have all the fun with wedding wear!
And this beautiful bride! Isn't she gorgeous?
This ceremony was so special and so many fine details went into from the beautiful wedding arch (which is now for sale!!) to the pouring of sand and how they wrote their own vows. There were lots of laughs and lots of tears! It was so awesome to be a part, to listen and to hear their love for one another!
This couple and their love for one another! I loved hearing their vows!
The bride and groom choose not to see each other at all before the ceremony....it was a special time for them post ceremony to have some moments together capturing the sweet moments as newly weds!
One of my favorite images from the day! Kissing with their wedding party behind them!
Tyson & Shaelyn choose to use this last photo to send out to all of their guests that attended their wedding! I was excited to get one in the mail with a sweet note!
Some of the most amazing speeches were given at the reception! One of my favorite things about being a wedding photographer is getting to here the reception speeches!
Just a sweet baby staring back at me with these piercing blue eyes! I had to snag the picture!
And to top the night off there was an amazing sparkler exit up against the beautiful mountains of Pine Creek!
I love capturing emotion, love stories, reactions and details. Each image I take on a wedding day, I take it knowing that if I was that bride and groom, I would want that shot, that emotion, that documentation to pass along to generations to come! Its my job to create the story from beginning....My dream as a wedding photographer in Montana is to capture many more memories for these amazing couples that come into my life! From the time they decide to welcome their first child into their family (dog, cat, horse, adoption, baby...however they choose to start their family) to their anniversaries, to their children graduation high school to their first grand child and so on....
Thank you Shaelyn & Tyson for choosing me to capture the beginning of your story together as husband and wife! I hope to see you in front of my lens when you return from serving overseas. Until then, I thank you for both of you for serving our country and making the sacrifices many military familes endure. I love seeing your posts from living abroad!
mariah allen photography
Let's capture life's brightest moments together!