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Please contact Rachel Schmidt, Wedding and Event Sales Manager, at 406.863.4701 or rschmidt@glacierparkinc.com Missoula Independent Page 2 2014 Married in Montana


Contents: Including your origin story . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Four weddings and advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Involving kids in the big day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Wedding timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Cover Photo by Slikati Photography Thank you to the following photographers for sharing their work in Married in Montana: Chris Autio Photography, Deschamps Photography, Cluney Photography, Cou Cou Studio, Johanna B Photography, Cable Noteboom Photography, Slikati Photography, VioletRay Photography, Cathrine L. Walters Photography, Mike Williams Photography, J Willis Photography

317 S. Orange St. Missoula, MT 59801 Phone number: 406-543-6609 Fax number: 406-543-4367 E-mail address: independent@missoulanews.com

photo courtesy of Deschamps Photography

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photo courtesy of Cathrine L. Walters Photography

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Your origin story can breathe life into your wedding ceremony

by Erika Fredrickson Every good story begins with an element of uncertainty, that quintessential air of “what will happen next?” My brother, for instance, met his future wife at an East Coast college and they dated for a couple years before parting ways. The breakup was a matter of geography: He moved back to Montana and she moved back to Tennessee. For five years they didn’t even

stay in touch—they were just distantly fond of each other. She was working in the city, he was out in the wilderness building trails. They dated other people. And then one day she decided to reboot her life and take a sixmonth, cross-country road trip to visit friends and family from coast to coast. She called my brother to tell him she’d be in town for a few days to catch up. Those two days turned into a few weeks. When she left again to continue on her road trip, a spark had ignited—we could all see it. They exchanged emails, and even when he hiked into the Bob Marshall to work on trails in the backcountry, they wrote letters that were delivered to my brother by mule. At the end of her road trip, she flew from New York to Montana. She borrowed a car, drove it to Hungry Horse and then down a long gravel road to the trailhead. From

photo courtesy of Johanna B Photography

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there, she rode a horse—with a packer as her guide—into the wild. When she and my brother met up, they slept on a bed of canvas under the stars. And that was that; they were together for good. At their wedding ceremony, their good friend and officiant told the tale again for all the guests to hear. It was a reminder of how far they’d come—literally—to get to the altar, as well as an entertaining story for the wedding guests. Not every couple has a story that involves long journeys on horseback or a dramatic hiatus. That’s okay. Whatever your origin story, it’s important because it’s yours, and for that reason it might be worth incorporating it into your ceremony. These days, more couples are looking for a way to personalize their wedding rather than sticking to a generic sermon or meditation on marriage. If you’re looking for that personal touch, the following are a few things to keep in mind.

Find your plot

photo courtesy of VioletRay Photography

Missoula Independent Page 6 2014 Married in Montana

Make a list of small and big events you and your partner have shared together that map the moment you met to the time you decided to take the plunge. They


can be simple and seemingly mundane moments, or profound and theatrical, or just plain hilarious. Remember that a good story is candid. Even fairy tales—with all their lost glass slippers, maidens in comas and dangerous dragons— travel an uneven road before ending up blissful.

Keep it short Everybody at your wedding loves you, but they don’t want to sit through a play-by-play.

Get an editor

That said, too much information isn’t a good thing. No one wants to listen to super-intimate romantic stories (no one!) and no one wants to hear about private matters that feel like gossip. Hold those details for your memoirs, please. Once you’ve made your list, strike the things you think are TMI or that don’t, for some reason, seem to fit the occasion.

To keep it short—and because you might be uncertain about what details should or shouldn’t go into your ceremony story—find a friend who’s a good writer to help you bring your tale to life. If your wedding officiant is a natural storyteller, consider writing up a cheat sheet of facts and interesting details about you and your partner and the way you met. Your officiant should be able to weave those things into his or her speech in a way that might even be a fun surprise for you and your to-be.

Adding character

The end?

