Big Sky Bride 2014

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Premiere issue 2014

real montana weddings urban, outdoor or traditional themes

inspiration and tips for planning your big day big sky

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Love Locked in

903 Shiloh Crossing Blvd • Billings, MT 406-252-3662

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contents A publication of magic city magazine

Planned Perfectly 21 By Allyn Hulteng

Expert advice for planning your dream wedding

Setting the Stage 24 By Allyn Hulteng

Create the perfect wedding backdrop with flowers, dĂŠcor and your own personal style

25 Do You Take This Man? Bevy of Beauties 28

By Julie Green

5 things modern grooms should know

By Brenda maaS

Tips on managing bridesmaids and troubleshooting when things go wrong

33 The Honeymooners 35 A Personal Touch By brittany cremer

Top 2014 Honeymoon Destinations

By brittany cremer

Thoughtful details to make your wedding unique

37 The Album

By brenda maas and Brittany cremer

Six distinctly Montana weddings

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2014 Down the Aisle


11 The Flowers 12 The Ring 14 The Dress 16 The Photos 18 The Venue 20 The Cake In Every Issue 6 From the Editor

Uniquely You Planning

Love, love, love

8 Unveiled 50 I Thee Wed

Inventive accents and elements for your big day


On the Cover






1/13/2014 4:39:16 PM

Real Montana Weddings: Kelsey and Todd LaPlant’s wedding had western flair, complete with Stetsons and jeans Photo courtesy of Winslow Studio and Gallery


Call or email for details 406-850-1879 • big sky

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From the Editor Love, love, love There are some shots that don’t make the wedding photo album cut. During my walk down the aisle, I looked like a red-faced, duck-billed platypus dolled up in bolts of organza, glistening with tears and sparkling in rhinestones. But in a good way. Attempting to smile through tears, the look on my face while making my big entrance is not pretty. Hearing what happened just moments before will make you understand why… Wobbling around with atomic butterflies in my stomach, my dad’s arm was pretty much the only thing holding me up at Grace Bible Church in Miles City, Mont. on Aug. 21, 2010. The wedding party had already made their entrance (I chose my parents’ wedding song, “More,” for the processional) and the flower girls were armed in all their cuteness to line my path in purple and champagne-colored rose petals. Then it happened. Seconds before we were to walk down the aisle, my burly, strong and stalwart father looked at me—with tears running down his cheek—and said “You picked a good man, kiddo. I hope you have a great life.” “Canon in D” cued up, and the flood gates opened.

As unique as you are

In this, our inaugural issue of “Big Sky Bride,” we had the privilege to peek into the lives of six Montana couples and their unique nuptials. While they were all very different, the underlying theme among them was that each bride took time and consideration to highlight her big day with personalized touches One couple got married on the 50-yard-line of Washington Grizzly Stadium, paying tribute to their love of football and the groom’s proud past. Former Miss Montana, Annie Anseth, created a fairytale wedding in a sea of crystal opulence countered by a loving photo display of late relatives. Helena bride Carly Wright personalized her centerpieces with hand-cut glass bottles from wine tasting trips she’d taken with her family. Bozeman bride Kelsey LaPlant celebrated the arrival of MSU’s mascot, “Champ” at her reception. Varying in price point and concept, all of our featured weddings are beautiful because they were fashioned, formed and celebrated in love.

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Peaks and valleys

At our reception, my husband and I paid tribute to his grandparents, Bob and Agnes Cremer, who had been married for an incredible 75 years and also to my parents, Glenn and Katie Hageman, who had been married 40 years that summer. When asked about the secret to their long-lasting matrimony, both couples lean to words like “understanding,” “patience,” “strength,” and “kindness,” to describe their enduring love. “There are always going to be peaks and valleys,” my dad said during his toast, “but the trick is to find good in both.” Words of wisdom, to be sure.

I now pronounce you…

Amid all the glitz and glam, there is a duplicitous truth to wedding planning; it can be uber- stressful. About 117 in to 350 handmade, hand-tied wedding invitations adorned in raffia and composite craft paper, my husband and I entertained the notion of catching an Allegiant flight to Vegas and getting hitched in the Chapel O’ Love. But patience prevailed. Fortunately for you, the staff at “Big Sky Bride” has done a lot of the legwork by compiling tips and suggestions to make your big day sparkle, sans stress. And a word of wisdom from a not-so-newlywed: there may be things that don’t go according to plan on your big day. Gasp! Embrace it, accept it and focus instead on your adorable groom and his ear-to-ear smile. Just like each of the brides inside shares, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about my wedding day— not the 103-degree heat, not my wilting flowers, not my platypus-walk-down-the-aisle face, not a thing. Because, even the things that “went wrong” were uniquely me, and authenticity translates into the purest form of love—grace.

Brittany Cremer Managing Editor Big Sky Bride Magazine

2014 I VOLUME 1 I ISSUE 1 Michael GulledgE Publisher 657-1225 e di t ori a l

downtown since 1909

Planning a Wedding?

Allyn Hulteng Editor-in-chief 657-1434 Brittany Cremer managing editor 657-1390 Brenda Maas Assistant Editor 657-1490 Evelyn Noennig assistant Editor 657-1226 Bob Tamb0 art Director 657-1474 pho togr a phy

Larry Mayer, James Woodcock, Casey Page, Bob Zellar, Paul Ruhter A dv e r t ising

Dave Worstell Sales & Marketing Director 657-1352 Ryan Brosseau Classified & Online Manager 657-1340 Shelli Rae Scott SALES MANAGER 657-1244 LINSAY DUTY ADVERTISING COORDINATOR 657-1254 MO LUCAS Production/Traffic Artist 657-1204 C on tac t us: Mail: 401 N. Broadway Billings, MT 59101

Find us at various businesses in Billings, butte, helena, missoula, miles city and big sky

Big Sky Bride Magazine is published once a year by Billings Gazette Communications Copyright© 2014 Big Sky Bride Magazine All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written consent is prohibited.

Photo courtesy of Cetrone Studios

The Historic Billings Depot is the region’s most celebrated venue for both weddings and receptions. Call now to schedule your private bridal consultation and see why this historic venue was voted “Best Place to Have a Wedding” in Billings!

Create Memories 406.656.7273 2310 Montana Ave. big sky

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Inventive accents and elements for your big day.

Something old and new

Accent your bridal updo with one of these gorgeous hair combs by Vintage Touch. The artist re-crafts vintage jewelry into these one-of-a-kind pieces, fulfilling your “something old,” AND “something new” requirements. For the “something blue”… opt for a comb with a blue stone, and you’ve got all three covered.

