Robin and Kenneth's Pretty Outdoor Montana Wedding
When Robin Senour met coworker Kenneth Hill through mutual friends, she had a rule against dating fellow colleagues—but they didn't form much of a connection until Kenny took another job in 2009. The duo, who both have careers in the action-sports industry (Robin in marketing and Kenny in outside sales), started dating, and years later, Kenny planned to ask for Robin's hand in marriage, though she unknowingly thwarted multiple proposals. In fact, if it wasn't for Kenny's determination to successfully pop the question before a visit from his parents, the engagement might have been delayed yet again. Robin returned home from a work trip and Kenny, sick with a fever, suggested that the pair walk together around the nature trails near their home in Southern California. Although Robin encouraged him to stay home and rest, Kenny was determined and trekked with her to a lookout point on the trails, where he held her hand and told her to peer through a telescope. "He stood right in front of the telescope holding out the ring box in his hand. He asked me if I saw my future, but all I could see was his jacket since everything was so magnified! I looked around the telescope and there he was with a ring box," says Robin, who was speechless and shocked at the gesture.
Fifteen months after the ring went on her finger, Robin wed Kenny in front of 76 guests on September 13, 2014, at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake in Whitefish, Montana. The destination wedding was a timeless celebration with rustic elegance, DIY details, and a pretty color palette.
After initial ideas to wed near their home in California or at Robin's parents' house fell through, Robin and Kenny moved forward with plans for a wedding at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Robin grew up spending summers in Montana and Kenny had also fallen in love with the area, so having a ceremony in the beautiful state seemed right. Plus, the waterfront venue boasted everything the couple was looking for: a great location near a town and outdoor activities, guest accommodations, beautiful views, and a space large enough to hold the wedding.
Robin's sister, Cari Senour, designed the stationery suite with some direction from Robin regarding layout, color, and fonts. The invitation mixed modern and whimsical details and featured gray text on white card stock. A personalized wedding logo—two crossing arrows with the couple's initials and wedding date—adorned the top. The envelopes for the invite, R.S.V.P. card, and details card were an off-white pearl color, and the liners had a muted floral pattern with a horseshoe feature.
After visiting more than 10 bridal shops and not finding the lace gown she dreamed about, Robin went to her appointment at The White Dress in Corona Del Mar, California, with a completely open mind. She ended up falling in love with an off-white Antonio Gual for Tulle New York gown that looked completely different from what she initially set out to find. As it happens, the gown was straight off the runway and only in the shop for a weekend trunk show. "When I picked up my dress, the bridal shop still hadn't received their floor sample," says Robin. "It made me feel like I would truly have a unique dress." She paired her gown with Ivanka Trump shoes and jewelry borrowed from her mom. Kenny sported a Kenneth Cole Reaction suit and checkered tie from The Tie Bar.
Robin donned the same veil that her mom handmade for her own wedding, even adding a piece of lace from the sentimental headpiece to the front of her dress.
Wedding coordinator and florist Darci Greenwood of Beargrass Gardens arranged the wild-looking bouquet with white blooms and fuchsia accents. Flowers included Quicksand roses, white majolica spray roses, scabiosa, viburnum berries, pieris japonica, calcynia, astilbe, geranium, veronica, bunny tail grass, and seeded eucalyptus. A light pink silk ribbon tied around the clutch.
The wedding bands, which the couple custom made as gifts to each other, were set with Yogo sapphires that are only mined in Montana's Yogo Gulch. Kehoe's Agate Shop in Bigfork, Montana, sourced the stones, and then William Harold Jewelers in Newport Beach, California, set them in the bands. Kenny's yellow-gold piece boasts three large sapphires, while Robin's white-gold band is covered with small sapphires. Her white-gold engagement ring with a one-carat stone is accented with diamonds halfway down each side and in the shank of the setting.
The bridesmaids wore dark pink Jenny Yoo dresses with neutral or gold heels and minimal jewelry. Robin chose the jewel-toned gowns because they worked well on all skin tones and hair colors, and also because they could be worn multiple ways to flatter all figures. "There was symmetry in the color and fabric of the dresses, but they still looked different enough so that it wasn't boring," says Robin. The bridesmaids' bouquets, also tied with light pink silk ribbon, consisted of three white dahlias with seeded eucalyptus, pieris japonica, and bunny tail grass.
The Maid of Honor
Robin's sister, Cari, the maid of honor, donned a light gray dress from Jenny Yoo.
Robin's parents' two Labrador retrievers, Moose and Bear, served as ring bearers. "They are very loved family members, and I was so happy I was able to include them in the day!" says Robin.