No to TMI

Beyond the story of how you met, you might consider adding in a list of details about each other that make you compatible or, on the other hand, make you opposites who attract. These anecdotes or tidbits can be peppered throughout your origin story to give it even more color. People will be riveted, and you’ll be energized by the reminders of why you love each other.

Finally, make sure that you get a hard copy of your ceremony story for after your wedding. It’ll be a nice reminder in years to come of how you and your newlywed saw the story of your particular “once upon a time.” And, by the way, unlike fairy tales, the wedding isn’t the “happily ever after.” It’s just another beginning to yet another potentially good story.

photo courtesy of Johanna B Photography

When only the best will do.

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photo courtesy of Cathrine L. Walters Photography

Missoula Independent Page 8 2014 Married in Montana


Four weddings and some advice for creating your own by Erika Fredrickson

Danielle Rose and Dave Thompson How they met: Danielle and Dave grew up together in Michigan and saw each other during a “family camp” that their families put together each summer. They met up again in their early 20s at a restaurant. “The waitress came over and said ‘Are you guys on a date?’ and I said, ‘God, no!’” recalls Danielle. “And then he looked at me and I realized this was a date.” When Danielle moved to Montana to attend the Rocky Mountain School of Photography they went their separate ways, but they reconnected again during a wedding and realized they were in love.

The proposal: Danielle went on a trip to Guatemala and Belize with her brother. Dave flew down to visit and Danielle’s brother made an excuse to fly home, leaving them together. Dave took her on a romantic sailboat ride and asked her to marry him. Wedding location: The couple’s time at family camp fostered a love for nature, so they decided to get married at Many Glacier, in the northwest section of Glacier National Park. Guests and the wedding party hiked onethird of a mile and took two boat trips to get to the spot on Lake Josephine where the celebration took place. Natural décor: Wildflowers, birch branches, moss and antlers decorated the lakeside beach. The rustic pavilion where people gathered was decked with party lights and from the ceiling hung Mason jars full of sand and candles. “We wanted it to feel simple and reflect nature,” Danielle says.

photo courtesy of Cathrine L. Walters

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photo courtesy of Cathrine L. Walters Photography

Making it personal: Guests were asked to pick one of three guest books to sign and, to make it more interesting, answer one of three questions: What’s the best marriage advice you’ve received? What’s your favorite memory of us? What’s the most romantic place you’d recommend? “We wanted it to be more than just a signature and ‘best wishes,’” Danielle says.

The dessert: For tradition’s sake, Danielle and Dave got a small cake from Black Cat Bakery. Their true love for pies, however, inspired them to pick a variety— peanut butter, huckleberry, chocolate mousse—from Lula’s Cafe in Whitefish.

Barbies and had them get married and imagined this huge wedding. In the end, the goal for us was to have fun, make it memorable. People who came are still talking about their adventure in Montana. I had to drag some of them by their little toes to get there, but once they came, they were happy they did.”

Final thoughts: “I was never the girl who played with

Photography: Cathrine L. Walters Photography

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Brooke St. Sauver and Scott Ashleman The wedding attire: The stylish couple bucked tradition. Brooke wore a gray and green vintage-styled dress designed by James Coviello from Anthropologie’s wedding site, BHLDN. Her garter and headpiece—a hat with a netted veil—was made by her grandmother. Scott wore a Gorwin Brothers hat, Hugo Boss shirt and Rag and Bone vest.

