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2017/2018 WeDDIng Planner a SPeCIal PUBlICaTIon oF The BoZeMan DaIly ChronICle CoVer PhoTo CoUrTeSy oF MISSy ShorT PhoTograPhy

Nestled in the Ruby Valley you will find The Round Barn at Twin Bridges. Built in 1882 and home to the only horse from Montana to win the Kentucky Derby in 1889, the history paired with the modern amenities is unmatched in all of Montana.

Photos by Capturing His Creation Photography, Allison Fanning


Twin Bridges, MT • www.historicroundbarn.com • (406) 684-5865

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Table of contents: 10 1218 MONTHS BEFORE

Hiring a Wedding Planner The Caterer

The Venue Talking Through the Tough Stuff


912 MONTHS BEFORE The Bride’s Look The Groom’s Look The Registry The Cake The Flowers The Photographer

MISSy ShorT PhoTograPhy


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T H E B O Z E M A N D A I LY C H R O N I C L E , 4 0 6 - 5 8 2 - 2 6 1 6 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS J a M e S S a l ly MISSy ShorT PhoTograPhy MaDeye PhoTograPhy n oTa r I U S P h oTo g r a P hy

6 MONTHS BEFORE Put a Ring on It Save the Dates and Invites THE DAY OF THE WEDDING The Day-of Planner Wedding Day Checklists for the Bride and Groom LOVE STORIES Jocelyn & Rick Stephanie & Dillon Marina & Dylan Katelyn & Garrett Sawyer & Carl Caitlin & Evan Briggett & Jake

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THE WEDDING EVENT PLANNING PAGES Money and Matrimony Making it Official After the Wedding, Before the Anniversary The Wedding Planning Countdown

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a l l I S o n Fa n n I n g , C a P T U r I n g h I S C r e aT I o n VenUe: roUnD Barn In TWIn BrIDgeS

The Big Sky Backdrop Where were you when you knew Montana was the place you wanted to get married? Were you floating the Madison when you fell in love? Did you try Flathead cherries for the first time and imagine how they’d taste in a homemade pie on your dessert table? Had you hiked the Highline Loop or stood on the bank at Many Glacier and thought you’d officially found heaven on earth? Did you catch a pale glimpse of the aurora borealis flowing like a river in the sky? Were you passing through Paradise Valley on your way to Yellowstone National Park or lounging in Chico Hot Springs? It’s easy to be infatuated with the Last Best Place. The mountains are rugged, the wilderness is untamed, and the beauty is breathtaking. One looks up at the Big Sky and thinks, I want a love like that. I want something pure and endless, that stretches on to eternity. Montana weddings tip the spectrum with modern chic and rustic appeal. The open spaces allow for creativity


and individuality to flourish. Whether you want to host a motorcycle themed wedding or have a cake that’s shaped like a bear, the Treasure State is sure to have the venues, florists, bakers, and entertainment you’re looking for. This publication is meant to help you plan your dream wedding. The love stories, all unique, should inspire you to go in whatever direction your heart desires. There are checklists, advice from a planner, questions to ask your venue manager and caterer, trends specific to the area, and so much more. Grab a pen, a glass of bubbly, and your significant other or girlfriends. In case planning gets stressful, remember, you’re marrying the love of your life under the Big Sky. That’s cause enough for celebration.

Photo by Zak Jokela

Photo by Davey Johnson

Photo by Davey Johnson

YOUR MONTANA WEDDING AWAITS The Rockin’ TJ Ranch located just 4 miles West of Bozeman is tucked away on a 10 acre property with breath taking views of the Bridger Mountains. This premeire wedding venue offers indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception space with bride and groom’s quarters. Customized menus prepared to compliment your day . 406-585-0595


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Hiring a Wedding Planner

PhoToS By DanForD PhoTograPhy BASHBOZEMAN.COM • 406-589-5574

“Hire a phenomenal wedding planner,” says Sawyer Evans, one of our featured love story brides. Couples come from all over the country to get married in beautiful Montana. Even if you’re local, a wedding planner can help you nail down the details and make your wedding day a breeze.

Get a Head Start

Be Flexible

As soon as the question is popped, the answer is yes, and Have a vision for your wedding, but be open to the family has been notified, hire a wedding planner. Kait suggestions. Seasoned wedding planners have put Costanti, wedding planner and creative director behind together hundreds of weddings. They’ll be able to provide Bash (BashBozeman.com) recommends hiring a planner valuable insight on the latest trends and what looks good. before the date has even been set, generally a year before “From our standpoint, creativity is at the forefront of my the projected date. “When we work with brides, we profession,” Costanti says. “Being open is huge. Be willing work within the parameters of venue availability, our to have fun with the process.” availability, and the bride’s and family’s needs and wants,” Costanti says. “The sooner the better.”

Be Specific with Details

Consultation is Key Planners are going to have their own style. Take the time to meet with a planner and see if your visions mesh. Costanti has a fashion background gravitating toward clean, modern trends. You and your planner will be a team. Make sure you work well together.


Couples traveling from out of state usually don’t get to taste the food before serving it at the wedding. They’ll have to rely on pictures to know what the flowers and set-up will look like. The wedding planner will put together menus and decorations based on provided flavor profiles and descriptions from the bride. Know what you want and be as specific as possible when describing your vision.

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PhoToS By DanForD PhoTograPhy BASHBOZEMAN.COM • 406-589-5574

PhoToS By DanForD PhoTograPhy BASHBOZEMAN.COM • 406-589-5574

PhoToS By DanForD PhoTograPhy BASHBOZEMAN.COM • 406-589-5574

S a r a h n o Ta r I U S W W W. n o Ta r I U S . P h o T o g r a P h y

Creating a Plan

Have Fun & Relax

After the consultation, the planner draws up a proposal. Once the design has been approved by the bride, the next step is hiring vendors based on budget. The planner will have researched all of the vendors from cakes to flowers. “I call myself and the team project managers,” she says. “We manage the subcontractors (i.e. vendors,) and we also manage the clients. We ensure that everyone is happy and all the pertinent information is distributed to both sides.”

Your wedding planner will be there from start to finish, including on your wedding day, to set up and coordinate who will break down the event. They will handle any issues that occur, and there’s a good chance you won’t know about them until after the wedding. “My biggest thing is to ensure the bride is having a good time and she isn’t worried about logistics of the day,” Costanti says. “We don’t bother them with details on the day. Enjoy and be married!”



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UN-KNOT TED.COM • 406-763-6881

The Caterer

Chances are, if the food is good, people will still be talking about it long after your wedding is over. At just over a year old, Un-Knotted catered more than 20 weddings before summer ended, with several more booked for fall. “Our ‘Montana Traditions’ menu is definitely our best seller,” says owner and chef Ashley Nelson. “We make elk medallions and bison meatballs. And huckleberry. You put huckleberry on anything and people go crazy for it.”

As a destination wedding location and home to many transplants, brides and grooms want to welcome their families with true tastes of Montana. Grass-fed beef and locally grown greens and vegetables are favored menu choices. Nelson has found that morning-after brunches are gaining popularity. Take the time to interview several caterers, and know exactly what you’re paying for. Some caterers have decorations and flatware, while others provide the food and nothing else. Plated weddings with multiple courses are going to be more expensive than buffet style. Many caterers will offer service packages in the contract 14

which means they will help set up and break down the event. Read over your contract carefully, and make sure everyone is on the same page. “Get to know your vendors, trust them, and it will go really well,” Nelson said. “We had a wedding at Flying D Ranch where the (bride and groom) were out taking pictures and they got their ATV stuck. While they were getting the ATV out, all of the buttons on the bride’s dress snapped. We served dinner half an hour late because the bride had to be sewn into her dress. When couples realize it’s not the end of the world if things run 10-15 minutes late, things go much better.”

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loCKIe PhoTograPhy C aT e r I n g : S a D I e ’ S C aT e r I n g

UN -KNOT TED UN-KNOT TED.COM • 406-763-6881

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aPrIl SKy PhoTograPhy

C aT e r I n g : C l a U D I a’ S M e S a

C aT e r I n g : M I C h a e l M U I r h e a D o F M a S Ta C o S , r e D l o D g e , M T

Questions for the Caterer • • • • • •

• • • •

Can we schedule a tasting and if so, when? What are the menu selections? Does wine come with the menu? Is there an extra fee? Is there a minimum that has to be spent? What is your cancellation policy? Payment schedule? Where will the cocktail hour be held? Will the bar remain open after the meal is served? Is there a fee for that? Is there a cake cutting fee? Do you provide the wedding cake? Is the gratuity added on the bill? What additional fees are added on the bill? When do you need the final guest headcount? Do you provide all the napkins, tablecloths, tables, chairs, plates, silverware and glasses?

