Planning a destination Montana wedding? Read these 6 tips!
April 16, 2015
Western Montana in the Spring - what to expect!
January 15, 2015
Every so often, we'll blog about the seasons in Montana. We want our brides to love their Bitterroot Valley wedding, so we'll be realistic about the weather, and give you tips to plan a beautiful wedding no matter what! The old saying is "don't like the weather in Montana. . .just wait a minute!" And that couldn't be more true in the spring.
Spring in Montana can be both a delight and a curse, all at the same time. Snow can and does fall throughout the spring in most areas of Montana, with the snowfall probability lessening as spring wears on. While June snowstorms can and have happened virtually everywhere in Montana, it is a rare for most valley locations to receive snow. Instead, the mountains will often receive snow while the valleys receive rain.
Spring is also the rainy season in Montana. During May and June, Montana tends to receive the most moisture of the year. When this moisture actually happens, it goes a long way towards preventing the torrid forest fires that so often make national news. As mentioned, most of the moisture in the valleys falls in the form of rain during the springtime.
The mountains, however, receive a mix of rain and snow. During April, mountain areas tend to receive snow as the main form of moisture. This begins to shift in May, with the low and mid-elevation mountains receiving rain while only the upper peaks of the mountains receive snow. By June, most mountain peaks tend to receive rain as well, although snow can and does happen in the mountains in June almost yearly. Additionally, June rain in the mountains has a tendency to be a cold rain, not a warm spring shower.
As spring is the rainy season in Montana and because the state is dominated by northwest Pacific flows, western Montana can be very slow to warm up following winter. In western Montana, in fact, it seems at times during May and June that summer will never arrive, with often week long events of clouds, cool air and light spring showers being the “norm.”
Tips to planning a beautiful Spring Wedding in Montana:
1. Just be prepared for rain. This means either a beautiful indoor wedding in a ballroom or weather-tight barn, or a tent with side enclosures. Have umbrellas for walking outside with your hair & makeup done. We find if you prepare for it, often it doesn't happen!
2. Be prepared for the temperature! The weather can get cool quickly! Make sure you have the supplies to heat your venue (propane space heaters for tents, fire pit for the "after party.") Encourage your guests to wear layers! As the bride, consider adding a shawl to your design, and giving those as a gift to your bridesmaids. Again, if you prepare for the worst, you frequently get the best!
3. Higher amounts of rain = wet/mushy grass. Girls - consider wedge shoes instead of stilletos if you have to walk on grass! But if you want stilletos, buy yourself some SOULMATES! You'll save those heels from sinking in!
4. Watch for mud. Before you choose your location, consider parking. If your guests are coming in from out of state, remember they're likely renting compact cars, and don't have 4 wheel drive. It's best to consider a location with an established parking lot. The higher up you go into the mountains, the more muddy it is later in the season. Don't let your guests get stuck!
So why would you want a spring wedding in Montana?
1. Spring in Montana is the most beautiful season! Green, lush meadows. Snow peaked mountains. Rushing rivers. It really is the most amazing time of the year here.
2. Spring is a "shoulder season." Summer is tourist time in Montana. Planning a wedding in shoulder season means typically more availability for venues, accommodations, rental equipment, you name it! It's not as busy as it is in the summer.
3. Temperature! Although the temps can sometimes dip back below freezing, it's more frequently in the 60s or 70s. Our summer temps can get into the 90s and 100s. It's much easier to warm up an event space than it is to cool it off! And being prepared with a beautiful shawl or shrug is always smart.
4. When you're coming off the holiday season, sometimes there's a sad lull in the spring months. Why not plan your wedding in the spring, so you can fill that lull, and then you're free to enjoy the entire summer married and enjoying your new beau!