Dave and I had the pleasure of attending a unique and beautiful western wedding last week… that of professional bull rider Tyler Thomson and his ‘barrel racing’ fiance, Sheena (Murphy) Thomson. Set on the Thomson ranch southwest of Black Diamond, Alberta; the venue for the wedding ceremony itself was a lush green meadow at the base of the stunning Alberta foothills and Rocky Mountains.
All six groomsmen (brother, bull riders, bull fighter and cousins/friends of the groom) and the groom himself, Tyler, awaited the start to the wedding ceremony about a ¼ mile off to the south of the wedding site. As 2:00 pm, June 8 drew near, the seven cowboys (clad in jeans, dress coats and cowboy hats) galloped abreast across the meadow to the front of the group of friends and relatives who had gathered to help celebrate the couple’s special day. The bride’s attendants (in elegant black gowns carrying bouquets of large blue daisies) were chauffeured up the hill in a white ‘truck-style’ limousine of massive and luxurious proportions. Last to arrive, and perhaps in the most stylish conveyance of all, (a Classic ’38 Chevy driven by her Dad, ) was the bride herself. Sheena was absolutely stunning in a tiered gown with fitted bodice, hand-crafted applique and a long train. (Rather than attempt a more detailed description, I’ll let the images speak for me!) Once all parties had arrived, the ceremony commenced with Cowboy Minister, Doug Richards, officiating. The ceremony itself took place in a log gazebo, designed and built especially for the Thomson wedding by former CFR bull rider (now log furniture builder) and close friend of the groom, Quentin Lowry. The ceremony featured both traditional elements and some ‘custom” additions courtesy of the bride and groom… all in all, a sincere, heart-warming exchange of vows, and one that clearly showed the regard Tyler and Sheena have for one another. Of note as well, was both the athletic ability and nature of the ring bearer – Sheena’s little dog did the honours (with the ring tied into his neckrag)… The enthusiastic canine was held at the end of a leash until time for his ‘performance’ (no doubt so he wouldn’t wander off and lose the ring!!) by another family member, and cousin to the groom, Cody Thomson. At the close of the ceremony, Tyler and Sheena, smiling widely, adjourned to the limousine with their attendants. Their next stop… the Thomson ranch cow camp, further west, where wedding pictures were taken by the couple’s official photographer, Nicole Wade. The day was rounded out by a reception (complete with a steak dinner and dance) in Okotoks. The majority of the images included with this blog were provided courtesy of Nicole Wade Photography. A barrel racer herself, Nicole grew up near Eckville Alberta rodeoing, hunting and working in her parents’ guiding business. Nicole became friends with Sheena at Olds College where they rodeoed together. Now married, Nicole and her husband Orrin live near Eckville with their two children. Nicole has been shooting professionally now for about two years and loves every minute of it! Find Nicole on the web at nicolewadephotography.ca For more Western weddings ideas…Check out Western Weddings Part I, Western Weddings Part II, Western Weddings Part III, & Wedding Bliss .