Available at

Unity cross

The Unity Cross® is a multi-piece sculpture that is assembled by the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony, representing how the two become one. The two crosses are locked together by the three pegs that represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Display this unique and beautiful sculpture in your home as a lasting reminder of the covenant you made on your wedding day.

Makeup stay spray

Photos, heat, more photos, smiles, hugs, tears, laughter, eats, drinks and dancing. Your big day is filled with a lot, and to avoid constant touch-up trips to the ladies’ room, you need your makeup to hold up. That’s where Skindinavia Bridal Makeup Finish spray comes in. One spritz in the morning and your makeup is set all day and night.

Available at

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Available at

Personalized hangers

Hang your garments in style with these adorable, personalized wedding hangers. Choose special “I do” and “Me, too” designs for the bride and groom or gift the mother-of-the-bride and bridesmaid versions to the wedding party.

Available at

Corset bra

For a classic silhouette, slip into the Essentials Seamless Hidden Wire Bustier by Felina. Wear it alone on your honeymoon or slip it under your wedding dress to slim your waist and enhance your figure.

Available at and fine department stores across Montana

Wedding day survival kit Bridesmaids…Pst!

Purchase or create from-scratch a wedding day emergency kit for your bride. Be her hero when she needs to pin up part of her dress, pop an Altoid or bandage a blister.

Available at or create your own!

(406) 671-4371

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no dream is too big What’s your wedding dream? From mountains to masquerade, Western to whimsical, Gainan’s offers over 60 years of experience to help make your wedding vision a reality. FLOWERS • RENTAL • DÉCOR • GIFT REGISTRY • DELIVERY We specialize in destination weddings including: Billings • Red Lodge • Moonlight Basin • Big Sky • Flathead Lake • Northern Wyoming

SPECIAL OFFERS $50 toward the bride’s bouquet if your total order is $500 or more. 10% of gift registry sales returned to the bride & groom as a gift card.

call today for your personal consultation 406.238.3161


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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the photos

the venue

the cake


the flowers Accent your big day with the perfect bouquet

Rich violet, playful pink, stately ivory—flowers have been used for generations to infuse color, texture and a pleasant aroma to your big day. And while you might be drawn to specific blooms for their beauty, be sure to know the hidden meaning behind your bouquet choice.


Meaning: Understanding Best For: Bouquets and arrangements Scent: None In Season: Spring and fall Floral Fact: Hydrangeas accumulate aluminum absorbed through the soil. The aluminum forms complexes in hydrangeas, giving them their blue color.


Meaning: Love, joy, beauty Best For: Bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres and arrangements Scent: Lightly fragrant to very fragrant, depending on variety In Season: Year-round Floral Fact: In white, red and pink, roses are the most popular wedding flowers.


Meaning: Majesty, truth, honor Best For: Bouquets and arrangements Scent: Fragrant In Season: Summer, but often imported during other seasons Floral Fact: Chinese folk medicine included lilies in remedies to bring good luck. Europeans have also used lilies in medicinal preparations throughout history.


Meaning: Love, passion Best For: Arrangements and bouquets Scent: None In Season: Late spring Floral Fact: In a pinch, tulip bulbs make a passably good substitute for onions in recipes.

Calla Lily


Meaning: Love, beauty Best For: Bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres Scent: None In Season: Yearround – almost always imported Floral Fact: Orchids deceive insects into pollinating them. The reproductive parts of many orchids are shaped and colored to look like the kind of insect they hope to attract.

Meaning: Magnificent beauty Best For: Bouquets and arrangements Scent: Lightly fragrant In Season: Spring and summer Floral Fact: The word “calla” comes from the Greek word for beautiful.

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the ring Gents’ ring buying guide and setting tips

the photos

the venue

the cake

The 4 C’s When selecting a diamond, you’ll want to take into account the “4 C’s:” cut, color, clarity and carat weight. All four of these factors determine the quality and cost of the diamond.

Cut Cut doesn’t refer to the shape of the diamond, but rather the angles and proportions of the stone. While nature determines the other three C’s, the diamond’s cut is determined by a cutter. A well-cut diamond reflects light from one facet to another and projects the light through the top of the stone. This is what gives a diamond its sparkle.


Find the girl of your

To many men’s surprise, diamonds come in a variety of colors. Diamond color is graded on a scale that ranges from D (colorless) to Z (light yellow). Truly colorless diamonds are the most rare and most expensive. White diamonds are the most popular. But when it gets down to it, diamond color is all about preference. Look back at your notes from your ring reconnaissance to see what your lady prefers.

dreams. Check. Dutifully ask the parents for her hand in marriage. Check. Prepare and plan the perfect proposal. (With sweaty palms, check.)

Select the right ring to represent a lifetime of love and matrimony… That’s where we come in. Chances are, you know your girlfriend’s taste — but you’ve never actually heard her say, “I’d really like a

cushion cut, with a split-shank setting and side accents, on white gold band, size seven, nothing lower than an F for color, or SI2 range for clarity, and around two carats — y’know, a classic engagement ring.” Shapes, colors, cuts and styles abound when discussing potential engagement ring options. Familiarize yourself with the jewel-speak and do some research. Just think how impressed your jeweler (and fiancé) will be when you come in asking for a Pave setting in platinum with a cushion-cut diamond and matching eternity band.

Money talks

The first thing you’ll need to do before you step into a jewelry store is establish a budget. It will help the jeweler show you options in your price range. You may have heard that a man is supposed to spend two month’s salary on an engagement ring. This is more of an Old Wives’ tale and not a hard-and-fast rule. Some grooms-to-be may not know that the cost of the centerpiece diamond is often in addition to the price of the ring’s setting.

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Be sure to ask your jeweler to specify.

Sizing her up

You’ll also want to begin the process knowing your girlfriend’s ring finger size. If you can, borrow a ring from her stash to take to the jeweler. If she’s a little anal about her jewelry and may notice, use a pencil and a piece of paper to trace the inside of the ring and bring that instead. Or, slip one on your finger and use a sharpie to mark how far down

it slides. And for goodness sake, if she’s an in-between size, sizeup. You don’t want to deal with a mid-proposal knuckle jam.

Romancing the stone

So you’ve selected a setting and band. We now move to the focal point of most engagement rings: the diamond. For many men, purchasing a diamond can seem like a daunting task, but with a bit of knowledge, you can walk out of a jewelry store with a stone your fiancée will be dying to show off.

