Rikki Rivera | Photographer » Wedding & Portrait Photography

An incredibly sunny and warm month of August opened up to a rainy and moody weekend. It just so happened that the day Jeff and Shandy were going to tie the knot in an outdoor ceremony with the mountains behind them, the clouds rolled in thick and luminous. Just before the first look, the rain poured down and a brief moment of panic swept over everyone getting ready. Nerves slowly calmed as everyone pulled together to make the day turn out regardless of a little storm. Working in a very small space, putting Plan B into action, we pulled together, and reassured the bride that a little rain wouldn’t take away from their day, beautiful photos, or the excitement and joy surrounding these two as they tied the knot.

It was so great to be apart of an amazingly creative team with Kelly Lemon and Laura Ryan. Meadowbrook Farms was such a sweet, simple place. Every vendor pulled through to accommodate the rain and the support of family and friends was truly incredible. It was such an honor to be apart of it all. Congratulations Shandy and Jeff, happy honeymooning!

Melissa K. Norris is an author, blogger, podcaster, gardener, and homesteader. You can learn from her, HERE. With the many amazing hats she wears, she and I connected online quite some time ago. After having idolized her vast gardening knowledge and soaked up all I could, I couldn’t help but reach out to her. After all, we had become quite familiar with one another and we both work online so much, there were few secrets left untold. Of course, by the time we were actually together, you couldn’t have guessed how much we had to talk about. We chatted the entire time and ultimately had to peel ourselves apart so I could begin my trek home and she could visit her newborn nephew. It was a perfect Pacific Northwest day with a gal who is born, bred, and truly lives the lifestyle of one who tends to the soil at the foothills of the North Cascades.

Her kids, close in age to my own, are sweet as can be. After exploring their lush property on foot, we made it to the garden where each of them began tending to one thing or another. It was kind of amazing to see first hand. You know that a lifestyle is truly genuine when you don’t have to ask your kids to help tend your garden with you. I could have stayed there all day. From seeing her home canned goods filled pantry to sharing some indoor photography tips, talking about back to school life with kids, working out of home and in the home – the authenticity of our different, but similar lifestyles blended well.

I’m so proud of Melissa and how well she’s made a name for herself based on the passions of her life, passed down from generations of her family. Now I know that sounds corny, but from one ambitious small business owner to another, it’s inspiring. I watched as she launched her first book, went on our local news station, and with book two in the works, I am anxious to dive into it and read more of her story, recipes, and support her journey.

Thank you Melissa for having me out to your home and in your garden. Your children are incredible and I hope to connect with you again!

Dave: “I was formally introduced to Katherine through a mutual friend but I actually met her for the first time about a year or two before that. The first time we met she talked me in to pulling a passive aggressive move on some coworkers throwing a party I wasn’t invited to.”

Katherine: “I thought Dave was pretty cool when we first met. He was clearly very smart and seemed nice enough. But as I got to know him while he spent a year in the “friend zone,” I began to realize what an incredible person he was. Funny, generous, compassionate. The kind of person you are compelled to keep with you. I fell in love with him while I was busy just being his friend, and now I have the best partner I could imagine.”

Dave: “Once we were formally introduced we quickly became friends bonding over climbing, bourbon, and British TV shows. I knew early on that she was special and the fact that she would go out of her way to make me feel the same meant a lot to me. Life isn’t always great, nor is it always easy but since she has came in to my life I have always had something to be happy about.”

Katherine: “I always knew I would marry and have a family, but I could never have imagined in any of my wild day dreams that someone like Dave would slowly, over the course of a year, sweep me off my feet.”

Dave: “As like many others before me the day of the wedding was kind of a blur, but one thing that will always stand out to me is how amazing she looked in her dress standing on the mountain. To be honest once I saw her I became a bit overwhelmed, I also felt slightly under-dressed. I know I have the best partner ever and I am truly luck that I was able to marry my best friend. I’m glad that the ones we love could be there on our day.”

Katherine: “The wedding was a blur, I don’t remember what the cake tasted like, or how cold it was out side, or exactly what Dave was saying in his vows. What I do remember, clear as day, was how incredible it felt to finally have found my best friend and how excited I was to make him mine forever.”

From the first time we met, we hit it off with Katherine and Dave. They’re down to earth, fun, and full of witty sarcasm we can each play along with and laugh at. I never felt like I was working with them, but just having a good time, which is always my goal. It’s been amazing getting to know these two, they have this inspiring love that I’ve seen literally bring tears to eyes. As corny as it sounds, it’s truly a beautiful thing. I feel incredibly fortunate to have crossed paths with Katherine, to have become her friend, and to have witnessed her and Dave exchanging vows. Meant to be is fully exemplified between the two of them.

I was so stoked to discover they were planning an early day mountain top wedding with just those closest to them. With all the details covered, it was a flawless and beautiful day. We finished the ceremony just before the crowds rolled in to celebrate the National Park’s 100th anniversary, then we slowly found our way down the mountain and went to celebrate with the best of ’em!

Katherine and Dave are surrounded by one of the most amazing groups of friends and family I’ve ever witnessed, and one of the absolute cutest Grandma’s there ever was! Everyone was welcoming, kind, and so happy to come together for them. If I could bottle up that kind of love to always hand out when you need to feel loved, inspired, or to feel like there is good in the world again, it would be the perfect antidote. They laugh so easily, they take care of one another so effortlessly, they hear what the other has to say, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or, like bourbon and British TV shows, whichever.

Thanks so much Katherine and Dave for having me document your wedding day. It was one of the best days, my face literally hurt from laughing and smiling so much. As I was going through to pick these favorites, I found myself a little teary eyed remembering the emotion of your vows. It was a moment I’ll surely never forget. I feel very blessed to have been apart of this day with you, I don’t think this could’ve worked out more perfectly!

And a huge thanks to my own best friend for being the best support and second shooter ever! Love ya!

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