Couples who enjoy the great outdoors in a luxury environment but want more than the Texas ranch wedding has to offer should consider The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana.
The Ranch offers a taste of the Wild West with a little posh and a lot of polish. Frequented by Hollywood celebrities (most recently Kate Bosworth said “I do” to Hollywood Director Michael Polish), the Ranch was originally a mining claim in the 1800s. Today the Ranch spans 10 square miles surrounded by the Anaconda-Pintler mountain range and several rivers in the heart of Montana Big Sky Country.
With an on-site wedding planning team, and truly luxurious all-inclusive packages, brides will not blink a (fake) eyelash or experience the stress of the wedding planning.
The Ranch can arrange arrival from the Missoula International airport via luxury SUV, helicopter, or hot air balloon. And horse drawn carriage or stage coach travel are also available on property.
The favored location for nuptials is Paradise (elevation 5700 ft.) and waterside at the Piney Ponds. While most couples bring their own officiate, the Ranch can arrange for local clergy if needed.
The Blue Canteen serves as a popular location for rehearsal dinners for larger wedding parties, but dinners can also be catered for intimate dining in the log homes for the immediate family. The Canteen offers customized menus, from an evening hoe down with country band to an outdoor picnic dinner or brunch by the pond. The Dining Room at the Granite Lodge features a chef-driven menu serving standard breakfast and lunch with daily specials. The dinner menu is custom created every evening and includes fine wine pairings. The Ranch surprises diners as an all-inclusive property, that offers fine cuisine and a wine list to match.
The secret garden provides the Ranch Chef Josh Drage with fresh herbs used in his menus, and includes everything from lavage to tarragon to sage. The Ranch sources produce and meats from local farmers and producers – offering a true taste of Montana. And most are organically grown and 100 % grass fed without hormones or antibiotics – from elk to bison.
What does Montana offer over a traditional Texas ranch wedding? The Ranch boosts 4.5 miles of private access to streams and riverbanks featuring a variety of trout for fly fishing, including the Blue Ribbon Rock Creek. The Rod and Gun Club, located on-site, can provide the required Montana fishing license. Guests need not worry about packing cowboy boots, waders, or fishing hats, as the Rod and Gun Club provides every thing needed for activities from head to toe. Home to six different trout species, the guides will have you reeling them in from the moment you step into the water in your rubber waders. Wildlife is a plenty at the ranch, including sightings of moose, mule deer, whitetail deer, rocky mountain deer, Bighorn sheep, elk, gophers, wolves, fox, cattle, Bald and Golden Eagles.
In addition to the trail rides and arena horseback riding lessons, the Ranch hosts a rodeo every Tuesday, followed by a good old-fashioned barbeque at the Blue Canteen. And for the Annie Oakley in your wedding party, the Ranch offers four ranges – rifle, pistol, sporting clays, paintball, and an archery course with 3-d animal targets. Guides from the Rod and Gun Club take guests on hikes. And for the little ones in the wedding party, the Little Grizzlies Kids Club for ages four and up provides daily activities and entertainment offerings.
Each accommodation, whether it’s a canvassed luxury cabin (think “glamping” via five star standards), a room at the Granite Lodge, a cabin or full size house, have designated cruiser or mountain bicycles – the license plate matches each room. Ranch Interior Designer Jet Zarkadas travels the state to incorporate furnishings, photographs, textiles, artifacts, art and antiques to bring the spirit and history of the area to every space and décor at the Ranch.
For couples looking for the utmost privacy, the Bluebird Cabin sits on the banks of Rock Creek and offers the seclusion for a romantic experience with a screened and heated porch and cedar sauna tub.
After dining at the Lodge or Canteen, guests literally saddle up to the bar, as the bar stools are made from saddles at the Silver Dollar Saloon, located near the Lodge and main Dining Room. The Saloon offers a taste of the Wild West with modern amenities, including a movie media room, full-size bowling alley, pool tables, shuffleboard, karaoke, and flat screen televisions. Guests can step outside the Saloon to gaze at the stars in the clear Montana sky and enjoy s’mores around the fire pit every night.
Off ranch excursions include kayaking, canoeing, rafting, float trips for fishing the historical Clark Fork, Blackfoot and Bitterroot Rivers, and sapphire mining at Gem Mountain. Guests can experience the local culture with a trip into town to Philipsburg (pop. 820), which features authentic late 1800s architecture. It’s only a 15-minute drive from the Ranch and is known for its local Philipsburg Brewery and The Sweet Palace candy shop. Several antique stores offer shoppers remnants from the western past and the area is surrounded by several ghost towns, such as the nearby Granite Ghost Town.
For brides dreaming of a truly “white” wedding, Winter at the Ranch provides a picturesque backdrop for nuptials and additional activities for the wedding party and guests. The summer hiking trails turn into snowshoeing routes, and groomed trails offer cross country skiing, snowmobiling, sledding, and snowboarding. The pond becomes an ice skating rink. The pool and Jacuzzi are maintained at 80 degrees year-round.
The Granite Spa at the Ranch offers stylists for hair and make up styling for the entire visit or just the big day. And for the entire wedding party, a welcome respite after a day of hiking, biking and horseback riding the trails where guests at can rejuvenate, indulge and unwind at the Granite Spa. Signature treatments include the Saddle Sore Soak, a warm soak with a custom blend of aromatic and healing herbs and The Rock Creek Ritual, which includes a sea salt exfoliation followed by the Saddle Sore Soak, a relaxing therapeutic massage, a body wrap and a scalp massage. The spa offers the Fisherman’s Facial, Thai massage, nails, personal yoga, and more.
Texas ranch weddings may just have met their match in Montana.
For more information, visit www.TheRanchatRockCreek.com.