Clarity The fewer imperfections a diamond has, the more clear, and consequently, more expensive it is. When the jeweler starts discussing the clarity of the diamond, he or she will probably mention the diamond’s “inclusions.” Inclusions are other minerals or tiny fractures in the diamond. The fewer inclusions the better. Like color, clarity is measured on a scale. SI1 and SI2 are slightly included, but you won’t be able to see the imperfection with the naked eye; try to find a diamond in this range. When looking at a diamond, avoid stones with inclusions on the top and in the middle, as this can impact the dispersion of light, making it less brilliant.

Carat Weight Carat refers to the weight of a diamond. The heavier the stone, the more you’re going to pay. However, there’s no need to get too caught up on the carat weight. Through proper mounting and shaping, a master jeweler can make a diamond appear larger than its carat weight might suggest.

Book your event!

Billings’ Premier Wedding Venue

We’re all inclusive!

Call for a personal tour or to book your wedding

(406) 348-2205

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the photos

the venue

the cake

the dress Options abound in wedding dress selections Every bride-to-be has envisioned it a hundred times. The music cues up to play “Canon in D,” your dad lovingly smiles at you, holding back tears while he takes your arm for the walk down the aisle. Heart pounding, your eyes are fixed on your groom—his eyes are fixed on you, and your dress. Most brides have a sense of what type of dress they’ll don for the big day. But if you don’t, fear not. Your bridal consultant can gently guide you to specific silhouettes best flatter your frame. Try on a handful of styles and narrow your search from there. When you find the right one—you’ll know. The tears of joy will be a dead giveaway.

Curves ahead

The Empire strikes back

Who It Flatters: Because of its body-hugging cut, the mermaid is best worn by brides who are confident and comfortable in their skin. It is flattering on slender, short and tall figures, however, girls who love their curves can rock this dress as well.

Who It Flatters: An empire dress works well on most

Mermaid-inspired dresses are very contemporary, and the cut highlights all your curves. Its silhouette contours to the body from the chest to the knee, and then flares out to the hem.

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The empire dress is unique for its raised waistline that sits just below the bust, from which the rest of the dress flows down. Typically, these dresses are made from lighter fabrics, so this style of dress evokes an uber-romantic feel.

body types but is specifically flattering for a bride looking to enhance her bust. On the flip side, ladies with large busts also like empire dresses because the traditional square can better cover larger breasts. This dress is also ideal for pear-shaped figures, as it is forgiving of the legs and hips. Because of the room in the stomach area, this is also an ideal dress for pregnant brides.

Short and sweet

For the fun, playful bride—particularly those planning a cheerful outdoor wedding—a short or cropped dress is a great choice. Perhaps you’d like your shoes to make a statement during your big day. Guests will certainly take note of your rhinestone-embellished Tony Lamas in your adorable short dress.

Who it Flatters: Brides shorter than 5’5 often feel very comfortable in a short dress, but tall ladies can wear this style, too. If you’ve got great legs to show off, this is the perfect pick.

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Sexy slip of a dress

As you can probably guess from its name, the sheath dress has a narrow shape that flows straight down from the top to the bottom. Also known as a “column” dress, this style tends to hug the body and show any and all of your curves. A sheath dress can range from a simple slip dress to a more contoured garment made of heavier fabrics such as damask.

Who It Flatters: Although a sheath dress is timeless, it’s typically not as forgiving as other styles and is best suited for lean brides. Petite brides can look taller and longer in a sheath dress, but there’s not much room for hiding problem areas. Also beware that some sheath dresses are very tight and may restrict movement on the dance floor.

Cinderella called…

A-Line and princess-inspired ball gowns are named after the shape the dress visually creates. This style is classic, simple and timeless.

Who It Flatters: The A-line dress is a good general option for almost any bride. The full skirt of the A-line can hide a rounder lower body or create the illusion of curves on a narrow frame. If your main goal is to look thin, the princess style is a great option that elongates lines creating a slimming effect as the eye naturally focuses on the length of the dress.

*Facials should be done at least 2 weeks prior to wedding.

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the photos

the venue

the cake

the photos: Say Cheese! Tips and Questions You Must Ask Your Wedding Photographer Just as a keyboard doesn’t make a person a writer, neither does a digital camera make the person operating it a photographer. If you want lasting memories, a professional photographer is a must. Here are a few tips to consider while you are selecting the perfect match for your big day.

The old adage is true

Ask for referrals and pay attention when you are attending other weddings. If the photographer’s style does not speak to you, keep looking.

Do your research

Check out the photographer’s web page and social media. Observe him or her in action. While the photos are the finished product, photography is an interactive process and you must be comfortable with your photographer.

Know the face

If the photographer offers a free engagement photo shoot, take advantage of it. It is an opportunity to get to know the person you are trusting with one of your biggest life moments. At the very least, meet for coffee or “skype” if you live in different locations.

Trust your professional

While it may be tempting to micro-manage your photographer, if you have to do that, then you selected the wrong person. Go ahead and point out that your father gave you grandma’s locket—something old—as a surprise on your wedding day, but resist the urge to be the dictator.

Feed the force

Although it’s easy to overlook, plan to feed your photographer (and assistants). Likely she or he will be hungry after eight hours on her or his feet and will appreciate the thought.

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Must-Ask Questions: May I see an entire portfolio, from the beginning to the end? How many photos will you shoot? You want an idea of the entire finished product. Are all the images the photographer’s work and are they recent? Verify that your photographer did the work, not someone else in the same photography house. Do you do post-editing work? If you don’t really know much about photography, ask to see something that has not been re-touched and then the edited version. Photoshop cannot fix everything. What happens if you are sick or have an emergency? You should know the backup plan, and it should not be your responsibility to call a replacement photographer. Do you carry back-up equipment? What if your equipment fails? You don’t want to learn the answer to this on your wedding day, so ask now. How many other events do you have that day, that weekend?

Some larger organizations will book events close together. Determine your comfort level with your photographer’s work schedule. If you are the second gig of the day, guess who is going to be tired before the dance starts.

Make your wedding a success. Hilton Garden Inn knows how important your Big Day is, and we can help.

From guest rooms for your guests to on-site catering and space to hold your wedding, we are here to help ensure your biggest day is a successful one.

Do you have insurance? Ask for a copy and read it. If Uncle Harry trips over a piece of camera equipment, who is responsible? It goes without saying that no liability insurance is a red flag.

