Who Fans Can Expect To See Return In Hallmark's Romantic Sequel, Big Sky River: The Bridal Path

Hallmark never fails to deliver on its romantic plot lines, treating us to unbeatable tropes like "enemies to lovers" and "city girl moves home." Over the years, the Hallmark Channel has become must-watch television, and this latest movie is no different. 

Based on a book by Linda Lael Miller, The 2022 movie "Big Sky River" follows Tara Kendall as she rents a country cottage in Parable, Montana after going through a divorce. Here, she meets Boone Taylor, a cowboy-hat-wearing widower busy raising his young son. Spoiler alert: the two hit it off, ride some horses, and share a perfectly PG kiss by the end of the movie. 

Given the success of the first installment, Hallmark has decided to make a sequel, "Big Sky River: The Bridal Path." It premieres on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries at 9 p.m. EST on Aug. 11, 2023. Also, for those of us who have forgotten critical parts of the first movie (there are so many Hallmark movies to keep track of!), you can watch it when it re-airs at 7 p.m. EST the same night. It's shaping up to be a double feature for Hallmark movie lovers — maybe even cook up some cowboy-inspired snacks while you're at it.

If you miss out, don't worry. You can also watch "Big Sky River: The Bridal Path" until Aug. 14 on Peacock. Fortunately, the movie's two leads will return for the sequel — the Tara-and-Boone saga continues. And they're not the only ones making a comeback for part two. It wouldn't be a "Big Sky River" movie without a few talented horses.

Most of the Big Sky River cast will return

Now that former New York City girl Tara Kendall and local sheriff Boone Taylor are officially a couple, they're faced with merging their families in Parable, Montana — Tara has a stepdaughter from her first marriage, and Boone is solo-parenting a son after the death of his wife. It's a situation that's sure to present quite a few challenges. 

In "Big Sky River: The Bridal Path," Emmanuelle Vaugier and Kavan Smith will reprise their leading roles, and Peter Benson, who directed and starred in the first film, will also do both again. Meanwhile, Cassidy Nugent will return as Tara's stepdaughter, Erin. In the sequel, she's struggling to find her place in Parable, Montana, still reeling from her parent's messy divorce. That's not all — Sawyer Fraser is coming back as the young Fletcher Taylor, Boone's son, and Michelle Harrison will sing her way into our hearts as Casey Elfman, everyone's favorite fictional country musician from the first movie.

Considering the fact that most of the cast is reprising their roles, it's fair to say they all enjoyed their time working together. In fact, Vaugier was quick to praise her co-star in an interview with The Hallmarkies Podcast. According to the actor, Smith has a "great sense of humor" and is "just a joy to be around." Given their obvious onscreen connection, it may come as a surprise that Vaugier said they didn't even do a chemistry read before filming started.

The Big Sky River movies don't shy away from real-life themes

Although "Big Sky River" is first and foremost a small-town love story like most other Hallmark Channel classics, it also dives into some pretty serious subject matter. The characters navigate divorce, loss, and what it means to fall in love later in life. In other words, the movie is grounded in reality. As is the case in the first movie, the characters of Tara Kendall and Boone Taylor are presented with plenty of challenges in the second.

"You can't have a story where there's nothing at stake," Linda Lael Miller, author of the novel "Big Sky River," explained to Wide Open Country. "The really big challenge with writing any kind of romance is that you've got to convince a lot of intelligent women — educated women, very often, and they read a lot of these books, so they're experts — that this might be the one time when the hero and heroine don't get together when something goes wrong." 

According to Miller, Hallmark casting directors found the perfect leads in Emmanuelle Vaugier and Kavan Smith. "They were pretty much exactly as I saw the characters," she shared.

Don't forget to tune in to Hallmark's all-new August premieres, and in the meantime, check out the preview for "Big Sky River: The Bridal Path."