For Lisa and Noah’s Bozeman Montana Kelly Canyon Wedding Day celebration, it was important to return to their cultural roots.

They met two years ago through online dating here in Bozeman. As their relationship flourished over the next two years, Noah would eventually propose to Lisa on his family farm Kelly Canyon outside of Bozeman, Montana. The two currently live in Kirkland, Washington where she works as a computer scientist and he has started his graduate school program with a developing interest in Chinese medicine. When it came time to plan their wedding day, there was no better place to host it than on his family’s farm back where it all began.

Their wedding would be a wonderful hodgepodge of tradition and a unique blend of the couple’s own interests.

Their shared love of medieval fantasy book genres influenced their wedding decorations, outfits and even an honorary object for the day. The wedding party all took turns wielding the wedding couple’s actual battle hammer named “Schmerglehermer”. With a sense of humor throughout, the wedding couple and party included the hammer in the festivities. It was walked down the aisle during the ceremony, guests posed throughout the day with it in photos and it even found it’s way onto the dance floor. I love a couple and community that geeks out together. It was no short of epic.

The bride and groom’s friends and family gathered together on Noah’s family farm to witness the bride and groom’s traditional Quaker wedding ceremony in the Montana summer sunshine.

Tucked back against a large stand of pine trees, they decided on a traditional Quaker wedding ceremony to honor Noah’s family roots. The bride and groom were married “under the care of a Quaker meeting” before God and gathered family, friends, and meeting members — but was for all purposes officiant free. The idea is based on the tenet that only God can join a couple in marriage. Quakers believe that no church official is essential for a marriage to take place. Instead family and friends throughout the hour-long ceremony would occasionally break the silence by stepping up to the microphone to give words of advice, tell stories or well wishes. I found it to be a really relaxing and thought reflective ceremony. To hear the words of the important folks in their lives in front of all was a special way to honor their guests just as much as they were honoring them.

Like all good weddings, they sealed theirs with a kiss surrounded by a roar of cheers from their surrounding loved ones. The wedding celebration moved on to their evening reception at the Lindley Center in downtown Bozeman where dancing, outdoor games, a good steak BBQ and a Greener Visuals Photo Booth were utilized in full force. It was an awesome time and a wonderful reflection of all the things that are important to these newlyweds lives. I could not be more excited for these two. I wish them all the best! -M

To see all of their fun wedding photos, click here.

Montana native newlyweds Lisa and Noah got married on his family’s property in Kelly Canyon just outside of Bozeman Montana last weekend. The perfect sunny weather blessed the day where these two celebrated their Quaker wedding with their close friends and family. I’m working hard to edit through all of the fun photos I made throughout their wedding day. For now, check out a preview of some favorite photos I made for them. Stay tuned for more… -M

Virginia City Montana wedding reception photo booth

As part of their historic Virginia City, Montana wedding day reception, Marissa, and Tyler added my Greener Visuals photo booth into the mix for entertaining their guests. It was a huge hit. Complete with old-fashioned furniture to match the old west theme of their wedding, it seemed like everyone had a chance to play in it. The cool thing is that their guests triggered the camera and studio flashes themselves remotely. The creativity of the crowd knows no boundaries. Here are some of my favorite photos from their reception photo booth. It was such a fun evening with some amazing people. Congrats again to the bride and groom!

