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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

A few weeks back, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the Livingston Montana Wedding Day of Erika and Josh near the banks of the Yellowstone River at the Livingston KOA. For newlyweds Erika and Josh, it was all about returning to the source of where they met. Little did they know after a chance encounter over a foosball game table in Livingston, Montana, two years later they would be celebrating their wedding at the Livingston KOA in the beautiful Paradise Valley just south of town. Both being well versed in hospitality (Josh as a chef at Feast Raw Bar & Bistro and Erika as a former wedding planner now operations manager for the Shane Center for the Arts) wanted to have their wedding day be “about letting their friends and family know how much they’ve impacted us in our lives.” Great food, meticulous decorations of 1,000 paper cranes and rock cairns, homemade booze-infused cupcakes and the right tunes to keep the dance floor busy. It made the day a true delight. Not even the constant rainfall throughout the day could dampen the spirits of those in attendance. As the background sounds of the consistent rain and the high waters of the nearby Yellowstone River serenaded the evening, the big pavilion transformed smoothly from the ceremony, on to dinner and then into an energetic dance party. Happiness, smiles and good times abound. What a day!

Here are some of my favorite highlights from my day photographing their wedding celebration. Congrats again to the bride and groom Erika and Josh! Wish you guys a lifetime of happiness! -M

See all of their wedding photos here.

After celebrating the holidays with friends and family here in Montana, I jumped right into my 2016 wedding photography season to photograph and document Kiera and Collin’s Gallatin River Lodge wedding day outside Bozeman, Montana in early January. A small gathering of their loved ones gathered to help them celebrate their union at the comfortable, the top-rate fly fishing lodge just outside of Bozeman, Montana. Kiera and Collin were a blast and were up for anything. When wedding couples have their wedding day in Montana it goes without saying that you need to have some portraits taken out in the majestic Big Sky scenery. In this case, we all braved the chilly 10 degrees Montana winter weather for a series of quick portraits around the perimeter of the lodge. Despite being freezing cold, these two were beaming ear to ear with smiles. It’s so much fun to photograph people in love. I had a great time with these guys and their crew. A great way to kick off the New Year! Wish these two all the best, -M

Broken Hart Ranch Fall Montana Wedding of Madeline and Chase

Fall in Montana this year kicked into overdrive and the autumn colors were popping all over southwest Montana. To my delight with the timing, I was fortunate enough to photograph the wedding day of my clients Madeline and Chase at the Broken Hart Ranch outside of Bozeman, Montana at the peak of the season change. Four years of dating has led them to a relationship filled with much gratitude and many great stories many of which were shared throughout the evening. Amongst the fire colored Montana backdrop and Fall inspired theme wedding, Madeline and Chase along with their out-of-town guests danced, sang and raised their glasses in celebration long into the evening. This crowd knew how to celebrate. The wedding couple was totally shocked and thrilled when their wedding guests all busted into a sudden flash mob dance routine. It was a great day with a lot of smiles. Here are some photo favorites from their wedding day. Wishing the newlyweds all the best! -M

To view all of their wedding photos from the day, click here.

I had the pleasure of documenting the wedding day of Julia & Peter out at Chico Hot Springs outside of Pray, Montana a few weeks back. These two were so much fun. The historic venue is located in the heart of Paradise Valley in a beautiful setting backed up towards Emigrant Peak. It’s a perfect place to tie-the-knot in Montana. These two lovebirds along with their friends and family took over the historic venue for a night of celebration, laughter and get down dancing. It was a wedding of mixed cultures and influences. I like how the bride and groom melded her family’s Jewish traditions together with their own style to make a wedding celebration all their own. After the walk down the aisle and the family toasts to the newlyweds, the whole wedding party took to the dance floor in force. Such great energy from the lot. I had a great time documenting their special day. My congrats to the newlyweds! -M

To see more photos and purchase prints from their wedding day, click here.

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About a week ago, I had the pleasure of documenting the wedding day of Julia & Peter out at Chico Hot Springs outside of Pray, Montana. Located in the heart of Paradise Valley, these two along with their friends and loved ones, took over the historic venue for a night of celebration, laughter and get down dancing. It was an absolute hoot to be apart of. It was a wonderful day. So many more photos to show you all. Good things come to those who wait. -M

I’m excited to post these wedding photos. About a month ago, I traveled to Chico, California from Bozeman, Montana to photograph the destination wedding day of Sara and Jason. These two lovebirds booked me well over a year out after her work friend found me and showed my photography to Sara during a internet search for Northern California wedding photographers during a long overnight emergency work shift (Sara is a veterinarian). Talking with with Jason and Sara on the phone we quickly bonded over discovering a mutual love of the outdoors, fly fishing and the occasional craft beer. These were my kind of people. I had been looking forward to their wedding day for a while. Our first time meeting was in the morning of their wedding day but it was like being reacquainted with old friends. I met up with them as they were getting ready at the Hotel Diamond in downtown Chico and photographed them as the day unfolded.

