A few weeks back, I photographed the Ennis Montana wedding of Riki and Lee overlooking the Madison Mountain range.
Getting to know these two over the past year leading up to their Ennis Montana Wedding day has been wonderful. Right from the start, the shared, rich intellect and loving kindness of Riki and Lee were an apparent, magnetic force.
Lee and Riki met four years ago while pursuing their PhDs at Northwestern University. They are now both budding powerhouse chemists on the East Coast.
In our first conversations, Lee shared what they admire most about Riki. They love how Riki is so good at genuinely seeing people. Riki is kind and doesn’t hesitate to help others. “Whether it be her colleagues, students, friends, or our community of loved ones, Riki shows me how to be a better partner,” Lee said. They also admire Riki’s intellect, “She is extremely smart and was the best in her class. I love how she challenges me.”
Riki feels the same – she loves Lee’s mind. This couple’s roots began first as friends. Riki immediately felt that she could be herself around Lee and with their first conversations, they dove deep. Riki, who describes herself as straight-edged, admires the diversity of Lee’s rich life experiences. Lee’s adventurous approach to life makes it easy for Riki to walk outside her comfort zone, in all the best ways.
We met up last Fall to highlight their relationship and photograph their engagement couples photos in Lee’s hometown of Butte, Montana.
When it came to choosing their wedding location, this couple knew that Montana was the only place they wanted to be.
Riki and Lee gathered an intimate group of close friends and family out at their uncle’s property for their DIY Ennis Montana wedding day. It has been a wet June in Montana this year. Upon arriving at their wedding venue, guests were greeted by the vast mountain landscape covered in a lush pallet of green colors. As far as Montana standards go, you could not have had nicer wedding weather.
Their wedding day was carefree and relaxed. The couple got ready together with their friends while sipping coffee, eating bagels and BBQ, and telling countless funny stories. There were numerous special details of their day on display. Riki wore her grandmother’s wedding dress from the 1950s and a sapphire wedding ring she and Lee found in Phillipsburg, Montana mine.
Everyone in attendance worked together to make Riki and Lee’s wedding day special and uniquely their own.
After a lovely, emotional wedding ceremony, Riki and Lee with their wedding guests took in the sunset during the cocktail hour. Guest dined on a satisfying taco buffet provided by Fork and Spoon catering under the reception tent where many heartfelt toasts were made.
Weather moves fast through the Madison Valley. Throughout the day, we had an assortment of epic clouds roll through that created beautiful pockets of sunlight. The group came together to batten down the reception tent when a strong wind and rainstorm moved through. Thankfully, the rainstorm was a short-lived event. At its conclusion, we were rewarded with a lovely rainbow over the Madison Valley and beautiful golden hour light we were able to photograph.
After everyone was fed, tables were cleared to make room for the epic dance party. Orchestrated by the incomparable DJ Missy O’Malley, Riki, Lee, and their wedding guests went wild dancing late into the evening.
In all, this couple’s warmth, adventurousness, kindness, and focus on each other created such an amazing energy to be around. I love documenting love and had such a great time celebrating and photographing Riki and Lee on their big day.
I could not be happier for these two. Congratulations to the bride and gride! I wish them a lifetime of happiness! -M