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2019/2020 WEDDING PLANNER A SPECIAL PUBLICATION OF THE BOZEMAN DAILY CHRONICLE COVER PHOTO COURTESY OF N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y


| 2019

Notarius Photography

1949734

Close to Bozeman • Gorgeous geous mountain views Inspiring country setting Easy access • Inside or outside-Up to 299 guests Historic local landmark New ADA and multi-stall men’s and women’s restrooms New bridal lounge with private bath

Notarius Photography

Amy Hallenius Photography 2

Notarius Photography


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P H OTO C R E D I T : C AT E D O U B E T


2019 |

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| 2019

Table of contents: 08 12-18 MONTHS BEFORE Getting Started

Picking a Planner The Venue The Caterer

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9-12 MONTHS BEFORE The Hunt for a Dress A Montana Wedding Event Finding what’s Suitable The Registry The Photographer Selecting Sweets

I N G R I D S VA R E P H OTO G R A P H Y

Finding Flowers E D I TO R / W R I T E R : K AT H E RYN H O U G H TO N LO V E S TO R I E S : A B BY LY N E S L AYO U T & D E S I G N : C H R I S T I N E D U B B S ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: CINDY SEASE

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F O R I N F O R M AT I O N A B O U T U P C O M I N G P U B L I C AT I O N S C O N TA C T

TROY MEIKL STEPHANNIE CAMOSSE ASHTON MULLINS PHOTOGRAPHY

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JMGANT PHOTOGRAPHY

The Price of Matermony

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LOVE STORIES Devin & Saisha Keller Chris Coburn & Seth Hershman

K E L LY K I R K S E Y

Kaylene & Joshwa Baker

E R I N K AY E P H O T O G R A P H Y

Randy & Bennett Ridenour

S H AY N A P I A Z Z O L A , M O N TA N A D I A R I E S MARISSA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY MAGGIE GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY

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Destination Wedding

After “I Do”

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y

BRANDON KEIM PHOTOGRAPHY & KINDZERSKI PHOTOGRAPHY

PLANNING PAGES

Getting it in Writing

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 P H O T O G R A P H Y

I N G R I D S VA R E P H OTO G R A P H Y

Hair & Makeup Scheduling Down to the Details

BRI BOS PHOTOGRAPHY

TAY L O R B A R R E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y

Letting the World Know Planning the Ceremony

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

6 MONTHS BEFORE

Ashley & Cara Spragg


2019 |

PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH NOTARIUS

PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH NOTARIUS

PHOTO CREDIT: DAVEY JOHNSON

An exquisite Montana wedding venue with unobstructed views of the Bridger Mountains.

PHOTO CREDIT: ERIN KAYE

PHOTO CREDIT: ERIN KAYE

With lush lawns, wide open spaces, a winding creek, bridal salon, grooms quarters and indoor, outdoor ceremony sites, The Rockin’ TJ Ranch offers the perfect location to host your Montana wedding. Our experienced team is available to help with every detail to ensure your special day is a first-class and stress free celebration.

Call or visit our website today, to schedule your on-site or virtual tour! PHOTO CREDIT: ZAK JOKELA

www.rockintjranch.com

406-585-0595

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PHOTO CREDIT: SARAH NOTARIUS

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2 1 1M8 onths to

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y VENUE: ROY’S BARN


| 2019

Getting Started

S T E P H A N N I E C A M O S S E | W W W . S T E P H A N N I E C A M O S S E P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

V E N U E : C H U R N C R E E K FA R M

You’re engaged and it hit you: you actually have to plan a wedding. You’ve picked your person, so the most important part is covered. From there, talk about each other’s wedding priorities. Do you picture a ceremony outside or inside? Is it more important to spend money on a dream caterer or a live band? As Mckenzie Treinen Langner, the owner or Plume Bridal in Bozeman put it, once you nail down the big things “let the rest be icing.”

“People remember the overall experience and time they spend with you,” she said. “You will never have all those

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people in the same room again, so it’s important to make time to enjoy that.” Planning ahead is your best chance to leave room to soak in the day. Let this magazine be your guide.


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Announcements

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 $20 for up to 100 words and $30 with a photo. Be sure to spell all names correctly; they are printed as they appear. Submissions and payments must be made no later than Wednesday at noon 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

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

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Wedding planners orchestrate the rhythm of the day without making you or guests feel tethered to a schedule. They can narrow down which vendors fit your personality and budget. Planners also cover details you won’t think of until it’s a headache, like how to get electricity to a wheatfield wedding. 12

ELM EVENTS & DESIGN

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

| 2019

Picking a Planner


2019 | N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y VENUE: ROCKIN TJ R ANCH

“More people expect their wedding will be really unique and personalized. Conceptualizing what that will be can feel daunting,” said Kelsey Motes-Conners, director of wedding design studio Field. “We get to know what the client is all about, then create a celebration to reflect that.” She said to research portfolios online and make sure a planner’s experience goes beyond what’s trending. Try to meet your potential pick in person or, if you’re starting from afar, talk over Skype to make sure you vibe. It should be a comfortable relationship since it’s going to last through the final details of the wedding. Motes-Conners typically talks with a couple three times before creating a proposal of services tailored to them.

When to reach out It’s never too late to engage with a planner but having a full year has its benefits. Field clients tend to reach out between nine and 15 months before their wedding and typically before a venue is nailed down.

You have options There are wedding designers that offer packages from planning the entire event to coordinating month-of details. The amount of help you need will depend on whether you’re surrounded with support versus starting from scratch outside of Montana.

Get the specifics Be sure you’re comfortable with your planner’s communication style. Know how often you’ll communicate and what their response time is for emails or calls.

Know your numbers It’s just as important for a couple to agree on the frame of their guestlist as it is to agree on a budget. That will help set the tone of your wedding. “Have a frank conversation about what kind of gathering this going to be,” Motes-Conners said. “Is this a gathering of everyone you would have a beer with Saturday night or only people you would have over to your house for dinner.”

