I’m beside myself with happiness this afternoon, and it’s all thanks to this Montana beauty captured by Jeremiah and Rachel Photography. You see, this is the kind of wedding that I love beyond measure because it’s filled with so much heart I could cry. This couples’ love story is one for the storybooks, and from the look of all the gorgeous images sitting in this gallery, their wedding is too. See it all here.
From the Bride…Kyle and I met on April 6, 2006 on a New York City sidewalk outside of a recording studio. We rode the elevator up together exchanging nervous glances and barely saying a word. I knew the moment I saw him that I loved him. I was only sixteen at the time, Kyle only eighteen, but it felt like I had known him all my life. Once we made it up to the studio that day, Kyle sang a song of his that he had written called “Girl I’d Sing For”. With his blonde hair, blue eyes and guitar, I melted.
After our chance meeting that day, I feared I would never see him again. He grew up in Montana and was a freshman in college at the time in California, and I had just graduated from high school, still living at home in Connecticut. However, a few days later I received an email from him, and I knew then and there that it was the start of something extraordinary. We talked every single day from then on. It started with emailing, then constant texting, and quickly turned into talking on the phone for hours each day. It wasn’t long before Kyle moved to NYC and asked me to be his girlfriend.
We met through music. It has been each of our passions our entire lives and the true foundation our relationship has been built upon. When we met at that recording studio we were both working on solo projects, however, we decided it made way more sense to become a duo and pursue our career in music together. After a year of dating, and eating our way through NYC, Kyle decided he wanted to move back to California so he could finish college. I had always wanted to move to the West Coast,and with lots of persuading, my parents allowed me to go. So while Kyle finished school, we pursued our music together and I continued my career as an actress. I have acted all my life and starred alongside Denis Leary on the Emmy nominated FX television series “Rescue Me” for seven years.
It was exactly a month past our six-year anniversary that Kyle asked me to be his wife. It was one of the top three best days of my life so far. The other two being the day I met him and now our wedding day.
We weren’t really one of those couples that talked about our wedding day at all. It was more of an unspoken thing. We knew it was something we both wanted, but never spoke about. Our engagement was a total shock and surprise (I would’ve thought it would be another couple of years before he asked) and Kyle picked out the ring completely on his own without us ever talking about it. We decided very quickly that we would get married in Montana where Kyle grew up. Planning our wedding proved to be the most exciting yet stressful fourteen months of our entire lives. Especially since we were planning it all from California and made a big move to Nashville just five months before our wedding day. Thankfully, we had a TON of help from our family, most of all our amazing mothers. We are blessed to have extremely close families. Our moms are literally best friends and our dads are basically the same person. They even have the same name! Kyle’s sister served as maid of honor, his brother as Best Man, my brother as a groomsmen, and Kyle’s and we were finishing up dinner at Natalie’s family’s house cousin as our Officiant. Kyle’s mom was on the ground in Montana, helping with all of the day-to-day things, and was the one who found our amazing venue. We opted to go without a wedding planner and plan everything ourselves, so our moms and I were on the phone every day discussing anything and everything having to do with our wedding. We really wanted a romantic, rustic, vintage, barn feel, using the natural beauty of Montana as our backdrop. Also with an underlining arrow theme, which was very apparent in our paper goods, since our last name is Archer. Our venue had all of those things, and we fell in love with it as soon as we pulled up.
Next, was finding our amazing photographers, florist, caterer, and the rest of our vendors. Things came together really quickly and really perfectly, and we had the best team of professionals working with us to make our wedding a dream come true. Something we knew we needed to have were the gorgeous barn wood tables that our rental company carried. To me they just screamed Montana wedding and set the scene for our outdoor dinner perfectly. At each guests seat, we had a fun mad lib on brown Kraft paper tucked into an ivory napkin with a barn wood pencil. I was lucky to have one of my incredibly talented best friends create all of our paper goods, and my mom collected hundreds of barn wood pencils over the year to place with the mad libs at dinner. We also had antique cut wine glasses and some vintage couches and furniture to tie in the vintage theme we wanted. When it came to flowers, we wanted everything to look very loose, with scattered succulents and pops of green, ivory and pink. Our florist did the most incredible job of capturing exactly what we wanted, and I am obsessed with how our flowers turned out! At the bar we had fun ivory cocktail napkins with a Walt Whitman quote written on them in gold foil. They read, “The strongest and sweetest songs yet remain to be sung.” On our first valentines day together, Kyle gave me a ring with this quote engraved in it. Saying those words was also how I ended my vows to Kyle, so needless to say this quote is very special to us. For food, we really wanted a very simple, summery meal, nothing too heavy. All of our food was organic and locally sourced, and complemented our Montana summer wedding perfectly. At dessert, we chose to do a small bride and groom cake, and then had lots of fun finger treats for guests so they could have a little bit of everything. We also had an ice cream truck!
