Mandy and Mark's wedding wasn’t just a celebration—it was a mission. With Mark's family spread across the globe—one side in England, the other in New Zealand— "a destination wedding would force everyone to get to know each other," says Mandy, a Montana-born Californian who wanted to showcase her native state.
Big Sky, a resort area in the northern Rockies, seemed the ideal choice and the couple quickly booked the Moonlight Basin Lodge. Finding an open meadow for their ceremony proved more challenging. After days of searching, the couple met a hitchhiker who tipped them off to a horse-grazing pasture with a river on one side, mountains on the other, and a tumbledown stable that hit just the right rustic note.