Glacier National Park Bliss – Sarah and Paxton

I dreamt about these images moments after clicking the shutter. I waited patiently at my desk in Seattle for that email to come through from my lab stating ‘your images are ready’. Shooting film has completely changed my perspective and increased my appreciation for the phrase ‘Everything great is worth the wait.’ In this case, it is ever true. Sarah and Paxton, how do I even begin to describe your wedding or even you two as a couple? Your love is infectious. Your combined passion for adventure is crazy, in the best way. Your love and compassion for family is insurmountable. Venturing to Glacier National Park for your wedding embodies you both as a couple in your entirety. Your couragious spirit will take you both on so many amazing journies and I just feel so lucky to have been able to be there for this one. And for climbing trees, wading through chilly waters, hiking through the meadows and forest, I thank you. August 18th was pure perfection.

 

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Florist | Amanda Burnette

Venue | Abbott Valley Homestead 

Ceremony Location |  Pray Lake – Glacier National Park

Caterer | Simple Chef Catering

Band | The Banner Days

Dress | BHLDN

Last but not least – Doug Pettway – THANK YOU for backing me up on the digital images and to your incredible family – Levonne, Sadie, and Lilia thank you so much for feeding us muffins, coffee, and smores!!!!

 

Maike Pulliam - Woah. Well this wedding is spectacular. Love all the softness of it, and the intimacy. Beautiful work.

shannon - what!? you were in glacier? that’s my neck of the woods!!! it’s such an amazing place and you captured it perfectly!!! what a drop dead gorgeous couple and gorgeous wedding!! so beautiful!

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Behind the Scenes (BTS) From Seattle to Glacier National Park

Weddings are gorgeous and seem to be effortless. This post is a little sneak into the behind the scenes and just how much goes into making it effortless.:)This wedding was beyond gorgeous and is a perfect example of how to prioritize facets of a wedding day. Sarah and Paxton made it very clear that location, flowers, and photography were of the utmost importance and their timeline reflected that. Its always important to communicate and be transparent about what your needs as a bride and a vendor are so that everyone can be on the same page. For me if a bride tells me photography is not the most important aspect of their day, of course my pride would feel a little tingle BUT I will know not to schedule an hour for portraits and will take a more documentary approach to their wedding day. With that said, I have never had a bride like that because I try to instill heirlooms, history, and nostalgia as a part of my brand. There is nothing wrong with having different priorities but in this case with photography nearing the top, Sarah and I worked together to ensure we could drive to all the locations within Glacier National Park where portraits would be optimal. There was a total of 4 hours to drive the ‘Going to the Sun’ road with approximately 45 minutes of shooting mixed in (those photos will be coming to you on Monday). So… Back to the BTS – how did we make all this gorgeousness happen?

 

It all started in Seattle. – The lush flower markets. Then on to load them up in a glorious nook of flower heaven (aka my backseat). On the road we went and there we reached our destination… That mountainous loveliness… A slice of pure happiness. Ok ok there is way more to the story than that. Keep scrolling to find out but first – oh my goodness – how could I not introduce my best friend and incredibly talented florist, Amanda Burnette? Yup that’s her there below!VA_0747

 

 

Upon arriving at Glacier National Park (West Side), Amanda and I gazed upon our little pop up camper (I wish there was a photo of this thing but I think I may have wanted to block it out haha). There is a whole story behind that as well but we are ever grateful for Abbott Valley Homestead for working with us to set up this little beauty on my dear friend and colleague’s cabin property. You see, back when I booked this wedding, I was freting about who would be able to shoot and assist me, not having known anyone in the area. However, Doug Pettway, had glacier on his bucket list and so it came to be. Him and his incredible family trekked out to GNP from West Virginia. We crashed their vacay and it was glorious.

The following day we were greeted with coffee from the Pettway’s – Levonne, Sadie, and Lilia, you are my heros and love you all so much!

So here is Amanda doing her thing… I cant take much credit other than photographing her in her element. It’s truly astounding to watch. All day Friday she worked. pruning, and clipping, and fastening, and tying.

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her amazingness….VA_0756

Meanwhile – Doug and I left the cabin at 5am in search of the sunrise… just wow. Lake McDonald was the perfect backdrop to watch the sun pop up over the Glacier Mountains. It was hovering around 32 degrees that July morning. Im not sure Doug or I were prepared but that sight to see was distracting enough. We sat there freezing and still in awe. Neither of us having been to Glacier before, we decided to drive the ‘Going to the Sun’ road to scout for Saturday – there are just a few to show you what we saw; however, I’m keeping most of those shots hidden until the big reveal on Monday;)

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So a bride who has flowers in her top 3? Of course you do a first look with the bouquet!!!!!!!! This too was built into the timeline so every vendor was on the same page and the bride could enjoy her day to the fullest. I know for a fact this is one of the highlights of her day aside from marrying her love. She has already posted on instagram her dried bouquet. Since her Mother and her are both gardeners it was so sweet to see them name each flower and be in more and more awe with each bloom they discovered. This folks – is knowing your client and putting a sincere effort into figuring out what will make them most happy.

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Additionally, when you analyze a timeline and realize there will not be enough time to photograph reception details after portraits- you set up a reception table before you shoot the getting ready photos and knock it out. All the reception details were shot at 8am. Thanks Doug and Amanda for helping me set this all up!!! Made all the difference! PS photographers – if you want to get published this is a must have portion of the day – so make it happen however you can – even if it means setting up one table at 8am;)

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Couple sneaks of the final product-VA_0751

Lastly, here are just a couple BTS of me doing my thing. Any bride who is willing to venture into the woods, take off her shoes, take a dip in the river in her dress, or hike a dirt path for some epicness – is the ideal bride for me. So with all of that… leave me some comments and ask any questions you have about behind the scenes.

VA_0754Behind the scenes and thats a wrap!!!!!

BTS BONUS – here is what 7am editing looks like in my house – florence and the machine on the record player and intermittent dance parties. Just click that little link below.;)

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Love in Chaos – Jacqie and Christin

I have known Jacqie for several years now. I remember the first night we sat down to chat after shooting a wedding together at Sugarloaf Mountain. We each ordered a glass of wine and began to unwind, first talking about the day and the gorgeous setting. Then we transitioned into family life, our business dreams, and our loves – past and present. Jacqie spoke of her past relationship in sort of a monotone and melancholy way. Her eyes only brightened when she spoke of her children. So we talked of her current relationship and even still her body seemed empty. The adjectives used to describe this love were completely the opposite of what her eyes were broadcasting. I just listened and thought ‘we may not know eachother well enough yet to divuldge more’. As our conversation progressed I just knew we would become fast friends and that this would be a friendship which would blossom into something that lasts life long. 3 years later what I have learned is that she is strong, interesting, and fearless. In the past couple years she has faced countless struggles and her preserveance and outlook on life continues to amaze me. It was a short time ago we spoke again of life and love; catching up since my move to the west coast, and this time something was different. She was giddy. Her eyes lit up. Her excitement was hard to contain. Despite the chaos Jacqie found herself in, Christin had come into her life and Jacqie’s unwillingness to adhere to family cultural norms, explored life and found her match. This was the first time I think I heard, saw, and felt Jacqie – happy.

A few weeks ago I was in Maryland and of course had to meet the infamous Christin. Over Thai food we laughed, and contemplated, and shared stories. We took a mini break to shoot off a couple frames just after the sun had set and then finished out the night over a couple bottles of wine and endless laughter. Cheers to you both – I feel so lucky to know you and can’t wait to see what life has in store for you two. xo

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