Blissful lodging: The wedding took place in Bigfork, where Brooke grew up, in her parents’ backyard. They invited everyone not staying in hotels to camp on the property. The couple stayed in an Airstream owned by Brooke’s dad. Setting the table: Brooke and her mother collected dinner plates and dessert platters from antique stores like Missoula’s Antique Mall and thrift shops between Seattle, Missoula and Kalispell. Brooke ordered 50 yards of muslin and, with her grandmother, tea-stained them in

photos courtesy of Cluney Photography

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a kiddie pool and made them into antiquelooking tablecloths. Flower centerpieces from Swan River Gardens were combined with pheasant feathers. (Dahlias for the wedding came from Big Red Truck Farms in Kalispell.) The cherry on top: At each seat, a jar of Flathead cherry freezer jam made by Brooke served as a guest favor. The jars also had canvas tags with names on them to provide seating arrangement placecards. Whole hog: Scott and Brooke are “obsessed” with Mexican and Southwest food. Cuisine Machine from Kalispell created a meal of carnitas tacos and side dishes of cabbage slaw, grilled corn, sweet potato and black beans. The pork for the carnitas came from a pig raised by Brooke’s dad. The meal was served family-style so that guests didn’t have to wait in long lines to get their grub.

Drinking easy: Mason jars sporting each person’s name on a canvas tag provided the vessel for Blackfoot IPA, Bayern Dragon’s Breath, sangria, sweet tea and non-alcoholic punch. Just desserts: Brooke made all the sweets including New York-style cheesecake, carrot and cardamom cupcakes with maple butter cream frosting and a chocolate cake with huckleberry ganache and vanilla butter cream frosting. “They were pretty good,” she says, laughing. Night music: Mountain Moongrass from Butte played bluegrass for the reception. At the end of the evening, people gathered around the backyard firepit and the musicians unplugged and joined them. “It was perfect,” Brooke says. “It was so much fun to have them sit around and play their last hour around the fire while we hung out. People still talk about that.” Photography: Cluney Photography

photos courtesy of Cluney Photography

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Sarah Raz and Josh Tack How they met: The avid bicycling couple met when they both worked at Missoula’s Adventure Cycling. The Proposal: After a bike trip through Baja, Josh proposed. The summer before the wedding they quit their jobs and rode across Alaska, Canada and down the Great Divide. “We decided to do it to test our commitment,” says Sarah, laughing. “Afterward we said, ‘Okay, we’re ready to get married.’” Wedding location: The couple got married at Snowbowl, where they rented out the lodge and decked it with lanterns and lights to give it a “mountain party” feel. Some of their biking friends rode up the mountain to attend the celebration. After they said their vows, the couple ceremoniously rode off on their bikes. “It’s actually a very steep hill,” Sarah says. “I was wearing my dress—it was a short dress—so it was easy to ride in, but as we started descending I thought, ‘If I wipe out at my wedding it is not going to be good!’” They parked their bikes and walked back up to join the party.

photo courtesy of Slikati Photography

Dress made new: Sarah wore a dress from Beautiful Weddings in Missoula. The dress was originally a long one, but the shop tailored the dress to make it short and edgy. Her historical veil was flown to her from Lexington, Va. “It

actually belonged to to an Italian queen,” Sarah says. “Any bride in Lexington is allowed to wear it now, but my mom bent the rules a little when she brought it to Montana to let me wear it in my wedding.”

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Head of petals: The couple wanted a bohemian chic kind of wedding so Sarah ordered flower crowns from Missoula’s Habitat and had the bridesmaids wear Free People dresses. The groomsmen were more outdoorsy than bohemian in their REI outfits. Energizing dinner: Snowbowl’s pizza and Bayern’s Summer Honey made for a down-to-earth meal. It was a carbo-loading choice, Sarah says, for a crowd full of athletes. Music to dance to (in shades): Missoula’s Full Grown Men played Chicago blues at the reception. For wedding favors, the couple picked out neon sunglasses, which the guests donned toward the end of the evening as they danced up a storm. Final thoughts: “The night before the wedding somebody said to me, ‘Are you ready for the best day of your life?’” Sarah says. “And I thought to myself, ‘That is so old-fashioned.’ But, though I’ve had a lot of good days in my life, it really was up there at the top. It was such a fun day.” photo courtesy of Slikati Photography

