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R E A L M O N TA N A W E D D I N G S

WINTER|SPRING 2016

winter beauty BRIDAL BEAUTY INSIDE & OUT SHOWERS FOR HIM & HER COMPLETE WEDDING PLANNER

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Photography by Jana Graham

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 | DECOR GIFT REGISTRY DELIVERY

WEDDING MAKE THE

o f y o u r d re a m s A REALITY

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 and groom as a gift card.

MONTANA’S premier WEDDING FLORIST and GIFT REGISTRY

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Call today for your personal consultation: 406-238-3161


THE BARNSION Book your 2016 central Montana wedding or event now. All-inclusive venue includes:

• 3 day deluxe accommodations for over 20 • Spectacular views • Plenty of room for campers and tents • Rustic tables, bars, arches and wagons • Outdoor kitchen, barbecue and patio. • Romantic outdoor fireplace • Round and rectangular tables with chairs • Sound system • Indoor reception and dance area • Wedding carriage • All of this for $3,000

The Barnsion is one of a kind. There's no place quite like it

Come and see it!

Call with questions, for a personal tour, or to book an event.

1-406-220-0795

or visit our website at: www.thebarnsion.com

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MAGAZINE I 3


CONTENTS A PUBLICATION OF MAGIC CITY MAGAZINE

21

Bust the Stress BY ALLYN HULTENG Your Wedding Checklist

26

Showered in Love BY KAREN KINSER

A modern take on bridal showers

31

White Dress Ready BY ALLYN HULTENG

Expert tips for looking and feeling your best on your big day

35

The Album BY ALLYN HULTENG AND BRENDA MAAS 7 Unique Montana Weddings

On the Cover: Montana Bride Jessica Sweeney. Photo by Dax Photography.

Inset Photo:

Ashley and Jerry Schmaing’s first dance as husband and wife. Photo by Miranda Murdock Photography.

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The Moment WINTER I SPRING 2016

The Memories T he 320 Guest Ranch

Down the Aisle

ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY

11 The Flowers 12 The Rings 14 The Dress 17 The Hair 18 The Invitation 20 The Cake

Loneman Photography

The wedding you have dreamed of with a romantic venue and spectacular scenery, crafted to your style and vision. Bring your dream to life with our event coordinator for your wedding celebration.

In Every Issue 6 From the Editor Believe in Magic

8

Unveiled

Inventive accents and elements for your big day

50 I Thee Wed

Calvin and Frances Calton celebrate 56 years of marriage

Nashan Photography

www.320ranch.com 406-995-4283

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Believe in Magic It rained five inches on my wedding day. Yes, five inches. Dreams of a romantic garden wedding were literally drowned. I held my tears of sorrow and regret inside, near my vision of romantic bridal white interlaced with soft scent of garden flowers, and tried to smile. As orchestrated by Plan B, 40-some people on my “Friends & Family” list crammed into the great room of a small bed & breakfast in northern Wisconsin. With each person who arrived the humidity inside rose. I imagined all the interior moisture would create a massive human cloud that would cause it to rain inside, as well. Why did I want something as impossible as an outdoor ceremony in June when the chances of rain are almost a “for sure,” I lamented? My despair was as fluid as the sweat dripping between my shoulder blades. Then, as my dearly beloved and I exchanged our vows, the most wondrous thing happened. Within the deluge of rain, the sun broke through the clouds and beamed directly into the high A-frame windows. The bath of sunshine centered on us—the bride and groom—as we pledged our forevers. It was as though we ordered that spotlight of sunshine, directly on us, right at that moment. Magic. Pure and simple. No rules As I peruse newlyweds’ photos and summarize their stories, I see magic happen again and

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again. While the English language may have limits on emotions, faces do not. And although digital photography may have gained the “giant steps” predicted of mankind, you cannot Photoshop the genuine bliss I see in The Album (starting on page 35). Big Sky Bride is all about that joy. Within these pages you will read about, and see, that happiness. From festive wedding shower ideas to pampering your nearly-wedded self, Big Sky Bride offers local ideas and tips. During the process of creating this publication, I conversed with Cassie LaGreca, event organizer and owner of Better to Gather in Billings. “Weddings have become so non-traditional that rules have gone out the window,” she said. Perhaps that is truly the best foundation for a marriage—follow your own path, create it just for the two of you. It starts on your wedding day. So, nearly 23 years after my own wet-but-magical day, I offer this simple advice: Make your own rules. Like my rainy-day wedding, let go and let it flow.

Brenda Maas Managing Editor Big Sky Bride Magazine


2016 I VOLUME 3 I ISSUE 1 MICHAEL GULLEDGE PUBLISHER 657-1225 Photo by Notarius Photography

E DI T ORI A L

BRENDA MAAS MANAGING EDITOR 657-1490 EVELYN NOENNIG ASSISTANT EDITOR 657-1226 PHO TOGR A PHY

LARRY MAYER, CASEY PAGE, HANNAH POTES AND BOB ZELLAR

A DV E R T ISING

DAVE WORSTELL GENERAL MANAGER 657-1352 RYAN BROSSEAU ADVERTISING DIRECTOR 657-1340 SHELLI RAE SCOTT ADVERTISING MANAGER 657-1202 LINSAY FOLEY ADVERTISING COORDINATOR 657-1254 MO LUCAS PRODUCTION/COORDINATOR 657-1204 C ON TAC T US: Mail: 401 N. Broadway Billings, MT 59101 editor@bigskybridemagazine.com Photo by Amelia Anne Photography

Big Sky Bride Magazine is published twice per year by Billings Gazette Communications Copyright© 2016 Big Sky Bride Magazine All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without express written consent is prohibited.

Photo by Amy Hallenius Photography

Photo by Amelia Anne Photography

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Inventive accents and elements for your big day.

SHOWERED IN LOVE Don these personalized beauties with your BFFs as you coif and coil to create that great girls slumber party atmosphere. The satin material alone will lighten the mood with its decadence.

