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Digital Diary: Wedding planning so far

It’s now been over 7 months since Brody and I got engaged, and how far along do you think I am in wedding planning?

If you guessed that I’ve accomplished even one thing, you’re wrong. We have visited a couple of potential venues in Montana, but no luck yet.

So, still on the hunt. We plan to do something small – 100 guests max – at a guest ranch or small resort surrounded by nature. My goal is to find a venue so beautiful that I hardly need to decorate. I’d love to get married in the woods, in a field overlooking mountains, or some other unique outdoor location, but hold a reception in a barn or another cozy, rustic venue. I’d also like to have all of our friends and family together for a full weekend of hanging out, so ideally we’d rent out an entire small resort and have everyone stay.

All you former brides or wedding enthusiasts out there, let me know if you have any wedding venue suggestions. Also, please follow my wedding Pinterest if you’d like! You can get a better idea there of the overall esthetic I’m going for.


  • Hey Kaitlynn! An area that you may want to consider if you aren’t 100% tied to Montana (& absolutely zero puns intended, I promise) is Jenner / Timber Cove- where the Pacific Ocean meets the Russian River. It’s along the Sonoma Coast (aka awesome wines!!!) but it is very secluded and private. In fact, there is an Inn in Jenner called River’s End that is 100% disconnected (aka no technology connection AT ALL) if you really want to get away. However, I recommend The Timber Cove Resort. It is incredible (& has wifi) and so, so, so much fun. It is rustic, yet along the Pacific Ocean (whale watching during the right time of the year too) & would be easy to rent out for a group of your size. It really is just stunning. No affiliation with the place at all, it’s actually just my secret place with my boyfriend! I think you would really love it – good for impromptu weekend getaways even if you go elsewhere. Good luck with the wedding planning, enjoy the time being engaged, & can’t wait to see what you end up picking out! x Shannon

    • I am realllyyy into this idea! I think it’s cool it’s called Jenner!

  • Have you tried Chico hot springs a lot of people like it for its nature aspect

    • I haven’t but I’ll definitely look into it. Thanks!

  • Ahhh your venue seems like the one I have in mind which is perfect for yoir guest amount. Are you against getting married in Canada? Check out Emerald lake lodge in Field BC. Its breathtaking, intimate and surrounded by nature!!

    Best of luck to you and Brody

  • Your wedding posts and tastes are a lot like my best friends who is getting married next October. I’m her maid of honor, so I’ve been helping her with the planning! She found this beautiful rustic barn in upstate NY where the reception will be held. Good luck with finding your guys special place!

  • Would you consider back home in NH? My husband and I rented a summer camp on Winnipesaukee. There is also Lake Falls Lodge in Nelson.

  • Kaitlynn what about the white mountains of your home state of NH? I was married in Jackson, so many adorable Inns for wedding venues it’s truly beautiful up there!

  • We are getting married in Estes Park, Colorado, September 2017. There are a lot of beautiful options both ranch and mountains.. Good luck!!

  • Check out Ojai Valley Inn & Spa! They have an incredible resort with amazing ammentities. They also have a gorgeous house on property you can rent for your rehearsal and the town has a beautiful barn venue close by for wedding receptions

  • I totally suggest having no more then 100 attendees! I got married this past August in NYC for a destination style wedding and we had about 80 and it was perfect! Intimate enough and we were able to spend time with everyone the entire weekend! Def do a whole weekend of events too. And do not forget to take in the entire day Bc it goes by sooooooo fast!

  • A few suggestions here in Colorado. Devils thumb ranch in Tabernash, CO and Piney River ranch in Vail. Both are beautiful venues! Piney isn’t a resort so you’d have to shuttle up to the venue but it’s spectacular. Good luck!!

    • I really like the Devils Thumb Ranch! Right up my alley! Thanks!

  • I would definitely check out McCall, Idaho. McCall is a lakefront town with surrounding golf courses and mountains, with a ski resort as the backdrop (pretty amazing!) About 10 minutes outside of town is a venue named “Blackhawk on the River”. It resembles very similarly to what you’re describing. It looks to have all the accommodations you and your guests would need, but check out The Cove McCall Spa which would be a very relaxing pre wedding girls day! I hope you find your dream place wherever it may be, and if not for a wedding McCall is definitely worth checking out for a quiet, fun getaway!

