Downtown Billings Wedding!

Allison and Dawson had such a fun and wonderful wedding at the Billings Depot! They are the cutest couple, and they are so in love I could cry. I had an amazing time working this wedding and it was such an honor to be a part of their special day! 

Now let’s get into the details of their day…

Morning of, it’s time to get ready! They decided to get ready separately. They were both in The Billings Depot, just in separate rooms. The girls’ room was a HUGE space with plenty of room for multiple bridesmaids to get dressed. It had a lot of great space to hang the dress, and room to spread out everyone’s things and food.

Unfortunately, the guys dressing room was not as great as the girls. If there aren’t two great rooms for the bride and groom to get ready in the same place, I would consider finding something that really works for you. I think that if one partner gets dressed in the bridal suite, then I would suggest the other partner gets an Airbnb or hotel room to be more comfortable. The boys dressing room was pretty much a closet with an ATM and sink in it. That’s why I had all of the groomsmen get most of their clothes on in the closet, and then come out into the hallway of the Depot to have more space to do getting ready pictures. 

And then comes the first look! Yay! I love this part, don’t you? They were so excited for their first look! We did one first look with Allison and her dad, which was super sweet because she was his first baby and he just adores her. Of course. He was on the typical ‘dad mode’ of telling her all about how he checked into their hotel for them and brought the car around. etc. It was SO stinking cute. And incredibly helpful! Then it was Dawson’s turn for his first look in the back of the Depot. We were actually running ahead of schedule, so we were able to catch up and have some fun relaxing moments chatting about the morning. It was a really great breather for everyone and time for them both to soak in their big day! Also, Dawson loved Allison’s hair which was really sweet and lovely to see. 

The first look was pretty important to them, because it was a time during the day where they got more than 2 minutes alone with each other. I think they did a great job of hosting friends and family, and the only time they took for the two of them was first look and portraits together!

They decided to keep their first look just as their first look and quality time. They wanted to do their personal vows during the ceremony instead. They were just excited to spend time with each other and take the moment as it was.  

Now, time for the ceremony! The big “I Do’s” 🙂

Allison and Dawson were married in the Billings Depot. They are both from Billings, and they wanted their ceremony to be easy to get to for all family and friends. They also really wanted and loved a more historical and urban look of downtown vs. a rustic barn. 

The Depot does have a great amount of free parking if you are going to the wedding. That was super great! I don’t think they had a parking issue of not enough spaces, which was nice. Also, they block off parking on the street right in front of the venue for vendors or for if you have a getaway car after the reception! 

One thing that was a tad tricky at this venue was Handicap Accessibility. The Depot is a historical building, so they are exempt in a few ways from being truly ADA compliant. However, I think that in comparison to a lot of other venues, it was still pretty good. They have added ramps to all the entrances but there is a small bumpy threshold to get in and out on a wheelchair, but they do have wheelchair bathrooms and big hallways.

One big stress they could take off their plate was thinking of a backup plan. Since it wasn’t an outdoor wedding, they didn’t need to think of a “just in case the weather is bad” plan! I absolutely love the Depot because it’s always an indoor ceremony, and has TONS of light! They also were able to fit around 150 people in the space. 

Portrait time! Right after we did their first look, we got in the car to drive 15 minutes to John H. Dover Memorial Park! It was quiet out there and so beautiful! They have so many cool bridges to photograph on. We only shot out there for about 15 minutes then drove back to take pictures with the bridal party. But it was definitely worth it! And we got super lucky because the time we went wouldn’t have maybe been “the best time” but since it was a little overcast all day it was perfect!

Once we got back to the Depot, we did family portraits inside at the ceremony location, which worked out really well. I was a tad nervous though because I didn’t take their engagement pictures, so I didn’t know them as well as I would if I took those pictures too, but I just love how excited they were and up for anything! They felt incredibly comfortable and we were all glad that there weren’t a ton of people staring at them which might have happened if we stayed downtown. I also had each of them pose each other and take each other’s photos for their individual portraits! (Check my Instagram reels, it’s super adorable.)

And nowwww we are ready to partyyyy! Reception time! They had an amazing reception! They did long tables so everyone could chat and talk at the table. They also had heart glasses that lit up for the dance floor! 

The Depot is basically one big building with two ballrooms and a long hallway in the middle. So they were able to have their wedding and reception in the same place. I’ve always LOVED this design, especially in a state that has weather that turns on a dime! It’s so nice to park your car, walk into the ceremony space, enjoy the wedding, and then take a short walk down the hall, grab a drink and enjoy the reception! 

The Depot hires out bartenders for all drinks at the reception and dance, you can choose your own catering services for dinner, which was really nice. 

One thing I really loved was how Allison and Dawson planned to go get ice cream on their wedding day! It’s their favorite date and they incorporated it into their new favorite day! Since they got all their mandatory photos done before the wedding they literally walked right down the aisle after getting married, got in my car, drove 4 minutes downtown to Big Dipper Ice Cream, we got ice cream and took about 10 minutes of pictures. SO CUTE! I think it was perfect timing, and a great idea, because by the time all their guests grabbed a drink, found their table, and signed the guest book, the couple was back to do their grand entrance! Plus they got to have some alone time to soak it all in that they are married now! 

Timeline of Allison and Dawson’s Day:

June 16th 2023 at the Billings Depot….

1:00 pm – Leanna gets to the Depot to photograph details

1:30 pm – Leanna photographs Allison getting final touches on makeup/photos of everyone getting ready

2:00 pm – Groomsmen getting ready photos

2:30 pm – Allison gets into her dress

3:00 pm – First look with dad

3:15 pm – First look with Dawson

3:30 pm – Get in the car to drive to John H. Dover Memorial Park for couple photos

4:00 pm – Bridal Party Photos

4:30 pm – Family Pictures

5:00 pm – Hide Bride and Groom Away

5:30 pm – Ceremony 

6:00 pm – Take Allison and Dawson to Big Dipper 

6:00 pm – Cocktail Hour

6:30 pm – Ask guests to find seats to sit down

6:45 pm – Grand Entrance

7:00 pm – Dinner is served

7:45 pm – Toasts

8:00 pm – First Dances 

8:30 pm – Dance Floor opens

This wedding was so beautiful, and they planned it all so well. The design, the details, the guests, their special moments. ALL OF IT. I thought the local blue flowers in her hair was a super unique idea, kind of a boho-flower bride, and she was so stinking cute! Also, they had a lot of Taylor Swift elements to their wedding from the heart sunglasses, to the sign in book being two Lover records, and of course Lover being their first dance song. 

The dance floor was POPPIN! Plus, having the glasses there to play around with were so fun for all the guests on the dance floor! I feel like this wedding was super budget friendly! The Lover record is blue and pink and I think that is why they chose the blue table linens and the pops of colors in the sunglasses. All around, gorgeous and so much fun. I hope they had an amazing time celebrating their love, because they deserved it!! 

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