Available at Etsy.com Prices vary

NEVER WRONG Start the morning “right” with these mugs. Dishwasher and microwave safe, they are sure to make you smile.

Available at Joy of Living $26

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AND THEY LIVED… CLASSIC VACATIONS

…Happily ever after. This pillowcase set, made from 100 percent cotton with a 300 thread count, is sure to create sweet dreams.

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Every newlywed should boast their status. Help them out with monogrammed towels like these, made of 100 percent Egyptian cotton. Time to make a statement.

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• Glass of sparkling wine or Mai Tai’s for two at any resort restaurant • Resort view

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• Gourmet Inclusive • Bottle of champagne in room upon arrival

FULL OF SPIRIT Guys and gals alike will love to personalize their spirits. Engrave it with date, name and the like to make it as unique as you.

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• Romantic turndown service with a sweet treat • 15% discount on spa services

CONTACTUSTODAY

406-259-0999 montanastravelagency.com

*The offer at El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma requires a 5-night minimum stay within 30 days of the wedding date, and proof of marriage upon check-in. This package can be requested at time of booking. If staying less than 5 nights, a different price applies. Offers valid on new bookings only. Offers in Hawaii are valid for booking through 12/13/16 for travel throught 12/18/16. Prices shown are per person, land only based upon double occupancy, except if expressly noted otherwise. Offers are subject to availability at time of booking and may be changed or discontinued at any time without notice. Blackout dates, minimum night stays, minimum stay requirements on air, seasonal surcharges, resort fees (if any), and other restrictions may also apply. Individual offers may require purchase of Travel Smart Plan or travel waiver. Offers are not valid for Group Travel. Some booking and travel dates may vary. Other promotions and departure dates available which may result in a different rate and/or hotel inclusion. Customer is responsible for hotel taxes and fees on the free night offers, where applicable. For those properties where Classic Vacations has access to dynamic pricing rates, those rates will likely fluctuate from time to time based on market conditions and other factors beyond Classic Vacations control. Classic Vacations CST# 2079429-20. 479-0815 Photos provided by Sun Palace or the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

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Book your event!

Cabel Noteboom Photography

Amber Reinhardt Photography

Amber Reinhardt Photography

Amber Reinhardt Photography

Amber Reinhardt Photography

Billings’ Premier Wedding Venue

We’re all inclusive!

Call for a personal tour or to book your wedding

(406) 348-2205 www.chanceysevents.com

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the hair

the invitation

the cake

ALL THE DETAILS YOU NEED FOR YOUR SPECIAL DAY

the flowers Whether you prefer a dainty nosegay elegant in its simplicity, a dramatic cascade of bold-colored blooms or something in between, the bride’s bouquet should reflect her personal style while infusing an artful element into the ceremony. John Buck, bridal consultant director with Gainan’s Flowers, offers a few favorite looks for inspiration.

Rose Medley This bouquet of permanent botanicals infuses a palette of pastel roses with embellished hypericum berries tied together with white tulle. Tres magnifique!

White Beauty A trio of white ranunculus, white freesia and white peonies creates a study in elegant sophistication.

Simply Chic White and yellow freesia mixed with purple lisianthus, burgundy mini calla lilies and lemon leaf combine to create an eye-catching kiss of springtime.

Cascading Blooms Raspberry Rhapsody Pink wax flowers and wax flower buds, bright pink garden roses and rosebuds, raspberries and lemon leaf, tied together with a hot pink ribbon and a rhinestone embellishment create a bold elegance.

Pale pink roses with a pearl inset, bear grass, purple phalaenopsis and ti leaf come to life in this modern rendition of a traditional cascading bouquet.

Pink Possibilities Differing shades of pink roses with deep purple lisianthus and green hypericum berries create a brilliant burst of femininity.

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the rings

the flowers

the dress

the hair

the invitation

the cake

the rings Worn as an outward symbol of your love and commitment, your wedding ring is as personal as it is meaningful. Perhaps you inherited your grandmother’s ring. Local goldsmiths can remake a heritage piece into a one-of-a-kind heirloom that can be handed down with love. Prefer color? Diamonds now come in an array of beautiful hues, from petal pink to golden yellow to brilliant blue. Add a halo of small accent diamonds and you have a ring worthy of royalty. Whatever your preference, your ring makes a statement that transcends fashion.

Proudly wear a piece of Montana with this vintage-style engagement ring featuring an emerald-cut Yogo sapphire surrounded by round brilliant diamonds. Also available, a

Featuring a 1.28 carat diamond with delicate milgrain detail and cushion halo, this platinum engagement ring is stunningly brilliant. Available at Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers

matching custom-made wedding band.

Evoking a sense of modern sophistication, this magnificent platinum engagement ring has a round brilliant-cut center diamond weighting 3 carats plus round brilliant-cut side diamonds totaling 1 carat.

Available at Clark Avenue Jewelers

Available at Clark Avenue Jewelers

Crafted of hammered titanium with a polished edge, this men’s wedding band is light-weight yet handsomely durable. Available at Clark Avenue Jewelers

Inspired by nature, this Vitalium gent’s wedding band melds white gold with a burl wood inlay.

Elegance and style abound in this 14K white gold and rose gold ring set with a 1.04 carat center diamond and 40 accent diamonds.

Available at Greenleaf’s Jewelry

Available at Greenleaf’s Jewelry

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Designed by Tacori, this gentlemen’s Iconic Crescent diamond eternity wedding band is made of 18K white gold with a surround of inlayed diamonds. A most distinctive choice. Available at Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers


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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the hair

the invitation

the cake

the dress The music starts and all eyes turn to you – the bride. It’s the moment every woman dreams of, the moment she takes her first step down the aisle toward her beloved. All the planning and preparation culminate in the first notes of the procession. Setting the tone for the entire event is – your wedding dress. Whether you always envisioned wearing a Cinderella ballgown-style wedding dress, have an eye for a modern mini with moxie or you want something in between, designers this season have pulled out all the stops to make sure you – and your dress – leave an unforgettable impression. Here is a sampling of styles to spark your imagination.

