Avalanche Amphitheater Wedding + Family Hangs!


Avalanche Amphitheater Wedding + Family Hangs in Glacier National Park | Jake & Erin

As Kalispell Montana Photographers we get to see a lot of gorgeous wedding days!  This Avalanche Amphitheater wedding in Glacier National Park was no different!

Ya see, Jake and Erin reached out to us with less than 8 weeks left until the day they wanted to get married.  Once getting on the phone with them we learned they were really having a difficult time deciding exactly what type of wedding they wanted.  Jake was good with the big sha-bang of a traditional wedding, but Erin loves quality time with just the two of them so she was opting for a private elopement experience.  After chatting with us and a couple weeks of soul searching, Jake and Erin determined the perfect solution for them was to bring their immediate families (plus an amazing aunt) to Avalanche Amphitheater in Glacier National Park to share their wedding day with them!  Here’s the magic that ensued.

Related: Eloping in Montana | The Ultimate How-to and Location Guide

Before their Avalanche Amphitheater Wedding: Family Hangs and Getting Ready

Since Jake and Erin brought their immediate families with them, they wanted to be sure they got adequate time with everyone.  Everyone stayed at a gorgeous Whitefish Airbnb complete with two ponds!  Their guests enjoyed a plentiful supply of yummy charcuterie, quinoa salad, and some more traditional family dishes!  Jake and Erin spent their morning bouncing from guest to guest lounging at their Airbnb without a care in the world but excited and ready to take on their Glacier National Park wedding ceremony.

Eventually, though, the two did have to get ready for their Avalanche Amphitheater wedding!  Jake and Erin also brought along some gorgeous details (like her onyx ring!!!) that they wanted captured.  They wrote their own vows so we had a blast getting a sneak peek at those before they read them out loud.  Erin retreated upstairs to their quarters to get ready while Jake remained the social butterfly as long as he could.  Erin got ready solo while Jake’s mom helped him with his attire downstairs away from the crowds.

Related: Apgar Amphitheater Wedding in Glacier National Park

Jake & Erin’s First Look

Jake and Erin were admittedly a little nervous for their ceremony.  Erin in particular made note that she wanted to go first so she would hopefully make it through their vows without crying.  She was so afraid she wouldn’t be able to finish once she started (spoiler alert: she made it through!).

They were planning to do a first look at their lodging before leaving for their Avalanche Amphitheater wedding, so I had a fun idea to help.  I said, “Would it help calm everyone’s nerves to read your vows near each other before your first look?”  Erin thought that would actually be super helpful so she could breathe and practice reading them to Jake in her head before she had to say them out loud.  Jake loved the idea because he would have time to really focus on the words he had written!  So we set the two up in their first look spot, let them read their vows, tuck them away, and then do their first look underneath the pines overlooking their gorgeous pond.

Avalanche Amphitheater Wedding Ceremony & Family Celebration

Jake and Erin drove off in their Subaru and headed towards the park.  Later Erin said this was one of her favorite parts of the day–just getting to talk and be alone on their commute to and from Whitefish.  Once we all arrived in the Avalanche area we took Jake and Erin for some solo portrait time nearby!  The glacier-fed stream was INCREDIBLY blue, and the two soaked in the rays from the 5 PM sun!

As their ceremony time approached wee headed over to their Avalanche Amphitheater wedding location to wait on family to arrive.  Some major perks of the Avalanche Amphitheater… Number 1, it’s gorgeous!  The smell of cedar and the gentle flow of water nearby is absolutely tranquil.  Even though it is located near a popular hike, Jake and Erin mentioned how private and secluded it felt even during the height of tourist season.  Number 2, it was accessible enough for all of their guests!  Jake and Erin brought along 3 of their precious grandpas they wanted to be a part of their celebration and ceremony.  All of their guests were able to walk from the parking to this location with ease!