May I see a sample contract? What are the specific terms? This is an important document. It protects both you and the photographer from misunderstanding. Take your time to read it, and discuss any grey areas.

Will you share 2-5 references with me, preferably those who had similar-style weddings to mine? Don’t just ask for these; follow-up and make the calls. Those references may give insight or provide a solid piece of reassurance about your photographer selection.

Hilton Garden Inn Billings 2465 Grant Rd. Billings, MT 59102 406-655-8800 

For the wedding of your dreams....

Shop our large selection of tents,tables,chairs, linens,centerpieces,and much more....

(406) 655-8999 The Special Event Company

3138 Gabel Road Billings, MT 59102

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the photos

the venue

the cake

the venue Wedding Location Quiz

Not sure where to host your big day? Take our quiz to narrow your choices.

Start You get heartburn thinking about possible rain on your big day.

You and your beloved have close ties with nature. NO YES


The most important thing about your big day will be the reception.

The thought of throwing a huge party for family and friends stresses you out.



Your friends describe you as laid-back and care-free. NO YES

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Your wedding ceremony should be solemn and traditional.



Your big day should be spent with a select few family and friends.


The idea of coordinating a combo wedding and honeymoon appeals to you. NO YES



A wedding venue as unique as you are 406-­‐256-­‐5100

Northern Hotel Weddings and Events

Where dreams come true!

12,000 Square feet of dynamic event space

State-­‐of-­‐the-­‐art audio/visual services included in every event

Call 406-­‐867-­‐6766 to schedule your personal consultation with our wedding and event experts today.

A perfect match

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the photos

the venue

the cake

the cake Few great celebrations are complete without dessert. While some would not dream of deviating from a traditional tiered beauty, others are willing to be more daring. Here are a few fab ideas that, well…take the cake.

Bring out the kid in you

Adorable hardly covers it with these cake pops. Bet you can’t eat just one!

Keep it flowing The chocolate, that is, with a chocolate fountain and dipper like strawberries, pineapple and cake pieces. Even the health-nuts will rave about this dessert.

Individualize the cake The possibilities are endless with cupcakes. Mix and match his-and-her-favorites for a personal touch. The cupcake towers themselves are a work of art. Add a few tux-and-gown inspired cupcakes, and you’ll be the talk-of-the-wedding circuit.

Variations on a theme Traditional wedding cake meets mod when you top it with your new monogram. Or, play matchymatchy and let your wedding colors inspire your cake—it’s all the rage.

Simple sweetness Taste the theme of love with a complete dessert bar of fun finger desserts like canollis, truffles and mini-cheese cakes.

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lanned Perfectly by allyn hulteng

He popped the question. She answered “yes.” Together they dream of the perfect wedding – but with so many decisions to make, where do they begin?

Weddings are wonderful celebrations, but the occasion doesn’t simply happen. A myriad of details must all come together perfectly, especially when the betrothed have a very specific vision of what they want. Pat Clark, a certified wedding planner and owner of Patricia Clark Weddings, says making a detailed plan is key to creating a dream wedding.

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“The very first thing a newly engaged couple needs to do is to establish a budget and know where the funds are coming from,” said Clark. Typically, the couple will need to make deposits early on to hold a venue, to book a photographer and for other wedding day services. Setting a budget and identifying whether the money will come from parents, soon-to-be in laws or from the couple’s own savings helps avoid surprises. Once the budget is set, couples should estimate what percentage of the total budget should be allocated to each line item. “If a couple wants to spend more in one category – that’s OK. They just need to trim back in another. Knowing their finances at the outset helps couples prioritize their decisions while keeping the budget on track.” Next, the couple should determine how many guests they wish to invite. The number of people directly impacts key expenses, including the cost of the food and beverages, how many chairs and tables to rent, number of centerpieces and size of the reception venue. “I always ask a bride, what are your must-haves? If she wants to have a plated dinner, then she may need to trim the guest list to stay on budget,” Clark said. But, she cautions, opting to serve heavy appetizers as a way to save money can be even more expensive. “Here again it’s vitally important to have a budget and work with a caterer in order to determine your best options.” When it’s time to toast the bride and groom, Clark offers another money-saving tip. “Champagne is very expensive and most people don’t drink it. Instead of spending a lot of money on champagne for everyone, buy just enough for the head and reserved tables. When it’s time to toast, ask people to toast with whatever they are drinking.” Two of the first things newly engaged brides typically focus on are setting a date and choosing a wedding gown. However, Clark suggests pausing before rushing to a decision on either one. “Unless there is a specific reason for choosing a particular month and day, I counsel brides to leave the date open until they know what dates their preferred venue or church is available,” Clark said. “Brides are always surprised to find out how far in advance weddings are booked. If she is flexible with her date, she has a better chance of booking her preferred venue.” As for the wedding gown, Clark notes that wedding planning can be a stressful time, and stress can cause weight gain or weight loss. Instead of purchasing the gown a year before the wedding, she recommends waiting. “The cost to alter a dress can sometimes be as much as the dress itself,” Clark said. “Waiting to purchase your gown until closer to the wedding can help avoid an unanticipated expense.” If the dress still requires alternation, Clark suggests taking it to a private seamstress which can cost substantially less than having it done by the retail store. While couples often give a lot of thought about where to have the wedding and reception, Clark says many overlook finding someone to perform the ceremony. “More than once I’ve seen a bride scramble to find an officiate at the last minute, which can cause unnecessary stress,” Clark said. Other service providers that also get booked early include florists, the cake baker, DJs or bands and photographers. “My advice is to get those items booked well in advance so you get ex-

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Wedding planner Pat Clark in her home office. Photo by Paul Ruhter.

actly what you want,” she said. When it comes to photographers, Clark says that most people take more than a year to plan their wedding and when it’s over, they want beautiful photographs that truly tell the story of their special day. She suggests that couples meet with their photographer ahead of time to give specific ideas on what they want him or her to shoot. “And I love it when photographers bring a second photographer; one can be with the bride and her bridesmaids, the other with groomsmen.” Be sure the photographer captures the details, too. Those small touches can easily be forgotten, yet they make a big difference. In the past, the rehearsal dinner was a formal affair that typically included just the bridal party and immediate family. But Clark says that tradition has changed. “Today, the rehearsal dinner is a less formal, pre-wedding party. Most brides and grooms want their extended family and friends to attend as part of a larger celebration,” Clark noted. She reminds couples that the rehearsal can take place anywhere – not just at the actual venue. And in fact the church or event venue may have another wedding or event that precludes having the rehearsal on site. Because many people travel from out of town, Clark recommends blocking a set of rooms at a hotel at or near their reception venue. If possible, the hotel should also offer transportation to and from the airport to keep things easy for guests. If a couple cannot afford a wedding planner, Clark strongly recommends hiring a wedding day coordinator. “At the end of the night, you don’t want the mother of the bride taking down decorations and carrying presents and leftover items to the car. It’s already an emotional day – no one wants to be overwhelmed with more work,” Clark said. A wedding day coordinator will make sure that the venue is decorated and that the caterer, florist, DJ, cake baker and anyone else has arrived on schedule. She will also stay through the event, making sure everything is taking place according to the schedule. At the end of the night, she is responsible for taking down decorations and finalizing any remaining details and checking for items inadvertently left behind. “It’s peace of mind, so the bride, bridesmaids and mothers can enjoy the day together.”