• What time do you recommend serving the meal? What is a typical reception like? How does it flow? • When do meal selections have to be complete? • Can you mail us a contract? When does it have to be signed and returned? • What deposit do we have to put down to hold our date? • Can you handle special dietary requests? • If you plan to have different stations like a pasta station or a prime rib station, is there a serving fee per station? • Who will be in charge of my party and be my point of contact? • How far in advance of the event do you set up the dining room?


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VenUe: roUnD Barn In TWIn BrIDgeS

Montana boasts hundreds of event venues statewide to fit every taste and walk of life. With so many choices, narrowing down the perfect place to say “I do,� can be tough. Ask your wedding planner for help and choose a spot that aligns with your vision, your guest list, and your wallet.

a l l I S o n Fa n n I n g , C a P T U r I n g h I S C r e aT I o n

The Venue

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V e n U e : P r I VaT e P r o P e r T y B a n K S o F The yelloWSTone

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V e n U e : T h e W o o D l a n D S aT C o T T o n W o o D C a n y o n

VenUe: BIg yelloW Barn

Ask these questions: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

How many weddings have you hosted? What are the available dates? Are you licensed to provide alcohol? Can we bring our own? How long will I have this space reserved? What services do you provide? Set up and breakdown? Coat check? Is there outdoor heating if guests want to go outside? Do you provide overnight accommodations? How many restrooms are there? Can I hire my own vendors? Do you provide any rentals such as tables, chairs, or linens? Do you provide signs? Are there any noise restrictions? Are there any activities on the property? How many can the dance floor accommodate?

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Do you have references? Do you have pictures of previous events I can review? Will there be a service charge on top of the bill? Is there onsite parking? Do I need liability insurance? How many guests fit comfortably in the venue? Will I have exclusive use of the venue? How much is the deposit? When is it due? Is it refundable? Can I hold my ceremony and my dinner here? One or the other? What’s the cancellation policy? What’s the plan if it rains or snows? (For outdoor venues.) Can I move things around? When can I start decorating?


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Talking Through the Tough Stuff Every bride interviewed by The Chronicle said that the key to a successful marriage is communication. No one likes talking about tough stuff, but difficult conversations can save a marriage. Religious affiliation or no, premarital counseling can provide a safe space to have hard discussions and broach topics that couples wouldn’t have even thought to have.

had one couple where he didn’t want to have kids and The Chronicle sat down with Journey Church’s she wanted eight. To talk through that early on is better.” Brittney Harwood and Sam Bennett. Brittney and her Harwood has found that people don’t intentionally husband, Jason, are Couples Ministry Leaders. Sam and avoid these topics. Usually, couples have so much going his wife, April, are on the pastoral team, mentoring and on they don’t think to have these discussions. “It’s about helping couples find officiants or classes. When it comes helping folks figure out how to become a better team,” to the classes/discussions at Journey, they don’t like to Harwood says. “If we can help a team become a better use the term “counseling.” “It’s a little more organic than team, then we’re winning. There is no blanket answer for it is a structured process,” says Bennett. “It identifies ‘here’s how you do marriage.’” areas they will struggle with.” Taking the time to talk through things will lead to new “It gives them their strengths and their growth areas,” discoveries and understandings about your significant Harwood adds. “Some of our couples want to talk about other. “I think a really important question for couples to how to go on vacation together or how to manage ask is, ‘If we get to a hard place in our relationship, what laundry together. It really varies and we believe that are we going to do?” Harwood says. “How will we get couples will do well in community with other couples through that rough season? Let’s agree on that ahead of that are doing well.” time.” Typically, mentors want to meet with couples four “If you put the effort into premarital counseling, it to six times over dinner, coffee or in the classroom. The is way cheaper and less painful to take care of these idea is to present a topic and get the pairs talking. Topics things on the front end instead of trying to clean up the range from finances to children. “It is amazing how many baggage on the back end 10 years later,” Bennet says. people have not talked about kids,” Bennett says. “We

To consider before you get married: Communication

Intimacy & Affection

What is good communication? How can we be good listeners?

What is the difference between intimacy and affection? What does each word mean? What are individual hopes and needs?

Finances Who pays for what? Is there an established budget? Is one person a big saver and the other a big spender?

Conflict Resolution Is there a game plan for navigating conflicts?


Faith What are things that faith forms in our lives? What decisions do we make based on faith? Why is it important to know what the other person thinks and believes?

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loCKIe PhoTograPhy VenUe: rIVer ranCh, ennIS MT


M O N T A N A PA R T Y R E N T A L S 4 0 6 - 5 8 6 - 7 7 2 7 montanapartyrentals.com







loCKIe PhoTograPhy WeDDIng DreSS: PlUMe BrIDal


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Picking out the bridal gown is arguably the most exciting part of planning a wedding. The sight of a bride in her dress can cause the wedding guests to gasp and bring tears to her groom’s eyes. Finding the right dress takes time and expertise. Here is some advice. The most important thing is to give yourself ample time. Dresses typically take four to six months to be manufactured, with an additional six to eight weeks for alterations. “Bozeman is a busy area,” says McKenzie Treinen-Langner, owner of Plume Bridal in Bozeman. “It’s good to have a little bit of cushion. We encourage people to start shopping as early as possible and don’t be afraid to order a dress you fall in love with.” “If you decide you want to get married in six weeks, there is a solution for you, too,” she adds. 26

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loCKIe PhoTograPhy W e D D I n g D r e S S : e S K ay B r I D a l ( W I l l o W B y W I l l o W B y )

That solution could include special orders or purchasing in store samples. Still, it is best to take your time, visit several stores, and schedule an appointment. Appointments typically last an hour to an hour and half, and that includes a consultation, taking measurements, filling out registration forms, and trying on gowns.“People are always welcome to browse any time we’re open, but to actually be able to try on a dress, we need to have somebody help you,” Treinen-Langner says. “We recommend appointments so you can have a full service experience. We’re around our inventory everyday, so we know the in’s and out’s.”

Tay l o r K e n T P h o T o g r a P h y WeDDIng DreSS: Belle le BlanC, BIllIngS MT

If you like the top of one dress and the skirt of another, a professional can recommend a design and save you hours of search time. They will also have a skilled eye at recommending accessories, like the veil or a belt. Don’t be afraid to try on strapless styles or something totally different than what you think you’re looking for. Well-made dresses can surprise you, and fit better than you previously thought. Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid. You’ve committed to your man. Now it’s time to commit to the dress.


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ZaCK VoWell WeDDIng DreSS: USa BrIDal

aPrIl SKy PhoTograPhy DreSS By STeP’n oUT ForMal Wear

MUhlBraDT PhoTograPhy WeDDIng DreSS: PerSnICKITy

Tips and Trends • •

• •


Lace is romantic, traditional, and a throwback to a vintage look. Flowing Shapes- “Montana girls want something flowy, soft, and easy to dance and move in,” Treinen Langer says. Ivory is the most popular color, followed by champagne, pale blush, light gray and lavender. Last place is pure white. “Ivory is so much prettier on most women. It’s just softer.” Organza, the same material that makes Disney princess dresses, is making a comeback. Horse hair trim, which makes skirts ruffle, is popping up at Montana weddings.

• • •

• • • •

Mikado is like satin, but softer with more texture. “It’s much more forgiving on the body (than satin.)” Illusion necklines, cut-outs, and lace details are trendy in Montana. Try to wear the same or similar undergarments that you’ll be wearing on your wedding day to your appointment. Keep in mind shoe choice; flats or heels? Most popular styles include A-line or Fit-to-Flare, with ball gowns making a comeback. Montana brides typically spend $1500 on a dress. Cardigans, flannels, and fur coats will keep you warm during winter weddings.