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Off-the-Shoulder sheath Perfectly hugging the bride’s shape from the bodice to the floor, this elegant, lace-infused sheath melds sophistication with charm. Polish the look with a champagne tone, suede belt.

Ballgown beauty

Timeless traditional This A-line bridal gown harkens back to early 20th century high society. Fitted on top, the dress gently flows out from the waist to the ground where it finishes with a short train. To add a modern flair, the lace underlay is removed on the sleeves and back. A sheer veil with matching lace trim completes this graceful look.

Featuring gold bead-and-sequins details, the fi tted bodice of this ballgown extends past the bride’s waist before attaching to yards of tulle and satin that flairs dramatically to the ground.

Pretty in pink Many brides enjoy infusing fun, flirty color into their gown. This rose-hue ballgown mixes wedding dress style with endless loops of tulle. At the waist, a rhinestone sash mirrors the bride’s chandelier earrings, adding a dazzling element to the overall look.

Snow White

Woodland enchantress A crimson sweater with an ecru cowl collar and laced leather belt over the top of a white wedding dress evokes the spirit of the woods. Stunning in its simplicity, the red pops against the winter backdrop, bringing a fairytale quality.

This classic white ballgown retrofitted with a sleeveless bodice and paired with a layered tulle veil and rhinestone head piece creates a true storybook look.

Mermaid redux Ideal for slender frames and hourglass figures, the mermaid-style dress hugs from chest to knees before flaring out into a sumptuous train. Tiers of fluted organza interspaced between layers of lace make this gown a design standout.

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Flowers for All Occasions

Your unforgettable Beartooth wedding

Plan your wedding day with us. Call for your free consultation.

The Premier Red Lodge Wedding Venue.

A beautiful indoor/outdoor setting for up to 150 guests.

1540 13 St. West Located in Evergreen IGA

245-5138

www.evergreenigafloral.com 16 I BIG SKY

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Catering - Full Bar - Planning Assistance

RedLodgeMountain.com/Weddings groups@RedLodgeMountain.com 406.446.2610 ext. 101


the flowers

the rings

the dress

the hair

the invitation

the cake

WITH OR WITHOUT Veils are still en vogue. Work with your stylist

the hair

to envision what your ‘do will do both with and without the veil.

LUSCIOUS LOCKS: UP-DOS FOR I DO’S You’ve grown your hair long for a reason—and your wedding day is the time to shine. Blonde or brunette, red or black, your hair is your crowning glory. The imperial look reigns both with tiara and veil, and without — simply sophisticated.

Braid & go

Quiet riot Messy is The Look. And, he will not be able to keep his hands off you. Sensuality in every silky strand.

There’s no doubt about it. Braids—in any shape, size or number—are hot. Start with a loose French-style along one side, and then let it flow for this casual look.

For a look that takes it all up a notch, try a timeless chignon. With or without a veil, the jeweled embellishment radiates elegance.

Knot an issue This look gives some horizontal proportion to a ‘do that can get too serious. Accented and loose, it sets the tone: Sophisticated with a twist.

Be a princess You are queen for the day—so flaunt it. BTW: bangs and bling are both still “in.”

Roll ‘em! For a casual-but-made-up look that perfectly frames your face, consider this elegant half-do.

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the hair

the invitation

the invitation

the cake

Coming to town For a look all your own, try a poster-style invite. It conveys the exact tone of the event—informal, flirty and fun. With a last name like “Bailey” this wedding’s theme goes without saying.

YOU ARE INVITED: UNIQUE IN EVERY WAY You’re getting married! It’s time to bring your family and friends together to celebrate. Shouldn’t the invitation be something extra special for such a momentous event? Most certainly! “Your wedding invitation is the first peek your family and friends will have of your special day,” said Janeil Anderson, owner/designer at JEAnius Designs Studio. The style of the invitation—classic and elegant, glam and modern or informal backyard BBQ—should mirror the atmosphere of your big day. “Weddings have become so non-traditional that rules have gone out the window,” said Cassie LaGreca of Better to Gather in Billings. “I’m a fan of custom-designing something special.” We agree.

XOXO Custom-crafted by Jessica Lee Calligraphy, you can share your love with a personal touch and still keep it classy.

All inclusive You’ve decided to tie the knot at an exotic location—why not share a sneak peek? This set was custom-designed for the bride and groom, setting the stage for a fantastic getaway. Complete details available at their website (a common practice among marrying Millennials).

Fall in love …with your invitation. A play on words can be both fun and inspiring. If you have a creative block, enlist the help of friends, family or professionals.

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Romance in the air The emotions are in the details. These invitations ooze love from the texture, to the lace, to the romantic pict. Truly self-explanatory.

Samples courtesy of Better to Gather, JEAnius Designs Studio and Jessica Lee Calligraphy


LET US BE A PART OF YOUR NEW BEGINNING!

SAVE THE DATE LaGreca recommends sending “Save the Date” cards six to nine months in advance of the wedding.

406-252-6700 billingspetroleumclub.com

This trend has grown in popularity as many couples may no longer live in their hometown near longtime friends and family. Advance notice allows for guests to budget and plan in advance.

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the flowers

the rings

the dress

the hair

the invitation

the cake

the cake THINK OUTSIDE THE CAKE BOX No longer just a three-tiered tower slathered in buttercream, wedding cakes today span the creative spectrum. Brides and grooms select a dessert that reflects both their wedding theme and their personalities. Cheeky or formal, quirky or sophisticated, anything goes for this dinner finale with a bang.

Non-standard issue If carrot cake is your fav, who is to say the bride is wrong? Contemporary bakers love a challenge—pick one that will step up and create your masterpiece.

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State your brand

Simplicity defined

Add your new monogram as a cake topper to subtly signify your union. A two-tiered cake allows for different flavors—his and hers—individual tastes intertwined.

Even the most simple, subtle dessert can be visually embellished, becoming a true feast for the eyes.

