Well, folks, this is it… the last photo recap of our wedding. Next, I’ll share with you our budget breakdown, and then it’s on to our Zihuatanejo honeymoon. After that, who knows!
My first detail recap showed you the people and accessories that gave our celebration special warmth and feeling.
Today’s post focuses on some of the details that made our wedding unique: DIY projects, decorations, food and beverage, transportation, et cetera. I’ve picked lots of colorful photos to share each detail with you and, wherever possible, linked you to my past posts with more information or other external resources. Enjoy!
To escort the wedding party and guests to and from our destination, we hired school buses. They were the only type of shuttle big enough and burly enough to brave the dirt road to Polebridge. Ultimately, very few guests rode the buses, but they were so cheap that we didn’t care. It was like a private stretch-stretch-stretch limo (with itty bitty seats)!
This handmade wooden sign hung from the porch of the Northern Lights Saloon, welcoming us to Polebridge. It was one of several signs made by our officiant, who is an artist and woodworker. Others said “cold drinks” and “this way”. Several other signs that said “wedding” with an arrow were placed along the route to Polebridge.
I purchased twenty shepherd’s hooks from a local home and garden store. We transported them to Montana and used them to line the aisle with dahlias during our ceremony and again to hold votives later in the evening.
If you’re looking for shepherd’s hooks, they’re available in numerous places online, but I recommend finding them locally or asking your florist if he or she has any available for rent. They’re metal and therefore can be very pricey to ship.
To hang our flowers and votives, I used small mason jars (you can buy them in bulk at the grocery or Walmart) and rigged them up with raffia twine. Check out my previous posts to see my mock-ups and detailed instructions. I ended up rigging forty jars ”“ twenty for the flowers, which were used elsewhere for decoration after the ceremony, and twenty for the votives, which were hung from the hooks to light a pathway after it became dark.
For the ceremony, we purchased 100 dahlias in bulk, uncut, which made them an affordable $1.50 per stem, opposed to a much steeper price per arrangement.
I made our programs with stock purchased from Paper Source. They were a simple, 2-page design tied with narrow ribbon to a pre-creased and hole-punched back cover. You can read about my DIY experience in a previous post.
The basket we used to display them was a freebie from somewhere that came in handy for this purpose. I hung a little sign from it that said, “Please take one per couple.”
We didn’t have to go all the way to Mexico to get our glass-bottled Coca-Cola. This cane-sugar sweetened goodness is for sale at Costco! We bought five cases around Passover last spring, when it is most prolific, then stored them in our garage. Paired with the vintage signs all over Polebridge, they added a nice touch of Americana and made for some great photo-ops.
We purchased and rented a few galvanized steel tubs and filled them with ice to chill the Cokes.
This antique beverage stand was part of our coordinator’s cache of cool goodies. We set it near the ceremony site, behind some tall grasses where we had our receiving line. At its feet, you can see the reproduction vintage Coca-Cola sign that I bought at the Fremont Sunday Market in Seattle, and one of the weathered cherry crates given to us by our photographer.
Our alcohol infusions were gifted to us by our friend Craig, who dabbles in bartending. They’re relatively easy to make if you have the right equipment (large jugs, some fruit, and booze) and some time on your hands (they need to “infuse” for a while). Craig made us lime gin, limoncello, and blackberry vodka, which we used to design a variety of signature cocktail recipes. These recipes were printed on a menu board near the glass infusion jars (we rented ours, but you can also buy them online). The infusions were self-serve, using rented mason jars for glasses. Most people ignored the recipes, but the drinks were a huge hit anyway.
Our seating cards weren’t cards exactly… they were river rocks plucked from the North Fork of the Flathead River. We then asked Mr. Cherry Pie’s father, who has legible handwriting, to write each guest’s name on the front and table number on the back. The stones were arranged alphabetically on a table with a handmade sign directing guests to “Find Your Name”.
Instead of a guestbook, we had an antique mailbox and replica-vintage Montana postcards. Guests were instructed by another handmade sign to “Write a Postcard to the Bride & Groom ”“ They’ll get it after their honeymoon”. After filling out a pre-addressed postcard, they could put it into the mailbox, where it was later mailed to us from Montana by Mr. CP’s dad. We got a lot of hilarious and sincere messages when we came back from Mexico, and we’ve saved them all.
I found the mailbox at Back in Time Antiques in Columbia Falls, Montana (just outside the park). FarCountry Press in Helena makes the vintage-replica postcards. You can pick some up on their website.
Our table numbers were also created by our officiant, who has a woodshop at her Dillon, Montana home. We asked her for something simple and rustic, and she delivered. After the reception, we gave these numbers to our coordinator to use in future weddings.
We asked our florist for colorful, dynamic centerpieces that echoed the flowers we used elsewhere in our wedding. We initially discussed using a variety of flower types, but in the end simplified them down to multi-colored dahlias, wheat, and other grasses. This saved us money but kept the look we wanted.
