My dreams came true on this rainy day in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana as I photographed the union of two adventurous souls in the moody mountains of Blodgett Canyon on an early spring day in June. Cierra and Colt eloped amongst the wet clouds high in the mountains of the Bitterroot National Forest. The mountains, covered in red Indian Paintbrush, yellow Balsamroot, and purple Lupine, hid every so often as the clouds rolled through the ups and downs of the peaks. The mood was perfect: eerie tones, the plants a lush green, puddles along the dirt trails, and spots of dew throughout. A perfect day for the unforgiving weather in western Montana.
Cierra and Colt plans were changed a bit when Covid hit this year. They originally planned on an elopement in the Olympic National Forest with a honeymoon spent exploring the rainforest and camping on the black beaches of the upper Pacific Northwest. Because they could not get married there, they decided to move forward with their plan and do it in Montana. Cierra picked the day and I helped her with a location.
The rain came down hard on their wedding day, but the colors were luscious and bolder than ever which isn’t always the case in the dry Montana landscape. We hiked in about a mile and a half, Colt carrying a picnic basket, Cierra holding her flowers and dress, exposing her muddy brown boots underneath her wedding dress. They said their I do’s in front of the canyon overlook amongst the moist clouds rolling toward the valley. They lit candles and burned a smudge stick for good spirits. They both had tiny shot bottles of their favorite liquor, her tequila, him whiskey. Then we frolicked in the wet grasses and slippery rocks, taking pictures wherever we thought looked good.
When we hiked down, they celebrated with a spread on a large stump near the creek. Vintage napkins and plates were laid out with a cute and petite rhubarb strawberry pie. Colt popped a champagne bottle and they shared drinks from brass wine cups.
As the sunset, we made our way down the mountain and pulled off the road to take a few more photos in wildflower fields, Cierra’s favorite. We hiked up a steep hill and they sat and admired the view below and the flowers surrounding them. When we finished, they decided to grab the rest of their champagne and enjoy the sunset by themselves in a field of wet flowers. Wow. I don’t usually write this much but it all had to be told. It was a perfect spring day high up in the mountaintops with two lovers celebrating their love and nature. Couldn’t be more perfect.
Floral: Earth Within Flowers, Pie: Bernice’s Bakery