West Glacier Elopement in Montana’s Romantic Vibrant Fall


West Glacier Montana Elopement in Vibrant Fall | Brooke & Steven

As Montana elopement photographers we get asked a LOT–what month would be best for a West Glacier, Montana elopement?  There are truly two answers: July & September!  These two months are amazing weather wise and definitely have different advantages.  We’re so glad Brooke & Steven trusted us when we recommended September for their 2 day elopement experience with guests.  Here’s the magic that ensued on day 1!


How did they get here?

Brooke & Steven reached out to us a year in advance and honestly didn’t have their location picked out!  They knew they wanted out of this world views for their wedding and a great guest experience.  We knew then they were searching for Glacier National Park!

Their priority was uniqueness.  They wanted photos that would make friends and family’s jaws DROP!  So we began planning with this in mind.  Throughout the planning process from locations to lodging to activities and how they celebrated, we worked with Brooke & Steven to make their wedding unique!  Now only unique because it was an elopement in general–but unique because it was an elopement that showcased who Brooke & Steven were and what they value.

Their day included getting ready in Whitefish, a scenic West Glacier ceremony, some of the most unique rainy portraits we’ve ever had the privilege of capturing, and a celebratory dinner in Whitefish.

Here’s how it went down!

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

A Whitefish first look

When we arrived to their lodging in Downtown Whitefish, we met the two separately for the first time in person!  It was incredibly adorable how concerned they were for the other person.  They both asked, “How are they doing?  Do they seem nervous?  Do they need me to do anything?”  You could tell Brooke & Steven are intensely caring partners and will bend over backwards to show their consideration for each other.

We gathered photos of their meaningful details including rings, polaroids of their pup Wade, and some fun cuff links for Steven picturing Brooke on one and Wade on the other.  

Brooke’s mom and bridesmaids helped her get ready while Steven’s mom and best man helped him get ready next to his truck in their garage.

Brooke & Steven were both so looking forward to their first look as it would be one of the most fond memories for them looking back!  We positioned them in a gorgeous, flowery spot in downtown for their first look.  We stepped back and let Brooke & Steven have their meaningful first look before we helped them on their way to their West Glacier Montana elopement ceremony!

Related: Glacier National Park Wedding Ceremony Locations

Last one, maybe

About our photography service:

“Not only are Des and Dan skilled in photography, but they also offer packages that assist in destination planning, vendors, location scouting, timelines, and packing lists. Having someone in your arsenal that serves a major purpose AND has endless knowledge of your event is priceless.” -M+B

Vibrant fall colors in September ceremony

We took our scenic commute from Whitefish to West Glacier where they would have their ceremony on public lands!  However, when we arrived there was actually a major problem… we’ll be honest and say situations like this do occur on wedding days even when everyone prepares to the best of their abilities.

Brooke & Steven hired a rental company to bring an arch and chairs out to their ceremony site for guests.  When we arrived, the arch and chairs had not been delivered.  At first they were noticeably (and understandably) upset, but we invited them out into their ceremony location to get a breath together solo and take in their location and where they would soon exchange vows.  Brooke & Steven stood still in the field for a few minutes chatting taking in the cool and humid mountain air.  You could visibly see them begin to calm and regain their excitement for their ceremony!

[Protip: their willingness to take a minute and refocus on the priority for the day was what made this big mishap become pretty tiny in retrospect.  Always come into your wedding day with positivity and flexibility!  There is always a chance for plans to change–even big ones!  Thank you, Brooke & Steven, for rolling with the punches. <3]

Everyone gathered for their West Glacier Montana elopement ceremony and watched a tearful Steven look on as Brooke walked to their ceremony.  Parents and guests looked on while they recounted many adventures and their most meaningful dates.

They spent time bragging on one another for how sacrificially they love and vowing to always push one another towards adventure.

Brooke & Steven exchanged rings and their first kiss!  Then they celebrated with a first!

Brooke & Steven did a chocolate milk toast with guests to celebrate since chocolate milk is their favorite drink to drink together!  They also passed around a bottle of champagne for everyone to enjoy before Steven finished it off by chugging the rest.  All of their guests retreated to nearby Lake McDonald  for some group photos and rock skipping before everyone headed off to Whitefish for dinner.

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

Their fun twist on portraits with celebration to follow

When we began planning their elopement experience together, Steven got excited about one type of photos–blue hour photos!  We knew we had to set time aside for these unique images with them!  However, the rainy conditions cause the light to decrease much more quickly than usual.  As such we had to work with the elements, fun umbrellas, and lanterns to get creative with the very little light we had left!

These challenging conditions created some of the most fun and unique images we’ve ever had the privilege of taking, and once all light was gone we moved along to their celebratory dinner in Whitefish.

We arrived to the restaurant to find guests enjoying drinks and appetizers.  Everyone was ecstatic to see Brooke & Steven arrive so they could celebrate together.

The group feasted on some of the best fine dining in Montana while delivering small speeches and countless informal toasts.  Once they all had their fill and a fun complimentary dessert from the restaurant Brooke & Steven made their exit to rest up for a big second day adventuring around Glacier National Park with just the two of them!

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

Hands down, an AMAZING experience! Love the Des & Dan husband and wife team working together to get the most perfect photos of us.  During our elopement adventure, the weather was rainy, windy, and cold; of course out of everyone’s control. But, from the photos we received, you would have never guessed we all went through all those weather conditions! Des & Dan gave us advice, kept it fun and motivated us, and the results of our photos are STUNNING! I’m so proud of our unique wedding, and it created so many wonderful memories for my new hubby & I. We will always cherish these photos and our adventurous wedding! Des & Dan are very knowledgeable, honest, kind, and are easy to work with. Their creativity and talents are remarkable. Thank you both so much!


– Brooke & Steven

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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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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