Embrace creativity Wedding designers are artists. They do their best with a little room to create. “Our clients get the most out of their experience when they have a sense of trust in our aesthetic sensibility and ability to translate their vision,” Motes-Conners said. “The best evidence we’ve done our job is when clients say ‘We had no idea how this was going to look and somehow you created exactly what we wanted.”

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2019 |

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Whether you’re looking for a mountain backdrop on a ski hill or a barn for dancing, Montana have it. Event venues tend to have a higher entry price but often run with packages that include the foundation for the wedding. Make sure you know what you’re buying — can you use the venue’s bar as self-serve or do you need to pay their staff to bartend?

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VENUE: THE WOODLANDS

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 P H O T O G R A P H Y

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The Venue


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V E N U E : C H U R N C R E E K FA R M

V E N U E : F I R E L I G H T FA R M

W W W . S T E P H A N N I E C A M O S S E P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

I N G R I D S VA R E P H OTO G R A P H Y

STEPHANNIE CAMOSSE

T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

Keep these questions in mind for potential venues: • • • • • • • • • • •

How many weddings have you hosted? Are certain times of the year more expensive? How much is the deposit? Will there be a service charge on top of the bill? What’s the max number of guests? Is there onsite parking or a shuttle service? Will we have exclusive use of the venue? How early can we get on site to set up? How long will we have the space reserved? Do you provide any rentals or food services? Are there any services we *have to* get through you?

• Can we move stuff around? • What’s delivery access like for large rental drop-offs? • How many restrooms are there and will they come stocked? • Does the venue come with signs for things like parking and the ceremony site? • Is there a music cut-off time or noise restrictions? • What’s the plan if it rains or snows? • How soon will we have to clean up the site? • Do we need liability insurance? • What’s the cancellation policy?

For a classic outdoor wedding on a budget, check out special use permits for state parks which often offer a blank slate with a view. But be prepared to build a venue from scratch. Montana’s national parks also require permits for weddings in most cases. A wedding planner will have most of the state’s venues memorized and know what doesn’t show up in an internet search. You can also ask friends for the story behind their venue and the other venue options they loved but weren’t the right fit for them. 17


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The Caterer

MARISSA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY

Get creative with the menu. “We love to work with couples that like to show their personalities through their food,” said Emily Ryan with Food for Thought catering.

Many couples want a taste of Montana without overwhelming guests. The Food for Thought team can incorporate the flavors Montana is known for in subtle ways, like a huckleberry dust made from dehydrated berries and herbs sprinkled over cold cured trout. Ryan said they also build small plates or bites that give people a chance to try things like wild game elk. And when it comes to the main dish, Ryan said less is more. You don’t want to put your friends and family in a food coma before they can make it to the dance floor. “You don’t need six side dishes,” she said. “Having a really beautiful meal that’s freshly made and full of color and texture is really the way to go.”

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Narrowing down your pick • What are the menu selections? • Ryan said ask potential caterers about their speciality so you know your meal ideas line up with their best work. • It’s important to talk about money early. Many caterers have a minimum which you should know before getting too deep in the details. • Ask whether the menu changes with the seasons. Ryan said Food for Thought offers menus that are as farmto-table as possible so the time of year plays a big role in what’s possible. • Schedule a tasting early to leave time to tweak the menu or to find your next option.


N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

Know what you’re buying Some caterers come with their own décor, serving gear, bus dishes and package the leftovers. Others put the food in hot dishes and dash. Ask what’s part of the package, what costs extra and what will be left when they leave.

Questions that get down to the details: • • • •

When do you need final meal picks? How much time do you need to set up the meal? Can you handle dietary restrictions? Who will be the point of contact on the wedding day?

• What mealtime setup do you take care of? • Do you have a serving staff and, if so, what’s the serverto-guest ratio? • Can you provide alcohol? • Will the bar remain open after the dinner and what’s the fee for that? • Is there a cake-cutting fee? • What additional fees are added on the bill and is gratuity included? • When do you need a final headcount? • How long do you stay through the process? Leave time to savor the meal — you don’t have to be the couple too busy to eat on their wedding day.

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Ingrid Svare Photography

Jessie Moore Photography

2019 | Ingrid Svare Photography

WESTERN ELEGANCE UNDER THE BIG SKY

Haley at Sales@buckst4.com or 406-581-3337

46625 Gallatin Rd Big Sky, Montana www.buckst4.com 406.581.3337

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J M G A N T P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W . J M G A N T P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M VENUE: THE WOODLANDS


1M2ontoth9s


| 2019 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 P H O T O G R A P H Y

ASHTON MULLINS PHOTOGRAPHY A S H T O N M U L L I N S P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M DRESS: AFTER 5 AND WEDDINGS

TheforHunt a Dress For many, picking the dress is one of the most fun parts of planning. It also has some built-in stress. Mckenzie Treinen Langner with Plume Bridal said most people don’t have experience trying on gowns and it’s typically the most expensive piece of clothing they’ll ever buy. She said skip that potential anxiety by leaving plenty of time to shop.

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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 P H O T O G R A P H Y

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y DRESS: AFTER 5 AND WEDDINGS

Treinen Langner recommended brides start looking at least nine months before the wedding day and order it no less than six months in advance to leave room for alterations.

T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

To get one-on-one time with a consultant, make sure to schedule your appointment in advance. Treinen Langner said come with supportive friends and a strapless or sticky bra — consultants will likely be in the dressing room so wear what makes you comfortable.

And try on as many dresses as you want. Bring plenty of photos of ideas you like. “It’s important to stay open-minded, you may be surprised by what style you like best,” Treinen Langner said. “Pick what you think is interesting but also give your consultant some trust.”

“The more, the better. People don’t realize there’s a trend in their photos,” Treinen Langner said. “They see 100 different wedding dresses but I look at it and see 10 different styles you’re into and know exactly where to start.”

