July 27, 2022

Whitefish Wedding Photography, Natalia & Ben at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Another beautiful—if hot—summer day at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake for an intimate wedding. Natalia & Ben were having a lovely small wedding with their families and closest friends and enjoyed an absolutely amazing evening on the shore of Whitefish Lake. I didn't stay too far into the dance party however as they opted to spend their budgeted time on an adventure portrait session in Glacier a couple of days after the wedding. The results of which you'll see in the next blog post.

Oftentimes at The Lodge, the couple can take a quick ride around the lake in a vintage 'woody' boat The Lodge keeps. Unfortunately, it had stopped functioning literally minutes before we were to hop on for some photos. Natalia and Ben took it in stride, however, and we simply took photos in it there at the dock. Serving as a reminder of one of my best tips for enjoying your wedding day plans. Things are unlikely to go exactly as planned, just roll with it as best as you can, and everything will turn out.

Venue & Catering: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake / Bakery: Fleur Bakeshop / Florist: Mum's Flowers / DJ: V-Team DJs / Couture: David's Bridal

July 18, 2022

West Glacier Wedding Photographer, Emily & Logan at Glacier Raft Company

I always get hyped up for photographing a wedding. Doesn't matter if it's big, small, or medium-sized or where it might be taking place. I get doubly hyped up when it's a couple I've been fortunate to do their engagement portraits beforehand. Since we've already gotten to know each other ahead of time over a couple of hours, it's just like attending the wedding of long-time friends.

Emily and Logan's wedding was unique for me personally because they grew up and traveled from the very same area where I grew up in Central Texas. The weather didn't exactly cooperate 100% with the whole evening—it rarely does in Montana—but it did for their private vow recitation in a secluded area of Glacier National Park and the ceremony at the wedding pavilion at Glacier Raft Company, and didn't really bother us with rain until everyone was under the aforementioned pavilion for the dance party.

Venue: Glacier Raft Company / Catering: Gina MacNeil Catering / Hair & Makeup: Mountain Soul Event Styling / Couture: Essence of Australia & Men's Warehouse / DJ: V-Team DJs / Jeweler: James Allen / Florals: Something Borrowed Blooms / Videographer: Taylor Films / Rental & Decor: Celebrate Event & Party Rental / Second Photographer: Porsche Jean Photography

July 13, 2022

West Glacier Wedding Photographer, Paige & Christopher at Glacier Raft Company

There is nothing quite like spending an amazing day on the doorstep of Glacier National Park with a little over 100 of your friends on the happiest day of their lives. You might think I'm referring to Paige and Christopher, but the reality is I'm talking about myself.

I meet the most amazing couples, and at the end of the day—literally and metaphorically—weddings are one big party. That doesn't have to mean loud music and wild dancing during the reception, but it certainly can mean those things.It's easy to make friends when you're surrounded by happy people though, and by the end of the night, I'd made some new, sure-to-be long-time friends in Paige and Christopher.

Venue: Glacier Raft Company / Hair & Makeup: Jeff Fulford & Lindsey Komenda / Florals: Mum's Flowers / Catering: Oso's Catering / Bakery: Montana Wildflour / DJ: Destination DJ / Rentals & Decor: Empress Tents & Events and With Love, Vintage Rentals / Couture: Rita Vinieris / Second Photographer: Porsche Jean Photography

July 8, 2022

Anne & Alex’s Spring Holland Lake Lodge Wedding

I'm really not sure there are enough words in the English language to fully encapsulate what this wedding felt like and meant to me to be a part of. As usual, everyone was so unbelievably kind and more than anything else I felt like a guest that was so fortunate to witness this event.

A big part of why it felt so special is just about every aspect of the two days I was there—rehearsal dinner through wedding day—was so unbelievably intentional. There was nothing that was part of the proceedings that was overflowing with the individuality of Anne and Alex.

From the Stetson "hat bar" Anne had for her attendants the evening of the rehearsal dinner where each woman got to customize a hat with branding and other accouterments, to the 'cow bells' on the guests' chairs to represent that both bride and groom were avid competitive ski racers, to the mountain bike brake disk table centerpieces and cake topper. The presence of an antique Honda motorcycle they've been restoring.

Finally, all of the guests stayed on-site in the lodge or cabins at Holland Lake Lodge or the adjacent national forest campground lending a feeling of a long weekend camping trip with friends.

Venue, Lodging, & Catering: Holland Lake Lodge / Bakery: Bonjour Bake Shop / Sweet Treats: Sweet Peaks Ice Cream / DJ: RMF Entertainment / Couture: Plume Bridal / Hair & Makeup: Zinke Beauty / Jewelry: Staghead Designs, Michelle Lenae Jewelry / Rentals & Decor: Barn Door Event Rentals / Second Photographer: Porsche Jean Photography

July 6, 2022

St. Ignatius Wedding Photographer, Megan & Curtis at Rugged Horizon

Megan & Curtis' love story is so amazing, though I won't share all the specifics here because it's simply not my place. What I will discuss is some of the wedding planning and what it took to get to this amazing day at Rugged Horizon in St. Ignatius, Montana.

Megan is from Ireland but had gone to university in Missoula, which is when she met Curtis. However, after their engagement, Megan was back home overseas at a time when people from Ireland were not allowed to enter the United States due to COVID. So my first meeting with them prior to them securing my services was via video call while they were at a resort in Mexico—where Megan could travel and hang out for two weeks in quarantine—before entering the United States.