Virginia City Montana wedding day bride and groom train station

It’s not every day that I get to go photograph a wedding in the historic small town of Virginia CityMontana. So when Marissa and Tyler told me they wanted to have their wedding celebration standing in the old territorial Capitol of Montana, I could not have been more thrilled. The town is a true piece of history. In fact, it is considered a National Historic Landmark. Of the nearly three hundred structures in town (standing in their original condition), almost half were built prior to 1900. It was like stepping back in time to the Old West period and we took advantage of the amazing Old West architecture and explored the grounds making some cool photos of them and their fun bridal party along the way. When the time came to head to the ceremony, we all took a ride on the Virginia City Shortline Railroad from Nevada City over to the wedding ceremony site in downtown Virginia City. These two Helena residents work in the state government and styled their special day with their own nod to history, to their love of politics and to each other. Their boss just happens to be State of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock who with humor and charm, officiated the ceremony. It was a rare cool August day and the perfect venue to celebrate the start of their new journey together. After these two newlyweds tied-the-knot, we walked the streets of the historic downtown over to the reception hall where we spent the night dancing, playing in a photo booth and celebrating these two amazing people. It was such a fun day and I felt so grateful to be a part of it. Here are my favorite images from the day. I wish these two all the best!

View all of Marissa and Tyler’s wedding photos click here.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of photographing the Virginia City, Montana wedding day of Marissa and Tyler.  These two wanted to celebrate their wedding celebration standing in the old territorial Capitol of Montana. The town is a true piece of history. In fact, it is considered a National Historic Landmark. Of the nearly three hundred structures in town (standing in their original condition), almost half were built prior to 1900. It was like stepping back in time to the Old West period and we took advantage of the amazing architecture and made some cool photos. These two Helena residents work in the state government and styled their special day with their own nod to history, to their love of politics and each other. Their boss just happens to be State of Montana Gov. Steve Bullock who officiated the ceremony. It was a rare cool August day and the perfect venue to celebrate the start of their new journey together. Here is a preview of some of their wedding photos I made throughout the day. I still have many more to go through and I’m excited to show you all. These two are incredible people and I wish them all the best. Stay tuned for more. -M

Rocky Creek Farm Styled Wedding Photo Session of Tara and Sky

These wedding photos are from a recent fun wedding themed project that I organized in a pinch the other day. Last Tuesday I was talking to my friends Jacy and Matt, owners of Gallatin Valley Botanical, a local organic farm here in Gallatin Valley. I’ve been photographing and supporting their family farm here in Bozeman for years now. They mentioned that they would soon be taking over management of the popular Rocky Creek Farm (another farm down the road from theirs) and in addition to farming the increased acreage, would also be pushing to make it a successful new farm wedding venue. As she was gathering material together for their wedding advertisement for this past weekend’s Bozeman Bridal Walk,  they realized they would need some new photography to showcase their new endeavor to potential wedding clients. I told them I could help.

We decided to have a Rocky Creek Farm Styled Wedding Photo Session.

Time was short. We set a photo shoot time for 2 pm the following afternoon and after hanging up the phone, I sprung into action. I got in touch with my engaged friends Sky and Tara and invited them to be my models for the afternoon. Regardless of our short timetable, if we were going to do a proper photos shoot, we would need to do things right. Quickly needing a fine suit and beautiful wedding dress for my couple to flaunt, I called upon the talents of Persnickety Formal Wear owner Anne Porter. In between all of her fittings for her prom season busyness, she got Sky and Tara looking just top notch. For their hair and makeup, I stopped into Indulgence to have my friend the lovely Deirdre Quinn see to it that Tara looked just radiant as a bride for the photo shoot.

It all came together so well. In all, we organized our impromptu wedding photo shoot in under 24 hours and it turned out awesome.

Our shoot lasted about two hours and we had a blast. By the time of our photo shoot, the Wednesday morning rain clouds had subsided and we were given a nice window of an early Spring day to utilize. Rocky Creek Farms has a lot to offer both in capacity and scenery. We played with an assorted canvas of old barn wood backdrops to open fields accompanied with views of the Bridger Mountains in the distance to even photo opportunities along the on-property spring creek. I could have created there for hours. Together we explored the property grounds and made a lot of fun photos of two friends in love complete with baby lambs and I even brought along my new labrador puppy Tippet to be featured in the shoot. It was a perfect way to spend a Montana afternoon. This photo session could not have happened without the hustle and team effort by all the vendors who worked together to make something special on such short notice. A great time was had by all. Congrats to Sky and Tara on their engagement and well wishes to Matt and Jacy and they grow their new wedding venue out at Rocky Creek Farms! -M

To view all of the photos from our styled photo shoot, click here.

