A Rustic Summer Wedding on a Montana Ranch

Emily and Patton

emily patton wedding montana bride groom daughter
Shannon Von Eschen

Three months pregnant, Emily Hormuth was questioning boyfriend Patton Penhallegon's suggestion that they climb to the top of Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree National Park. It's one of the keen climbers' favorite routes—but the tough ascent was made even harder that day by particularly strong winds. "All I could think was, Why am I doing this?" Emily says. Her answer came as she reached the top and saw Patton down on one knee, holding her grandmother's engagement ring. "I wasn't expecting it—and I was so out of breath, I could barely get out the 'Yes!'" Emily laughs.

The couple had first met through friends at Stolpman Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley in 2010, but didn't begin dating until the following year, when Patton was running the beverage program at a restaurant in Newport Beach and Emily walked in with a group of friends. "We made plans, canceled plans, and rearranged plans, then finally went out in downtown Santa Ana one night and haven't looked back since," Patton says. Now based in Orange County, California, where Patton is the owner of Penville winery and Emily works in the home-building business, the couple wanted a summery wedding that celebrated their shared passion for the great outdoors. They decided on Emily's family's ranch in Bigfork, Montana, and the date of August 6, 2016, enlisting Darci Greenwood of Montana-based Greenwood Events to bring the romantic country wedding, centered around the property's picturesque red barn, to life.

Emily and Patton wanted their guests to experience the beauty of the natural landscape, and adventurous pre-wedding activities filled the week, including a float down the Swan River and a hike to Avalanche Lake in Glacier National Park. By the time everyone (including their 10-month-old daughter, Penelope) gathered for the outdoor ceremony, they felt like old friends.

The couple's first act as husband and wife was the planting of a cherry tree with soil from their childhood homes. "We love the idea of going back to see its progress and being able to share that with our daughter," says Emily. After a feast in the barn, everyone hit the dance floor until, as if on cue, the wedding ended with a spectacular, rain-free lightning display: A wedding gift from Mother Nature herself.

Watch Emily and Patton's Wedding Film by Jeremiah and Rachel Photography

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The Location

wedding red barn
Shannon Von Eschen

Although Emily and Patton live in California, they quickly decided to marry at Emily's family ranch in Bigfork, Montana, a place they both love. As well as serving as the venue, the beautiful red barn inspired the late-summer color palette of bold reds, light blues, and copper accents.

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The Stationery

emily patton wedding montana stationery
Shannon Von Eschen

The custom invitation suite by Jessica Lee Calligraphy included a map of the region and a watercolor illustration of the red barn.

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Bridesmaids and Boots

Red Peony Wedding Bouquet
Shannon Von Eschen

Emily's bridesmaids, a mix of family and friends from childhood and college, wore dresses from BHLDN and their own boots.

04 of 15

The Bridal Bouquet

wedding bouquet rustic farm
Shannon Von Eschen

Emily's bouquet was as romantic as her lace Claire Pettibone dress, filled with dahlias, zinnias, delphinium, clematis, and more. For "something blue," the bouquet was tied with pale blue ribbon, while her grandmother's diamond watch provided a very special "something old."

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Musical Moments

wedding guitar player sunglasses beard
Shannon Von Eschen

Before the ceremony, Patton's childhood friend Matt kept the groomsmen entertained with a full rendition of Sublime's 1996 self-titled album. The talented musician also brought the house down the night before the wedding when the group went to Bigfork's Garden Bar and convinced the house band to let him play three tunes dedicated to the couple.

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The Ceremony

outdoor wedding montana ceremony trees
Shannon Von Eschen

Patton's childhood friend officiated the secular ceremony, held in the property's field.

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Sabering Some Bubbly

champagne wedding saber
Shannon Von Eschen

As owner of Penville winery in Santa Barbara, Patton is well practiced at the celebratory sabering of the champagne bottle, or in this case, a Monte Tondo Soave Brut from northeastern Italy.

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Lounging Around

wedding lounge area flowers couch pillows
Shannon Von Eschen

Planning a Montana wedding from California, Emily and Patton relied on event planner Darci Greenwood of Greenwood Events for many of the small details. "There were a lot Pinterest boards!" Emily says. To keep everyone comfortable in the indoor/outdoor setting, Darci created alfresco living rooms with comfy sofas, armchairs, and chests.

09 of 15

Seating Assignments

emily patton wedding montana seating assignments
Shannon Von Eschen

Tables were named for the couple's favorite national parks; guests found their names calligraphed in copper on rectangles of dark leather.

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Dinner Time

long wedding table greenery flowers
Shannon Von Eschen

The barn had a romantic candlelit glow thanks to the 12 custom-made iron chandeliers stacked with 25 pillar candles each. Hand-dyeing experts tono & co. supplied the beautifully simple runner and event planner Greenwood Events created the table arrangements with homegrown flowers, and foraged grasses, berries and foliage from the surrounding landscape.

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The Place Settings

emily patton wedding montana table setting
Shannon Von Eschen

Hammered copper chargers, bone-handled flatware, and crystal glasses sat at each place setting, while centerpieces of locally grown flowers were designed to capture the feel of summertime in the country.

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Tepee Breaks

wedding teepee
Shannon Von Eschen

During breaks from the dance floor, the bride, groom and their guests congregated in the two outdoor tepees by Alpine Tipis—one a whiskey bar and the other a cigar lounge.

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A Berry-Topped Naked Cake

emily patton wedding montana lemon chiffon cake
Shannon Von Eschen

The couple chose a lemon-chiffon cake lightly frosted with Swiss buttercream—a natural style to match the rustic mountain setting.

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Custom Mugs

emily patton wedding montana favors
Shannon Von Eschen

Avid climbers, the couple gave personalized camping mugs from a local gift shop as favors.

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wedding couple field horizon
Shannon Von Eschen

Event planning, design, flowers, and lighting, Greenwood Events

Catering, the Cuisine Machine

Photography, Shannon Von Eschen

Videography, Jeremiah and Rachel Photography

Stationery and calligraphy, Jessica Lee Calligraphy

Cake, Sweet Notions

Music, Mike Murray

Rentals, La Tavola Fine Linen; the TOP; the Party Store

Bride's gown, Claire Pettibone

Bride's accessories, Nadri earrings; Old Gringo boots

Hair, Stephanie Kuhl of Foxtrot Salon and Jeni Evans

Makeup, Kristen O'Leary Makeup Artist

Bridesmaids' dresses, Blhdn

Bridesmaids' necklaces, Nadri

Flower-girl dress, Mayoral

Flower-girl shoes, Minnetonka

Groom's suit, John Varvatos

Transportation, Wild Horse Limousine; Beach Transportation Co.

Mug favors, Meriwether

Head Table runner, Tono & Co.

Tepees, Alpine Tipis

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