November 09, 2021
Mountainside Weddings in Montana has been using Midland walkie talkies to help ensure couples' big days go off without a hitch.
We spoke with the venue's co-owner about how communication plays a big role in the wedding business.
Mountainside Weddings is an all-inclusive wedding venue in Northwest Montana, just outside of Whitefish and Kalispell.
Dave Wilson and his wife started the business in September of 2018.
For his wife, it was something she always wanted to do.
“My wife has had a lifelong dream of doing this, but work got in the way. This was a passion project that finally was able to culminate for her. We fell in love with the property first and then realized it had a wedding venue attached to it," Wilson said.
In the business's first full year it did 12 weddings, 16 in 2020, and 20 in 2021.
The two of them couldn't imagine a more picturesque and enchanting spot for couples to tie the knot.
“It’s a perfect mix of park setting and forest. It backs up to National Forest and a big mountain behind us so the property feels like it goes on forever. It feels like a special place carved out in the middle of the forest.”
Mountainside Weddings will handle everything for your big day other than entertainment, food, and alcohol.
Wilson's favorite part of the business is making sure the groom and his groomsmen enjoy the day.
“I like to make sure the guys feel special. A lot of times it’s about pampering the bride which I understand. I’ve got a 20x40 deck on the opposite side of the pond that we have here. It’s kind of set back in the forest where the boys can make some noise. Sitting on the deck is a 20x16 canvas tent that is set up as a lounge with seating, bars, mirrors, really just whatever they need. I take care of the boys on the day of.”
But that doesn't mean the girls don't get to feel special.
“We have a place on the property- The Bridal House. This is a place for all the girls to stay the night before and get ready. My wife really ran with that. It's beautiful. ”
For them, it's all about making the day go off without a single ounce of stress.
“We make sure the couple, their families, and their guests don’t have to lift a finger. They just are invited to the best part they’ve been to in their entire lives.”
With their clients trusting them with the biggest day of their lives, it gives the team the opportunity to build lasting relationships.
“It’s an incredible feeling. By the time the ceremony is finished with, we’ve had so much time with the couples that they’re almost part of the family.”
For Wilson, there's nothing better than being part of each couples' special day.
“It’s an incredible feeling to hear about the picture they have in their heads as far as how this one day in their life is going to go. Then we get to make that fantasy into a reality for them.”
Like many business, Mountainside Weddings felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as large group gatherings weren't allowed.
Wilson said him and his wife lost about 50% of their annul income.
However, that was partially off-set by other venues cancelling on couples.
“We had openings when some other venues cancelled on couples. We were able to make it happen for them. They still got their day."
Some clients even got married at home during the pandemic and held a party once restrictions eased.
"They recited their vows in front of their friends and families even though they were already legally married. They then got a chance to really celebrate their marriage with those they loved the most."
With every detail intricately planned, communication is vital to getting everything just right.
“Without comms we would be sunk. There are so many moving parts between the day before, the day of, and the day after that every person on our team has to know what they’re doing just to keep everything flowing right.”
That's where Midland's walkie talkies come in. Without them, Wilson says the couple wouldn't be able to fully enjoy their day.
“Without the communication, the couple and the guests would feel a lot of the small paint points. With communication, they don’t feel a thing. It’s all behind the scenes and as far as they know, everything just happens.”
The doesn't just use them to get set up, but also to coordinate the arrival of guests.
“When it comes time to shuttle people from our parking lot site to the ceremony site or reception site, we’ve all got to be in communication with each other to let each other know what’s next in the process, is there a proverbial fire that needs to be put out just to keep the day moving.”
Communication through walkie talkies is happening throughout the entire process.
Mountainside Weddings has been using Midland's walkie talkies for about two years now.
The venue staff were first using sets purchased through Cabela's. However, they're now using the X-TALKER T51X3 VP3 Walkie Talkie Three Packs.
"They just work."
There's about 10 radios on hand to help staff navigate the celebration. With them in use couples can successfully toast to love, laughter, and happily ever after.
“They have been a godsend. They have not gone bad on us. They just keep charging and doing everything they’re supposed to.”