The word “cake” …is easily defined. Cupcakes and cake pops are still popular alternatives, offering guest options for their mini, or maxi-sweet tooth.


BUST THE

STRESS The months and weeks leading up to your wedding will be filled with appointments, girlfriend get-togethers, showers and a host of other events. Although this is a wonderful time in life, the pace and pressures can feel stressful.

Dr. LaDeana Jeane, MD, associate physician with Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic, recommends focusing on five primary areas to reduce the stress and infuse rest and relaxation into your plan.

1. Lifestyle “One of the best strategies – and this really applies in getting married – is to use time management,” Dr. Jeane said. This means delegating whenever possible, and not over-scheduling yourself. She adds that it’s important to keep a handle on your priorities, making sure your days are organized and planned with tasks spread throughout the timeframe to keep it from becoming overwhelming. One of the biggest things to let go of is the need to be perfect. “Not everything is going to go the way you think it will,” Dr. Jeane said. “Give yourself permission to go with the flow alleviates stress.”

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Continued from page 21

Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises

2. Exercise Working out is a vital part of a stress management program. “Moderate to intense exercise helps us balance cortisol, the hormone we pump out when we feel stressed,” said Dr. Jeane. Even “good stress,” she noted, such as a wedding, promotes the production of cortisol. Ongoing production of cortisol can be detrimental and cause downstream health impacts. “Exercise helps balance our hormones, and moderate cortisol.”

Taking three deep, slow breaths causes the body to relax. Regular repetition has an additive effect. Deep breathing exercises can be practiced anywhere—while in traffic, in line, waiting for an appointment. Here’s an exercise to get you started: - Inhale through nose and exhale through mouth. - Breathe deeply into your abdomen, feel it expand to a count of 4. - Pause for a count of 1. - Exhale slowly to a count of 4, allowing tension to release. - Repeat until you feel relaxed.

3. Rest “Anytime you’re sleep deprived, you aren’t able to recover from the day-to-day stresses in life,” Dr. Jeane, who said the body needs sleep in order to repair itself. “This comes back to lifestyle. If you’re setting priorities, getting organized and delegating then you are more likely to be getting enough rest.”

4. Diet and nutrition Many people have a tendency to skip meals when they get busy, but that’s a sure-fire way to poor nutrition, noted Dr. Jeane. Instead, she recommends that you manage your time so that you can eat regular meals in a relaxed environment every day. “Also, limit your intake of caffeine as that can elevate anxiety levels making us perceive we are more stressed out,” she said. The same goes for alcohol.

5. Stress-reduction techniques Inevitably, you will feel some stress. Try to integrate stress-reduction techniques into your planning, such as Epsom salt baths, deep breathing exercises, meditation, massage and yoga. “Also, remember to do the activities or hobbies you love to do,” Dr. Jeane added. “Things such as listening to music, reading, connecting to family and friends can go by the wayside – be sure that they don’t.”

Nutrients for Stress Management

Unforgettable Memories

Transportation for every occasion • Weddings/Anniversaries • Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties • Sight Seeing • Airport Transfers

Stress depletes vitamin C, so taking vitamin C supplements can help replenish your body’s stores. In addition, taking vitamin B complex during high stress can be helpful. The adrenal gland makes cortisol. That gland can become worn out during periods of high stress. Vitamin B complex and vitamin C both support the adrenal gland. When feeling overwhelmed, take a warm bath with lavender essential oil and Epsom salt. Sip on calming herbal teas such as chamomile or catnip tea.

Limo Scene & Carriage Co. Billings Trolley

406.252.1778 | 800.698.1778 www.mttotaltransportation.com

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YOUR WEDDING CHECKLIST Customize this checklist with your wedding timeline.

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 stationary ☐ Select and reserve groom & attendants attire ☐ Plan rehearsal dinner Meet with essential people: ☐ Florist ☐ Photographer ☐ Ceremony musicians ☐ DJ/Band ☐ Baker ☐ Caterer ☐ Officiant ☐ Shop for and order rings ☐ Plan honeymoon ☐ Arrange lodging for wedding night and guests ☐ Book transportation for wedding day ☐ Register for gifts ☐ Obtain a marriage license ☐ Assembly and address invitations ☐ Purchase wedding party gifts ☐ Send newsletter for out of town guests. ☐ Attend showers, bachelorette party, etc. ☐ Finalize menu items with caterer ☐ Order/make favors ☐ Finalize reception and ceremony music ☐ Schedule dress fitting appt. ☐ Schedule appointments—nails, hair, makeup, etc

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4-6 WEEKS BEFORE ☐ Mail invitations ☐ Write vows ☐ Select readings for ceremony ☐ Meet with Officiant ☐ Purchase fiancé’s gift ☐ Design and print programs – assemble ☐ Pick up wedding rings. Fit & Insure ☐ Send invites for rehearsal dinner ☐ Start preparing seating chart Purchase accessories: ☐ Guest Book ☐ Ring pillow ☐ Flower girl basket ☐ Unity candle/sand and vases ☐ Flutes ☐ Cake topper, utensils for cake cutting ☐ Gifts for attendants ☐ Confirm transportation and details ☐ Finalize details for all vendors ☐ Attend a test run for hair and makeup

1-6 WEEKS BEFORE

☐ 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

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!

CHECKLIST COURTESY OF PATRICIA CLARK WEDDINGS


Premier Bridal Gown Service

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SHOWERED IN LOVE A modern take on bridal showers BY KAREN KINSER The months prior to your wedding can be a whirlwind of planning and parties. As the bride one of the more joyful events during that time will be your wedding shower. It’s an event you don’t organize, and there’s no stress for you. Your only job is to show up, be beautiful, have fun with your guests, drink a little bubbly, play a few games…and open presents! What more could a bride-to-be want?