2017 | loCKIe PhoTograPhy FloWerS: BUDge T BoUQUe T

Tay l o r K e n T P h o T o g r a P h y G R O O M S AT T I R E : H I S T O R I C A L E M P O R I U M & h aT : C U S T o M M a D e F r o M r a n D ’ S , B I l l I n g S , M T

Groom’s Look

It doesn’t take much for a Montana man to look sharp. Slap some jeans and a flannel on that boy and take him to church. If you met in Montana, there’s a good chance you fell in love dirty and camping. For your wedding day, you’ll probably want a slightly more refined look. “Montana is more relaxed in it’s styling,” says Sari Feenspra, manager at Eskay Bridal. “The guys in Montana want to be comfortable. They don’t want to be too hot, overdressed or look stuffy.” Yes, that means denim is still on the table for Montana weddings. Jeans are dressed up with a coat, shirt, and vest. Eskay offers a “Casual Package,” which includes a vest, suspenders, tie, shirt and pants, with no coat. Black tie is still an option, but it is rarely seen in Montana.

At Eskay Bridal, brides and grooms come in to look at color swatches about two to three months before the wedding. The groom’s measurements are taken during the first visit. The week of the wedding, the tux or suit is delivered to the store and the groom returns to try it on. Adjustments are made and the groom is sent on his way. Rentals cost anywhere from $99-$189. “We order sizes that fit their measurements and body type the best,” Feenspra says. “I’ve been doing tux rentals for years. Typically, if I know a guy’s height and weight, I can guess


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loCKIe PhoTograPhy g r o o M S W e a r : r e V o lV r M e n S W e a r

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G R O O M S M E N AT T I R E : A F T E R 5 & W E D D I N G S

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pretty close how things are going to fit them.” Slim fit tuxedos and suits are favored in Montana. Gray is the most popular color with navy blue a close second. Tweed or patterned vests have been making more appearances. Tuxes typically come in a wool or a polyester blend. “You want to see a little more texture instead of the flat pattern,” Feenspra says. “Slim fits are very trendy, but sometimes it’s hard to fit them on those muscley guys.” The key to finding a great fit and style is to listen to your store manager. They’ll know what is popular and be able to offer alternative suggestions if the slim fit doesn’t work. Don’t worry about your honey’s outfit being completely up to you. “Grooms are playing a more active role in choosing what they want and how they want it to fit,” Feenspra says. “Just make sure to get professionally measured.” 30

Grooming for Grooms • •

Wash you face, daily. Get that beard under control, and figure out how many days after shaving it looks best. • Try not to alter your appearance too much the day of the wedding. If you’ve always had a mustache, don’t shave it off the day-of. • Consider an eyebrow wax, just this once. • Don’t drown yourself in cologne. • Drink water. • A professional shave and styling can make a huge difference.

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loCKIe PhoTograPhy

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MISSy ShorT PhoTograPhy

the Wedding Party


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Pamper yourself and your bridal party before your big day. De-stress with a relaxing massage, a soothing facial, a spray tan, and a manicure/pedicure.




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The Registry

loCKIe PhoTograPhy

There’s more to gift-getting than you might think. When creating a registry, look at what you both already have. Have you moved in together? How do you want your new space as a married couple to look? Register early, around seven to nine months before the wedding, and have your registry complete four to six months out. Consider giving your guests a few different stores to choose from.

The Store Registry

The Online Registry

• • • • •

• •

Pick a store, (Hardware, home, garden, etc,) and shop till you drop! You will need to set up an appointment when registering at a physical store. Once registered, print your list and double check that you didn’t register for multiples of the same thing. These gifts are for both of you, so both of you will need to go shopping together. Don’t limit gifts to silverware and plates. Scan everything you want or need. Consider your lifestyle when registering for gifts. Do you spend more time camping or throwing formal parties? Cover all price points Familiarize yourself with each store’s return policy

• • •

The Honeymoon Registry • •

• •


Online stores, like Amazon, provide endless gifts from every category. Try to pick physical stores that offer online ordering. This will make things easier for your guests. Many websites, like TheKnot.com, offer free registry services. Online registries make it easier to add or subtract gifts, and see what’s been purchased.

Scrap the gifts, and create a Honeymoon Registry, which will help fund your trip. Pick a travel agency, and know what your guests’ money is going toward; transportation, lodging, special activities, etc. Traveler’s Joy, Wanderable, and Honeyfund are sites that help you set up a Honeymoon Registry. Make sure your Wedding Website includes your registry and provides all necessary information to your guests.

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The Photographer

loCKIe PhoTograPhy

Bozeman is loaded with wedding photographers. Begin researching 8 to 12 months in advance; wedding season is short in Montana and photographers book up fast. Start by asking recently married couples who took their wedding photos. Look at photos online, and create a list of photographers whose style matches your own. Meet with several different photographers and ask to see their portfolio. Online photos only provide a glimpse into an entire day of picture taking. You’ll want to know that more than one out of every thousand photos will look good. Your photographer will also be interviewing you. They’ll want to capture your style, mood, and specific look. Give yourself a chance to compare options. Which photographers charge by the hour? What do their packages include? Will they do their own editing and have you print off the photos? Will they create an album for you? Will you need to provide a schedule for them? Wedding photographers are an investment. You’ll have these photos forever, so make sure you’re hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. Once you have hired a photographer, let them take charge. They will likely ask you and your wedding party to pose in different ways, move surrounding decorations around, or stand in the light. Your wedding party should be respectful of the photographer’s direction and your wedding photos will turn out great.

Advice from a Photographer Amanda Rapstad of Amanda Rapstad Photography in Bozeman (amandarapstadphotography.com) has shot some fun, fresh weddings throughout her career. She offers some pointers on the perfect wedding photo shoot. •

Leave ample time for photos. “I always give my suggested timeline for photography (during the consultation.) Scheduling extra time allows for more photographs,” Rapstad said.

Prep your family and wedding party. Let them know the schedule and try to stick to it. That way, your family and wedding party will be waiting on deck to step in for photos. Take the time to do a first look. “I completely understand the tradition of wanting the groom to see you for the first time when you walk down the aisle,” she said. “But there are a lot of benefits to a first look. Not only does it calm the nerves of the bride and groom, it create more time for photos.” Be prepared to be stolen away at sunset. The lighting is amazing, and typically these photos turn out the best. Get to know your photographer. That could include hiring the same photographer for engagement photos so they are more acquainted with you when the wedding rolls around.

Flawless Photos • • • •

Chin up, shoulders back. Don’t slouch. Smile with your eyes. Montana is so dry. Bring moisturizer, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep. Have fun and relax. If you’re tense, that will translate into your photos. First looks help ease tension, as does a glass of champagne. Just don’t overdo it on the booze. This can make you look puffy, red, or dehydrated.


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“The sky is the limit,” said Elle Fine, owner and baker of Elle’s Belles Bakery (www.ellesbelles.com.) “Whatever we can imagine, we can create. I always ask, ‘What’s your vision? What’s your dream?’ And then we build it from there.”

Choosing a Baker The best way to find a baker is by browsing their websites to match their style with your own. Start early so your favorite baker doesn’t get booked out from under you. “Each baker will have their own specialty,” Nicklin said. “Go to a baker who can repeat what you’re looking for, and don’t expect someone to do something they aren’t comfortable with.”


The Consultation Once you know who you want to bake your cake, set up a consultation. Come prepared with colors, flavor preferences and pictures. “I ask for pictures,” Fine said. “Not that we’re going to recreate it inch for inch. I just want to know what they’re about, what their style is.”

The Tasting and Proposal Bring the groom for this one; it’s usually his favorite part of planning the wedding. You will taste several cakes, fillings, frostings and buttercreams, and then you will choose your favorite combination. The baker will create a proposal with flavors, design, and costs. Keep an open mind. Your cake designer will offer insight on what works and what doesn’t. They may have design ideas you haven’t previously thought of.

elle’S BelleS

“Cake decorating is more of an art than ever before,” said Rebecca Nicklin of Cakes from Cabin Ridge, (cakesfromcabinridge.com.) “It has been elevated to a new level with design and texture.”

