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Your Wedding Planner ravalli republic 2010


Special Occasion Group Rates Out of Town Guest Rates Complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast Town House Inn of Hamilton 1113 North First Street Hamilton, MT 59840 1-800-442-4667 (US & CAN) 406-363-6600 www.townhouseinnhamilton.com


Your Wedding Planner Publisher: Kristen Bounds Project Sales: Kathy Kelleher, Cheryl Tenold & Gina Wilson Production & Design: Dara Saltzman & Jodi Wright Cover Photograph: Jamie Tipton, Open Heart Designs Photos above top, l to r: A Street Photography, A Street Photography, Open Heart Designs, Sepp Janotta; bottom, l to r: B2 Photography, B2 Photography, B2 Photography, Open Heart Designs Your Wedding Planner 2010 is a publication of the Ravalli Republic, a division of Lee Enterprises. Copyright 2010 by the Ravalli Republic.

To be included in next year’s publication, call the Ravalli Republic at 363-3300

Ravalli Republic 2010

In This Issue Picking a Place

4

The Perfect Gift

10

Going Greener

14

No Music? No Way. Flower Trends

20

Budget Bride

24

18

Gifts for Perfect Attendants Wedding Budget Worksheet

Your Wedding Planner

26 29

• January, 2010 • Page 3


Picking a Place

STACEY LISHOK For the Ravalli Republic

Page 4 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo B2 Photography


W

ith the backdrop of the Bitterroot or Sapphire Mountains, the valley offers a plethora of wedding sites and venues for a couples important day. Whether sharing the beauty of Montana with out-of-state family and friends or returning home to the Last Best Place, weddings in Big Sky Country have a unique style all their own. From the classical Daly Mansion to the newer Springs at St. Mary’s Peak just outside of Stevensville, a bride and groom have an array of options from which to choose. “What I see a lot around the valley are people wanting outdoor weddings because of the scenery,” said Debbie Gray, wedding planner and event coordinator for Hamilton Party Rentals. “You can go from formal to very casual barn style and still be elegant.” With such beautiful scenery, outdoor weddings are prevalent but couples should keep Montana’s weather in mind. photo A Street Photography

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 5


Your YourWedding WeddingPlanner Planner• •January, January,2010 2010

Page Page 614• •

photo A Street Photography


photo Sepp Janotta

“In Montana you always want to have a plan B if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, in case there is rain,” said Pam Suarez, owner of Flower Happy in Hamilton. Suarez, who is involved in weddings year round, said the three most popular venues are the Teller Wildlife Refuge, the Bitterroot River Inn and the Daly Mansion. “It really depends on the size of the wedding,” Suarez said. Other options in the valley include Lost Horse Creek Lodge, Wildlife Adventures in Victor and St. Joseph Ranch outside of Darby. There’s even the option of heading up one of the many drainages, reserving some camping spots and performing the ceremony. Head into the West Fork south of Darby to Alta campgrounds or up Bass Creek Canyon between Stevensville and Florence to the Charles Waters Campground and spend the big day in the Montana wilderness. Though some campgrounds are first come first serve, others can be researched and reserved at www. recreation.gov. Before reserving, find out how many people the site can accommodate, amenities such as restrooms, fire rings, horseshoe pits, group shelters and more. For larger groups at any campground, cer-

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Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 7


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tain permits are required. “Anytime you have a group over 75 you have to get a special use permit,” said Erica Strayer, developed recreation manager at the Darby Ranger District. “Planning ahead is essential.” Contact the local Bitterroot National ranger districts of the campsite where the ceremony will take place. Some sites such as Lake Como offer facilities like Woods Cabin, but must be reserved in advance. Strayer said future plans for Como include a larger group structure. “There’s a demand at Lake Como for a facility to accommodate a larger group,” Strayer said. “We’re thinking about building a pavilion.” Strayer also said plans were in the works for a picnic shelter on the Sula Ranger District up the East Fork. When planning for an outdoor wedding at these sites, tell guests not to forget their cameras, hiking boots, fishing poles, canoes or mountain bikes and tents if they would like to stay and take advantage of what the location has to offer. Acoustic bluegrass music or string quartets can add the perfect soundtrack to the outdoor scenery and floral decorations or twinkling white lights can help add a classical touch to the natural setting too. Other outdoor venues include state parks. Painted Rocks Reservoir, only 17 miles from Hamilton provides a unique outlook of the Bitterroot Mountains. State park sites should also be researched as couples may need special permits for the big day. From campgrounds in the Bitterroot National Forest to state parks, these outdoor venues are places couples can easily return to over the years to relive their special day. Whatever the location, a Western wedding in the Bitterroot Valley will leave guests who have never been here in awe and reignite a couples’ love for Montana.