History of wedding showers Legend has it that the first bridal shower took

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place in 16th century Netherlands when a father refused to pay a dowry to the young man his daughter wanted to marry. There were BFFs even back then, so the young woman’s friends showered her with gifts to cover the dowry. However the tradition started, it blossomed during the late Victorian Era when a creative hostess allegedly filled a paper parasol with tiny presents and turned it over to “shower” the bride-to-be. The social media of the time – newspaper’s society pages – reported the event. Suddenly every bride wanted her own shower.

Hosting Traditionally, the maid of honor – along with help from the bridesmaids and friends – hosts a wedding shower. But, according to Pat Clark of Patricia Clark Weddings in Billings, it’s totally appropriate for mothers, grandmothers or other relatives to help share the cost, hosting duties and to lend their homes for the location. Regardless of who orchestrates the gathering, the hostess should consult with the bride to incorporate her wishes.


Generally, wedding showers are held four to eight weeks before the Big Day, but Clark says that isn’t so much the case here. Because brides-to-be often live elsewhere but come back to Montana to be married, their showers occur during the week before the wedding.

Guest list & invites Most showers continue to be just for women, and the guest list should include female family members, the wedding party and close friends. Be sure that whoever is invited to the shower is also on the wedding invite list. Invitations should be sent out about a month in advance, and they can range from printed ones (fairly rare for a





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things and colors you love. Of course, a traditional linen, kitchen or lingerie-themed shower is always wonderful, but if you’re into bright colors, sports items, photography or other interests, then plan the party around those passions. Wine-themed showers are trendy, with each guest bringing Choose a theme a bottle or two of wine to help the couple start a collection. While not de rigueur, having a theme for the shower will This kind of theme is especially popular for couples who help to organize colors, invitations, food selections and gift have already established a household. ideas. The shower is separate from the wedding, so you Some brides want their shower to reflect their passion don’t want to duplicate anything from that day. For instance, for a social concern – a food bank, shelter or other charity if you’re having an Italian-themed wedding and meal, don’t – and ask guests to donate to those. This still allows the do the same thing at the shower. bride’s community of female friends to get together, but Help your hostess by brainstorming theme ideas about without emphasis on gifts. shower) to standard ready-made invites where the details are hand-written. Even e-vites through email or Facebook are acceptable today. If the bride and groom has a wedding website, shower details should also be posted there.

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Location & décor

Opening gifts

Ask one of your bridesmaids to help as you open your gifts, being sure to create a detailed list of gift item and can include a restaurant, a club room, a park, a party room giver. For those more digitally inclined, take a phone photo and note the name of the giver with the picture. This detail at a local hotel or other venue like The Billings Depot or becomes an important asset when it is time to send the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, for example. Plan to all-important thank you notes. decorate whatever location you choose with items that For a traditional touch save the ribbons and bows from match the theme. the gifts and craft a “mock” bouquet to use during the Food & refreshments wedding rehearsal. And, what about the groom? Some Showers traditionally take place mid-afternoon so brides have him make a cameo appearance for a little food offerings are light fare. Consider cocktail-style finger meet and greet (not everyone may have met him yet) foods, small tea sandwiches (think cucumber and cream toward the end of the event. cheese) or selections of quiches and mixed fruits. If your Generally, showers are held in the home of your host-

ess or at a parent/grandparent’s home. Other locations

hostess’ budget allows, she may consider hiring a caterer.

Trends

Cyber – or virtual – wedding showers, often via Skype, are trending for brides whose friends and family food prep. Or order party platters from local grocers or members are far-flung. The other big trend is the couples wholesalers. Mini wedding cakes, cupcakes or cake pops or “Jack and Jill” shower. Usually held during the (see sidebar) can top off the meal. evening, these events are more of a co-ed cocktail party For beverages, many brides choose a signature cocktail atmosphere, and the couple opens the gifts together. – mimosa, bellini, mint julep or cosmopolitan, for example – Just be sure, if you go this route, that you don’t schedule or just the sparkle of plain champagne. Be sure to plan for the party on the same day of a big sporting event, like, non-drinkers, too, with alcohol-free mocktails or punches. oh say, a Cat-Griz game. Games? Clark notes that more and more brides are having Typically at wedding showers, the guests play a few pre-wedding destination parties – to Las Vegas or Mexigames. But that’s up to you. If you do want games, consid- co – and the groom and his buddies may also make the er bridal shower trivia (create a multiple choice quiz about trip, but once at the destination, the genders split up and the bride and groom), bridal bingo, mad lib-type games or celebrate separately. pass the bouquet (a variation on musical chairs). Rules and One trend that never goes out of style? Thoughtful ideas for these and numerous other games can be found thank you gifts for your hostesses – and, of course, the all over the Internet. all-important thank you notes to all who attended. Otherwise, family, friends, and bridesmaids can help with

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Cake Pops Monita Nemitz, owner/baker of Your Story Cakes, loves making cake pops for a wedding shower. They’re easy to make, can be creatively decorated to fit your theme and the best part – they’re scrumptious. Start with a cake mix, follow the directions, and bake in a 9 x 13 pan. After the cake has cooled, scrunch it up into a large bowl and mix with buttercream. Nemitz then uses a meat baller scoop to equally portion the pops. Roll them until smooth and chill for a few hours. Next, dip ball into warm chocolate (dark or white), drizzle contrasting colors of chocolate or sprinkles onto the pops and add a popsicle stick for ease of serving. Nemitz often wraps hers in pretty cellophane, secured with colorful ribbon.