Customize this checklist with your wedding timeline. Refer to our guideline for answers as to when things are due.

6-12 Months Before ❏ Determine your wedding style ❏ Set the date ❏ Determine your budget ❏ Create the initial guest list ❏ Mail save-the-date cards ❏ Research & reserve ceremony

❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

site and officiant Research & reserve reception site Select your wedding attendants Shop for and order your wedding gown Choose your colors Select bridal party dresses, shoes and accessories Apply for or review passports if needed Research & select the essentials: Wedding planner/day-of coordinator Florist Photographer & videographer Musicians for ceremony DJ/band for reception Baker Caterer

4-6 Months Before ❏ Finalize guest list ❏ Select, print or order

invitations/other stationery

& attendants’ attire

❏ Select and reserve groom ❏ Plan rehearsal dinner Meet with essential people:

❏ Florist ❏ Photographer ❏ Ceremony musicians ❏ DJ/band ❏ Baker ❏ Caterer ❏ Officiant ❏ Shop for and order rings ❏ Arrange lodging for wedding

night and guests


❏ Book transportation for wedding day ❏ Register for gifts ❏ Obtain a marriage license ❏ Assemble and address invitations ❏ Purchase wedding party gifts ❏ Send newsletter for out-of-town guests ❏ Attend showers, bachelorette party, etc.

1-6 Weeks ❏ Break in shoes ❏ Contact guests who haven’t responded ❏ Confirm ceremony details with officiant ❏ Finalize rehearsal dinner plans ❏ Finalize head count with caterer ❏ Design reception layout/complete seating ❏ Complete menus, place cards, escort cards ❏ Bridesmaids/bride

final fittings

❏ Confirm honeymoon, tickets, reservations ❏ Provide attendants with list of duties ❏ Design timeline ❏ Finalize menu items with caterer ❏ Order/make favors ❏ Finalize reception and

ceremony music ❏ Schedule dress fitting appointment ❏ Schedule appointments nails, hair, makeup, etc.

Week Of ❏ Pack for wedding night ❏ Pack for honeymoon ❏ Pick up wedding attire ❏ Finish paying vendors and verify arrivals

Rehearsal Day ❏ Deliver materials to reception and church ❏ Pass out timelines at rehearsal ❏ Rehearsal

WEDDING DAY – HAVE FUN! Checkist courtesy of Patricia Clark Weddings

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Bride magazine I 23

the Floral Palette: Picking the right ones for the right theme Montana brides and grooms opt for a variety of wedding styles. John Buck, creative director of Gainan’s Flowers and Garden Center, offers ideas for arrangements and décor that are as unique as they are beautiful:

Traditional: Peoneys, roses, garden roses, hydrangeas. Western: Mix of grasses, Viking palms, berries, twigs, anything that grows in the wild. Outdoor/Mountain backdrop: Survey the

Setting the Stage Flowers, décor and personal touches come together to create the perfect wedding backdrop John Buck, creative director with Gainan’s Flowers and Garden Center, is an expert at helping brides turn their vision of the perfect wedding into reality. “As a starting point, I always ask a bride to bring in pictures of things they have seen or that they like,” Buck said. “The visual helps clarify what sentiment the couple wants their wedding to evoke.” Location, he noted, is an important consideration. An outdoor ceremony should look and feel different than a traditional church ceremony – and the flowers and types of arrangements should harmonize with the setting. After location, Buck turns his attention to the bridal party – who are the primary focus of the day. Working with the color of the bride’s gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, groom and groomsmen’s attire, he can start to narrow the selection of flowers, greenery, grasses and ribbons. “The bridal bouquet is the most important,” he noted. “Once we put together her flowers, we can pull from that arrangement, adding additional floral pieces or greenery for the rest of the bridal party, church arrangements and reception centerpieces.” The idea is to maintain some consistency. “If the main flowers in the bride’s bouquet are pink roses, then every other arrangement should contain or complement the pink roses.” As a rule – and to help keep expenses in check – Buck likes to recommend that arrangements serve multiple purposes. A spray used on the top of an arch on an outdoor wedding can be removed and transported to the reception and placed at the head table as a centerpiece, he noted. And arrangements used in the church can do double duty as arrangements at the reception. “Whether a bride has a modest or grand budget, it’s all about being creative,” he said. Top: John Buck, creative director for Gainan’s Flower and Garden Center at the downtown location. Photo by Larry Mayer.

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surrounding landscape and try to pick flowers that mirror wildflowers you find in the foothills. Small yellow sunflowers, small blue or purple hue buds, delicate white ground cover.

Sports theme wedding: You can be more whimsical. For example, with a Montana Griz-themed wedding you can use flowers that reflect UM colors. Add décor that can relate, such as footballs, banners, flags and pennants.

Contemporary: More monochromatic arrangements, sleek, matching containers and décor.


o you Take this man? By Julie Green

Back in the day, guys had it easy: pick out the ring, propose and, a few months later, show up at the church in a tux. She said “yes,” he said “yes” and it was off to the honeymoon. big sky

Bride magazine I 25

Think you’re getting away with that in 2014? Guess again. The modern groom has more expectations placed upon him than ever before when it comes to the wedding planning process. But there still remains a number of traditional responsibilities—and costs—you can count on being placed squarely on your broad shoulders. Here are 5 of them:

1. The Proposal: Gentlemen, it may be old-fashioned, but your intended bride doesn’t want to do the asking. If you love her enough to put a ring on her finger, then take the time to ask for her hand properly.

2. The Ring: Some grooms opt to choose the engagement ring and wedding band themselves; others have the bride-to-be select them. Either way, you should plan on paying for them.

