March 30, 2000
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
Seeley Lake, Montana
The Wedding Party: Patricia Swan Smith, Corinda Toy, Pastor
Jonathan Toy and Margie Phipps.
Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan Toy toast after he delivers the
twelfth rose and poem.
Smashing cake in each other's face is customary throughout the United States,
and this photo is dedicated to the families who didn't get to witness how their
children acted in Montana! It was a great wedding!
Pianist Rebecca Broesder, Choir Director Jewell Starburg and choir members
Stephanie Pocha, Cindy Francis, Karalee Slaght, Mary Ann Knight, James Kulbel.
Story and photos
by Patricia Swan Smith
For the Pathfinder
It's not what you know, it's who you find on the Internet! That's how the Blackfoot Community Church in Ovando became the place where Corinda Vanover and Jonathan Toy from Kentucky took their vows on March 18th.
They ended up with some guy named Bob and me. And I didn't even know I was on the Internet.
When they started planning their wedding, they decided to make it personal, small and romantic. Some of the choices were Whitley City, Kentucky, Butler, Pennsylvania, maybe Las Vegas, or Australia. Then she mentioned Montana.
Corinda said she has wanted to come to Montana since she was a little girl. He said he loved the idea, and wanted to see the mountains.
She posted her question about small towns on the Montana Internet Board. And Jonathan said, "That Bob guy wrote back."
And that Bob guy (from Ohio) told them about how wonderful Ovando was. He gave them the name of the Blackfoot Community Church and the Blackfoot Inn.
They contacted Pastor Robert Starburg and arranged a small Christian wedding.
Then she found me and left a message on my machine. I decided last year I would not take pictures for weddings anymore, so I called her back to be polite and tell her no. She started in with her delightful story.
"Oh we're so excited. I've always wanted to come to Montana, and just my fiancee and I are coming there on March 18th to get married in Ovando. I've wanted to come to Montana since I was a little girl. Would you be able to do pictures for us?"
They were flying in alone. They knew no one. I thought that was pretty cute so I couldn't say no. Then I asked her who would they have for witnesses.
She said "Well we don't know yet."
I said, "Well heck I'm sure my friend Margie Phipps and I would love to be witnesses. We don't have a life, so we try to go to as many weddings as we can just for entertainment."
There, witnesses taken care of.
Then I said, "Where are you going to get your cake?"
And she said, "Well we're not going to have a cake because we don't know where to get one."
And of course I said, "Well, I can do cake too. And besides, Margie and I love sweets."
There would be a cake.
Then she asked about where she could get her hair done.
I told her I was sure she could get an appointment with Darcy on a Saturday after I told Darcy the cute story, and sure enough Darcy said "You bet!" Darcy even let Corinda's husband-to-be stay during the whole 2 hour appointment.
"Usually I kick the guys out of here on the wedding day," she laughed and said. "But since you live so far away, you can stay."
She refused to take any money from them, and told them that was their wedding gift. The couple was thrilled beyond belief and were so impressed at how friendly people are in Montana.
Pastor Starburg and his wife Jewell couldn't stand the thought of wedding without music, so the church congregation helped out and supplied a pianist and a choir. And of course they all doubled as wedding guests. There were 16 of us all together.
Choir member Stephanie Pocha's husband Steve was hired on the spot to do the video taping.
The church provided chips, cookies and pop.
The wedding and reception were wonderful and enjoyed by everyone.
Howard and Marge Copenhaver were two of the guests, and they gave the couple one of Howard's books, "They Left Their Tracks" autographed as follows "Congratulations. May you remember Ovando and it's people. A friend of Bob's is a friend of ours. Howard & Marge 2000"
Margie and I gave them a photo of the Bob Marshall and a pack of white-tail antler buttons.
They spent two days in Ovando and three days in Seeley. They both said they loved Montana, but Corinda said it would definitely be too cold to live here.
And of course with all this wonderful stuff, there had to be a little bit of a down side. They video taped almost everything they did. For one of their video sessions, they decided to have a snowball fight. Unaware that the temperature between Kentucky air and Montana snow would shrink their hands by three or four sizes, they discovered that his wedding ring was missing after the snowball fight.
But due to the fact that Corinda didn't have any socks on, and was intent on getting back in the car where it was warm, he said it only took her a few minutes to find the ring in this huge area of trampled, deep snow.
All in all it was everything they wanted it to be.
"It was a beautiful wedding," she said. "We really had a lot of fun in Montana."
"The mountains were awesome and they never ended," he said. "And the people in Ovando and Seeley were so friendly.
"We wanted it small and personal. I wanted it to be romantic."
Twelve days before the wedding he started giving her a poem and a rose each day. He gave her the twelfth rose and read the last poem to her right after the ceremony.
"It was perfect," he said.
Oh by the way, Bob is Bob Weins. He has friends in Ovando and visits each summer. He went to church at the Blackfoot Community Church while he was in town and made new friends. He even ended up helping the congregation with some of the remodeling. Bob's multi-talentedcarpentry and wedding arrangements.