An Intimate Sunrise Lake Elopement in Montana to Honor Their Relationship and Health

An Intimate Sunrise Lake Elopement in Montana to Honor Their Relationship and Health

Gerrod and Leigha opted for a small intimate elopement option in the mountains of Glacier National Park. Their sunrise lake elopement in Montana was simple and intimate. They both had gone through a lot of health issues before getting married, and Leigha ended up donating one of her very own kidneys to Gerrod to save his life after he suffered a deadly kidney disease. She ended up being a perfect match for him to be able to donate, so she gave him one of her kidneys so he could live a few months before the elopement. Read through their elopement story to become inspired to plan something more intimate for your own wedding day.

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About This Emotional Sunrise Lake Elopement

Photography by Jenifer K. Photo

“Due to their difficult love story due to Gerrod’s health journey, they just wanted to celebrate getting married in the great outdoors with just the two of them, a photographer, and an officiant.

They reached out to me and I helped them plan an intimate Sunrise elopement at St. Mary’s lake with my husband, Josh, providing officient services.

Since they had been through a lot, they wanted just a simple but meaningful ceremony as the sun rose over the mountains. I helped them plan a early morning sunrise adventure and we drove up Going-To-the-Sun-Road right as the park doors open so we could be at the lake at sunrise to do their personal vows to one another and so they could explore the mountains & views all as the sun created the most beautiful Alpine Glow.

Their vows were filled with so much genuine love for one another, and all they wanted to do was take their time soaking up the sun rise being thankful they were both healthy and able to finally say their vows fully healthy.

After the ceremony at St. Marys, the couple explored all along Going-to-the-sun-road like big bend & lake McDonald and finished their elopement enjoying breakfast in West Glacier along Lake McDonald.” [Jenifer, the photographer]

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Permit Information and LNT About This Elopement

“Gerrod and Leigha got married inside Glacier National Park, MT in August. Although they didn’t have any guests, a permit is required to get married within the park as well as reservation of one of the official ceremony locations within the park which usually only costs around $100 to reserve. The best way to do this is contact the park office and they will send permit info as well as location confirmation no later than 10 days before the elopement! Then, when you get to the park, make sure to go see your location before hand to plan accordingly!

Gerrod and Leigha opted to reserve the Sun Point location at Saint Mary’s Lake for a sunrise elopement and reserved it a few weeks prior to the elopement. This location is very easy to hike and allows for beautiful views of the mountains and lake below! Its right past the Logan’s Pass rest stop in the around the midway marker of Going-to-the-sun-road

It is important to be very LNT continuous and wildlife aware while eloping at this location, because we did see a few bears! So I encourage all couples/photographers to keep bear spray close and to not leave any trace of garbage or food to harm or attract bears and other wildlife! We did see a bear at the elopement location the day before while scouting!” [Jenifer, the photographer]

Top Tips for Planning Your Elopement Here

“My top tip is to plan an early morning elopement to avoid park rush! Glacier’s busiest season is in July and August, so if eloping during these times, an early elopement is a way to go for the golden sunrise over the mountains & lakes and avoid large crowds and tourists.

If you plan an early elopement like this one, there are plenty of beautiful trails to hike and fun activities to do together in the park after tying the knot!

After the elopement and adventuring for photos, the couple opted to hammock and go kayaking on lake McDonald to celebrate their day in true Glacier style and enjoyed a brunch in the Apgar Village finished with Montana’s signature Huckleberry Latte.” [Jenifer, the photographer]

Explore more places to elope in Montana.

Details We Love About This Wedding

“The florals were made by the bride herself to match the wildflowers of Glacier with the blues and purples. Her dress was sentimental to her family and custom altered to fit her perfectly. Gerrod also was so excited about the fact that he got to choose his own suit and opted for a blue that not only matched his vision but the blue and purple tones in Leigha’s flowers and the landscapes. It was so relaxed, and simple, but meaningful. It was about them, not flashy things, and that is what made it SO special.” [Jenifer, the photographer]

Memorable Moments From This Elopement

From the photographer:

“My first favorite part was that they wanted to do their elopement at sunrise to symbolize the start of their marriage and for everything they had been through.

My second favorite part was their intimate vows talking about their story and journey together.

Third was during their vows, the sun began to show perfectly and they just took a moment to enjoy the views and moment in silence.”


Photography | Jenifer K. Photo
Officiant | Josh Krampitz
Florals | self-made to match the wildflowers of Glacier
Leigha’s dress | passed down in her family and had significant meaning to her

Photos From This Elopement

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