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding day of two amazing people here in Bozeman, Montana. Courtney and Chris had their late summer outdoor wedding at the beautiful Springhill Pavilion just outside of town. It’s funny how some people come into your life. I first met Chris during a friendly (but intense) game of garage ping pong with mutual friends at my old place in town. Little did I know that a few months later I would run into his bride-to-be Courtney at the 2014 Bridal Affaire Bozeman Montana last February and we hit it off. From the get-go, I loved the energy these two brought to the table. Such endless positivity and smiles. I love a wedding couple that takes the traditional concepts of a wedding and instead go in their own direction to make it entirely an unique experience. Such was the case with them. Their wedding honored their friends just as much as the day was meant for them. They had all of their friends contribute and participate in some way to make their wedding day special. Some performed songs, others read poetry, spun fire and gave blessings. They even had a friend perform numerous AC/DC songs on a cello. By the time DJ Missy O’Malley cranked up the beats, everyone celebrated into the night dancing their faces off. It was a wonderful celebration and I was so thankful to be there to document the fun. A big thank you to Time Of Your Life Events wedding planner Genevieve Burmeister and crew for making it all flow so smoothly. I wish these two all the best. -Mike Greener

To see all of their wedding photos click here

In addition to photographing Emily and Matt’s wedding celebration, they also hired me to set up my photo booth at their reception at the Odd Fellows Hall in Davis, California. Photobooths are a great way to add some fun to the wedding reception. It’s amazing the positive energy it can bring to a wedding celebration.  Their wedding guests were able to trigger the booth remotely themselves which meant I could continue to photograph the festivities elsewhere. The results are often a surprising and hilarious discovery and random creativity. I’ve made it a rule now never to have beverages around my computer while editing photobooth images. Too funny. You never quite know what you will get. This crowd did not disappoint. What a fun evening! -Mike Greener

To see all of the photo booth images, follow this link.

A few weeks back I had the honor of photographing the spring wedding weekend of my good buddies Emily and Matt in Davis, California just outside Sacramento. I hopped a flight from Bozeman, Montana and flew back to my former stomping grounds of Northern California. Before moving to the mountain paradise of Bozeman, Montana, I lived in Davis for three and a half years photographing weddings and working at a newspaper in the San Francisco bay area. At the time, Emily and Matt were attending UC Davis as Ecology PhD graduate students. Over the years as our friendship grew, I watched their relationship blossom and flourish. Early on, it was apparent to most onlookers in our friend circle that they were a close match and soon it was not so much a question of if they would ever get married but a matter of when. Surrounded by hundreds of friends and loved ones, these two finally made it official with their beautiful ceremony in the lush green scenery of the UC Davis Arboretum. The following evening their reception kicked off in the heart of downtown Davis at the Odd Fellows Hall. Rather than have the run of the mill wedding, these two tapped into their love of dance, performance and the decor of the Burning Man scene – a place and experience both bride and groom hold in high regard- and shaped their reception into a colorful exotic ball. The end result was a wedding unique and beautiful unto itself. The way all weddings should be, a complete representation of the wedding couple’s own awesome style. As it turns out, these two were able to source many talents from friends and family -from helping to plan out the wedding, to DJ’s to florists to foodies to yours truly behind the camera- everyone came together to help make their colorful California wedding a reality. Even the onset of spring rains that at the last minute forced a wedding ceremony to be held inside couldn’t keep anyone’s spirits down for long. It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter, love, feathers and a copious amount of dancing. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo booth these two had at their reception. Yes, those are custom made bride and groom super hero costumes they are wearing.  My friends are awesome. So glad I could be there to photograph their wedding day. I wish them a lifetime of happiness! -Mike Greener

 

To see all of the photos from the weekend and for print inquiries follow the link here.