The ceremony itself was peaceful, joyful, and full of an almost tanglible snuggliness as Jake and Erin shared those vows they had written in front of all their guests.  This was another one of their favorite moments: slowing down to actually say out loud what they meant to each other and what they were committing to.  I think Jake and Erin realized we are all just a little too busy in real life to share what we really love about others.  Jake and Erin did what was important on their day and made time for sharing those intentions!

Once the two were officially wed their guests gathered around picnic tables in another cedar grove nearby around champagne and vegan cake!!  Their time with guests was mostly folks poking fun at each other and making remarks as to how insanely delicious this vegan cake was.  When the cake was nearly all devoured and their family had drank their fill, Jake and Erin set out on one more adventure to finish out their Avalanche Amphitheater wedding day!

Related: St. Mary Lake Elopement at Sunrise in Glacier National Park

avalanche amphitheater ceremony

A Stunning Lake McDonald Sunset

After Jake and Erin’s Avalanche Amphitheater wedding and celebration we knew we wanted to catch one of those infamous pink Lake McDonald sunsets.  As we pulled into one of the most picturesque locations along the lake, the air was still warm and the sun just absolutely dripped over everything.  This is one of the perks of choosing a Lake McDonald sunset adventure–no matter what the light is doing you’re almost guaranteed a magical view!

We continued towards Apgar and finally found some parking (Apgar during July is not for the faint of heart!).  Jake and Erin snuggled up on the shores and watched families swim, another eloping couple jump in the water, and swooned over the glass-like water.  Gentle pink hues appeared in the sky and on the water as we watched the sun set behind us.

The shores at Apgar are usually pretty crowded so we decided to retreat into the woods for some final images before the sun got too low.  We captured some fun details once the light disappeared and let Jake and Erin finish the night with a peaceful drive back to Whitefish to keep celebrating with their guests.

Related: What To Do After Eloping 

Here’s what Jake and Erin had to say about working with us:

Jake and Erin’s day came together beautifully amidst so many difficult decisions to make in a short timeline.  Despite all this, their experience proved to be the absolute best wedding day they could have imagined.  Here is what they had to say about working with us and getting our help:

From the first conversation I had with Des I was at ease! When we began planning our intimate wedding, we were both lost on next steps and knew more about what we didn’t want than what we did. Des guided us through the whole planning process, and shared her expertise on picking the perfect location, creating a detailed timeline, and directing us to reliable and proven vendors. She made sure to understand what was important to us and help us incorporate our priorities into every part of the day. Most importantly, Des and Dan took incredible photos that captured every detail while hyping us up and making us feel comfortable the whole time. With Des you get a photographer, wedding planner, and someone who is willing to go to extreme lengths to make your vision a reality.
We’d love to provide you with that same amazing experience!  Whether you’re a little lost on planning or need a photographer who you can trust to help you feel at easy and comfy, we’ll be stoked to chat!

Who made this Avalanche Amphitheater wedding possible?


Hair and Makeup | Boundless Beauty

Florals | Mums

Dress | Reformation

Cake | The Cake Girl

Celebrant | Sarah Harding

Photography | Destinie Fouche Photography

Hiking wedding photographers

Yo.  You need a hiking wedding guide and photographer.

Imma be so honest.  We love hiking weddings, and we love helping couples plan their elopement days to be full of meaning and intention.  Kick that tradition crap outta here, and let’s plan something magical together!

You deserve for your wedding day to bring you peace in the great outdoors, and this is only a taste of how we help our couples.

All of our elopement packages come with professional elopement photography, two photographers, and unlimited planning assistance.  We think this is the best way to serve eloping couples, and we can’t wait to chat!

Contact us about photographing your elopement!

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Hey, it’s us!

We’re Des & Dan! Husband & wife elopement photographers, planners, and officiants! We help couples like you create elopement days full of meaningful details, authentic moments, and creative experiences because we believe you deserve a wedding day where you are truly heard—a wedding day you can truly remember.

We’d love to help in any way you can, so check out our other free planning resources or send us an email by hitting contact! We’d love to hop on the phone and see what you’re envisioning for your elopement day.

You deserve this.

Des & Dan


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