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Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo Sepp Janotta


photo B2 Photography

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 9 7


photo B2 Photography

photo Aspen Cove

The Perfect Gift

STACEY LISHOK For the Ravalli Republic

F

photo Open Heart Designs

Page 10 •

rom china to glassware and towels to sheets, gifts for newlyweds usually center on building a home together or following a registry. However, the Bitterroot Valley houses a number of unique items for those looking to wrap up something a bit different or not included on the couples’ list. “Food is probably the best gift you can give,” said Gena Eales of downtown Hamilton’s Provisions Fine Foods and Wines. “Food, along with wine and things that are staples like olive oils and salts.” Eales offers different sizes of baskets wedding patrons can fill with a variety of wines, champagnes, food and more. “We wrap them, we put bows on them,” Eales said. “It’s great for people that maybe this is their second marriage and they already have house stuff.”

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo Sepp Janotta


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Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

Hidden Legend Winery in Victor specializes in honey meads and wines and can provide custom labels on bottles with pictures of the couple and their story. “What we find interesting is that every culture that made a honey wine attached significance to the first moon cycle after the wedding and gave it to the bride and groom,� said co-owner Ken Schultz. “That’s where the word honeymoon comes from, was giving mead to the wedding couple for one lunar month.� Though most custom labeled bottles are from the bride and groom to their wedding parties or guest, Schultz said they have been used as gifts to the bride and groom, much like in the traditional sense. “That’s history,� Schultz said. Other local Bitterroot gift ideas include custom made items. Aspen Cove Creations can fashion numerous items out of wood which would make ideal wedding presents. “Any of the woodworking we do custom from picture frames and bread boxes to catch all platters and towel racks,� owner Jeff Skelton said. “Anything you imagine that’s made from wood.� Gift-givers can also get the couples’ names or wedding date engraved on the custom piece of work. “We have a gentleman here that does engraving for us so we can accommodate that,� Skelton said. For the couple that likes to get outdoors, renting a Forest Service cabin is affordable and thoughtful. There are a number of options in the Bitterroot National Forest with rates at $30. To reserve a cabin or check availability, visit www.recreation.gov. When thinking of gifts to give, make sure to read the invitations or do some research. Some couples request monetary donations toward a honeymoon in lieu of gifts. “People can give gifts toward the purchase of the honeymoon like a dollar amount or they can purchase and add a specific amenity to the honeymoon like a cruise,� said DeeDee McGowan, owner of Big Sky Travel in Stevensville. “The bride and groom will buy the honeymoon and right before they leave, we send them the money that has been gifted to them and if there’s tours or cruises that have been gifted, they take advantage of that on their honeymoon.� Big Sky Travel has offered honeymoon registries for the past 16 years they have been in business but have more recently added the option to their website. “It makes the honeymoons more affordable and it gives the guests another alternative,� said DeeDee McGowan, owner of Big Sky Travel in Stevensville. “It’s easy, you don’t have to go shopping and you can just send in a cash gift.� Though registries are a great tool for getting a great gift for the bride and groom as they start a new life together, don’t be afraid to think outside the box or list and take advantage of other opportunities the Bitterroot Valley or its merchants offer.


Going Greener Page 14 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

STACEY LISHOK For the Ravalli Republic

photo B2 Photography


S

omething old, something new, something borrowed, something … green? More and more couples are taking into consideration the environment on their big day and there are a number of ways to help make the wedding green starting with invitations to the ceremony and reception. One of the biggest contributors to an eco-friendly wedding is staying local, from the venue to food. Minimizing on the amount of travel for guests or using local flowers or organic, locally-grown food are environmentally conscious ideas to incorporate into the wedding. “There is an increase [in interest],” said Flower Happy owner Pam Suarez, of eco-friendly weddings. “When I first started, it was nonexistent. Nobody asked for it ever.” Suarez has been in the business for 15 years and has owned her own company for nine. Flower Happy in Hamilton does offer organic bouquets with organic floral as an option though not many brides have taken advantage of it. “I do offer those and my suppliers do offer organically farmed floral,” Suarez said. “It’s not very common. It is a little bit higher priced.” Being eco-friendly for the big day is not just about flowers and food. From engagement announcements and save-the-date cards to invitations, ceremony programs, place cards and thank you cards, a wedding can generate a massive amount of paper. Using 100 percent recycled or tree-free paper for all the printed endeavors can help cut down the carbon footprint. Do some research carefully to find out if store-bought invitations are actually made from recycled paper. Or, as the Web-site www.greatgreenweddings.com suggests, cut out paper all together by updating everyone electronically with a personal wedding Web site from services like Wedding Window or The Knot.

