When Rachel Leidner first saw Bret Plymire, she noticed his amazing smile. "I was drawn to him," she says. After calling his best friend to see if Bret was seeing anyone, the couple was set up on a date, and the rest is history. After a long day of moving from Dallas to Austin to live with Bret, Rachel was surprised with a romantic poolside proposal. Desiring an outdoor wedding in the summertime, Rachel and Bret selected a destination wedding location, instead of subjecting loved ones to the heat of their home state in July. "We picked out a location we had never been to, so it would be one of our special places," shares the bride of their decision to exchange vows in Big Sky, Montana, giving guests an opportunity to experience the mountains and cooler weather.
Upon arrival to the celebration, favor bags were provided to loved ones to honor the wedding location as well as the couple's home state. Contents included a Texas-shaped container of AustiNuts, bath salts, tissues, small containers of Tito's vodka (also made in Texas), mints, water, and Advil, as well as information on local eateries and planned activities, including zip lining, white water rafting, and horseback riding. Women received earrings and necklaces created by an artist who used blue stones from Montana and Austin in each design, and men were given shotgun shell-capped bottle openers as favors.
To commemorate their love for the outdoors, Rachel and Bret were married alfresco at a dreamy location featuring a beautiful view of the mountain. Just before sunset, Rachel walked down the aisle on the arm of her father. She wore a strapless lace fit-and-flare dress and carried a lush bouquet of pink blooms wrapped with lace from her gown and pinned with her late grandmother's wedding and engagement rings. True to their personalities, Rachel and Bret exchanged vows in a simple and quick ceremony officiated by the bride's grandfather. "My grandfather married my mom and dad over 30 years prior, and he married us as well, which was very special to me," she shares. Guests enjoyed signature "Texas Tea" cocktails before and during the service – "that was a hit with our laid-back group," adds Rachel.
For the reception, attendees gathered in the lodge next to a fireplace with views of the mountains. Since the bride desired a soft, romantic theme of "shabby-chic meets Texas/Montana flair," décor was kept minimal to highlight the scenery and rustic lodge details. Burlap table runners ran the lengths of long, wooden tables decorated with low arrangements of frothy florals in shades of soft pink and cream arranged in blue mason jars. Following the sit-down dinner service, loved ones enjoyed slices from a two-tier pink wedding cake with gold details featuring sour cream butter cake with two layers of fresh strawberry buttercream and one layer of vanilla buttercream.
The couple's destination wedding offered the opportunity to celebrate their nuptials with those closest to them in a brand new location that they'll never forget. When asked the advice they would share with other couples planning their own nuptials, the bride suggests they don't focus too much on the little details. "Get the larger pieces in play... Sometimes letting things happen works the best! There's no need to stress," she shares.