Madi & Ben's Magical Elopement at Castle Butte

I had a completely magical shoot down in the Big Muddy Valley. I was invited by the amazingly talented Melissa, of White Lotus Studios-Newborn and Wedding Photography Regina to assist her on a styled shoot she had planned out at Castle Butte, and I am SO glad I was able to jump at the offer because WOW! Not only did I have an amazing time with Melissa and this gorgeous couple, but her vision for this shoot was nothing short of incredible!

Just the drive into the Big Muddy Valley alone is amazing, as you crest this one particular hill you’re suddenly surrounded by an incredible panoramic view that makes you wonder if you’re even still in Sask. A bit further down the road and around a corner or two, you will be greeted with the formidable Castle Butte. This has got to be one of my favorite spots that’s a reasonable distance from Weyburn, if you haven’t been already you should definitely go... oh, and don't forget some good walking shoes or hiking boots! I had my trusty boots packed up and waiting by my front door, and of course walked right past them and went along my merry way. I realized this about half way there, and even checked the little store in Bengough as I went through, but alas, no boots! I was prepared to climb barefoot if I needed to, no way I would be missing any opportunities in this gorgeous location, but fortunately my sandals handled the trek just fine.

Now let me tell you a little bit about this amazing location before I gush about this dreamy styled elopement. Castle Butte, and the Big Muddy Badlands have some very neat history, complete with outlaws and bandits! Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the Big Muddy Badlands formed the northern tip of the Bandit Trail. This trail was used by world renown horse bandits Sundance Kid, Dutch Henry, Pigeon Toed Kid, Coyote Pete, and Sam Kelly.

Nowadays the Big Muddy is known for its Horseback riding, cattle ranching, farming, and some of Saskatchewans most exciting highway drives. Castle Butte itself is , a 70 meter relic from the ice age; similar to Uluru (In Australia), only on a smaller scale. While Castle Butte is free to see, if you're interested in a very cool and much more in depth look into the history of this area, it's also worthwhile to take a tour of the badlands from Coronach. There you can get full-and half-day guided tours either as part of a large group or in the comfort of your own vehicle.

Upon arrival at this majestic prairie giant, I easily spotted Melissa, Madi and Ben, who had arrived earlier than expected, and headed over to lend a hand. After a bit of chit chatting while we set about bringing Melissa’s vision to life, we set out on our adventure. For three plus hours we worked our way around the entire circumference of the butte, finding one breathtaking location after another to stop and make some magic happen! After circling this massive wonder, we started the very steep hike up to the first plateau. Madi, the incredible woman that she is, did the climb in a wedding dress and flats! So we all know who the true MVP is here. Then after we snapped some pics in the quickly setting sun, she gracefully floated herself back down the very steep trail, without even getting herself dirty... meanwhile here is me in the back of the line, crouched down as low as I can get, with 20lbs of gear on my back sliding on my trusty sandals hoping for the best HA!

Madi & Ben were amazing to work with, these two were on FIRE in front of the camera. From the moment I rolled up and saw Madi rocking an adorable Beatles T-shirt, I knew I was going to love her, and I was not wrong. The love and connection between Madi & Ben was absolutely wonderful to witness and capture. I really enjoyed talking and getting to know them and the interesting things they do aside from being amazingly gorgeous! They have the cutest stories about their doggy’s, tattoos, and their actual elopement in Las Vegas that took place prior to our shoot. My life is richer for having met both of them, of that I am sure.

I can’t possibly express enough thanks to Melissa of White Lotus Studios in Regina for inviting me out to assist her with this shoot. Her personality, her vibe and her vision straight up took my breath away. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to work alongside her, to see how she connects with and guides her clients was nothing short of a once in a lifetime opportunity. I don’t think she knew quite how much I admired her, I tried to keep my fangirling in check haha! Melissa made me almost want to run out and get engaged so me and my old man can hire this amazing woman to help us plan an elopement! I learned so much working with her, and I am so grateful just to have met all three of these amazing humans.

Hair: @hairbyamandarae @basestudioyqr

Makeup: @saralindsaymakeupartist

Dress: Spell Bride, provided by @white_lotus_studios

Decor: @specialeventrentals

Floral design, set design/production, and shoot styled by the amazingly talented @white_lotus_studios

Couple: Madi & Ben ♡