This Rustic Wedding took place in Twin Bridges, MT at the Madison County Fairgrounds.
Marika & Josh's wedding was my first full wedding of 2016. I still remember the day Marika reached out and inquired about a wedding photographer because she was so upbeat and excited about her future with Josh. I immediately did what any photographer would do, I stalked her facebook page and knew immediately that I wanted to photograph their day.
Marika had this smile that felt so genuine, she seemed so happy in all her photos, and the girl can dress! Josh seemed more reserved with an obvious head over heels for Marika look on his face in all their photos.
Our first meeting was in Bozeman, which was a half way point for both of us. Marika wanted to meet me and Eric before we came to document their day so we planned dinner at Montana Ale Works. It was a late dinner because Marika had been in Bozeman with her dance team (Yes, she teaches little girls to dance, how sweet is that?) I'm sure after a full day of dance she had to be completely exhausted, but she still appeared to be her bubbly self that I thought she would be. Josh, however, completely surprised me! I was expecting shy, but we got goofy and fun. I loved it, every minute of it. I can be goofy too, so when he started to say goofy things (something about a salmon or tuna). Anyway, it gave me permission to relax and be myself. They were really so great to just be around.
As dinner ended and we jumped in our car to head home for the night, it had to be close to midnight, but I remember looking up and seeing Marika and Josh crossing the street as they were skipping, holding hands, and laughing together. In the back of my mind I thought, HOW? How is that couple still so bubbly and energized after a full day of teaching dance and a long dinner meeting strangers. It was evident that they were in love and their joy outweighed any exhaustion they must have been feeling.
As we arrived for the wedding day, it was exactly what we expected after meeting Josh and Marika. I arrived to a bubbly and laid back bride surrounded by her closest friends and family. Marika and Josh's family and friends treated us so kindly and made us feel like part of the crew. It was then that I realized I didn't just have special clients, but I had a new set of friends. There were several times during the reception that I wanted to sit down my camera and go dance with Marika and their wedding party, and I can't even dance! Her brother especially caught my attention, that boy could dance! Not only that, but he and Marika were obviously very close. I remember vividly a few times during the day where I would be with Marika and Eric would be with Josh and from time to time I would look over and see Josh with the biggest smile on his face just staring at Marika.
Since that day, I haven't seen Josh or Marika (we live like 4 hours apart), but I stay in touch through social media and I've watched their love grow and it's been inspiring. I've watched Marika worry about her sweet husband as he goes out and fights fires when the conditions are really bad (we've prayed for you Josh), I've seen them add to their family "Hank The Man Hansen", an adorable black puppy, and I've seen tears as Marika's brother went off to the military and graduated from basic training.
Josh and Marika, we love you guys and we can't thank you enough for allowing us to come document your day.