Posted: Oct 8, 2012 7:51 PM by Lindsey Gordon (Helena)
At the Helena Wedding Showcase on Sunday, held in the ballroom at The Red Colonial, future brides and grooms got a taste of whats "in" this season for weddings.
Brides are bombarded with ideas and choices nowadays. This year's buzzword in weddings? "Rustic Elegance" - and people from all over the U.S. are realizing that's what Montana does best.
"I think people are looking for rustic and rustic elegance and so this is the place to come," said Abby Turner, wedding coordinator and owner of Icing On The Cake Events in Bozeman.
Budgets for Montana weddings have a big range.
Abby elaborates,"From brides that are really doing a hometown wedding and working off of a smaller budget, but are in Montana because they want a gorgeous wedding-to the celebrities -- have some money to spend and want a destination wedding and come to Montana for the scenery, the mountains..."
This means a substantial impact for local economies.
"Lewis and Clark County saw about 450 marriage licenses, if say half of those weddings actually have a "wedding." An average wedding, ten-thousand dollars is spent on average between all the simple services, but then even room blocks at hotels restaurants for rehearsal dinners," said Jim Tucker, one of the founders and organizers of the Helena Wedding Showcase.
The impact is even bigger in touristy areas that have that destination draw like Big Fork, where Brian and Tory will be tying the knot next August.
"He proposed on my birthday. Up at the fire tower," said Tory Taylor, a Helena bride.
Grooms partaking in wedding planning is gaining in popularity. It's something they get to do together.
"It's fun," Tory adds.
"Events like this are really helpful, because I don't know what I'm doing, so...," chimes her fiance Brian Howard.
Abby offers the couple a word of advice in a potentially stressful time.
"To have fun-and I mean it's kind of overstated, but it's true. Let the professionals that you hired do their job and do it well so that you can have the best day ever," Abby finishes.