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Romantic Al Fresco Montana Wedding

I had the pleasure of passing through “Big Sky Country” this past spring and it is every bit as spectacular as Tamara Gruner‘s imagery of this darling day portray it to be. An ideal setting for a dash of rustic, a sprinkle of romance and so much love—Erin and Sean said their I Do’s with personal touches sewn in every corner, from the Missoula Mayor officiant to a local microbrew bar to the handmade antler invites. See it all here in The Vault!

Rustic Venue

From The Bride…Our love story began about eight years ago. We met in college in Missoula, Montana. He was a Chicago boy, and I was a small town Montana girl. Although we crossed paths here and there, in classes and with mutual friends, it wasn’t until one night amongst friends that they realized their potential for happiness together. She remembers her first thoughts being “he is most handsome, sweetest gentleman I’ve ever met!” He called his brother later that night and told him he had met the woman he was going to marry. They’ve been together, through thick and thin ever since.

Sean loves to cook, and I love to entertain. Combine that with an affinity for fine wines, and you’ve got a recipe for a beautiful and memorable wedding! Sean and I hired a professional Chef to bring our own custom menu to life. I designed my wedding literally from the ground up, including pieces of my custom Hayley Paige gown. As well as ordering loose stems of flowers and having them arranged by family & friends. In lieu of traditional favors a donation was made to the American Breast Cancer Foundation, as my sister was fighting a strong battle against the disease. Since Missoula was a common bond for the couple, there were a lot of local elements added into the wedding – local microbrews at the bar, a family home that has been a part of Erin’s life since the day she was born and holds many cherished memories. Even the Mayor of Missoula as the officiant!

From Events By AutumnWith all the local flair, you’d never guess that Erin and Sean planned the wedding from 1,000 miles away. They reside in Denver, Colorado, and discovered destination “DIY” weddings have a laundry list of challenges! That’s when Erin decided to hire me to assist with the “day of” planning. Together, there were many, many hours on the phone, talking and texting images back and forth of what they were looking for, and what was available locally. Erin had a great eye for style, and made all the planning and design decisions, but I provided support and guidance as she waded through all the details.

Montana is known as “Big Sky” country, and it was important to Sean & Erin that there was no tent (much to the dismay of many family members and myself). But Erin insisted, “It never rains in Montana in late July! We want to celebrate under the Montana sky!” So, of course, while stepping into her wedding dress, she remembers looking out the window to see a massive storm rolling through, which brought torrential rain! (There’s a popular Montana saying “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes!”) Centerpieces began toppling over in the wind. . . All the handmade place cards, table numbers…C’est la vie! But despite these setbacks, in true Montana style, five minutes later, the weather cleared, and her amazing family and wedding staff jumped into action, drying linens, wiping tables & benches – pulling everything back together in perfect time! It turned into the most beautiful day she could ever have imagined. Every detail was perfect.

Erin’s favorite moment: During the ceremony, we were surprised when our acoustic guitar duo played the song La Vie En Rose followed by a reading by my beloved cousin from “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”. Perfection. Tears of happiness filled her eyes. After that, rings were exchanged, a kiss, the world was presented with a new man and wife, and they celebrated into the night under the big Montana sky!

Photography: Tamara Gruner Photography | Coordination: Events By Autumn | Floral Design: The Bouqs – Flowers Arranged On Site By Erin’s Grandmother Karmen Moore With Help From Local Florist Lynda Bruskotter | Cake: Bernice’s Bakery | Invitations: Bride | Jewelry: Cloth And Crown | Makeup: Bride | Hair: Stephanie Koehl | Calligraphy: Jane For Yu | Venue: Private Estate | Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Musician: Charla Bauman | Chef & Catering: Louie's Louisiana Catering | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Reception Music: DJ Greg | Rentals: Oh So Chic | Rentals: Vintage 44 | Rentals: Missoula Event Rental | Rentals: Vintage Whites Weddings | Sash: Sara Gabriel Custom Handmade (couture) Sash | Wedding Dress Skirt: Custom Hayley Paige | Wedding Dress Top: Keepsake Brand Dress Velvet Bride

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Modern + Elegant Montana Bridal Session

When you take a gorgeous couple and place them in an equally as stunning scene, the results are pretty much stop-everything-you’re-doing-and-stare worthy. And when the cute couple modeling for Danford Photography also happens to be some real life newlyweds, the love is palpable. Wearing an ethereal Leanne Marshall gown from Velvet Bride, this lucky lady posed with her new hubby with the amazing Montana views in the background – see it all this beauty this way!

From Danford Photography… My wish for this editorial was to focus on elements I always find myself drawn to: modern simplicity, gorgeous landscapes, and a true connection between two people. This Leanne Marshall Designs dress perfectly fit the vision, with its simple bodice and ethereal layers of soft silk chiffon, and was complemented by a beautiful bouquet with draping greenery. Our models, who are real life newlyweds, are so in love with each other, which made them so sweet to photograph! We loved photographing them in the gorgeous natural setting that is our home: wild, beautiful Montana.

Photography: Danford Photography | Event Styling: Danford Photography | Floral Design: Labellum | Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall | Makeup: Meghan McGough Of Elle Salon | Hair: Charlene Beaudry Of Elle Salon | Venue: Bozeman Montana | Bridal Boutique: Velvet Bride

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Romantic Rose Garden Engagement Session in Oregon

There are exactly a trillion reasons why I love Oregon and this e-sesh accurately depicts every. single. one. A city of roses that is blooming with beauty, this duo captured by the talented Maria Lamb shares an organic connection that is truly magnetic. Snapping humble moments of happiness, every moment is a paramount of pretty and you can see it all take shape in The Vault!

From Maria LambI have special connections with all of my clients, but these two really left an impression on me. Because they each have extremely busy schedules, they rarely get to see each other. Capturing their affection for one another came naturally during our time and I couldn’t get over how sweet and gentle they were!

The delicate florals and natural greenery of the surroundings of the arboretum, rose garden and park were the perfect backdrop to their tender love for each other. Their countenance was reserved and quiet, but they weren’t afraid to goof off and laugh together.I felt honored to capture this elegant couple as they prepare to enter in to a lifetime together!

Photography: Maria Lamb | Makeup: Kassandra Sommerville | Hair: Kassandra Sommerville

Quick Tip: Utilize Local Summer Seafood!

If you’re having a summer wedding anywhere close to the coast of the Pacific Northwest, then oysters are pretty much a must. These savory treats are a sure sign of both the summer seafood season, as well as a seriously special celebration! If anything, these gems of the sea are simply just one more excuse to pop open another bottle of bubbly, so enjoy accordingly!


Photography: Em the Gem