Winter Weddings–Rocky Mountain Elopements!

Have you been wishing to elope with your fiance to a beautiful destination in the Rocky Mountains?  We have helped several brides and grooms reach wedded bliss in Yellowstone National Park to Big Sky and beyond….

Here are some fabulous clicks from Lauren Brown Photography of a winter wedding elopement…that we helped plan and created fabulous florals for!

An intimate celebration can be an incredible journey for you and your partner.  We can help….

Our favorite and most romantic getaway is to Big Sky, Montana…with a stay at Moonlight Basin.  There is so much to do and see.  A down-hill skiers paradise by visiting Moonlight’s terrain, Big Sky Resort’s terrain or Bridger Bowl ski areas.  Down-hill skiing not your thing? There is plenty of opportunity to snowshoe or cross-country ski at Lone Mountain Ranch.  And don’t forget to take a romantic sleigh ride with 320 Ranch to dinner one eve.  Luxurious spas, apre ski, and award winning restaurants abound.

Yellowstone National Park also offers a playground of activities… snow-coach tours, snowmobiling, and historic lodging all within driving distance of Big Sky.  If you’d like to plan the perfect winter wedding, give us a call…or shoot us a line.

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Summer activities in Montana: Spotlight on Madison County

Summertime in Montana is filled with many opportunities to experience history, explore nature and try new things. Whether you are planning activities for wedding guests or just visiting for the summer, Montana has unique offerings for everyone. Madison County, located in southwest Montana, is one of my favorite areas for recreation because of its natural beauty, small town feel, historical roots, and exciting adventures for all ages.

Here are just a few notable places and activities that will give you the true Madison County experience!

Big Sky

Big Sky is a small, but growing community that shares a respect for nature and a passion for outdoor recreation. Along with its world-class winter sports, Big Sky also offers many great summer activities in a breathtaking setting.

  • Let your inner thrill seeker loose with Big Sky Resort’s Basecamp. Fly over the slopes and trees on the Zipline. Connect with your inner acrobat on the Bungee Trampoline. Other activities include disc golf, golf, paintball, lasertag, hiking, scenic lift rides, archery, and much, much more. This is truly fun for everyone!
  • Listen to Music in the Mountains every Thursday at the Town Center Stage. Oh, did we mention that it’s free?!
  • Become a member and play the RESERVE, a Jack Nicklaus signature par-72 course at Moonlight Basin. Don’t worry, the course provides bear spray just in case you get a close encounter with the wildlife!
  • Pamper yourself with a seaweed body wrap at the Moonlight Spa. Afterward, enjoy the breathtaking slope side view in the heated outdoor pool and hot tub.
  • Hike, Bike, and BBQ on Tuesdays at Moonlight Basin. Explore 16 miles of scenic trails with a complimentary guide or on your own, followed by live music and slow roasted BBQ. Rentals available.

Ennis

At the heart of Madison Valley you will find a small community of avid anglers and hunters in what looks like the set of an old western movie. This is Ennis. Beyond the famous fishing holes, and unique shops and delicious eateries on Main Street, there are many activities in Ennis for the whole family.

  • Attend fly fishing school at the Madison River Fishing Company. If you are already a skilled angler, then book a trip with MRFC or any one of Ennis’s many outfitters, including Montana Trout Stalkers and fish a blue ribbon stream or two!
  • Ride horses in the gorgeous backcountry through mountain trails and wildflowers. Book a trail ride with Wolfpack Outfitters or Adventures Outfitting.
  • Celebrate a famous patriotic Ennis tradition: Ennis Rodeo, live music and dancing, and 4th of July Parade!
  • Nab some fresh produce and handmade goodies at the Madison Farm to Fork farmer’s market.
  • Escape the summer heat and float the majestic Madison River with inner tubes and coolers. Please float responsibly!
  • Play the most challenging par 5 in the state of Montana at Madison Meadows Golf Course.
  • Lounge on the Kobayshi Beach at Ennis Lake. Take a boat or jet ski down the beautiful canyon and try out the rope swings!

