How to Plan a Bespoke Mountain Wedding

Big Sky Montana Destination wedding

Mariah Treiber

December 12, 2023

After photographing Carly and Connor’s romantic engagement session in DC, I couldn’t wait to see what magic their wedding day would hold. As it turns out, they planned a breathtaking wedding weekend in Belgrade, Montana with panoramic views of towering peaks painting the backdrop for their big day. These two enjoy traveling, the outdoors, and appreciating new experiences together. They also happen to have an eye for design, so this chic Montana wedding at the Star M Barn couldn’t have been more fitting. Carly and Connor wanted their wedding to feel like a fun yet elevated outdoor reunion, and that influenced their destination wedding choice.

They both have a large circle of friends and family and were looking forward to having their loved ones play special roles on their wedding day. Connor’s dad married them while Carly’s dad gave the sweetest heart-tugging speech at their reception. Not to mention, they were surrounded by twenty-eight people in their wedding party—these two are very loved, and their day was an absolute blast!

Achieving a Nostalgic Editorial Style

This couple keeps me on my toes in the best way, and I love to branch out creatively with them. Carly and Connor initially chose me based on my photography style, and we really hit it off during their engagement session. Carly wanted to get creative and mix things up for their wedding photos. She asked for a few nostalgic edits along with my usual editorial style. To do this, I added a bit of haze black and white images for a more vintage feel. I also incorporated flash photography a bit more, which I loved, especially for their candid shots with close family. That style reminds me of my most cherished childhood photo albums. I always love a challenge, and we achieved some really unique shots! 

Note: Style is flexible–it’s not all or nothing! I know some couples are worried that they’ll end up with an entire collection of stylistic images if they ask for creative edits. Some photographers do specialize in certain styles, and we all have our own editing preferences. However, I promise to listen to your requests. My signature style leans toward effortless elegance. I want to offer timeless images that are both authentic and chic—portraits you want to show off for years. But I do love dipping into other styles as well. For Carly and Connor’s wedding, we had open fields, organic tablescapes draped with wildflowers, and a super cute vintage Airstream to work with, so these nostalgic in-the-moment shots just made sense.

How to Plan an Off-the-Grid Destination Wedding

An all-inclusive resort is one thing, but a destination wedding in the middle of nowhere can require a little more planning—especially for a group this size—but it is so worth it if you envision something like this Big Sky, Montana destination wedding. Here are my top two logistics tips:

Venue & Accommodations

First, determine your venue and where you’ll all stay. Keep in mind it may involve a commute, so plan for that as well. The wedding party got ready at the AC Hotel in Bozeman, Montana, offering that chic, luxurious feel. A hotel was ideal for a group this size so everyone could stay together. Then, we all headed to the movie-worthy Star M Barn, which gave Yellowstone vibes (minus the wild drama). For smaller groups, a vacation rental near the venue (or as the venue!) could work, too! The goal is to make it as simple as possible and eliminate too many moving parts.

Select Local Vendors

It may require a little research, but it’s worth your time to select a trustworthy local vendor team who is on board with your vision. Better yet, do what Carly and Connor did and hire a local (to your destination) wedding planner. Leather & Ivory Co. did a phenomenal job piecing together every detail of this bespoke, rustic-chic wedding. A local planner will know the area, hidden gems, and local connections, so you’re more likely to get the best quality and service.

With the right venue, accommodations, and vendor team for your destination wedding, you’re setting yourself up for a stress-free experience! You may have a few minor details to work out along the way, but you’ll have the overall experience and aesthetic covered.

Book Your Montana Destination Wedding with Me!

Dreaming of your own Montana destination wedding? I’d love to be the one to tell your story! Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.

Connect with Mariah

Montana Destination Wedding Team

Airstream Bar: @petiteparlourmt
Coordinating and planning: @leatherandivoryco
Coordinator/planner: @lindskrisdick
Coordinator Assistant, Setup & Design: @the_wild_antler
Videography: @bryce.dick1
Makeup: @cloud_marcela
Hair: @snatchedbyemily
Bar Tenders: @makeitadoublemontana
Trumpet/musician/MC: @lucarodoni
Photographer: @mariahtreiberphotography
DJ: @dj_gabba
Venue: @starmbarn
Sound tech: @lennyofthefuture
Best Flowers Ever: @florally.bozeman
Rentals: @montanapartyrentals
Cake: @sweetpeabakerydotnet


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