What to expect at our location during different times of the year
Montana is beautiful at all times of the year so you really can’t go wrong when choosing the perfect date! However, the foliage, temperatures, and locations of the sun can vary quite a bit as we move from one season to the next. We’ve laid out a few descriptions below to better help you understand what you can expect during different months throughout our main wedding season. We hope that this will be helpful to those couples who may be located in different states, or even those who might live in different areas across Montana.
Spring: May and June
Foliage - The snow starts to melt in March, and we tend to get a good amount of rain in April, making the grounds (grasses, trees and bushes) very lush and green. The natural grasses around the property are cut down every year after the snow melts so they will be shorter and growing taller with each week that passes. We have planted a few flowers in beds around the property and these can vary in color (whites, purples, reds primarily). Towards the end of June, our mock orange bushes that flank our rock wall ceremony site blossom in little white flowers (the blossoms only stick around for a week or two but they are a beautiful site to see). The river that adjoins our property can be a big feature for our couples, but the run-off from the mountain snow can cause the river to run quite fast and high during the month of May into early June, so caution is recommended.
Temperatures – Springtime temperatures are usually very comfortable. Earlier May will hang around 60 degrees, and as we make our way through June the temps can range in the 70s to 80s. You may experience a rain shower during these months, but usually the rain will move in and move out, and we don’t typically experience an all-day rainstorm. Couples typically can plan for most of their event to take place outdoors (ceremony, cocktail hour, and late-night dancing on the patio).
Sunlight – This is a perfect time of the year for the placement of the sun. You shouldn’t have to worry about it affecting your ceremony as it will sit high in the sky during the afternoon. It will also set at a good time in the night.
Summer: July and August
Foliage – Summer is a beautiful time of the year for our property. There is plenty of color all around, with the varying colors of the trees, bushes, flowers, and grasses. As we move into July and August our natural grasses will reach their peak height and start to form beautiful yellow tops that blow in the breeze. Late June through July you will see our natural lupine wildflowers bloom in beautiful purple flower stalks. These can be seen all around the property but mostly you can find them surrounding our meadow ceremony site. We keep our lawns mowed and watered throughout the Summer keeping them lush and green as well. The river is much slower and lower during these months, making it a great place to swim, float, or raft. Many of our couples venture down towards the sandy beaches and rock structures that line the river for photos.
Temperatures – It can get hot in Montana. You can expect temperatures during these months to be in the mid to high 80s to mid 90s. Some days we can get into the very high 90’s or even low 100’s. With peak high temperatures occurring around 4 or 5 pm. Our outdoor bar is shaded and we also provide sun sails and patio umbrellas for guests to find shade while outdoors. The many trees that we have planted combined with the already established pine trees will also provide a cool retreat for you and your guests. Our buildings are equipped with cooling systems to keep everyone as comfortable as possible even on our hottest days. Our meadow ceremony site is surrounded by tall pine trees which provide a shaded area for your guests. This site is highly recommended during these months. The rock wall ceremony site on the other hand is not shaded, so be mindful when choosing this ceremony site on a sunny, hot day. Parasols and handheld fans might be a good addition to your ceremony during these months. We rarely experience rain showers in July and early August, which can lead to dry forests and potential wildfires across the state. With wild fires can come some smoky air, we however are not as impacted by smoke as other areas, because the mountains surrounding us are very close. It may look a little hazy, but we don’t typically lose any views. Smoke in the air can also lead to pretty epically beautiful sunsets! Around mid to late August we may start to get a few rain showers back in the forecast. These are usually thunderstorms that roll in and out pretty quickly.
Sunlight – You should get a ton of sunlight during the Summer. The sun doesn’t set until late in the evening – usually around 9:30 pm. This will give you and your photographer lots of time after dinner to sneak away for sunset photos. The sun also stays very high in the sky during these months so your ceremony should not be impacted.
Fall: September and October
Foliage – We love the Fall for all of the beautiful Fall colors that begin to pop out. By mid September we’ll start to see our bushes and trees changing colors. With the full Fall color effect occurring the first two weeks of October. You can expect a lot of oranges, reds, and yellows mixed with the greens of the pine trees and lawns. Many of our trees start losing their leaves towards the third week of October. We start to get the larch (tamarack pine trees) turning yellow along the mountainsides near us, which is a classically beautiful Montana mountain scene. The mornings can bring some fog, which is amazingly gorgeous flowing through the pine trees. Our lupine wildflower stalks will start to turn a deep brown and the tall field grasses will take on the color of flames.
Temperatures – Early to mid September usually gives us very comfortable temperatures in the 70s to 80s. As we move towards October the temperatures can vary depending on the day, temps can be in the low 60s to as high as the mid 70s. Once the sun goes down, the temperatures do drop however, so by the last week of September and into the rest of October we do recommend that late-night dancing take place indoors. We provide patio heaters for all events in the Fall to keep everyone warm while they are outside. Outdoor ceremonies are still very popular, but a few blankets or hand warmers might be a good addition to your ceremony in October.
Sunlight – The sun does start to drop lower in the sky during the Fall. This can provide some beautiful shading effects throughout this season, but it can also present some challenges. Our rock wall ceremony site is most affected by the sun, as your guests will be facing the sun during our common ceremony times. We have recorded recommended ceremony start times for those who choose this site to minimize any glare issues for your guests and photographer. And because the sun is lower in the sky during this time, the sun will set a lot earlier than you would expect as it starts to move behind the mountains that are right next to us. We tend to lose the sun behind the mountain around 5 pm in late September to as early as 3 pm in mid-October. Even though the ball of the sun might not be visible, we still get beautiful ambient light until true sunset. Dinner time is usually the most magical in the Fall, it can be very romantic once the sun goes down. And we have fireplaces and heated floor systems in the buildings to keep everyone feeling cozy and warm.