This story begins a while ago, when these two first met in high school. But really my story begins when I met Leighton, when she was in about 4th or 5th grade. She stole my heart as a sweet little girl and has now grown into such a beautiful and amazing young woman. It was so beautiful to watch her grow into who she is today. I had the honor of taking her senior portraits, her sisters senior portraits, her engagement session and now her wedding. I think I had just as must excitement to photograph and document her wedding as she did planning it and getting married. It was truly a day to remember and the wedding that kicked off my 2017 summer wedding season here in beautiful Bozeman, Montana. Truly this place is one amazing place to get married in the summer!
Conner and Leighton are truly an amazing couple together. To capture their love story was amazing! Their day started with the girls getting ready at a hotel and the boys getting ready at the groom's family ranch in Bozeman. To have an amazing second professional photographer for this wedding was a must to capture all their amazing details!
Getting Ready to Get Married....
This is one of my most favorite times of the day! The excitement is building and the bride is getting pampered and feeling like a complete princess before she see's her groom! Leighton was one of the calmest brides I've worked with. I think a big part of it was the group of friends and family that surrounded her and loved on her that day. They were truly there for her...best bridesmaids! Girls you did a fabulous job supporting your friend and bride on her big day.
Her hair was styled by one of the best stylist's in town, Jessica Stainer at Zuri Salon in Bozeman, MT. Her mom, Shannon helped as well and Shannon has been a stylist here in Bozeman for years and is amazing too! I love both of these girls and they have each been a big part of my life, so it was fun to get to hang out with them for the morning while I documented the process!
The Bride's Details...
Leighton had an amazing gown from Eskay Bridal Boutique here in Bozeman, Montana. It fit her beautiful and she said Sarai and her crew were amazing to work with finding a wedding gown. A big shout out to Sarai and Eskay Bridal, Leighton looked amazing! The flowers and the colors were so beautiful and complimented her whole wedding perfectly. Her cowgirl boots were a gift from her sweet groom and her ring was a family ring! I fell in love with this ring. And well, ring shots are my favorite....haha I think your going to find that I have lots of favorites on wedding days! But rings and photographing their detail are right up there, I just love bringing out the details in the diamond, the band and the cut.
Prayer Time & Pillow Fights....
Once all the bridesmaids and brides hair and makeup were complete, they all sat down to take a moment to pray over this precious bride. It was such a honoring moment....to have her friends pray blessings over her and to hear their love for her was truly a moment that flooded my heart with emotion. You see this sweet bride, was in the junior high youth group at our church that my husband and I lead. This is where we really got to know Leighton and her heart for Jesus and her love for others. I always loved seeing her bright smile every Wednesday night at church. So to see her prayed over, was such a honor to see.
Then they all broke into a pillow fight to shake off the nerves! We should've cranked up Shake It Off LOL. It was a fun pre-cursor photo op before all seriousness happened getting into dresses and shoes and all things girly! No pillow fights happening in your wedding attire! **disclaimer**no hair or faces were hit in these images! It was all fake! LOL
The best part is seeing the bride for the first time in her gown. Leighton's mom and her sister Jesse were there to help her with all the final touches before we headed out for formal pictures!
The maid of honor was Jesse Hirsch, the brides sister. I just love these two and so glad they got to celebrate this day together!
A Beautiful Montana Bride....
Oh Leighton! Your beautiful inside and out! And as long as we waited and anticipated your big day, I agree with you and wish we could push the rewind button and do it all over again! Your day was filled with so much love, fun and laughs that I didn't want it to end for you! But I know this is just the beginning to so much more than one special day! I am so happy for you my dear!
A Montana Groom....
Conner, you were so much fun for my second shooter Michelle to photograph! I laughed so hard looking through all your images with you and your groomsman! We had an amazing location to shoot, right on your parents ranch property north of Bozeman. The mountains for our back drop and all the barns, it was a photographer's haven to photograph!
Thanks so much Conner for your energy and fun in front of the camera! We love our jobs, but love it even more when the guys allow us this many smiles and laughs!
Groom's Photo Credits: Michelle Pritchow | Michelle Pritchow Photography
The boys! I don't know who had more fun, the groomsman or my second shooter! They were all serious for the first photo and then from there it was all laughs and fun!
This is how you photograph a bunch of Montana groomsman! Just having fun, nothing too serious! Michelle, you did an amazing job with these images and I can't thank you enough for covering the grooms day, while I focused on the bride!
Bride & Groom First Look....
Leighton & Conner choose to do a first look prior to the ceremony! I am so glad they chose to go this route and I will tell you why in another blog post! Just for the brides planning their 2018 Montana Weddings!
Their first look was very intimate and quiet. Just the two of them on a hill together, stopping the chaos and busyness of the day!
They were so excited to see each other! It was the sweetest moment ever! While Michelle and I hung back and tried to give them our privacy (with our long paparazzi lenses), we got some amazing shots of their first look on their wedding day!
The portraits resumed with some fun and silly bride and groom portraits!
So we did the classic dip pictures and guess what happened! YUP, you guessed it! The groom ripped his pants....and I think the rip was bound to happen with all the shenanigans with the groomsman pictures prior to the first look! LOL, we all laughed!
The Bridal Party
The wedding party was amazing and fun! We had so many laughs during formal portraits! Of course we had to do the traditional groomsman with the bride!
These boys were so funny....I asked them to fix the bride's dress and this was the shot I got! I told him to flip it around to the front so they didn't step on it! LOL, I love the animated flip of the train I got!
This shot was the best! Leighton was covering the rip in his pants and we told the guys to pop a hip like the girls usually do! They were so funny trying to figure out the pose!
We tried to get the ring bearer in the wedding party shots, but this is what we got! Leighton tried to hold him and right when she set him down, he ran away as fast as he could! I absolutely love candid photos like this! Not all my photos are posed and formal, my team and I try to capture every moment we can to make the memories even sweeter!
And with that we were off the chapel to get married!!
Leighton and Conner said their vows at the Holy Rosary Catholic church in the beautiful downtown Bozeman, MT. This church is absolutely beautiful inside and out!
Their vows were heartfelt and were blessed by the priest. It was a beautiful ceremony with their parents, family & friends beside them to support them in their marriage convent before God and the congregation gathered.
After the ceremony, we spent sometime outside the church celebrating and getting some great downtown shots!
And off to the reception we went! We of course had to get the classic shot of crossing the street with the beautiful and quaint downtown Bozeman in the background!
Of course a June wedding was not a wedding with a big downpour on the way to the reception! We were nice and protected though in the beautiful venue at Copper Spring Ranch west of town! It was amazing and everyone had such a great time dancing and celebrating the day!
The cake and cupcakes were beautiful and delicious too! The cupcakes were made by the bride's sister!
I could blog forever about this wedding....it was a special day for me to photograph and I know such an important day to Leighton & Conner! Thank you again for having Mariah Allen Photography and associates photograph your big day! Congratulations again Leighton & Conner!
Hair: Jessica Stainer & Shannon Hartman at Zuri Salon
Makeup: Sage Spa
Dress: Eskay Bridal
Venue: Copper Springs Ranch
Ceremony Site: Holy Rosary Church
And a huge shout out to my second shooter and friend Michelle Pritchow of Michelle Pritchow Photography out of Edumclaw, WA! She did an amazing job and helped capture so many different angles! She was assigned to the groom and groomsman, so photo credit to her on those images!!
mariah allen photography
Let's capture life's brightest moments together!