W W W. E L L E S B E L L E S . C O M • 4 0 6 - 5 8 7 - 5 6 8 3

The Cake

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BaKer: granny’S DonUTS

C a K e : l I S a h e I D e M a , M a n h aT Ta n

Tasty & Trending in Montana • • • • •

Earth elements like stones, flowers, water, and grass can be incorporated into the design of the cake. Textured cakes, and naked cakes with light or no frosting are trendy nationwide. Pies with hand-crumbled crusts and fresh berries are becoming Montana staples. Cupcakes, with brightly colored frosting, make for individual treats at the reception. Bozeman’s own Granny’s Doughnuts have been offered at several weddings in place of a wedding cake.

Gluten free options are becoming more available at Montana weddings. • Grooms cakes are popular in fishing, mountain, and animal themes. Fine created an elk shaped cake that was featured on television. • “Don’t shy away from fondant or Massa,” Fine said. “Brides say they hate fondant or Massa, then they show me pictures of cakes, and they all have fondant or Massa. Make sure your baker is using the best ingredients, the best eggs, best flower, best Massa. That makes a difference.”


P h o T o g r a P h y: 4 0 WaT T P h o T o FloWerS: laBellUM

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S T y l I n g / Fa S h I o n : r e V I Va l l C l o T h I n g

The Flowers

Floral accessories are more popular than ever at Montana weddings. In addition to bouquets, brides are walking down the aisles with floral crowns, belts, and even floral jewelry.

“There’s lots of ranges on what perfect wedding florals are,” said Remy, owner of Labellum Flowers (labellumflowers.com.) “Most important is to trust wedding professionals and to rely on their expertise to provide great quality and beautiful design.”


Michelle Ann Stoffers, owner of Budget Bouquet, (budgetbouquetandmore.com) has found that wildflowers are still on trend in Montana. “We see a lot of soft shades; whites to blush to pinks,” she said. “In spring, we see peonies. Roses are as popular as ever.”

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loCKIe PhoTograPhy FloWerS: BUDge T BoUQUe T

loCKIe PhoTograPhy FloWerS: laBellUM

a l l I S o n Fa n n I n g , C a P T U r I n g h I S C r e aT I o n F l o W e r S : P U r C h a S e D aT B U D g e T B o U Q U e T (anD PeonIeS PICKeD FroM oUr garDen)

Tips and Trends for Montana Wedding Flowers • • •

Order early. Meet with a florist 6 month out minimum. A year is safer. Have roses delivered a few days early. They need time to open up. Order from a florist. They can gauge exactly what your perfect wedding vision looks like. They’ll make recommendations that aren’t listed online. They’ll also have backups to avoid shipment problems. Stay true to location. A giant tropical arrangement will look silly in a barn.

• •

Feathers add an unexpected and understated touch to bouquets. Remy gathers feathers from local guinea fowl to make her bouquets works of art. Floral crowns are the perfect reception accessory. Floral rings, necklaces and bracelets are gaining popularity. “Rings have been really popular, especially for moms,” Remy said. “Pick your own flowers, and don’t use Pinterest alone.” Stoffers said. “Go your own way.”


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golDSMITh gallery JeWelerS.

Put a Ring On It

When it comes to wedding bands, couples want something as unique as they are. Rings have come to represent specific aspects of individuality and personal interest. While simple bands are still available, more couples are leaning toward custom design. The Chronicle spoke with Babs Noelle, owner and custom designer at Alara, and Jason Baide, a custom designer and goldsmith at Gem Gallery, to discuss new trends in wedding bands.

“Bozeman is funny in that it follows the nationwide trends, but it has a different flare to it,” Baide said. “Custom is a growing trend. People don’t want something generic that they could find anywhere.” It is important that both the bride and groom are present to select wedding bands. “These days, it’s really unusual to see people getting the same ring,” Noelle said. “That was something we did a lot of in the 80’s. Now, most people try to come up with a tie-in; whether it’s the same kind of metal, or one is plain and the other has stones, or there’s a private message inside the ring.” 44

Styles vary between men and women. Rose gold is the most popular metal choice for women. Alternative metals are giving men more choices than ever. “Men’s bands have really branched out recently,” Baide says. “New materials, like cobalt chrome, tungsten and titanium provide a lot of different options (for men.) We’re also seeing wooden inlays. Twisted and shaped metals make water or wood patterns throughout the metal even though it’s just a plain band.” Sparkle is showing up in both men’s and women’s bands with the popularity of Montana and Yogo

aPrIl SKy PhoTograPhy grooMS rIngS: rIDDleS

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sapphires. “A lot of guys like to have a piece of Montana in their ring,” Baide said. “They don’t want a centered stone that’s big and tall, but placing smaller stones subtly throughout the ring is growing.” Customized jewelry without additional steps, like stone inlay, takes four to six weeks to create. The more intricate designs involving stones or multiple metals take up to eight weeks. Designers get to know the clients and find out exactly what they want. Bringing in pictures from online helps, but don’t expect an exact replica. “That’s illegal,” Noelle said. “If you want that copied, you need to get it where you saw it. We can do it in a new style that fits your parameters.” At Alara, clients can be as hands-on in the process as they want. “We can actually teach people to use our CAD system,” Noelle says. “I teach the program and explain it’s limitations.”

Brides and grooms are looking for something versatile, that can be comfortably worn outdoors. “Our clients have always wanted quality, low-profile rings that fit the Montana lifestyle,” Baide said. “We’re seeing a lot of heavier metals as opposed to everything being covered in stones. We’re also seeing a lot of mixed metals, like twoor three-tone rings.” Options are endless “I get a lot of people who are looking for something meaningful,” Noelle said. “I had this couple that wanted their rings to look like a river. I took 18 karat white gold and did French style fired enamel in different shades of blue. “They’re all looking for that little twist,” Noelle said, “that little something that connects them.”


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PhoToS: MerISSa laMBerT


alara JeWelry



Gem Stones:

PRECIOUS: These classic metals have been used in wedding bands for ages, and will be more expensive. • Platinum • Palladium • Gold (yellow, white, rose, green, with varying karats) • Silver

DIAMONDS: Antique diamonds and up-cycled. • Up-cycled diamonds aren’t antique, but they’re old enough to be conflict-free. MORGANITE: Pink, soft stones becoming more popular in engagement rings MONTANA SAPPHIRES: Blue, pink, yellow, green, purple

ALTERNATIVE: These metals are typically scratch resistant, strong, and more affordable. • Titanium • Steel • Tungsten Carbide • Cobalt Chrome Noelle has found that men have been getting an “active ring,” a ring worn at the gym or during physical activity, that is made of silicon. Baide says that more men are getting wooden inlay, or small Montana sapphires throughout the ring 46

Noelle says that people find stones on hikes that they want incorporated into their design. Stones don’t have to be precious or polished, they simply have to mean something to the couple.

aMelIa anne PhoTograPhy

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Save-the-Dates & Invitations Save-the-Dates: • Send Save-the-Dates out 6-8 months before the wedding. • Include the couple’s name, the date of the wedding, and the location. If you haven’t booked a venue yet, including the name of the city the wedding will be in is completely acceptable. • Be clear about who is invited to the wedding by writing the names of the intended guests on the envelope. • If you created a wedding website, include the name of the site on the back or bottom of the card. • Don’t expect guests to RSVP to Save-the-Dates, though you will get a lot of congratulatory phone calls. • Let guests know an invitation will follow. • Save-the-Dates are much less formal than invitations. They don’t have to be in the same theme or colors as the wedding, especially if those details haven’t been decided. • In the age of the internet, email and electronic Save-the-Dates are becoming more popular. Use these for bridal brunches, bachelorette parties, and wedding showers.

Reception Card The reception card gives your guests details about the formality of the event. Include whether it is a breakfast or dinner reception and indicate if it is black tie or causal. This can be included on the invitation if there is enough room.

Direction Card The direction card will tell guests how to get to the ceremony and reception if they are at different locations. Use a readable font,

Response Card & Inner Envelope Include a stamp on the Inner Envelope and have it addressed back to you. This is your RSVP. Make sure the guests can easily fill out the RSVP and send it back and this will save you time and hassle. Invitations should follow the theme of your wedding. Look to Pinterest or TheKnot.com for ideas. Get creative. You want your invites to stand out to your guests, and give them an idea of what to expect at the wedding.