Their wedding was a fantastic DIY (Do it yourself!) event hosted at his mother’s farm property outside of town called the Double R RanchIt was put together with the help of friends and family who were successful in creating a charming garden farm themed wedding celebration. Dinner was served in the garden amongst the sunflowers and squash on wood tables made by the groomsmen. The barn itself had been just finished by the wedding party in time for the event. Everywhere you looked there was a personal touch. It was a beautiful day filled with warm weather and smiles. A fun weekend with great people! I am just thrilled for these two! Congrats to Sara and Jason and many years of continued happiness! -Mike Greener

To see all of their wedding celebration photos, 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

A couple weeks ago I had the chance to return to Montana, my favorite place on earth, to photograph the wedding of an old college friend Christina and her new husband Ryan. I got to know Christina during my time tromping around the Big Sky state while attending The University of Montana in my pursuit of my degree in Photojournalism. In between my time fly fishing mountain streams and trying to make it to class on time, I came to know her through mutual friends and her involvement in the Missoula art scene. Christina, a Montana native, is a very talented painter and ended up getting her degree in the Fine Arts. From there, it was off to New York City for her where she eventually met her fiancée Ryan randomly at a friend’s apartment. Oddly enough it turns out that they both were from the same western Montana town of Whitefish located up close to the entrance of Glacier National Park. I’m always amazed at the curveballs of coincidence life can through at people sometimes. Two years apart in age, Christina and Ryan never new one another growing up but found each other in one of the biggest cities on earth. Go figure. As they grew closer in their relationship, the two parted ways with the “Big Apple” and have since made a life together living and working in Portland, Oregon. When it came to plan their summer wedding the location was an obvious choice.

On their wedding day, I awoke early to drive north of Missoula (where I had been visiting my parents) past the cherry orchards along Flathead Lake and eventually made my way northeast towards the entrance of Glacier National Park. Christina and Ryan chose a cute little 40-acre ranch just outside of Coram, Montana called Glacier River Ranch that was bordered by the gin clear blue waters of the Flathead River. There are few things in life more picturesque than a Montana backdrop and that day I couldn’t think of any. I arrived early so I could scout around the area and get a feel for the place. As family members were helping to set up, I decided to walk around the grounds for possible portrait locations. As I came around the side of a big ponderosa pine tree I startled a young black bear (about 30 yards away from me) and he quickly stood up on his hind legs to get a better view of the blond haired photographer that had interrupted his mid morning berry feast. Soon uninterested, it sauntered off until the delicious smells of a wedding reception food brought it closer to the wedding location so much so that the ranch owner had to scare it off with some warning shots of her deer rifle. Only in Montana. Love it. The rest of the day mimicked the visions of a good Norman MacLean novel. The late August weather was perfect and their afternoon streamside reception was stunning as the golden Montana light lit up the trees as it slowly made its decent behind Teakettle Mountain. Like any proper Montana wedding the rest of the evening was spent eating roasted pig, drinking fine wine and Montana microbrews and dancing to live music from a local string band. It was so great to spend the day photographing such a fun couple and an honor to be asked to photograph the wedding of a old friend. I wish them all the best. -M

You can view the very best images from Ryan and Christina’s wedding under my portfolio wedding stories section here.     Or…

To see the entire wedding take you can see them all on my Photo Archive here.

When Erin & Ryan hired me to photograph their wedding weekend in the Denver, Colorado area, they made it apparent to me that it was going to be a huge celebration. The two have made a successful careers working in Palo Alto, California – Erin at Facebook and Ryan for the AGC of California and they wanted a wedding that could accommodate all of their friends coming in from all across the country. After the last three and a half weeks of processing their wedding photos, I can honestly say that it was one of the biggest weddings I have photographed. My day began with an early morning start with Erin getting ready with her bridesmaids at the home of her aunt and uncle in Parker, Colorado. It was a huge, beautiful custom-designed mansion complete with antique furniture and big windows that cast in a lot of natural light. It really set a nice scene for the pre wedding preparations. It reminded me of being in some fancy European castle.