The 3:30 p.m. ceremony took place on a grass lawn overlooking Whitefish Lake and was officiated by a bridesmaid's father, who was Robin's childhood soccer coach. The bride's dad walked her down the aisle to the score of the movie "Somewhere in Time" by John Barry—Robin would watch the film every summer while vacationing in Montana with family. The bride and groom recited personalized wedding vows and told guests a background story regarding why they wed in Montana. Two readings were included in the ceremony: "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran and the "Cherokee Wedding Prayer."
The birch arbor was draped in flowing white linen, greenery, and loose arrangements of dahlias, garden roses, Quicksand roses, and astilbe.
The newlyweds took portraits with photographer Shannon Von Eschen in two separate sessions: after the ceremony in a nature preserve and after dinner on the lodge's dock in front of the setting sun.
Kenny says that one of the most memorable moments of the day happened right after the ceremony, when immediate family and the wedding party met to take pictures. "It really hit me at that point that I just married my best friend with all of our closest friends and family surrounding us," he recalls. "It was very surreal and emotional."
The Teepee Bar
While the wedding party took pictures, guests enjoyed the cocktail hour on the lawn in front of the reception tent. Passed appetizers included elk meatballs with huckleberry barbecue sauce and sesame chicken satay with guava sweet-and-sour sauce. In addition to a full bar and locally brewed beer, guests sipped on two signature cocktails: a whiskey ginger and Champagne with huckleberries.
The Lodge at Whitefish Lake requires all bars to be covered, so Robin decided to avoid a generic party tent and rent a teepee from Alpine Tipis instead. "It definitely tied the event together and was loved by all of the guests," says Robin. "Also, it was the first time the venue ever had a teepee used in a wedding!" Wood blocks, lanterns, and flower arrangements decorated the teepee's entrance.
The Escort Cards
Rocks pulled from the lake in front of Robin's parents' house were used as escort cards. Robin's sister, Cari, used a white gel pen to write each guest's name on the top of the rock and his or her corresponding table number on the bottom. Any rocks not taken home by guests were tossed back into the lake.
The octagonal reception tent, a permanent structure at the lodge, boasts cement flooring, white ceiling drapery, and chandeliers. The head table, which housed the entire wedding party and their dates, was a large rectangle with an off-white table runner. Other guests sat at round tables covered with fabric found in downtown Los Angeles that was repurposed for the occasion by family members. Robin and Cari also made the pink ombré napkins that draped down the side of the table at each place setting by dipping fabrics in three different shades of pink dye.
Guests dined on a three-course buffet that included a petite field greens salad, wild Alaskan salmon, roasted New York strip steak, wild rice, Yukon Gold potato purée, and steamed vegetable medley. Attendees gave speeches and toasts throughout the hour-long feast.
Beargrass Gardens arranged the centerpieces using the deeper jewel-toned hues of the wedding to add a pop of color to the reception tent. The brass-footed compotes contained garden roses, ranunculus, dahlias, pieris japonica, privet berry, foraged dogwood foliage, scabiosa, white majolica spray roses, Quicksand and Sahara roses, acacia foliage, seeded eucalyptus, and scented geranium. At the last minute, plums and crab apples from the trees in the bride's parents' backyard were added to the display, since the fruits matched the palette perfectly. The smaller round tables housed mercury votives with a couple of blooms and greenery.
The Table Numbers
Rocks pulled from the lake also served as table numbers, with a stone flaunting the couple's initials designating the head table.
A Soft Glow
The bronze candelabrum on the head table, which belonged to Robin's grandmother, held tapered candles. "They added soft romantic light, and when the candles melted, it left a really pretty mess," says the bride.
The Center of Attention
Garlands of seeded eucalyptus, smokebush, dwarf lilac foliage, and soft pink ribbon adorned the newlyweds' chairs to subtly differentiate them from the crowd.
The Guest Book
Robin and Kenny decided to make their guest book a "mini photo booth" to document their big day. Instant cameras were provided for guests to snap pictures of themselves to tape into the book with a note.
Joyce Dye of Just Desserts made the chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, which was then decorated with an off-center grouping of flowers. Red plums, crab apples, and candles were placed on top of the sparkly linen surrounding the confection. After struggling to find something to hold the cake, Robin borrowed the antler horn stand from her parents, who have owned the decorative item for a long time.
As take-home treats, guests received buffalo jerky from M&S Meats in Flathead, English toffee made by Robin and Cari with their grandmother's recipe, and a note from the newlyweds.
Packaged With Love
Robin's family assembled the favor boxes and wrapped them with chevron paper, twine, and a piece of pine.
Photography: Shannon Von Eschen
Location and Catering: The Lodge at Whitefish Lake
Event Planning, Design, and Flowers: Beargrass Gardens Floral & Events
Videography: Eli Weiner
Stationery and Calligraphy: Cari Anne Senour Designs
Music: Mark Wood Entertainment
Teepee: Alpine Tipis
Hair: Red Union Salon
Makeup: Salon Envy and Spa
Lighting: The Party Store
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