History in the Making @ the Helena Bridal Fair

In January, I made the trip to our state capital to “set up shop” at the Helena Bridal and Anniversary Fair. It was my first time at the Helena Civic Center, and after driving through a blizzard to get to the event, I was pleasantly surprised by the awesome variety of vendors, set up on 2 levels. I got to set up on the mezzanine.



Pretty cool view, right?

For my booth, I wanted the space to feel warm and welcoming.

My amazing hubby built me this gorgeous fireplace mantle.

helenashow4      helenashow3



My favorite element? Definitely the table!


The inspiration started with a beautiful antique recurve bow. From there I decided I wanted to create a rustic, elegant design with a lot of natural elements.

I constructed the table runner from fresh ferns and alstroemeria. The bow rested on a small set of antlers. Candles, set in gold mercury glass and mason jar lanterns, were scattered among the ferns (with less overhead lighting, this design really comes to life!)

helenashow10   helenashow7

The place settings featured gold chargers, ivory napkins, and a single alstroemeria.

To pull the design together, I rented wooden chairs from Montana Party Rentals. If I’m being totally honest, these might be my favorite chairs ever.


Behind the Design:

When I created this design, I really wanted it to show that it’s possible  to bring your passions into your wedding design. While I used a recurve bow (perfect fit for my love of all things authentically vintage and my husbands love of hunting), it could easily be altered to fit other elements, such as fishing rods, skis, or oars.

It was also so important to me to showcase a design that was unique, beautiful, and affordable. Trust me, this table looks way more expensive than it actually was! (and that makes me love it so much more!)

Here’s a few more shots. Enjoy!

helenashow1      helenashow11 helenashow12     helenashow2



October 17–a beautiful day for a Bridal Tour!

I was so absolutely excited to be a featured designer on the Montana Bridal Tour 2015!

This year the tour featured 4 beautiful venues, and I was lucky enough to set up at the historic Story Mansion, located just blocks from downtown Bozeman.

Our venue featured authentic farm-to-table pulled pork created by Claudia’s Mesa, an amazing bluegrass trio called Acony Belles, gorgeous gowns from Plume Bridal, and model styling from Brooklynn Studio. Merissa Lambert Photography, our featured photographer, captured the fun moments throughout the day.

The Story Mansion sits on a full city block, and many wedding receptions take place on the grounds. Gallatin Event Rental set up a tent on the lawn to showcase one of the many ways that couples can use the space.

Oh, and a big congratulations to Zebra Catering and their delicious sangria for winning Bride’s Choice–Signature Drink!

Enjoy the images and behind-the-scenes design tidbits!

Story Mansion

Design Inspiration:

I really wanted the Story to have a feeling of richness and warmth that only seems to happen this time of year. Being inspired by the season, the venue, and the mixing of textures and materials, our design theme was Fall Sangria.

We used shades of purples, greens, ambers, golds, and reds for the focal colors. I chose ivory for the table linens, which allowed the other colors to pop. The wooden chairs, rented from Montana Party Rentals, matched the original golden wood trim that’s found throughout the Story.

As a literal nod to sangria, I cut the bottoms off of various wine bottles, illuminated them with flameless candles, and placed them on the staircase in the foyer. (FYI real candles look beautiful in the bottles, but they cause the glass to get extremely hot)

wine bottles

menu and place cardStacy with Big Announcements did a fantastic job designing the custom paper pieces that accented the tables.

menu and namecard

The floral, created by Karen’s Floral Artistry, added a simple, beautiful elegance to the tables. Karen followed through with my idea of mixing fruits with florals by adding pears and grapes to the centerpieces.

MerissaLambert023    centerpiece1

the table designs:

While both tables had the same plates, flatware, and glasses, I used accent pieces to create two different designs. Both tables featured beer bottle candle holders, which were cut in a similar way as the wine bottles. They were one of my favorite design elements.


Table #1

The place settings on the first table featured golden woodgrain chargers, a menu card, place card, and a golden fabric accent band. Alongside the beer bottle candle holders, the centerpieces also featured red pears and gold mercury glass candleholders. The look was completed with a thin green fabric band wrapped around the tops of the chairs.


