Rachel And Ryan got ready in separate rooms at the Gull Lake Lodge, in between June lake and Gull Lake. While they got ready there were a few cubes of butter warming on the rail outside as her sister prepared the wedding cake. Their friend Emily was in charge of babysitting the dogs, this including walking the dogs, keeping them calm, giving them baths and walking them to the ceremony site. All in all it was a very quiet morning and easy going crowd. The directions to the ceremony spot were simple; drive to the far end of the lake, look for marker 4 and walk down the path to the middle of the Aspen trees. Location scouting for this wedding was a fun adventure. Rachel and Ryan decided to do a first look. I picked the location because it showed the lake, trees, mountain and the over all beauty of the place they chose to wed. I love first looks, as it is always a quiet moment that offers the freedom to express all your feelings without having a ton of eyes on you. It seems more raw when it’s just us. Well needless to say Ryan was in awe of Rachel. We made our way back to the hotel with time to freshen up and relax.
In the middle of a small aspen grove there was a small gathering of loved ones and some unique items for the ceremony. Items included a basket of apple, a rope, a bull horn and a clover honey mead made by Ryan specifically for the wedding, a wood bowl, a clipping from a cedar tree, an ax and some other items. This was going to be a northern European hand fasting ceremony. Their friend customized this ceremony from what they believed, tradition, values and hopes for the future. It was truly beautiful and unlike anything I have ever seen.
After the ceremony we gathered with the family in celebration and group photos. Soon after Rachel, Ryan and I went on our own little adventure to capture more portraits in the area. We ended the photo session at June Lakes campground with more friends and family. During the ceremony Ryan was gifted a sword from Rachel, that sword was later used to cut the beautiful cake Rachels sister made :).