Question: What do you get when you cross a rustic setting with modern design, plus a mountain landscape that looks straight out of a postcard? The answer lies in this Wyoming destination wedding designed by Kari Andersen with decorations crafted at the hands of the bride herself. It’s a super fresh take on a nature-driven affair with a slew of gorgeous details woven in along the way. Carrie Patterson made sure you didn’t miss a moment, and we pinky promise not to judge if you spend the entire day pinning away right here.
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From the Bride…With a gorgeous place like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as our wedding backdrop, nature did most of the heavy lifting when it came to decor. Since the setting was taken care of, Kevin and I decided to put our hearts into the small, special details that really made our wedding uniquely us. During the planning process, we kept one thought in mind: we wanted this wedding to be as beautiful and special for our family and friends as it would be for us. Here’s how we made our personalities shine through while playing off of our amazing surroundings. After scouring the Internet for pictures of possible locations, we chose Jackson Hole as the setting for our beautiful day. Kevin likes modern, simple and unique elements while I am a full-color girl at heart, so incorporating natural elements while adding some fun,fresh accents was a must. We found a great website that printed some of our wedding suite on wood, including our save the dates and wedding invitations.
Twenty of our closest family and friends were able to make the journey to Wyoming. We knew that we wanted to provide them with a classy yet relaxed atmosphere, so as guests arrived at their hotels, they received a welcome bag printed with the same mountain from our invitation. The bag was filled with a number of custom-labeled goodies, including trail mix we made ourselves, a small beverage set and information on Jackson Hole restaurants and activities. We also hand-wrote thank you cards to guests to express our gratitude and emphasize their importance in our lives. They were included in the bags along with directions to the wedding and reception. To ensure that everyone felt relaxed and enjoyed themselves, our cocktail hour included lawn games with beanbags that were sewn with the same material used on other wedding elements. The boards for the game were painted by Kevin and my mom and featured the same moose that were on our invitation.
I learned how to sew from my grandmother, who is a very important person in my life, and wanted to infuse that love and creativity into as many wedding details as possible. Together, we spent months sewing a variety of projects for the wedding using bright, modern fabrics. I created a quilt for the cake table that included a mountain, our names and the date on the back. I also made napkins for the dining tables that featured a different appliquéd heart for each person’s setting. We tried to incorporate the nature-inspired decorwhenever possible, so the tables featured a number of natural textures such as centerpieces in wooden boxes, handmade linen napkins and burlap chair sashes. Even the butter pats were moose-shaped!
Dinner was the perfect place to add a bit of Wyoming flavor – literally! For the more adventurous guests, we offered a moose medallion entrée. For those who wanted something more familiar, we had pork (an Iowa favorite). We also used a Jackson Hole staple to create a fun twist on my favorite drink as our signature beverage: huckleberry margaritas! Huckleberry was also a filling in our cake. We opted for a non-traditional guestbook. Each guest was invited to sign their name on a heart “to wish the couple a happy start.” Our favorite signatures were those of our young nieces. It will be fun to look back on those scribbly signatures in a few years! Instead of writing our own vows, Kevin and I exchanged cards and gifts that we opened when we were apart. Kevin gave me a simple but beautiful pearl bracelet. I wore this along with special earrings that I had custom-made using diamonds from my late (and very special) uncle’s wedding band and pearls that were a gift from my cousin. For Kevin, I used our invites as the inspiration for custom-made metal cufflinks shaped like small mountains with a heart in the middle. He loves tequila, so I wanted to find a special bottle I remembered him mentioning when we were first dating. I quickly discovered that the tequila had been discontinued, but that didn’t stop me from calling every listing I found online. My determination paid off: he was surprised with a bottle of Milagro Romance on our wedding day.
While some people may think that having such a small number of guests might impact the overall experience, we enjoyed all the perks of a big wedding, including a cocktail hour, our first dance as the sun set, a traditional cake cutting, a toast and dancing with our guests. Some folks headed home early, but the younger crowd ventured out with us to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar where we spent the rest of the night sitting on saddles, sipping drinks! And throughout the next couple days after the wedding, we were able to participate in activities with family, including river rafting.
Now, more than six months later, it is so satisfying to have subtle daily reminders of our wedding. Our guestbook hangs on the wall in our home, we use the handmade napkins for dinners together, Kevin wears his cufflinks to other events and we even occasionally play the lawn games with our friends. Someday – though not anytime soon – maybe our cake quilt can be used for a little one. I am grateful for all these special little touches that we continue to appreciate. The day truly ended up being a beautiful affair with the focus on celebrating our love and the importance of our closest family and friends. Tip for brides with a tight budget: Have your wedding on a weekday or off day, especially if you are planning a destination wedding. Since everyone was traveling to the wedding, we decided on a Thursday, which allowed us to negotiate lower rates with some of our vendors.
Wedding Photographer: Carrie Patterson Photography | Wedding Planning: Lindsey and Lisa of Lovely Day Events | Wedding Venue + Catering: Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis | Floral Design: Lily & Co. | Wedding Stationery: Kari Andersen Design | Officiate: Judge Thomas Jordan | Guitarist: Judd Grossman | Handmade Items: Steph Moyer Handmade | Hair + Make-up: Frost Salon | Wedding Dress: KittyChen Couture