photo B2 Photography

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 15


At mywedding.com, couples can sign up for a free account for their own personalized webpage with introductions of wedding party members, photos and registry information. Through a personal wedding blog, guests can read up-to-date information or help weigh in on lastminute decisions. Brides and grooms can import e-mail addresses to send out engagement announcements, save-the-date information and more and allow guests to RSVP from the Web site to further cut out the cost and carbon footprints from stamped, mailed RSVP cards. Eco-friendly party favors can help keep the wedding green and remind guests to keep the environment in mind. Great Green Weddings suggests a number of green ideas including gifting a tree to the Arbor Day Foundation in the guests’ name or sending seeds home with wedding patrons to plant in memory of the wedding day. “A lot of people do want to give little potted plants and seeds as favors,” Suarez said. For the guests with a sweet-tooth, keep in mind chocolate options include organic or fair trade. Prior to the wedding and party favors for the guests, the bride and groom can register for donations to local or national charities, foundations or eco-friendly services of their choice instead of household items. Or, when registering, keep an eye out for products that are environmentally friendly. From pre-wedding planning through the reception, there are a number of ways to incorporate environmental conscious aspects into the big day. For more eco-friendly ideas, visit www.greatgreenweddings.com.

Page 16 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo B2 Photography


photo Sepp Janotta

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 17


No Music? No Way.

by TRESA ERICKSON

W

hether just a CD or a live band, most couples choose to incorporate music into their wedding ceremony and reception. A wedding without music would seem strange, wouldn’t it? Music may be recorded or live. Some couples hire a DJ to play recorded music, while others choose to have CDs played over a stereo system at the venue. Some couples hire a band or orchestra, while others hire a singer or guitarist to perform acoustically. For many couples, acoustic music adds a unique element to their wedding. If this is the route you choose, here are some tips for hiring a musician. You should start by selecting the songs you Page 18 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo Open Heart Designs


want to have played at your wedding. This will give you some idea as to the genre, which, in turn, will give you some idea as to the type of musician to hire. If much of what you select is rock, you probably don’t want to hire a harpist or flutist, as the music won’t suit the instruments. A guitarist or pianist, on the other hand, might work well. Once you have an idea of what type of musician you need for the music you want played, you can start looking for one. Ask family and friends for recommendations. Check with music teachers and local colleges. Look at the listings in the phone book and online. Set up phone interviews with each of the candidates on your list and find out if they are interested and available the times you need them. Ask about fees and requirements. The answers to these questions should help you narrow your choices considerably.

photo Open Heart Designs

Once you have a few candidates in mind, set up face-to-face interviews with them. Find out all of the details and ask for a sample of their work. Go over the song list with them and make sure they can play the selections you want them to. Arrange to go to one of their performances or set up a time when they can give you a quick audition. This will enable you to see them perform. When you are ready to hire a musician, work up a contract. Do not make a verbal agreement. Get the agreement in writing with all of the terms listed. This will ensure you get what you pay for. Hiring a musician to play acoustically at your wedding is no different than hiring any other professional. You need to do your homework and get the right person for the job.

photo B2 Photography

Your Wedding Planner

photo B2 Photography

• January, 2010 • Page 19


Flower Trends by TRESA ERICKSON

Page 20 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

T

astes tend to change considerably over the years, and nowhere is this more apparent than in wedding planning. Trends come and go, and what was once fashionable is no longer.


Take flowers, for instance. Many brides today are opting for fewer, but more daring floral designs in their weddings. When it comes to wedding flowers, brides have a number of choices. Roses remain popular, as do gerbera daisies and tulips. Tropical flowers are also hot. One of the biggest changes in wedding floral design is color. Lighter, more muted shades are now being replaced with brighter, bolder hues. Brides today are not afraid of mixing reds and yellows, oranges and purples, and greens and blues. Along with stronger colors, many wedding floral designs feature herbs, fruits, vegetables and other striking pieces. These help create interest and add dimension. To create even more drama and interest, many brides are varying the contents of their centerpieces. Gone are the identical baskets of flowers on each table. In their place are various kinds of flowers in various sized containers. You might find a large wicker basket of tulips on one table and a slender crystal vase of lilies on another.

