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!
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 Autumn…With 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