Sami & Brycen‘s styled Montana Interracial Elopement was inspired by Sami’s experience during a Black Lives Matters protest in Whitefish, Montana, earlier this summer. Still photos and video of Sami standing up to a fist clenched racist went viral and she became the poster woman for the local and beyond movement, on how to peacefully protest in the face of danger. Sami continues to give interviews both locally and nationally as the Black Lives Matters Movement continues across the United States.
After reading that the My Montana Wedding group wanted to see more weddings with couples of different races, as well as different sexual orientations to post on their website and social media, the idea was born. I asked Sami if she would be interested in doing a styled Montana Interracial Elopement photo session. And of course she said “yes”.
As with most styled photo sessions, it’s a team effort between photographers, officiates, florists, venues, and other wedding vendors. Lindsey Jane of Elope Montana agreed to help me plan and document the session. She invited Farm Blooms Montana to create a bouquet, corsages and a flowered headband for Sami to wear. Lindsey also invited Sarah Harding to join us as the officiate. Sarah did a wonderful job writing a fun ceremony, including the vows.
One other important element was that we needed a groom! That’s when I approached my friend Brycen, a local farmer in Lower Valley.
Geri and I met him at the Flathead Valley Community College farmers market two years ago, when we moved to Montana.
Originally, we wanted to stage the event on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, but the park has been too crowded, and with COVID-19 numbers climbing in Montana, we decided it would be better to use another location, Whitefish Mountain Resort, or Big Mountain as the locals call it.
Thank you to everyone involved for helping northwest Montana become an even more open and culturally diverse community.