From the photographer, David of David Clumpner: As if photographing a New Year's Eve wedding at the Resort at Paws Up wasn't enough, this was my first Montana gay wedding! This is meaningful to me not just because I believe everyone should be able to get married, but because I often find gay weddings to be very emotional. Many have been waiting a long time for legal recognition, so the experience is a little more special. For Keetje and Sarah, I can say that there was plenty of emotion, especially from the fathers of the brides.
In my opinion, winter Montana weddings don't get enough attention. Sure, they can be cold, but the tradeoff can be exquisite backdrops and even the potential for the fluttering white stuff to make all your outdoor portraits dreamy. So I commend any couple who says to heck with hazardous driving conditions, deep snow, and single digit temperatures. At Keetje and Sarah's wedding, we had a fairly tight timeline that limited our outdoor exposure, but we still had the First Look and a couple portraits out in the snow. Totally worth it. Later in the evening inside the arena at the Resort at Paws Up we added a totally different look to their portraits. The light was moody and the temperature bearable, so we got some photos that were very different than the snow portraits from earlier in the day.
One of the nice things about having a wedding at Paws Up is that it's an all-inclusive resort, so guests will often stay for multiple days and enjoy all the amenities that Paws Up has to offer, like cross-country skiing or shooting or trail riding, depending on the season. This makes for a fantastic Montana vacation for everyone. But it also provides a lot of flexibility on wedding day since nobody's cabins are ever far from the ceremony site. On Keetje and Sarah's day, they were married inside Camp Fortunate, a large cabin on the east side of the resort. There were 17 guests who sat in a single row semi-circle around the couple in the house's living room (complete with a fire!). The ceremony itself was quick, but the socializing afterwards was not. And everybody signed a letterpressed certificate for the couple to take home and frame. From there we traveled across the ranch (after family portraits) where everyone took a horse-drawn sleigh ride at the arena. We then had a short cocktail hour inside the sky box before entering the tack room for one of the most intimate, beautiful wedding dinners I have seen. ordinarily would not include detail photos from a dinner, but I've put in a couple below so you can see how cool it was. The space was designed by the staff at Paws Up and the florals were done by the inimitable Jennifer Horsley from Habitat Floral in Missoula. We capped our evening with some final, intimate portraits around the arena before heading back to the main headquarters to celebrate the new year!