As seen in Montana Bride Volume 18, Michelle and Alex's Glacier National Park elopement in Many Glacier was a showstopper. We want to tell you more about the couple, their story, and the advice they have for you. Plus, a few more photos from Montana Bride Vendor Collective member Jennifer Mooney Weddings wouldn't hurt anything, either.
Did you miss the magazine feature? Order your copy of Volume 18 here, and learn the tips and tricks for planning your own elopement in Glacier National Park.
We'd love to know more about you, the couple. Tell us your story.
"Alex and I met through a mutual friend our junior year at Penn State University. There was this instant attraction, like a magnet pulling us together. Being near him just felt right – like my soul had found its home. We were young when we met, just 20. We took our time growing together, falling deeper in love with each passing year. After living in Philadelphia for a few years, we eventually bought a house and moved to Alex's hometown in the Pocono Mountains in Stroudsburg, PA. Although we knew from pretty early on that we would spend our lives together, it wasn't until 10 years later that we finally became husband and wife.
As our lives progress past our wedding, and our family grows (we have welcomed a son, Beck), we are so grateful for our marriage and to have such a strong foundation of love and commitment to build upon."
Your wedding was beautiful! We want to know what made your wedding different from all the others.
"The fun part of getting married in a national park is having wildlife be a part of your big day. Along our way through Glacier National Park, we got a close-up view of a huge ram posing majestically for us in Logan Pass, as well as a mama bear and her two cubs (luckily not as close) in Many Glacier.
Although it was just the two of us, we didn't let an elopement prevent us from having those special wedding day moments. We started the day with a first look, which ended up being one of the most emotionally charged parts of the day. After our ceremony, we celebrated by popping a bottle of champagne, feeding each other cake, and having our first dance as man and wife. That part of the evening was so full of joy."
What stands out as the best part of your day?
"The ceremony. I had so much fun getting ready, driving through the park, taking portraits, but when it was time for the ceremony, everything else dropped away. We had waited 10 years for that moment and it did not disappoint.
Our ceremony was held on top of a peak overlooking the Many Glacier Hotel. The mountains loomed above us in every direction, the sky had turned moody by that point in the day, and the wind kicked up around us. With there being only four of us present, it was intimate and magical. Alex and I shared vows that got us all laughing, as they practically mirrored each other. We held hands and looked into each others eyes and promised our love and devotion. It was perfect."
What advice would you give to other brides planning a Montana elopement?
"Eloping helped to take some of the pressure off. The easiest part of planning the wedding was that it was only going to be the two of us. It helped me not sweat the details and not stress about having too much coordination. If anything went less than perfect, it was ok because ultimately it was just us. And no matter what, Alex and I were together and we ended the day as a married couple. The fact that I got to feel beautiful in a white dress, he looked handsome in his suit, and we were in the most stunning wilderness were all just icing on the top of an already special day.
Planning from a distance (we live in Pennsylvania) and not getting to meet anyone in person before the actual day of the wedding was a bit daunting. But honestly, none of that mattered because the Internet made coordination and communication easy. E-mail, Skype and Google are amazing tools, and everything came together perfectly.
Eloping also means that your wedding day doesn't have to meet anyone's expectations but your own. Be as traditional or as unexpected as you'd like to be." – Michelle, the bride