Like I mentioned in my previous post, photographing Erin’s wedding was a mini reunion for me because I knew her and many of her bridesmaids from high school in Crystal Lake, Illinois. It was so great to see them all again. As the girls got ready, they sipped champaign, laughed over old high school stories and helped Erin get ready for her big day. Once they were finished with their make up and hair by the stylists from L Raymond Styles Hair Salon, they got situated into their black, designer dresses from Rent the Runway and we were able to do some Vogue fashion style formal portraits. As the wedding start time approached, we loaded up into a stretch Hummer and made our way to the church. Erin and Ryan decided to have a more traditional catholic wedding held in the Ave Maria Church in Parker, Colorado. It was there that my hired assistant Justin Edmonds, a photojournalism friend and fellow Eddie Adams Workshop Rust teammate, arrived and we worked together to document the story of their wedding day. Having a second photographer to help photograph a wedding allows me to have multiple angles and to provide a much more thorough coverage of my client’s wedding day. It really makes a huge difference and if it’s something you are considering for your own wedding day, I can’t emphasize benefits enough. He was a big help.

Erin got a lot of assistance with all of the wedding details and decoration ideas from her wedding planner Stacy Pisani, of Alexan Events. Where the wedding ceremony followed a tradition catholic undertone, the reception was a stark contrast of hip, luxurious style and design. A large air conditioned tent was setup in the backyard of Erin’s aunt and uncle’s house where you could find a full dance floor with DJ music from Scratch Weddings, a club style lounge with couches, table settings and chairs from Event Rents, an assortment of gourmet food stations from Epicurean Catering and fine wines from The Wine Experience Café scattered through out. It was an incredible evening complete with delicious food, a fun, Greener Visuals photo booth that I set up and the guests danced well into the early morning. These guys know how to have a good time.

This is a sample of some of the photographs from their wedding day. You can see all of my favorites from the day under my wedding stories section hereYou can view and purchase all of the photos from the day here.

Wishing Erin and Ryan all the best with their new life together. Congratulations!

I’m just about finished with their Colorado wedding photos. Stay tuned…..

The first weekend in May I had the pleasure of photographing Gillian and Jeff’s wedding day at the beautiful Firehouse Restaurant in Old Town Sacramento. You could not have asked for a nicer day. The comfortable mid day California sunshine warmed down on their outdoor wedding where big oak trees gave a lovely cool shade over the festivities. I met Gillian and Jeff back in February through a wonderful wedding planner I’ve been working with named Catrina Arcularius of Catrina Maria Designs. Right from the get go of our first meeting in Sacramento, we hit it off. We talked for a solid hour and I learned all about their story. Gillian through the encouragement of her good friend Bianca (who would eventually be her maid of honor) and Jeff upon the suggestion of some friends met through the online dating site called JDate, a jewish community online for dating jewish singles. Neither of them had ever used the online dating service before yet on their first date back on July 9th, 2009, they found an instant attraction to each other and have been dating ever since. The two have made a life together in the San Francisco Bay Area Gillian as a lawyer and Jeff as an entrepreneur while sharing a love for each other and dogs. They were quick to tell me all about the antics of their two border collie/chow mix dogs Lila and Maggie. The way these two talked, joked and looked at one another during our meet up it was apparent that they are just crazy for each other. I had no doubts that they would be a great fun couple to photograph on their wedding day.

And they did not disappoint. It was the first time I had ever photographed a Jewish wedding ceremony. It was great to see how other faiths celebrate the union of two individuals. The wedding was beautiful. Between my assistant Brad Zweerink and I we ended up talking over 6300 photographs from the wedding. With so many smiling faces, great finger foods, friendly guests and plenty of dancing that kept everyone entertained throughout the afternoon, it was hard to stop photographing all the great moments in front of me. Catrina along with Shannon and The Firehouse Restaurant staff created a beautiful outdoor atmosphere and layout across the brick patio while flower arrangements from florist Cheryl Sage of Accents by Sage added just the right amount of spring colors to the mix. Subtle yet elegant. To see more photos from their Sacramento wedding you can seeing their wedding story here and their entire photo take here.

Yet another fun day celebrating with and photographing some new friends. I wish Gillian and Jeff all the best. -M

The California wedding season has begun! A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing two of my oldest friends tie the knot at a small vineyard-surrounded property outside of Hopland, California. I met Ashley and Trevor back back in 1994 when I was in sixth grader at North Junior High School in my hometown of Crystal Lake, Illinois. It was a big time of transition at that point in my young life. Junior High meant attending a new bigger school with new kids and multiple teachers, all of a sudden girls started being topics of interests for me and the other boys, we no longer had recess at school (a huge disappointment) and instead, we got our daily fun through games in gym class. It was gym class where I first met Ashley. She was this pretty, firecracker red head who had grown up playing softball and now was a lethal force against anyone playing gym class dodge ball. For all the other pubescent boys and myself it was an immediate infatuation. This girl could throw a ball better than most of us. I’ve been luckily to call her a friend ever since that day.

