Jonathan and Shannon met adventuring out west in the Sierra Nevada mountains of eastern California. Jonathan was a veteran employee at California Fish and Wildlife having 10 years under his belt. Shannon road in to the agency with the most prestigious graduate student grant the science field offers and an incredible amount of drive and passion. Jonathan had finished his master's degree studying black bears a year prior to Shannon's arrival and accepted a full-time position as a predator biologist shortly after Shannon's arrival to the eastern Sierra. Shannon came to the agency with an impressive resume having studied wolves in Yellowstone National Park and fisher (large weasel) on the west side of California. Shortly after her arrival to the eastern Sierra, Shannon was accepted in a master's program at the University of Montana, the top ranked wildlife biology program in the country.
They became friends fast, worked well as a team, and went on many adventures together with their pups, Zoe and Taboose. Their dogs enjoyed playing together and it didn't take long for Shannon and Jonathan's friendship to grow into more. They tried to keep their relationship private for fear of disapproval at work, but hiding their feelings proved futile. Everyone knew and approved. After their first summer together, Shannon left for Missoula, MT to begin her graduate career. From experience, both knew the long distance would be tough, but they each felt they had to give the relationship their all.
The long distance was hard at times, but it did not stop them from falling deep into love with each other. Prior to Shannon coming back the following spring, Jonathan found a nice little place at the base of the mountains for them to live. Over the next three years, they made a home and added a few additional members to the clan including three horses (Errah, Kimber, and Maverick) and one cat (Sierra). They both found their best friend, unconditional love, and the one will support them until the day they die.
Shannon & Jonathan got married in the most BEAUTIFUL place - just outside of Yellowstone National Park, in Gardiner, MT. It’s the place where elk walk the street like they live there and the locals are the NICEST! As soon as Shannon saw her groom for the first time during their first look, you could TOTALLY tell that all of her stress just melted away. The wind even blew his hat right off his head - that’s Gardiner for you!
We talked to Jonathan about what he thought about Shannon the first time he met her. He was her boss who hired her! Obviously he liked her on paper, but it wasn’t until they were up in the mountains (they are both wildlife biologists) that he fell in love with her beauty, personality, and drive. They ended up spending time together with their dogs and fell in love!
The bride and groom are both wildlife biologists and so many of their guests share the love for wild animals. The bride used wood cookies cut from their forest and wood burned wild animals into them for their table numbers! Each table was a unique animal and the guests were told to “FIND YOUR PARTY ANIMAL!”
Hells A’ Roarin Outfitters is such a magical place for a wedding! The picture perfect mountains in the background AND their horses really made for some fun pictures with our bride and groom. The bride and groom photos with the horses were our FAVORITE!
Photography & Videography: Honeybee Weddings
Ceremony Location: Private Home
Reception Venue: Hells A’ Roarin Outfitters
Hair & Makeup: Pura Vida Salon 406
Bridal Dress Designer: Maggie Sorrento
Bridal Boutique: The Bridal Shoppe (Festus, MO)
Bridesmaids’ Attire: Azazi.com
Bakery: Bozeman Cupcakery
Catering: The Cowboy Lodge & Grill
Wedding Transportation: The Flying Pig Adventure Co.
DIY Decor by the bride and groom!