Photography: Slikati Photography

Sarah Miller and Eric Gershon How they met: Sarah met Eric at a backyard barbecue in Connecticut, and borrowed a book from him. After dating they spent some time apart but emailed daily. “[We] are happy to have this essentially old-fashioned record of our courtship,” Eric says. The proposal: Eric proposed in May 2011 at The Porches Inn in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. He’d billed the weekend adventure as a celebration of Sarah’s recent completion of graduate school and proposed during a mini-picnic on a grassy hillock near the inn. Wedding location: The couple married at Weatherwood Ranch in Columbia Falls. It’s a property bordered by mountains and giant trees and the ceremony took place in the yard beside the main house. Guests sat on high-backed, weathered benches. The ceremony: “It was late July and mercifully short of too hot,” Eric says. “We offered guests ‘Grannie Gershon’s Whiskey Sour’ and a huckleberry-flavored cocktail before the service.” The couple’s fathers led a non-denominational ceremony with Jewish elements and their friends read selections from Walt Whitman, Song of Solomon and the children’s book I Like You.

photo courtesy of Cou Cou Studio

“We wrote our own vows, repeating them after our fathers,” he says. “Our mothers lit a candle in memory of departed grandparents. As a legal matter, we married ourselves, which Montana allows couples to do.” Feasting time: Scotty’s Bar of Kalispell designed the drink menu including Going to the Sun IPA and specialty cocktails like the whiskey sours. Anna McCabe of the Simple Chef Catering in Columbia Falls made local fare, which included spinach salad with strawberries

Missoula Independent Page 16 2014 Married in Montana

and goat cheese, almond lemon chicken, Mediterranean tempeh and wild rice and barley salad. For dessert? Chocolate chip pie and coconut buttermilk pie, served with fresh local berries. Music for the masses: Missoula’s Russ Nasset and the Revelators rocked the dance floor with their highenergy folk and honky-tonk. For the couple’s first dance, the band played Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is.”


Literary genius: Avid readers that they are, Eric and Sarah brought a dozen books to use as centerpieces for the tables. They wrote each guest’s name on an old-fashioned library due-date care (“Thank you, D.C. Public Library,” Eric says.) along with a title of the book indicating which table to sit at. The books they picked—including Moby Dick, On the Road and The Elements of Style—each had meaning for them. But one, a Warren Buffett biography, was particularly special: It was the one Sarah had borrowed from Eric the first time they met. Final thoughts: “For us, the most important aspect of the wedding, by far, was the extraordinary assembly of family and friends from throughout our lives,” Eric says. “We encouraged everyone to make a vacation of the trip and stay for a while before or after the wedding, or both. More than a few friends saw bears at Glacier National Park. Just about everybody said they’d like to come back. And we hope they do.” Photography: Cou Cou Studio

photos courtesy of Cou Cou Studio

Missoula Independent Page 17 2014 Married in Montana


photo courtesy of J Willis Photography

Missoula Independent Page 18 2014 Married in Montana


Incorporating children into the big day can be a touching gesture, but it isn’t for everyone by Kathleen M. Mitchell Kids at weddings is a polarizing topic. Some brides can’t imagine even walking down the aisle without an adorable flower-crowned little girl in a poufy dress and a mop-headed little boy in a teeny suit going before her. It’s a touching way to involve family members’ or friends’ children. Sometimes, the bride and groom have children who they want to incorporate into the ceremony in a meaningful way. On the other hand, many couples are wary of having kids at their big day. After all, weddings are often at upscale venues with expensive or valuable surroundings. Some brides and grooms go so far as to establish a no-children rule and request that parents leave the tykes at home with a babysitter. Although this can be alienating or frustrating for parents, it’s important to remember that the couple probably isn’t banning your children out of malice, and guests should respect the couple’s decision. Whatever your stance, you have to admit that kids are almost always unpredictable. When I got married, my husband’s niece and two nephews served as flower girl and banner bearers, respectively. All three were younger than age 4 at the time. During the rehearsal, they were overwhelmed by everything going on, and getting all three of them down the aisle with no tears on the big day seemed tenuous. But then the wedding day arrived and, despite a bit of (hilarious) pouting during the family photo sessions earlier in the day, all three kids made it down the aisle with big smiles and com-

