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Last year, I read a story in the Wedding Guide of the Montana Standard and I did not forget about what a lovely message this story told.  I looked up on the web and found it and decided to use this for my first blog on Butte brides which I hope to print from time to time.  The stories are as unique as the brides.  This is the story of the preparation for the wedding of Katie Hursh and Matthew Crowe.  It is written by Katie and is printed verbatim with her and Matthew’s permission.  Photographs are a courtesy of the bride and groom and MKate Photography, Butte, Montana.  I hope you enjoy reading the story of this family, love for each other and their heritage. I am sure it will touch your hearts as it did mine.

Butte bride combines elegant and classy for her big day – On July 6, 2012, my fiance Matthew, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in Park City, Utah, during the Food and Wine Festival. Following my gleeful acceptance, we immediately began discussing and planning the wedding event. We decided we wanted a Big Fat Butte Irish Catholic June Wedding that would be elegant  and classy while demonstrating our unique personalities. It was important to us to also keep mementoes from our special day. We immediately booked St. Ann’s Church for the ceremony and the Copper King Inn for our reception. We also lined up a group of eight professional musicians to play live music for our guests. I quickly began gathering ideas (pins) from “Pinterest” online for my Wedding Board and began discussing ideas with friends. A friend asked me if I had ever seen Brooch Bouquets before and showed me a few examples online. I looked up how much it might be to purchase one, and was amazed at the beauty as well as the cost to have one specially made. I sent my mother a few examples and asked her if she thought we could figure out how to make them ourselves. She thought we could build them, and I especially liked the sentiment of including brooches from family members alive and since passed.

We asked family members if they had any brooches that had rhinestones on them that they would be willing to give for the wedding bouquets. We also used family necklaces or pearls in our design. My great-aunt, Eileen Tourikis, tearfully gave me a beautiful brooch that belonged to my great-grandmother, Mary Berry, as well as some she had saved of her own. My grandmother, Carol Berry and my mother, Judy Staudinger, added to my collection. My mother started shopping antique and second-hand stores in Butte in search of pretty and unique items that fit our theme. She set a price limit and decided that the average cost per brooch would be between $5 and $7….Some were more, some less. My mother-in-law-to-be, Mary Crowe, found some pearls and rhinestone buttons we could use for corsages. We also shopped online. At the same time, my mother began to purchase shades of white and green silk flowers, greenery and beads, shopping sales whenever possible, but with a quality appearance.  Joann’s in Butte and Helena was a primary source. We communicated about choices with phone photo messages. My mother found instructions online of two different ways to create the bouquets. The first way is simply to gather the stems together and wrap them to use as the handle and the second is to cut and glue the stems into a handle with foam at the top. We decided the second way would be best as the weight of the bouquet would be an important factor considering all the supplies we wanted to use for the desired look. After gathering the supplies, my family worked to wire the brooches and pearls. It was great to have a connection with the family as many of us worked together on the construction during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. All of my bridesmaids had input in the process and what their bouquet would look like when complete. It was important that each brooch be able to stand on its own with the wire wrapped in floral tape as a stem. They also patiently strung little beads together to make loops for accents.

I began by trying to design my bouquet first. It took a couple tries before it started to come together. After I figured out how I would organize the bouquet, I used tacky glue on the end of the cut stem to hold the placement within the foam of the handle tip. I placed the greenery along the bottom edge first, then the hydrangeas, roses, etc. I created each bouquet with flowers first before deciding how to decorate them with the brooches and pearls. I picked the brooches for each bouquet and inserted their wired stems into the bouquet with tacky glue. I finally placed the pearl strands throughout and weaved them through the flowers. I was pleased with the final product and glad we used this method as the bouquet weight was exceptional. We placed them in rose bowl vases with colored stones as weight to allow them to stand upright. This would mean less stress on the bouquets on our big day, plus serve as beautiful decorations. I constructed my bouquet, four bridesmaid bouquets and 1 for tossing. After completing the bouquets, I constructed wrist and pinned corsages and boutonnieres, using flowers, greenery, buttons and shamrocks. I followed through with the same theme in decorating and filling baskets for my two nieces to carry as flower girls. Each bouquet style complemented the bridesmaid’s style and dress color. The bridesmaid dresses had the same shamrock green trim but were lovely in unique different shades of green. All of our bouquets included a green jeweled shamrock from Cavanaugh’s Celtic Shop, a piece from my mother’s collection, and a piece from my great aunt’s collection. My bouquet also included a brooch from my grandmother and my great-grandmother. The sentimental value of including personal family items made the bouquets that much more special and precious!

My wedding day was perfect and all of the work to incorporate the special details was worth it! Of course there were other projects that we created. One was “messages in a bottle” in which five empty bottles were labeled by anniversary. Our guests wrote messages which they placed inside and we will break them and read the messages on the appropriate anniversary. My stepdad, Gary Staudinger, built a bird house for our cards safekeeping and had two cardinals painted on to match an associated quilted wall hanging my mother made (Matt’s family loves the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.) The box said “Katie and Matt – Lovebirds.” Our cake was decorated with Celtic knots, a claddagh cake top, and sugar paste flowers with brooches. My stepdad made a base of vintage glass blocks and lights which added a special touch. The cake table also had shamrock table runners my mother sewed for us. We made our table centerpieces of mirrored bottoms, glass cylinders with colored green rocks filled with underwater lights, shamrock wires and lit candles.

Every aspect of the day encompassed the creation of my dream wedding! And I was able to keep many pieces of the day to hold the happy memories within our new home. It was lovely to share the creation of the event with so many and allow for the excitement to build as we worked to acknowledge the love between the new and old relationships! It was all because two people fell in love.

Katie Hursh

MKate Photography, Butte Montana

Katie and Matthew became husband and wife through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony at St. Ann’s Church in Butte, Montana on June 8, 2013



That’s What Memories are Made Of!


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