Table #2:

The second table had a completely different design, and was meant to be a bit more interactive from a guest’s perspective. The place settings were simple, featuring a rustic woven charger and a small bowl of fruit.

fruit 1

Yes, real, edible fruit. (A lot of people were surprised by this) There was a mix of red grapes, purple grapes, and blackberries. The bowls that held the fruit were made from the bottoms of the wine bottles I had cut for the stairs. Interesting AND economical.


sweetheart1Finally, there was a sweetheart table, placed in front of the beautiful fireplace. Karen decorated the mantle with a large wooden garland and floral arrangement. The place settings included glasses of fruit, mercury glass candle holders, and a small floral arrangement. The chairs had strips of gold fabric wrapped around the top.   sweetheart2

So, there you have it! I really loved how the whole design came together, and it was so much fun to work with all the other vendors. Here’s a few more shots of Team Story:


I said “Yeah, I think I like this one” to the dress

This post is going to be short and sweet, but before I get too deep into this post, let me explain the title. Last week I bought my wedding dress–it’s beautiful, and I really like it a lot–but I never had that “Oh my gosh, this is my dress” cry my eyes out moment. My soon to be mother in law and sister in law didn’t either. In fact, it took a little bit of convincing to get them on board with the dress (there were other dresses that they liked better)

After trying on 7 gowns, and putting my favorite back on for a 2nd time, I finally asked my fantastic consultant Megan if I had to have the emotional breakdown. I mean, that’s how all the women on TV knew they picked the right dress, so how was I supposed to “know” if I didn’t have the same reaction? She almost laughed a little, and it’s weird but it made me feel better. I trust her. She’s a professional. And the truth is, it’s totally ok NOT to cry. I knew I liked it, but adding a few clips to help it fit better, a petticoat, a belt, and a birdcage veil transformed it into something I REALLY liked. The more I wore it the better it felt. And the better I felt, the better my family felt. It wasn’t the color I was hoping for, it had a train I wasn’t planning on, and it didn’t have sleeves like I thought I wanted, but man, it just felt good. And when I heard the words from my MIL  “That fits you, your personality” I was sold. Ok, that and my SIL chiming in “Ryan is going to love your boobs in that dress” didn’t hurt either, haha!

But in all seriousness, I didn’t have the “I’m in love” or “I never want to take it off” feeling. What I did have was the deep down, “I can’t wait to show Ryan. Do you think this is going to make my dad cry?” moment. That was more than enough for me to feel confident in my decision.

I completely envision this dress as being a part of my future memories, and those memories are going to be awesome.

Special thanks to the ladies at After 5 and Weddings for being so great!

The crazy, strange world of wedding planning—A view from the other side

Let me say—it feels a little weird to be on the other side of wedding planning. I’ve helped close to a dozen brides execute their wedding day dreams, and now here I am, planning my own. A little back story: My fiancé Ryan and I have been together for over 9 years. The talk of marriage has come up so many times, but we always seemed to put it on the back burner. If it’s not broken, right?

Something last fall changed in our minds. The talk of marriage started to feel more serious, it started to feel like the right time, and it’s ultimately what we both genuinely want as we move forward in life. We picked October 10, 2015. This is significant because our 10 year anniversary falls on October 12, and we thought this was an amazing way to celebrate a decade together. (We know, 10 years on 10/10…cheesy but whatever!) So in January we started slowly telling friends and family. However, after so many years, I honestly am struggling a bit. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s ACTUALLY happening. We’re getting married. Ah!

I feel like I’m cheating a bit. A lot of wedding coordinators decide to get into the business after planning their wedding. I’ve had the advantage of seeing the ins and outs, the several ways that things can and DO go wrong, as well as having the opportunity to work with so many different vendors before we even picked a date. All of these things make the “job” of planning my own wedding easier—and harder!

So with that being said, I’m a professional coordinator that has less than 4 months and a budget of $5000 to pull everything together. No pressure, or anything! I hope my random planning blog posts offer an inside view of what it’s like to plan a “cheap and easy” wedding (seriously though, it’s going to be beautiful and amazing), as well as some insight from a professional.

Let’s do this!

Paper Flowers–DIY

Are you looking for a unique way to add a little color to a room or a floral alternative for your event? These paper flowers are so simple to make, and look really cool in small groupings.

Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

Skill level: Easy            Cost: Minimal (under $10)


  • Magazine (These were free at my local public library)
  • Wooden sticks (I love shishkabob sticks for crafting, super versatile and inexpensive)
  • Floral tape
  • Fringe scissors (these will save you so much time, and they’re pretty handy for a lot of projects! I got mine at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon for around $6)
  • Optional but highly recommended: Clear tape or a hot glue gun
  • Note: As much as I love my fringe scissors, this project is possible without them 🙂

Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net   Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

Here’s how it works:

1.   Pick a page, any page, and tear that sucker out!

2.   Fold the page in half lengthwise, with the colors/image you want to use folded to the inside

Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net   Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

3.   Fold the page back on itself so your chosen image shows

Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

4.   Once it’s folded, start cutting! It’s really important that you put the 2 folds at the top because when you’re cutting, these folds are what make the petals.  Make sure you don’t cut all the way down, since you’ll need this “base” to wrap around the stick.

Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net   Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

5.  Making sure the fringe is up, start wrapping the paper around the stick. Securing the end with a piece of tape or drop of hot glue will save you a lot of hassle!

The next step is the hardest–wrap the paper around itself to form the flower. The wrap needs to be tight, but the glossy paper tends to slide around. Just keep trying, it gets easier, I promise!

Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net   Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

I’ve heard that it may help to add a drop of hot glue every so often while you’re wrapping the paper, but I haven’t tried this tip yet.

6.   Once it’s all wrapped and you feel happy with how it looks, add another piece of tape or drop of hot glue to secure the end. You can skip this step, but I highly recommend it!

The last thing to do is wrap the stem with the floral tape. Pull it tight as you wrap so the floral tape sticks to itself. Once again, I add a little glue to the ends of the floral tape to help it stick.

And that’s it, all done!   Paper Flower DIY, www.historyeventsmt.net

Tips and Tricks:

If I plan to display them a shorter vase, I’ll only wrap half of the stick since the bottom half gets cut off.

I’ve also made these flowers from plain book pages which creates a cool vintage look.

Heavy papers are a kit more difficult to wrap. Try to avoid the heavy magazines if you can.

Wrapping paper allows you to truly customize the colors and prints, while still remaining cost efficient. If you choose to use wrapping paper, make sure it’s a heavier paper, as the thin wrapping paper tears pretty easily.


Business Launch and a Bridal Show

My year of amazing professional firsts continues! This past Saturday, I was one of many vendors at the first annual A Montana Wedding: The Bridal Event. I’ve attended various bridal shows before to meet other vendors and network, but this year, as part of the official launch of my business, I took the leap and set-up a booth of my own. It was a really awesome experience. I met a lot of great couples, and some super cool vendors, not to mention I debuted my brand new logo!

I went back and forth with a lot of ideas for what the theme and overall look of my booth would be. It had to be something inspirational, but also a reflection of who I am. Having access to a family collection of antiques really helped fulfill my love of all things vintage, and the design was created.

bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net

The highlights of the booth included a table set with antique china, courtesy of my mother-in-law, ceramic birds, and a eucalyptus table runner. The centerpiece was created with large white roses, a peony, and lambs ear. Antique tri-fold doors displayed some shots from the rustic photo shoot I styled last fall.

bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net  bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net  bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net

 On the buffet, I had some old books and lanterns, which highlighted pictures from some of the weddings I’ve worked on in the past. And the centerpiece of the buffet? A naked cake! (Yes, I made it 🙂 Considering I’m not a baker, I’m pretty darn happy with how it turned out)

bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net

bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net

I’m glad I took the time to make the cake, I was the only booth with a naked cake on display, and it was a huge hit with show-goers. And how about those peonies? Love them!

The overall design was rounded out with a wedding dress, and my lovely little info table.

bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net  bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net  bridal show, www.historyeventsmt.net

I absolutely love the way the booth turned out, and the experience was totally worth it! I’d say it was a pretty great way to spend my Saturday!

Shout out to the ladies at Under Canvas, Country Flower, and Diamond Rock and Soul for being awesome booth neighbors.

History in the Making and Marriage Equality

First, let me apologize for posting an uncharacteristically heavy topic. I know there is quite a bit of controversy around the idea of marriage equality, and it can bring out a lot of strong emotional responses from people on both sides of the issue. My goal with this blog post isn’t to create negative feelings, but I’m aware that, as with any controversial topic, someone will probably disagree with me. That’s fine. I just feel that this is a topic I need to take a minute to discuss.


