Bridesmaids/Decor & Details

Rustic Montana Ranch Wedding

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Country girl at my essence, today’s rustic Montana ranch wedding pulls at my heartstrings. The horses, natural beauty, delightfully light boho gown (from Etsy!), the variety of mountain berry and fruit pies, oh my it’s a Western childhood fairytale.

Nikki and Tyler took advantage of all their mountain ranch venue had to offer. Forgoing many decorations to leave the natural beauty be, they highlighted the wild scene with loads of baby’s breath, an unobtrusive and inexpensive floral choice. The rustic floral altar matches the mountain lodge with its dark wooden beams.

But it’s the couples’ thoughtfulness that really shines through, forgoing favors and decor to spend more money and time on their traveling guests (we’ve chatted about this a bit before). Treating their friends and family with an event-filled week of horseback riding, hiking and more, they made the trek to the mountains all the more worthwhile.

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Our Love Story

The first time I saw Tyler, we were having lunch with mutual friends and I was taken aback by his crystal blue eyes. Apparently, I was really staring because he thought I was going to murder him. Every day a group of us would meet up for lunch and we started staying after everyone left. We formed a really great friendship for a while and then we started dating.

Once, when Tyler and I first started dating, I snuck into Tyler’s to-do list and wrote: “Propose to Nikki.” We laughed but never mentioned it again. Two years later, in a cabin in the mountains, Tyler surprised me by setting up hundreds of cards around the room with every plane ticket, photo, movie stub and random knickknack from our time together. He had kept everything. Tyler told me the last card was outside. I opened the final card and found the task I had once given him. “Propose to Nikki.” When I turned around, he was on one knee.

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The Attire & Florals

I didn’t try on one dress. I went on Etsy, saw the dress and just knew. There was never any other dress that spoke to me the way this dress did.

In planning our wedding, I wanted to incorporate a mountain feel that was true to our style. It was important to me for the beauty of the setting to speak for itself without too much help from props and flowers. I picked simple baby’s breath to line the aisle and tables and mixed some in with lavender for my bouquets and that was pretty much it! The mountains, the river, and the fields truly spoke for themselves and needed no help from me.

The arch where we got married was the main attraction; it was covered in garland and baby’s breath. I love baby’s breath because it is inexpensive, instantly gives you a rustic feel and it fills out vases and buckets.

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Special Moments

My grandma read an Irish prayer during the ceremony and I had my sister and Tyler’s cousin do readings.

I think it’s every bride’s dream to feel special on her day. Feeling special is putting it mildly. I felt like a freakin’ queen! From the speeches, the well wishes, the love and all the fun we had, I walked away feeling so much love and appreciation for my husband, friends and family.

My wedding was so special in the fact that I got all my friends to leave their jobs and big cities for a week to come to the mountains. We did hikes, rafted, went paint-balling and horseback riding. I loved having everyone there to enjoy all the incredible activities that Montana had to offer.

The wedding day was great because 60 of us had just spent the week having fun, that the actual wedding felt like the cherry on top of a perfect trip. Because of that, it was much more laid back and I could relax and just have fun.

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The Details

I painted the mountain we were getting married on and put it on my wedding invites. My friend helped me with the layouts. They looked really special and were personal.

We also did the wine bottle guest books as said above. We laid out metallic markers and had wine bottles labeled “1 year,” “5 year,” and “10 year” that were to be opened on the respective anniversaries. All the guests signed the bottles with their well wishes. I’m looking forward to revisiting them for years to come! For place cards, I got wood and painted the top black and added their name in metallic Sharpie.

 

The Desserts

I decided to get about ten different pies. The best one was the Pecan Moonshine Pie. I liked doing this because then everyone can have their preferred pie, whether it be chocolate, berries or custard.

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Advice for Other Couples

Plan for the experience, not the photos. At first, I was stressing about all the little details that I thought would look good in photos and didn’t think about the bigger picture. When I realized I wasn’t enjoying the planning process, I simplified and focused on the guest’s and our experience.

I opted out of expensive cake and flowers and went with a premium liquor bar and more elaborate catering. I didn’t have my bridesmaids buy expensive dresses and instead had them focus on the pre-wedding activities. Everything ended up looking beautiful and I didn’t stress at all.

Also, delegate. I gave everyone jobs so, during the big day, I could just show up and have a good time.

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