I’ve been dreaming of shooting a real elopement for a long time. I’ve shot an intimate wedding with less than 15 people, a Colorado destination wedding, and traveled to several states to shoot weddings, but no elopements. So when Devan emailed me asking me about her Montana elopement I was beyond stoked! While we were discussing dates, she asked about how much snow there would be in late March…and we all know the answer to that. It could be snow free and primed for spring, or dumping a foot of snow. Thankfully Devan and Alston were up for the adventure and planned for mid March.
They flew into Billings and headed west, and spent the week having some amazing Montana adventures. Snowmobiling, skiing, staying in a cabin, watching elk and bighorn sheep, and lots of exploring. And of course eating good food. Hopefully Devan got to hit a coffee kiosk before they left, apparently those don’t exist in Tennessee 🤷🏻♀️
The day of the elopement I stopped at The Nova Cafe in Bozeman for lunch, and Katalin Green happened to be there as well. I told her what I was up to and she said she wished she was doing the bouquet. I explained to her that the bride doesn’t have one, she then told me she could make one real quick. Like seriously, how amazing is that?!? So I finished up eating and met her at her studio, where I watched as she brilliantly put together this beautiful bouquet for Devan. So I headed to Big Sky, bouquet in hand, filled with gratitude.
I arrived at Lone Mountain Ranch and prepared myself for an epic afternoon. I met Alston and Devan at the cutest cabin, adorned with elk antlers…my favorite. They did a sweet first look, and then we did some portraits around the ranch. As I mentioned earlier the weather can’t make up its mind this time of year, and this day was no exception. During the first look it was snowing. Portraits at the ranch 5 minutes later the sun came out. During the vows it was overcast as more snow rolled in. Snowed a bit as they popped their champagne and then sunny again. It’s Montana, we are used to the crazy weather but we love to talk about it. ❄☀
We worked our way up into the mountains and they picked a quiet trail, away from everyone to read each other their vows. They got legally married at home in Tennessee before they came to Montana, because they didn’t want a stranger marrying them, which I LOVE. Just the two of them, making promises to each other in front of God. I wish I could’ve simply listened because I just know the vows were insanely touching. But I suppose it’s more fitting knowing they shared their promises in private…because I couldn’t hear a darn thing over my camera and footsteps in snow. All I know is Devan cried a bit which was too beautiful, and then to top that off Alston wiped away her joyful tears. Are they even real? It was an amazing few moments to document and I loved every second.
We wanted a view to go with the champagne, so we ventured even further up this road. We ended up at a log home, with panoramic views, so we borrowed the driveway for a couple minutes, shhhh. We drove south a little and stopped at the cutest spot down by the river and back again in town with an amazing view of Lone peak. I left them as they took a few moments to relax before their dinner reservations. A perfect end to an amazing day.
So that’s a basic run down of the day! These two are the sweetest and I’m so thankful they choose me to document their elopement. Devan + Alston, thank you for putting up with me saying “yassss” while I obsessed over every other photo, for popping my cheap sparking wine, and for all the dancing and running I made you do. You picked the perfect place to say I Do, and I’m glad Montana will forever have a special place in your hearts, like it does in mine! xoxo