On a personal level, I am completely behind the idea that love is love, regardless of gender, religion, or race. I have friends in the LGBTQ community, and their sexual orientation doesn’t change my mind about who they are as people. We were childhood friends before they “came out”, and we remain friends after, simply because we are friends. Who they find attractive or fall in love with doesn’t change the years of memories we created, it doesn’t degrade them or make them any less great. We are friends, and part of being friends is accepting each other unconditionally for who we are. If we can’t do that, how were we ever friends to begin with?

But this post goes a little deeper than this, since I’m also a business owner.

To be honest, it was never a question in my mind about whether or not I would coordinate same-sex marriages if the opportunity arose. I know there are other business owners struggling with this, because it really can be an issue of faith vs. finances. Choosing to work with same-sex couples to create their wedding day is a personal choice each vendor will have to think about and make on their own. I’m sure there will be businesses that choose not to provide services for gay marriages. For my company, I proudly choose to support every couple who loves each other and wants to commit to spending their lives together. I believe every love story is different and beautiful. When two people love each other so much, it should be celebrated.

I’ve accepted that this could impact my future client base. I know there will be clients who choose not to work with me based on the fact that I support same-sex marriage. That’s ok! I respect their beliefs, just as I hope they can respect mine.

To keep this blog post short and sweet, I stand confident in my decision to be a supporter of same-sex marriage, and am looking forward to creating a network of other vendors who feel the same. Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Finding Inspiration, a rustic fall stylized shoot.

Last week, with the help of some amazing local vendors, I had the opportunity to bring a dream to life. Every vendor I had hoped to work with agreed to be a part of this shoot, and I’m humbled and honored that they wanted to work with me, too! This blog post is a bit unconventional, but all of this could have never happened without these fantastic professionals, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to them and their incredible contributions to my first ever stylized shoot. Enjoy!

Missy Short Photography

Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

I may have done the grunt work, but Missy brought this shoot to life. She gave it meaning and personality. The lighting and details wouldn’t have meant anything without her vision and talent. I feel like I could dedicate an entire blog post to how crazy amazing she is as a person and a photographer! She was my go-to for advice and suggestions throughout the planning process, and I couldn’t have done this shoot without her.

Budget Bouquet and More

Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

Oh my gosh, those flowers! They smelled heavenly, and looked even better. I felt like I could look at them for hours and STILL discover new things to “Oooh” and “Aaah” over. The amount of artistry and detail that these ladies put into the floral arrangements was nothing short of incredible! The women at Budget Bouquet are true artists! It was an honor to have them on the team.


Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

To me, this shot is straight out of a magazine. Indulgence did the most amazing job with Angie’s hair and make-up. It was soft, natural, and romantic. The women at Indulgence are experts at what they do, and they perfectly enhanced her natural beauty. Isn’t she stunning?

Sweet Pea Bakery

Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

I contacted Sweet Pea Bakery for a few reasons. Firstly, they are a delicious staple within our community–their name is synonymous with quality baked goods. Secondly, I knew I didn’t want cake for this shoot. The tarts that Sweet Pea Bakery created were beautiful and fit so absolutely perfect with the theme. And yes, I can confirm that they tasted just as delicious as they looked! (The tarts were: Spiced Pumpkin with fresh whipped cream and sweet & salty pumpkin seeds, Banana Cream, and Honey Moonshine Pecan with chocolate dipped figs.)

After 5 and Weddings

Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

Not only did After 5 happen to have THE most perfect dress, they also had this amazing suit. They are experts at making couples look good!

Rocky Creek Farm

Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

The folks at Rocky Creek Farm are the most laid back, kind hearted people. They were more than happy to give us permission to use the farm however we saw fit. The location and the lighting couldn’t have been any more perfect!

Frolli Studios

Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com  Rustic Fall Inspired Shoot by History in the Making Special Events, photographed by www.missyshortphoto.com

As a coordinator, I can become a bit obsessive over small details, so I really wanted to incorporate something fun. Erin at Frolli Studios did an incredible job making these custom printed pieces for the shoot. Seriously, how stinkin cute it that little envelope on the Save The Date card?

The table, chairs, and plates were rented from Montana Party Rentals

Also, HUGE shout out and THANK YOU to Angie and James for being the most amazing models. Your love is contagious and I’m so glad to share this experience with you both.