Invitation: Name of the couple, time, date, ceremony and reception location. 47

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Day of the Wedding

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The Day-Of Planner

The day of the wedding can be hectic. There are a million things going on, and staying on schedule gets tricky if there isn’t someone to keep everyone on task. Plus, this is Montana. It could be sunny one minute and snowing the next. Having an extra set of experienced hands on deck could keep things moving smoothly and avert any crisis, like ripping a dress or serving food hours late. Hire a day-of wedding planner to keep your schedule on track. “The brides who are planning themselves need help,” says Tracy Gordon, owner of Concierge Montana (conciergemontana.com.) “This is such a large destination area. I’ve even had brides that have planners back East, and I still coordinate the day-of.” The day-of planner will meet with the bride and go over the nuts and bolts of the wedding vendors. Day-of planners ensure that everyone has a great time at the wedding and no one, especially the bride, is bothered with any little details. “It’s important for (the bride) to give away her phone and not have people calling her all the time,” Gordon says. Having someone on site that knows the property and is familiar with the vendors can make a huge difference in how things run the day of the wedding. Day-of planners will have experience working with many vendors and venues in the Gallatin Valley. “The wedding party, friends and family members, caterer and photographer are not there to focus on troubleshooting, directing or coordinating,” says Kimberly Franke, wedding planner at Gather in Montana, (gatherinmt.com.) “When they ask questions, your reply can be, ‘Ask the wedding planner.’”


As service industry veterans, planners can help bartenders and caterers with set up. They can help florists with arrangements and serve as greeters when guests arrive. Day-of planners also offer pre- and postwedding services such as returning tuxes, dresses, tables, and flatware, to vendors. If your dress rips, you run out of ice, or the entertainment is running behind, the day-of planner will have your back!

Tips for a Flawless, Carefree Wedding • Turn off your phone. At the very least, let someone else hold onto it. • Create a detailed schedule, naming the people in charge, and give the schedule to those people. • Hire a day-of planner, or put someone in charge. If someone has to make an ice run or return a tux, they’ll handle it for you and there’s a good chance you won’t know something went wrong until after the event is over.

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Wedding Day Checklist Congrats, you made it! Be sure you drank lots of water and got plenty of rest last night, because it is officially go time. Pull some socks and shoes onto those cold feet and get out the door. You have a big day ahead of you, so make sure you’re prepared.

Checklist for the Bride • • • • • • • • •

Bridesmaids’ gifts Dress/undergarments/shoes/veil Groom’s gift Comfortable shoes Lint Brush Photo shoot list for photographer Jewelry/accessories Nice hanger for wedding dress photos Emergency/Repair Kit o Sewing kit with needles and white thread o Tide-To-Go pens o White Gaffers Tape (for dress tears) o Safety pins o Band-Aids o Double sided tape o Tampons o Antacid Tablets o Pain Relievers o Umbrella

o Scissors • For Touch Ups o Blotting pads o Nail Polish o Chapstick/lip gloss/lipstick o Eye-Makeup remover o Deodorant o Dental Floss/mouthwash o Q-tips o Emery Board o Tweezers o Curling Iron/Straightener o Baby Powder o Concealer o Face Powder o Comb o Perfume

Checklist for the Groom • Marriage Certificate • Groomsmen’s Gifts • Suit or tux

• • • • • •

Shoes Lint Roller Iron/Steamer Cologne Dental Floss/mouth wash Wedding Rings

Checklist for Bride & Groom • Charged cell phones/chargers • Itinerary (so you both know where you need to be and when) • Contact information for all vendors • Checks for vendors • Tips for vendors • Specific assignments for people (Who will grab your stuff when the ceremony is over? Who will hold your phone? Who should be contacted with questions?) • Water • Snacks

You are marrying your person! Have fun & relax; everyone is here to support you! 53

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Jocelyn & Rick Low Key Love

Jocelyn had been single for over two years when she decided to try Match.com. “A bunch of my friends were doing it, and I thought, really, man? Even us older people?” she laughs. Rick messaged Jocelyn early on and she asked her friends if they’d seen him online. One of her friends had actually gone on a couple dates with Rick and said he was a great guy, they just hadn’t clicked. Jocelyn agreed to meet him at Wild Joe’s for an early morning coffee date. “You know it’s a good one when they agree to meet you at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday,” she says. Coffee turned into brunch at the Co-Op which led to a hike up the M later that same day. Jocelyn hadn’t brought anything to drink on the hike, so Rick gave her some of his water. The next day, Rick came down with the flu and within two days, Jocelyn was also terribly sick. For two weeks, the couple stayed apart so they could nurse themselves back to health. After a full recovery, they decided to start seriously dating. One day, Jocelyn brought up the prospect of marriage and Rick was all for it. “He said, ‘Hell yeah!’ the second I mentioned it,” Jocelyn laughs, “He thinks I’m quite the gal. At this age, you kind of know what you want and don’t want.”

They married a year and a day after their first date. Both Jocelyn and Rick had been married before, and a huge ceremony wasn’t important to them. “What matters to us is just between us,” she says. “My son said, ‘That’s the best wedding I’ve ever been too.’” Rick is friends with Mayor Carson Taylor, and asked him to to be the officiant. Mayor Carson brought a poem to read before the vows. Rick and Jocelyn invited their children. The couple had spent a lot of time watching birds and hiking around Cherry River Fishing Access off of Frontage Road, and it seemed like a great spot to get married. Jocelyn made the wedding rings herself with silver and blue topaz and wore a flower crown from Labellum. She wore a skirt from Macy’s and her son took photos with his cellphone. After the wedding, they went to dinner and celebrated. Having been married a year and a day after their first date, the couple looks forward to a two-day anniversary celebration every year. The money they saved on their wedding day has gone to purchasing opera tickets in Vienna for next year’s anniversary. Jocelyn loves that they kept it simple. “We are absolutely thrilled,” she says. “It was perfect, it was meaningful, our kids had a great time. There was nothing missing. That’s the way we feel about it.”

“You know it’s a good one when they agree to meet you at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday.”

On the Wedding Team Photographer: Maxwell Giles

Flowers: Labellum

Venue: Cherry Creek River Access

Catering: Dinner at 14 North afterwards

Dress: Macy’s

Entertainment: We had a great time chatting over dinner.

Rings: Made by Jocelyn

That was it!


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Stephanie & Dillon Love At First Sight

In classic Montana fashion, Stephanie and Dillon met floating on the Madison. Mutual friends had invited them on the float trip, and Stephanie remembers that the two clicked right away. “We just got to talking and it turns out we had a couple more mutual friends,” Stephanie says. “I just loved being around him.” The pair were friends for a year before they started dating, but Stephanie knew there was something there from the very beginning. Dillon was so easy to talk to. Their date spot became Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill. They would grab a drink and discuss everything from their dreams to how many dogs they wanted to have. They knew their futures would include each other. The first time they said “I love you,” the couple was walking downtown for dinner. They stopped on a little bridge on the Gallagator trail and wrapped their arms around each other. “It was so clear that that was the guy I was going to be with,” Stephanie says. “I think the biggest thing is trusting that other person and knowing that they’re going to be there for you. It was New Year’s Eve when Dillon surprised Stephanie with the proposal. The couple had been together for three years. Dillon is a firefighter, and he was working on New Year’s Eve. Stephanie’s family was in town, and she was

looking forward to Dillon getting off work so they could go downtown and celebrate the holiday. When it was 5 o’clock and he still wasn’t home, Stephanie called him to find out where he was. “He told me he had a Christmas present for me that hadn’t been quite ready and I needed to come down to the station to pick it up,” she says. When Stephanie got to the station with her mom and sister, the firefighters had cleaned the station and fire engine. Dillon had hung a big picture of the couple together and written I can’t wait for our next big adventure on the back of the photo. He proposed to Stephanie in front of a fire engine with his best friends and Stephanie’s mom and sister watching. She said yes and the couple went downtown to celebrate. The engagement lasted a year and a half which gave the couple plenty of time to plan the wedding. Stephanie’s bridesmaids helped with all the decorations and signs. She baked the desserts herself. Firefighters ran the photo booth. “Enjoy the process and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Stephanie says. “It was so nice to plan a little and then sit back and enjoy the process.” It took a while to get there, but why rush something that’s forever? When you know, you know.

“I think the biggest thing is trusting that other person and knowing that they’re going to be there for you.

