Ashley + Thaddeus | Holy Boulders | Southern Illinois
You might remember at the beginning of the year, I held a "Road Less Traveled" wedding day photography giveaway. Well, today you get the winners, Thaddeus and Ashely, and their GORGEOUS bohemian, woodland, climber wedding in beautiful Southern Illinois!
Since they met via the SIU climbing club, rock climbing and the outdoors has always been a central focus to their relationship. So it really comes as no surprise that Ashley's engagement ring is a figure 8 knot fashioned like climbing rope. Thaddeus proposed to Ashley on the Flat Irons in Boulder, Colorado, and his ring is etched with those stunning peaks.
Their dogs are also SUPER important to the both of them, so it was really important that this be a furry friendly wedding. Their two, Chance and Timber, acted as ring bearer and flower girl!
Ashley handmade all the bouquets and centerpieces, while her aunt put together the arbor under which her and Thaddeus exchanged their handwritten vows. Ashley lost her dad as an early teen, and so included a locket with his picture attached to her bouquet so he was still there with her as she walked down the aisle. Cue the tears.
Ashley and Thaddeus opted for a first look before heading to the ceremony site, and I can honestly say that I have never seen a groom so happy to see his bride. I mean, the happiness was literally radiating and I couldn't help but get a little emotional (thankful to be able to hide behind my camera!)
The ceremony and reception took place on their good friends property (who was also in the wedding party) It was so great to have not only their close family, but their close knit climbing community there to cheer them both on as they said I DO!
We headed down the (semi) well worn path to the Holy Boulders. The Holy Boulders is the largest concentration of boulders in Southern Illinois and draws climbers from all over to try out their Fontainebleau-like perfect friction and aesthetic lines. Being that this was a climber wedding, of course they had to get some time in on the rock! And look damn good doing it!
Later in the evening, a bunch of us climbed the ladder to the roof of the house in progress and just chilled out overlooking the land and really enjoying each others company, taking in what a perfect day it had been. Several folks grabbed their crash pads and headed down for some bouldering, and the rest stuck around for dessert and bonfire and a perfect close to a beautiful day.