Officially Ordained

I’ve officially become an Ordained Minister through American Marriage Ministies. I’m excited about this new addition to my wedding planner repertoire. While I don’t intend on performing ceremonies on a consistent basis, I feel good knowing that I can legally officiate and sign a marriage license for my couples if the need should arise.

I plan to do a lot of reading and research. I want to learn what creates a great ceremony, and how to express the couple’s love and personalities through their vows. Then, I’ll compose a few ceremonies, ranging from religious to light and casual, and stash them away in a binder inside my emergency kit.

For me, this is just another way I can be the best planner I can be. And it’s way for me to offer more piece of mind to my couples–so they know that if their officiant falls through, they will still be able to be married…because that, truly, is the entire reason for the day.

While stepping in to officiate will be included in my services at no extra cost, if a couple were to ask me in advance to officiate, I will consider adding it to my services for a small fee.

Who knows, maybe in the future I might offer a wedding ceremonies package in addition to my planning packages. But for now, I’m happy knowing that I can be there for my couples during every step of their wedding day.


Picture Frame Photo Luminaries

As promised, here is my first attempt at recreating a Pinterest project. To be completely honest, I was a little skeptical about how it would turn out. The pin had be circulating for a while, and I was seeing it A LOT, but I wasn’t crazy about how it looked in the picture.

I chose this as the first project because it didn’t need a lot of supplies or time to complete. Since I’m working on a small budget, I liked that the materials needed for this were very accessible and inexpensive.

At the end of the project, I can officially say pictures do not do it justice, and I LOVE how it turned out. I really think I will try to find a way to incorporate it into my everyday décor.

So, with all of that being said, here are the photos and instructions I used for my photo luminaries:

For one photo centerpiece, you’ll need:

  • 3 photo frames with glass (the original website called for wooden frames that you would stain or paint the color you wanted. I used 3 4×6 metal frames that I found at a local thrift shop)
  • Multiple sheets of Vellum paper (you can find this in the scrapbook paper section of any major craft store, I like Michaels because they have sales on paper all the time. My store was out of white, so I bought blue and pink.)
  • Double stick tape
  • Glue gun
  • Candles (Many people prefer flameless. If you decide to use real candles, make sure they are in a glass votive holder)
  • 3 black and white photos (Chose any 3 pictures you love….color pictures can easily be converted to b&w within Word or other programs)
  • Word/photo processing program and a printer

DIY photo frame luminaries, www.historyeventsmt.net

Ok, now for the fun part….Putting it all together!

It’s really as simple as:

  1. Upload your pictures to your preferred program. I used Microsoft Word. Size your images to match the size of your frames. I didn’t want my pictures to be solid black and white, so I chose to use the Color Saturation editing tool, and chose the 33% saturation option.
  2. Print your pictures. Since I bought pink 12×12 vellum, I had to cut it down to normal paper size. (I was able to print 2 pictures on 1 page. Hello savings!)
  3. Remove the cardboard backing from the picture frames (it won’t allow light to show through) Using double sided tape around the edges of the glass, attach your photo to the OUTSIDE of the glass. Trust me, it’s the best option! No worries about finger prints on the glass, no wrinkly photos, and it’s ok to use with votive candles.
  4. Hot glue your picture frames together in a triangle. This part was a little difficult for me. I ended up having to put an extra layer of hot glue on the outside of the seams to hold the frames together securely. It didn’t look very nice, but it could be easily covered with strips of ribbon or some bling.
  5. Slip the glass back into the frames. Make things easy on yourself–Use the bottom of the frames as the top. You’ll be able to move the completed pieces around without having to worry about the glass falling out.
  6. Illuminate and Enjoy!

Some pictures I’ve seen online use flameless candles and add pretty flowers on top to really create a truly elegant and unique centerpiece.

**I struggled with getting a clear picture of the finished product while illuminated by the flameless candles. I know that picture is blurry, but it was the best I could do. The camera did not do a very good job of capturing the true look of this, and I hope it doesn’t prevent you from giving this project a try.

Thanks for checking out my post. This was my first tutorial, so I hope I made it easy enough to understand and you enjoy the finished product. If you liked the pictures of me and my handsome man, here’s where you can check out more from Missy Short, our fantastic photographer.