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| 2019

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TAY L O R B A R R E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y W W W . T A Y L O R B A R R E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y D R E S S: DAV I D ’S B R I DA L

Tips and Trends • The biggest trend is there’s a dress out there for everyone, Treinen Langner said. You can go with a lot of sparkle or keep the dress simple and opt for a statement piece jewelry. • Lace remains elegant, timeless and works with any backdrop. • Sleeves are making a comeback and can work wonders for a fall wedding. • Illusion material is a great way to add details like woven flowers along your spine or chest while feeling certain nothing is going to slip.

• A fur or flannel wrap can keep you warm for a fall or winter wedding. • Bohemian offers a look inspired by nature with soft and flowing gowns. • A lot of women are weaving greens and flowers into their hair or opt for a flower crown instead of the traditional tiara. • If you decide to rock a low-back dress, consider an updo that pulls your hair above your shoulders. • Veils are always a classic. And all the lengths are beautiful.

Don’t let the fear of harming your dress hold you back on your wedding day. Many stores are connected with cleaning and repair services. So give it your all on the dance floor and wade into that river for those sunset photos. 26


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A TheMontana Wedding Bridal Event 2020 The fourth annual A Montana Wedding: The Bridal Event – Southwest Montana’s one-stop location for all wedding needs – will be held Saturday, February 15, 2020 at The Commons at Baxter and Love Lane. Doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees can 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. There will be live music and food trucks will be on site. “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. ruckustix.com/events/montana-wedding-event2020. 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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28 T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

C A P T U R I N G H I S C R E AT I O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

A L L I S O N FA N N I N G ,

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I N G R I D S VA R E P H OTO G R A P H Y

MARISSA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY

DRESS: BELLE EN BLANC BRI BOS PHOTOGRAPHY

the Wedding Party


J M G A N T P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W . J M G A N T P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

Finding what’s suitable

Don’t feel trapped in one look in your search for a suit. Megan Jacks, owner of After 5 and Weddings, said like most elements of weddings today, people who opt for a suit are finding ways to personalize their attire. Gray and navy suits remain favorite picks. Both colors offer a classic look that pairs well with other colors. If you coordinate with your partner, you can also pick a bold color that ties you two together as the day’s centerpiece. Jacks said those who don’t feel comfortable in a full suit can skip the jacket and mix and match. “We see a lot of rustic browns and tweed vests with jeans and boots for a more informal, outdoor look,” Jacks said. The accessories are where many people make room to play. Pick a pattern for your tie, floral and stripes are popular right now. Bow ties are back — did they ever really leave? Bring out your leather suspenders and shoes. Reflect your hobbies in your outfit, like fly fishing ties as boutonnieres.

Jacks said if you’ll be alongside a line of groomsmen with a similar look, stand out with a suit that’s a slightly different color than the rest. Jacks said it’s a good idea to pick the suit after the tone of the wedding is set. If couples go through the same store, consultants can help each side of the party fit into the feel of the wedding while maintaining the element of surprise. Those purchasing should start looking four-to-six months out from the wedding day. That leaves time for alterations like getting the pants hemmed and the coat tailored. “We’re seeing a big jump in men purchasing suits for their wedding, it’s never a bad idea to have a suit in the closet,” Jacks said.

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

BRANDON KEIM PHOTOGRAPHY & KINDZERSKI PHOTOGRAPHY B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y P E R S N I C K E T Y F O R M A LW E A R

Day-of grooming: • To avoid wilted flowers, don’t put boutonnieres on too early in the day • Leave room for some personality, whether that’s an undershirt or fun socks. It can make for fun photos and loosen up the groomsmen. • If it’s an outdoor wedding in the heat of summer, either wait to put that suit jacket on or skip it altogether. It’s not just uncomfortable, a sweaty wedding party can be distracting mid-ceremony.

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• You’ll look best when you’re comfortable, so don’t choose an outfit that feels like something you can’t wait to get out of. • A clean shave and recent haircut is good. But think twice before opting for a brand new look on your wedding day. Tan lines are a thing and haircuts can take time to lay well.


| 2019

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| 2019

The Registry

I N G R I D S VA R E P H OTO G R A P H Y

The registry is where you get to think beyond the wedding day — how can family and friends help set you up for the future? For those who are just making a home together, you may need the basics, like plates and silverware. Get down to the details. Make a list of what you each have and find what’s missing.

Shopping In-Person • Picking a physical store can be a fun way for you and your partner to envision how you want to fill in the gaps in your home. Call ahead to set up an appointment to register. • Once you register, print that list and make sure there aren’t duplicate requests. • Go beyond plates. Does your house have space for a garden or another fun craft? Do you spend more time camping or throwing parties? • Cover a wide range of price points to give guests options. • Keep in mind return policies.

The Online Registry • Try to pick stores that offer online ordering to make it a bit easier for your guests who have to travel. • Online stores or registries can make it easier to add or cancel gifts and see what’s already been purchased. • Websites like TheKnot.com offer free registry services.

If you already have your house in order, think about what can help build memories with your partner into the future. Skip the shops and create a honeymoon registry. TheKnot.com lets someone cover drinks on the beach or a day trip to explore your honeymoon destination. You can also ask guests to chip in on one large gift like the cruiser camper you’ve dreamed about. That adventure fund may not get you all the cash needed, but will give you a great start as you continue to save for the purchase. 34


B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

BRANDON KEIM PHOTOGRAPHY & KINDZERSKI PHOTOGRAPHY

2019 |

The Photographer Unlike vendors that deliver a product and leave, a photographer is part of your wedding day. Ideally, they’ll be there for all the moments, big or small. That might include getting ready with your closest friends, a first look, or that hug with your parents before the ceremony. You should feel comfortable with the person behind the lens. “It’s a collaboration. Half of what makes pictures great is the individuals,” said Mallory Grace Regan with Forty Watt photography. “We talk expectations beforehand so we’re all on the same page about what they want to see, what’s the most important picture of the day they want.” Grace Regan said to start by looking at photographers’ online portfolios. Ask to see a potential photographer’s shots from throughout the wedding day. You want to make sure they can get portraits and candids. She said you also need to see that they know how to work when the sun is high or setting and that they can get those dark dance floor pictures without blurs. Know your photographer’s style. Grace Regan for example loves to capture natural movement and unique lighting. She said it’s also important to talk with your photographer about what their package includes. Do they edit the photos or is that extra? How late do they stay after the ceremony?

