July 6, 2022
Between sunset kisses, perfect vows and golden hour moments, Brittany + Damian’s June U Diamond Barn wedding in the Helena Valley reminded us what our Montana wedding dreams are really about: embarking on a new chapter with love, wonder, and maybe a longhorn cow or two.
“Goodnight from the older version of you,
Who remembers the very moment you are in right now,
And is grinning from ear to ear.
Because you have no idea about the wonders that are ahead.”
This poem, penned by Lin-Manuel Miranda, handpicked by one of their closest friends and shared in the first breaths of their ceremony, embodies the overarching spirit behind Brittany and Damian’s big day -
Every step of the way was steeped in the special brand of wondrous anticipation reserved for a day like this;
A spirit of easy excitement guiding every instance, sweeping up loved ones along the way and carrying them along its lighthearted current through behind the scenes fist bumps, family prayer moments and joyful first look tears.
But somewhere in the middle of the dance battle moments, sweet friendship tales and puppy dog kisses, Ian - lifelong friend, silver tongued officiant and certified poem selector - paused for a moment, before asking those gathered before them a single profound question:
So why are we here?
The surface answer is obvious; we’re here for a wedding.
If we go a layer deeper, it’s a moment of celebration -
An opportunity to eat, drink and be merry, surrounded by generations of loved ones, good food and Jonas Brothers dance moves.
But marriage itself, as Ian points out, goes beyond its backdrop and window dressings. It is more than just another celebration.
Unlike most other gatherings, the celebration of marriage through some form of ceremony remains constant through every major worldview, religion and society. From ancient Mesopotamia to a Montana lakeside, wedding ceremonies have withstood the tests of time, cultural shift and passing whim.
So why, above all others, do we acknowledge the special status of a wedding day by sharing in its tradition and celebration with those we love most?
Perhaps the answer is rooted in love itself.
Despite differences of background, creed or belief, love is the place all can land together. Love is our greatest equalizer, point of common ground and one universal truth. Not a single one of us is a stranger to love’s reach, and this very act of a marriage ceremony itself reminds us all, even if only for a moment, that love is the truest expression of our very humanity.
We are here, then, because marriage exists as a touchpoint to love’s profound and unifying truth. We are here because seeing love made incarnate through a lifetime commitment to its exploration is a wonder itself.
Marriage is a wonder itself.
But marriage is a wonder that carries beyond a few lines of a poem, whirlwind romance and butterflies for the sunrise to come.
It is a phenomenon and a promise all in one, driven by both lighthearted wonder and solemn oath, and demonstrating as much familiarity with love’s wild and windblown face as the steadfast harbor of its core.
Marriage takes the wonder of looking beyond the horizon in eager anticipation of dawn’s fair tomorrow and joins it with a steadfast commitment to the thousands of tomorrows to come.
As the sun set on this past Saturday’s fairytale, it gave us a parting gift of sunset kisses, longhorn silhouettes and enough sweet golden hour memories to last until the cows come home.
But moreover, it gave us the gift of remembering these profound truths of wondrous love, gained through a moment spent with two people who truly embodied it all.
And, as Brittany and Damian look to the horizon, grinning from ear to ear,
We can think of no new dawn better worth the wonder.
Venue: U Diamond Barn
Wedding Planner: Halstyn Stief
Dress: Belle en Blanc
Makeup and Hair: Shelby Novak
Floral Designer: Sola wood flowers
Catering: Nathan Howeth
Cake Designer: Kellie Hilborn
DJ/Band: Matthew Kewitt
Bar: Eagles 40/40
Photographer: Floating Leaf Studios
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