Snowy St. Mary Amphitheater Wedding in Early October


Snowy St. Mary Amphitheater Wedding in Early October | Loryn & Gary

As Montana elopement photographers we often get to welcome folks to Montana for their elopement, but Loryn & Gary’s St. Mary Amphitheater wedding was one for the books!  The perfect storm of weather and season came together to create a gorgeous elopement day filled with gorgeous fall colors and fresh snow.  Stay tuned to see more of how it all came together!


How Loryn & Gary got here

When Loryn & Gary inquired all they knew was they wanted a gorgeously glam Montana inspired elopement day!  They knew the guest list would be tiny as they wanted their day to be made up of only the things they found meaningful.

They wanted “kickass photos” (which we got) and an obvious changing of the seasons.  Check and CHECK!  When we started getting to know each other and planning for locations, timelines, etc. we were met with a fun challenge.

Loryn & Gary’s priority was mega views… BUT they needed a handicap accessible ceremony location since Loryn’s grandmother would be coming.  We knew just the solution–having a St. Mary Amphitheater wedding!

What we didn’t know, however, was the sheer love Montana would give us in the most vibrant fall colors we’d ever seen paired with snowcapped peaks perfectly capturing the transition from fall to winter.

To ensure Loryn & Gary got everything they needed from their St. Mary Amphitheater wedding they chose to get ready together, have a meaningful ceremony with only a couple of guests present, and then  head off with just us two for those kick ass photos with a little more intimacy.

Follow their story below!

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

Getting ready together in whitefish

Loryn & Gary chose a gorgeous lil downtown loft in Whitefish to get ready.  They wanted to stay in a trendy town with all the amenities Montana had to offer so Whitefish it was!  In the days before their elopement they walked everywhere they needed for eating, shopping, you name it!

The morning of, everyone came over to help the pair get ready and enjoyed mimosas.  Gary fixed drinks for everyone and then headed downtown to get a last minute grooming.  Loryn’s hair and makeup artist was finishing up just as we arrived.

We greeted everyone and made sure to document their many details!  Style was a huge piece of their day as the perfect collision of glam, country, and rock & roll came together to create their aesthetic.

One of the more memorable getting ready moments was when Loryn’s grandmother helped her put on all of her rings–rings that were handed down from her grandmother herself.

Once we had all of the gear packed for the day we were off for the ceremony–a 2.5 hour drive bursting with jagged mountain peaks, snow, vibrant fall colors, and rushing rivers.


A tear filled and family focused ceremony

Upon arriving at their St. Mary Amphitheater wedding location, Loryn & Gary ventured to the ceremony site solo to take it in and finish writing their vows.  This is one of our best tips–reserve a few sentences of your vows to write until the day of so you can express how you’re feeling on that day too!

Gary helped Loryn’s grandmother and sister find their way to the ceremony site while Loryn followed, and the ceremony soon began!

Loryn’s grandmother officiated while her sister sat as the only guest.  What stood out about this was that the entire ceremony felt so warm and family focused as everyone casually interacted throughout the ceremony.

Loryn & Gary exchanged vows expressing how the other was exactly who they needed to bring out their vulnerability.  They shared gratitude towards each other and their hopes for the future–building a life filled with simple treasures.

Once the two were wed, Loryn’s grandmother sang a special song to her that she sings to all of her grandchildren getting married. <3  Hugs were given all around, family photos were taken, and we were off to their next adventurous location!

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

Seeing all the views possible

Loryn & Gary mentioned Montana had all the views they dreamed of!  Water, mountains, high alpine tundra, waterfalls, evergreens, rugged peaks, interesting rock formation… & they wanted to see it all!

So off we were to one of our favorite locations to recommend to couples!  We took them half an hour up the road to a gorgeous overlook of St. Mary Lake where they could take it all in.  Thankfully due to the cold temperatures and crisp wind, we had this gorgeous overlook all to ourselves.

Loryn & Gary took time to check out the views while we photographed from afar to get those infamous Glacier National Park photos they wanted.

Once they had taken it in privately we moved in to suggest different areas, poses, etc.  The wind was quite chilling up top so we continued bouncing in and out of tree cover until Loryn & Gary were ready to get to the valley with more of a shield from the wind.

We were soon off to another gorgeous vantage point of the lake for some of the more intimate and creative photos.

Anotha one

About our photography service:

“We love how you captured the day and told our story. When people saw our sneaks they were like “that could be in a magazine”, and they’re right. Des and Dan got some amazing shots of the people we love that I know we will cherish for years. Des & Dan were so supportive throughout the whole planning process.”

-K & R

Fall colors in blue hour

Loryn & Gary were up for anything and part of that was getting into a popular area for bear sightings!  We cautiously made our way down in to this area keeping our bear spray on our person.

Loryn & Gary danced around the field with stunning blue hues on the peaks behind them while we helped them find their way around.  The two goofed off around the lakeshore and honestly were so inspiring the way they moved organically.

We made sure to take time to capture all of the types of images they wanted as the cloud cover and setting sun made for a fast approaching total darkness!

Loryn & Gary were pretty cold so we retreated to the vehicles to warm up before going to one final location to get a change of scenery!  Here’s the blue hour greatness that followed!

But keep scrolling to see what vendors and pieces came together to create Loryn & Gary’s day!

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
When Gary and I were in the beginning phases of
planning our elopement we knew that we wanted a
photographer that would be able to capture not only
the scenery but the love that we have for one another.
Never in a million years did we expect to find Des and
From the moment that we got in contact with
them to our big day they have been there. Through the
countless questions that we had, emails that we sent
and the nerves that we had about traveling to an
unknown place; they were there to answer everything
and to keep us calm.
Their expertise in the park, surrounding areas and
knowledge of photography made this experience
stress free, painless and something that we will never

-Loryn & Gary

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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