Your wedding day…it's a day that every little girl dreams about. From an early age you start planning out the details, from selecting the perfect fairy tale gown to the number of bridesmaids and the type of cake you'll serve your guests.
But let's face it. Planning a wedding isn't child's play. It's tough. But have you ever thought of what it would be like to plan a wedding at the same time as your identical twin sister? Meet the Friia twins: Karli and Brittni.
These Missoula twins have done many things together throughout their lives, including attending school family vacations and play dates. The list goes on and on. But even though they may be identical twins, the girls have always had very individual personalities, something they realized early on in their childhood.
"My sister and I have always had similar interest in hobbies, but very different personalities and tastes," said Karli. Growing up, Karli and Brittni naturally developed their own characteristics and likes and soon, family and friends were able to tell them apart based on personalities instead of appearance.
"It was no surprise that our weddings were completely different," said Brittni. "Although we're identical twins, our personalities are complete opposites. Our family jokingly suggested that we have a combined wedding, but we knew this was not a possibility because our tastes are far too different."
While it's easy to tell there's major love and affection between the sisters, their distinct styles and tastes were displayed in a lovely way: at their weddings.
Brittni—the elder twin by one minute— married the love of her life and husband Adam Hertz on August 20, 2011.
Exchanging vows at St. Francis Xavier Church in Missoula, Brittni and Adam's wedding is best described as traditional, with an Italian twist.
"We wanted to look back on our wedding 20 years from now and not laugh," said Brittni. "The colors and theme were kept simple for this very reason."
Coming from a strong Italian background, it was important for Brittni to incorporate as many authentic Italian traditions as possible into her big day. The three main Italian-style elements were confetti, having her ceremony at the Catholic parish she grew up attending and for an added helping of good luck, the Italian tradition of having something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a gift.
"The old was my nana's veil, the new was my dress, the borrowed was the pearl clip in my hair, the blue was a rosary I carried with my bouquet and the gift was my wedding ring," she said.
Adding some additional sweetness to the ceremony was the confetti (candy almonds). These symbolize health, fertility, longevity, happiness and wealth and were shipped to Missoula from her aunt and uncle in Collefero, Italy and used as wedding favors for her guests.
After exchanging vows in Missoula, the reception was held at a family friend's ranch in Huson, where they were surrounded by 800 acres, a trout pond, mountains, a creek and horses.
Vintage elements graced the wedding and reception venues with pearls, lace, peacock feathers and roses, while the groom and his groomsmen were dressed in traditional black tie tuxes.
A year after Brittni and Adam's wedding, it was Karli's turn to exchange vows with her husband Brian Hughes. For their big day—August 18, 2012— Karli and Brian headed to Montana's Flathead Valley.
"We really wanted to have our wedding on Flathead Lake," said Karli. "It's sentimental to us because we grew up spending every summer there and it remains our favorite getaway in the summertime."
For their rustic country chic wedding, Karli and Brian exchanged vows in Bigfork at Blessed John Paul II, followed by a reception at The Barn at Finley Point in Polson.
"Brian and I wanted our wedding theme to be in accordance with our lifestyle, interests and venue surroundings," said Karli. "We love the country and rustic décor, but didn't want it to be overwhelming.
Playing up on the country style of her wedding, Karli added touches of wheat to her centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnières, pew ties and chair ties. For a personal touch, Karli and Brian had a logo of their initials made in the style of a branding iron—something that tied all of the various elements of the wedding together.
Adding to the country chic theme, their wedding also had a s'mores buffet, BBQ dinner, burlap accents, a dance floor surrounded with linen-draped hay bales, hand-made whiskey barrels that served as bistro tables and country line and east coast swing dances performed by the wedding party. Plus, all the guests were dressed in cowboy boots and hats.
And while it's evident that the sisters have different styles, there is one thing they agree on when it comes to planning a wedding. "Remember, no matter how long and hard you plan there will always be at least one thing that doesn't go as planned," said Brittni. "A wedding shouldn't be a competition or about impressing your guests. It's to marry the love of your life and enjoy the celebration surrounded by the people who matter most."
Echoing Brittni's sentiment, Karli adds "Don't expect everything to turn out perfectly. Something will inevitably happen that's unforeseen. Just keep moving and have fun!"
- Photographer: Desiree Pollock
- Florist: Flower Bed - Missoula
- Caterer: All Events Catering - Missoula
- Rental: MT Party Rental - Missoula
- Video: Scenic Route Films - Missoula/Polson
- Cake: Black Cat Bakery - Missoula
- Hair: Boom Swagger - Missoula
- Make-up: Bella Sauvage - Missoula
- Paper goods: Posh Paper Weddings - Missoula
- Photographer: Mountain Life Photography - Whitefish
- Florist: Terrace Floral - Polson
- Caterer: Grills Gone Wild - Polson
- Rental: Northwest Rentals - Columbia Falls
- Video: Scenic Route Films - Missoula/Polson
- Cake: Miss Patti Cakes - Kalispell
- Hair: Her Alibi Salon - Bigfork
- Make-up: Dania Makeup - Missoula
- Jeweler: R.P. Ellis Fine Jewelry - Missoula
- Music: Encore Mobile DJs - Oregon/Missoula
- Reception: The Barn at Finley Point - Polson