A photographer’s advice • Grace Regan said to book early. Anywhere from 18 to six months out. Popular dates like Labor Day or busy months like July and August should have at least a year’s notice. • Note the extra important people you want photos of that day, like grandparents. • Have a photo schedule and make sure your wedding party and family members have that in hand so you don’t have to spend time searching for them. • Know the difference between a photo schedule and shot list. Grace Regan said the list can have photos you really want, like the two of you posed in a field. But make sure to leave room for the unexpected pictures that your photographer will recognize before you do. • Consider a first look. First looks can calm your nerves and be the quiet before the chaos to soak in your partner’s presence, which also makes for beautiful photos. • If you want to save the anticipation of seeing each other for the ceremony, plan another time to break away from wedding guests. • Trust your photographer. Hopefully you’ve picked someone who feels like an old friend. That will come in handy when they ask you and your partner to look into each other’s eyes or to stand in the light.

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Kaitlyn Todd with Sweet and Tarte said if you want that classic three-tier white cake, go for it. If cake has never really been your thing, don’t be afraid to look away from tradition for the dessert. “A lot of people are using their desserts as a way to work in nostalgia,” Todd said. “Maybe their mom made apple pie every summer and that’s what they really want on their wedding day. Have fun with it.” Instead of one large display cake, Todd is seeing more couples go for a dessert table with options: mini pies, cupcakes, macaroons, brownies, salted caramel rice krispie treats...the list goes on.

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If you want chocolate cookies and your partner favors that traditional element, Todd said a compromise is a smaller cake for the center of the table surrounded by a smattering of other favorites. She said just make sure people know not to pick off the dessert table before you cut the cake to avoid awkward photos. Todd said to keep in mind that having an option on the table that avoids common allergies is always a good idea. Your baker can definitely help identify what that could be.

C A P T U R I N G H I S C R E AT I O N P H O T O G R A P H Y

A L L I S O N FA N N I N G ,

| 2019

Selecting Sweets


TAY L O R B A R R E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y

T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

2019 |

W W W . T A Y L O R B A R R E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

Keep in Mind • Six to eight months out is a safe window to book a baker. Like most vendors in Bozeman, earlier is better. • Desserts that include fruits will depend on the season. • Know how long the dessert can stay out. You don’t want to risk your cake sweating in an outdoor wedding in July. • Communicate your schedule of the day to your baker and they’ll know when and how to set up. • Be flexible. Bakers will know what’s in season and what won’t work.

• Know what they’re supplying and what’s up to you. For example, will they have a cake cutting set and dessert stands? • Have a few gluten-free options available for guests. • The dessert table is a piece of art. Know whether you’ll be in charge of designing that table or whether your baker has that covered. • Various heights and stands can make the table look lush. Todd also suggested couples order extra greens and flowers to fill in space on the table. 37


| 2019

Finding your Flowers

MARISSA LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY F L O W E R S : K ATA L I N G R E E N F L O W E R S

Meara Cassidy and Travis Cox with Kokoro Flowers said the flowers often enter the planning scene after the majority of the wedding’s look is set. An early decision a couple should make is whether they’re designing their own arrangements or relying on professionals for things like bouquets or centerpieces. Kokoro Flowers can offer a mix. The local flower farmers often provide the bride’s bouquet and even design pet garlands for those with pups. They also deliver flowers in bulk in time for the wedding party or family to make their own creations.

Other’s send Cassidy and Cox their color scheme or talk with them about types of flowers they like.

“There are a lot more people looking to DIY weddings and we’ve heard a lot of fun stories of families incorporating the process of flower design into the schedule,” Cassidy said. “Just make sure you leave plenty of time.”

Cox said flexibility is important when it comes to the plants. Go to your florist with colors you love and pictures of ideas you like. But if you have your heart set on a favorite flower, remember seasons don’t pay attention to your wedding date.

She said those who opt for bulk shouldn’t forget to order greenery to fill in space between flowers.

“Availability changes year to year, we don’t always know what’s going to happen from seeds to frost,” Cox said.

Many couples want their flowers to reflect Montana’s wilderness. Cassidy said a lot more people are asking for a bright combination of colors that look like they

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could have been picked from Montana’s mountains in the spring.

If you communicate well with your florist leading up to the day, they’re going to know what will look best and match your expectations based on what’s available.


B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

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2019 |

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y

Tips and Trends • Flowers can help set the look of a wedding, but be careful not to let them take over — beautiful arrangements can transform a table without blocking conversation. • Reach out to a florist at least six months ahead of your wedding. • It’s good to get ideas online, but when you deliver those to a florists they’ll know what will likely be available the month of your wedding.

• Keep location in mind. A tropical arrangement could clash with a barn setting. • Florists will make recommendations that aren’t listed online and have back up options to avoid issues. • If it’s an outdoor wedding, don’t leave flowers out in the sun for hours before the event.

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| 2019

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| 2019

Letting the World Know

J M G A N T P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W . J M G A N T P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

You’ll need to give guests an idea of when the wedding day will be while you’re still nailing down the specifics. Save-the-dates can go out after you have a date, but not more than a year in advance. Couples with a destination wedding that guests will have to travel to make it to should give at least nine months notice to give people time to make plans.

Save-the-Dates: Save-the-dates are less formal than an invitation but give guests an idea of when to carve out some time. Here are some things to keep in mind: • Include the couple’s name, the wedding date and location. If you’re still picking a venue, a city will be enough to help people plan. • Be clear about who is invited by including names of the guests — friends with kids will appreciate knowing whether they need to find a babysitter.

