Mountain weddings are always synonymous with simplicity, as outlandish as that may seem. Couples like Lauren and Ethan never strive to detract from their surroundings and who could blame them? When you have panoramic views of majestic snow-capped peaks, keeping your wedding style subtle and complementary is key. Their fall mountain wedding with pretty pastels checked all of the boxes for decor and vibe as seen from Honeybee Weddings‘ pristine photos. White Raven in Montana is a striking location, so the pair chose a delightful sage green and dark blue shades to add some depth and a slight pop of color to their neutral outdoor space.
Naturally, the floral choices echoed the wildness of the region, so Earth Within Flowers went to work crafting pieces that blended well with the motif of the day. An even bigger plus was that if desired, each creation could be dried and saved as a tender memento. The personal touches and endearing bright smiles throughout Lauren and Ethan's day never run out.
How did you meet?
Technically we “met” during our last year together at the University of Montana where we were both taking classes through the geography department. However, Ethan for some strange reason thought Lauren was a foreign exchange student from Germany and assumed she didn't speak English so he never had the courage to go talk to her, even though he thought she was very cute. Fast forward to the very tail end of the school year in 2015. Ethan was in the midst of playing music all over town with his local band. Ethan distinctly recalls Lauren making eyes at him after a show at a music venue and Lauren distinctly recalls telling her friends that she purposefully made eyes at Ethan after the show. The next day at another show at a local brewpub, Ethan noticed Lauren with some mutual friends at a table with a cheeseburger in one hand and a beer in the other. Ethan was in love. He walked over with plenty of liquid courage and a cheesy (no pun intended) pick-up line on his mind. Needless to say, four years later Ethan proposed and the rest is history.
What is your proposal story?
Ethan and I had planned on taking a day trip to soak at a local hot spring. It was late October and had been raining for days on end so we figured it would be a perfect activity to get us out of town. The night before, I got Ethan to confess that he had booked us a room to stay for the night at the hot springs. Flash forward to the next day, it was a beautiful, sunny day and perfect to go on a hike before we could check in to hot springs. We decided to make a stop at a nature reserve that you can drive through. We were almost to the top of the loop and decided to stop to walk out to a vista point. I got out of the car first and slowly hiked along, enjoying the day while Ethan sped ahead of me. When we made it to the end of the trail, I was looking around enjoying the views when I looked down and Ethan as on his knee! I can’t remember much of what he said because I was too excited and apparently kept repeating, “Are you serious??!”. I finally said yes and jumped into his arms.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important part to us while planning was keeping in mind the feel of the day, not necessarily how everything looked. We knew that the memories of the day would be how we felt and how much fun our guests had, not what the centerpieces looked like or our decor. Instead, we knew people would remember how heartfelt the ceremony was, or how great the food and the dancing was. With this in mind, we wanted to make sure we had food that everyone enjoyed. We kept our food simple and chose things that both we liked and we knew most people would like. That left us with finger foods like sliders and pizza. We wanted to work with local food places that we loved. Our caterer, Bravo! provided appetizers, an incredible salad buffet and an array of tasty sliders. We had one of our favorite food carts, Clove Cart pizza, provide the pizza. They even rolled up with their pizza oven which is in the shape of a clove! Though simple, we loved every part of our meal.
We wanted to have as many personal touches as possible. For alcohol, we decided to do only beer and wine instead of hard liquor. Our brother in law is a talented home brewer so he brewed all of the beer for our wedding. We came up with all of the names for the different beers, which added a fun personal touch. The mother of the bride made candle holders out of wood from our family's cabin. All of these personal touches were more important to us than splurging on things that didn't have any personal meaning to us.
We decided to skip out on buying a bunch of favors for guests to take home. Instead, our venue had an outdoor fire pit. The father of the bride loves a good cigar, so we put him in charge of purchasing some cigars that people could enjoy around the fire pit during our reception. We purchased a number of matchboxes with our wedding date on them that people could take home as a small party favor. This was a fun way to not splurge on a take-home item for guests and include the father of the bride and allow people to enjoy something extra at the reception.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Since our wedding was on a Friday, we had the luxury of being able to check in to our venue the day before, which allowed us to set up everything the day before so there was very little to do the day of. This allowed us time before the ceremony to hang out with our families and enjoy time with our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Having this time to relax with your best friends and family made the rest of the day that much more enjoyable.
We were married by one of our best friends who we both knew before we knew each other. For our ceremony, we gave him a general idea of what we wanted to be said and a format but left the rest up to him so it was a surprise to us. It ended up being very heartfelt and personal, we loved every moment of our ceremony.
Our reception was a dance party, just like we wanted it to be. Everyone got out on the dance floor and enjoyed themselves. We got married on Friday the 13th under a full Harvest Moon. One of the bride's family traditions is to shake your wallet at the full moon for good luck. During one moment of the evening, we stopped the music and had everyone get out their wallets and shake to the moon.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Don't sweat the small things and always keep in mind what the feeling of the day is and what people will remember after your day. I can promise you, from attending many weddings, it isn't what the centerpieces were or what the favors were, it was how good the food was and how much fun you had. Keep that as a reminder in the back of your head when you are making decisions about things. Also, I don't think any wedding day can be complete without some sort of mix up, so remember that they will happen and everything will still turn out okay.
The below wedding pros made this amazing event happen. See more of their work by visiting their website.