Blue skies, sun shinning, little summer breeze- what more could a bride ask for when she wakes up on her wedding day. Katie started her day off downtown Bozeman at Blush to get a soft natural bridal look for her makeup. I always do a little happy dance when I hear a bride is going to Blush because I know their makeup will be flawless and absolutely gorgeous!
Katie and her bridesmaids went out to Gallatin Gateway to finish getting ready at a VRBO, just across the road from the wedding venue. Most of their hair was done by Katie's 14 year-old cousin, and lets just say this sweet girl has a bright future in wedding hair!
Of course you need to pop some champagne on your WEDDING DAY!
These little wedding day details were so fun to capture...
Katie and Chris decided they wanted to tie the knot at one of Bozeman's very sought after wedding venues, Hart Ranch. This venue sits south of Bozeman in Gallatin Gateway against the mountains, near Big Sky. This rustic barn venue has everything you would want for a simple, yet elegant Montana wedding.
Katie wanted to slip into her wedding dress in a more intimate setting, the bridal suite at the Hart Ranch with just her Mother and Maid of Honor there with her.
Katie's custom Converse were the ultimate wedding detail of the day! Katie is a 4th grade teacher, so you know all of her kiddos will think she is the coolest teacher EVER with MRS. G on the back of her chucks!
Dress-Check, Shoes-Check, Accessories- Check, Looking Freaking GORGEOUS-Double Check.... Off to the bridal portraits.
Katie was wearing a gown she found at the well-know and highly recommended bridal dress boutique in Bozeman, Eskay Bridal. Her bouquet was created by a family member.
Meanwhile, Chris and some of his closest friends were enjoying their afternoon in the grooms getting ready location at the venue. They opened gifts, laughed, and reminisced on some good times,
Chris & Katie's ceremony was filled with so many emotions- happiness, excitement, and a whole lotta love. Their heart-filled vows had me in tears as I was trying to capture the special moments of the ceremony.
They went out with a bang with their first, second, and third kiss as Mr. & Mrs. G.
After the ceremony, I was able to sneak away with these two and do their portrait session. As you will see below, these two were utterly infatuated with one another.
These two couldn't be serious the whole time- they are always goofing off!
ANNNDDDD they got by with a little help from their friends!
I can't forget about the 7 flower girls and the cutest ring bearer!!
I was so honored that Katie & Chris asked me to be their wedding photographer. In high school, Katie & I spent our summer nights watching Chris and my husband play baseball. We would talk about the future and it always included those baseball boys. I could not be happier for these high school sweethearts and to see how far they have come. Here's to Katie G and Chris G!
June 21st started off as a stunning Bozeman, Montana summer day at The Ponds at Dry Creek. This Gallatin Valley wedding venue captures the true Montana Beauty with gorgeous views of all the mountains that surround the valley. Though the massive willow trees that line the property are very attractive, you will see in the pictures below why this venue is know as the ponds!
The sweet bride, Haley, and her closest friends got ready in the rustic bridal suite located on the venue property. As the ladies got ready, the room was filled with laughter, story telling, and the must have Spotify playlist, All Out 00s.
Haley had the details of her day very well thought out and it was so fun to capture all the colors she incorporated, especially in her bouquet, made by Budget Bouquet!
Once the ladies were all gussied up, we stepped outside to get some fun shots in these adorable floral robes, and do a mimosa cheers to the day.
Then it was time for one of the most special times of the day- slipping into the white dress.
Once all the accessories are on and the dress is fitting flawlessly, I like to ease some of the emotions by doing the bridal portrait session. Haley was so stunning in her After 5 and Weddings dress and veil- I could have spent hours on her bridal portraits!! As we began the portraits, the unpredictable Montana weather hit and it began to pour rain. Haley, being the most laid back bride, was okay with doing her portraits in the bridal suite..... Have I mentioned....she was STUNNING!
Meanwhile, the guys were just one pond away in their own cabin, getting all handsome for the day. The jokes were flying and old stories were being told. After 5 and Weddings made these groomsmen look very styling! (They also had the most adorable 8 year-old groomsmen!!)
When you get married in Montana, you can expect to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery. Most people expect to get the majestic mountain shots, with the baby blue skies and sunshine filling the air- I mean who wouldn't want that! But with the beautiful scenery comes some not so beautiful weather at times. As a Montana photographer, I have a plan A, B, C, and D ready to go for whatever comes our way on a wedding day.
Haley & Alex had planned their First Look to be on a peninsula that stretched out into one of the ponds, but with the thunderstorm passing, we decided the bridal suite was the best place. Though we did not get the scenic shots, these two had the most intimate First Look I've witnessed. After I got some images of their first moments of seeing each other, I left them to be alone. Every bride & groom needs a little time to be completely alone to take in their special day.
Going into the wedding day, I always have a timeline for when pictures are going to be done to insure the day goes smoothly. With the rain continuing to fall during the main part of the day set aside for pictures, we decided to wait out the rest of the pictures until the storms passed. Annnddd oh boy did those storms subside and bring us an amazing Bozeman, MT summer evening!
We were able to get the bride & groom portraits in before the ceremony began. We went out to the peninsula where the First look was planned to be and we got some amazing images with the ponds and willow trees surrounding the sweet bride & groom. The Ponds at Dry Creek, you never disappoint!
Then they were off to become hubby and wifey!!
Alex & Haley began dating in high school at 15 years old. We all went to Belgrade High School and Montana State University together, so I was able to watch these two grow into the amazing couple they are today. I was so honored to capture the day that they committed to a lifetime together.
These two had so many amazing friends and family surrounding them on their day!
And they were off to the party!
My favorite part of this Bozeman wedding venue is the dance floor is a dock on one the ponds. It is magical!
Before this blog comes to an end, I need to mention that whenever a summer thunderstorm comes through, the Montana sunsets are absolutely incredible. Haley & Alex braved the rain, but it was worth it at the end of the day!
Cady's, may you enjoy this amazing thing we call marriage!
A beautiful spring wedding for this sweet couple happened this past April at the Hart Ranch. It was a beautiful setting nestled in Gallatin Gateway. If you have ever driven up to Big Sky Ski Resort, you have probably seen a ranch on your left called the Hart Ranch. Gabe & Shelly chose the perfect venue to say their vows with the family & friends present.
As always a spring wedding in Montana can be full of sunshine, rain and snow all in the same day! We got sprinkled on a bit, but the weather held out until the reception started and the snow just started dumping on us! If you don't follow Leighton and I over on instagram you should because we had some fun insta stories of us out in the snow! When we left the wedding my windshield wipers wouldn't even budge the snow was so wet and heavy.
The day started in the beautiful bridal suite at the Hart Ranch and from their unfolded into a beautiful ceremony and love story. Gabe and Shelly's kids were part of the bridal party and made it so fun for their parents big day. There were lots of laughs and tears, but ultimately you could feel the love and happiness as these two families joined together to be one.
Gabe has been a long time friend of my husband and I's and it was an honor to capture this day for him. I love documenting love stories like this one in the heart of the Bozeman valley. Rain or shine, this wedding was full of joy and emotion.
I truly believe despite the weather and all the wedding day prep, it comes down to spending the day celebrating the love for one another with your family & friends.
Here are some sneak peeks from Gabe & Shelly's beautiful Bozeman, Montana wedding!
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!