photo courtesy of Johanna B Photography

Missoula 2915 North Reserve St 406-541-7427 www.famousdaves.com

Missoula Independent Page 19 2014 Married in Montana


pletely charmed all the guests. The great thing about kids is that usually even their mistakes tend to be more adorable—our niece forgot to drop flower petals down the aisle and, when she saw her grandparents motioning for her to do so, she upended the basket, dropping them all in one place and eliciting a round of laughter from everybody watching.

Ways to involve children: • If they are old enough to care, ask for their input in what they are wearing or doing during the ceremony. Although you can always have the last call on an angel-wingsand-cowboy-boots ensemble, getting their input will make them feel important. • Indulge their sense of fun. I’ve seen lots of wedding photos online of brides who accessorize their ring bearer’s tiny tux with sunglasses, a fake earpiece and a mini briefcase or safe to hold the rings—making the whole experience into a secret service or CIA game for them (plus, the photos are really cute). And hey, if your flower girl really, really wants to wear her cowboy boots under her pretty dress, why not let her? • If you don’t want to go the traditional flower girl/ring bearer route, consider having a children’s choir sing a song or a group of youngsters read a poem.

Keeping kids entertained: photo courtesy of J Willis Photography

Missoula Independent Page 20 2014 Married in Montana

• Ask your venue if they have or could create a designated kids’ zone, or set up a kids’ table with games and activities. Consider hir-


photo courtesy of Cable Noteboom Photography

ing an on-site babysitter for the evening to take some stress off parents. • Take time to introduce guests with kids who might not know one another (or ask a family member to do so), so their kids can play together while the adults socialize. • Create wedding-themed activities for the little ones to do, like a coloring book about your romance or wedding day. As a bonus, you’ll end up with some totally original and adorable mementos from what they create.

photo courtesy of Mike Williams Photography

• Ask your caterer to put out little glasses of milk and cookies for young guests to enjoy while your adult guests are toasting with Champagne and cake. If your dinner menu is geared toward adult tastebuds, ask if the chef can whip up a few chicken tenders or veggie bites just for the kids. • Everybody loves a photo booth, so consider renting one and putting out costume bits or props for kids of all ages to enjoy. Kathleen M. Mitchell is the features editor for Mississippi’s Jackson Free Press where this article first appeared.

Caras Park

Pavilion

The perfect setting for a wedding or reception. In the Heart of Missoula On the Clark Fork River Call the Missoula Downtown Assocation 543-4238 for reservations

photo by Greendoor Photograpy Missoula Independent Page 21 2014 Married in Montana


Bride and Groom checklist (with footnotes) for an (almost) stress-free wedding Guest lists are a tricky deal. Make your own list and then offer to look at additions from parents and siblings. Talk it through. Sometimes it’s easier to invite certain people to save any drama. But draw the line when you need to. • • • • •

Research venues Decide the style of wedding you’d prefer Make a budget Type up a tentative list of guests Research and make appointments with potential wedding planners, photographers, and bands or DJs

12 months

11 months

• • • • •

If you want to keep it simple for the rehearsal dinner, make it casual but still classy: Go for gourmet pizza.

Pick your caterer and confirm menu Solidify your guest list Pick your ceremony officiant Choose and confirm your attendants Start looking for a wedding dress and groom’s attire

10 months

Set the date and book your venue(s) Select a wedding planner Meet with caterers and set up tastings Book your band or DJ, or start putting together playlists • Line up your photographer

• Select attire for wedding party • Decide on ceremony music • Set up a wedding website

9 months • • • • • •

• • • •

8 months

Interview florists Research wedding cakes Decide on food and liquor for reception Register for gifts Research wedding rings Order or buy wedding dress

If you’re a non-traditional sort, you can find a wedding dress that defies convention but still looks extraordinary. Vintage dresses come in grays and creams and you can find a shorter dress that matches your carefree attitude.

