The more small weddings I shoot, the more I fall in love with them, and this small Montana wedding is a perfect example. I don’t love them because they they are easier, often they are not. It’s not because I dislike big weddings, they have their place. But I find that small weddings are full of intention. For example, each guest in attendance is invited deliberately. You get to talk to, eat with, and spend time with each person there. Skip out on saying a quick hello to 150+ people and actually have conversations. And above all, you exchange your vows in front of your closest people. In short, those are a few reasons why I love about small weddings.
Leah and Tristan contracted me this spring for an elopement in the Beartooths. During the planning process, family was considered and their elopement turned into a thoughtful, meaningful, intentional celebration with guests.
The original plan was to include the Beartooths, so they wanted to head up there to read vows. I showed up early, only to find a good 40 minute road construction delay where we wanted to go. As a result, we decided to go to another mountain road in Red Lodge instead. But alas, Leah and Tristan got caught in road construction too, therefore we went to the closest pretty spot I could think of. It wasn’t glamorous or up high in the mountains, but what does that matter anyway? They embraced and brought themselves into the moment. Leah read her vows, Tristan spoke from the heart. I checked the photos capture time…we spent a good 16 minutes there. Although I would’ve loved for them to have a more relaxing, slow paced time together, it was nice that they are as laid back as I am. Plus I can get a lot done in 15 minutes.
As we all got stuck in road construction on the way back to Billings I sent them a few camera screenshots to show how amazing that impromptu location was. Grass, trees, and mountains in the distance is all one needs! Once we got to Billings, they welcomed guests as they filtered in through The Fieldhouse. The ceremony space was out back on the patio with benches and seating areas, Better to Gather did an incredible job. Inside was stunning, with long tables with lots of candles and a simple white runner. Melissa of Passiflora farms had the most amazing bouquet for Leah, along with gorgeous flowers on the tables and arch.
It was wonderful to see Leah and Tristan’s families meeting and coming together to celebrate. They had their short but oh so sweet ceremony, followed by drinks for all and music from Darren James. Everyone enjoyed dinner, a freaking amazeballs yellow cake by Sam (aka the cake queen), and an evening spent outside dancing as trains rolled by.
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