wedding photography

Urban Fairytale | Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota Styled Wedding

Urban Fairytale | Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota Styled Wedding

Each year I am to do a photoshoot that inspires me and re-energizes all my creatives juices for the next year. This usually ends up being in the middle of winter, of course, so we are normally freezing! We got SO lucky this shoot, because it was a beautiful 40 degree day with a wonderful sunset; such a rarity in the winter. It was sandwiched between -45 (yes. Negative) weather and a small snow storm the following day.

I was super lucky to again partner up with Walker Down the Aisle to help bring my dream to life, which all centered around this beautiful skirt I had purchased a year ago. The inspiration was to make this as fairytale as possible, while also being as urban as possible in a mid-sized midwestern town.

An American Gothic Wedding | Styled Shoot | Sioux Falls, SD

All this heat has me thinking about how nice and cold it was just a short time ago. WAIT! Before you start throwing tomatoes at me for talking about the "W" word, just hear me out. It made me look back through some of my images from last winter and I just had to share a few! Back in February, I got the awesome opportunity to work with Walker Down the Aisle and Brittany Elizabeth Images on a project. 

Both Brittany and I wanted to do shoots that were a little darker. Our styles of editing and shooting are quite different so with the crazy brilliant mind of Alyssa from Walker Down the Aisle, we were able to make this amazing American Gothic Wedding come to life! We had one meeting to discuss what we all thought it should be and then BAM, Alyssa made it come to life. The twist on this shoot was BOTH Brittany and I would be shooting, side-by-side for most of it, and we would both be editing in our own styles.

If you head over to WDTA blog you'll be able to see her blog post of images.The results were pretty awesome to see how two different photographers can interpret what is in front of them. It helps illustrate how it is important that you find a photographer that matches not only the personality you like, but who also has the style you are looking for.

Here are some of my favorite images from this dark and moody styled shoot!

Styling, Coordination & Design: Walker Down the Aisle // Farm Table & Chairs: Ideal Weddings & Events // Dried Floral Arrangements: Elaborations // Hair & Makeup: Sabreena Frances // Bride's Attire: Nicole Miller // Groom's Attire: JH & Sons // Geode Pieces & Jewelry: Sticks & Steel // Stationary: b.Invited // Cake: Hannah Naasz // Models: Nadiah B. & Trey Martin

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit

On the Banks | Stonewall Farms Winter Wedding

On the Banks | Stonewall Farms Winter Wedding

Our overall inspiration for this shoot was frosty silvers and dusty blues, with a vintage, rustic chic vibe.

Carley + Mike | Half Baked Cupcakes Winter Engagement Session

Carley + Mike | Half Baked Cupcakes Winter Engagement Session

Sioux Falls, South Dakota winter engagement session with cupcakes, bananagrams and coffee!

Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

When I first met Nicole and Jared, I could instantly tell how great their wedding was going to be. They are the friendliest people you could ever meet and their families and friends were the same way. From start to finish, Nicole and Jared's wedding day was so much fun and I was completely in awe of how great the day came together. I can't wait to show you more of their day below!

Angela + Michael | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

Angela and Michael's wedding was on the nicest summer day you can imagine; we couldn't have ordered better weather. It was great to spend such an amazing day with a sweet couple. When they are together you can't help but smile and you can just feel how much they love each other. Here's a glimpse into their day, their beautiful details, a wonderful tribute to Angela's mother and non-stop laughter and love.

Photography: Bethany Melvin Photography // Bride's Dress, Bridesmaids' Dresses & Tuxes: Bridal Gallery // DJ: DJ SieffStyle Entertainment // Rings: Gunderson's // Florist: Meredith & Bridget's // Cake/Cupcakes: QT Cakes // Reception: Washington Pavilion // Hair: Chameleon Hair Design

Shoutout to my amazing 2nd shooter, Chelsea for helping me capture the day!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

Nicole + Jared | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Engagement Session

This heat has me reminiscing about colder days, and that maybe I complained one too many times about the snow and lower temps. Which brought me to think back to this gorgeous spring morning I spent with Nicole and Jared.