 

Reviews of the Day

Greener_Mike_042614_EmilyMattZeffermanWedding_2193-2-950x635“My husband and I met Mike in Davis, CA, where we had the privilege of getting to know Mike as both a friend and a talented photojournalist and burgeoning wedding photographer. When it came time for our wedding, there was no question that we wanted Mike to be our photographer, despite having to fly him out to CA from Montana.

We have zero regrets. I appreciated that Mike talked with me before the wedding to get a sense of our vision, and share some of his own ideas. When our plans for a fun photo shoot didn’t work out the day of our wedding, Mike just rolled with it and rescheduled it for later that weekend. He made a point of making sure that he wouldn’t add any extra stress to the event. Far from adding stress, Mike’s positive energy and supportive attitude made him a blast to work with, for my husband and I as well as our guests. At the end of the weekend, I kept hearing the same words from my friends and family, almost as though someone passed them a political talking point: “Best wedding photographer EVER!” And that was before we saw the photos…

Mike’s photojournalism background is evident in his approach to wedding photography: rather than doing round after round of boring posed portraits, Mike keeps the focus on candid shots, making people look their best while also looking REAL (though he snaps a nice portrait as well!) While looking through our wedding photos, I feel like I’m reliving the events, seeing genuine happiness and love in the faces of our friends and family. We now have the story of our wedding captured in beautiful photographs, and we will treasure them for a lifetime.
It’s hard to say what I appreciate more about Mike as a photographer- his positive energy and downright charming manner, or his fabulous photographs. It’s rare to find a person who is both easy-going and fun, AND extremely professional. Mike is both of these, and I highly recommend him to anyone who needs a wedding photographer!” – Emily & Matt, married 2014

Greener_Mike_042614_EmilyMattZefferman_WeddingPhotobooth_SisterReview“May I just say how thrilled I am that my sister hired Mike Greener as her wedding photographer? His warmth, energy, and enthusiasm made the day all the more wonderful for all of us. Mike was able to capture so many details, expressions, and special moments without ever getting in the way. My sister, friends, family and I couldn’t have been happier to have him with us to document the weekend-long occasion. When the bride endured some wedding stress, Mike helped her re-focus on the positives of the day, keeping her laughing and making her feel beautiful. His pictures were a reflection of that positivity. No matter how rushed or stressful things got (which, you know, often happens at weddings!), Mike kept his focus, rolled with the punches, and extracted joy from every subject. The vibrant, creative, beautiful photos he captured that weekend will be a permanent reminder that my sister chose the right photographer. We can’t recommend Mike Greener highly enough!” -Laura, sister of the bride

 

 

 

I’ve been excited to show this wedding for a while now. How appropriate that my last wedding shoot of the year was spent documenting the union of an old family friend. Nick and Emily hired me to fly down to greater Los Angeles area to photograph their wedding weekend festivities. I’ve known Nick and his family my entire life. Growing up in Crystal Lake, Illinois, his family and mine were close friends who attended the same church where the kids shared in the same childhood mandate of singing in the church choir. Nick and his brother Matt were partners-in-crime with my brother and I every Sunday as we played games of hide and seek around the church sanctuary often times managing to get into trouble as young boys tend to do. The tradition of mischief continued throughout adolescence through countless celebrations and BBQs together and our families’ annual road trip westward towards the mountains of Colorado for a week of skiing every spring. So, needless to say, when I heard that Nick was getting married and his family asked if I could photograph the celebration, I jumped at the opportunity.

Nick and Emily met on the job. Nick, upon graduating from high school, moved out to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a Hollywood actor. He was supporting himself at that time by working in numerous positions at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant from dancing in a shrimp suit to being host. It was there that he met Emily during a work training session three years ago. Emily, a Los Angeles native, has since found her calling as a talented pastry chef working at Rivera Restaurant in Los Angeles. “It wasn’t exactly love at first sight with Nick,” joked Emily when recalling how they first met, “Our relationship started off as friends but he was the persistent type and kept trying to ask me out on a date. I didn’t want to risk losing the friendship.” But thankfully, persistence pays off and after asking her out four times with her answer being no, it was the fifth time that she finally said yes to a date with him and as the saying goes…the rest is history.

