locations, vendor referrals,
ideas, all the things
by the way, you picked a great area!
TIME TO PLAN THE BEST DAY EVER
first things first.
So excited for your day, as you're planning I want you to remember this always...
This is YOUR day. You don't HAVE to do anything and you CAN do anything.
Before going any further in the planning process, I need you two to have a conversation. Sit down together and dream up your dream day.
What excites you, what memories do you want to make on your wedding day, what do you want your day to feel like?
Start with answering those questions. Sometimes you'd be surprised that the answers don't fit into a norm, that what you want is something unique to the two of you and not everyone else. This day should be a true representation of the both of you, and you can make it that by first throwing out tradition, expectation, limitations, judgements and anything else that doesn't align with your dream day.
Do you have a venue / spot picked out?
If the answer to this is yes, you can pretty much skip to the vendor recommendations and other ideas below. This Location portion is geared towards micro weddings/elopements that do not have a venue.
So you don't have an exact location yet, you just know it's Bozeman area. Yay, amazing area to get married. With the airport convenience, amazing food, lots of beautiful places to go and fun things to do one can't go wrong. You'll want to start by narrowing down the location first. Montana is huge and each area has lots of smaller areas, often looking totally different from each other.
here's how I would divide the Bozeman area into 3 different areas.
this photo is from the top of Lone Peak in big sky...this was summer and it was absolutely amazing!
If you want a resort town vibe, this is a great option. Luxurious places to stay like the Montage. Great for winter time and summer activities. You do have to travel a bit outside of town 15-60 minutes away to get to gorgeous forest service areas to have a ceremony, but it can be done. Eat and drink at Lone Mountain Ranch, or do their mostly all inclusive elopement package where you can stay, eat, and get married!
about an hour or so from Bozeman, easy to get to. River, mountains, wide open spaces, the Old Saloon, Emigrant Peak. Also harder to have a ceremony with views with guests here with limited forest service. You could stay at Chico Hot Springs, Sage Lodge, both a great experience.
this would include right in town, the Bridger mountain range, and Hyalite Reservoir. Hyalite is pretty popular and for good reason. Water, trees, waterfalls, mountains. It is easy to get to and is absolutely gorgeous and it's about a 45 minute drive. The Bridger's require a little more scouting and logistics. Limited parking and rough roads can be involved. Amazing place for photos, little harder to pull off a ceremony over there but ut can be done.
the people who make your dream day happen
do your research. but I've worked with many of these vendors and i've nevr had an issue with any of them. bozeman has some of the best vendors in the state!
cake + food
the sky is the limit...for real.
I don't want you to think of your wedding as "we have to do this" or "so and so said they want"...no. From the start I want you to sit down together and dream up your dream day. If that means hiking at sunrise and saying your vows as the sun wakes up, plan for it. If that means having a having a relaxing morning drinking coffee, having a ceremony and drinks after and calling it a day, plan for it.
have a conversation
do nothing crazy
do something crazy
I love a relaxing chill wedding day. You just spending time together soaking in all the moments. BUT... if you do what to do something crazy and memorable, you can. Here's some ideas of things I think would be cool!
Bozeman hot air balloon, fishing the Madison, skiing at Bridger Bowl or Big Sky, cross country skiing, hiking, camping, horse riding...sky is the limit!
I'm pretty sure you've already got the idea that I am your permission slip. This is YOUR day, you can do whatever you want. I can help line out the logistics of timeline/travel time estimates, all that. But I'd love for you two to sit down together and dream up your dream day. No expectations, no judgements, there's no right or wrong way to get married so just go for it!
have a chill morning in town, go out to one of Bozeman's breakfast joints (or the Old Saloon in Emigrant is *chefs kiss*), get dressed together, explore the area for photos. Pack a lunch/ charcuterie board and have a picnic in the mountains. Go to a local bar for a celebratory drink.
WHERE TO EAT
Bozeman has the best food in the state, I'm confident in that. So here's some recommendations for coffee, breakfast, dinner, and drink spots for you!
look into airbnbs, vrbos, hotels in all surrounding areas. Livingston, Paradise valley, Bozeman, Big Sky.
You can find unique places like cabins or modern homes in the area!
chico hot springs - paradise valley
bodhi farms- bozeman
320 guest ranch - big sky