When I asked what hashtag to use for their Red Lodge, Montana wedding, with a twinkle in his eye, Rich said #lisagotrich. You know there is a story behind that! But I'm going to tell you, it was clear at the wedding that Rich got Lisa - after a long wooing and pursuing!
They met in the Peace Corps - yeah, she arrived in an African country two weeks before he left that same country. Two weeks folks, and he was smitten! Two years later, she came home to the states and he connected with her and the pursuit was on. A relationship developed, but she was slow and cautious. From the stories I heard, it took quite a bit of time to convince her to commit to calling it a relationship. But, over 7 years later, here they were, getting married in a special Montana place.
Lisa is an art teacher, and the influence of art was evident throughout the wedding - her details were simple, elegant and stunning! She even made earrings for each of the women involved in her big day - including me, and I have to say, I was impressed!
Lisa's beautiful flower choices fed right into my love affair with succulents - be still my heart! One of her friends put these bouquets together using her professional florist skills - they were a perfect match for everything about this wedding.
Lisa and Rich don't live in Montana, but Lisa has some amazing connections here. This destination wedding was at the Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course in the little town of Red Lodge, Montana. Lisa was born in that area, has family there, and her father, who she lost just a few short years ago, is buried there. This beautiful place was filled with meaning and connection and ideal for beginning a new phase of this relationship! That is Lisa and her dad in the photo below - he was there in spirit, no question about it! I loved how this family honored him throughout the event!
These rings, made from wood from Hawaii, impressed me beyond belief. Oh, like most girls, I'm a fan of diamonds and gems, so I was surprised at how enthralled and moved I was by the beauty of this simplicity. So practical and yet so luxurious these are! And placed on the origami butterflies that honor Rich's Japanese heritage so well, they are perfection!
Probably my favorite part of any wedding day is the time I get to spend with a couple taking photos of just the two of them. This was no exception. We hopped in a golf cart and went out and about to get photos of some of the stunning views this venue had to offer. Well worth the effort - and, a time to get to know each other a little bit! Not only do I love to photograph relationships, but I love to make friendships as well, and that is what happened here.
As you might imagine based on their adventurous spirit of service (remember the Peace Corps commitment?), Lisa and Rich have collected some amazing friends along the way. When I first heard they would each have nine attendants (yes, nine each means 18), I was honestly a bit intimidated - how was I going to pose all those people? But when I got there and began to meet these folks, it was clear that each and every one of them belonged there! All of them were beautiful on the inside and out!
The only regret I have is not having the time to sit and hear each of them tell their story - they were that kind of people where you want to be engrossed in their stories and their lives.
And their connections with Lisa and Rich as well as with each other were absolutely amazing! Some were meeting for the first time, but by the end of the day they were fast friends!
Lisa and Rich elected to have Lisa's aunt, who is a licensed wedding officiant in Montana, perform their ceremony. It was filled with meaning, song, love and laughter!
And then, the partying started in earnest! Great food, beautiful company, funny and poignant speeches, laughter, dancing and playing galore!
Rich and Lisa - you two really know how to throw a party! Thank you for letting me be part of it!
Catering: Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course
Flowers: Private Party
Photography: Elements of Light Photography