Destination Wedding in Montana

Couple spinning at sunset in a field in Big Sky MT at Lone Mountain Ranch
I'm Jackie

Traveling wedding photographer + photography/small biz educator.

Mesmerized by the way two people love each other, each so uniquely.  I always leave room for dessert. Believe swear words are just sentence embellishers. Think indulgences are necessary in this life. 

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Parties with all the best people in their lives.

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Love stories in all forms without the white dress... or maybe they wore white, it happens.

Just my little thoughts on different topics of planning your wedding day big party or just you two.

Stories of two lovers making it all about them, as they should.

Why not make your destination wedding in Montana last four days?! Create a full travel experience for all your friends and family. That’s the thought Leah + Aaron had when they decided to have an entire weekend celebration rather than just a few hours. These two lovers are from Cali, but fell in love with Montana, and wanted to share that with their family and friends all while celebrating their love for one another! Pretty freakin’ beautiful right?! Turns out it’s a hell of a lot of fun, too! 

Lone Mountain Ranch was the perfect place for Leah + Aaron’s four day destination wedding in Montana! Tucked in the Montana Rockies, the resort is in Big Sky, just outside of Yellowstone National Park! Leah fell in love with it minutes after arriving on a venue tour. The ranch is the perfect mix of adventure and luxury, with on-site activities like fly fishing and horseback riding in the summer, but also quaint cabins and yummy locally-sourced dining options. Four days at the ranch gave Leah + Aaron plenty of time to not only get married, but show their friends + fam the beauty this area of the country has to offer! Without skipping out on the more glamorous parts of the wedding day. 

From a wedding photographer’s perspective, their wedding weekend extravaganza was such an amazing experience. Normally, I barely even get to meet the couple before their big day because so many of my couples are from out of state. But adding a weekend of fun and relaxing allowed me to get to know not only Leah + Aaron, but pretty much every one of their guests too. By the actual wedding day, I felt like I was photographing my own friends. This let everyone get really comfortable with me and my camera, allowing me to offer a more personalized approach that ultimately created a different type of imagery altogether. It felt more customized, more intimate, and more candid!

It helped that everyday was so fun and chill for their guests as well. The first night, they had a private welcome dinner with their immediate family. The dinner was on a hilltop, in a little cabin without electricity, just oil lanterns lighting it up. They arrived at the cabin in carriages, as the rest of their wedding weekend guests had a happy hour at the bar as they arrived at the ranch. Every moment was so intentionally thought out, creating the most experienced-based wedding event I’ve been a part of. And it was absolutely one of my favorites!!! 

The next morning guests were invited to go fly fishing if they wanted to. Thanks to Lone Mountain, the day was seamless and so fun, while offering a quintessential Montana backcountry moment for the crew. Later that evening, they had a rehearsal dinner and started preparing for the wedding day! 

Ohmygoshhhhh the wedding day was so damn beautiful. I mean, SO dreamy. Leah looked like a freakin’ angel in her Sarah Seven dress. Remember how I said every part of their weekend felt intentional and thought out? They didn’t have a wedding party, but the couple wanted every guest to feel involved in their day. So Leah invited all of the women to gather for breakfast, while each one shared their thoughts and well-wishes for the couple. Meanwhile, Aaron invited all of the men to hang out while he got ready and they ate lunch as a group. Having a destination wedding in Montana at the ranch allowed for all of their guests to play a bigger part in their day than what traditionally happens at weddings. I LOVED it! 

They had their wedding out on the ridge with their guests looking out at Lone Mountain peak! Habitat Events absolutely crushed the wedding planning and brought the most incredible floral arrangements, two of which were used as altar pieces for the ceremony. The sun was lowering in the sky over the mountain range as they had their first kiss as partners for life and it was just as magical as the photos look!!! 

Of course the fun didn’t stop there! After the ceremony, the whole wedding was buzzing with energy going into the reception. There was a fantastic cocktail hour, a photo lounge, and horses running around out in the fields. The tent reception dinner was romantic and stunning, lit only with candlelight. After dinner, they moved to a canvas covered area and danced the night away. S’mores were made, drinks were sipped + chugged, the fire crackled, and the party was kept alive by an awesome DJ. 

In true Leah + Aaron fashion, they decided to end the wedding weekend with a brunch and BBQ, making sure their guests were having a good time until the very end. I had to hop to another wedding, but my team covered the farewell brunch and it was as sweet as you expected it to be. 

I can’t even express how OBSESSED I am with these two and the intentional wedding weekend they created. And an experience none of their guests will forget anytime soon! I know I won’t! Their gallery is filled with endless candids, intimate moments, pure freakin’ joy in photo form. 

So if you’re planning a destination wedding in Montana, take a tip for two from Leah + Aaron! Choose to create an experience out of it, whether it’s just you or a ranch full of guests! I’ve got endless Montana weddings on the blog to give you a bit of inspo! My couples are kinda the coolest, so you’ll want to take a look. Here are a few you can start with! Leigh + Zach had an incredible destination wedding in Montana in Glacier National Park! While Lindsay + Kevin opted for a backyard wedding and party at Big Mountain Ranch! The options are endless so keep browsing and when you’re ready to book vendors, I’d love love LOVE to photograph you day!

Xx, J