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• Let guests know a formal invitation will follow. And if you have one, include a link to a wedding website. • This isn’t when people RSVP for the wedding, though you can expect a wave of calls after the save-the-dates arrive in people’s mailboxes. Electronic save-the-dates are becoming more popular as it skips the paper and stamps. Some family members aren’t internet saavy or will appreciate something tangible to put on the fridge. If you go this route, consider sending a select few those hard copies.


2019 |

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

K E L LY K I R K S E Y

T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

The Invitation: Invitations should follow the theme of your wedding and give guests an idea of what to expect. Get creative. You can always pull ideas from places like Pinterest but add your own twist. The invitation should include: • Name of the couple, time, date, ceremony and reception location. • Whether it’s black tie or a casual outdoor affair, with a general timeline of events. • Let guests know where to park or whether there’s a shuttle. Include some directions for those who may not rely on Google Maps. Those details can also go on a wedding website.

Make it as easy as possible for guests to RSVP to save you time and hassle by including a response card and inner envelope • Include a stamp on the inner envelope and have it addressed back to you. • Make sure it’s easy for guests to fill out so you can avoid having to decipher a lot of handwriting. • Find ways to make it fun and personal. If there’s dancing at the wedding, ask people to give one song pick that will get them on the dance floor.

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| 2019

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| 2019

Hair & Makeup

N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y M A K E U P : J U S T F O R Y O U S A L O N & B E A U T Y B A R | H A I R : TAT E T H E R I A U LT

Everyone has bad hair days or days when your eyeliner is a bit off — but you likely want to avoid that on your wedding day. Kirsten Dye with The Loft Spa said it’s never too early to reach out to a studio to talk about when your wedding date is coming up and what services you want. Dye said people planning their wedding with Loft begin by sending in photos of styles they like. Then, Dye matches the client with the studio’s stylist who excels in that look. She said if possible, people should visit their chosen studio for hair cuts or skin care routines to get to know the staff and see who they connect with. The hair and makeup trial should happen around two months before the wedding. Honesty will be an important part of the process. “We’re proud of our work, but we won’t take it personally if it’s not lining up with what you want,” Dye

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said. “If you don’t like it, say something because we want to make it perfect for you and that’s when the look will really shine through.” It’s fun to plan the trial appointment to line up with a night out with friends — you’re already glammed up so enjoy it. Dye added you should also take as many photos as possible to note later what you did or didn’t like. “When you look in the mirror you want to feel like a bride, but you also want to feel that when you look back at photos,” she said.


N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y HAIR: JUST FOR YOU SALON

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T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

Tips: • If you have makeup or lipstick you love or that you can trust to work well with your skin, Dye said absolutely bring that to your appointment for your stylist to use. • Avoid anything that could irritate your skin the day before the wedding, like getting a facial for the first time or using a mask you’ve never tried before. • Ask your studio whether they can work on site or if you have to go to them on the wedding day. Most places offer both options with a minimum price to travel. Places like Loft allow people to take over a bridal space with mimosas and breakfast.

• Bring your wedding day accessories to your trial appointment like hair pieces, a veil, broach or extensions. • After your trail, watch how your hair settles for the day. Talk with your stylist about what stuck that you liked and what didn’t take, they’ll know what to do. • Pull together a small kit for the wedding day, like travelsize hairspray or lipstick for touch ups. • Wash your hair the day before the wedding, not day of, to give your style a better chance of lasting throughout the day.

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There’s no bullet-point list of what you need to include in the ceremony. Just leave time to plan it. “Most people wait until the last few weeks before their wedding, then remember they need a ceremony plan,” said wedding designer Kelsey Motes-Conners. She said to know what traditional elements are important to you and your partner. Also talk about what personal twists you want to make that tie in your past and future together. Motes-Conners said she sends a list of questions to clients that start with the basics: do you prefer a friend or religious leader officiate? What traditional elements are a must and what do you prefer to skip? “It might be as simple as thinking and talking about what either personal or family traditions you have that feel important to incorporate,” she said. “You might have personal, cultural or religious traditions and any of those things make for a nice foundation to build your ceremony on.”

Tips: • Customize your ceremony. • Many couples said it helps ease nerves to pick an officiant they were already familiar with.

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• The ceremony can be as long or as short as you want — decide what’s important to include before setting a timeframe. • Have an honest talk with your partner about what you’re both comfortable saying in front of a crowd. While personal vows can be touching, neither of you want to feel like you’re in a performance. • Along those lines, couples who want an intimate ceremony or don’t feel comfortable in front of a crowd can have a small ceremony with family and celebrate with the rest of their community with a larger reception. • If you write personal vows, you can talk about an idea of how long you want them to be if you’re stressed guessing how long to write. • If you have a candle lighting ceremony and wedding outside, factor in wind. In fact, keep weather in mind for any type of ceremony. • Think about sound during your wedding. Consider whether you have enough guests that microphones will be necessary.

B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

BRANDON KEIM PHOTOGRAPHY & KINDZERSKI PHOTOGRAPHY

| 2019

Planning the Ceremony


B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

BRANDON KEIM PHOTOGRAPHY & KINDZERSKI PHOTOGRAPHY

2019 |

Build a Detailed Schedule If you’re planning the wedding without professional help, consider a day-of planner or ask a friend to be in charge for the day. While the big decisions will already be set, there’s still a lot to keep in mind, like who will grab your bouquet when the ceremony is over and who makes sure your grandparents get a ride from the ceremony site to the reception. Since your mind will be on the person you’re about to marry, make sure to get the important steps in writing. That should list what will happen, when and who is in charge of each item. Every person with a job should have a hard copy. The more details you include, the fewer questions you’ll face day of which will be a relief for you and your support team.

