By: Chrysa Smith

It had to be over 20 years ago. My father-in-law loaded up his RV and took us up from Laurel, Montana through Red Lodge, Montana—one of the cutest towns I’ve been in. I can’t quite remember where the final destination was, but I do remember a young girl bouncing around singing her own version of ‘Little Bunny, Foo Foo.’


Fast forward through years of growth, fun, a trial or two and a move to Colorado, and finally, this past weekend, to the end of an era; the beginning of a new life. Saturday was our niece Kira’s wedding. A lovely young lady, as you can see by the photo, as you might expect, her wedding was as lovely, sweet and fun. But one of the most unique things that readers might find interesting, especially those on the East Coast, is that it was all pulled together beautifully, despite no formal catering hall or  wedding planner.


As a NYC girl, most weddings I’ve been too have been fairly predictable. You head into a hall or onto a patio, the band or DJ announces the bride, plays a song or two, as you sit at a round table with centerpiece, talking to those you either don’t know, or haven’t seen in years. Behind the scenes, the father of the bride’s eyes circle round his head, as he whips out the checkbook or credit card and prays that he hasn’t completely exceeded his limits.


But as I witnessed over the weekend, this generation has a new way–or maybe it’s those who are enterprising, on a budget or scroll through Pinterest on a regular basis. And it’s basically a DIY.  Held at the family’s cabin, just north of Absarokee, Montana, the day before the wedding was a scramble. A dozen other young folks gathered there, as trailers, cars and boxes full of ‘stuff’ arrived. After some waiting for it all to appear, it appeared as a lovely setting, along the Stillwater River, surrounding by bluffs and riverbank foliage.


Mason jars covered in burlap held the white roses and baby’s breath. Bare tin cans held coffee beans and tea lights. White tablecloths were adorned with lace runners, and dozens of rented chairs and a couple of tents provided the cover. Golden Christmas lights were hung on the cabin and strung around the rocks. A pig, roasted in a nearby town, was laid out on tables with side dishes provided by family members. Drinks were housed in metal wash bins and a standard size cake was surrounded by dozens of lavishly decorated cupcakes. Musicians were friends of the groom, providing a little wedding and blue grass music; one of them, the minister who performed the ceremony. Photos were snapped by the lifelong friend/photographer.
Photo: Beautiful night


When I looked at it all, I thought that having a wedding planner would have made the weekend so much less hectic. But there is something so rewarding about DIY. It’s personal; it’s interactive; more economical and reminiscent of the saying that many hands make lighter work, and people show their love by actually partaking in the event vs. showing up at an event.


If you’re throwing a wedding or pitching a party, if you’re game, think about DIY. Your head might be spinning in the middle of it all, but once it’s done—oh so rewarding—least I think so. For ideas, check out Pinterest or one of the many wedding and DIY sites so popular these days.


Kira—you gotta good start—-here’s to a very good life!