Tux-Fitting Tips

3. Best Man & Groomsmen:

You will choose them, although the bride may have thoughts as to how many and may try to exercise a veto of one or more of your selections based on how crazy they’ve made her in the past.

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4. The Flowers: Odds are you won’t actually have to

pick them out, but traditionally, the groom pays for the bride’s bouquet, flowers for the wedding party and the corsages for mothers and grandmothers. We recommend you avoid actually being the one to put them on; even your grandma won’t appreciate being jabbed by a corsage pin.

5. Gifts: Get your shopping list ready to find something special for your new bride, gifts for your groomsmen (flasks are always popular) and gifts for both sets of parents (heck—by the end of it all, your new in-laws might appreciate a flask too). Most importantly fellas, remember your number one responsibility: keep the bride calm and happy throughout the engagement and on your wedding day. How? Just keep practicing these two little words: “Yes, dear.”

Once colors and bridesmaids dresses have been chosen, it’s time for the groom to start looking at tuxes or suits for himself and other men in the bridal party. Doing so means having proper measurements taken of:

• neck/collar • chest arm length and • upper arm dimensions

waist • inseam and • outer seam (for leg length)

• thigh

Remember, you’re going to be in this suit for several hours, so you’ll want to be comfortable. When your waist is measured, don’t be tempted to suck in because it may result in your pants fitting too snugly. We also recommend adding at least a finger’s width to your chest measurement so that the coat is not overly tight.

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evy of Beauties

By Brenda Maas I photo courtesy winslow studio & Gallery

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Tips on managing bridesmaids and trouble shooting when things go wrong Lord Alfred Tennyson, English poet of Victorian fame, noted, “A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride.” Now, more than a century later, we say: True dat! Whether you have one or 10, we, along with Wendy Means of Uniquely You Planning, offer these suggestions on how to keep the peace among your beautiful BFFs.

Bozeman couple Kelsey and Todd LaPlant celebrated their big day with an outdoor wedding and 12 attendants­—six bridesmaids and six groomsmen. Photo courtesy of Winslow Studio and Gallery.

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Pick ‘n choose

Every wedding consists of a plethora of decisions; however, few are as important to a peaceful wedding day as the selection of bridesmaids. “Becoming a bridesmaid amplifies the dynamics of a friendship,” notes Means. “It is the bridesmaids’ duty to be there for their friend during her time of need, whether it is licking envelopes, picking out flowers or offering moral support.” Keep in mind that a bridesmaid’s personality factors greatly into the harmony of all. Close friends and relatives are common choices, but a bridesmaid should be social, flexible and know how to deal with you in both joyous and stressful situations.


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Few things can smash soon-to-be-wedding bliss as quickly as money woes. As the shining star, you have an obligation to be clear and up-front with your bridesmaids about budget and expectations—dress, shoes, jewelry, hair, make-up, travel, wedding shower—the whole nine yards. While your friend’s heart may be more than willing, perhaps her wallet is weak. Offer a less-expensive alternative, greeter or reader for example, if she gracefully declines your invitation.

Outside the aisle

Traditionally, bridesmaids are similar in age to the bride, but many choose to include a special aunt, niece or younger-someone as senior or junior wedding party members. While you do not want age to be a limiting factor, be realistic about what an 8-year-old will say and do.

Plain & simple

Be clear about what you consider as bridesmaid duties and your related expectations. For example, if you would rather have a spa day culminated with martinis at home for your bachelorette party, say so. Or, risk having a human-sized cake and a “party crasher.” If you know that Aunt Ethel must be seated far away from Uncle Jed, assign that task to your most tactful friend. You love these ladies for a reason—but be precise about how they can best help you enjoy W-Day.

Yes to the dress

Hopefully, your bridesmaids have this attitude. But, reality is that different tastes and body shapes abound, and it is difficult to please everyone. Compromise is the name of the game. Means notes that “it is a huge trend right now for the bride to select the color and the bridesmaids pick the dress style.” Once the dress and accessories are finalized, be sure that each bridesmaid tries on her entire ensemble several times to avoid unwelcome, last-minute surprises.

Practice gratitude

Be sure to thank your bridesmaids openly and often about their contribution to your happiness, Means adds. Even the most difficult of tasks can be eased when appreciation is on the menu—a toast, sincere note, heart-felt hug and personalized bridesmaid gifts all speak volumes. At the end of the day, remember that friends understand friends. And, the Golden Rule applies—you may soon be wearing a bridesmaid dress yourself.

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Take note

Monograms and hand-written notes never go out of style. Buy a classy, monogram stationery set or order a personalized embosser. This is one gift that will stand on its own.

A bit of glam

You never go wrong with jewelry. Consider a classic pearl necklace as part of the bridesmaid’s ensemble or think about a friendship bracelet—it will grow over the years.

Gift of relaxation

A girl can never have too many pedis or manis. A gift certificate and the company to go along with it is a perfect gift for prewedding or any time.

Comfy cover-up

Spoil your pal with a silky robe—she deserves it. For an extra touch, have it embroidered with her initials and gift them as “the girls” dress together pre-ceremony.

Friendship to go

Personalize a travel mug for your friend with a photo of the two of you and a sweet friendship quote. You will always journey together.

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Bride magazine I 31

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he Honeymooners BY BRITTANY CREMER

Our top picks for your 2014 honeymoon destination

It’s over.

Or it’s just the beginning, depending on how you look at it.

The months of preparation, details, emails and spreadsheets involved in planning your

wedding are done. Now it’s time for you and your groom to whisk yourselves away to a romantic dot on the map to enjoy some quality time. We consulted certified travel agent and seasoned expert Billie Ruff, owner of Travel Café in Billings, Mont., for her recommendations on the hottest honeymoon trends of 2014. Take these tips and go! Aloha, R&R

Of the 50 states, Hawaii is by far the most popular honeymoon destination, and it’s pretty obvious why: sun, spas, sea turtles, lava, Technicolor sunsets, hikes, canopies of color and fresh flowers are just a few hours away. To keep things romantic, Ruff suggests seeking out an adults-only honeymoon haven. “You haven’t experienced true, natural beauty until you’ve seen a Hawaiian sunset in person,” Ruff said.

The Emerald City

No, we’re not talking about the land of OZ. Seattle has grown in popularity recently as a honeymoon destination, Ruff said, largely because of its ample shopping, dining and entertainment options. “It’s easy to navigate Seattle on the Light Rail, and once you’re downtown, everywhere you want to go is walkable.” Be sure to check out Pike Place Market, the Museum of Flight and of course, the Space Needle.