Bridal Shower Scones Wedding showers are a chance for girls to be girls, and for girls to eat “girl food” by trying Joanie Swords’ asparagus tarragon sconce recipe. The sconces are traditional, Swords notes, meaning that they are less moist than some. She recommends using them as tea sandwiches. Simply make scones in advance and then cut open and fill with items as herbed cream cheese, smoked turkey or ham. Thinly-sliced cucumber can bring a fresh, new combination of tastes. Asparagus Tarragon Scones 4 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 Tablespoons sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ½ pound asparagus, chopped ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly chopped tarragon ½ pound cold butter, cut into bits 1 cup + 2 tablespoons buttermilk 2 eggs Egg wash (1 egg, whisked together with about 1 tablespoon water) Yield: 24 mini scones 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Recipe courtesy of Joanie Swords, owner of Harper & Madison pie-shaped pieces. 2. In a food processor, add all ingredients down to and including the tarragon and pulse to combine. 5. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, and brush each with the egg wash, using a pastry brush. 3. Add the cold butter and pulse until incorporated and the mixture resembles corn meal. Pour into a 6. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. large bowl and stir in the buttermilk and eggs, and 7. After cooling, split each scone into two pieces, knead it all together. and fill with desired sandwich filling. 4. Form two rounds of dough and cut each into 12

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Getting white dress ready Expert Tips on Looking and Feeling Your Best on Your Big Day BY ALLYN HULTENG He popped the question. You answered ‘Yes!’ Now it’s time to start planning all the details for your dream wedding. The dress. The venue. The rings. The reception.

Wait a minute – what about… you? However wonderful you feel on the inside at the prospect of marrying your true love, looking fit and radiant on the outside doesn’t just happen. Planning ahead and incorporating self-care rituals into your personal grooming regimen will pay worthy dividends on your big day.

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Sensational skin To help ensure luminous looking, healthy skin, a bride-to-be should consider consulting a dermatologist or skincare specialist well ahead of time. The pre-wedding experts at Tallman Dermatology & Medical Spa suggest having a consultation for treatment options as early as twelve months before the wedding. Options span the spectrum from regular facials to Botox and/or filler treatments or even laser treatments. Regardless of which treatments you choose, WebMD advises brides to “avoid glycolic peels, dermabrasion or anything chemical for at least one month prior to your wedding day to reduce the risk of redness, irritation or allergic reaction.” What do you do if a blemish appears on your wedding day? WebMD recommends using a “hot compress to reduce the blemish, followed by a cold compress and tiny dab of benzyl peroxide to kill any bacteria.”

Skincare Dos & Don’ts

Do: • Schedule a consultation with a skincare specialist to learn about and plan your treatment options. • Establish a routine to cleanse, moisturize and protect your skin daily with an SPF. Don’t: • Try out any new treatments on your hair or skin in the weeks leading up to the wedding day as you may have an allergic reaction which could have very serious results. • Ignore stress. Listen and respond to your body – stress can lead to breakouts, so look for ways to reduce your day-to-day stress. Courtesy: Tallman Dermatology & Medical Spa

A brilliant smile Your wedding day photos will be a priceless heirloom – so make your smile dazzle. Teeth whitening can be done in a number of ways. For a natural approach, WebMD recommends “eating raw veggies such as carrots and celery, which can help remove surface stains, or rubbing teeth with strawberries or lemons – both natural whiteners.” Over-the-counter products can also be highly-effective; however, it’s wise to consult your regular dentist before using one as they can also cause gum irritation. In addition, many dentists now offer in-office whitening procedures that are also safe and effective. Many times a bride can achieve the desired degree of whiteness with just one or two appointments. A consultation with your dentist can help determine which approach is best for you.

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Wedding Party Spa Packages

Nutrition sense Eating right is about taking care of your overall health – not reducing your dress size. While you may also drop a few unwanted pounds, eating a well-balanced diet will give you added energy and can kick-start a healthier lifestyle. According to WebMD, a healthy diet should include: Protein (found in fish, meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, nuts and beans) Fat (found in animal and dairy products, nuts and oils) Carbohydrates (found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans and other legumes) Vitamins (such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K) Minerals (such as calcium, potassium and iron) Water (both in what you drink and what’s naturally in foods) In addition, it’s a good practice to cut out sugary drinks (this includes calorie-laden lattes, wine and alcohol) as well as foods high in fat. Better nutrition combined with regular exercise is a tried-and-true method for getting your body on track and in its best shape. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week. In addition, the AHA recommends a moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days per week. Developing better nutrition and exercise routines now will not only translate into being a more radiant bride on your wedding day, but establish good habits for a healthier life ahead.

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Make your wedding day a success.

Grooming game plan Most brides-to-be have a regular date with a professionally-trained aesthetician for facial and body waxing. WebMD suggests scheduling your pre-wedding brow wax appointment about week before the big day to avoid swelling or minor bleeding that can occur. For professional body waxing such as a bikini wax, WebMD advises “having it done at least three days prior to the wedding, or earlier if you’ve never done it before or if your skin is sensitive.”

Hilton Garden Inn® Billings knows how important your Big Day is, and we can help. From our fabulous food presentations, elegant venue and rooms for your guests, we are here to ensure your biggest day is a success.

Luscious locks Your wedding day is no time for experimenting with a new hairdo. If you have a regular stylist, be sure to ask if he or she specializes in up-dos or whatever hairstyle you envision. While a number of hairdressers are skilled and can create the look you want, just as many are not. Your stylist should be honest about his or her abilities. If you do need to find someone else, ask for referrals from your regular hairdresser and friends. Also, be sure to schedule a trial run to make certain the style is exactly what you want. No bride wants to be surprised on her wedding day – especially when it comes to her hair.

Look and feel your best on your big day!

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THE ALBUM BY ALLYN HULTENG & BRENDA MAAS Big Sky Bride magazine asked seven couples to share special moments from their big day in an album “photo story.” The traditional, the whimsical, the outdoor and the opulent are all here—each one as distinctly Montana as the next. Individual, personalized touches made them all unique—sweet, enduring love make each one special. Enjoy!

