Planning a Destination Wedding in Montana’s Yellowstone Country

Couple just married at Hardscrabble Ranch, Bozeman, Montana Hardscrabble Ranch, Photo by Yellowhorse Photography

Montana's Yellowstone Country is one of the most sought-after locations for a destination wedding. Understandably so — the mountains, rivers and big blue skies are romantic in their own right, but they also afford guests an incredible vacation opportunity. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport offers non-stop flights to twenty-four destinations nationwide, so getting here has never been easier.

Many wedding parties enjoy group activities like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and, in the winter, downhill and Nordic skiing. And for those who enjoy solitude, you can find hiking, fishing, biking and shopping experiences across the region.

So, where do you start with planning a destination wedding to our neck of Montana?

Couple getting engaged on Red Lodge Mountain Photo courtesy Red Lodge Mountain

First, timing — regardless of the time of year, you will need to reserve your venue early. Most are booking a year in advance, and some even further out for the summer months. It's undeniable that summer is spectacular here, but there are benefits to having a wedding in one of the less popular months. For one, you'll have a better chance of getting the venue of your choice, but also, accommodations are less expensive during one of the off-peak seasons.

Speaking of venues, the options are many. From rustic beauty like the Hardscrabble Ranch in the Bridger Mountain Range, to the quaintness of Big Sky Chapel, there are locations to fit a variety of preferences and designs. Winter weddings are popular at Lone Mountain Ranch, with evening sleigh ride dinners and cozy cabins. New this summer are mountain weddings at Red Lodge Mountain; take the chair to the top and enjoy endless views and fields of wildflowers. (Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort also offer wedding options.)

Of course, Yellowstone National Park is possible, depending on the location, group size and time of the year. Still, if you want a large, exclusive, or decorated wedding, the Park Service encourages you to hold your event outside the Park. (Please note that a special use permit is required and may require advanced planning.)

Wildflowers on Red Lodge Mountain

As for food, beverage, and decor, you'll be thrilled to explore our vendors' depth of talent and creativity. Like Sauce, many caterers source their food locally and seasonally and turn out delicate, delicious dishes based on what's available. For a more relaxed occasion,  Follow Yer' Nose BBQ has perfected the Q and offers both a carving service or pick-up.

If you're planning a wedding in one of our areas, chat with the local chamber of commerce or destination management organization; they can provide you with vendor options.