On the Wedding Team Photographer: Missy Short Photography Venue: The Ponds at Dry Creek

Flowers: Kokoro Flowers

Hair and Makeup: Hair by Claire at Platinum Salon,

Catering: Just a Taste; desserts- Stephanie

Makeup by Beauty and the Belief Dresses: Plume Bridal Groomsmen Attire: After 5 and Weddings


Rings: Oro & Vrai & James Allen-bride; Etsy- groom

Entertainment: CD’s Express- DJ; Photo booth- Heart and Arrow Photo Booth

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2017 |

Marina & Dylan Finding Your Forever Person Marina is a fifth generation Montanan and has lived in Belgrade her whole life. Dylan was born in Belgrade and moved to Washington when he was 10. Though the two had never met in person, Marina was close friends with Dylan’s cousins. When he moved back to Belgrade and found Marina on Match.com, it didn’t take long for the two to figure out they had just missed each other their whole lives. “We had been messaging a couple of days when he said, ‘I think I know who you are,’” Marina says. “He said, ‘I think I’ve seen you at basketball games.’ And I was like, ‘Oh! You’re Rachel and Taylor’s cousin. I DO know who you are.” “We had both had really long relationships and I didn’t want to do that anymore,” Marina says. “We were ready to find our forever person.” Once they met, the couple knew they had found something special and different. They had been together for five months when he asked her to marry him. The engagement ring had been in Marina’s family for generations, passed down from her great, great grandmother. The ring had been sitting in a drawer for 18 years when Marina’s grandmother heard her discussing marriage with Dylan. “My grandma offered it. She said we could use it if we were really serious about getting

married.” Marina says. “You can’t really say no to that. The sentimental value is worth more than anything.” Dylan surprised Marina by setting up a camera in their living room and asking her on the spur-of-themoment. The engagement lasted 10 months with Marina planning the entire wedding. Dylan loves Super Man and she loves the color pink, so she wanted to incorporate both of those things into the special day. She actually enjoyed being in charge of every detail, and on her wedding day, Marina admits she was the person to go to with any questions or concerns. “Come up with as much of the initial planning yourself, but then delegate little stuff to people,” she says. “I was always in charge. It sounds counterintuitive, but I always knew what was going to happen.” Marina wore a pink felt floral crown and the entire bridal party wore Converse sneakers. The wedding represented their relationship; it was fun, funky and flawless. “With my husband, it wasn’t this big fairytale, butterflies-in-my-tummy thing,” Marina smiles. “I knew the second I saw him he was my friend first. That’s the most important part.”

“We had both had really long relationships and I didn’t want to do that anymore,” Marina says. “We were ready to find our forever person.”

On the Wedding Team Photographer: James Sally

Wedding Bands: Riddles Jewelry

Hair: Bri Rollins

Flowers: Chelsee Mahsman

Makeup: Michaela Renner

Catering: Sherri Shows at The Pic A Nic Basket in Ennis

Bridal Gown: Eskay, personalized by Lynesse Voegele

Cake: Kari Montgomery

Engagement Ring: Heirloom, from Great, Great Grandmother,

Entertainment: Alexander Quintero at Bozeman DJ


| 2017

Katelyn & Garrett

Gunshots & Livestock; A True Montana Wedding Katelyn and Garrett first met at Oklahoma State University. Both were involved in several organizations together and served as academic mentors for the animal science department. In college, they became acquainted with one another, but never considered dating. Katelyn, who is a fifth generation Montanan, returned to Bozeman to finish her masters. Garrett moved to Fargo, North Dakota. The two remained involved in the livestock industry; Katelyn’s family owns the Storey Hereford Ranch just outside of town. After reconnecting at a competition in Minneapolis, Garrett messaged Katelyn on Facebook and they started chatting. She agreed to a date and met him in Medora, North Dakota. “It’s a different dynamic when you’re trying to date someone and run a ranch,” Katelyn says. “I sat down and basically said, ‘this is what I want, this is what I don’t want. If you have any of these (characteristics) that I don’t want, tell me now, cause I don’t have much time to waste.’ I’m not a super open person, but we were very open from the beginning.” The straightforward approach worked for the couple; Garrett moved to Bozeman and proposed within six months of dating. At the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Garrett asked Katelyn if she’d watch the Angus show with him. He led her to two seats overlooking the complex and pulled a ring out of his boot. The entire

crowd cheered as Katelyn said yes. The couple married at the Storey Hereford Ranch. Many members of the cattle industry were in attendance. Katelyn wore two dresses; an elegant princess style gown for her father during the ceremony and a sleek, formfitting romantic dress for dancing with her husband. They dined on prime rib. At the reception, her bridesmaids gifted her a pony named Fancy, making for a true Montana experience. The wedding was perfect, with one exception. During a sunset photo shoot, the couple and their photographer were on the edge of the ranch. A gust of wind came up and blew Katelyn’s veil. As she stood and moved to readjust it, a bullet whizzed past her head. Three shots rang out, with bullets spraying the ground at the photographer’s feet. Garrett grabbed both Katelyn and the photographer and pushed them to the ground, yelling for the shooting to stop. The gunshots stopped, and the three made their way back to the house and called the police. The photographer believes a nearby hunter must have misfired or been shooting at the horizon, but they will never really know what happened. The scary event taught Katelyn not to sweat the small stuff. “If this girl can get a man to stand in front of a bullet for her, you can probably deal with the wrong color of linen,” she says.

“It’s a different dynamic when you’re trying to date someone and run a ranch.”

On the Wedding Team Wedding Service: Mark Largent

Groomsmen Attire: Eskay

Photographer: Sarah Notarius

Cake: Elegant Perfection Connies Cakes

Venue: Storey Hereford Ranch

Rings: brides ring- Royal Jewelers (Fargo, ND)

Reception: Copper Springs Ranch

Grooms ring: custom made and designed by Sam Ferraro

Wedding Planner: Katelyn Knebel at Storey Event Planning

Flowers: Rhonda at I Do flowers

Hair: Brooklyn Studio

Catering: Sadies Catering

Makeup: Fumi Nagai

Entertainment: Filmlites

Dresses: wedding dresses Plume, and Belle en Blanc.

Videographer: Filmlites

Bridesmaids dresses were from Eskay


Rentals: Montana Party Rentals

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2017 |

Sawyer & Carl The Destination Wedding As soon a Sawyer stepped onto her parents’ property in Bigfork, she knew she would get married there. “It was never even a question,” she says. “I didn’t even look at another venue.” Sawyer just needed to find her man. Her sister, Bailey, met Carl while attending the University of Montana. The two became good friends. Carl was from South Africa, so Bailey invited him home with her for the holidays. Carl would always tease Sawyer about having a crush on her, but she never took him seriously. Plus, she was always dating someone else every time Carl came around. When Sawyer finally broke up with her boyfriend, Bailey encouraged Carl to ask her out. The two started chatting on the phone. By that time, Sawyer was living in Atlanta and Carl was in California. He booked a flight to see her and flew in for their first date. They had a great time and began a long-distance relationship. “We already knew him,” Sawyer says. “It was like he was already part of the family.” Eventually, Carl moved to Atlanta to be with Sawyer. One night, he made a special South African dessert and asked Sawyer if she wanted to eat it on the porch. There

was a notebook on the porch and Carl instructed her to open the notebook and read it. Inside, he had written a letter about all the things he loved about Sawyer. When she finished reading the letter, Carl was on one knee. “I had seen the notebook in his bag months before and was like, ‘What’s this?’” Sawyer says. “He said, ‘You can’t read that.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean I can’t read that?!’ I think he had already started the letter.” Carl’s parents had never been to America before and it was important to Sawyer that they have the full Montana experience. She was excited to show them Glacier and Bigfork in the summer time. Since Sawyer and Carl were both in Atlanta, she attributes the success of her beautiful wedding to her wedding planner. “Cara Lard (at Goldfinch Events and Design) saved my life,” she says. “I literally did not have one single stress. She took care of everything. Make sure you hire someone who understands what you want, what’s important to you and how you see it turning out.” “Oh, and definitely get good food. People still talk about how good the food was.”

“We already knew him,” Sawyer says. “It was like he was already part of the family.”