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Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 21


As for the bouquets, brides are going for a simpler, sleeker look, with many choosing hand-tied or posy bouquets. Small, compact, tasteful bouquets with exquisite flowers and gorgeous accents are ideal. Flowers may be embellished with beads, crystals, faux jewels, feathers or pearls. These may be glued inside petals, strung on wires over petals, threaded onto thin strands of glass within petals or left to dangle. Ribbon has also made a comeback, but instead of being used in bows, it may be wrapped around the flower stems. For brides that choose not to wear a veil, flowers may be the answer. They may use flowers from their bouquet in their hair, attaching them with pins or securing them to barrettes or a headband. These days, brides are being more daring with the flowers for their wedding. Bold is in!

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Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo A Street Photography photos following page top all A Street Photography; bottom row all B2 Photography


Page 15 23 Your Wedding Planner •• January, January, 2010 2010 •• Page


Budget Bride

STACEY LISHOK For the Ravalli Republic

A

photo Open Heart Designs

Page 24 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

ccording to The Wedding Report, the average American wedding spent $21,814 on a single wedding in 2008. In Montana, was $18,324 in the same year. Though some brides have had their weddings planned for long before they were engaged, there are ways to make the day a dream come true for a reasonable price. “You can do a lot economically,” said Debbie Gray, wedding planner and event coordinator for Hamilton Party Rentals. “Start with a budget, try to stick to it, then get creative.” There are a number of available free wedding budget calculators and worksheets online which can be printed out and followed as well as tips to help brides and grooms stay within their budget. “They’re all different,” Gray said of the couples she has worked with in her eight years as a wedding consultant. “Very different budgets, from very expensive to very economical.” Two main expenses, Gray said, that can help keep cost down is location and food. “Wherever you have it and what you serve for food,” Gray said. “Have the wedding on your property and buffet food is less expensive than a sit-down dinner.” photo A Street Photography


When catering a wedding buffet style, chef Michael Campbell at Little Blue Joint offers dishes such as carved beef, salmon, turkey or ham. “It’s easier,” Campbell said of buffet style food though adds it’s not always cheaper food cost wise. “It depends on the product. It’s probably even if you chose salmon but preparation and presentation is what adds extra cost.” Campbell and Little Blue Joint have catered a variety of weddings around the south end of the valley taking catering bookings from months to sometimes days, in advance. “I’ve pulled things off in two days,” Campbell said. “But four to five months easy.” Campbell said he enjoys catering weddings and breaking up the monotony of a normal restaurant. “It lets you show your artistic flair,” the chef said. “It shows people your food that haven’t seen it and it’s totally beautiful.” If cutting catering costs is more in line with the big day budget, do-it-yourself buffet items can include hot buffet items such as meatballs over rice to cold buffet items like cold sliced roast beef or potato salad. For the rehearsal dinner, keep the option of a potluck open. Inviting both sides of the bride and groom and the bridal party to come with their favorite dish not only provides a more relaxed atmosphere but it is a great way for people to get to know each other before the ceremony and pass on great recipes to the newlyweds. The help of family, friends and do-it-yourself projects can cut major costs for the bride and groom. “It depends on how much work you can put into it,” Gray said. “A lot of brides and their mothers want to do a lot.” A recent client of Gray’s arranged her own floral arrangements. “Using natural things you can find in your yard is inexpensive plus green,” Gray said. Prioritizing is key. Couples should keep in mind where they want to spend their money and what they can downsize without compromising what is important to them. Theknot.com, a popular wedding Web-site, suggests a number of ways to cut corners and costs on the budget from big money-saving moves like downsizing the guest list or getting married in the off season or skipping the Saturday wedding to smaller day-of expenses. “Have bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths,” the Web site suggests. “Opt for a smaller band … Ask a photographer if they have an associate shooter who will do your wedding for less.” Planning and sticking to a budget, comparing options and prioritizing are important aspects to keep in mind when making your dream wedding come true, without breaking the bank.

