Shantil and Payton Thomson Wedding Story

Wedding Date
Saturday, September 3, 2016

Our wedding day was everything we could have imagined, and more! Sixty of our closest friends and families came from all over the US to share in our joy and the celebration of our marriage. My favorite part was the exchanging of vows; we chose to write our own, and I love how it made our ceremony so personal, and unique. I don't think there was a dry eye there during Payton's heartfelt vows! A close second is the first look - there is something so special about seeing your groom's eyes light up when he sees you, and you truly feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

Our wedding party and mothers also helped to make our day extra special. We all stayed together at the lodge the night before, and the guys got up early to play football while the ladies decorated the reception and added all the finishing touches. We couldn't have done it without our crew!

Wedding Team

How We Met

Shantil first caught Payton's eye at a party being hosted by our Crossfit gym. A couple months passed, and a mutual friend mentioned that she was going out to grab some drinks and Shantil was going to be there. Payton knew he couldn't miss a second opportunity to introduce himself, and made it apparent from the moment he stepped into that bar that he was there for her. We made plans to see each other the next weekend, but Payton switched his gym schedule to match Shantil's so we could work out together . It didn't take long for either of us to realize that we wanted this thing to last. After buying a house together a year and a half later, Payton knew the time was coming for him to pop the question; He got down on one knee at a scenic overlook of Badlands National Park, and here we are!

Planning for Our Day

We were so incredibly lucky to have had amazing vendors, which translated to a stress-free day. Every single one of them went above and beyond; I would highly recommend all of them, especially our photographer. Natural Escape Photography caught all the important shots, but she was so creative that we have many unique, memorable photos unlike anything I had seen before. Copper Canyon Lodge was a beautiful backdrop, and really showcased what the Black Hills has to offer - our out of town guests were blown away! We also had a hair and makeup artist, Amanda Wilson from Tangled Tresses, come out in the morning to fix everyone up. It was so nice to have her come to us, and not worry about transport. During the reception, our guests raved about the delicious food from Catered Two, and we had the cutest cakes and cupcakes from Star Spangled Batter! The DJ, Andrew from Complete Music, made sure the night ran smoothly and kept people on the dance floor until lights out. A HUGE thank you to all of our wonderful vendors for making our day so special!

Hint for Brides

Hire a videographer in addition to your photographer! The day goes so quickly, with so much excitement, that it feels like a blur afterwards. I love watching our wedding video, especially of the ceremony - it feels like you get to relive the day over and over again! Plus, a great videographer (and photographer) captures so many moments that you might miss, or forgot about.

Also, everything will be perfect. Even if something breaks, or goes wrong, don't worry - it will pale in comparison to how happy you and your husband are that day!