June 25th, 2022 • Butte, MT
It is a common misconception that weddings need to be hosted at the fanciest venue, with the most extravagant decor. The truth is, no matter where you tie the knot, it will be an overwhelming success as long as it speaks to you and your partner. While in Montana, you truly don’t have to go overboard when it comes to designing the wedding of your dreams, simply head out to one of Montana’s many beautiful landscapes, and say your “I Dos” with the one you love. We are overjoyed at the opportunity to share Alex & Donny’s eclectic backyard wedding in Butte, Montana. We know that you will find it just as beautiful as we do!
This unique wedding was perfectly captured by Wild Ace Photography, a Cheers MT Premier Photographer. Based in the Gallatin Valley, Jocelyn is an intimate wedding & portrait photographer that is passionate about capturing images that will be cherished for a lifetime. As she puts it:
My photos are warm, true to life, and authentic. My main priority when capturing your big day is that you look at the photos with a rush of nostalgia and feel more beautiful than ever. I strive to capture you, your family, and your friends as your fun and loving selves. I love capturing the moments you don’t even realize are going on, like a grandparent playing with their grandchildren, or a loved one tearing up while you walk down the aisle. I believe in creating art that lasts a lifetime!Jocelyn Baty, Wild Ace Photography
Their Love Story Begins
Alex and Donny met digitally on Plenty of Fish, a popular dating application. The couple first bonded over their shared love for cooking. Alex describes how she was particularly interested in his creme brulee-making skills since he is a chef and it is hard to find good creme brulee in Montana. After talking for some time, Alex and Donny decided to meet each other in person! Alex gushes:
We eventually went on our first date at The Bay Bar and Grille in Bozeman, MT. We spent over an hour talking about my ambitions and what I wanted out of my life, it was the first time I was really honest and straightforward on a first date!Alex McClouskey, Bride
A couple of dates later, Alex finally got her creme brulee. So sweet!
Their Proposal Story
Alex and Donny knew right away that they had met their match. One night, Alex casually mentioned “Why don’t we get married in two years?” to which Donny replied, “Why not next year? If it’s going to happen, we might as well get it done!”
That November, Donny & Alex were walking along the pond by their house to a bench where they spent their evening each day. Out of the blue, Donny said “I have a question I have been meaning to ask you..”. Alex cried as Donny took a knee!
Alex and Donny didn’t want a traditional, run-of-the-mill wedding day. This couple was passionate about designing a celebration that spoke to them personally. For months, Donny and Alex explored thrift stores, antique shops, and yard sales to find unique cups, glasses, and plates for the guests to choose from as a keepsake of their big day.
With a vibrant pink color scheme, and a signature cocktail individual to both Donny and Alex, this day was not only visually stunning but truly a whole-hearted Montana party.
The Wedding Day
On their wedding day, the McClouskeys packed up their wedding-day attire and hiked up a mountain with their dedicated photographer, Jocelyn Baty with Wild Ace Photography! Between an old railroad trestle, Alex and Donny shared their heartfelt vows with one another, while Jocelyn captured the emotional moments they shared away from the crowds.
Following their intimate vow exchange was a lovely ceremony hosted at Thompson Park. Located just 10 miles south of Butte, Thompson park features 25 miles of stunning trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, or in Alex & Donny’s case, tying the knot! Known for the historic Milwaukee Railroad, the park extends through the Pipestone Pass and intervenes with the Continental Divide Scenic Trail.
Celtic Handfasting Ceremony
To symbolize their connection, Alex and Donny participated in a handfasting ceremony. Dating as far back as 7000 B.C. in Ireland, a handfasting ceremony is an act of having a cord or ribbon tied around the hands of a couple. As Brides explains,
During the ceremony, the officiant begins by explaining the ritual and what it means to the couple. This statement often includes the notion of the couple binding their lives together and the union of their hopes and desires. The officiant then invites the couple to join hands, which symbolizes their free will to enter into the marriage. From here, the officiant reads a series of vows as cords are wrapped around the couple’s hands. You could opt to use a separate cord for each vow, or twist or braid together a few cords and wrap them as one around your hands. Then, your officiant may make an additional statement about the completion of the binding and the commitment it symbolizes. After your hands are bound, you can proceed to exchange additional vows or use your handfasting as the vows you’ll exchange and move directly to the ring exchange.Brides, Wedding Inspiration
After the ceremony, the tied cord can be hung above the couple’s doorway as a symbol of their unity!
The Fun-Filled Reception
To ensure a stress-free wedding day, the McClouskeys kept the guest list small. Alex and Donny hosted an intimate reception in their backyard in Butte, MT! This quirky reception included personalized drinks, a meal prepared by Donny, a pavlova cake prepared by Alex, and of course, their eclectic wedding decor. Surrounded by their closest friends and family, this couple celebrated their first night of marriage to its fullest!