Year In Review: 2015

How can it possibly be the end of 2015 already?  I know we say it every single year, but oh boy did this year fly by!! From start to finish, 2015 was completely and utterly amazing.


Jen & Jeremy's engagement session kicked the year off to an amazing start, and we captured truly adorable moments in their brisk morning session in January!


Next came adorable little Emma's cake smash! She was full of such energy and a touch of sassy. Her mama has her hands full with this adorable charmer.


Emmett was the most adorable little guy ever, and the son of a past bride :) I was so excited when Andrea asked me to capture some images for her of their little bundle of joy.


The next session I got the absolute privilege of shooting was Emily and Zach's engagement session in Yankton. We had all gone to college together, so it was so fun to be able to explore our old stompin' grounds to capture the picture perfect snowy engagement session :)


Cade was next! I have been taking photos of Cade for the past 2 years and just love watching him grow into a handsome little guy! Cade's parents always have such fun ideas that they want to try and sometimes the best photos just come from the in-between moments, like a mama tickling her little boy.


Then WEDDING SEASON!!! :) Andrea + Russell kicked off 2015 wedding season with a brisk March wedding in Iowa. We stopped by a family farm to take a few moments to have some fun and get some amazing images by an awesome red barn, and now they will soon be welcoming their first child into the world. Time flies, and I couldn't be happier for them!


Next up was Ashley + Josh. They had a beautiful spring wedding at the most amazing golf course in the Twin Cities. I was so excited to shoot this wedding as this was the 3rd time I had the privilege of shooting among this group of friends. It is so much fun when you know the entire bridal party already! :)


Blake + Sara allowed me to capture their memories in my hometown of Marshall! They are the sweetest couple and don't even get me started on their adorable little boy, Beckett. Their day was filled with a ton of laughter, and I'm so glad I got to be apart of it.


Next, I got to see Jen + Jeremy again for their laid back, intimate wedding at Camp Lakodia. It was so awesome to see all the had work they had put into the day, with even the cupcake stands being carved by one of the groomsmen!


Zach + Cassie got married next! They had people from all over the US at their wedding in the heart of Sioux Falls and there was such amazing energy! They were definitely one of the most energetic groups of the year :)



Then I got the pleasure of being there to capture Miranda + Nolan's wedding in Brookings. These two were the sweetest couple ever, and it is so apparent how in love they are. I was so excited to be a part in their day!


Garrett's senior session reminded me how old I am getting. I used to watch Garrett for a few summers and take him and his sister to activities, and now he is a senior? Oh boy. He's still the same high energy Garrett, just taller than me now... as he points out whenever he can ;)


Liz + Troy's wedding brought me back to Marshall once again, and they had this wedding thing on point. So many amazing details, locations and personal touches; one of my favorites being the vintage car they used to make their grand exit from the church. Troy's amazing grandfather drove them off and it was just perfect. 


Katie + Cody's wedding was an adventure up to Fargo! Amazing people, amazing memories, just all around amazing. I cannot tell you how much I love the both these families! I am so excited to be able to capture more memories in the future for them as Katie and her sisters bought her parents a family session for a Christmas gift! (They already opened their gift, I checked ;) No spoilers here!)


Rebecca + Joel are the sweetest people ever. Period. End of statement. Their at-home wedding was simply perfect and such a great reflection on them and their values. There were a ton of amazing details and I never stopped smiling the whole day. 


Next up was Emily + Zach! I was very excited for this wedding because it was in Yankton, at the amazing church that is on the Mount Marty campus (my alma mater!).  I was welcomed with open arms and we had such a great time making special memories and creating some pretty awesome photos for them to look back on!


