August 15, 2021

Glacier National Park Elopement, Brittany & Jon

Brittany and Jon's July 4th elopement was special for several reasons. One is that I consider any time I get to document such an intimate and important part of anyone's life that is a special thing. Secondly, they're close friends of Marina & David's who might sound familiar from the blog post immediately preceding this one! So it was great to see them again the day after their wedding and spend some more time with them and Sarah Harding who officiated both weddings. Finally, it was just great to get to know Brittany and Jon and spend some time with them in such a special place.

August 12, 2021

Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Marina & David at Grouse Mountain Lodge

When you're a wedding photographer who also really enjoys motorsport photography whenever the opportunity presents itself, you do a legit happy dance when a couple contacts you and the bride is a professional drag racer. Talk about manifesting your ideal clients!

It was so great getting to know Marina and David over the course of a year+ as we conversed regularly on logistics, as they were originally booked for Glacier Park Lodge over in East Glacier. But shortly after booking with me, the East side of the park was closed to anyone not a resident of the Blackfeet reservation due to COVID, and we had no indication of when that might change.

Fast forward about six months, and in the interest of ensuring they kept their original wedding date, they made the decision to move to Grouse Mountain Lodge here in Whitefish and it was just an absolutely gorgeous—if extremely hot—day on Fourth of July weekend.

Prior to the wedding, I stole them both—with help from Marina's dad driving her—for a private first look on the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park before heading back to Whitefish for the ceremony and reception.

Venue: Grouse Mountain Lodge / Officiant: Sarah Harding / DJ: Bradshaw Media / Bakery: Sugar Happy Cupcakes / Videography: JB Creative Co.

August 10, 2021

Glacier National Park Elopement, Paige & Victor

Working with Paige and Victor both leading up to their Glacier National Park elopement and the actual elopement itself couldn't have gone any more perfectly. We enjoyed absolutely perfect weather, they were both relaxed, and their immediate family was so sweet, and by the end of the evening, it was like hanging out with old friends.

August 5, 2021

ATP Kids “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical”

I consider myself very fortunate to have crossed paths with Betsi and Luke at Alpine Theatre Project thanks to our kids sharing a first-grade classroom. Though I suppose we live in a small town, we most likely would've crossed paths one way or another. Twice a year they do kids productions that are open to children from all over the Flathead Valley, no kid is turned away, and everyone gets a part. This results in two casts rehearsing intensely for four to six weeks culminating in multiple performances of a 60 to 90-minute show. As you can imagine it can be a bit like herding cats, and honestly, I don't know how they all do it, but the final performances never fail to blow me away. Even when I've been present at a high percentage of the rehearsals. "Descendants: The Musical" was no exception, despite an extremely physical show with lots of complex choreography. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, if you ever have an opportunity to attend an ATP Kids performance you should absolutely take advantage of it.

August 1, 2021

Bigfork Wedding Photographer, Diane & Shawn at Clementine’s

Diane & Shawn's story was so special and amazing. Both grew up in Bigfork, both went to the same high school but were barely more than acquaintances. Fast forward past graduation and thirty-plus years and they reconnected and fell in love. They had the most special, intimate wedding at Clementine's in Bigfork that felt more like the sweetest family barbecue ever than some stodgy wedding. My favorite part of course was seeing Shawn begin crying happy tears as Diane walked down the aisle just before tying the knot.

July 29, 2021

East Glacier Family Photographer, the Lewis Family at Glacier Park Lodge

For some reason, I'd not had the opportunity to make it over to Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier but I'm so glad I got the opportunity to document the Lewis family's vacation stop there. Yes, it was sort of a miserable day, with gray clouds and reasonably persistent rain, but they were very open to working around that and didn't let it spoil the fun—and plenty of shenanigans from the teenagers and the grandads—of the evening.

July 22, 2021

Kalispell Wedding Photographer, Kelly & Adam

This was wedding number three for Kelly and Adam, and boy were they ready to celebrate. Ironically, it was the first wedding they actually began planning, but then things began to happen. Little things, like global pandemics! So they first ended up with a civil ceremony at a courthouse in California. Then came the reception in Taiwan so some of Kelly's family that wouldn't be traveling to the U.S. for the festivities could share in the joy. Then—finally!—came the wedding and reception at Adam's dad's house here in the Flathead Valley. It was a fun and much-needed celebration—as with so many weddings originally planned for 2020—after postponements and uncertainty.

Planner: SG Weddings & Events / Rentals & Decor: Celebrate Event & Party Rental / Catering: Vista Linda / Bakery: Miss Patticakes / DJ: Noise Box Productions / Hair & Makeup: Brooke & Whitney William

July 15, 2021

Kalispell Wedding Photographer, Sofiya & Collin at Diamond B

I initially met Sofiya and Collin this past winter for their engagement session over in West Glacier and Glacier National Park. Despite the frigid temperatures and numb hands we had a great time and captured some really beautiful moments.

After that session, it was of course only a matter of time before their actual wedding day arrived. And in typical Montana fashion, the weather played a role in the proceedings. Of course, it is to be expected that a June wedding will be warmer than a winter engagement session. What isn't as expected is a mid-June in Montana in the mid-90s temperature-wise. They opted for a ceremony inside the smaller barn at Diamond B Weddings instead of the riverside ceremony spot which I think all involved agreed was the right decision. It kept everyone in the shade and provided just the right amount of intimacy for their small wedding.

Venue: Diamond B Weddings / Hair: Bridal Bliss Hair & Makeup by Lana / DJ: V-Team DJs / Jewelry: Riddle's Jewelry & Adair Jewelers

July 15, 2021

Columbia Falls Family Photographer, The Wagners

I had such a great time photographing the Wagners in Columbia Falls this past month. They were celebrating their parents' 40th Anniversary and converged on the Flathead Valley from all over the country to spend time together and do some quality hiking. It was honestly one of those family sessions I didn't particularly want to end, they were all so friendly and sweet, and I probably could've chatted with them all day if they—and okay me too—didn't have other plans that day. It really is always a pleasure getting to meet these multi-generational groups spending time together on vacation, and one of my favorite things I get to do as a photographer.

June 7, 2021

Columbia Falls Family Photographer, The Fishers

Repeat customers are probably one of the most favorite things a family photographer can have, and that is especially true with this family. You may recognize them from a post late last summer, or possibly Nick from his video series "Small Business Every Saturday" promoting Flathead Valley small businesses that he invited me to be a part of this winter. Their daughter also happens to be one of my daughter's best friends! But unfortunately, they're having to move away from Northwest Montana but wanted to document their time here one last time prior to moving out of their house. It was such an honor to be the one documenting it, and I was sure not to actually say "goodbye," but leave them instead with a "see you around."

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Matt Wetzler is an editorial, motorsport, portrait, and destination wedding photographer based in Northwest Montana.

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