Don’t forget: • • • • • • • •

Marriage certificate Wedding rings Wedding party gifts Comfortable shoes Lint brush Nice hanger for wedding attire photos Iron or steamer for suits Emergency repair kit • Sewing kit with needles and thread • Tide-To-Go pens

• White Gaffers tape (for dress tears) • Safety pins • Band-Aids • Double-sided tape • Tampons • Antacid tablets • Pain relievers • Umbrella • Scissors • For touch ups • Perfume and/or cologne • Face powder • Mouthwash • Deodorant • Comb • Eye makeup remover • Have ready: • Itinerary • Vendor contact information • Vendor checks • Water • Snacks Take time to absorb the reality of agreeing to forever with your partner. Turn off your phone for the day. At the very least, hand it over to a friend because everyone you need will be there.

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| 2019

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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 P H O T O G R A P H Y


n w o D to the ia ls


Between national parks, rivers and outdoor places to play, it’s easy to pick Montana as a destination wedding. Creating the day of your dreams from a distance can be intimidating. Photographer Mallory Grace Regan said since more people are looking to places like Bozeman for weddings, it’s important to build in extra time for planning.

Motes-Conners said if possible, plan a visit to the state a few months before the wedding day to make sure you’re all on the same page and to see the details in person.

“They’ll also probably want some ‘feet on the ground’ with a planner who knows the area’s vendors,” Grace Regan said.

If you go without a planner, find well-established vendors with a variety of packages, like a venue that offers catering and bartending. Once you get some of the core pieces of your wedding like a venue and food, those professionals will know other trusted vendors.

The wedding design studio Field often coordinates destination weddings, in which case Kelsey Motes-Conners said the design team filters a couple’s options down to a region with a list of potential venues.

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As for helping guests plan, a wedding website can be key. TheKnot.com can help you list places to stay and offer tips on how to turn the trip into a vacation.

V E N U E : H YA L I T E R E S E R V O I R

A S H T O N M U L L I N S P H O T O G R A P H Y | A S H T O N M U L L I N S P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

| 2019

Destination Wedding


V E N U E C H R U N C R E E K FA R M

T R OY M E I K L | W W W. T R OY M E I K L E P H OTO. C O M

2019 |

The Price of Matrimony It’s never fun to talk money. But it’s important to decide early what your budget is. You’ll breathe easier if you’re not dealing with maxed credit cards when the party’s over. People who get married in Montana spend $15,600 on average for the ceremony and celebrations, according to TheKnot.com. But remember, that price depends on the location and your wishlist. Know what you’re willing to pass on and what’s top on the list. Maybe you opt to pay the extra for the caterer that’s a bit over budget and ask friends to help make your desserts to balance the cost. Here’s a look at the average costs of some typical wedding purchases, according to TheKnot.com: • • • • • •

Venue: $7,466 Flowers and decor: $1,440 Wedding cake: $490 Wedding gown: $1,185 Music: $782 Photographer: $2,200

To create a more personalized estimation, visit costofwedding.com with your soon-to-be spouse. You’ll run through a few pages of questions to get a budget based on where you’re getting married, how many people you plan to include and what you priority list looks like.

Guests Know early on how many people you want on your guestlist — more specifically — how many you can afford. That number will be a big factor in the price of your wedding.

Let your guests know from the beginning what you plan to cover and what will be up to them to pay for. That includes whether your bar will be open or fixed. If you’ve reserved campsites or hotel rooms as an option of places for guests to stay, make sure to list the price of those places.

Family Support It’s no longer the first expectation that a bride’s parents will cover the wedding. See where your parents are able to chip in and what’s left for the two of you to cover.

Tipping tips For starters, if you loved someone’s work, take time to give them a solid review online — remember how much you relied on those reviews when you started planning your wedding. If the caterer covered service and bartenders, tip between 20 and 25 percent on top of the total cost. That’s going to be split between servers, bartenders, cooks and the catering manager. • Waitstaff: 20 percent • Bartender: 20 percent — remember, they’re putting up with your drunk friends. • Entertainment: between 10 and 20 percent • Officiant (if they’re not a close friend): $100.

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| 2019

Getting it in Writing In Montana, you can get your marriage licenses from the Clerk of District Court. • Montana residents can obtain a marriage license and get married in any state county. Non-residents must obtain a marriage license in the county they’re getting married. • Contact your local county clerk of district court office well in advance of the wedding to find out what days and hours the clerk will be available. • Each spouse must be present for the application. • Picture ID and proof of age is required. • Montana’s marriage license fee is $53 (in cash). • The license is in effect as soon as you get it and it remains valid for up to 180 days.

A Montana marriage needs to be solemnized by someone authorized by the state. That can mean: • • • • •

Clergy from any state. A judge (or retired judge) of a court of record. A mayor, city judge or justice of the peace. A tribal judge. A friend (with the right paperwork).

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N O TA R I U S P H O T O G R A P H Y | W W W. N O TA R I U S . P H O T O G R A P H Y

In Montana, it’s actually relatively simple to get the power to officiate a wedding. They can get ordained online, however they’ll have to contact the county where the ceremony will take place and ask what documents they’ll need.

Same you, new name If you decide to take your spouse’s name after the wedding, you can start with a new Social Security card by filling out an application at the Social Security Administration’s website. It can take about 10 days for the IRS to update your information. Once that’s done, head to your Department of Motor Vehicles with your new Social Security card and driver’s license to get a new license. These two forms of identification will be helpful when you go to update your name on things like bank accounts, credit cards or your passport. Also keep in mind updating your name for your payroll department, voter registration, insurance companies, utility companies, mortgage and mailing address.


B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y & K I N D Z E R S K I P H O T O G R A P H Y | B R A N D O N K E I M P H O T O G R A P H Y. C O M

2019 |

After the “I Do” • Make sure rentals got back to vendors to avoid surprise bills later. • Order your wedding album or video. • Take down your wedding websites, like a registry. • Get your dress or suit professionally cleaned and get advice on how to store it. • Start those thank-you letters on one of your first weekends home as a married couple – it will be a relief

to get that out of the way and a good way to begin life as a couple outside of planning the wedding. • It will be easiest to write the thank-you cards either as you open gifts or right after. If that’s not possible, keep a list of who gave you something and what as you open presents. • Remember, give couples getting married down the road a hand and rate your vendors online.