I might get a little choked up, but I don't typically cry during first looks. Ashley + Brett got me so caught up in the moment that I couldn't help it. They are SO in love! The way they look at each other and just glow when they are around each other is SO amazing. I'm lucky that I got to capture this wedding, so very lucky. 


Elayne + Mike won the annual Love Is In The Air contest, so I got to revisit them for a 1 year anniversary session! Their pup Franklin joined us and in the tradition of sessions with them, it rained. It rained during their engagement session, their wedding (check the blog for more details on that!), and so of course it would rain for their 1 year session! We braved the mist and did an awesome cake smash session, then that afternoon met up again and got some glorious sunshine!


Little man Croix was my first newborn to transition over to offering lifestyle newborn sessions! He is the son of a past couple from when I first started wedding photography. I think we can all agree that this is an adorable little family :)


I got to meet up with Jayme + Brett for some early engagement photos on a cool fall morning! They were troopers as we took about a mile walk each way to get to this awesome location, and were even willing to lay down in the wet grass! Plus, they are super adorable. :) See more of their session here!


The start of fall was arriving so family photos started to fill up! I started off the fall family season with the Johnson family! They were some of the most well-behaved kids for photos, even though there was so much going on and we got some great shots for this family, who hadn't had family photos done all together in a long, long time!


My last wedding of 2015 was with Liz + Mike back in Yankton! We had awesome locations, great people, and a gorgeous sunset to end the day. It was the perfect way to end a great 2015 wedding season :)


Next was an early morning engagement session with Jon + Katie! Katie is Emily's sister (bride from above!), and I am so excited to be able to work with their family again. We went all over for their photos, including the baseball field, for some fun themed photos!


Next to rock out in front of the camera was Kristin, a 2016 senior from Mitchell! She killed it in front of the camera, and was seriously a huge sweetheart. I had a great time with her and her mom, and got to shoot some amazing images in the process!


Fall family mini sessions got in full swing, starting up with the Gentrup family! Their girls had so much energy, but were so sweet and we got some great shots!


My dear friend Maddie was expecting her little boy any day, so we took some maternity photos with her husband, Jeff, on a day where there was an AMAZING sunset.


The next family session was one from my dear friends, the Millers! This is the 2nd year I have taken their fall family photos, and we've got 2016 already scheduled in the books. I can't wait to see them again!


Next up for fall family mini sessions was the Johnson family! I was so glad that Shayla contacted me to capture this stylish family. They were so great so work with :)


The Andel family was my next session for fall minis and I couldn't get over how adorable Dawn had dressed her kids! I mean, the fur vest is just so cute!


This was the 2nd year I got to take photos of Jennifer + Adam and their adorable dogs, but this year I got to help them announce amazing news! They will be welcoming a little one in 2016! I was overjoyed to be able to help them come up with a few ways to announce it :)


Lindsey and Hunter's mini session was over the top adorable. Hunter was a great listener and him and his mom have an obvious special bond. I was more than happy to portray that in a few photos for them.


Tess was up to do an impromptu bridal session so we headed out and got some great shots. Who doesn't love a little lipstick and birdcage veil action?


I can't say enough about Kim + Chad's engagement session at Strawbale Winery. We used up every little bit of light we could and explored every inch of the winery to get some one-of-a-kind shots. It helps that they don't mind making googly eyes at each other because they are SO in love :)


I was so excited to do some more lifestyle shooting with Patty + Kyle and their adorable little boy :) We got so many amazing pictures, I don't know how Patty will ever decide what to print.


My friend Maddie had her baby! So of course we had to follow up her maternity session with some lifestyle newborn photos. Little Simon is quite loved, and I can't wait to watch him grow!


My last lifestyle session of 2015 was with the Hunt family and it was an amazing way to end the year, in front of the Christmas tree with some amazing people.


My last session of the year was with the amazing Hoogendorn family. Cal is the pastor at my church and I was so very honored when he asked me to take some photos of his family!