When it came time to plan their wedding things got a bit complicated. Nick was cast in a lead role for a new television show and would spend the four months leading up to their wedding filming in Prague within the Czech Republic. Emily was busy trying to finish up her schooling as a pastry chef. Being resourceful, they were able to defy the hurdle of the time zone difference and plan out the wedding through the power of Skype and with the help of their family members. It all came together really well with a good mix of professionalism combined with a do-it-yourself feel. Above all, they were adamant that they wanted candid, high quality photography for their wedding day and that’s where I came in. The wedding festivities were to be held on Saturday around noon. I flew down Friday evening to Burbank where I met the wedding party and watched as the last minute preparations were made. The outdoor ceremony and reception were held in the courtyard of The Castaway Restaurant in Burbank, California. It was a beautiful warm, southern California setting overlooking the De Bell Golf Course and the surrounding Burbank hills. These two families know how to celebrate a union! Their ceremony went off without a hitch and then the celebration began. Like all great receptions, there was plenty of dancing. Food was provided by the venue and when their wedding cake plans fell through a couple days prior, Nick’s grandmother Ann was able to whip up a beautiful homemade cake for the event. All in all it was really great to be apart of and document the celebration for an old family friend. I wish them all the best. -M

To view more of their wedding images you can check out their wedding story here

and to view their entire wedding photo shoot and purchase prints you can see them in the photo archive here

 



The second part of my duties as the NACE event photographer focused more on the hard work of the other vendors. Like I mentioned in my last post, the monthly events are a time for the vendors to educate on topics but also show off their strengths in what that particular vendor does. Here are some of the scenery images I made of the green layout and concepts from Catrina Maria Designs. I asked Catrina, who specializes in sustainable event planning to explain a bit about what she was striving to accomplish with her beautiful green table inspirations pictured above.

“The table inspirations where done in a variety of four looks. We were inspired by the traditional and expected ‘green’ look that we called ‘hippy/earthy.’ We dressed each table up a bit from there to cover your softer and more elaborate side of the earthy look, your urban look, and finally, a soft, more romantic feel that many brides can relate to.
1. Earthy table-woods and touch of kiwi green. All eco-friendly elements on the reclaimed wood tables. Recycled pots with succulents, and herbs.
2. Rustic table-woods, pewter, clay (brunt orange) and kiwi
Clay pots nestled in grapevine heart. Mix of organic flowers in burnt orange and cream with herbs and succulent accents.
3. Urban Square table- Grey and kiwi patterned linen, other natural elements in a modern feel (wicker, glass…). Gray cinderblock “vases” filled with organic flowers and organic greenery.
4. Romantic oval tables- Natural ekru and ivory hemstitch, rustic metals, glass Tablescape of Burnt orange recycled glass containers and metal accent containers. Ivory flowers and green accents. Add recycled ribbon accents.
5. Cocktail Tables – recycled paper flowers by Beatnik Artist. Made from old books that have recycled into art. Soy candles throughout
Lounge furniture through Classic party Rentals. Their eco line is made from recycled stuffing/padding and flax exterior in burnt orange and kiwi green.”

As the saying goes…the devil lies within the details. It was great to see all of the clever, sustainable concepts that everyone brought to the event. There were the staple green items like using organic produce but also the not so common items like bowls and plates made from compostable bamboo. It’s those little things that make the difference. I was impressed.  So much creativity and so many great ideas to build off of. Again, thanks to all of the vendors who went all out with the May NACE Green event including Ambience Floral Designs, Jackson Catering & Events, Sugar & Spice Specialty Deserts, Classic Party Rentals, Pamela Pamperin, Harpist and Extreme Productions for all of their hard work. -M