The brides stand forehead-to-forehead, holding hands in front of a backdrop of trees.

A Wedding Weekend in Bear Creek Lodge, Idaho

Janelle (she/her) and Katie (she/her) Bear Creek Lodge, Idaho, to host their wedding weekend. Mindful of their budget, they prioritized what was most important to them, hiring LGBTQ+ inclusive wedding pros who are local to Idaho to make that happen, and left out anything not important.

Why did you choose Bear Creek Lodge as your wedding venue?

Bear Creek Lodge was the perfect venue for us because almost half our wedding guests could stay on site for the entire weekend! The lodge is just outside of McCall, Idaho, tucked into a beautiful wooded valley. 

There are many small cabins and a beautiful main lodge. 

It was the perfect place to make the wedding feel like a whole weekend away.  

Tell us about how you budgeted for your wedding day.

It was our biggest wedding planning challenge, especially with inflation very much affecting everything. 

We had to sit down and decide what was most important to us, and what we didn’t care about so much. 

Our big ‘must haves’ were Bear Creek Lodge because guests could stay on site, delicious food, a high quality photographer and videographer. 

We skipped formal mailed invitations and did free evites instead. 

We elected for buffet style instead of plated food, along with compostable plates and flatware. 

We recycled the flowers from the ceremony, and used them as the main decoration on the dinner tables and did not worry about dressing up the tables much more. 

We kept track of expenses with an excel spreadsheet and monitored where we were at in our budget before making any decisions. 

How did you find your inclusive photographer, Maggie Grace

It was one of the first decisions we made in our wedding planning. Our friends married the year earlier, and sent us some resources about LGBTQ+ friendly vendors in Idaho

One of the resources was a blog by Maggie Grace. When we looked at her work we knew she needed to be our photographer.

Maggie made us instantly feel comfortable during our engagement photo shoot. Her energy and laughter is infectious and we truly loved working with her. She even broke it down on the dance floor with us. Maggie recommended OLVE Films for videography, and Liv was such a fun addition to our team.

Why was videography important to you on your wedding day?

Having a wedding video was very important to Janelle. Her father passed away when she was very young and watching her parents’ wedding video was one of the only things her and her brother had to remember him by. 

Liv had so many fun ideas for the video and even convinced us to get in a small row boat together.


Tell us more about incorporating traditions into your two bride wedding.

We talked about what traditions felt like part of our story and which didn’t. We really felt comfortable making it our own because this day was about us and our love! 

Katie and her Dad did a parent dance, but Janelle didn’t since her father has passed away. 

We didn’t do any bouquet tossing or garter stuff. 

We didn’t even want a cake so we chose ice-cream instead. 

Walk us through your wedding day at Bear Creek Lodge.

The day of the wedding, we had a quiet morning to ourselves. We made some coffee at the little cabin we were staying in at Bear Creek Lodge. We then sat outside together and shared our vows. 

Having that private time together was really so special. 

Then the day got started in haste with hair and makeup, getting ready photos, people stopping in with breakfast, snacks and words of encouragement. 

After our first look, but before the ceremony, we snuck away with Maggie Grace and Liv to have some photos and videos of us exchanging our private vows overlooking Payette Lake. 

For the ceremony, Katie and her sister, Beth, and her best man, James. Janelle had her two best friends, Katie and Becca. 

After our vows, the party began! We had an incredibly fun live band and everyone danced well into the night. 

At the end of the night, we made our escape back to our private cabin in a cart with a ‘Just Married’ sign made to look like a ski run sign. 

The next morning most of the guests joined us on a double decker boat for a tour around Payette Lake. 

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