bride and groom walk through green meadow in montana at outdoor wedding with mountain peaks in the background
Kacie Q Photography

Anyone planning or attending a Montana wedding should consider themselves lucky. This majestic state is one of the country’s hidden gems, with miles and miles of untouched land as far as the eye can see. It’s a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who loves rustic style.

Here’s our must-have guide if you’re planning a Montana wedding.

The Basics

As the fourth-largest state in the U.S., Montana is also one of the least populated. It’s nicknamed “The Treasure State” because of its rich mineral reserves and gold mining history, but residents might argue that Montana’s unparalleled scenery is the real treasure. If you’re thinking of getting married in Montana, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Big Sky Country in southwest Montana is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, from wildflower meadows and rushing rivers in the summer to snow-capped mountains and frozen lakes in the winter. But picturesque views can be found no matter where you are in the state — a major selling point if you’re dreaming of a Montana wedding.

If you’re getting married in or near a major city, check the local calendar to see if there are any festivals or events that might conflict with your wedding date. Examples include the annual Whitefish Winter Carnival in February, the Montana Folk Festival in Butte each July, and the Montana State Fair in Billings each August.

Getting There and Around

There are five international airports in Montana, along with dozens of non-commercial and general aviation airports. Montana’s busiest airport is Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), and other main hubs include Billings Logan International Airport (BIL), Great Falls International Airport (GTF), Glacier Park International Airport (GPI), and Missoula International Airport (MSO).

If you’re coming to Montana from out of state, we highly recommend renting a car unless you’ll be staying in a city with a bus network, such as Missoula, Billings and Great Falls. Without a car, it’s nearly impossible to get around the rest of the state, which has more than 70,000 miles of public highway. There are also some inter-city Greyhound Bus lines, in addition to Amtrak’s Empire Builder line that stops in Montana on its way from Chicago to Portland.

bride and groom pose on rustic cattle ranch at scenic montana wedding venue with mountains in the background
Carrie Ann Photography

Weather

Montana’s climate varies depending on where you are in the state. The mountains in the western half experience more precipitation and snowfall than eastern Montana, which is mostly comprised of plains, valleys and badlands. Larger cities near the mountains in western Montana might receive up to 50 inches of snow a year (most often between November and March). High temperatures in the winter tend to average around 30 degrees, while July and August are usually the warmest months, with highs in the 80s.

Wedding Venues

Montana is a huge state, which means there is plenty of room for all types of wedding venues. From rustic cattle ranches to high-end ski resorts, we guarantee that there’s a perfect Montana wedding venue for everyone.

Marriage Requirements

In order to obtain a marriage license in the state of Montana, both parties will need to provide photo identification and proof of age, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate. If you’re not a Montana resident, you’ll need to apply for the marriage license in the county where you’re getting married.

Anyone under the age of 18 will need parental consent, court approval, and two premarital counseling sessions to get married. Women under the age of 50 are required to take a rubella blood test (German measles) unless they request to waive it. Upon being issued, the Montana marriage license is valid for 180 days and there’s no required wait time to get married.

bride and groom pose for romantic kiss at rustic wedding venue in Montana with mountain views
Lauren Brown Photography

Things to Do in Montana

  • Get Outside
    You can’t spend time in Montana without taking advantage of the state’s natural resources. Montana was made for nature lovers, no matter the time of year. In the summer, fly fishing, golfing, horseback riding, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting are some of the most popular activities. In the winter, enjoy mountain biking, cross country skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, and natural hot springs.
  • National Parks
    There are a total of nine national park areas throughout the state, including two of the country’s most famous: Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana, and Yellowstone National Park in southwestern Montana along the Wyoming border. These parks are home to some pretty amazing wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, moose, American bison, gray wolves, and more. The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is a 50-mile highway that passes glacial lakes, cedar forests and expansive valleys, giving you plenty of chances for stunning photo ops.
  • Distilleries and Microbreweries
    Montana’s craft brewing scene might be overshadowed by hipster-centric regions like Austin, Portland and Seattle, but that’s what makes it all the more special. You can find a growing number of craft breweries all over the state, especially concentrated around popular cities like Bozeman, Big Sky, Missoula, Butte, Whitefish, and Helena.
  • Ghost Towns
    History buffs will love stepping back in time to learn about Montana’s past as a Gold Rush state. Southwest Montana has a number of former mining towns that you can explore, with many of the gold miners’ original homes and buildings still standing. Popular Montana ghost towns include Garnet, Nevada City, Bannack State Park, and Virginia City.

Montana Wedding Inspiration

Before you start planning your own Montana wedding, take a look at some of our favorite ideas from other couples who got hitched in The Treasure State.