The centerpieces were placed in old mason jars that I’d collected during the past year. Some of my jars were over 100 years old!
For favors, we gave our guests a variety of fresh-baked cookies from the Polebridge Mercantile. We placed the cookies on top of recycled paper “confetti” in glassine bags and tied each bag closed with a handmade favor tag. These tags were simple and satisfying to make. All they required was one box of shipping tags from Office Depot, a stamp, an ink pad, and the ability to tie a knot.
To inspire guests to share their photos and videos, I followed in the footsteps of many bees and made instructional cards telling everyone how to upload to our Flickr site. I made a template using elements from our invitation suite. These cards were placed on the napkin at each place setting. The end result was that we got to see hundreds of photos of our wedding day that we might not have otherwise.
The Northern Lights Saloon in Polebridge provided all of our reception catering, with the exception of our infusions and the cases of wine gifted by Mr. CP’s mom. Our menu featured marinated buffalo tri-tip, ruby trout with pecans, buttery mashed potatoes, garlic noodles, green salad, roasted veggies, and fresh-baked bread, all made from local and organic ingredients. The food was amazingly delicious and straight from the grill.
The famous Polebridge Mercantile bakery supplied our wedding cake and cherry/huckleberry tarts. Each serving of cake and tartlet was only around three dollars each! I’ll never forget the huckleberry tarts, which were to die for, and Mr. Cherry Pie is still talking about the cherry tarts. But our cake was the real winner ”“ perfect white cake with over a pound of huckleberries worked into the batter and amazing buttercream decorated with wildflowers.
We hung our photo line in a little alcove across from the stage that we called the grotto. I was inspired to create the photo line by pictures of similar ideas at other weddings. It was easy to make; all it took was a collection of appropriate photos, a spool of jute twine, and some teeny-tine clothespins from Michaels. And despite their reputation to the contrary, those little clothespins held the photos on just fine.
Our guests really enjoyed looking at the random, silly, and touching photos we’d selected. I think it worked well both as a tribute to those who couldn’t attend, and as a recap of our relationship, without being corny.
Our tin can lanterns were one of my favorite DIY projects because they were so easy and fun to make and cost us nothing. We created a variety of designs (mostly in the evening while watching movies) and brought them with us in a paper bag. They were filled with votive candles and placed on the tables around the stage for cocktail hour and dancing.
We also used the jars with loose dahlias that had hung in our aisle to add color to the tables.
We brought a ton of votive candles with us from Seattle. I even bought some citronella votives to be used in case of a buggy evening, but with the cooler temperature and rain, there weren’t any insects. These little lights were used in our tin-can lanterns, set out on tables and window ledges, and placed into jars hanging from our shepherd’s hooks. After dark, they provided wonderful mood lighting, and the lanterns cast really cool shadows everywhere.
Of course, one of our most beloved details was our band, Good Wood. They came to Polebridge from nearby Kalispell and played an amazing three-hour set of bluegrass, rock, ballads, and more. Planning a wedding in a location with a stage (especially one as rustic as Polebridge) called for a live band, and these guys certainly made it a night to remember!
Finally, it goes without saying that our photographer, Nicole Tavenner of Piknik Studios, did a fabulous job. If you’ve enjoyed her work, keep in mind that she will travel for non-Montana weddings, but she books up fast!
Thank you, Bees, for all your feedback on my posts. You’ve also made planning and executing our wedding a truly enjoyable experience.
And, without our planners and day-of coordinators at Katalin Green Design, our event never would have come together as smoothly or looked as wonderful as it did. Thank you, Katalin, for taking care of all the little details!
Next up, the final recap before our honeymoon photos: Our budget breakdown.
[Credits: All original images and post-processing courtesy of Piknik Studios.]
Married in Montana: The Rehearsal
Married in Montana: The Girls Get Ready
Married in Montana: The Guys Get Ready
Married in Montana: The Bus Ride to Polebridge
Married in Montana: Pre-Ceremony Preparations
Married in Montana: Staging the Ceremony
Married in Montana: Our Wedding Ceremony (Part 1 of 2)
Married in Montana: Our Wedding Ceremony (Part 2 of 2)
Married in Montana: Receiving Line & Refreshments
Married in Montana: Cocktail Hour
Married in Montana: Bride & Groom Portraits
Married in Montana: Family Photos
Married in Montana: Wedding Party Portraits
Married in Montana: Our Rustic Reception
Married in Montana: Toasting
Married in Montana: Just Desserts
Married in Montana: Making it Official
Married in Montana: Glamour Shots!
Married in Montana: Portraits of Our Guests
Married in Montana: First Dances
Married in Montana: Bouquet and Garter Toss
Married in Montana: The Grand Finale
Married in Montana: All in the Details (Part 1 of 2)