Interior designer Dulcie Smith first met David Nelson Mills, Jr. through mutual friends in 2017. By 2021, they were engaged and planning a wedding. “I wanted to get married in a place that felt special to both of us and had sentimental value,” Dulcie explains. Montana is not only her favorite destination in the world, but it is also where she spent many summers growing up and where Nelson proposed to her. Plus, as an avid fisherman and overall outdoorsman, he was in agreement. They sent out invitations by The Idea Emporium for a summer wedding near the mountains.
With Montana’s Paradise Valley as the locale, finding their nuptial aesthetic came naturally. They chose to honor—and not compete with—the setting’s inherent beauty. Dulcie asserts, “There isn’t a bad view in sight.”
Her search for a bridal gown was similarly easy. “I think I only tried on three dresses, including the one I ultimately wore,” she confesses. The final pick of the trio was a finely-embroidered Oscar de la Renta gown, which reminded her of one of her favorite Scalamandre fabrics. Claire Balest kept her bridal makeup all-natural. Dulcie’s jewelry selection was simple yet elegant with her grandmother’s diamond bracelet and mother’s diamond flower stud earrings. Nelson wore a custom navy tuxedo.
They enlisted Calder Clark to plan their wedding. “The most important design aspect of the wedding for me was the flowers,” Dulcie admits. Blossom Events arranged the bounteous blooms. A mixture of blue and purple wildflowers lined the back row of the ceremony chairs and the altar where her bridesmaids, dressed in Agua by Agua Bendita’s Hortensia Floral print, stood.
On July 9, 2022, Dulcie walked down the aisle from her parents’ front door to meet her groom at the altar, just at the foot of the Absaroka Mountains. She will never forget the sweet feeling of looking into the crowd and only seeing her friends and family in attendance. “Perks of having a destination wedding where you don’t feel obligated to invite the world!” she notes. Photographer Erich McVey turned the day’s frequent breezes into picturesque moments captured on camera. Dean’s Duets gently strummed the euphonic music for the ceremony.
The tented reception followed, and The Shrines played a set that brought everyone to the dance floor. “We didn’t choose any of the classic wedding songs, which I think people appreciated. No ‘Brick House’ for this bride!” she laughs. Another marvel from the reception is that guests could see the mountains from any angle. Plus, as Dulcie appreciated, they could admire the flowers that hovered over the dance floor.
Epicurean catered the delectable dinner. The father of the bride shared a beautiful speech that can still bring her to tears when she thinks about it. In summation, “He nailed it,” Dulcie says. The newlyweds first danced to Mandolin Orange’s “Settled Down” and cut their delicious Elle’s Belles cake.
With a sparkler exit to lead them out, the bride and groom left the party in an old truck that was beautified with wildflowers. They took to the road and absconded to a mini-moon on an island called Kamalame Cay.