Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Montana Wedding... Why Not?

I was fortunate enough to spend Labor Day weekend in Glacier National Park.  Why??  Because my little brother got married!!  In Montana!  And I traveled alone!

Great wedding.  Great trip.  Now let me tell you all about it...

Stephen proposed to Sarah last spring.  They debated on where to have their wedding, but in the end they decided to go destination style.  They picked Glacier National Park.  (Can I just say AMAZING scenery and pictures?!)

Leading up to the wedding Sarah was sweet enough to invite me along for dress shopping.  We had a fun girls day as she went through a few dresses (she looked stunning in everything which was kind of annoying in a good way) before finding the perfect dress for an outdoor Montana ceremony.  They wanted everything simple, so there wasn't any big hoopla before the wedding weekend.

I was the last to arrive (my trip was the shortest for obvious reasons) in Kalispell, but was pleasantly surprised by the small town and our accommodations.  The Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast was a beautiful property and the hospitality couldn't be beat!  Including the bride and groom, there were 9 of us there, so this was to be a small, intimate wedding.  And, honestly, I loved that it was.

The first night there we played Cards Against Humanity.  I had never heard of it before, but it was fun!  And very interesting.  And not for children or the easily offended.  Consider yourself warned.  Needless to say, it had been way too long since I had a game night!

The first full day we all went for a run (what else would you expect from a traveling group of runners?) and how refreshing it was to have beautiful scenery and temps in the 50s!  After we all cleaned up Sarah had her hair and make up trial (again, stunning), quick lunch, then into the park to check out the wedding site and do a short hike.  That night we had a rehearsal dinner without the rehearsal, so just dinner.  We were all impressed by the Kalispell food scene!

Avalanche Lake

The family before the dinner

What better way to end the day than with a dance party!!!  We cranked up the old school jams, busted out the drill team stand dances (that's right, I remember them), and had a grand ole time.  Then Stephen learned that the bride and groom aren't supposed to see each other the day of their wedding and he wasn't thrilled that we were enforcing that rule.  Minus the hour they had to spend getting their marriage license... because, you know, that's kinda important.

The morning of the big day Sarah surprised us girls with matching Lululemon running shorts!  For you non-runners, they're awesome, ridiculously priced running shorts.  And I'm a little too excited to have my own pair now!  Before we tested them out running, we had to do a little modeling...


Be the bear.

Antlers anyone?

Catalog worthy right?!

After all the girls were mostly prepped for the ceremony, we grabbed a quick lunch at a yummy local cafe.  (We happened to have met the owner on our hike the day before and the place lived up to everything he sold us on).  Then we were off!  Friend/wife of best man, my parents, and I grabbed up all the decor and headed to the park to set the whole scene up and crossed our fingers Sarah loved it as much as we did.  Sarah and maid of honor picked up the cake, bouquets, and met the photographer at the B&B for a few pre-ceremony pics.  When Stephen and best man showed up at the site, the rest of us headed back to get our fancy garb on.  Then it was go time!

Cake Table.  The topper says "The Smilfs"  Smilf is my brother's nickname.

We arrived back at the ceremony site, double checked everything was perfect, then the ceremony happened.  Short, sweet, intimate, teary-eyed, beautiful, can't believe my little brother's getting married.. .. all wrapped into one.  From the best man singing John Legend to the pastor saying the wrong name (she thought Smilf was the real name) to the delicious deal (literal and figurative) of a cake to the weather... it really was perfect.  The photographer loved our guest commentary throughout her post ceremony session and the pictures will be AMAZING!!!!  After pictures, cake, champagne, and a couple of dances, we were off to dinner.  A  couple celebrating their anniversary bought our table a bottle of bubbly- how nice is that?!  We all said our toasts and congratulations (ok, I wrote a rhymey poem) and enjoyed yet another delicious Montana meal.  The newlyweds had a separate cottage to stay in that night, which us girls were able to "decorate" before they got there as a wedding night surprise :)

It's almost time...

The vows

First Dance

Toast to the newlyweds

Does it get any prettier?

So cute!  

The next morning we all met for one last breakfast at the B&B then went our separate ways home.  Well, the newlyweds continued on to their honeymoon.  After a couple of long flights I was back to reality.  Dave and his mom handled the kids (with a little help from the usual volunteers) while I was gone and they did a great job!  I didn't get to see the kids until the next morning and nothing brightened my day more than Leah's HUGE smile when I got her out of bed.

I am so thankful I was able to attend this wedding!  It was truly wonderful.  And now I have a truly wonderful sister-in-law and step-nephew- yea!!

Me, Groom, and Bride