We were on a road trip through the Canadian Rockies. We had already planned the trip months before, but I knew Ross had something up his sleeves because he had slipped up about concern over his own “secret plans” after injuring his foot the week before. We’re both super adventurous and spontaneous, so it was no surprise that we arrived at a helicopter base after driving through Banff National Park all morning. We landed at the foot of a beautiful alpine lake and went on a short hike, poor Ross making the trek on a broken foot. At some point we were alone, and when Ross started recalling when we first met, I knew exactly what was going on. He said some really sweet things and got down on one knee in the snow. Afterward, we celebrated with champagne. I’ll never forget it.
The overall feel of our wedding was romantic and natural, but still stylish. After moving from Los Angeles to Montana, we wanted our wedding to reflect style and modernity, yet still, incorporate the simplicity of Montana living. This included an overall touch of class with a bit of an edge, mixed metal details like gold and brass paired with clean fabrics to provide a simple canvas that didn’t compete or clash with the natural beauty of our outdoor venue.
We wanted to involve some traditions but didn’t want a super traditional wedding. We opted out of a wedding party to keep the focus on us and encourage all of our amazing friends to simply focus on getting to Montana to help us celebrate. Once we started planning, everything came together so easily. Our day of coordinator was also a rock star. She made sure all of our logistics were on track before the big day.
Above all, we wanted everyone to have the time of their lives and experience something new. Moving from a big city to Montana changed our lives forever, and we wanted to share that magic and adventure with as many of our family and friends as possible. During the week leading up to the wedding, we went on some epic hikes and even took our group whitewater rafting the day before the wedding.
There were so many personal touches to our day. Ross grew up with the pastor who married us. Two of our good friends played music for the ceremony, and being a musician himself, Ross recorded piano instrumental versions of our favorite songs that were played during the processional. We’re both super passionate about music, so having an amazing playlist and a live band for the evening was really important. Our ceremony musicians, band, and DJ were AWESOME. We felt like we were at a music festival all night!
We wanted everything to feel romantic, natural, and highlight our love for the great outdoors. That involved a lot of greenery, neutral colors, and a pop of burgundy here and there to pay homage to huckleberries, a borderline obsession in Montana!
We used kraft paper materials and farm tables to add a rustic touch, and we also loved the idea of incorporating various ivory textures to add a vintage vibe, including our arbor macrame piece and a crochet lace tablecloth for our memorial table.
Some of my favorite reception pieces were our Luminara flameless candles. We included various sizes placed in vintage brass candlesticks. The candles’ flicker effect looks so real. And with fire season being at its peak during the summer months in Montana, we had peace of mind knowing that no open flames were burning all night long.
Instead of traditional table numbers, we wanted to do something that showed our love for Glacier National Park, so we used wildlife as inspiration for our table themes. I designed all of the table names and printed them on kraft card stock, and also designed the welcome sign and table assignment sign using fonts from our invitation suite. We also found toy animal figurines to match each table name and spray painted them gold to compliment all of the mixed metal details.
Our wedding arbor was simple but one of the most special items at the ceremony because Ross built it. We wanted something to frame the macrame piece that we bought in Canada, not too far from where we got engaged.
I had been in love with my gown designer, Grace Loves Lace, for a very long time ever since a friend introduced it to me years before I was even engaged. The gown has two layers of stretch lace and scalloped edge trim. The best part is that it was SO comfortable to wear all day and night.
My family loves to eat, so we wanted to do something fun with our favors. Since we weren’t hosting a morning-after brunch, we decided to package donuts in favor bags and hand them out for guests to take at the end of the night. My dad and brothers ultimately rallied for that project. They picked up the donuts the morning of the wedding and bagged them in the midst of all the getting-ready chaos. Such troopers.
We kept our flowers simple, mostly greenery with neutral tones and a splash of burgundy/huckleberry color here and there. Did we mention how much we love huckleberries?! We gave our florist a color palette, and she took care of the rest. One of our favorite components was eucalyptus. The scent is so calming. The small bouquets of lavender and baby’s breath were leftover from our rehearsal dinner the evening before, placed in mason jars and small glassware we sourced from thrift stores around the Flathead Valley.
Our cake was really special because we are vegetarian and vegan, and it’s difficult to find a baker in Montana who is willing to make a vegan cake. Our baker totally delivered on our little vegan chocolate cake. It was delicious!
One of the funniest moments of the day was hearing and seeing everyone’s reactions when we went into our first dance. We opted for a choreographed cha-cha instead of a slow dance, and it surprised a lot of our guests. It was such a fun moment.
The most stressful part of planning was that we could not stick to a budget if our lives depended on it! We were really naive and thought we could put everything together for cheap, but our expectations went through the roof once we started planning. We just had to roll with it.
Advice for the bride-to-be:
Don’t put pressure on yourself to go through a dramatic transformation by the big day. Just try to be the best version of you. Ross and I took care of ourselves in the months leading up to the wedding but didn’t diet or exercise. Develop a routine for all your basics – follow a skincare regimen, eat your veggies, drink tons of water, stay active every day, and get plenty of sleep.
If there are certain wedding traditions that don’t speak to you, do without them. Your wedding will be more memorable for your guests if it’s a true reflection of you and your partner’s personalities. You will likely be getting TONS of advice from family, friends, and vendors who want to help, but always go with what you and your partner truly want. There are no rules!
– Jill, the bride