On the Wedding Team Photographer: Loneman Photography

Rentals: The Party Store

Florist: Mums Flowers in Whitefish

Food: Bravo! Catering

Wedding Planner: Cara Lard of Goldfinch Events in Whitefish

Wedding Dress: Anne Barge

Cakes: Miss Patty Cakes

Groom’s suit: Armani


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Briggett & Jake For the Fun of It

Briggett and Jake look at each other and giggle when the Bozeman Daily Chronicle asks them how they met. “Do you want the long answer or the short answer?” Briggett smiles slyly. “Mutual friends,” Jake says. “Tinder is an awesome app,” Briggett adds. The couple were already acquaintances when the dating app brought them together. While it typically isn’t used for serious dating, successful relationships can happen. Jake and Briggett are proof. Perhaps they needed a little extra push to get things going. Once they started dating, things progressed rapidly. “We moved in together very quickly, too, like three months into knowing each other,” Briggett says. Jake liked the fact that Briggett wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. He had never been with someone who would call him out on things, and he found it refreshing. The two spent most of their time together. Jake introduced Briggett to dirt biking, and she was hooked. “Two months in, I said I wanted a dirt bike, and he said, well, let’s go get you one,” she smiles. Riding dirt bikes brought the couple closer together. They had been dating for about a year when Jake popped the question. He had actually had the ring for four months, and had waited all winter for the right

time. It was Memorial Day, and the couple was riding at Pipestone. They were taking a break climbing around on some rocks. Jake came up behind Briggett, wrapped his arms around her and surprised her with a ring. She was completely caught off guard. “I had absolutely no idea,” she laughs. “It’s funny cause I’m a very snoopy person. I had maybe looked for a ring once or twice.” They married a year later at Twin Bridges. Dirt biking was the central theme of the wedding. The cake looked like a tracked-up hill with two bikes on top of it. In true rock star fashion, Briggett’s dress was white lace over black lining. Her black satin bouquet was covered in crystal skulls. “It was so fun,” Jake says. “People are still ranting about it,” Briggett laughs. “We were pretty much married before we got married,” Jake says. “We bought a house before we got married. (The wedding) was kind of an excuse to have a party and get family together you don’t see often. It was less about the decorations and more about bringing everyone together.” Even with less focus falling on decorations and plans, Briggett and Jake pulled off a one-of-a-kind rock star wedding. It was a reflection of who they are and what brought them together. They had, and continue to have, a great time.

“I had absolutely no idea,” she laughs. “It’s funny cause I’m a very snoopy person. I had maybe looked for a ring once or twice.”

On the Wedding Team Wedding Officiant: Mat Mahan (grooms father)

Groomsmen Attire: After 5 and Weddings Bozeman, MT

Photographer: Amanda Rapstad (Amanda Rapstad

Rings: Jensen Jewelers Bozeman, MT (brides ring) and

Photography in Bozeman, MT) Venue: Madison County Fairgrounds (Twin Bridges, MT)

Flowers: Jordan Miotke at Spruce Up Boutique

Hair and Makeup: Justine Stagg (brides cousin) of

Catering: Famous Dave’s Bozeman, MT

Ulta Beauty in Riverdale, UT Bridal Dress: Rococo Bridal in Missoula, MT Bridesmaids Dresses: http://www.azazie.com


Zales (grooms ring) Missoula, MT

Cake: Shawn Hegdal, Bozeman, MT Entertainment: Muzik Your Way DJ Service, Butte, MT

2017 |



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2017 |

Caitlin & Evan

A Little Help from My Friends Caitlin and Evan met in college working for dining services at Colorado State University. Their mutual friend, Brittney, had an inkling that the two would get along, but they were both dating other people. When Caitlin and Evan were finally single, Brittney told Evan to ask Caitlin out on a date. “She told him, ‘you have to ask her out. If you don’t, I’m firing you,’” Caitlin laughed. “He came in and asked me out, and then it kind of just progressed from there.” Evan studied forestry at CSU and moved to Montana after graduating. The couple did the long-distance thing for a while. Evan’s job required him to move a lot. He went from Montana, back to Colorado, and up to Montana again. Caitlin had moved to Montana after graduating when Evan took a job as a park ranger that required him to relocate to Utah. They had been dating for four and a half years when Evan drove up from Utah for Caitlin’s birthday. Little did she know he had a special surprise in store for her. Caitlin was having a rough day at work when Evan suggested the two have lunch at their favorite spot by the river. When they got to the river, Evan had set up a beautiful picnic with all of Caitlin’s favorite flowers.

He had brought her burgers and fries from Best Burger in Four Corners, which she loves. She thought this elaborate lunch was part of her birthday celebration and immediately started eating the fries. “I turn around, and he’s on one knee,” she said. “I have a mouth full of French fries and I go, ‘Is this really happening?’” The couple married at Roy’s Barn and Lodge in Belgrade, Montana with the beautiful Bridger mountains in the background. Caitlin planned the entire wedding with the help of her mother-inlaw. Talented friends were employed to take the pictures, do Caitlin’s makeup, bake the cake, take the wedding video, and design their wedding bands. A friend brought the couple together, and friends helped pull off the gorgeous wedding. Even with a little help and a detailed schedule, Caitlin admits there were stressful times. “Planning a wedding is tough,” She said. “People are asking a lot of you at the time. It’s good to remember it’s not about the show. It’s not about anything besides you guys making that commitment to one another.”

“She told him, ‘you have to ask her out. If you don’t, I’m firing you,’” Caitlin laughed. “He came in and asked me out, and then it kind of just progressed from there.”

On the Wedding Team Wedding Officiant: Pember Hedger

Groomsmen Attire: After 5 & Weddings

Photographer: Madai Guerrero (madeyephoto.com)

Rings: Peligro Studio

Videographer: Andres Schroeder

Flowers: Noelle Brassfield eufloradesigns@gmail.com

Venue: Roys Barn

Catering: Mo Bowls and Bluesmoke BBQ

Hair and Makeup: Leigh-Ann Schreiber (Hair Ninja Big Sky)

Cake: Courtney Brock and pies by Caitlin’s mother-in law

Dresses: Plume Bridal

Entertainment: Hollow Tops (a local band)



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2017 |


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Submit your engagement and wedding announcements online by visiting www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ milestones. Scroll down the page to “Submit a Milestone” and click on the specific announcement you would like to share. Announcements are $95 and include a photo. Be sure to spell all names correctly; they are printed as they appear. Announcements are limited to 150 words. Submissions and payments must be made no later than Wednesday at 5 p.m. to ensure it appears in the upcoming Sunday paper. Announcements are printed in the Sunday Bozeman Daily Chronicle and will be included in the Milestones sections of the Chronicle website. The Chronicle reserves editorial discretion over all submissions. Have questions? Call 406-582-2642

Submission Guidelines WHEN WRITING ENGAGEMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS, PLEASE INCLUDE: • The first and last name of both the bride- and groom-to-be • The first and last name of the person announcing the engagement and his or her relationship to the couple • The city of residence for both the bride- and groom-to-be • The first and last name of the parents of the bride- and groom-to-be and their cities of residence • The wedding date (if known) • Also, be sure to include the name of the photographer if you are submitting a professional photo WHEN WRITING WEDDING ANNOUNCEMENTS, PLEASE INCLUDE: • The first and last name of the bride and groom • The couple’s city of residence • The date of the wedding • The location of the wedding • The name of the wedding officiant • The location of the reception • The names of the parents of both the bride and groom • Also, be sure to include the name of the photographer if you are submitting a professional photo


aMelIa anne PhoTograPhy

2017 |



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| 2017


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2017 |

A TheMontana Wedding Bridal Event 2018 The fourth annual A Montana Wedding: The Bridal Event – Southwest Montana’s one-stop location for all wedding needs – will be held February 17, 2018 at The Commons at Baxter and Love Lane. Doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees can expect to see fashion shows, sample cake and catered fare, see makeup and hair style demonstrations, and visit vendor booths featuring area caterers, florists, dress shops, photographers, venues, music, event coordinators, health and beauty experts, gift retailers, jewelers, travel agents and more. “The Montana Wedding event provides a one-stop shop for you to connect with every vendor to make your day perfect. With over 80 vendors, you’ll find a host

of goods, services, and information that will make for a gorgeous and memorable wedding,” said Chronicle Advertising Director Cindy Sease. It’s all under one roof, with a variety of offerings. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www. montanaweddingevent.eventbrite.com. If you own a business that caters to brides or wedding parties, booth space is limited. Reserve space now by contacting Cindy Sease at 406-582-2616 or csease@dailychronicle.com.