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yourself in

romance Lose yourself in a world of romance with unrivaled delights, exclusive offers, and exceptional privileges that only Classic Vacations and Travel Café can offer. We invite you to explore our selection of the world’s most fabulous resorts, located in the most romantic destination on earth!

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Me Encanta!

For a beautiful, affordable, five-star experience, Ruff suggests honeymooning in the Mayan Riviera (think Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel) located on the southeast coast of Mexico. Enjoy fun in the sun while sipping a salty margarita beachside or test your fear factor by parasailing over the wild blue. Ruff suggests booking an all-inclusive resort, noting that she highly recommends AMR Resorts like Dreams and Secrets. “Several of these resorts also include free wedding arrangements for those planning a combination destination wedding and honeymoon,” Ruff said.

You Better Belize it

Several couples look to Mexico as their go-to honeymoon destination, but it isn’t the only oasis south of the border. The coastal country of Belize has some serious benefits: English is the official language, the U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere and the county is beautiful and safe. For adventure and leisure, rent a car in Belize City and drive inland to the Cayo District for a few days of cave tubing while taking in the Mayan ruins.

A Walk in the Park

In Montana, we’re fortunate to have access to one of the nation’s most treasured and pristine jewels—Yellowstone National Park. For the nature enthusiast, pack a tent and snuggle up to your beloved under a blanket of stars. Or, for a softer experience, bunk up at the Old Faithful Inn where rustic-chic lives and breathes.

It’s a Small World

It’s not just for the kiddos—Disneyland and Disneyworld are increasing in popularity as desired honeymoon destinations, Ruff said. Take a romantic gondola ride, rekindle your childlike wonder on gut-checking rides like Splash Mountain and of course, take a few photos with Mickey.

Off the Beaten Path


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Maybe you’re looking for an outdoor-inspired experience similar to that of Yellowstone, but don’t want to bump shoulders in a crowd. If that’s

the case, point your compass northwest, toward Whitefish, Mont. Ruff recommends the laid-back luxury of White Fish Lodge while enjoying jawdropping scenery and recreation along Whitefish Lake.

Aces and Eights

Tired of Vegas, but like the adrenalin roll-thedice rush? Try Deadwood, South Dakota. Nestled in the heart of Black Hills Country, Deadwood offers a wide variety of attractions. Check out an old sluice gold mine, or if you’re a history buff, see where Wild Bill Hickok was buried. Gambling and dining options abound, plus, you’re only a half-skip-and-a-jump away from fun and games in Rapid City.

Captivating Caribbean

Not to be forgotten, tropical gems in the Caribbean like St. Lucia and Jamaica are also well sought-after honeymoon destinations. “For someone in Montana, the aversion to booking one of these places might be that it’s at least a two-flight connection, if not more,” Ruff said. But if you’re willing to play a bit of airline hopscotch, the water and beaches in the Caribbean are some of the best in the world. St. Lucia was recently voted the most romantic island in the world. ‘Nuff said.

essential items Honeymooners wish they’d packed • Extra battery for digital camera • Formal wear • An extra suitcase for gifts and collectibles • Personal snorkel and mask • Warm slippers • Motion sickness medicine • Extra pain reliever like Advil or Aleve • Extra sunscreen and suntan lotion • Extra sunglasses

Personal Touch By Julie Green

Every couple has a unique story to tell, and there’s no better time to share it than at your wedding. Taking the time to plan and incorporate personal touches into the ceremony or the reception makes the event more distinctive and allows guests a treasured glimpse into the lives and personality of the bride and groom.

Bozeman couple Katie and Drew Hansell personalized their destination wedding with this adorable cart, sign and nephew on board. Photo Courtesy of Penny Dinn Photography.

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One-of-a-kind fun

Finding ways to add some fun to your wedding is always…well…fun! Think Mad-Lib style puzzles on the program that guests can complete while waiting for the ceremony to begin, scavenger hunt lists at tables or crossword puzzles created to share details about you and your courtship.

Your other loves


If he’s a gaming genius or you’re a crafty queen, your individual hobbies or those you share as a couple can be highlighted at the wedding. Music lovers? Give personalized guitar picks as favors or use old sheet music as part of your theme. World travelers? Put up a map with pins of all the places you’ve been. Or if your passion involves supporting a certain cause, add it to your special day. Emphasize going green by using paper infused with seeds for your programs, or set up jars to collect donations for your favorite charity.

Worth a thousand words (and sometimes more)

Displaying photos is an awesome way to share your story and capture your guests’ attention. Use clothespins to string them along bunting at an informal event, print them on vellum and slip into lanterns to create glowing evening images or blow them up poster size to create a fun backdrop.


Show ‘em who you are

Portrait Specialist

Weddings are a wonderful time to highlight the heritage of one or both of the newlyweds. There’s no Scot that wouldn’t love to hear the bagpipes playing on the big day, while a Latino couple may opt to include the lazo as part of their ceremony. Foods are also a great way to infuse a touch of your traditions into your big day.

Put it on the plate

Capturing the Memories of Your Life Billings, MT & Surrounding Area Call Scott Today (406) 671-2548 36 I big sky

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Food is a fantastic way to express yourself, so if he likes pizza and pasta and you prefer seafood and salads, utilize food stations to allow guests to sample one or both. Rent a soft-serve ice cream machine and set out a slew of toppings, serve up cookies and milk instead of cake and champagne or go savory instead of sweet. You choose—because on this day everything really is all about you!

Six Weddings. Six Creative Themes.

Big Sky Bride Magazine asked six couples and photographers to share some moments from their big day. The traditional, the themed, the outdoor and the opulent are all there­â€”each one as distinctly Montana as the next. Enjoy!

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kendra & jeff price

• August 17, 2013

A N U R B A N A F FA I R Ceremony: First United Methodist Church, Billings Reception: Crowne Plaza Hotel Ballroom Photos Courtesy of Jana Graham Photography

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A daisy-laiden path and sea of lilies led Kendra Blackford to her husband to be. When the couple was moving into their new apartment in Arizona, Jeff fashioned a path out of flowers and pulled pictures of the couple to set the scene for his proposal. Kendra said yes, and the couple began planning their dream wedding. Kendra , an accountant, and Jeff, an electrical engineer, opted for a timeless, elegant motif for their city-inspired wedding. Nuptials were exchanged at the First United Methodist Church in Billings with Reverend Jim Fitzhugh officiating. A reception followed at the Crowne Plaza ballroom, selected because it could comfortably allow for so much family, friends and fun. A classic, elegant color palette of pink, ivory and white painted Kendra’s special day, with a surprise pop of blue in her shoes and nod to Jeff’s favorite football team (Green Bay Packers) with her garter.

