Rugged Horizon – St. Ignatius, MT, October 30th, 2021

 There are few things in this world more beautiful than the autumn season in Montana. From late September through the month of October, the big sky state is known for its vibrant fall foliage, especially in the higher elevations of western Montana. As such, there is truly no better time for a wedding celebration featuring swoon-worthy earthy and warm-toned colors. Zach and Allie’s beautiful fall wedding at Rugged Horizon was surely one that will be fondly remembered for a lifetime!

This stunning autumn wedding was perfectly captured by the talented Jenna Ballard Photography, a Cheers MT Photographer! Born and raised in Missoula, MT, Jenna is passionate about helping her clients feel confident and natural in front of the camera while delivering bright, colorful, and joyful images to tell their stories. We are so honored at the opportunity to represent Jenna and her beautiful work!

Their Love Story Begins!

Zach and Allie’s love story begins all the way back in 2015. At the time, Allie was a college student, and Zach was in the process of applying to grad school while working as a bartender at Red’s Bar in Missoula, MT! The night before Thanksgiving Break, Allie and some girlfriends headed out to Red’s Bar for a casual girls’ night out. Zach had his eye on Allie, and as such, he sent over a round of shots. As fate would have it, Allie headed up the bar to thank him and order another round, and Zach asked for her number. As she puts it, “the rest is pretty much history”!

The Proposal

In the winter of 2020, Zach and Allie headed up to the Sleeping Child Hot Springs, a 1970s-era styled rental in Hamilton, MT, for a relaxing weekend spent with a group of their close family friends. This couple drove up the morning of December 27th and stopped to grab a beer at a brewery in Hamilton where Zack took a video of them to send to all of our friends who “couldn’t make it.” Once arriving at the hot springs, Zach told Allie to take the elevator while he ran up the stairs (this is very typical of Zach, as he is very high-energy). When Allie stepped inside the elevator there were instructions to stop on each floor. On each floor, Zack had written Allie a heartfelt letter. The first floor had a letter talking about their lives before they met, and how meeting her meant everything to him. Next to the first letter, Zach had placed the same shooter for Allie that he had sent over the night they met. The second floor had a video of their friends and family and a letter talking about their lives together over the last 5 years. On the third floor, the letter contained what he hoped their future looked like together and all the great things that were to come!

Feeling a mix of nervousness and excitement, Allie made her way to the final floor. When she arrived at the glass-enclosed terrarium on the fourth floor, Zack was standing there with flowers, lights, snow falling on the glass outside, and a diamond ring. Zach and Allie were surrounded by all of their family and friends, helping them celebrate the first step into their engaged life together! In pure bliss, they spent the remainder of the night swimming, drinking, and spending time with their closest loved ones. Zack had the whole thing filmed and he even put together a video of their engagement so that they will always be able to reminisce on those special moments!

The Bride

Dressed in a beautiful gown from Marcellas, a bridal shop based in Spokane, WA, Allie wowed her guests with her sleek and sophisticated look. With no detail left behind, Allie sported a beautiful simple glam, finished off with a traditional veil that whimsically draped her gown, and accentuated her silhouette perfectly!

The Groom

Zach, wearing a dapper beige suit from The Black Tux, was surely dressed to the nines. With the addition of his dark mauve tie, classy brown oxfords, and an earthy-toned boutonniere, this groom impressed guests with this classic and sharp getup!

The Wedding Day

The Bridal Party

Outfitted in an array of beautiful autumnal shades, each and every bridesmaid looked absolutely beautiful standing alongside this one-of-a-kind bride! Each holding their own dried bouquet, this bridal party is surely one for the books! And did we mention that they all had matching loungewear to get ready in? So adorable!

Each groomsman sported the same beige tux as the groom, however, did not wear ties. Instead, this group of men each had an independently colored handkerchief in their pocket, showcasing the same beautiful autumnal colors as the bridesmaid’s dresses!

The Details

While overall this beautiful wedding featured a largely classic and simplistic feel, we are head-over-heels for the vintage elements that truly made this day in a class by itself! To give this day a boho feel the bride was passionate about incorporating dried florals. Seen throughout the day, these dried florals were beautifully designed by Southbound Flowers, a floral designer specializing in local, Montana-grown cut flowers for weddings. Headed by Bess, this micro-farm is woman-owned and grown and is known for practicing sustainable seasonal, and organic methods of production.

In addition to the beautiful florals of Zach and Allie’s big day, this couple was particularly enamored with their one-of-a-kind jewelry designed by Love Zoelle, a local jeweler. Their custom jewelry was extremely personal to this couple as this talented jewelry designer melted down Zack’s grandfather’s ring to make their wedding bands. It’s truly these personal touches that make the small details of the wedding day stand out!

The Ceremony

With the beautiful Mission Mountains making the perfect backdrop for this autumn wedding in Montana, Zach and Allie tied the knot on the day of October 30th, 2021.

Surrounded by their closest friends, family, and loved ones, Zach and Allie had the most perfect ceremony, celebrating their endless love for one another. As he saw his beautiful bride walk down the aisle, preparing to vow to spend the rest of their life together, Zach couldn’t help but get emotional. Talk about a tear-jerker!

The couple’s niece, Elizabeth, walked down the aisle as the adorable flower girl. As Allie puts it, “Elizabeth wore the same dress I wore when my aunt and uncle got married! There is a picture that we had at our wedding of me dancing in that dress with my grandfather who passed away when I was 10, so we wanted Elizabeth to get a picture of my dad and her dancing. (It was my dad’s dad who passed away)! I believe the dress was 22 years old!”

The Reception

Based in the heart of the Mission Valley, Zach and Allie hosted their wedding at Rugged Horizon, an event venue well known as a romantic location to tie the knot here in Montana! Just shy of 40 minutes outside of Missoula, MT, Rugged Horizon is surrounded by the stunning Mission Mountains and features a 3,000-square-foot barn that was the perfect spot to celebrate after this couple’s beautiful outdoor ceremony.

While there are several beautiful barn-inspired wedding venues in the big sky state, Rugged Horizon is set apart by its stunning location and wonderful amenities including but not limited to:

  • Old-world styled barn built from locally-milled wood and heavy timber
  • Large barn doors that open up for dancing under the stars
  • French doors that open wide to enjoy the sunsets

Surrounded by the romantic light and atmosphere of Rugged Horizon. Zach and Allie celebrated their life-long commitment to one another in style! With their friends, family, and loved ones all in one shared space, this couple enjoyed each and every speech given during their reception. Allie even swears that the speeches were the best she has ever heard with the best man and matron of honor having the entire room laughing – and almost in tears (tears of joy of course 😉)!