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| 2019

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| 2019

Devin & Saisha

Finding Humor Through the Hard Times It was a shared sense of humor that pulled Devin and Saisha Keller together when they first met.

partner in crime, respect her feelings, listen to her and prepare her for life to the best of his ability.

That came through in their vows as Saisha promised to always “ooh and ah” when Devin flexed his muscles in the mirror while brushing his teeth and he promised to always finish her beer.

When he made that vow, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, Saisha said.

“We definitely made the crowd laugh,” Saisha said. While sharing ways to laugh first connected them, it was more serious qualities that kept the couple together. Saisha has an 8-year-old daughter and early on, saw Devin had the qualities of someone she would want to be a father to her daughter.

“I was both crying and also confused about how he was able to sneak that one past me,” she said. Then came the party which included dancing, a photobooth and plenty of dessert.

“We definitely made the crowd laugh” Saisha said.

They also worked well together through the hard times. The couple had a four-year engagement as job changes, school, the death of Saisha’s brother and raising a child made it difficult to plan a wedding.

It felt important for the couple to honor those experiences during their ceremony. They held a moment of silence for Saisha’s brother and Devin’s grandfather who also passed away. As a complete surprise for Saisha and the crowd, Devin also wrote vows for Saisha’s daughter. He promised to always be a dad she could count on, he’d always be her

Everything was Scottish and Viking themed, with Devin, who is Scottish, and all the groomsmen wearing kilts. They served a roast pig during the reception.

They also had a Corpse Bride-themed cake, based off the Tim Burton film. The cake featured black and purple flowers as well as a Corpse Bride cake topper. It was creepy, gothic, a little haunted and gaudy, she said, and the couple loved the movie. Plus, the cake went well with the other purple and sage tones throughout their wedding. At the reception, the DJ introduced the couple and the dance floor never emptied. “I think that my favorite part was the dancing at the end of the night,” Devin said. “That’s when things start to fly and people let loose.”

On the Wedding Team 64

Dress: Poppy Bride in Bozeman

Flowers: Katalin Green Flowers

Kilts: USA Kilt Rental

Photographer: Marissa Lambert Photography


2019 |

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| 2019


2019 |

Chris & Seth Taking the Stage

In Chris Coburn and Seth Hershman’s relationship, love takes center stage. A stage is also where some of the most pivotal moments of their time together took place. After asking Chris’s mom and sister for permission, Seth asked Chris to marry him on stage in front of an audience of 200. “Basically, I’m the hopeless romantic,” Seth said. The proposal took place at a Dancing With the Missoula Stars show, in which Chris was a performer. During intermission, the couple’s special song, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” by Starship, started playing. Several family members and friends walked down the aisle and each handed Chris a white rose. Seth came out last and told Chris all the reasons they loved him.

They wanted a wedding that was about them, but also other couples like them. They acknowledged at their ceremony that the wedding happened on land that was stolen from Native Americans, had special cocktails people could order that would go toward different charities and Seth’s mom, who is Salish, did a traditional tobacco ceremony. “It was really important for us to have a wedding that was intentional,” Chris said. They asked attendees to all wear black, so the wedding party and couple’s colors really stood out. Green plants lined the stage without flowers. The couple sat on a retro couch while people gave toasts. There were even a few Beyonce songs incorporated into the ceremony.

“It was really important for us to have a wedding that was intentional,” Chris said.

“And then we were engaged,” Chris said. Seth had wondered if Chris knew beforehand, as he had used the word “proposal” way more frequently in the week leading up to the event, hinting at it and showing Seth online videos of other people proposing. “Basically, I was on stage in shock,” Chris said. “It was very much a surprise.” Two years later, the couple stood on another stage, this time at the Rialto in their new home in Bozeman. What came next wasn’t a surprise for anyone.

Afterwards, a family-style American infusion dinner ensued followed by dancing. The night ended with all the remaining guests forming a circle around the couple as they danced. The DJ, a good friend, played “Always Be My Baby,” and everyone sang at the top of their lungs. After all was said and done, the two couldn’t believe everything happened so perfectly. “We just looked at each other and said, ‘Did we just have our dream wedding?’” Chris said.

On the Wedding Team Venue: Rialto Bozeman Catering: Rialto Bozeman Arch: Labellum Flowers and Urbaine Home Plants / Greenery: The Plant Lady

Photographer: Maggie Grace Photography (@maggiegracephoto) Day of Coordination: Happenings MT (@happeningsmt) Decor: Montana Party Rentals

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| 2019

Kaylene & Joshwa Mates for Life

From their first date, Joshwa Baker knew Kaylene Baker was strong and confident. The two originally planned to just hike to the saddle before Ross Peak, but instead, Kaylene wanted to hike all the way to the top. “It kind of surprised me,” he said. “But in a good way.” The two started out as friends for a few years. They met through Montana State University’s Chi Alpha Christian group, where Kaylene now works. Joshwa said he started to see how caring, peaceful and confident Kaylene was. For Kaylene, she saw that he was kind and she could be herself around him.

hadn’t proposed. “It was very traumatic for both of us,” she said. “I’m lucky to be alive.” Though it was difficult, Kaylene also felt Joshwa’s absolute love. They were going to need each other’s support through the recovery six months of inpatient rehab from Montana to Salt Lake City and another two of outpatient care. After getting through the recovery process, they knew they wanted to get married. The two decided to tie the knot at the Kleffner Ranch just outside Helena with an outdoor ceremony.

“It was very traumatic for both of us,” she said. “I’m lucky to be alive.”

They experienced some bumps in the road, including a first engagement that got called off. But Kaylene said it was Joshwa’s support through hard times that made her feel like they were committed to each other.