  • My friend recently got married at the Bellevue Barn in Jefferson, NH and the venue did an amazing job. Due to the weather (rain then snow later on), the ceremony had to be held inside the barn but the detail and thought that went into everything made it absolutely perfect for the bride, groom and wedding guests..

  • I have a great invitation person and she is well versed in planning as well…. LMK it can get overwhelming

  • My best friend recently got married at nestldown in Los Gatos in the middle of the woods. It is not too far from Santa Cruz. It was a true fairytale surrounded by huge redwood trees and there was absolutely no need to decorate much! The reception was held in a beautiful rustic barn on the property. I’m planning my own wedding as well right now, so good luck to you! I am sure your wedding will be amazing!

    • Come to Vermont! Summer or fall, there beautiful mountain locations at the Von Trapp Lodge, Shelburne Farms, or Mountain Top Inn! It literally is breath taking!

  • Check out The Alisal Guest Ranch in Solvang. It would be perfect for your wedding venue.

  • It might be too far to travel but you should check out Cedar Lakes Estate in Port Jervis, NY. It’s about an hour from the city, you can rent out the entire property and the spaces are exactly what you described. It’s run by sisters who really know their stuff, their Instagram is @thesistersofcedarlakes. Enjoy every second of your engagement and the planning process, it’s a very fun time and it flies by!! xo

    • Oh, one more thing! For dresses you should check out Pallas Couture and j’aton Couture out of Australia, their designs are out of this world!!

  • Kait- I think you’d love Boston based photographer Carly Michelle, @carlymichellephotography

  • Amangani in Jackson Hole would be absolutely gorgeous. The mountain views are absolutely
    Incredible.. You can rent the whole place out too. Minimal decorations needed. Snake River ranch, also in Jackson Hole is equally spectacular and more of that, islaoted “in the woods” feel.. They have an aspen grove with mountain backdrop that is stunning for ceremony.. Then you walk along a creek-side path to a wide open private field where you can celebrate in complete privacy in the middle of the woods. Only thing with SRR is you would have to rent rent, tables, chairs, etc for the reception, but that’s easy enough to do! Happy planning!

  • Amangani in Jacksonville Hole, Wyoming, is absolutely incredible. The mountain views are stunning. Minimal decor needed. You could rent the entire resort out for your friends and family to enjoy quality time away together. As a second option in Jackson, Snake River Ranch is incredible. They have an aspen grove with a mountain backdrop where you can have ceremony in the woods, then you take a short walk down a creek side path to a large clearing where you could have the reception. For this, you’d have to rent a tent,chairs etc but that’s easy enough to do for complete privacy in the middle of nature with stunning scenery!

  • When I planned my wedding I fell in love with PineCreek Cookhouse just outside of Aspen. Views are spectacular! There is also a nice venue on the top of Aspen Mountain.
    In Montana there is the Ranch and RockCreek, which is a smaller and more intimate property than say a Paws Up. Dunton Hot Springs in CO, but not sure if too “rustic”.
    Blackberry Farm in TN is STUNNING. Hope this helps a bit and happy planning!

    • You just listed some of my favorite places!! I’ll definitely check out PineCreek!!

  • Hi Katelynn,
    My cousin got married a couple years ago in Moretown, Vermont. They got married on a hill top over looking the mountains, and the reception was down the hill in a breath taking barn. They had a little area to the side too for cock-tail hour. I know you’re from the east coast, not sure weather wise then you’re looking but thought it sounded up your alley. Sugar Bush Resort is close by, you are rent out a whole section too!
    Good Luck to you & Brody in all your planning!

  • Look at Sun Valley, Idaho and the surrounding towns. It’s a dream and I think you could find exactly what you are looking for.

  • I went to a wedding in Carmel a few years ago and it was amazing. It has that outdoor, nature feel that you might like. Take a look!

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