Virginia City and Nevada City area

Virginia City was the site of one of the most successful gold mining claims in Montana history. Now, Virginia City and Nevada City are ghost towns that come alive every summer with living history, live entertainment, tours, and unique shops and restaurants.

  • Ride the steam engine and pan for gold.
  • Get a belly full of laughs at the Brewery Follies. WARNING: The humor can be raunchy, so I suggest maybe leaving the kids at home!
  • Enjoy a night of authentic 19th century melodrama with the Virginia City Players at the Opera House.
  • Go on a Ghost Walk Tour starting at the Bale of Hay Saloon.
  • Stay in one of the preserved historic cabins in Nevada City.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich history of Boothill Cemetery, where the Road Agents (outlaws) were hanged by the Vigilantes in order to restore justice in Virginia City.
  • Try one of the many flavors of homemade salt water taffy at Cousin’s Candy Shop.

Harrison, Pony, and Norris area

Harrison, Pony, and Norris are three small communities all located within 17 miles of each other. This area’s offerings largely include family-run diners, dive bars, lake outings, and other homegrown fun.

  • Visit the Pony Bar on Memorial Day for the famous Duck Races. Live music on Friday & Sunday Nights.
  • Soak in the Water of the Gods at Norris Hot Springs. Enjoy organic food, beer, and wine along with live bluegrass on the weekends.
  • Go boating on Harrison Lake. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  • Hop on the Madison River in the Beartrap Canyon outside of Norris for a fun day of floating!

Sheridan and Twin Bridges area

  • Attend the Madison County Fair in Twin Bridges in August and enjoy 4-H shows, rodeos, and barbecues.
  • Get a true feel for Montana fishing with Four Rivers Fishing Company located in Twin Bridges. Be sure to pack the bug spray!
  • Visit Silver Star, the third oldest town in Montana, where Lewis and Clark passed through in 1805.
  • Stop by Chick’s Bar in Alder (between Virginia City and Sheridan) for a round of beers and some shuffleboard!

The bottom line: There are many great ways to enjoy Madison County, so get out there and start exploring, and help your wedding guests have the total Montana experience!


Happy Montana Wedding season!

I just wanted to tell you all how excited I am for our clients for this 2012 wedding year.  I am kicking it off by giving all my love and admiration to a lovely couple from San Diego who will be getting married just off Cameron Bridge Road, Bozeman, Montana in two short weeks.  Lauren Brown (www.laurenbrownphoto.com) took these amazing engagement photos….Dave and Alexa, thank for coming into my life!  I can’t wait to be a part of your day!

Montana Venues

Montana is host to some of the most beautiful venues available.  From historical sites, to rustic style barns, to wide open range land, we have what you want!

 

This is just a peek at what is available.  For even more venues take a look at our website, leslielukas.com.

 

Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa:

“Chico Hot Springs offers the perfect setting for your special day – whether it is an intimate gathering in Grandma’s Garden or the Wine Cellar, or 300 of your closest friends and family in the Convention Center, on the Front Lawn, or in the Field of Dreams, we have the perfect location for your wedding and reception!”

 

The Woodlands:

“It says you without saying a word….

A touch of rustic . . . born in elegance
A shimmer of Woodlands magic
Merges with towering trees and lush meadows
Along a winding road that leads you
To everything you ever imagined . . .”

Springhill Pavilion:

Springhill Pavilion has a long rich history in the Bozeman Valley.  It sits high above the valley, nestled at the base of Ross Peak commanding the most beautiful views.  Robert Redford has used this site in two of his movies, “A River Runs Through It” and “The Horse Whisperer”.  The Pavilion has long been a place that people come, gather together, for celebrations of life and love.

 

Lazy B Farm:

“Brides and Grooms from all over the world have chosen the Lazy B Farm in Bozeman, MT, and its country hospitality for their wedding or reception site. Although you may want a rustic Montana experience, you probably don’t want to compromise elegance or convenience. At the Lazy B Farm, you won’t have to.”

