Outdoor Sun Valley Wedding
January 27, 2014
CasualRusticRustic Weddings
Woodsy weddings have this way of striking the perfect balance between elegance and simplicity. Especially when they're as thoughtfully planned as this intimate Idaho affair from Hugh Forte. With a bride who made certain no detail went unnoticed, and Heather Minor planning behind-the-scenes, there's more than enough reason not to miss the gallery + film from Eric Hires below!
View as
From the Bride... Max is from Seattle and I grew up in South Carolina. We met in LA, moved to Michigan for grad school, but recently settled in Seattle. In short, deciding where to have our wedding was the hardest part! We knew we wanted a whole weekend with all of our loved ones together -- Sun Valley was the perfect place for that. Max grew up spending summers there with his family and we've been fortunate enough to spend a month there every year.

I had a clear vision of how I wanted the day to look and feel like a garden party Max and I were holding at home. We started there, knowing we wanted to spend our wedding day outside and have it be as intimate as possible. After visiting and not falling in love with all of the standard venues, Max remembered a nearby bridge he learned to fly fish on. That was it! Being very detail-oriented, I loved that we got to bring in every chair, plate, and glass we used. We had a few dear friends who lent us their personal collection of china and silver, in addition to the three rental companies we used for linens, chairs, and glassware. Heather Minor, our planner, was a saint for orchestrating all of that! I collected small vintage bottles to use for escort cards, tying gold scripted tags to them with velvet ribbon. We had friends and family take Polaroids of themselves and sign our guest book (in addition to the portrait they drew on their RSVP cards!) With a deep love of gold, I found brass stencils to use as table numbers (or letters, in our case) and my mom commissioned a friend to make the stands to hold them. To keep our drinks festive, I collected ribbons in cream and gold, and used them to top drink stirrers.

We decided to have only a best man and maid of honor, keeping things intimate. But Max and I both come from big families and wanted to honor them too, so we asked everyone to wear shades of cream. We also wore things very special to us that day – Max had his grandfather’s gold pocket watch with him and an MB stitched into his suit, while I had a lace handkerchief my mom made when we got engaged, a bracelet borrowed from my mother in law, and our initials and wedding date stitched into my dress by my mom.

That afternoon, as the nearby forest fires worsened, we were lucky they only made the light a beautiful pink hue, instead of dampening the day. Our amazing photographer, Hugh, and videographer, Eric, walked outside for portraits, stopped, looked at each other, and said “Is this real?” The light was wild!

That day we were both bubbling over with excitement – so ready to see each other! A devoted letter-writer, I wrote Max a letter for our wedding day and every big anniversary until 50 (though hopefully that won’t be our last!). My dear friend and pen-pal, Victoria, delivered them to Max to ease his racing heart. I think it might have had the reverse effect, though! Seeing Max as I walked down the aisle was the most exciting moment. Our eyes welled up and he waved while I strode towards him on my dad’s arm. We handcrafted our ceremony together, but our officiant had us write down why we loved each other and keep it secret. It was both amazing to hear and to share that moment with everyone we hold dear. The ceremony was definitely our favorite part of the day – it filled the entire party with a sense of joy and love. I’ve never seen so many happy people!

After the ceremony, the whole wedding party paraded back for cocktail hour amongst the rustling trees and later, dinner and dancing (our DJ was the best!) under the stars. We also got particularly lucky on that front – it was the first night of the rare Perseid Meteor showers. That night, after we ran through our own shower of sparklers, we walked back out to the bridge where Max learned to fly fish, where we got married, where I would learn to fly fish the next day, and watched the stars as they fell, with full hearts. That was really the most remarkable thing about the entire day – you think your heart is as full as it can be, but it gets a little more full with everyone’s love.