Now all grown up, I have long since left my Illinois roots and I’ve found that there are not many people from my hometown that have ventured out west of the Mississippi. Ashley and Trevor were some of the few who did. It’s funny to me how as you grow older in your life you never really know what friends will continue to be apart of your journey. Thankfully somehow, some way Ashley and I have remained in contact and have stayed friends throughout. I have had numerous opportunities to meet up her and Trevor (once they started dating) over the years. Their wedding day was a long time coming. These two are perfect for each other and I’ve always been impressed with their shared passion for the flavor of life both in cuisine and culture. Fast forward 16 years since the 6th grade, the two have made a life together working in the fine dining industry of San Francisco and many times they have offered up their apartment couch to me during weekend visits to the city by the bay. Trevor has quickly turned into one of the top up and coming chefs in the San Francisco bay area. I had the opportunity to photograph (and sample) some of his first restaurant dishes as he was starting out. I still dream about them. He graduated from California Culinary Academy in 2005 and quickly became the executive sous chef at Umami Restaurant and has since moved on to become the executive chef at Mission Beach Cafe over the last year. Trevor’s big news is that he just recently signed on to this new project, which will be called Chambers located in the Phoenix Hotel, a notorious destination for famous “rock n’ roll” musicians staying in the city. The restaurant is slated to open the first week of May and the food will be California cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. If it’s anything like his previous restaurants gigs that I have dined in, I have no doubts it will be a huge success. Ashley is balancing her time between being a head server and wine guru at the Betelnut Restaurant in Marina District of San Francisco while finishing up a major in Business Management with a minor in Economics at the San Francisco City College. I would not be surprised at all if these two opened their own fancy restaurant down the road. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

When I got their wedding invitation in the mail, I knew it would be a mini Crystal Lake reunion. They had their intimately small wedding outside of Hopland, California at the Mendocino Hill Event Center. It was really a beautiful ceremony filled with great friends and warm familiar faces. I attended this wedding as a guest but I decided to bring along my camera for fun. It provided a good opportunity for me to experiment and try out different approaches to shooting. Between catching up with old friends, laughing and telling stories over local wine and eating an assortment of fine cheeses and roasted duck, I managed to snap a couple pictures. Here are some of my favorite images I made of their wedding day. You can find more photos from Ashley and Trevor’s wedding here. It was so great to be apart of their special day. I wish them all the best. -M

Yay for weddings! Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel back to sweet home Chicago for an old friend’s wedding. Adam and his new bride April called me a couple months ago and asked if I would help document their wedding day. I always feel very lucky to be apart of the wedding day of old friends. This one was no exception. From the moment I arrived, it was literally a blast from the past and quickly turned into a high school reunion. After so many years away, living out in Montana and now California, I don’t get as many chances to make it back to home to visit. Adam and I played football together at Prairie Ridge High School and April attended school with my younger brother Eric. Despite a threatening Midwest thunderstorm, the wedding went off without a hitch. It was so great to see so many familiar faces all grown up. I had an absolute great time documenting these guys. Crazy, summer humidity and all.

Here are some of my favorite images from the day. I’m anxious to hear what you all think. This is a mere small sampling of the 4000 images I made that day. I suppose that is to be expected when you have so many old friends around dancing the night away. There are too many good people to take photos of. To see all of the photos from their wedding day go here. I wish these guys all the best. -M

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You know you’ve done something right when one of your past wedding couples refer you to their friends. I consider those gestures one of the highest complements a photographer can receive. It lets me know that I am doing my job well. Back in 2006, Abby and Johnny asked me to photograph their wedding in western Montana after hearing about my photojournalistic style through their friends and my former clients. It was the ultimate picturesque Montana cowboy wedding. Their outdoor wedding was held at this cute little ranch where the men were decked out in their cowboy boots and hats twirled the women in their summer dresses as they danced to the upbeat rhythms of bluegrass music. Summer was ending and with it the days grew longer. Because of it we were blessed with beautiful afternoon sunlight that made the dried wheat fields glow with a golden hue as the sun set over the Bitterroot Mountains. What more could a photographer ask for.