 

Please do visit each site for many wonderful pictures of their different venues!

 

Montana Wedding Cakes: Cakes by Jenn

I am always amazed at the talented vendors I find living in the far reaching corners of Montana.  Here is a sketch by little known dessert artist and cake baker, Jennifer Regester. She lives just up the road from my home town of Ennis–near Harrison, MT.  Her cakes and desserts taste amazing….and I can’t wait to work with her this coming year!  Who doesn’t get excited about dessert!  And, like me, she travels all over southwest montana delivering her yummy goodies.  She is also a designer at Big Sky Carvers and has a generous design background. 
There are few cake designers that take the time to sketch their ideas, but Jenn is one of them.  If you would like more information on her work or how to find her…just look at FaceBook!  She has some great photos of things she has been working on lately! 
This is a sketch that we are working on for a Bride of mine for next August!  Enjoy! 

Montana Destination Wedding: what you would do for friends

I was priveledged to be a part of Kristi and Josh’s wedding in a very partial, yet, wonderful role.  Amazingly enough, I have never met Kristi in person, but I know her sister Jeni Fleming, a local jazz artist, very well.  I have worked with Jeni for years in the industry and with her non-profit Hand Me Down Some Silver. Whenever Jeni calls, I am happy to help!   
Kristi sent me a few photos of what she was looking for for flowers, and since she has such an amazing sense of style, we just helped pull together a few details behind the scenes and the family took charge of the rest!
So, to be completely honest, I only created the bridal bouquet and boutonnier, purchased the flowers for her friend Kathy to put together, and provided the linens.  The rest is a complete effort by the family from the dessert tower, place-settings, and everything in-between.  I did have several converstations with Jeni about set-up, liquor amounts to order, among other things….but this is what friends do for each other.  I am so glad I got to be a part of something so beatuiful! 
PHOTOGRAPHER:  Audrey Hall
LOCATION:  Deep Creek Grange
FLORIST:  Leslie Lukas and Kathy Koelzer
RENTALS: Montana Party Rentals

Invitations, Business Cards, Graphic Design and a beautiful lady

I had the privledge of doing Bri Davey’s flowers for her wedding a couple summers ago.  Her family owns The Rainbow Valley Lodge in Ennis, MT.  At the time of her wedding, she was working for Fancy Flour’s doing marketing and web for them!  She is an amazing designer and has a keen eye for detail.  She currently lives in Portland, OR and has bought a letterpress!  I can’t say enough about Bri’s energy and style….and as you can see by these gorgeous designs and the quality of her work, she is going to take the market by storm! 

She recently aquired a letterpress, and if you are in the market for letterpress anything, don’t count out this talented woman!  Here are some fabulous styles that I took from her blog to share with you that she has already created for some lucky clients….enjoy and be sure to visit her online to see more of her work– {www.creativelabpress.com}

This rustic invitation suite is one of her flat-print (digital) designs (not run on a letter press) really caught my eye…and would be perfect for a late summer/fall wedding or party! She has

Dynamic Color Combo–Young and Fun

A friend called upon me to do the flowers for her daughter’s wedding just outside of Livingston, MT at a ranch on the Wine Glass Mountain.  The event barn where the reception was, is a family party spot where many country stars have performed for their private parties. 
I called on my friend Angela of Fresh Designs to help do the planning, so I could concentrate on the flowers.  Here is a sample of what came about!

Photo Credit:  Morgan Lamare Photography
Planning:  Fresh Designs

The Cake…Oh, MY!!!!

I have planned and attended so many weddings, and really, the cake to me is still the super star next to the bride!  I get so much joy in sharing my favorite cake designers/bakers with my clients, and even more joy out of the tastings!  Seeing what design my clients choose is always fun, and to see what the designers come up with is always AMAZING!!!

