Notes From the Road: What to Expect at a Yellowstone Country Wedding

The days are getting longer and the sun is consistently shining, which means two things: first, I’ve put away my sweaters for good and, second, it’s wedding season in Montana’s Yellowstone Country.

Before I lived here, I was a wedding planner, which means I’ve got some insight into how weddings are done all over the country. But attending weddings in Yellowstone Country comes with its own set of expectations. From boots to barns, we do it just a little bit differently here.

Expect a little bit of rain
During the summer, there seems to always be a threat of a storm in the late afternoon, just around the time most couples are trying to walk down the aisle. Pack a rain jacket and an umbrella just in case (which may even come in handy, be it cloudless and a bit toasty).

Brides in boots
While the “Brides in boots” phenomenon seems to be completely taking over Pinterest in the last few years, Yellowstone Country couples have been wearing boots under their dresses and suits since before it was a thing. You’re welcome, Pinterest.

Getting married in a barn isn’t a trend … it’s what we do
And most were built around the turn of the century and STILL manage to hold a few hundred people stomping their boots. Pro Tip: if you ever go to a Yellowstone Country wedding in a bar, head downstairs to the horse stalls during a particularly raucous song. Watching the floor flex under all that weight and not crack is mind boggling (and oh-so-fun).

You just might get invited … even if you don’t live here
I was invited to two weddings within my first two months of living in Yellowstone Country. Don’t be surprised if you happen upon a buffet at a resort or restaurant and the couple invites you to join in.

Small town vendors mean big time parties
When the DJ is your friend from high school and your photographer is your sister’s boyfriend, you get a little bit of leniency in terms of when everyone goes home. It’s not uncommon for those tented weddings in the backyard to go into the very wee hours of the morning.

Everyone will want to help
Your aunt will volunteer to bake your cake, your cousins will come early to set up all your tables and chairs, and your neighbor will officiate. And at the end of the night, you’ll be able to walk out of your venue without a look back because everything will already be cleaned up.

Are you going to any Yellowstone Country weddings this summer? Bring your boots.