Since music is such a huge part of our lives, we wanted to make that a theme throughout the wedding as well. When deciding what music I would walk down the aisle to, I knew that all I wanted to hear was Kyle’s voice. So Kyle recorded the song he wrote and proposed to me with and the DJ played it as my father walked me down the aisle. It was perfect. We also wrote our own vows, which made our ceremony feel so special and personal. It was so cool to hear what each of us had written and how similar certain parts were. By the end of the ceremony, my eyelashes were falling off from how hard I had been crying! When it came to our parent dances, we knew we wanted to do something extra special for them. They are our biggest fans and have supported us through everything, so we decided to surprise them with songs that we had written specifically for them. We each picked out our “pretend” dances with our parents and told them those would be the ones we’d dance to. My dad and I chose a song by Tim McGraw and Kyle and his mom chose one by Rascal Flats. I will never forget the look on my fathers face when our song came on and it was me singing the song that Kyle and I had written just for him. I’ve never seen him cry so hard in my life. When Kyle’s song that we had written for his mom came on, it was the best feeling knowing that we had pulled it off and surprised everyone. Those were truly the greatest gifts we could’ve possibly given our parents to say thank you for everything they have ever done for us.
After dinner we all head inside to the barn for dancing! The barn featured a sawdust floor, a giant tee-pee tent with a bar inside, picnic tables, string lights, and a dance floor surrounded by hay bails covered in Pendleton style blankets. One thing we really wanted to have during our reception was a photo booth for our guests. We were so lucky that our venue had the coolest one already set up inside the barn! It was an old porch backdrop, with old-fashioned costumes, props and all, which made for the coolest old time photos.
We truly could not have asked for a more perfect day to vow our love to each other and start our new life together. We were blessed with the most beautiful weather, and the most incredible family and friends surrounding us. It was our absolute dream come true!
From the Groom…After years of falling in love with Natalie, I knew that one day I would ask her to marry me. We had always talked about it like it was way off in the future, years away – she was not expecting me to pop the question, which was what convinced me that it was the perfect time. Keeping it a surprise was very important to me, so I was very careful to tell only a few people what I was planning. My sister, my brother, my parents and my best friend. It just so happened that my friend was planning to propose to his girlfriend and had been researching rings and diamonds –thankfully because I had no idea! So he took my sister and I to downtown Los Angeles where we looked at many different styles, cuts and colors and with my sister’s help we found the perfect ring for Natalie.
The timing of where and when to ask the question was the next big thing. It just so happened that Natalie and I were planning a trip to visit her family in New York at the end of June (about a month away), so I decided that’s when I’d do it. I knew that it’d mean so much to ask Natalie at her family’s house, with all of them around to celebrate with us. So then came the question of how to ask her. Natalie and I are songwriters, we met through music and it’s something that we’ve pursued together throughout our entire relationship. It just felt right for me to write her a song, so I started working on something that would tell our story and show her how much she means to me. It took me a few weeks of tweaking and finally I had it ready.
About a week before our trip, I was driving to pick up the ring and finally got the courage to make a phone call to her father. That was one of the most nerve-racking phone calls of my life! As soon as he picked up everything kind of hit me, and I just started crying. He said “Kyle, take a breath”…so I pulled off the road, gathered myself and asked him for his blessing. He said “of course” and was very excited when I let him know my plan to ask her at their house. I asked him if he would like me to call Joann (Nat’s mom), but he thought it would be so exciting for us to keep it a secret, so that’s what we did.
It was Friday, June 22nd in Connecticut when her father asked us to play some new songs. I ran upstairs, grabbed the acoustic guitar, tucked the lyrics to Natalie’s song in my front pocket, and the ring in my back pocket. After we played a few favorites for her family, I pulled out the worn and torn lyric sheet from my pocket and told Natalie I had finished a song we’d been working on. As I started to play, the words really hit me and I could barely finish the first verse…as I went on, I looked up at her family and they were crying – but everyone (except Jimmy, Nat’s dad) thought it was just a sweet song and how cute that I was singing it for them. As I came towards the last third of the song, I stood up, put the guitar on the couch and got down on my knee in front of her and her family. I squeaked out “Natalie I want to make music with you for the rest of my life, will you marry me?”…the expression on her face was the best thing in the world! She immediately started balling and screaming “Are you serious?!!”… “YES!!”.
The surprise, excitement, and pure happiness is one of those few moments that will stay with us for as long as we live. With help from friends and family, I had pulled it off. I was now engaged to the most beautiful girl in the world! That night was a night we’ll never forget.
Photography: Jeremiah and Rachel Photography | Videographer: Amanda Madeline Studios | Florist: Cara Lard Finch of Mum's Flowers | Caterer: Simple Chef Catering | DJ: Music on the Move | Groom's Suit: Ted Baker | Wedding Venue: Weatherwood | Bride’s Dress: Tatyana Merenyuck | Day of Coordinator: Kelly with Simple Chef Catering | Ice Cream: Sweet Peaks | Paper Goods: Sofia Draco with Little Yellow House | Rentals: The Party Store | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother | Vintage Rentals: Vintage Whites Weddings