Leslie Lukas on Style Me Pretty (Happy Anniversary, Alexa + Dave!)

In case you aren’t a follower on Facebook (if you aren’t, why not? Get the latest news from me on my Facebook page!), then you may not have heard the exciting news.

Leslie Lukas Weddings and Events was featured on Style Me Pretty (the resource for the modern bride) in January.

(I was so excited, I forgot to blog about it.)

The featured wedding was one of my favorite clients (okay, I love them all…really!), Alexa and David. The wedding was full of romantic personal touches (cocktail stirrers with hand-tied flies on the top to represent their love of fishing, Irish Belles for their Irish heritage) and was gorgeous, both in style and design, AND in the love that was shown and shared that day.

So in honor of their one-year anniversary on Sunday, I’ve assembled some of my favorite photos from the wedding (there were honestly too many to choose from). To read the full article about our design profile and why it worked so well for Alexa and David, head over to Style Me Pretty.

(And happy anniversary, Alexa and Dave. Here’s to many, many, many more!)

Leslie Lukas Style Me Pretty

Montana Wedding and Event Planner Style Me Pretty Montana Wedding Montana Wedding and Event Style Me Pretty

Do you love Style Me Pretty as much as we do? What do you think of Alexa and David’s wedding aesthetic?

All gorgeous photography by Lauren Browne Photography.


Eight Design Websites I Love


Want to know a secret? I spend a lot of time on the internet. I do a lot of research for my clients as well as my business and when I’m not wrangling contracts and following up for the gajillionth time with a vendor, I’m sneakily perusing the online design world for inspiration on wedding décor and hosting ideas.

So why keep it all a big secret? Here’s where you’ll find me most of the time (unless I’m at a cake tasting or a walkthrough or a design meeting or…)

Design Sponge

Surprise! Am I blowing your mind yet? If you haven’t taken a look at Design Sponge’s gajillions of archives, you’re missing out. Geared more towards homes décor, I still love how the bloggers and designers there can take a space that is pretty yuck and turn it into beautiful. Definitely a good one when I’m presented with a challenging décor job or an unconventional room layout.

Wedding Lovely

This website has gorgeous photography, but it also deals a lot with the more practical side of planning a wedding. If I’m looking for inspiration on how to tighten up a clients’ budget or read lovely stories from first-hand brides, I head here.

Style Me Pretty

Well, duh. I’ve been featured twice (here and here) on Style Me Pretty and it’s probably because the design aesthetic over there is exactly what I bring to my weddings. Elegant, classic, yet modern and organic, with a twist of fun and lightness.

Apartment Therapy

Again, this website has lots of beautiful spaces so sometimes, I’ll go to see what color trends are popping up and how people have creatively used decorating ideas to make small spaces look larger or large spaces look more cozy.

The Knot

I love the Knot, not only for its great advice, but for its fantastic community. The comments on some of the posts are enough to keep me clicking back there for inspiration all the time.

Green Wedding Shoes

Oh my goodness, if you haven’t seen this gloriousness then you are missing out, sister! Made for brides who trend toward fashion-forward and even a bit edgy (they’re in Southern California. Of course they’re gunna have a little edge!)

Bridal Snob

This one is solely pictures, so when I’m looking to do some vision boarding or create an inspiring color palette, Bridal Snob is my go-to. (Also, the language is hilariously colorful!)

Rustic Wedding Chic

Since I’m in Montana, this blog has some gorgeous wedding eye-candy, with a real down-home rustic feel. Perfect for brides who are looking for that country-style wedding, but still sophisticated enough to please anyone.

What are your favorite places to get wedding inspiration? Leave them in the comments below so that I can find more places to get inspired!

Hello, Style Me Pretty Friends! (and 5 Ways to Relax on Your Big Day)

Style Me Pretty Montana Wedding

If you haven’t heard the news, Leslie Lukas Weddings and Events is making its second debut of 2013 on Style Me Pretty. If you haven’t seen the wedding of the lovely Kelly and Ramiro, then head on over there and check it out. (All the beautiful photography was done by the one and only Eye in the Sky Photography. Thanks, Kene!)

And if you’re clicking over here from Style Me Pretty, welcome to my little corner of the internet! *big wave*

If you haven’t visited the House of Lukas before, here are a few posts to get your started: 

About Leslie (everything you’ve ever wanted to know about me)

Napkin Folds (from simple and sweet to complex and original)

How to Dress: A Groom’s Style Guide (because every man needs a little help from a professional sometimes)

Giving Back on Your Wedding Day (a guide to giving back before, during, and after your big day)

And of course, if you want to get some inspiration or help for your own wedding, click over to my planning website and see what I offer.

