John Steinbeck said in his work Travels with Charley, “I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.” It is no wonder that a setting one could embrace, a state you could deeply love, would make for the perfect location to commit to forever with another person. For couple Steve and Lindsay, Montana brought the love for an elegant yet rustic wedding at the Resort at Paws Up.
The Resort at Paws Up lords over scenic Montana, perhaps at its most wildly beautiful. Located on 37,000 acres, the wedding took place at the authentic Montana dude ranch that blends both luxury and wilderness. In many respects, the wedding hit on a similar note with both rustic and elegant touches. Set in the little town of Greenough, the Resort at Paws Up features 10 miles of the idyllic Blackfoot River. While still being immersed in the Big Sky of Montana and its wilderness, the venue offers a convenient location for guests arriving for weddings and events. The Resort at Paws Up is just 35 minutes from Missoula. The ranch resort offered the couple and their guests a personal slice of western Montana without having to drive for hours on end from the airport.
Lindsay and Steve’s wedding occupied a piece of wilderness at the Resort at Paws Up. Guests admired the two committing to one another under a wooden archway complete with blush lace and tulle draping and flowers. The couple exchanged vows under the luxury resort ranch’s open space with mountains easily seen in the distance. Guests sat on wooden benches that featured pillows in the wedding color palette of soft peach and cranberry.
Once the couple said their “I dos,” they made their way to one of the event spaces at the Resort at Paws Up. The reception was held in the Bull Barn, an authentic Montana cattle barn that has been newly renovated. While the barn used to be where the Black Angus Bulls of Paws Up would reside, couples can now use the space for their wedding receptions. The barn features wooden beams, sparkling chandeliers and market lights, a perfect combination of the ranch’s commitment to both tradition and luxury. Lindsay and Steve went for an elegant yet rustic reception table setting with tall skinny candles and smaller floral arrangements.
Located at the center of the luxury ranch, the Bull Barn acts as a contemporary conference center, wedding venue and special event hall. The Resort at Paws Up lends several other spaces for weddings, conferences and corporate retreats beyond the barn. It can also handle the accommodations for groups up to 200.
Like any respectable wedding in Montana, Lindsay and Steve made sure the state was always at the forefront of their wedding theme. Catering was handled by the Resort at Paws up which featured a menu of local specialties like venison meatballs, trout, bison and elk. While the Resort at Paws Up offers a variety of cuisines as part of its event catering services, the couple chose to go with the venue’s knack for classic cooking of authentic western ranch dishes. In addition to the menu, guests also took home huckleberry jam, nature’s gift to Montana and the Northwest. The wedding party also rode to and from the ceremony in classic Montana ranch fashion, by way of buckboard wagons led by a pairing of horses.
The Photo Ops
With a space that is utterly gifted with beauty by nature, it wasn’t difficult for the couple to walk away with some impressive wedding photography. Michéle M. Waite Photography handled the camera, shooting the couple’s big day around the luxury ranch. Much of the Resort at Paws Up provided the perfect backdrops for photographs with its forested areas, open fields of golden wheat and of course that iconic Big Sky Montana holds in its arsenal. The two could be photographed with seemingly no other signs of human activity due to the expansive acreage at the Resort at Paws Up.
Guests of the couple could stay on the property. For many pairs getting married, seldom can they not only provide their guests with a fine wedding and a gorgeous backdrop to stay. However, the Resort at Paws Up makes it easy to have all of your guests just relax and enjoy the wedding weekend without worrying about getting back to a far off hotel later in the night.
The Resort at Paws Up features both private residences and luxury-tented suites. In total there are 28 luxury cabins and homes and 30 luxury tents. Perhaps the most unusual accommodations are the tented suites on site. Located on scenic areas of the property, the luxurious tented suites are just that. They come with the feeling of staying with Montana nature but also having all of the luxuries of a hotel room such as en-suite bathrooms and 1,000 square feet of space.
Guests of Lindsay and Steve had the chance to play lawn games at their wedding like croquet while sipping on cocktails. In addition, some of the wedding party took advantage of the ranch’s many activity offerings like clay shooting and horseback riding. In addition, the Resort at Paws Up lends many unique activities, as it is still a working cattle ranch. Those staying at the ranch can take part in a cattle drive, go fly-fishing or even take an ATV tour of the slice of Montana.
Under a romantic backdrop of untouched wilderness and starlit heavens, it is easy to see why Lindsay and Steve selected the Resort at Paws Up to exude the love of Montana Steinbeck described.
Why would you pick this Montana setting for your wedding? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.