It’s not every day that I get asked if I’ll photograph a Montana waterfall wedding. But holy moly, I wish it were! When Megan contacted me a while back and asked me if I’d be willing to hike up to the falls for an intimate wedding with just her, her fiancé Zach, and their families, I was absolutely stoked. I truly love this type of creativity, adventure, and pure Montana awesomeness, and I knew we’d all have so much fun together.
Megan told me that she and Zach had been road tripping in Montana a few years ago (they are both from Ohio) and had stumbled across this hike to the waterfall. When it came time to get married, they both knew they wanted to return and have their ceremony at the base of this beautiful, tumbling cascade of water. And so they did!
We all hiked up together, everyone carrying their respective finery on their backs. We started out fairly early in the morning to avoid the heat, and meandered our way through tall, tall trees, fields of ripening huckleberries, and a smattering of beargrass and wildflowers. Soon, we could hear the roar of the falls, and everyone’s reactions were priceless as we rounded the corner to see the spectacular sight.
Makeshift changing rooms were set up (i.e. a sheet tied between two trees), and folks started getting ready. Smart phones were used as mirrors, real mirrors were propped up in tree roots, and branches made the most perfect way to hang dresses. Hiking boots were traded for dress shoes and heels, Megan wore her mother’s wedding dress that had been redesigned just for Megan, and soon it was time to start.
Everyone stood on a small rocky “island” of sorts as we awaited Megan and her father to emerge from the forest. She beamed as she made her way through the trees and across the shallow streams, and Zach had eyes only for her as he smiled at his bride.
Vows were said, rings were exchanged, knots were tied, and kisses were had – all to the background music of the roaring waterfall. We all cheered and laughed as Zach scooped Megan up in his arms to carry her over the watery “threshold,” and they kissed again as newlyweds.
Zach’s brother popped the cork and we all shared in a champagne toast. Soon we had time to zip around and make some fun portraits. These two were brave enough to stand in the freezing cold water, traipse around in the surrounding streams, and clamber up some fairly large boulders – to which I say, thank you!
I returned home, boots soaking wet, pants muddy, hands stained by huckleberries and with a smile wider than you can imagine, full of pure happiness for Megan and Zach. This is what I live for and what I love.
Megan and Zach – congratulations again! I am SO grateful that you invited me to document such an incredibly special day for you and your families. What an absolute honor! I wish you many, many years of happiness, love and laughter, and frequent trips back to Montana and your waterfall. :)
Flowers: Paula Jean’s Garden, Missoula, Montana
Officiant: Beth Rennick, Bozeman, Montana
Lodging: Double Arrow Lodge, Seeley Lake, Montana
On the docket: weddings, weddings, portraits, and more weddings! Stay tuned!