That commitment became even more important the day a loose rock changed everything. The couple was rock climbing when a boulder fell on Kaylene. She made it to a hospital in Billings on a life flight but still lost her left hand and part of her left leg in the accident. Kaylene was sedated for three weeks. When she woke up, she knew Joshwa had been there the whole time. In her groggy state, she checked her left hand to make sure he

As part of the ceremony, they made sure to add in personal touches. They potted a plant together and took communion, just the two of them. As they stood there, Joshwa absentmindedly gave Kaylene a kiss, which their officiant later declared void.

One of the most special pieces of the ceremony was one they didn’t know about until they learned about it later. During the ceremony, they noticed the crowd was looking up at something — which turned out to be two geese flying above them. “That’s significant,” Joshwa said. “Because geese mate for life.”

On the Wedding Team Photographer: Kelly Kirksey

Dress: After 5 and Weddings

Makeup: 406 Artistry

Rings: Eaton Turner Jewelry

Flowers: Boyce & Berry Flower Shop

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Randy & Bennett Plan your Own Adventure For Randy and Bennett Ridenour, love is about adventures. Randy said he loves that Bennett is willing to try new things, like going skiing, exploring Montana or going to breweries even though she doesn’t like beer. Even his proposal was a bit of an adventure. Randy wanted to take Bennett up to Story Mill Hill, which overlooks the city. The road was closed, though, as people were spraying for weeds. So, Randy improvised and took her to a nearby walking trail until he found the spot that felt right to propose. Their wedding day also required some bravery. The couple had their wedding outside on a clear December night at Rockin TJ Ranch with plenty of snow on the ground. That’s just how they wanted it.

indoor reception featured lots of candles, lanterns and even a penguin cake topper. Though they don’t like to dance as much, the couple knew their friends would. So they made sure there were plenty of opportunities for eating, drinking and getting down on the dance floor. Bennett decided to skip the traditional fatherdaughter dance and opted to form her own tradition and give her dad a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

“It threw everybody we invited for a loop though — people were shocked, they couldn’t believe we actually went through with it,” Bennett said.

“It threw everybody we invited for a loop though — people were shocked, they couldn’t believe we actually went through with it,” Bennett said. Bennett said her brother-in-law officiated the ceremony, which lasted about 10 minutes. The site was decorated with lights and lanterns everywhere. She said everything about the ceremony felt just right. “It was short, sweet, and we were ready to party,” she said. Keeping with the winter wonderland theme, the

“I think my favorite part was the ceremony itself, it was really sweet and simple like we are, Bennett said. “My second favorite moment was the reception afterwards — all the buildup came to just having fun, and that’s what mattered to me.”

Randy said he liked how present the day felt — all their friends and family were there, and no one had anywhere better to be. Bennet said if she had one piece of advice to give couples planning a wedding, it’s not to feel trapped in expectations of how the day should look. “I think my best piece of advice is plan the wedding you want to have and not the wedding you see on Pinterest,” she said. “We had the wedding we wanted to have.”

On the Wedding Team Venue, Food: Rockin’ TJ Ranch- Bozeman

Makeup: Just for You Salon and Beauty Bar- Jesi- Bozeman

Dress: Eskay Bridal- Bozeman

Photography: Erin Kaye Photography- Manhattan, MT

Tuxes: Eskay Bridal- Bzoeman

Videography: Keith Ailes- Friend of Groom, Bozeman

Flowers: Cottage Keep – Shelby, MT & Shelby Floral- Shelby, MT

Dessert: Luxe Spirited Sweets- Big Sky

Hair: Beauty and the Belief- Alicia and Shayla- Bozeman

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Ashley and Cara Slowing Down

Ashley Spragg fell in love with Cara Spragg because she knows how to slow down.

day, too. They took 15 minutes before their ceremony to connect without anyone else around and catch their breath.

“Cara enjoys the same things that a lot of people take for granted,” Ashley said. “She doesn’t rush through life, and I do ... And I think that’s what drew me to her, because I think I needed her in my life.”

Cara said she’d pause throughout the day to take in every moment — the smell in the air, the flowers and all the other little details.

Enjoying the small things has been important to the couple from the time they met. Some nights, that simply meant hanging out and talking until 4 a.m. They’ve been with each other through several ups and downs, including moving from Great Falls to Bozeman, going through school and coming out as gay to their families

The wedding was at The Woodlands at Cottonwood Canyon. The couple both agreed it was affirming to have all of the supportive people in their lives present. Cara’s parents decided not to come to the wedding but Ashley’s dad stepped in to walk Cara down the aisle.

“I think that’s a good thing because we both have harder jobs and can be there for each other and be understanding and compassionate,” Cara said.

Their strength as a couple means they’re also able to support each other through their daily challenges, Cara said. Cara works part time as a school counselor and part time at Haven, while Ashley is a corrections officer.

White roses and baby’s breath were scattered across the venue to give the ceremony the natural look the couple wanted. The couple did a unity sand ceremony and wrote their own vows, followed by dinner and the reception.

“I think that’s a good thing because we both have harder jobs and can be there for each other and be understanding and compassionate,” Cara said.

Cara and Ashley both took a turn dancing with Ashley’s dad. Cara said everything felt like it was in the right place as the room filled with love.

Making time to be present with each other was something the couple aimed to do on their wedding

“I didn’t even realize that my direct family wasn’t there because I felt so loved and supported,” she said.

On the Wedding Team Reception: The Woodlands At Cottonwood Canyon Venue: The Woodlands At Cottonwood Canyon

Florist: Katie Gehring

Date: August 10th, 2019

Hair & Makeup: The Loft Spa

Catering: Rendezvous Catering

Gown & Tux Rental: After 5 & Weddings

Bakery: Dare’s Cupcake Couture

Invitations: Zazzle

Photographer: Shayna Piazzola (Montana Diaries)

Officiant: Lane Clark

DJ: Joe’s DJ Service

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