A Romantic Ranch Wedding in Montana

You have to see the open-air chapel this couple built for their ceremony!

Updated 07/19/18

Photo by Jeremiah & Rachel Photography

If you ask how Megan Jones and Charles Margiotta first met, you’ll get two different stories. “We both went to Southern Methodist University, and had several mutual friends,” says Meg. “It was definitely in March of 2011, but I owe our meeting to my maid of honor’s matchmaking skills, while Charles is sure it was due to a spring break trip to Cabo!” Either way, the couple found each another, and they’ve been together ever since. Five years later, in April of 2016, the pair headed to a lake near Dallas under the guise of meeting friends to take their daughter fishing. “We walked around the lake with our golden retriever, Lilly, while I thought we were waiting for our friends," Meg recalls. "Then Charles got down on one knee and proposed!” That night, she was surprised again, this time with an engagement party filled with friends and family who had flown in for the occasion.

Meg and Charles have spent a lot of time in Whitefish, Montana, at her family’s home, and it was the perfect place to host their September 16, 2017 wedding. Says Meg, “We wanted a destination wedding where our guests could enjoy a weekend full of parties and outdoor activities.” They headed to Green Valley Ranch in nearby Coram, where pristine fields and views of Glacier National Park sealed the deal. “Our vision was for the dance floor to be packed, for drinks to always be full, and to be surrounded by the wild of Montana,” Meg explains. With Greenwood Events at the helm, Charles and Meg did all that and more, celebrating with 245 loved ones in true mountain style. Keep reading to see more of their beautiful ranch wedding, as photographed by Jeremiah & Rachel Photography.

wedding welcome bag

Photo by Jeremiah & Rachel Photography

As she pondered unique ways to ask her best friends to be her bridesmaids, Meg came up with an idea for a custom gifting business designed for brides like her. “My bridesmaid and I created To & From Gifts, and our company also designed and assembled all of the welcome bags for our wedding weekend,” she says. Each included local beers and the couple’s favorite treats.

bridesmaids bridal suite matching dresses

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Bride outdoor wilderness setting

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bride's bouquet

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Meg and her ’maids all wore hand-embroidered dresses by Mi Golondrina as they got their hair and makeup done together. “I was actually wearing one of their dresses when Charles proposed!” says the bride. Her closest friends looked on as she slipped into her silk georgette and lace Reem Acra gown, with a slim silhouette and a plunging neckline. “One of my favorite moments from dress-shopping was with my friend Kaitlin, who was getting married at Green Valley Ranch just two weeks before we were," she recalls. "I went to Denver to help her find her gown, and we had so much fun shopping together!”

She completed her look with a colorful and romantic bouquet of dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus, hellebores, and foraged berries.

bride and groom rustic country setting

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ceremony exit

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Charles and his groomsmen wore custom tuxedos from Quigley Clothiers, and each customized their attire with a fabric lining. Meg’s bridesmaids each wore a different white dress by Joanna August.

lemonade and ice tea station

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tequila shot station

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rustic wedding decor and signs

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Personal details filled the celebration, from the iced tea and lemonade stand that greeted guests upon arrival to the tequila shots guests were encouraged to take before heading to the reception.

mountain setting

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open air ceremony structure boardwalk

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floral arch for altar

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custom-built open-air chapel

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The ceremony took place in a meadow, beneath a custom-built, open-air chapel made of reclaimed lumber. Vines were draped from the beams, as though it had been there for years–but Charles and Meg loved that they would be the only ones to exchange vows beneath it. A 500-foot boardwalk led guests to the ceremony space, inviting them to take in the views (and snap some pics!) along the way.

Inside the chapel, an aisle edged in greenery and pampas grass led to a lush floral arch.

bridesmaids walking down the boardwalk aisle

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first kiss at altar

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first kiss

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bride and groom on boardwalk

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The ceremony included traditional vows and a reading of “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog,” by Taylor Mali. “The boardwalk made for the most romantic first walk as husband and wife!” says Meg.

tent reception

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escort card display

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mirrors and antler ears

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At cocktail hour, a raw bar was paired with huckleberry vodka and lemonade, and jalapeño margaritas. Afterward guests made their way into the sailcloth tent for dinner and dancing. Table assignments were framed by elk antlers, and smaller ceramic versions dotted the wall behind the band.

tent reception long reception tables

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tablescape silver candelabra

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tablescape bowl of fruit

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place settings

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Long farm tables were paired with round tables draped in ivory linens. The abundant centerpieces combined bright dahlias and roses with local fall foliage, while silver candelabras added height and warm light. Bowls of apples were another nod to the fall season. “We styled the place settings with antique silver chargers, bone-handled flatware, and sleek stemware,” says Meg.

wedding cake

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wedding cake couple kissing champagne

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Golden ferns, dahlias, and tea roses decorated the couple’s frosted wedding cake, a classic almond cake with vanilla buttercream.

toast

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tent reception cafe lights

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laughing at reception

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Guests toasted with rosé champagne, as well as a truly special wine selection: Two years before the wedding, Charles and Meg visited her aunt’s vineyard in Italy and helped with the grape harvest–and those are the wines they served with dinner!

first dance

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kiss on dance floor

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“We had an elevated lounge area at one end of the tent where guests could gather, and halfway through the evening, Charles and I snuck up there for a moment alone,” says Meg. “We looked out to see all of our family and friends celebrating. It was incredible to have them all in one place! Slowing down to soak in that time together is something we’ll always remember.”

Wedding Planner: Greenwood Events || Venue: Green Valley Ranch || Bride's Dress: Reem Acra || Bride's Veil: Warren Barron || Bride's Shoes: Sam Edelman || Bride's Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. || Hair: CS Bridal Styling || Makeup: Skin Chic || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Mi Golondrina, Joanna August || Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire: Quigley Clothiers || Engagement Ring: Harry Winston || Wedding Bands: Schmitt Jewelers, F. Gerald New || Floral Design: Greenwood Events || Paper Products: Cast & Company || Calligraphy: Jessica Lee Calligraphy || Catering: Bravo! Catering || Wine: Podere Calzone || Cake: Miss Patti Cakes || Ceremony Music: Kelly Garber || Cocktail Hour Music: Mike Murray Duo || Reception Music: Party Crashers || Rentals: The Party Store, The Top || Lighting: LA Audio || Transportation: Montana Trolley Company, Wild Horse Limo, Rocky Mountain Transportation || Accommodations: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Firebrand Hotel || Welcome Gifts: To & From Gifts || Videography: Britney Paige Cenematographers || Photography: Jeremiah & Rachel Photography

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