Now, on to more good stuff…

It’s almost June here at LL Headquarters, and we are in full-on planning mode. Which means we’re constantly checking email, phoning vendors, and generally trying to keep our cool while also juggling thousands of little planning balls (which is why this is our job! So you don’t have to feel this way!)

If you’re a DIY bride (or groom) or someone who has a planner but can’t turn their brain off from wedding day anticipation, never fear! Here are my 5 favorite tried-and-true tips to make sure you don’t become Bride (or Groom!) -zilla on wedding day.

1. Plan a morning alone.

If you have a large wedding party, this could be difficult to do (I’ve had bridesmaids start their hair and makeup as early as 7am. Eep!), but even just an hour for you to spend taking a long walk, writing in your journal, or simply drinking a cup of coffee while staring out the window by yourself BEFORE the wedding pandemonium begins will be a good way to center yourself, reflect on your beautiful relationship, and get ready for the awesome day ahead.

2. Workout.

If you’ve been on a wedding eating and exercise plan, probably the last thing you want to do is spend an hour in the gym. However, getting your heart rate up, sweating out some of your energy, and spending time alone or with a friend will be a good way to get yourself to focus. All that nervous energy building up as you sit and watch your bridesmaids get their makeup done? Not good. Instead, go for a run, get a little sweaty on the cardio trainer, or take a vigorous yet calming yoga class. Your body will thank you.

3. Drink water.

Aim for three liters today. I know that sounds insane, but all senses are firing today. If you can’t stomach water, try Crystal Light iced tea (not too much sugar so you don’t crash later) or 1-part juice to 2-parts water. And if you’re having mimosas with your bridesmaids, try to only drink one an hour and flush with plenty of the clear stuff (not vodka, silly. Water!)

4. Eat lunch!

I can’t tell you how many brides that forget to eat lunch. They’re so nervous, they can’t eat, or they’re making sure that everything is taken care of, or they’re trying to fit into their wedding dress…the list goes on! However, all that nervous energy + no food + cocktail hour + cocktails at the reception is a recipe for big-day blood sugar crash and burn. Make sure you have a little something and try to get protein AND carbs in there so that you stay full until dinner. My favorite? Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, pasta salad with sunflower seeds and veggies, or a yummy hummus + veggie + fruit platter. Filling but not bloat-inducing.

5. Take a deep breath. Repeat. Enjoy.

The moments that you experience on your wedding day are unlike any other that you’ll experience…and speaking from personal experience, they’ll go by in an instant. Make sure you take a few moments to breathe and take in all the people around you who care about and you and want to be with you as you usher in your new life with your spouse.

What are your tips to stay cool, calm, and collected on wedding day?

Napkin Folds–101

Many of my clients ask me how to fold napkins to make their table settings a bit more special.  I have several up my sleeve and found some great tutorials on-line that will help you decide what is best for you….and to help make your table extra special!

Here is a great blog I came across—

Keg Designs

And here is a link to Wedzilla Blog and a video tutorial:

Wedzilla Blog

I searched my archives for a few photos of napkin folds from our weddings– photo credits top to bottom–

Eye in the Sky PhotographyLauren Brown PhotographyMorgan Lamare Photography, Rebecca Nicklin, Lauren Brown Photography and Nashan Photography

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.


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!

Wedding Transportation

Transportation is an essential part of your wedding day as is transporting guests to your wedding.  Also, don’t forget to think about transporting the Bride and Groom to the ceremony, to the reception and off to the honey moon.

It’s important to have this all lined out well in advance so you and your guests can sit back and enjoy the day.

If your guests are flying in you need to think about HOW they will be getting from the airport to the hotel or resort.  Here in Bozeman, Ennis and the surrounding areas there are shuttle services available.  Using a shuttle can help your guests relax as they won’t have to know where they are going, they will just be delivered there!

Car rentals are a great option as well of course.  Especially if your guests are adventurous and would like to explore before and after your wedding.  Having friends and family help shuttle guests around is another option.

Transportation for the Bride and Groom can be elaborate or simple depending on your personal taste.  Often destination weddings are held outdoors, in a big field, at an old barn, etc.  If this is  the case you may want to consider a horse and buggy.

If you are getting married in a church and then heading to your reception, consider renting an old fashioned car or truck to add a vintage feel to your day.

You can also go the traditional route and rent a limo for your special day.  So get together with your wedding coordinator to talk about ideas.  She will know which transportation route works best for your destination wedding!

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! 
LOCATION:  Deep Creek Grange
FLORIST:  Leslie Lukas and Kathy Koelzer
RENTALS: Montana Party Rentals