Sweet Picnic Handmade Real Wedding – Zack & Regan

We love handmade weddings, not just because we love crafty things, but because you know how much love went into making and crafting these weddings.  And in the wedding of Zack and Regan, you can really feel the love pouring out of their wedding images, thanks to the talented Mark and Angela of Cluney Photo!

Here’s what the gorgeous couple had to say about their wonderful big day!

Zack and I celebrated our marriage on my 31st birthday, in a rustic little barn on a sunny afternoon at the foot of the Mission Mountains in Ronan, Montana. We had eloped in Seattle almost a year prior, moved back to Big Sky country, then planned and executed the wedding of our dreams – casual and handcrafted, in the style of a summer picnic. Although parts of the process were peppered with the usual wedding-planning anxieties, in the end we received exactly what we’d hoped for: the perfectly imperfect celebration.

Big subscribers to the “Do-It-Yourself” mentality, Zack and I make crafting, creating, and cultivating a regular part of our life together. As we began planning for our wedding celebration, DIY-culture became our guide through all the marketing propaganda that was working so hard to convince us that the success of our Big Day was entwined with making Big Purchases. Limitations in budget became invitations to roll up our shirtsleeves and get reacquainted with the family glue-gun.

I went to work on my trusty sewing machine to create cloth flowers – using well-loved pillowcases, worn shirts, and strips of tulle and cotton from three family wedding gowns, I fashioned bouquets, boutonnieres, banners, and stemmed flowers in vases. I am most proud of my bridal bouquet – sewn into its many petals is a gold tooth, a bluebird pendant, a St. Francis of Assisi medallion, a rhinestone skull, and a myriad of buttons from my grandmother’s personal collection. My bouquet will never wilt, forever holding fiber memories of that wonderful afternoon.

The hand-crafted coup-de-gras was not my own work but the handicraft of Paula Niccum, local seamstress extraordinaire: she took my grandmother’s wedding dress and lovingly updated it to my specifications. The gown was adapted to fit my own eclectic style while retaining its vintage integrity, and I couldn’t have been more pleased. Wearing my grandmother’s gown for the ceremony was both practical and a great way to honor the many roles she’s played in my life – parent, educator, benefactor, and inspiration. I marvel that two brides were able to share a gown over a distance of 56 years…and in both cases, it fit our personalities perfectly.

We spent a good chunk of our modest budget with local vendors, and my hometown of Missoula was well-represented – Bernice’s Bakery made our lovely cake, most of my wedding jewelry came from Rockin’ Rudy’s, and the fine folks at Mark Cluney Photography captured the essence of the day in images that we’ll treasure forever.

Our little ceremony took my breath away. As I entered the sunlight-filled barn with my grandpa and my father on either arm, with the Beach Boys crooning their hit “God Only Knows” in the background, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I cried with joy when the entire congregation sang “Happy Birthday” to me, and Eden Atwood’s rendition of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” brought everyone present to tears, including the accomplished singer herself. My grandmother and my mother-in-law spoke during the ceremony, welcoming Zack and I into the respective families, and our dog Jimmy sat dutifully in the front row, somehow sensing the solemnness and sincerity of what he was witnessing. I recited a poem by e.e. cummings before we read our simple and powerful renewal vows. Presiding over the ceremony was our friend Nils, who had performed our legal binding in Seattle – he invested so much energy and love in making both of our ceremonies unique and beautiful! We have the best friends!

 Zack and I love to make music together. When we were first falling in love, I somehow knew that I would give him a banjo as a gift on our wedding day, and that prophesy came true. In turn, Zack had my grandfather’s tenor ukulele repaired, and we exchanged these special instruments during the ceremony. After our vows, we played the banjo and uke together for the first time with a toe-tapping rendition of Cake’s “Stickshifts and Safety Belts” for our guests – a sweet, silly song that perfectly reflects our desire to be together always, bucket seats be damned!

Thank you so much Zack, Regan and Cluney Photo for sharing your amazing day with us! We’re utterly smitten with you and your amazing wedding!

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