SUMMER BREAK IS OVER ◦ MEG’S MODERN WEDDINGS IS BACK IN SESSION!
Phew! Sorry about that month of absence – I’ve been super busy working my new job managing social media for a software company, commuting back and forth between South Bend, Kansas City & Cleveland and preparing for this past weekend’s wedding & next week’s family vacation! I’m also getting a head start on planning our own wedding – but this post isn’t a sneak peek into my personal planner, it’s all about
Tanner & Erika Marlatt’s Nuptials In Pray, Montana
A little background – the groom is my fiancé’s cousin. I met these two a few years back when G & I vacationed in Phoenix, AZ for spring break! They are the kindest, most down to earth people (& their wedding was just that – nature filled and beautiful.)
The wedding festivities took place at Chico Hot Springs Resort & Day Spa. Built in June 1900, Chico has sustained a loyal clientele because of the stunning views, fun-filled outdoor activities and true rustic charm. The main lodge at Chico offers a family vibe – community bathrooms, simple rooms (literally a bed) and an open floor plan that just feels homey.
Along with the main lodge, Chico has chalets and lodges available, all depending on how you want to spend your stay! Let me walk you through the weekend to give you a personal experience:
I’ve been looking forward to this wedding since the newlyweds announced their engagement – so “excited” is an understatement. First off, Delta BLOWS. These photos kind of suck is because I couldn’t bring my camera – stick with Southwest Airlines, y’all. After two loooong flights, we arrived at the cutest airport I’ve ever seen – right in Bozeman, Montana! On our way into Pray, I couldn’t help but gaze at the stars. The sky was pitch black but I was already amazed by the dark skyline of mountains in the distance. We got in pretty late, so after greeting the bride and groom and walking around the property, we hit the hay (HEH!)
After a peaceful night’s sleep in our somewhat haunted room, we started the morning off by enjoying a cup of coffee in none other than Chico’s infamous hot spring pool! Y’ALL – this is the most enjoyable public pool I’ve ever been in. The steaming water (averaged at 96 in the regular pool/106 in the hot tub) is almost as relaxing as the breathtaking view of the mountains behind it. They drain the pool and fill it every morning so guests are guaranteed pee-less, floating bandaid-less, natural, mineral infused freshwater. It’s open 365 days a year, so whether you’re enjoying a winter honeymoon or a memorial day weekend vacay, Chico’s hot springs are ready for you.
There are SO many activities available at Chico. Horseback riding, white water rafting, hiking are summer-based activities; in the winter you can go snow-shoeing, skiing and dog sledding! While my fiancé and family went white water rafting (remember from our proposal post? I don’t do rafting) I booked a trail ride through Yellowstone.
I can’t even put into words how perfect this trail ride was. I rode Sheridan, a gorgeous young Pinto with a whole lot of sass. It was a small group of 3 riders and 2 guides. I love horses so any chance I get I try to force my loved ones into riding with me. My past experiences have always been with huge groups..of like 12 people! And you always have that little kid whose crying or pooping his pants, the elderly woman whose horse is straying away and the guy with the constant dad jokes. Not this time! No dad jokes, no pooping (besides Sheridan) and no single file line. Just us, the horses and an incredible view.
Yeah that wild mountain man in front? That’s bae…
After the trail ride, and riding through the rapids, everyone met back up for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. We walked up to the wedding site – the Field of Dreams (can it get any dreamier!?) We ran through the ceremony and though it got hot, the weather was gorg.
Gehrig was an usher & I had the honor of escorting the ring bearer Jin down the aisle. I might be biased but he’s the cutest dude in the wedding party – see for yourself:
SATURDAY – WEDDING DAY
July 8th started off sunny and humid – fabulous weather for the evening ceremony. After setting up in the early morning, the family had time to relax and just enjoy the outdoors. We played whiffle ball in the main lodge’s court yard, soaked in the hot springs and hiked through a few short trails. You almost lose track of time just staring at your surroundings!
We began to get ready for the wedding and of course the clouds rolled in. Having the ceremony inside was an option, but Chico experienced a daily afternoon thunderstorm so we were hopeful it would all simply blow over. We made our way up to the field of dreams a little early – I was getting ready to walk down the aisle with Jin and the guests were taking their seats.
Jin and I made our way to the gazebo – shakily, as he pulled me through the path in my high heels! But we made it and Tanner unhooked the rings. Erika made her way to the ceremony on a gorgeous black horse! She walked down the aisle and it was such a vision – the beautiful bride, the beaming groom, the greenery, the scenery, all their loved ones in one place. As a family member officiated the wedding, the rain and wind just wouldn’t hold off. Thankfully, Chico planned accordingly and guests were given white umbrellas. No weather could possibly put a damper on such a bright couple. The Marlatt’s said their “I do’s” and as they did the clouds opened up.
We filed into the convention center for the reception. Branded “M” centerpieces and hints of orange and jade decorated the dining area. After heartfelt speeches, delicious food (ribs, chicken, corn bread, beans) and Chico’s famous dessert, a chocolate filled orange – LIT ON FIRE! We danced the night away – apparently I sang a duet (that I barely remember) and we partied ’til the DJ kicked us out. It was a blast, so much more special than a regular hotel ball room wedding – it was a vacation, an experience! Tanner and Erika never stopped smiling. Every detail and outdoor activity made the weekend incredible.
If you’re seeking a nature adorned mountainside wedding filled with fun activities, rustic charm and love, check out