Print this page

Chris & Kristin Williams – A Sturgis Wedding

Written by  August 31, 2004

Being a photo journalist and a biker, I get out to a lot of events and hang out in a lot of bars. A month or so ago I was doing my thing, taking photos of half naked women and bikes at one of my favorite watering holes in Lake Lotawana, Missouri when this Big Dog Mastiff pulled up with a custom paint job by Hawg Wyld. The animated couple on the bike caught my lens immediately, so I started taking pictures and struck up a conversation. While Chris went to grab a beer, Kristin began explaining the significance of all her tattoos to me. She has almost two full sleeves and too many more to mention. To say the least, I was impressed by her passion for her tattoos, as a lot of people get inked just to have a tattoo.

Several weeks had gone by when I ran into them again, and in the course of conversation, Kristin mentioned that she and Chris were thinking about getting married in Sturgis. Having developed a fondness for this couple and since we were both going to be in Sturgis at the same time, I offered to take pictures of their wedding. Anyway, we exchanged numbers and after taking a couple of pre-Sturgis shots we continued to party 'til the cows came home.

A few days later I e-mailed my schedule for Sturgis to my editor, Mike, who then asked me who was going to perform the ceremony. I didn’t know. Mike pointed out to me that Patty Hart-Busse, the wife of one of our Marketing Specialists, Carl, is an ordained minister. I’m embarrassed to say that it was apparent that I don’t read our magazine from cover to cover every month as there was an article about Patty in the July issue and I hadn’t had a chance to read it yet. I didn’t know she was a minister or that she was available to perform weddings in Sturgis. I sent Chris and Kristin a link to the article suggesting that they contact Patty unless they’d already made other arrangements. To make a long story short (yeah, right) they hooked up with Patty and the wedding was on! It’s funny how things are meant to be and just work out. Small freakin’ world.

At the end of a cold and rainy week, the sun finally came out on Friday the 13th. We had previously arranged to meet Chris and Kristin at our hotel in Spearfish at noon, but because they were an hour and a half late we were freakin’ out. While we were having a few beers and pacing the parking lot, they were on their way from Rapid City. There was no more room at the Inn and they had no place to spend their wedding night.
Eventually, they arrived in their car, pulling a trailer, all smiles and ready to tie the knot. But first they had to find a room. Luckily for them, the bridal suite at our hotel was available, and again, sometimes things are just meant to be. .

As the bride and groom got ready to ride up the hill, the Cycle Connections staff finished quaffing their beers and waited for the couple to appear. Then, we fired up our bikes and rode off in search of 14A to Spearfish Canyon and, of course, Bridal Falls. The ride was beautiful as was the day, even though it was Friday the 13th! Parking across from the falls was easy enough, but none of us had been there in a long time and didn’t remember that there wasn’t much room for the ceremony to be performed in front of the falls. To make things even more interesting, Reverend Patty just had knee surgery and was in a wheelchair. Having made it to Bridal Falls without any incident, the couple realized they needed a Brides Maid and a Best Man. And Carl and his daughter Joy were more than happy to oblige. Chris and Kristin were married next to the highway, in front of the 30’drop off, on a small strip of dirt facing the falls. .

As I took pictures, I had to be careful not to back up too far for fear of being hit by passing cars and bikes coming down out of the canyon. But the traffic slowed and everyone passing by screamed and yelled at the newlyweds during and after the ceremony. It was F*cking cool! There were at least 100 bikes lined up across the street, with everyone honking their horns, yelling and wishing the couple well on their special day. .

While Friday the 13th didn’t start well for Chris and Kristin, it ended well and will be a day they will always remember. On behalf of all of as at Cycle Connections Online Motorcycle Magazine, we wish the newlyweds long life and peace always. .

The following message was received from Chris and Kristin with a request that we share it with you, our readers. .

The Williams family would like to thank everyone involved in making our marriage at Sturgis such a blessed and wonderful event. Though united in the presence of many strangers, we brought back with us friends we will cherish for many years to come. Thanks to all!! Christopher, Kristin, Joshua and Alexandria Williams. .

Story by Wayne Thompson

Photos by Wayne Thompson and Mike Schweder