Lauren and Andrew – Glacier National Park Smoky Elopement

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This elopement was photographed in the thick of one of the worst fire season’s in Montana and Glacier National Park’s History. Days before the bride called me and asked if I thought we should cancel it. They already had their license and all the details were in place but the air was considered hazardous, and was honestly, ugly and disgusting. But I had a spot in mind on the river that I had used before when the clouds were low and you couldn’t see the mountains and I told her that I thought it would make for beautiful photos. So we went for it! And I’m so glad we did. Although we smelled like campfire smoke afterwards, the photos have a magical and otherwordly feel about them. The river was beautiful and the Belton Bridge, Glacier Park’s original entrance, was an ethereal backdrop and a nod to the history of the park. As awful as they are, fires are a natural park of our forests and though not ideal, the smoke made for unique and beautiful photos.

Could you give me just a short background to how you met, your relationship, and engagement?

We met working in the forest products industry although we lived on opposite sides of Washington State. After dating long distance for some time, I relocated to Vancouver and we eventually got engaged on a snowy hike at Green Lakes in Bend, Oregon. We are truly best friends! He is the love of my life!

Why eloping?

Having both been married previously, we really wanted to do something small and simple. For us, it was about celebrating our love without all of the stress that comes from a big wedding. Although it was super smoky….it turned out absolutely perfect and we wouldn’t change a thing!

Why Montana?

Our hearts belong to Montana! Andrew’s family has a place in Kalispell and we spend as much time there as possible. Whenever we talk about our goals and dreams… always comes back to being in Montana. Since we look forward to growing old on the Montana porch together – there was no better place to get married.

Tips for other brides?

Follow your heart and do what feels right for you. It is your special day! And be sure you get lots of pictures – that is what you will look back on and treasure.

Favorite thing about Montana?

Being outdoors! We love spending time hiking in Glacier National Park and the Jewel Basin. Nothing compares to being out in the Park under the big Montana sky.

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