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KALLI & TED HAYES SEPTEMBER 4, 2015

MARRIED IN A MEADOW Wedding & Reception: The Woodlands at Cottonwood Canyon, Bozeman Photography By: Jana Graham Photography

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Although Kalli and Ted Hayes live and work in Billings, they wanted their guests, including a contingency from Portland, Ore., to see what the couple loves about Montana. The Woodlands at Cottonwood Canyon, near their alma mater Montana State University, created the perfect venue for their unique wedding. “We wanted everything to feel very organic, textured and earthy,” explained Kalli. Drawing from a neutral palette and adding pops of burgundy and burnt orange, the couple brought natural elegance to the setting. “We were married in a meadow that was supposed to be overlooking a beautiful mountain vista,” said Kalli, “but it poured and we were married under a tent—it was intimate and beautiful.” In lieu of a unity candle, Kalli and Ted performed a wine box ceremony in which they placed a bottle of wine, their vows and a letter to each other into a box, to be opened on their fifth wedding anniversary. A close friend performed their ceremony and instead of a traditional guest book, they asked guests to leave their well wishes, memories or advice in a card catalog. The layers and textures continued with their “ruffled” wedding cake and extravagant floral sprays. “I literally cried when I saw my bouquet,” said Kalli. Old world and Montana rustic came together in the great room for the reception. Custom-created cocktails, featuring Montana spirits and Oregonmade drinking vinegars, plus kegs of beer “imported” from their favorite brewery in Portland kept their guests amused for an evening of dancing and frivolity.

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JESSICA & ANDREW SWEENEY DECEMBER 6, 2014

WINTER’S BEAUTY

Wedding & Reception: Canvas Church and Best Western White Oak Hotel, Kalispell Photography By: Dax Photography

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Jessica and Andrew Sweeney met through their mutual love of music. Specifically, Jessica was invited to play guitar as Andrew led a youth worship service at Canvas Church in Kalispell. “I can honestly say we became best friends before we even dreamt of dating,” Jessica noted. Andrew proposed wearing a tuxedo while playing guitar and singing That’s All to an astonished Jessica. “After the song, he got down on one knee and whispered, ‘Will you marry me?’” she recalled. Canvas Church is where the two met, became friends and fell in love, so it was the obvious choice for the ceremony. The bright white of the winter season fit the charismatic couple, who chose navy blue and gold as their colors. Although later Jessica, an avid San Diego Chargers fan, admitted she favored the team’s colors for her wedding without having Andrew notice the association. The couple’s easy-going demeanor showed up in unexpected places, like the humorous cake topper and “Hot Sweeney” cupcakes— fashioned after the “Hot Sweeney” coffee drink created at the local City Brew, specifically for Andrew. Both the bride and groom invited seven attendants, plus several adorable miniature attendants, making for a large wedding party with intermingling of family and friends. Yet, the wedding was exactly what they dreamed it would be. “Our wedding was incredible,” said Jessica, “small enough to feel intimate but large enough to feel loved. We kept it simple, classic and romantic.”

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ASHLEY & JERRY SCHMAING AUGUST 22, 2015

LOVE & SIMPLICITY

Wedding & Reception: Springhill Presbyterian Church and Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture, Bozeman Photography By: Miranda Murdock Photography

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Jerry and Ashley Schmaing met through mutual friends at Cru, a Christian-based campus group, while attending Montana State University. After Jerry slipped a note into Ashley’s book, requesting her phone number, the couple connected. “We’ve been talking ever since,” said Ashley. The thread of faith that started their dating wove throughout their courtship and into their marriage ceremony. The couple always celebrated the anniversary of their first date. On a snowy anniversary in 2013, Jerry led Ashley to a point overlooking the city of Bozeman and read the Biblical Christmas story to her. “This was such a special gesture because I had told him this was a tradition my family shared every Christmas,” she said. “Between tears and happy laughter, he told me how he wanted to make that our tradition for the rest of our lives.” They were married at Springhill Presbyterian Church in Bozeman; the service included communion as a couple to symbolize their unity. Artfully-crafted boards sharing the verses “Love is patient, love is kind” from I Corinthians 13 lined the church’s aisle and reinforced their vows. Jerry made their guest book out of reclaimed barn wood, which is now a special sign displayed in their home. Ashley asked her grandmother to bake her favorite pies for the dessert bar at the reception. “We tried to keep our wedding simple, elegant and within our budget,” said Ashley. “Almost all of the decorations were DIY with the help of family and friends.” With a soft combination of mint, coral, grey, rose and gold, the day oozed romance. “The morning of our wedding was chilly for August, and the wildfires had made the Gallatin Valley rather smoky, but our wedding day was clear and perfect,” noted Ashley. “We had one of the best days of our lives, celebrating with our loved ones.”

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KAREN & ZACH DAY AUGUST 8, 2015

STUNNINGLY ELEGANT

Wedding & Reception: Cathedral of St. Helena and Great Northern Best Western, Helena Photography By: Megan Lane Photography

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Karen, a registered nurse, and Zach, an IT supervisor, met during Karen’s junior year at Carroll College. They have been together ever since. After three years of dating, the couple had spoken of marriage and looked at rings, but Karen was still completely surprised when Zach popped the question late one night following an anniversary dinner. It exemplifies the couple’s attitudes— serious with the perfect amount of playfulness. They chose the majestic Cathedral of St. Helena as their wedding location. “Not only is it beautiful, breathtaking and elegant, but it is also where I practice my faith,” noted Karen. “It has been a source of love and comfort for me over the years.” The simple but pleasing palette of plum and silver accentuated the elegance of the spectacular cathedral, Karen’s beauty in her mermaid-style gown and the honest love of the day. With three attendants each and approximately 100 guests, the day was both intimate and memorable. “It was the best day of my life,” said Karen. “I have never felt so much love as I did on that day, surrounded by so many friends and family.” An elegant, chocolate covered three-layer cake and personalized candies at each table provided the perfect sweets for guests as they celebrated the union. “We are not overly extravagant people and wanted our reception to reflect our personalities,” Karen noted of the atmosphere. When the same somber father who walked the bride down the aisle donned a jester’s cap for a reception toast, that point was impressed on all.

