3 Tips for Planning a Black Hills Wedding

With their towering pines and spruces, majestic granite spires, and crystal-flowing streams and waterfalls, the Black Hills of South Dakota are a superb place for a wedding. Do not feel that you have to live in the Black Hills in order to get married there; the people of South Dakota are friendly and welcoming to visitors and willing to accommodate you for a destination wedding.

However, if you are planning a Black Hills wedding from out of town, there are some important things you should know beforehand. This is especially true if you are planning an outdoor wedding in the Black Hills.

1. Weather

Weather in South Dakota can be wildly unpredictable. Do you remember the Vanessa Williams lyric, “sometimes the snow comes down in June”? It’s not unheard of for that to happen in the Black Hills, although it is rare. In April, it is not unusual to have a snowstorm one week and balmy temperatures in the 70s the next. The busy summer months can bring thunderstorms, some of them severe enough to produce tornadoes. Be prepared for anything, and if you have booked an outdoor venue, think about reserving an indoor space as a backup.

2. Scheduling

If you’re planning to get married during the summer months, keep in mind that you won’t be the only one looking to exchange Black Hills wedding rings during that time. Summer is the busy season for weddings in the Black Hills, and venues tend to book up quickly. Also, unless you are a biker, do not plan your Black Hills wedding for the first week in August. This is the time of the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, when literally hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts roar into the region and temporarily take it over. You won’t be able to find a venue or accommodations during this time, and even if you do, it will not be the tranquil experience that you might have had in mind.

3. Bugs

If you get married during the colder months, this may not be an issue. Though mosquitoes are not as prevalent in the Black Hills as in some other parts of South Dakota, they are present, and they can make a nuisance of themselves. They are most active at dawn and dusk, so think about scheduling your wedding during the hours of daylight. If you are outside after dark, citronella candles may help to keep the bugs away.

Beautiful weddings do not happen by accident. They take careful planning and knowledge of what to expect from your location.