Sunset Photo Of Couple At A Micro Wedding In Montana
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How to Plan a Micro Wedding in Montana in 2024

Last updated on February 7th, 2024 at 08:09 pm

Planning a Micro Wedding in Montana

When my wife and I got married in June of 2020 we had to scale back our wedding to a micro wedding due to COVID-19. While it was a bummer not being able to invite all of our friends and family, a micro wedding was actually really special! Having been there before I have put together a complete guide to having a micro wedding in Montana to help you on your planning journey.

Micro Wedding In Montana In Bigsky Air Bnb

What is a micro wedding?

Micro weddings rose to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic due to gathering restrictions but, a micro wedding is nothing new.

Simply put a micro wedding is an intimate wedding celebration that typically includes fewer than 50 people, with a focus on quality over quantity. This means just because the wedding is small doesn’t mean it is cheap. Couples tend to invest more money into each of their guests since more funds have been freed up due to the smaller size.

Even now with gathering restrictions being lifted, Micro weddings in Montana, are just as, if not more popular! One of the main reasons for the popularity of micro weddings is the desire to have a more meaningful and authentic wedding experience. By reducing the number of guests, couples are able to spend more time with each person, and the overall atmosphere is more relaxed and intimate.

Couple Having A Micro Wedding In Montana At The Chateau

I have seen micro weddings in Montana become even more popular with the rise in destination weddings coming to the state. Couples will invite their best friends and family and make a vacation of their Montana wedding.

While this might not be true for everyone, another reason micro-weddings have grown in popularity is the cost. Food is usually one of the number one costs for couples. Fewer guests mean less food. Less food means a less expensive wedding. This allows couples to allocate more of their budget towards the things that really matter to them, such as a stunning venue or a world-class photographer. ( like me 🙂 )

Choosing a Micro Wedding Venue in Montana

There is a lot to think through when planning a wedding, even if it is a micro one. Here are a few tips when thinking through venues.

  1. Size: As the guest list for a micro wedding is typically smaller, you will want to ensure that the venue is the appropriate size for your group. You want the space to feel intimate and not too empty or too cramped. Some venues that advertise themselves as Micro wedding venues only hold 25-30 people.
  2. Location: Think about the location you want to have your Montana micro wedding. This is a big state and has many beautiful options such as mountain views, lakefront properties, and rustic barns. Are you thinking of going to Glacier? Check out venues around Kalispell, and Whitefish, or even have the wedding at Glacier National Park (this may lower your guest count further). Want to hit up Yellowstone or Big Sky? Consider Paradise Valley, Bozeman, Red Lodge, or Billings.
  3. Availability: This sounds like a no-brainer, but make sure the venue can accommodate your wedding date.
  4. Amenities: See what the venue has to offer. Some venues include tables, linens and decor. Even if the venue is more expensive, this can really free up funds in your budget.
  5. Photography opportunities: Montana is a stunning, arguably the most beautiful state in the US. Make sure your venue features some of this beauty and isn’t just a wide open space up on the Highline. (the highway that runs the northern length of the state.)
  6. Climate: Are there indoor and outdoor options? Montana weather is wild. If you are having a micro wedding in Montana, make sure you have a backup plan!

Micro Wedding Venues in Montana

18 1889Barnⓒcharlesmollphotography Charles Moll Photography Bozeman Wedding Photographers

The 1889 Barn

This cozy restored barn located just outside of Bozeman is perfect for any intimate wedding. The venue doubles as an art gallery, so you will be surrounded by art from some of Montana’s best artists.

Website: https://www.1889barn.com/

Rainbow Ranch Lodge -Big Sky Wedding Venue - Photos By Charles Moll Photography

Rainbow Ranch

Located just outside of Bigsky on the Gallatin River, Rainbow Ranch is the perfect micro-wedding venue if you are looking for a venue that includes lodging and stunning views. See more on our Rainbow Ranch Venue page.

Website: https://rainbowranchbigsky.com/

The Chateau Events Center Photos

The Chateau Events Center

Located in Bozeman, the Chatuea is an Italian-inspired venue on 40 acres. The venue while on the larger side, provides plenty of space for you and your guests to celebrate Montana’s beauty. Check out our Chateau Event Center page to learn more.

Website: https://www.thechateaueventcenter.com/

Montana Airbnb Micro Wedding

An Air BnB

This is probably the number one venue I hear when talking to couples for a micro wedding. With so many stunning homes near scenic views throughout Montana. An Air BnB is a really fun way to get more time with your family and friends while celebrating the whole wedding week!