The original plan was for a simple, intimate ceremony on the shores of Flathead Lake at some property in Curtis' family, but the prospect of doing so without Megan's family really weighed on them both, and they made the decision to postpone the wedding until the following summer to a time when hopefully everyone they would want to join would be able to safely—and just as importantly—legally.

Fast forward to a blisteringly hot summer day surrounded by friends and family, and you have what amounted to just about the most perfect day one can imagine. Well, I'd have imagined staying hydrated wouldn't have been so key to success, but that's a minor quibble. Once you see the photos, I think you'll agree.

Venue: Rugged Horizon / Hair & Makeup: Ellie with Skin Chic / Florist: Bitterroot Flower Shop / DJ: Bradshaw Media / Catering: Crave Catering & Cakes / Bakery: Tandem Bakery / Rentals & Decor: StCharRo / Bar Services: Rhino Catering / Transportation: Beach Transportation

June 20, 2022

Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Xaviera & Adam at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Xaviera and Adam make their second appearance on the blog today with decidedly warmer weather than the last time their smiling faces showed up in front of my camera.

I was fortunate to follow up their frigid, winter engagement portrait session in West Glacier and Glacier National Park with an unseasonably warm summer wedding at the always beautiful Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Xavi and Adam kept everything very intimate and low-key with their immediate families and some very close friends which made it all the more special and humbling to be included in the day.

Venue & Catering: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake / DJ: V-Team DJs / Florals: Pure Happiness Wedding Flowers / Hair & Makeup: Majestic Mountain Beauty

June 8, 2022

Kalispell Wedding Photographer, Unique & Luke at Snowline Acres

One of the greatest compliments a photographer can receive is to be referred by past clients. I was introduced to Unique and Luke via Sarah and Dom and I simply cannot thank them enough. And while it's not unheard of for grooms to take the lead on hiring the photographer that was the case here, and I actually didn't speak with Unique until the week before the wedding when we all met at Snowline to talk wedding logistics.

This is so far the largest wedding I've ever photographed, with close to 300 guests all told, but it honestly didn't feel too unwieldy thanks in no small part to the lovely Snowline Acres wedding venue, and to just everyone being so nice.

Venue: Snowline Acres / Catering: Vista Linda / Band: Mike Murray / Bar Services: Treasure State Hospitality / Couture: Eddy K Dreams with alterations by Odie Fashion & Design / Second Photographer: Kyle Stansbury

June 3, 2022

Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Anna & John at Haymoon Resort

Anna and John's intimate wedding at Haymoon Resort in Whitefish was such a delight, and an opportunity to work with some of my absolute favorite wedding vendors in the Flathead Valley. I sound like a broken record when I say this but I truly felt like a member of the family as I photographed the evening's festivities. The couple kept checking in with me to make sure I had everything I needed, that I had gotten to eat, etc. which just goes to show I work with the best wedding couples ever.

Venue: Haymoon Resort / Planning & Florals: SG Weddings & Events / Hair & Makeup: Honey Beauty Catering: The Kopper Kitchen / Bakery: Fleur Bake Shop / Jewelry: Consider the Wildflowers / Rentals & Decor: Empress Tents & Events

June 1, 2022

Bigfork Wedding Photographer, Anne & Kari

Sometimes from the first discussion with a couple, you know your paths were fated to cross at some point in your lives. Anne and Kari were one such couple for me this summer. I was scheduled for a phone consult with them to discuss their wedding and to see if we might be a good fit. No biggie, and often these calls, even when they go great don't tend to last more than 30-45 minutes because you ask each other the questions you need to do, discuss the wedding plans, etc. and everything is groovy. Anne and I did all of those things in about 15 minutes, but then remained just chatting for almost two hours about life, art, and yes photography.

As the wedding day got a little closer we chatted on the phone again for over an hour, but this time it was primarily about the wedding day details and how best to tackle the day. And because it was on some family land I scheduled time to meet Anne's dad to walk the property and get a concrete lay of the land. At this point, it is probably worth mentioning Mr. Lehmer is a longtime fine art photographer, so I'll admit I was a bit nervous, but he couldn't have been more welcoming, and we ended up walking around the property, and chatting for a couple of hours. Naturally by the time the wedding day arrived, I pretty much already felt like part of the family, and it was such an amazing honor to be included in such a special, purposefully planned day.

And all of this is still ignoring the intimate dinner and reception with Rob & Halladay quist performing the music, a belly dancer, and ice cream!

Venues: Family property and The Nest on Swan River / Couture: Brides for a Cause with extensive customizing by Anne / Jewelry: Jewelers Guild of Milwaukee / Band: Rob & Halladay Quist / Catering: Montana Craft Kitchen / Rentals: Empress Tents & Events, Peak Audio / Transportation: Harlows Transportation

May 31, 2022

Intimate Whitefish Wedding Photographer, Chelsea & Corey at Star Meadows Ranch

I was so thankful that Whitefish-based wedding officiant Sarah Harding brought me into the fold for this wonderful intimate wedding at Star Meadows Ranch between Chelsea and Corey. Because they were simply having a short ceremony followed by a group dinner they initially planned on simply relying on friends with cell phones and cameras to document the day. Thankfully Sarah convinced them to book even just an hour of my time so that everyone could really soak in the moment as they tied the know and it was my absolute pleasure to document everything.

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

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