Summer Star Ranch, Helena
If you are recently engaged, your number one priority should be to book your venue! Montana by nature is a wedding destination state. We are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing beauty! With all of our beauty driving people to book their wedding in Montana, this can make it difficult to find venues available for your wedding date!
I love to share what I have experienced over the years for anyone willing to listen! I will be sharing my favorite venues that I have shot at here in Montana, and also what bride and grooms should look for in a wedding venue to maximize their experience on their special day! Just know, I haven’t had the experience of shooting at ALL of the venues in Helena, but I am sure excited for this year’s upcoming weddings! If you are a venue owner, and I didn’t mention your venue, I’m sorry! I hope that one day I can shoot at your awesome location! Until then, this post is meant for brides and grooms that want to hear where I have had fantastic experiences alongside my brides and grooms!
What Style of Venue Fits You?
If you are a clean-car, stiletto heals kinda gal, a rustic barn wedding that is up in the mountains is probably not where you should book your wedding venue. If you like to have amenities close by in case something goes wrong, or simply if you just need to run to Target for some last-minute items, I would also caution picking a venue that is far in the country.
However, if you are dreaming of being surrounded by nature, enjoy the calm and quiet air, and want to see the stars while you dance at your reception, a country wedding is the way to go! Be thinking of what you are naturally drawn to. Want to find somewhere in the middle?! That makes perfect since too! There are lots of options that allow for you to be both close to town but out far enough away from the hustle and bustle of traffic so that you can have an intimate wedding day!
Kleffner Ranch, Helena
Ask If They Double Book!
I know what you’re thinking. That would never happen. Oh, I have seen it happen more than once. A bride shows up to her wedding venue after months of planning, steps out of the car with high-hopes for the best day of her life, only to have her heart sink, because she finds out that the wedding venue is actually holding another wedding on the same property on her wedding day. There are no words to comfort a disappointment like that.
Be SURE to ask your potential wedding venue if they do double bookings. Even if it’s not on your wedding day, but even the day before or day after. It’s extremely disappointing to have to pick up and clean up after another wedding from the previous night! It’s better to find out before than have a heart-breaking experience later.
Fort Harrison, Helena
Parking, Bathrooms, and Amenities
Not the most exciting things to think about when planning a wedding, but boy oh boy, they are important details! Parking is a very big issue with lots of venues. Make sure there will be EASY parking for your guests. Even if they offer busing guests in, think about it from a guest’s perspective (especially if they have young kids). Will they be willing to wait on busses if their child is having a hard time, or will they want to have the security of having their car readily available? Also, most elderly people may be hesitant to board a bus, especially if they are handicapped in any way. In my experience, most people like having the option to get to their own car whenever they need to, but each wedding is different!
Bathrooms are also a big thing to think about! Your venue should be able to tell you how many (working) bathrooms they have for your guests. Do your homework and find out the average number of toilets needed for x amount of people, so that your guests aren’t wasting their time waiting in line at your fun wedding to use the lou! Also, ask what the contingency plan is for them if one of the bathrooms were to become closed during a wedding–hard to believe, but I’ve seen it happen more than once!
Does your venue offer extra amenities for you? Does it come with chairs for the ceremony? If so, who is responsible for moving them to the reception site, or are there enough chairs for both? Is there a “getting ready room” for both of you? Will the owner be present to help if need be on the actual wedding day? How is the electrical situation at the venue? I’ve seen a lot of DJ’s who have blown breakers and halfway through a ceremony the microphone stopped working. Little questions, but the more you know, the easier you can relax as the wedding planning progresses!
Summer Star Ranch, Helena, MT
Kleffner, Ranch, Helena, MT.
Cathedral of Helena, Delta Hotel, Helena, MT
Hope this helps upcoming brides and grooms! Little things go a long way! Here are my favorite venues (in no particular order!) in Montana! Maybe my next post will be Idaho and Washington venues from the beginning of my career!