After a moody ceremony at Belton Stage Park, Claire and Zoel had a beautifully styled sunset sweetheart dinner in Polebridge. Photography by Montana Bride Vendor Elsa Eileen Photography.
"We met in 2016 at Camp Gladiator, a group fitness facility. We were in the same class every evening at 6pm. We gravitated towards each other and struck up a friendship, and before and after class we were talking a little more and more as we walked to our cars. One afternoon, he asked for my number. From there, a relationship started to blossom."
"Zoel proposed on April 18, 2020. During the pandemic our options were limited and he wanted our engagement to be intimate and private. We decided to break away from the state of the world, and enjoy a weekend getaway in Wine Country of Central Texas. The day of our engagement, we rode ATVs and had wine and a wonderful dinner after at an amazing restaurant in Fredericksburg. After dinner, I suggested we walk around the small town main street. Little did I know that Zoel was carrying the engagement ring in his pocket. I noticed he had his hand in his pocket and he kept suggesting that we should call it a night and head back to the Bungalow. I really didn't pay much attention though becuase it was so nice to walk around the small town – especially during the midst of the pandemic. Finally, we made our way back to the bungalow where we were staying. Outside was a beautiful tree with string lights and the light from the moon. Zoel popped the question on the steps of our little cabin. Lucky for him, I said yes!"
"Our wedding day was beautiful and the perfect pace. We enjoyed breakfast in Whitefish before it was time to get ready. I began to get ready in the living room with the help of Shayna, who was doing my hair and makeup. Ethan, our son, and Zoel were getting ready in the other room. Our photographer, Elsa, snuck around our airbnb taking amazing photos and slowly but surely it was time to hop in the car and head out. Our first stop was on the shore of Lake McDonald. The sky was moody and overcast that day, which made for some amazing photos. After we wrapped up photos at Lake McDonald, we headed over to the spot of our ceremony. We chose Belton Stage Park, because that area provided a beautiful backdrop with little hurdles to overcome with park regulations."
"Right as we parked, and looked out at our family members waiting for us, the clouds popped and drizzle started to fall. Not heavy rain, but just enough to make it fun to remember. We looked at one another and chuckled. There was nothing we could do about it but embrace the drizzle as a part of our story. The rain actually provided a fun twist! After we said 'I do,' we crammed under a tent, including our guitarist Phillip who did an amazing job – essentially singing in the rain."
"After we spent time with our families, we packed up and headed to spend the day taking photos around the area. Elsa took us to Bowman Lake for another great photo-op. Finally, probably our favorite moment of the day, a sweetheart picnic at Polebridge. Our caterer, Cartwright Catering, and wedding planner, Huckleberry Wedding & Event Planning, set up an amazing intimate dinner. The food was amazing, and the day went by so fast - it was so nice to sit down to and savor our first meal together as a married couple. By this time, the sun was setting and the clouds were rolling by. It was such a peaceful and beautiful way to end our day."
"We are very grateful to everyone involved in our day, and we know without a doubt in our mind that we would not have had such an amazing day if it wasn't for the incredible people who made it all come together. We are forever thankful. Montana will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we are already discussing revisiting for our 1-year anniversary later this year." –Claire, the bride