Black Hills Elopement Inspiration | Sturgis, South Dakota

Sturgis and Deadwood is a biker’s paradise, but the lush greens, rolling hills and quiet surroundings also make it a bride’s paradise for the perfect destination wedding or Elopement! I believe the Universe puts us in the right places at just the right time if we open our minds and hearts to it. This is one of those stories… There I was standing, and standing some more, in a long rental car line in Phoenix, Arizona. Then I started small chatting with the guy next to me like us Mid-Westerners do. He asked what I was doing in Arizona and I told him I was there photographing an Airbnb for marketing material. He then told me him and his family bought a cabin near Sturgis, South Dakota and they were renovating it so they could rent it out on Airbnb. He showed me a few pictures and said it could sleep 18 people. Yup, that’s all it took. My mind was already dreaming up a fun Destination Wedding or Elopement!! I told him my family heads to The Black Hills every summer so if we can coordinate dates I’d happily style something to show the world how amazing this place could be for their vacation, family getaway, or of course my specialty…an elopement:)

When we arrived the kids and my mom agreed we should probably just live there permanently. The details throughout the home are incredible. It has the perfect combination of rustic and modern decor, and incorporates elements directly from the land. They literally used the trees from the property to accent the walls and trim throughout the cabin. Speaking of the land, we were able to hand pick a wild flower bouquet as we hiked the property for this bridal shoot.


  • Arrive with those nearest and dearest to your hearts (if more than 18 there’s room for tents and campers or another cute airbnb next door…one that would be perfect for just the couple if privacy is desired! There’s also an airbnb down the road that sleeps 8)
  • Head to Nemo a few miles down the road for a fun pre-wedding celebration. You can go horseback riding with T&M TRAILRIDES in the Black Hills National Forest or rent ATV’s from D&K ATV RENTALS for half a day or full day. Tentative cost is $300-400 depending on size of ATV.
  • Set up volleyball, horse shoes or bean bags in the huge yard for some day of fun! Or head to the famous WONDERLAND CAVE down the road.
  • Hand pick your wildflower bouquet (or hire a photographer like me with resources to get you a big beautiful professional bouquet;)
  • Exchange vows on the property or make it more intimate by driving to a trailhead nearby to experience these beautiful views featured below.
  • End the evening with dinner on the deck overlooking the Black Hills National Forest, followed by a campfire and s’mores.


By chance are you humming the tune “you belong among the wildflowers” by Tom Petty after scrolling through these images;)

Styling + Photography: XSPERIENCE PHOTOGRAPHY | Planning: ELOPEWEST | Dress: | Model: Jaycee Hegg, Little Falls, Minnesota | Lodging: RUSTY MEADOWS LODGE, Piedmont, South Dakota (5 miles to the small town of Nemo, 25 miles to Sturgis or Deadwood, approximate one hour drive to Hill City, Keystone or Rapid City)





Minnesota based, Travel encouraged.

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