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 25


photo B2 Photography

Gifts for Perfect Attendants by TRESA ERICKSON

Page 26 •

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

photo B2 Photography


photo B2 Photography

Y

ou’re up to your elbows in wedding planning when you suddenly realize you haven’t shopped for gifts for your attendants yet. Your wedding is just weeks away, and your attendants have done so much for you already. You want to get them a great gift that they will cherish for years to come. When shopping for gifts for your attendants, you can go one of three ways. You can get everyone the same gift, you can get everyone a different gift, or you can select a theme and buy gifts based on that. For the guys, for example, you might go with a sports theme and buy them items with their favorite team logo on it. You might buy the businessman a pen and the athlete a hat. Before you go shopping, you should think about the gifts you want to give. Do you want to buy everyone the same gift, or do you want to look for individual gifts? Do you want to buy everyone something they can use at the wedding? Do you want to buy material gifts, or do you want to look for event gifts, like tickets to a concert or a game? Jewelry is a common gift, especially for the ladies. If possible, you should look for versatile pieces your attendants can wear at your wedding and at other events. To make the gifts more personal, look for pieces with birthstones or have them engraved. Goody bags are another option. You may fill these with a wide range of products from bath salts and bubble bath for the ladies to sports gear for the guys. If everyone likes to hang out as a group, tickets to some event might be ideal. You might arrange to go to a concert, game, play or some other event. The options are endless, and if you think there might be schedule conflicts, you can always purchase an event ticket for each individual. If you are on a tight budget, you might make the gifts. You will find numerous ideas online, and not all of them require you to be crafty or handy. You could make a CD for attendants of their favorite tunes or fill a basket with their favorite foods. It doesn’t matter what you give your attendants. As long as you put some thought into it, they will be delighted with whatever you give them.

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photo B2 Photography

photo Open Heart Designs

Page 24 28 •• Page

Your Wedding Wedding Planner Planner •• January, January, 2010 2010 Your

photo A Street Photography


Wedding Budget Expenses Worksheet

My Total Budget: $

Ceremony

3% of overall budget

$

Location fee, officiant fee, marriage license, musician’s fees, ring pillows

Reception

48% of overall budget

$

Reception Site, Food, Drinks, Rentals, Cake, Favors

Attire

10% of overall budget

Rings

3% of overall budget

$

Dress, Headpiece/veil, undergarments and hosiery, shoes, accessories, jewelry, hair and makeup, Groom’s Tuxedo or Suit, shoes, bow tie, cuff links, studs, suspenders

$

His and her rings, engraving

Flowers

8% of overall budget

$

Ceremony, bride’s bouquet, maid-of-honor and bridesmaid bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, centerpieces, flower-girl basket

Music

8% of overall budget

$

Ceremony Musicians, Band and/or DJ, cocktail hour musicians, sound system rental

Photography

12% of overall budget

$

Photographer and Videographer’s fees, albums, additional prints, disposable cameras for candids

Transportation

2% of overall budget

$

Transportation for wedding party, guest shuttle and/or parking attendants

Stationery

3% of overall budget

$

Invitations, response cards, thank you notes, postage, calligraphy, guest book

Gifts

3% of overall budget

Bridesmaid and groomsmen, parents, welcome baskets for out-of-town guests.

$

Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010 • Page 29


photo Sepp Janotta

Advertisier Index

A Street Photography............................................. 21 B2 Photography...................................................... 19 Big Sky Travel Mangement..................................... 30 Bitterroot River Inn................................................. 29 Bitterroot Banquet and Ballroom........................... 15 Bitterroot Brewing.................................................. 29 Bitterroot Cabins.................................................... 16 Bradley O’s ............................................................ 21 Charbonneau’s Chocolates..................................... 10 Charlotte’s Boutique............................................... 25 Eli K. Johnson DDS................................................. 17 Hamilton Party Rental............................................. 31 Hilton Garden Inn................................................... 13 Little Blue Joint....................................................... 27 Montana Island Lodge............................................ 27 The Montana Photobooth Company....................... 7 Old Coffee Mill......................................................... 9 Open Heart Design................................................ 16 Partyware Plus........................................................ 10 Riddles Jewelry....................................................... 11 Robbins Hallmark................................................... 32 Second Street Sushi................................................ 25 Sepp Janotta Photography...................................... 7 Simply Elegant.......................................................... 9 Townhouse Inn......................................................... 2 Trapper Peak Weddings & Lodge..................12 & 24 Western Montana Clinic; Lolo................................ 24 Western Montana Clinic; Florence......................... 12 Your Day................................................................. 30

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Your Wedding Planner

• January, 2010

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