Ashley "Millie" Miller
Grand Tetons Elopement with Ashleigh && Matt
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Thats right! I had my first destination elopement and it was everything I could of dreamed of. I have never been to the Grand Tetons National Park in Idaho, nor did I think it would be my first destination wedding. As covid made us change a lot of plans, this location was a dream come true. I was recommended to Ashleigh and Matt by Bryn from Bryn Selene Photo Co. She is a local wedding photographer that loves all things wedding and elopement. I have always gotten along with Bryn and who doesnt love a good travel partner! As we have worked weddings together before, we have never traveled this far for one. We flew into Bozeman, Montana and drove through the tip of Idaho to meet Ashleigh and Matt in the mountains looking out into beautiful feilds that lead to snow capped mountains. I will say when we landed in Montana it was fall and by the time we left, it was winter. They had gotten their first snow storm half way through our stay, and while snow was not in our plans, what an amazing outcome. Thank god we are from PA cause we learned Oaklahoma doesnt get much snow at all haha. Bryn was a great chauffeur the whole time!
Every image in this blog was taken by Bryn! I think one of the best things about destination weddings, is that you get to spend more then just a couple of hours together. As we had 5 days to get to know eachother and prep our elopement day, we got to really sit down and get to know this couple. Bryn wanted to capture them in their natural habitat, what brought these two together, and what do they love doing. These guys are full of fun competitiveness, we got to go bowling, watch them play pool and went glow mini golfing! The arcade in Idaho was huge and had all the options we needed in one location. Since the snow started falling we wanted to play it safe, we had the best lemonades of our lives in a cute little restaurant right in front of the arcade. Most people that know me know I dont really drink, but this was a completely dry little town. Those definitly dont exist in PA, so it was a little surprising, but if I could buy a lemonade like that every day, I'd be insanely happy. We almost took a gallon home! I am kind of upset we didnt thought, not going to lie lol.
Bryn got some really cute little detail shots at the pool table. I LOVE these rings! I have been seeing some unique rings sets lately, and alot with a vintage twist, and Im diggin' it. Another one of their favorite activities, is also one of my own. Bakeing cookies and drinking hot chocolate. Im a hot milk kinda girl for my hot cocoa! But honostly, what a cute idea for being cooped up in a cabin in the
middle of a snow storm. Although there was literally one store in this town, it had everything we needed. These people were extreamly friendly, and had a super cute drive-in restaurant with a lot of charm. Best fried green beens I have had in a long time. But these towns shut down on Sundays so we got lucky getting in a day after to get what we needed. And these 3 hour drives were breath takeing! Id do it all again.
Yes please! Milky hot chocolate, chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies! Some of my favorite things. And check out these super cute little camping mugs Ashleigh brought with her. Fun fact about our little bride is she loves to collect mugs! So as she expressed, these are not a pracical size for her coffee addiction, she just couldnt pass up the perfect destination elopment mug. Bryn also is a Starbucks mug collector, so as there are what feels like millions of Starbucks in Montana, she also fullfilled her mug dreams. Im a sweater girl myself so you know I had to go home with one. Thats the hardest thing about traveling, you come home with way more then what you went with. BUT I utilize all of it so its justifiable...right?...
So as it was all fun and games inside, weather was pretty crazy our there and we had to prep to drive through some mountain tops to get to the Grand Tetons. So we had to adjust to mid-day travels. Ashleigh is someone who really never wears makeup and as we didnt get to do a trial, cause shes from Oaklahoma, this was all a trust game. We spent many a days conversing about her comfort and what she was looking for. We did get to do makeup the day before, for their couples day, just so she can so how it felt and wore for her. So we can make any changes we need for her big day. She looked stunning and was ready for the full application and lashes for the elopement. We knew we would finish some final touches on location, as it was quite the drive, and we knew that we would be putting the dress on at the park. Lets be practical, even thought it was like 20 degress outside. We actually had to go to a store in town to buy some more winter ready jackets, and THERMACARE HEAT WRAPS! I am telling you, as someone who cant handle cold for long periods. if you are limited on layers in cold seasons. Just wrap some of these around your back and stomach to have hours of a heat source till you dont need them anymore
While we were prepping the makeup, Bryn was getting some really cute detail shots of thier vow books, rings, florals and scents. Ashleigh custom ordered their Vow Books and they were perfect, I thought her perfume was to cute to boot as it was labled Lucky Me. As any happy humans should feel on their wedding day. Fun fact about her florals, they are wood! She will be able to keep this bouquet for the rest of her life. She will just have to dust them off every once in awhile.
