Heather and Hunter’s small wedding at Chico Hot Springs was small enough that they didn’t rent on-site accommodations. Instead of staying at the Shooting Star Cabin, which is where brides usually stay when marrying at Chico, Heather and Hunter stayed at The Murray Hotel in Livingston. That is also where Heather got ready, doing hair and makeup there. She had a flat satin dress from Beholden and really didn’t want to gain any more wrinkles after her mom had steamed it. Being that Chico Hot Springs is 45 minutes down into Paradise Valley from Livingston, Heather opted to get ready on site. They didn’t have any rooms rented at Chico so the only option was to get ready in the parking lot below the Field of Dreams, where the ceremony was taking place. This wedding was in late September which can be a dangerous time for an outdoor wedding in the Rockies. As you can see in the background (and the foreground) of the photo, it was a rainy day and more was coming in. Heather’s dad waited patiently under the raised tailgate of the Pathfinder while Heather hurriedly put her dress on alone along the side of the car. This turned out to be one of my favorite photos of the year because it is pure wedding photojournalism and it has an understandable story. I find it very hard to get a story with more than two elements in it, but in this one I see at least three: inclement weather, close timing to ceremony with the dad waiting, and Heather having the unusual circumstance of getting ready alone.
Location: 163 Chico Road Pray, Montana 59065.