Many a betrothed couple chooses the Methow Valley for their wedding site. Summertime is an especially popular time of year given the many spectacular days that are often described as “drop dead gorgeous,” though, the caveat being that there is always the possibility of rain, wind, fire, smoke or 100 degree heat. When the anticipated day dawns with perfect weather, all breathe a sigh of relief.
This year, my husband and I were invited to our first Methow Valley wedding. The June day was one of those perfect days and the setting was imbued with magic and joy. The venue, Skalitude Retreat Center, is nestled in a secluded basin surrounded by foothills of the North Cascades. Its welcome: “A refuge in the wild. The council of the wild gods is alive on the edges. If you press your ear to the Earth, you may hear the songs of the furred & rooted, hived & feathered.”
Not only was the setting spectacular, the ceremony itself was one of simplicity and meaningfulness that brought a tear to most eyes. Encircled by white flags floating gently in the breeze, bride and groom spoke from the heart to each set of parents, then to each other. Co-officiants, close friends of the couple, expressed genuine thoughts to them about the love and commitment they have for each other. I imagined that at any moment fairy dust would descend upon the gathering as the married couple danced through the tall green grass under an arch created by the raised hands of the guests.
Curious about the wide range of wedding plans and ceremonies, I asked Hillary Roseland about her experiences. Hillary is well known in the valley for her expertise in hair styling and makeup for weddings. This summer alone, she has at least 25 weddings booked and as many she had to turn down. Hillary has abundant energy, as she not only is a stylist at her salon, owns the classy Thrifty Fox, designs and creates jewelry, but still finds the time to make brides and their courts beautiful for the big day.
Hillary describes one of her most unusual gigs was when she was asked to arrive in Mazama before dawn, which required a very early wakeup in order to travel from her home in Carlton. The bride was already wearing elf ears for her sunrise ceremony on a mountaintop and chose to have flowers in her hair in an elven style.
Hillary finds most brides are easy to work with. She describes only one Bridezilla in all the years that she has been doing weddings. However, she says, “Sometimes there’s a friend or sister or mom of the bride that can be problematic.” She tries to keep the time as stress free for the bride as possible. “Don’t come and tell the bride that everything blew off the tables,” she says. “Just go fix it!”
I asked Hillary if she ever has a bride or bridesmaid with hair that is not that easy to work with, maybe hard to make beautiful. She describes long, straight hair without layers as the most difficult. “I’d rather do wispy, fine short hair than that long, heavy hair.” Knowing her talent, I’m guessing that even that hair will look as good as it can after Hillary wrangles it.
May all the summer weddings have beautiful weather and fanciful hairstyles for the big day!