If you plan on providing your own music consider selecting a few friends you trust to put together dance music playlists for the reception or for later in the night.

Bridal • Bridesmaids • Mothers • Tuxedos • Accessories

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Missoula Independent Page 22 2014 Married in Montana

• Finalize invitations • Gather addresses for guests • Discuss attire with groomsmen • Choose rehearsal dinner menu • Discuss honeymoon

7 months

6 months

• Choose and order invitations, table cards, thank you notes and save-the-date cards • Book hotel rooms for guests • Select and order rings • Choose groom’s attire

Just like the bride, the groom can add a dash of character to his outfit. Like the James Bond look but still want to show your down-to-earth side? Just add a pair of Converse sneakers to the mix.


photo courtesy of Chris Autio Photography

Place print order for programs Order cake Address invitations Try on wedding gown and address any adjustments needed • Plan order of ceremony events • Write or choose wedding vows

5 months

4 months • • • •

3 months

Purchase or rent groom accessories Pick ceremony readings and readers Make honeymoon reservations Send out save-the-date cards

When delegating readings, think of people who are confident in front of a crowd and will talk slowly and clearly.

• Send wedding invitations • Confirm music selections with DJ or musicians • Write newspaper announcement • Purchase wedding favors • Visit hairstylist for practice appointment

• Review and approve programs • Decide on post-wedding brunch • Make appointment with hairdresser and make-up artist • Update registry and website • Discuss bachelor and bachelorette party plans with attendants

2 months

6 weeks

• Scope out the venue to decide where the wedding party will dress • Go to final gown fitting and arrange for pick up or delivery • Purchase gifts for wedding party • Get marriage license

If you are having a Western-style wedding, belt buckles are a great wedding-party gift.

photo courtesy of Deschamps Photography

Depending on what level of wedding planning services you’ve paid for you might still need help. People who aren’t in the wedding party are usually happy to help with chores, whether it’s hauling kegs of beer or stacking chairs.

Wedding favors can be simple, like offering little bags full of candy. But you can also try for something more personal such as making a mix CD for all of your guests or handpicking secondhand trinkets or books.

Wedding vows can be daunting. If you’re writing your own, take a look at some samples online to get inspired. Most importantly, keep it simple. If you plan on being humorous, make sure you don’t go overboard.

• • • •

photo courtesy of Writing with Light Photography

4 weeks

• • • • •

Wedding days are fun, but often a blur. You might joke about how you barely saw your newlywed partner in the bustle of activity, so take some time—breakfast, coffee—to sit down together and enjoy the calm before the storm.

Finalize reception guest list Give the headcount to caterer Set up delivery of decorations Call guests who have not RSVPed Talk with family and special guests who are not attendants to delegate any leftover duties

3 weeks

• • • •

Confirm floral order Meet with attendants to discuss duties Determine seating for guests Visit makeup artist for practice session; schedule manicure, pedicure • Finalize plans with photographer

Beyond the duties of your wedding planner, there are things you’ll need from your attendants, if only a little emotional support. Let them know what your concerns are for the wedding and have them keep an eye out to make sure things go smoothly.

1 week

• Eat a good breakfast • Take some time alone with your to-be • Go to hairstyle and make-up appointments • Breathe • Get ready to have fun

wedding

• Start packing for honeymoon • Pick up wedding dress • Sit down with your tobe to discuss any loose ends or points of stress

after • Arrange for transportation of gifts • Make a list of gift givers

Shouldn’t you be feeling overwhelmed right now? If you’ve gotten everything in order and duties delegated, this week shouldn’t be too bad. If your honeymoon is just around the corner, take the time to start a list of things you’ll need for it.

Missoula Independent Page 23 2014 Married in Montana


Missoula Independent Page 24 2014 Married in Montana


Married In Montana