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2017 |

Money & Matrimony

loCKIe PhoTograPhy

In 2016, TheKnot.com polled 13,000 brides and grooms to find the national average cost of a U.S. wedding is a whopping $35,329. Montana weddings average around $21,000 per event, and that cost doesn’t factor in the honeymoon. Whether you’re looking to splurge or save, understanding a breakdown of costs can put your mind, and your wallet, at ease.

Dividing the Budget

When preparing a wedding plan, consider what you’re willing to spend a little extra on and what you want to save on. Maybe you want elaborate floral arrangements and you’re willing to eat homemade cupcakes instead of cake. Figure out your budget in the beginning of planning and determine your total expenditure by forming a plan. Consider the average costs of certain aspects of Bozeman weddings provided by www.costofwedding.com: Attire and Accessories .................................. $1679 Beauty and Spa ................................................$158 Entertainment .............................................. $1400 Flowers and Decorations ............................. $1784 Gifts and Favors ..............................................$813 Invitations ........................................................$835 Jewelry .......................................................... $4335 Photography and Video ............................... $3114 Planner/Consultant ........................................$999 Venue/Catering/Rentals ........................... $13,101


How many guests are attending the wedding? The total cost is greatly affected by the number of guests in attendance. Keep the following in mind when narrowing down your invite list. • The average cost of a single guest is between $176$216, if you factor in feeding, housing, gifting, and treating them • Weddings with 50 guests or less average $9,311$15,519, and 50-100 guests can cost up to $23,631. The numbers jump from there, with 100200 guests averaging between $23,000-$37,000 according to costofwedding.com.

• What can you pay for? What do you expect your guests to pay for? If they are traveling, are you footing the hotel bill? Will your bar be fixed or open?

Family Support

Will your families chip in? Traditionally, the bride’s family would pay for the event, but as weddings have become more spendy, the groom’s family is helping too. For the most part, the cost falls on the bride and groom. Discuss who can pay for what. Maybe your parents will take on the catering if his spring for the venue. Start a joint wedding savings account and discuss contributions. Be honest with yourselves about what you can and can’t afford. Your wedding day will be much more enjoyable if you aren’t looking at a mountain of debt when the party is over.

Tips for Tipping

• If the caterer provided service and bartenders, tip 20-25% on top of the total cost. The tip will be divided between the servers, the bartender, the cook and the catering manager. • Waitstaff: 20% • Bartender: 20%, or anywhere from $150-$400 each. They put up with your drunk relatives. Make it worth their while, please. • Entertainment: 10-20% of total fee • Officiant: $100 You don’t need to tip business owners, such as the florist. If you loved their work, give them a solid review online.


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Marriage licenses are obtained from the Clerk of District Court’s office located in the Law and Justice Center at 615 South 16th Avenue in Bozeman. The license can be used immediately or within 180 days from the date of issuance. It is valid in any county within Montana, but not in any other state or country. After the marriage ceremony, the person who performed the ceremony must return the license to the Clerk’s office within 30 days for completion.

Applying for a marriage license at the courthouse:

• Both parties must appear • Each must show a valid driver’s license issued by any state, a valid passport or birth certificate. • If either party was previously married, the full name of the exspouse as well as the exact date of the divorce or death must be written on the application. The dissolution decree or death certificate are not required. • Cost: The fee for a marriage license is $53.00 in cash. Checks, debit cards and credit cards are not accepted. • Out-of-state applicants who can’t appear at the courthouse before the ceremony may fill out a Montana Marriage Application before a Clerk of District Court or a Notary Public in their state. Send the paperwork and the $53 cash fee to the courthouse in the county where the wedding will be held.

A Montana marriage can be solemnized by: • • • • •

Clergy from any state Judge or retired judge of a court of record A public official with power to solemnize marriage A mayor, city judge or justice of the peace A tribal judge

Weddings performed at the Gallatin County Justice Court cost $30 cash. They require at least a two-day notice and can be scheduled by calling (406) 582-2191 once you have applied for a marriage license. You must appear no less than five minutes prior to your scheduled wedding time with license in hand.

Changing your name:

MakinfgicIiatl Of 80

TIna o’Donnell PhoTograPhy

• Change name with Social Security Administration by completing the SS-5 form. The form can be found online at www.ssa.gov/forms. You will need copies of your marriage certificate, passport, and driver’s license. Once your name is changed on your Social Security Administration, it takes about 10 days for the IRS to update your information. • Your marriage certificate can be used with your Social Security Card to change name on your driver’s license. Visit your local DMV in person and pay the $10 replacement fee. Be sure to bring your new social security card, old driver’s license or passport, and marriage certificate. • For car registration & title name change, you will need to visit your local Montana MVD office in person. • If you change your name, be sure to update all legal documents, including your passport, insurance plans, billing and home address, bank accounts, mortgages, medical records, credit cards and personal memberships

2017 |

After the Wedding, Before the Anniversary

loCKIe PhoTograPhy

As you ease into that scrumptious newly wedded bliss, remember you still have a few wedding related responsibilities. Enjoy your wedding day, and every day after, for that matter. You found your person, you lucky duck. Hopefully, they’ll help you tie up a few loose ends. • Send out thank you notes. o As soon as you get back from your honeymoon, pick out a time to write, address, stamp and send thank you notes to everyone who gave you a gift. You can write the notes as you open each wedding gift so they will be personal and specific. You can also use your RSVP list to know exactly who to send them to. Don’t wait too long to get these out; the longer you wait, the harder it will be. • Clean and preserve your wedding dress.

• • • •

Review your vendors online. Order your wedding album or video. Take down your wedding registry and website. Return or exchange unwanted gifts

Aim to have these tasks completed before your first anniversary. Keeping busy can help with postwedding blues once all the excitement of the big day has worn off. You will feel better when the last thank you note goes out and you have packed away any decorations or exchanged any unwanted gifts. Time to kick back, relax, and enjoy being married!


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The Wedding Planning Countdown You’re engaged?! Hooray! • Figure out a budget • Put engagement announcement in local paper • Research venues and vendors • Hire a wedding planner

12 Months to Go • Set the date • Design wedding website and send the link to friends and family • Choose bridal party • Start shopping for that dress! • Book block of hotel rooms for out of state guests • Choose venue • Choose reception site • Hire photographer and videographer

8-10 Months to Go • Plan ceremony and reception décor • Finalize guest list • Select wedding dress and send it in for alterations • Sign up for gift registry • Send out save-the-dates • Select bridesmaids dresses • Book caterer • Interview and book florist • Secure wedding officiant • Hire Band or DJ


5-7 Months to Go • Order invitations and envelopes • Finalize any rentals (tables, napkins, plates etc) • Select wedding cake • Begin preparations for honeymoon

3-4 Months to Go • Select wedding bands • Finalize catering menu and flowers • Choose grooms attire and make alterations • Purchase shoes, undergarments and accessories • Book accommodations for wedding night • Arrange transportation/limousine services • Begin premarital counseling • Give vendors Wedding Day Schedule

2 Months to Go • • • • • •

Send invitations Schedule final dress fittings Finalize Wedding Day Schedule Finalize Rehearsal Dinner Create guest favors Confirm order with florist

1 Month to Go • Apply for Marriage License • Confirm all floral arrangements • Confirm all details with vendors

aPrIl SKy PhoTograPhy

• Buy or create guest book • Prepare a wedding shot list for photographer • Final gown fitting • Visit hair stylist • Visit makeup artist • Finish all DIY projects

7-14 Days to Go • Pick up dress & wedding bands • Call anyone who hasn’t RSVP’d and confirm their attendance • Create final seating chart • Give caterer finalized head count • Confirm all vendor delivery times • Give band or DJ list of songs • Send schedule and contact info to wedding party and vendors • Pack for honeymoon

1 Day to Go • Assign someone to collect gifts and cards • Get mani/pedi • Pack wedding night bag • Prepare tips in marked envelopes for vendors • Prepare checks for vendors if not already paid • Put all wedding attire and accessories together • Drink lots of water and sleep. Tomorrow’s the big day.

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Wedding Guide 2017  

Wedding Guide 2017  

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