The Love Story

Blayde and I first met one spring while attending Montana State at a church lunch on campus, but it was not until the next fall that he and several of his teammates worked together trying to get us in the same place at the same time so that we could meet again. Only a few weeks later at the Hay Bale Maze in Bozeman, while we were lost wandering around in the rain, we realized that we were head over heels in love. He sealed it with a kiss in the rain, underneath the stars, but it still took more than an hour to make it out of the maze! Though we both felt it in that moment, we were nervous that we had fallen for each other so fast. Neither of us spoke the “love” word until December, when we were taking a study break ice skating in the park on 5thand College. Under the lights, while skating around, he asked me if I loved him!








The Proposal
Blayde graduated and moved away and I went off to study in Italy but we knew that if our relationship could survive the thousands of miles and hours of phone calls, it was meant to be. We were visiting his family after Christmas in Colorado, when he decided to take me on a horse drawn carriage ride around Old Town. His excitement about the ride melted my heart. Little did I know he had been working with my sister to figure out my size and what type of ring I would love. At the end of the ride, with the snow falling and the trees adorned in lights, he knelt down in the carriage and asked me to be his wife!


It was all very romantic until I fell down the stairs, rolled my ankle and practically pulled him  down with me! Even so, we were all smiles.



The Wedding

We wanted a barn wedding, full of laughter and dancing but with a refined, elegant touch. Everything we did was packed with meaning and love. The bible that held our rings was my great-grandmothers and the veil I wore had lace from my mother’s veil woven into it; my mom even embroidered our wedding date, in blue, to the hem of my dress the night before the wedding. Throughout the months before, my mom and I spent countless days on Flathead Lake handpicking every rock to place in the vases, antiquing the frames and refurbishing my grandfather’s steamer trunks which held the gifts at the reception.  Even our silver toasting goblets, polished with love by my aunt, were used by my grandparents at their 30th wedding anniversary. My father and I built and painted all of the wedding signs together, which he and my uncles placed along the road on the day of the wedding. My bridesmaids got special permission to get ready in our sorority house, AOII, and Blayde and his football teammates wore their Bobcat conference champion rings. We had lots of company from out of town, so my mom rented a house on the Gallatin for all of her siblings and other family members, which provided lots of fishing, floating, laughter and most of all, Uncle Jimmy’s infamous BBQ. The day of the wedding was the most special, as many of my aunts, cousins and even Blayde’s grandma helped to decorate the venue, making it more beautiful than I had imagined.













One of my favorite stories from the weeding was, when my aunt Carrie locked herself INSIDE the car (The anti-theft mechanism wouldn’t let the car unlock from the inside.) She had to attract the attention, by banging on the window and yelling, of a random guest who then had to go find her husband to come let her out!


All together, the love our family and friends showed and the pieces of history incorporated in the wedding, made the day overflow with laughter and joy.





















 Advice for future Montana Brides. 


Often while planning our wedding, I heard the advice “the day is all about you” and, while that is true, including and incorporating our family, friends and our family histories into the day transformed our wedding into a matchless and festive celebration for everyone. Take the time in the hectic months before the wedding to consider how you can create your dream while letting all those who have celebrated and supported you along the way can take part in this life milestone!





The Vendors


Photographer: Notarius Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Plonk Wine Bar
Ceremony Venue: St. James Episcopal Church
Reception Venue: Springhill Pavilion
Florist: Mother of the Bride
DJ: DJ Ramon
Hair & Makeup: Canyon River Spa
Invitations: Brooke Chandler at Paper and Parcel
Transportation: Classic Limo
Officiant: Rev. Clark Sherman
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