2015 was unbelievable and I am so very blessed to be able to do what I love.  2016 is already filling up fast, and I can't imagine what is going to happen, the people I will meet and the amazing love I am going to capture. Stay tuned, amazing things are about to happen!


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit

Liz + Troy | Marshall, Minnesota Rustic Chic Wedding

When Troy and Liz asked me to be their wedding photographer I was so honored. Troy and I went to high school together and it was great to head back to my hometown and shoot in a familiar location again. Liz and Troy's wedding was nothing short of amazing. From the gorgeous dress all the way down to the amazing cake toppers made by the bride's brother! It was super difficult to narrow down their images because every image was so dreamy.  I hope you enjoy a small peek into Liz and Troy's wedding day below :)

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography // Florist: Marshall Floral // Bride's Dress: Inifinity by Sister's Bridal // Tux Rentals: Tip Top Tux // Ceremony Location: Holy Redeemer Catholic Church // Reception: Marshall Golf Club



It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


Elayne + Mike | Woodbury, Minnesota Wedding

Throwback Thursday! I'm throwing it back to 2014 to this memorable wedding. Elayne and Mike, where do I begin. If you want to meet real, great, down-to-earth Minnesota people let me introduce you to these two, their families and their friends.  I have never felt more comfortable shooting a wedding than when I'm around this group.  I've actually had the honor to shoot many weddings within this group of friends and each time I am so thankful for this amazing group of clients that I can call friends! Elayne and Mike's day started off without any major issues and we were getting some great images. The ceremony was especially special as Elayne's father officiated (You're so awesome Jim!) ! Before the reception we headed outside the clubhouse to capture just a few more images when we were STUCK in a torrential downpour; and by stuck I mean we were hovering under a tree while the bride's brother threw his jacket over her head (Thank Brett!).

A few ran through the rain to get their cars to pick up the others and take them to shelter and we got some towels from inside. Everyone took it with stride and we continued on to the party! (Thank goodness I keep extra clothes and shoes in my car when I shoot a wedding!)

Elayne and her dad topped of evening off with a surprise choreographed dance, shocking even Mike...he had no idea! The entire day was full of laughter and that's just the way it should be.  Check out some photos below!

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography // Hair & Makeup Artist: Mollie Kae Hair & Makeup // Bride's Gown & Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridal Boutique // Tuxes: Savvi Formal Wear // Florist: Petersen Flowers // Ceremony: Woodbury Peaceful Grove United Methodist Church // Reception: Tartan Park // DJ: Midwest Sound DJ Entertainment


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


Rebecca + Joel | Lismore, Minnesota Backyard Farm Wedding

On the most beautiful day in August, I got to be apart of an adorable at-home wedding on a farm in Minnesota. Rebecca and Joel were so kind to invite myself, as well as all their guests, to Rebecca's family farm!

There were many gorgeous details and so much hard work that everyone put into the wedding, but the atmosphere was so relaxing and calm the entire day. Rebecca and Joel are amazing together and there is no way to describe them without using the words incredibly sweet and caring.

I'm excited to show off some the images from their day and share a glimpse of the fun day they allowed me to capture for them!

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography // Dress: The Wedding Shoppe // Florist: Wendy's Flowers // Cake Decorator: Taylor'd Cakes // DJ: Thunder Music DJ Service // Caterer: Tony's Catering // Tent:Big Top Tent Rental  //Glassware: Ideal Wedding and Events  // Decorative Flower Boxes: The Flower Mill


It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit


7 Reasons to Have a First Look

7 Reasons to Have a First Look

First off, I'd like to say that there is no right decision, do not feel pressured in anyway to change what you want to do for your wedding. It is your day and you should have it your way. Everyone is different and I strongly believe that weddings should reflect the character and personality of the bride and groom, even down to how they lay out the day.