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Kelsey & Todd La Plant

• August 17, 2013

C OW B OY C H IC Ceremony & Reception: Roy’s Barn, Bozeman Photos courtesy of Winslow Studio and Gallery

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For Kelsey Kincheloe, an agricultural loan officer, and Todd LaPlant, a grain merchant, a wedding that reflects their rural roots was a match made in heaven. Todd proposed to Kelsey on a sunny August afternoon as they were motoring through the “Gates of the Mountains” on Holter Lake. They both wanted an outdoor wedding and their venue, Roy’s Barn, looked at the mountains where Todd grew up. The bride arrived in her soon-to-be mother-inlaw’s horse-drawn carriage wearing cowboy boots; a country-chic vibe ruled the day. Families contributed to every aspect of the wedding and added special, personal touches. Kelsey’s Dad crafted shepherd’s hooks to mark the aisles and hold flowers while Todd’s brother fashioned decorative flowers from horseshoes. The juxtaposition of Kelsey’s uber-feminine dress and the hot pink accents made the traditional cowboy theme really “pop”—including her unique bride’s footwear of chic cowboy boots. The couple met in class at Montana State University, so it was no surprise to anyone when the Bobcat mascot, Champ, showed up at the barn dance to give the bride a twirl.

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K atie & drew Hansell

• July 13, 2013

DE S T I N AT ION : H AWA I I Ceremony & Reception: St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii Photos courtesy of Penny Dinn Photography

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Katie and Drew met in March 2012 at a backyard BBQ arranged by good friends. They hit it off instantly, which led to a whirlwind romance. Drew proposed to Katie on New Year’s Eve of that same year while traveling through Europe. The two share a passion for travel and wanted a fun vacation with their loved ones, which is why they chose to have a destination wedding in Kauai, Hawaii. The ceremony was on the beach at the St. Regis Princeville Resort, and the reception was held inside. Katie walked down the aisle to Keith Urban’s “Your Everything” played on the ukulele to incorporate her love of country music and the Hawaiian culture. A conch shell was blown, and the traditional Ohana ring ceremony blessed their union as family members offered a few encouraging words. At the reception, hula dancers engaged the crowd and taught them traditional dance. The couple wanted a very personal wedding that expressed their love and commitment while showcasing their fun personalities. It was the perfect day and the wedding they had always dreamt of.

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Annie & Casey GregersEn

• September 8, 2012

FA I RY TA L E C OM E T RU E Ceremony: American Lutheran Church, Billings Reception: Historic Billings Depot Photos courtesy of Jana Graham Photography

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Former Miss Montana, Annie Anseth and petroleum engineer, Casey Gregersen, had a storybook courtship. The couple, who met at Rocky Mountain College when Casey played football and Annie cheered, chose to be married at the American Lutheran Church in Billings with a reception to follow at the historic Billings Depot. Annie and Casey loved the vintage charm and transformed the space into an opulent display of blush pink, champagne and ivory. The wedding’s theme was deeply-rooted in family tradition and included several personal touches like Annie’s great-grandmother’s lace handkerchief pinned into her wedding bouquet, a Scandinavian serenade by Casey’s grandfather and string quartet performing songs originally played at Annie’s parents’ wedding. The reception space was further embellished with vintage crystal chandeliers and a memory table, which featured photos of Annie and Casey’s late relatives. Evoking an incredible glam-vintage feel, this wedding is one where the bride and groom will definitely live happily ever after.

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Briana & Corby Kottke

• August 10, 2013

5 0 -YA R D -L I N E FA N TA S Y Ceremony: 50-yard-line at Washington Grizzly Stadium, Missoula Reception: Canyon Room Skybox overlooking the stadium Photos courtesy of Dax Photography

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Corby, a foreman at Brugh Landscaping in Missoula, and Briana, a criminal defense attorney at Smith & Stephens, P.C. knew each other for at least 15 years before they started dating. An affinity for Griz football and love of the outdoors set the stage for their big day. With I do’s exchanged right on the 50yard-line in Washington Grizzly Stadium, guests enjoyed the open air while watching an engagement picture display on the Jumbo-tron. The groom’s father is a Hall-of-Fame Grizzly football player and enjoyed a toss-around with the groom and groomsmen post-nuptials. The reception was held in the Canyon Room Skybox overlooking the stadium with the tranquil Clark Fork River in the distance. Guests enjoyed a tailgatethemed feast of sliders, meatballs, wings and several local signature brews, a true reflection of the couple’s laid-back, fun-loving spirit and sports fan hearts.

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Carly & Will Wright

• June 22, 2013

T I M E L E S S T R A DI T ION Ceremony: Cathedral of St. Helena, Helena Reception: Civic Center Ballroom Photos courtesy of Megan Lane Photography

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Carly Culver, a registered nurse, and Will Wright, a U.S. History teacher at Helena High School, wanted a traditional church wedding in a formal, elegant venue. Both Carroll College alums, the couple chose the Cathedral of St. Helena as the beautiful backdrop to their big day with Father Marc Lenneman, the chaplain at Carroll College and a close friend, as the celebrant. Surrounded by family and friends, the day was everything Carly had dreamed of since she was a little girl. A 1951 Chrysler Crown Imperial served as the bride and groom’s getaway car with the band TripleCross serenading guests at the couple’s reception. Accent hues of plum and spring green painted the party with several personalized touches throughout. Several of the wine bottles used in the centerpieces came from the family’s wine tasting trips to Prosser, Wash. Carly’s dad cut them with a tile saw, sanded them by hand and then filled them with recycled glass and tea lights for added pizazz.

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I Thee Wed

62 Ye ars and Counting Billings, Montana ranchers, Dick and Monica Weldon offer this recipe to newlyweds for a long, strong marriage: “Love, respect, trust, compatibility, family, endurance, stability and commitment. Through our nearly 63 years we have experienced set-backs, sorrow, heartache, good times and not-so-good times. We always pulled together and carried on, and always worked side-by-side, never blaming each other if we had things that didn’t go so well. We take our marriage vows very seriously.”

September 22, 1951. Photo courtesy of Dick and Monica Weldon

Dick and Monica Weldon today. Photo by James Woodcock

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