A Whimsically Rustic Lakeside Montana Wedding

Bri and Kris Cote | August 17th, 2019

It was more like a wedding week than a day, and the week started with lots of friends, laughter, hot springs, and a whole lot of celebrating Bri and Kris. By the time we actually reached Angler’s Lodge and Cabins on Friday, the excitement tension for the big day was at an all time high. Everyone could not wait for Saturday!

Bri has been one of the most laid back brides of all time. She is already a free-spirited, adventurous woman and her wedding reflected the same. After the rehearsal, us girls gathered under the twinkling lights of the pavilion and created the bridal bouquets! I don’t think I have ever had more fun. I realized I definitely do NOT have a green thumb, but Bri was absolutely amazing (just wait until you see her bouquet!!)!! We (I mean Bri and Holly) spent hours carefully placing eucalyptus and baby’s breath and the most luscious mums together in perfect, amazing arrangements! With the final touch being a charm of Gary, dangling right next to her ring hand.

Just as you can expect, the morning of their wedding day was just as relaxed! It started with relaxing yoga with Jonna as the sun rose over the mountains giving us the most spectacular sunrise! Breathing in the fresh air and starting the day in the most perfect way. As you can expect, being a photographer herself, Bri had the most amazing detail box prepared and ready for Holly to photograph it all (the wooden box you will see, Bri MADE it)!. As Holly captured all that beauty, us girls danced our way into hair and makeup. Bri’s big blue eyes just glowed when she stepped into her dress and added the most special touches. A dazzling bracelet from her uncle from when she was young and a stunning bracelet her mom gave her at her shower.

After the sweetest first look with her dad, Bri finally was walking towards her future husband. It was one of the greatest moments when Kris turned around and instantly started walking towards Bri, but she was already running to him. It is slightly intimidating photographing your best friend’s wedding, let alone when your best friend is also a photographer. Thankfully, Bri and Kris have the most electric connection which made my job incredibly easy. Then think about adding in ten fabulous humans into the mix which creates the most fun half hour! Kris requested one photo and that was a photo with his boys and their guns, which the girls had to take a swing at as well! As we cruised back to the venue for family portraits we saw the most amazing view off the side of the road that led us to some sweet horses and the most epic mountain views (just wait until you see them)!

Bri and Kris’ ceremony was extra special because Judge Audrey Barger was able to officiate. Audrey was Bri’s boss and friend for many years when she worked in the Justice Court. A reading from a good friend and Bri’s mama, sealed with a first kiss as a married couple and a classic Bri cheer!

The adventurous side of Bri and Kris showed throughout their reception; from a killer crab boil that got dumped on every table for dinner, a sweet rap song sung by Bri and her dad, five delicious pie flavors, a bouncy house and epic hippo blow up game, a quiet, and perfect private vow reading after the ceremony, a music list that kept me dancing all night long,  they even hopped into the canoe for some amazing sunset portraits! Once our feet were sore from dancing we closed the night with a bonfire. I know Bri and Kris woke up with a new forever, and the rest of us woke up to some of the best memories to date!

Let’s take a small flashback to summer of 2016. Bri and I were traveling to weddings almost every weekend together. Driving hundreds of miles together talking about our imaginary weddings with the boys we were dating: Evan and Kris. Little did we know then, those boys we were dating would soon be our husbands and those days of driving and wishing and dreaming would be behind us but the best days are ahead.

Congratulations Bri and Kris Cote!! Love you so much!

One of my favorite parts of every wedding day, getting to wish the Bride good fortunes before she sees her groom for the first time. This time was extra special!

The exact reaction I hope for with a same-day slideshow!

Venue: Anglers Lodge

Photography: Holly + Mary – Merry Character Photography

Florals: Brianna Cote + Bridesmaids

Makeup + Hair: Kalyn at Simple Salon

Bridal Hair: McKenzie Owen

Gown: Belles and Lace 

Bridesmaid Dresses: LaLa Mira

Tuxes: Bitteroot Black Tie

Rings: JM Donoven Design

Bridal Earrings: BHLDN

Shoes: Steve Madden

Invitations: Soulstar Design

Catering and Desserts: Mineshaft Pastry Co.

Officiant: Audrey Barger, Hill County Justice of the Peace

Toasting Cider: Backroad Cider

Bounce Houses: Bitterroot Bouncers


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