The dessert of all desserts, the wedding cake, just can’t be replaced by using a dessert bar–which I also love and will put in a future blog, but always splurge for a CAKE—your grandmother will expect it!   Here is my ode to the Montana wedding cake and some of my FAVORITES from weddings past….

Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana

Cake created by Mother of the Groom
photo credit www.photoartamy.com

Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com

Cake by Mother of the Groom
photo credit www.photoartamy.com 

Cake by Blue Moon Bakery, Big Sky

Cake By Chef Sarah White, Bozeman, Montana
Town and Country Foods

Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
Cake by Blue Moon Bakery, Big Sky, Montana

Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana

Grooms Cake!!!  Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana

Cakes by Jenn, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.photoartamy.com 
Cake by Chico Hot Springs, Pray, Montana
Cake by Van’s IGA, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com
Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com
Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com
Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com
Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com
Cake by Rebecca Nicklin, Bozeman, Montana
photo credit www.nashan.com

Grace Ormonde Wedding Style…yes. we. can.

photo credit to www.laurenbrownphoto.com  (1.)

I have always set my sights high in this business.  To be the friendliest, most organized, and consistent planner and designer in Montana.  Sometimes, I strive for perfection, even though in a perfect world, perfection still doesn’t exist.  I am flattered by the magazine editors that have chosen our work time and time again to feature in their prestigious magazines.  We are pleased to announce that we have THREE, yes THREE photographs of our work that will be featured on Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine’s on-line gallery.  It was going to be launched September 1st, but with the recent events of Hurricane Irene on the East Coast, it put their team behind.  I will be sure to shout it from the roof tops when it is actually on the site!  I am so thankful that they were all ok, and thankful for such an AMAZING publication!!!  Thank you for bringing our photos to life in your gallery.  We are grateful.

Lauren Brown has captured two images that caught the eyes of Grace Ormonde and staff. The first one, featured above (1.), is a styled shoot at The Woodlands that took place in the fall.  We used bamboo chairs and linen provided by Montana Party Rentals, and Leslie Lukas Weddings & Events provided the table settings, floral, and fine details that made the scene look urban-rustic.  The second photo by Lauren Brown, featured below (2.) was taken of a bridal bouquet designed by Leslie Lukas for her bride, Kendra Haugen, who was married at the Rainbow Ranch last year. Alexa Miller captured a photo that they loved as well.  (3.) featured at the bottom of this post was from a wedding at the Rainbow Ranch as well.  Grace Ormonde made a call out to designers and photographers looking for simple styling and modesty.  You just never know if your photo/design could be the next big thing!!!!

To be recognized by Grace Ormonde is beyond amazing!!!  I get to work with Montana’s finest photographers.  So, I wanted to take a moment to thank them for documenting amazing photos for me and my clients.

Lauren Brown  www.laurenbrownphoto.com  (featured together on Grace Ormonde Wedding Style)
Melanie Nashan  www.nashan.com  (featured together in Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, BRIDES, and Modern Bride magazines)
Kene Sperry  www.eyeintheskyphotography.com  (featured together in The Knot)
Audrey Hall  www.audreyhall.com (featured together in Mountain Living and Montana Living magazines)

Others I admire and should be recognized:
Morgan Lamare  www.morganlamare.com 
Doug Loneman www.lonemanphotography.com 
Cali Sparring  www.calisparingphotography.com
Janie Osbourne  www.janieoweddings.com  (did her wedding flowers and LOVE her to pieces!)
Larry Stanley www.montanaweddingphotographer.com

There are so many photographers out there, and if we haven’t met, be sure to give me a shout!!!  The above mentioned photographers are in my comfort zone, and I have worked closely with all of them…..so don’t be shy, someone gave me a chance when I first started out in the business, maybe you deserve one!  I know there are more great photographers out there!  and more opportunities to get our work published, bringing attention to our great state and attention to quality vendors for brides and grooms looking for their dream team!

photo credit www.laurenbrownphoto.com  (2.)
photo credit www.alexamiller.com (3.)