A Trip Down Memory Aisle

Our Big Sky Love celebration allows us to celebrate everything we love about Montana, but we also love to celebrate love under the Big Sky. What better day than Valentine’s Day to think of all the loving moments we’ve been involved in over our 12 years as a destination wedding venue. It’s the unexpected tears from fathers, the speeches from Best Men and Maids of Honor that give you chills, the precious flower girls, and adorable doggy escorts. Over the past few years it was the intimate moments shared on mountain peaks and in Zoom weddings. Weddings are just one small facet of all the forms of love we can highlight today, but we are deeply honored when adventurous couples choose our 6,600 acres to take their first steps as a married couple.

Guided by Our Wedding & Event Expert

The Ranch’s Creative Director Christina Wernikowski has worked here for 10 of our 12 years as a luxury ranch and venue. In that time, she’s had the opportunity to be part of some of the first weddings, to learn with the experts at Laurie Arons’s Wedding Planner Masterclass, and to rethink event design during a pandemic. We asked Christina to choose her top 10 favorite wedding moments captured on camera during her tenure, and the results are true to her pun-loving personality and timeless style.

#1 Fall in Love

Fall wedding couple
Photo by Elizabeth Lanier Photography, Floral by Habitat Floral Studio

Something hits a little different with our Fall weddings. especially when the leaves aspens are putting on their annual show. Megan and Connor timed their wedding perfectly for the Montana gold rush.

#2 Weddings Can Be “In-Tents”

Blue Canteen Wedding Venue
Photo by Jose Villa, Floral by Sarah Winward for Laurie Arons Wedding Planner Masterclass

I adore the Blue Canteen as an event space for smaller weddings. This image was captured while we were hosting Laruie Arons’ wedding planning master class. I was lucky enough to take class and learned so much. The florist, Sarah Winward had such a great use of locally foraged elements into her arrangement that kept her arrangements as a perfect balance of natural beauty and elegance.

#3 Mile-High Moments

Photo by Nirav Patel Photography, Event and Floral by Habitat Events

I think the best part of getting married in Montana is it never fails in providing a breathtaking backdrop.

#4 Dreaming of a White Wedding

Photo by Rebecca Hollis Photography, Event by Greenwood Events

Winter is such an amazing time to be married at The Ranch at Rock Creek. It lends itself to a monochromatic palette that creates an etherial mood.

#5 Chef à La Mode

Photo by Belathée Photography

Executive Chef Drage shown in his element on his signature mode of transportation. Chef puts a lot of time, energy and thought into curating a menu that has meaning to our happy couples, but is true to Montana. For example, one couple had their first date shucking oysters and these were incorporated into their wedding social hour.

#6 On Cloud Nine

Photo by Belathée Photography, Event by Habitat Events

One of the beautiful things about working at The Ranch is that you become part of the extended Manley family (the owners of The Ranch). It has been so lovely to see Jim and Marybeth’s children meet their significant other, fall in love, get married, and grow their family. I love this image of Mary Claire and Sam. Mary Claire’s feet aren’t even touching the ground. These two are on cloud nine.

#7 Burning Love

Photo by Nirav Patel Photography, Event by Habitat Events

Grace and Adam were such an amazing couple. I loved how each event and detail brought so much meaning. Bonfires were a family tradition in Adam’s family and it was important to have this as a social gathering. Also, how can you not make a burning love pun?

#8 Spring Lambs and Loves

Photo by Jose Villa, Floral by Sarah Winward for Laurie Arons Wedding Planner Masterclass

How can you resist an adorable flower girl and a sweet spring lamb? I love the details that come out of Ranch weddings. Each season brings fun details to the event. Our event designers, Ranch staff and adventurous couples make the perfect combination to produce unique weddings.

#9 Head Over Heels

Photo by Elizabeth Lanier Photography

I’m a sucker for the first dance at a wedding. I remember gasping when I saw Conor flip Megan in her beautiful dress. I am so happy this moment was captured by Elizabeth Lanier Photography.

#10 Shed an Antler and a Tear

Photo by Elizabeth Lanier Photography, Event and Floral by Habitat Events and Floral Studio

Weddings at The Ranch are so much more than a ceremony and reception. They are a time to bond with your friends and family. The spaces are so versatile that they can be elegant, rustic and full of personality that showcases the personalities of the bride and groom. I see that when I look at this beautiful reception in the Buckle Barn.

About Creative Director Christina Wernikowski

Christina Wernikowsky, the Food and Beverage Director at The Ranch at Rock Creek, holding a bouquet of flowers

Christina has always loved to create memorable, authentic experiences through human connection. She loves finding and showcasing local and regional artists, musicians and craftspeople to help enhance the guest experience at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Christina began working at The Ranch at Rock Creek in 2012, where she focused on locally sourcing artisan crafts and sundries in our Mercantile. She soon moved into the role of Events Manager, where she and Executive Chef Josh Drage collaborated on creative culinary programming during weekly Ranch happenings and special events.

There are so many talented and passionate people in Montana, and I find that the interactions that our guests have with these individuals create a memorable experience that truly resonates with them while supporting our community.