It was a stunning, windy day for Mary and Derek at St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park. But the beauty is vast and the scenes are epic. We're taking a closer look at this beautiful elopement, featured in Montana Bride magazine, Volume 18, with photography by Montana Bride Vendor Collective member Lovelight Photography.
“Derek and I met while attending pharmacy school at the University of Montana. Our first accidental date was spent at a Griz football game the day after we met. I had gotten separated from my friends, but we were having so much fun together that we didn’t go back into the game after halftime – we spent the rest of the game tailgating. We have been together ever since, and we chose our wedding date because it was exactly six years later to the day that we met.
Like so many other couples in 2020, our wedding plans got seriously disrupted by Covid. We were planning on a 300-person wedding outside of Helena, where we live, but plans had to change quickly. We had gotten engaged in Glacier National Park in 2019, so it was already a really special place for us. We decided on a whim that we should elope in Glacier!
We wanted our elopement to be very intimate, but it was important that our closest family be there, too. We had eight guests, and we rented a big house to stay in together for the weekend. We had our rehearsal dinner catered at the house by the Chef Guys, which was so delicious and low stress! It was wonderful to have that quality time with our families.
My sister officiated our wedding ceremony, which was so special because she is the person who knows us best as a couple and she made the ceremony truly centered around our relationship. Heavy smoke rolled in on our wedding day, but it only ended up adding to the beauty of Glacier and made for some unique, magical views! We were lucky enough to get married in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The ceremony was a crazy windy, smoky whirlwind, and half of our guests got lost and almost missed
the wedding – but it all worked out perfectly in the end, and those moments are ones we will relive forever.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the Pinterest and Instagram wedding perfectness, but at the end of the day that’s not what people remember. Your wedding should represent you as a couple. It will also never be perfect! Take in the little moments of quiet love between all the chaos of the day because that’s what you’ll remember. And lastly, discuss the exact location of your ceremony with all of your guests if you are eloping in Glacier; it is a big place with very little cell phone service!” –Mary, the bride