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SARA & LARRY IVERSON III DECEMBER 20, 2014

A BLACK AND WHITE AFFAIR Wedding & Reception: Fresh Life Church and Yellowstone Country Club, Billings Photography By: Jana Graham Photography

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After a round of golf at Yellowstone Country Club, Larry happened to see Sara who was working as a lifeguard at the country club pool. Smitten, Larry got Sara’s phone number from his golf buddy who knew her. Romance quickly sparked between them. On a wintertime trip to the small resort town of McCall, Idaho, the couple took a walk along a frozen lake. Suddenly, Larry got down on one knee and asked Sara to marry him. The moment was captured by a photographer that Larry had secretly arranged. The couple was married at Fresh Life Church in Billings where they had been attending services. “We wanted our wedding to be centered on the Lord, as we prayed our marriage would be in the years ahead,” Sara said. With an eye on creating a classy, timeless event, Sara and Larry chose black and white for their wedding colors. A delightful, pre-Christmas snowfall provided a stunning backdrop for the couple and their wedding party. Having met at the Yellowstone Country Club, the couple could not imagine having their reception anywhere else. “Their food is amazing, too.” Sara said. The newly-married couple and their guests indulged in savory fare followed by decadent vanilla cupcakes with thick, buttercream frosting wrapped in a black band – a stylish twist to traditional layer cake. Afterward, they danced the night away until being ushered to their car under a canopy of sparklers.

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JESSICA & JD HERSRUD JUNE 27, 2015

THE COWBOY AND THE ANGEL Wedding & Reception: The Quaking Aspen, Absarokee Photography By: Daniel Sullivan Photography

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The Beartooth Mountains provided a spectacular backdrop for Jessica and JD Hersrud’s June 2015 wedding. The couple, both active in high school sports, met during their senior year at the Class C state basketball tournament in Belgrade. Their mutual love of the outdoors translated into spending a great deal of time together exploring the mountains of Montana. One sunny day during a trip to Flathead Lake, the couple ambled out on a dock taking in the gorgeous scenery. There, JD dropped to one knee and asked Jessica to marry him. “We love the mountains, so we decided to get married outdoors at The Quaking Aspen in Absarokee,” said Jessica. Early summer splendor played out in the colors the couple chose – lime green and purple. The rustic wilderness theme continued with centerpieces crafted from hollowedout aspen logs branded with the couple’s initials and filled with colorful flowers. “We also made candleholders out of glass electrical insulators since my husband is a lineman,” Jessica added. Truly a family affair, Jessica’s mother and her friend prepared a banquet as well as a bevy of desserts. With the rush of the Stillwater River heard softly in the background, the couple exchanged vows before more than 300 friends and family members. Afterward, guests enjoyed the sumptuous buffet and cocktails before dancing beneath a canopy of stars to the band John Buck and Reckless.

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EMILY & MITCH HANSON JUNE 13, 2015

MEMORABLE MONTANA WEDDING Wedding & Reception: Chico Hot Springs Resort, Pray Photography By: Carrie Ann Photography

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As the general manager of a luxury wine tour company in Napa Valley, Calif., Emily Ciminello spent her days engaging with a wide variety of guests. Afterward, she headed to the local fitness center to work out and unwind. It was there that she met her future husband, Mitch Hanson. Quickly smitten with one another, the couple began dating. It wasn’t very long before they fell deeply in love. “Mitch took me on a four-wheeler ride with our dogs,” Emily recalled. At the top of a hill overlooking Napa Valley, he proposed. “All of our family and friends were waiting at a restaurant for us to celebrate,” she said. Emily and Mitch wanted a venue where everyone could stay on the property. They chose Chico Hot Springs Resort in Pray, Mont. “Most of our guests had never been to Montana, and we wanted to show everything Big Sky country has to offer,” Emily said. Preferring a palette of neutral shades, Emily selected navy blue dresses for her bridesmaids and bouquets made of greenery with white flowers. The ceremony took place outdoors in the Field of Dreams with the weather cooperating magnificently. Puffy clouds dotted the sky and pure Montana sunshine illuminated the radiant bride as she walked toward her groom. Mitch’s brother’s family sang Simplicity by Rend Collective leaving not one dry eye in the congregation. And the officiant surprised the couple by playing a ukulele serenade of Hallelujah, changing the words to make a witty story about how Emily and Mitch met. Immediately afterward, family and friends gathered for a reception on the lawn before attending a formal dinner in the Chico Convention Center. “It stormed during dinner,” Emily said, “but afterward there was an awesome sunset.” An evening of dancing and laughter capped off the event, making it a perfect memory.

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ADVENTURES IN LIFE BY ALLYN HULTENG From the first moment he saw her, Calvin was smitten. A handsome young attorney, Calvin had just relocated to Billings to join a law firm. His work frequently took him to the Yellowstone County Courthouse where Frances worked in the county attorney’s office. “She was beautiful,” he said, “and had a great sense of humor.” A chance meeting at a downtown crosswalk one afternoon led to their first date. Six weeks later, on November 25, 1959, the couple married in Missoula. “On our way to Whitefish for our honeymoon, we stopped to eat at a restaurant called Frenchie’s Chinese Oasis,” Calvin recalled. It was an oddball place, but charming. When they arrived at their tiny cabin, they quickly realized the heater had two settings – high and off. “We just laughed and rolled with it,” said Calvin. Thus was born the couple’s lifelong zest for travel and adventure. Reflecting on 56 years of marriage, Calvin and Frances feel lucky with their life path. Both attorneys, they worked together in their own law firm which gave them a great deal of flexibility to travel. In the early years, they packed along their five children and menagerie of pets in a modest motorhome. As the brood left the nest, the couple transitioned to a Honda Goldwing, eventually logging more than 200,000 miles. They also explored the world, preferring to immerse themselves in the local culture versus taking scripted tours. “You think you know the person you marry, but as time goes by you keep learning new things about them,” Frances said. “We love each other more today than ever.” Frances offers this advice to newlyweds. “Keep your sense of humor. Someday, you will look back and find humor in almost every situation.” She also encourages young couples to engage in new experiences together. “Climb the pyramids, ride in a hot air balloon, fly in an ultralight plane – live adventurously!”

Top: Frances and Calvin Calton, November 25, 1959. Bottom: The Caltons today, photo by Casey Page.

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