HOW TO ELOPE IN MONTANA

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Kristina and Garrett are still in the newlywed phase and they are oh so cute together.

They were married in Salt Lake City and had a big, downtown wedding. Now the couple resides in Great Falls, Montana, and they decided that they wanted photos taken in their new home state.

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We decided that it would be best if we met in Whitefish, Montana. It was a short drive for me, and it was also a place that Kristina and Garrett have visited before. They told me that they had fallen in love with the beauty of this specific area.

 

I rented a mountain condo so I could arrive the night before to do some location scouting.

When I awoke the next morning, I discovered snow, cold, and cloud-covered mountains. At first, I was bummed, since I was hoping to capture some photos with an epic mountain backdrop. However, I am always prepared for plans to change and was able to reroute the location to a backup spot.

MEET KRISTINA & GARRETT

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The couple met me at the condo to touch up hair and makeup and get dressed. Kristina had found a beautiful boho-style dress that was just perfect. It boasts an open back, a gorgeous lace pattern, with a fringe on the end, completing the look. Garrett looked dashing in his Military uniform.

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KRISTINA & GARRETT'S DAY

We also had some fun with hats and a cool white leather embroidered jacket. Having extra accessories can be fun to add to the sessions. Not only do they create a new look, but they also can help with posing and bringing out someone's personality.

 

We began the photography session at a nearby pond in their casual, Montana-style attire and captured some amazing reflection photographs. Waiting on the sun to peek out from behind the clouds we returned to the condo for the couple to change into their wedding attire. We then returned to the pond and captured a few more photos in their formal outfits. We were praying that the clouds would roll away long enough for the sun to shine.

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After about an hour of photographing at the pond, we decided to head out to the lake in hopes the mountains would make an appearance. Finally, the clouds broke away and we were able to capture some beautiful mountain and lake images. This couple was so natural and playful together, which helped to make the photography session amazing.

We had one more stop at this green, open field, filled with flowers to finish off the day. Barns and mountains were acting as our backdrop for the photos. As we began to wrap things up, the clouds rolled back in and the temperature dropped down. We were thrilled that the sun cooperated for at least a little while.

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Returning to the condo to dress with warmer clothes and warm up with some coffee we chatted for a bit and then Kristina and Garrett got on the road towards home.

It was so fun to work with a couple that was already married and wanted to have a photography session just with the two of them. I was able to witness the love these two people have for each other, and there is no greater feeling.

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RESOURCES FOR ELOPING

APPLY FOR A MARRIAGE LICENSE 

Marriage license costs $53, payable by cash, money order, visa, or mastercard.

If one or both of the parties are not 18 years of age, there are special requirements.

 

Must each have a social security card number and a second form of ID such as Drivers License, Passport, an original or certified copy of a birth certificate.

 

Info needed for application: 

Date of Birth of both applicants

City, county and state/foreign country of birth of both applicants

Father's first, middle and last name

Father's current city and state of residence

Father's state/foreign country of birth

Mother's first, middle and maiden name

Mother's current city and state of residence

Mother's state/foreign country of birth

If either party was previously married, the dates of previous divorce/dissolution or spousal death along with the county/state of the occurrence.

CHOOSING WHICH SEASON TO VISIT

Something to consider about the seasons is the popularity of trails and traffic you may run into. Summer generally has higher traffic due to the warm weather, while you may see fewer people during the colder seasons. Another thing to consider is what day you want to have your elopement. Weekends typically see higher traffic, not only on the trails but also with vendors. Vendors get booked up on the weekends rather quickly, so choosing a weekday might provide the most flexibility.

SUMMER

Summer is the season for hiking in this area. And the sunsets and sunrises are always spectacular.

 

Hiking is easier in the summer, so if you are planning on trekking up mountains, this may be the easiest time of year to do so.

FALL

Beautiful fall colors sweep this state in the fall. Be prepared for jaw-dropping yellow and orange backdrops. Shimmering aspen trees and waving meadows.

WINTER

Gorgeous snowy backdrops

 

Cloudy days can make for AMAZING, dramatic backdrops in the winter, you can do fun activities such as build a fire, roast s’mores, have a snowball fight, enjoy a sleigh ride, and more!

 

It may be cold, but there is something about winter photos that are just pure magic.

SPRING

Springtime in Montana is all about new life, and the flowers that grow here grow in an abundance. They will create a fairy-like backdrop for your special day.

 

Another thing to consider about spring is trails will be rather mucky due to the melting snow and rain. In some places, the snow lasts well into the spring as well. Something to keep in mind when planning out your elopement.

HIKING LOCATIONS

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

700 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing and more. 

Entrance Fee  $35.00/ 7 day car permit

Going to the sun road requires an additional online reservation and $2.00 fee from May 28th- September 6, 2021

Call for reservation at  1-877-444-6777  or visit www.recreation.gov

You may purchase a Glaciere National Park Annnual Pass for $70

There is also a 2021 America the Beautiful- The National Parks and Federal Recreational lands annual pass for $80  ( We went with this option!!)

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MONTANA ADVENTURES

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GLACIER RAFT CO.

Experience some of the best white water rafting in Montana, a world-class fly fishing tour, and unique lodging in Glacier.  

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ANDY GUY OUTFITTING AND GUIDE SERVICE

Offering first-class fly fishing trips on the Swan, Flathead, Blackfoot, Clarkfork and Missouri Rivers

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FLATHEAD LAKE LODGE

Horseback riding, Mountain Biking, Sailing, lake cruises, wake surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding and more!

LODGING

WEDDING DRESSES & TUXS

Linda's Bridal Images & Mr. Tux

bridalimagesmrtux.com

After 5 & Weddings

www.after5andweddings.com

J Scott Couture

www.jscottcouture.com

WEDDING CAKES

Montana Wildflour Baking Company    www.montanawildflour.com 

Fleur Bake Shop  

www.fleurbakeshop.com

Miss Patti Cakes

www.misspatticakes.com

HAIR & MAKEUP

Bridal Bliss Hair & Makeup by Lana

www.bridalblissmt.com

Ty Nykole

www.tyleighsanykole.com

 

Montana Wedding Hair And Makeup

www.montanaweddinghair.com

FLORALS

Flathead Farmworks Kalispell Montana  www.flatheadfarmworks.com

Conrad Floral Bigfork Montana 

Rose Petal Floral  Columbia Falls 

www.rosepetalmt.com

OFFICIANTS

Marry Me in Montana

Sally Hanger

sallyhanger@gail.com

Kate Berry with Elope Montana

Chrysta Bourne Kalispell Montana

406-890-3597