A Just Us Windy October Wedding in Montana for Karlee & Matt


wedding couple elopes in montana

A Just Us Windy October Wedding | Karlee & Matt

As Montana elopement photographers we KNOW the benefit of choosing Glacier National Park for your just us wedding, and Karlee & Matt saw every single one of them!  From a classic Lake McDonald view, to windy mountain tops, and scenic drives all the way down to their tear filled ceremony.

When Karlee and Matt reached out to us they were truly a bit overwhelmed with some decision fatigue.  They knew they wanted to elope, but were a little lost on where to start.  The options were limitless from location to style–all of it.

Once we hopped on a call we were able to dial in a little bit, get to know them better, and help them create a rough draft on what their day could be.  Little did they know this was only the beginning of the process to help them live out their adorably personal windy October wedding in Glacier.

As wedding photographers they had seen themselves the stress and lack luster of customization that often comes with a traditional wedding.  They wanted help planning and executing a day that offered the opposite of that–am emphasis on a ceremony outdoors that honored their ultimate goal: a successful marriage.

Here’s the beauty that ensued. :’)

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

A quick quote

About our photography service:

“Des and Dan were amazing and very personable. From our very first consultation call, I knew we had made the right choice on our elopement photographer. They were extremely helpful in all the planning and it was clear they were no amateurs! They were super accommodating and managed to work in everything that we wanted in our special day.” -R+R

Karlee & Matt’s peaceful morning, “Them-centric” details, and the first look they dreamed of

When we arrived to their Airbnb in Hungry Horse, Montana we instantly noticed the overall vibe–relaxed, yet excited!  We greeted Karlee and Matt to find them both casually hanging around, making breakfast, and showing us all of their details they were so excited about!

Karlee and Matt went above and beyond to bring details that were authentic to them: a personalized sign, their Bibles, film cameras, vowbooks, letters from loved ones at home, and dried florals.

We took some time getting those details documented as they deserved as well as helping them get ready.

Karlee and Matt were possibly most excited about their first look in their gorgeous Airbnb.  They wanted us to create some art with them so we made sure to capture those moments as artfully as possible.  We had them set up without seeing each other all over the Airbnb to build the anticipation.

Their first look ended up being inside, so Dan and I were extra sure to be quiet and as far away as possible so they could truly focus on each other.

Karlee and Matt saw each other for the first time, and we heard some of the most precious expressions of love we’ve heard during the entirety of our work as elopement photographers.  They took time to truly express how they felt in that moment, and their first look was easily as meaningful as the ceremony itself.

This, to us, is proof that taking time to soak in the moments and say what you need to feel vulnerable is worth setting aside the time for.

Related: Glacier National Park Wedding Ceremony Locations

A Quick Word

About our photography service:

“We absolutely loved working with Destinie and Dan! Everything about our experience was great. From day one she did a great job at being our personal guide on everything we needed to know and do for our elopement. Whether it was finding good vendors, picking our location or even helping us decide on an evening hike after our ceremony!”

-K & R

An alpine lake stop before their windy ceremony

Karlee and Matt wanted to emphasize nature on their day so we worked to make as many stops as possible for them to experience the peacefulness and variety of Glacier National Park!  This meant we had to make a stop at Lake McDonald to see one of Montana’s most infamous views!  Once Karlee and Matt felt ready we moved along to their ceremony site via gorgeously fall colored 2 hour commute.

They spent those two hours gawking at the views Montana brings as you casually move from one place to another.  Every drive in Montana is scenic, especially around Glacier National Park.


A ceremony change of plans

Once we arrived to their ceremony site overlooking St. Mary Lake, Matt and Karlee got to take in the beauty of this glorious viewpoint!  We warned them this location is ALWAYS windy!  Little did we know the wind this day would be almost unparalleled.

When choosing their specific location, Karlee and Matt opted for a ceremony in the trees so they could actually hear each other and focus during the vow exchange.

The wind was so wild we couldn’t hear a single word despite our close proximity.

Just imagine–committing yourselves to one another feeling wrapped up in hurricane strength winds!  How romantic!


Chilly adventures on the Going to the Sun Road

Karlee and Matt planned to hike after their ceremony, but when we arrived to the trailhead it was clear the weather was too extreme for the hike to be enjoyable.  The air was CRISP, and the wind raged at an elevation of 6,600 feet!  

We wanted to be sure Karlee and Matt were comfortable so we asked them whether they wanted to continue on to their hike or if we needed to pivot to locations close to the car so they could warm up every now and again. 

They opted to enjoy their Glacier experience and be warm!  So we took them to some of our favorite locations that were a quick walk from the car!

Anotha one

About our photography service:

“Des was so so so helpful! She provided us with so much information and made the experience & planning so effortless for us. Des is so much more than a photographer and planner, she is a friend. She makes you feel so comfortable and like you have known her for years.”



As the sun was setting and the sunlit views of Glacier dimmed we all hopped in the car to go back towards Lake McDonald.  Karlee and Matt were hoping for some unique starry photos at Lake McDonald to close out their wedding day!

Unfortunately the cloud cover was making it evident star photos would be nearly impossible, so we reverted to their plan B–pancake palooza at their lodging!

Matt was known all around his hometown (and especially by Karlee) for making the world’s best pancakes!  This was something super personal to them as they weekly ate Matt’s pancakes to refocus and bring the focus back to them after busy work weeks or stressful events.

They are also coffee enthusiasts, so who wouldn’t want pancakes and coffee at 11 PM to close out the day?!

Karlee and Matt changed into their comfy attire, Matt made the pancakes, and Karlee made gorgeous coffee.

The two enjoyed their midnight meal and were even kind enough to share their delicious pancakes!  We all laughed and reflected back on their gorgeous windy October wedding in Montana with so many plan b’s in place!  Even with all the pivoting due to weather, Karlee and Matt had the exact wedding day they were hoping for–one that looked like them, was stress free, and was abundant in exceeded expectations!

Check out how their night ended and see their real words on how they felt about it!

Related: Montana Destination Wedding Guide with help finding locations, venues, and things to do

One mo time!

Here’s what eloping folks are saying about hiring us:


couple photos at big bend glacier national park

My husband and I tried to plan a “traditional” wedding and just couldn’t decide on what felt right. Who would we invite? What venue would we rent? Being a wedding photographer myself, I also saw the unnecessary stress that is thrown upon the bride and groom on THEIR wedding day. A day that sometimes boils down to making others impressed by the party you have. That didn’t line up with us. We longed for a ceremony that focused on us and Gods beauty, both in marriage and in nature. Des & Dan delivered exactly what we were looking for and beyond. From nailing down the details to coordinating everything (across the country, bc we’re from PA)… They made it so easy to pick the package, work out the schedule of the day and delivered the photos in exceptional time. Des had so many good ideas when the weather took a turn for the cold/windy. My husband and I would definitely recommend Des & Dan for elopements! We are SO in love with our photos!

Des & Dan helped set the foundation of a marriage with enough love to last a lifetime, whether they knew it or not!


-Karlee & Matt

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!

The Best Places to Elope with Family | Your Ultimate How To Guide

Welcome to your elopement dreams full of mental peace and adventure in America’s most beautiful state (I mean as Montana elopement photographers, we’re biased, but hey!). Eloping in Montana offers so much to couples just like you–gorgeous landscapes, minimal crowds, affordability, and to be frank–the wild. As elopement photographers we’ve compiled our best elopement tips for eloping in Montana we share with our couples, and we’d love to share with you! We’ll cover where to elope in Montana, when to elope in Montana, and the how of eloping in Montana!

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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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