Ashley + Brett | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

Ashley + Brett | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Wedding

If you ever want to meet the sweetest people in the world, talk to these families. I felt so welcomed and comfortable the entire day with Ashley & Brett's families! Their love is so strong and apparent, and they are both such fun-loving silly people to their core. Take a look below at highlights from their day from the cozy start at Brett's family home to an emotional ceremony to a very memorable reception entrance, all with a sunset finish!

8 Secrets to Make Your Wedding Photographer Love You

8 Secrets to Make Your Wedding Photographer Love You

I wanted to create this list so that you can be ready to celebrate each and every moment of your wedding day. I want to make sure that the dream that you have of your perfect day is clear to me so that I can create an amazing memory for you. I hope that you will like these tips of some things you can do that will make your wedding photographer be giddy, heart-eye emoji in love with you, which will result in the best photos possible.

Ashley + Josh | Edina, Minnesota Bearpath Country Club Wedding


I have come to know Ashley, Josh & their friend group pretty well. It is always a blessing to be able to shoot multiple weddings within the same group of friends. I get to know their style, their sense of humor, and this group was no different. They are an amazing tight-knit group of friends, and I hope to see them again in the future!

Ashley & Josh chose to have their ceremony and reception at Bear Path Country Club right on the edge of Chanhassen & Eden Prairie in Minnesota, and it was down right gorgeous.  We kept an eye on the sky, with a threat of rain luming, but the rain stayed away until much later in the night and we even got an amazing burst of sunshine!

Here is a look at some of the photos from their beautiful wedding day!

Photographer: Bethany Melvin Photography // Ceremony & Reception: Bearpath Country Club


 I had a wonderful time with Ashley & Josh and can't wait to see where their futures go!

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit

The Informed Client: Copyright Release vs. Print Release


If someone asked me what is the number one question that I get as a photographer, it would be this:

"Can I get/Do you give/How do I get the copyrights to all images?"

My answer to this question is always that I do not give copyrights, but I do give a print release to purchased digital files that allows you to print up to an 8x10 photo. Now, each photographer will have a different anwer to the question based on how they have decided they are going to run their business -- that is totally a personal choice on the part of the photographer.

That being said, I think the photog-language can sometimes be confusing so I am here to help!  So here are the differences between the two releases and why a print release is the mindful choice.


  • This document releases the copyright from the photographer to the client.  At the moment of transfer the copyright no longer belongs to the Photographer, he/she no longer owns the photograph.

  • In cases where copyright has been handed over, the Photographer can technically never use the photographs without the permission of the client.


  This means you cannot use the photo for marketing purposes, portfolio purposes or any other means without getting permission.

Clients:    Chances are you are wanting the photo release so that you have the ability to add to your own photo album, place on social media etc. This can be acheived with a print release and still gives the photographer the right to build their portfolio and include your photos in part of their budding collection.


  • This document gives the client the ability to print photos for personal use, within the clauses of the release.

  • In cases where a print release is given, the Photographer retains ownership of the photos and has the rights to use for market, portfolio or other.

  • Allows photos to be used by both parties.


  Giving a print release has many benefits.

- Client cannot edit the photograph at all (any edits good or bad will be connected with your name)

- Photograph cannot be used for monetary gain by client (commercial or other)

- The photograph still belongs to you, but your client is still getting what they want.


   Why does this benefit you also?

- Unlimited printing of your photo session*.

- Posting of files on your social media.

- Digital file to keep forever.

*Check your photographer's release policy. Most established photographers will only release digital files up to a specific size. This is done to ensure that you get the best, highest quality images that are large scale. Usually consumer-available labs have a capability to print large format, but they spend little to no time reviewing their product, or checking that the output is the best it can be for that image. 

I hope this has helped clear up any confusion on the difference between a Print Release vs. Copyright Release! :)

It’s your love story. Brag a little.™

Bethany Melvin Photography is a Sioux Falls, SD wedding photographer who specializes in capturing love stories. Bethany Melvin Photography is based in the Midwest, but is available nationwide and for destination weddings. Have a question or want more information on booking? Contact Bethany today at or visit