So once we got on location to the Grand Teton's, we had to find the section we were meeting the videographer at. She was a seasoned Grand Tetons visitor, so she had great locations picked out, and once we all had a little meeting about what they really wanted thier back drops to be, we had to go to at least two different places. We had a vow & first look location, and what is a wedding without the first dance. So once we got there we had to get the dress on, and finish our touches.
Those of you that go to national parks on the reg, know that you are not going to take a wedding dress into those bathrooms. So we had to make it work with some scarves, little shimmy, and some car doors. Thank god the winds didnt kick in yet! So once we had her mic, and heat wraps in place it was lash and lip time!
Bryn also did a little hair styling for our bride, I am not selling her as a hair stylist, but just know we are obviously invested!!
Seriously though!? I know you have seen tons of getting ready pictures, but what tops this? I really underestimated the experience of a destination wedding or elopement. And we were not expecting the snow, so to see the mountains this beautiful. I am happy we ended up here. No matter the drive.
I feel like the wooden flower sceen is taking over some of the industry out there. I would say 3 out of the last 5 weddings I was apart of this year, chose that route. I am curious to see how many couples go that direction this year, I do know there has been a shortage in every industry including florals, so compromise is a must. But there is something really great about keeping your flowers without drying fragility. One of my brides mom even made a natural dyed scarf with her wedding florals, and what a timeless idea. So at the end of the day, theres multiple options for florals or what to do with them when then day is done. I am someone who likes to keep my memories in all ways possible. So I like seeing all the dfferent things people come up with!
This vow location is to die for, I was speechless. I will say Matt swore he wouldnt cry when he saw her, and he was definitly crying, and was dang near speechless. He expressed her beauty in a way that was edited out of their video hahaha!
But I think one of my favorite things, was their vows. These two already sound like they have been married for 45 years and are in their 60's living their best lives. As someone who got to read both sets before they actually shared them, it was like their vows were two puzzle pieces. There was no way tears werent going to flow, especially from me. Im a sucker for all things mushy. I am grateful I got to be apart of their day, let alone the only guest that didnt have a camera in hand.
As Ashleighs smile is freaking contagious, I was also watching for bears, and rhinos, and elk. As this is prime hibernation prep time I was fully ready to turn Ashleigh into a wedding dress peacock, raptor. Just incase a bear came along, your supposed to be bigger then the animal right? She laughed lol but I was serious!! But luckily no bears, but we did get to see a glimpse of some Moose on our way out. They brought a huge crowd of people. Understandably so, but I wanted to add a nice nature shot that Bryn got, cause as much as we are there for these two, how can you not be enchanted by these snow covered mountains. But this is when the snow really started to fall, so we were off to the next location to get them prepped for their first dance!! Another little fun fact is while we did a mini facial night the day before, Ashleigh got to pick thier first dance song.
So as we prepped her skin, she played us some of her favorite ones. And she ended up with the perfect song. Matt was pretty surprised by the song and thought it was a perfect fit. I got to watch these two begin their journey next to the mountains and to end the day to their new forever swirling in the snow.
Ashleigh was actually going to go with a black dress orginally, so he was shocked by her dress choice, but I think the white ball gown is the perfect match for this winter wonderland wedding. These parks were pretty quiet and it made it even more romantic. We did have one family watch us!
She also had this jacket custom painted, thank god cause it was freeeeeeezing. It says Mrs. Smith est. 2021, I feel like this is one thing I can always get behind as it supports another local industry in your town, I guarentee theres someone in your town that makes a living doing this. I know I say I connect with every bride I have, but I am seriously going to miss this girl, and couple. I am always transparent, and its always taking a chance to meet up with a couple you dont know, plan 5 days together in one house and expect it to be perfect. and it was. I couldnt ask for a better couple to bring me into the destination wedding world, I am so thankful and grateful for these two, Cheers!