White Raven Weddings and Events

Located just 25 minutes to the west of Downtown Missoula, White Raven offers a picturesque setting on a beautiful mountain plateau overlooking the Clark Fork River in northwestern Montana. Majestic pines and stone cliffs contrast beautifully with the wildflower meadows, providing the perfect backdrop for your wedding day. The venue can accommodate up to 125 guests.

The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

As the name would suggest the Lodge at White Fish Lake overlooks Whitefish Lake. This stunning hotel is an excellent place venue since it gives you and your guests access to onsite lodging and dining, vastly simplifying the day. My biggest piece of advice with this venue would be to avoid a winter ceremony. I have noticed it can get a bit windy and with the lake being frozen it takes away some of the magic of the venue.

Tips for planning a micro wedding in Montana

Hire a wedding Planner!

Often couples think just because their wedding is going to be smaller this will make everything way simpler negating the need for a wedding planner. While things are a lot simpler than a “normal” sized wedding, I HIGHLY recommend getting a wedding planner who knows the area especially if you are having a destination wedding. You have enough to worry about on your wedding day. A planner has been there and done that many, many times before. They offer invaluable experience and insight that will allow you to relax and have the best micro wedding in Montana. I so thoughtfully believe in this that I often offer discounts to couples when they have a planner since it makes my day way easier and allows me to be a better photographer. Below are my recommendations for some great wedding planners.

Wander North Events

Events by Killian

Your Vision Weddings & Events

Invest in experiences!

You are getting married! That is amazing! This will be an unforgettable memory you will carry with you for the rest of your life! By doing a micro wedding you will have a lot of your budget freed up to splurge on things you wouldn’t with a normal-sized wedding. Go out to a nice dinner with your friends and family, go horseback riding, and get a guided fly fishing adventure on one of Montana’s stunning rivers.

The things you will remember about your wedding are the people and the experiences you shared together. A Micro wedding in Montana will free you up to make some amazing memories together.

Micro Wedding In Montana - Flyfishing Wedding In Hyalite Canyon
Wedding Boquet - Micro Wedding In Montana

Spend Money on things you care about

When my wife and I had our micro wedding in Montana, we were able to spend a bit more than we had anticipated on our reception dinner. We really wanted to bless our friends and family with a nice meal. Since we had way fewer guests, we were able to up the cost per plate and still stay under budget.

Now for you maybe you want a nicer venue, or florals, whatever it is splurge on the things you care about!

Invest in a great photographer

Now this piece of advice is not unique to couples planning a micro wedding in Montana and may sound pretty self-serving.

But, your photos (outside of your spouse) are the only thing you will take with you after the wedding. I can not count the number of times someone has told me they hired a friend or someone off Craigslist only to end up with bad photos. This is especially awkward if that person is a family friend.

I know it can be tempting to invite a friend to get them to your wedding, but please, trust the professionals. I have never met a couple who regrets hiring a professional photographer. If you are still at this stage of your planning journey, click here or the button below to learn how I do things differently.

108Brittanysawyerⓒcharlesmollphotography Scaled Charles Moll Photography Bozeman Wedding Photographers

Tips for reducing the cost of your micro wedding in Montana

One of the main reasons couples will choose to have a micro wedding in Montana is to cut down on cost. For every couple what this means will look vastly different. I have met couples who consider the $2500 they spent for their wedding expensive and others who consider a $25,000 wedding inexpensive. The following tips should help no matter which camp you are sitting in.

Have your Montana micro wedding on a weekday or in the offseason

This right here is the number one way to save money on your wedding. It’s basic supply and demand, weekends are highly sought after and there are very few of them in the summer. By choosing a weekday wedding your cost on almost all your vendors will drop. I know I am always thrilled to book a wedding during the week since I will have a free weekend to spend with my wife or I can make some extra money I wasn’t planning on! If you are having a weekday wedding let’s talk!

Keep the guest list small

Just because you are having a micro wedding doesn’t mean you need 50 people there. You can invite 25 or even fewer. The beauty of a micro wedding is that you can have your favorite people there to celebrate with you.

Consider an Alternative Venue

As I mentioned before an Air BNB can be a great option for a micro wedding in Montana! With a smaller guest list, you don’t need the space a traditional venue has to offer.

Skip Dinner

Not every wedding needs to have dinner. With a micro wedding in Montana, your could choose to have an early morning ceremony and a brunch with family and friends. Or have a late ceremony followed by desserts and cocktails. Food will be one of your biggest expenses so look for ways to do something different!

Custom Collections for Micro Weddings in Montana

Micro weddings are probably my favorite type of wedding to photograph. Since they don’t fit the normal wedding mold I offer customized collections designed for your wedding day. I would be honored to be a part of your day!

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