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When Alexis was a freshman in Richmond, Virginia, she totally had a crush on Evan, a senior on the baseball team. It was one of those high school crushes though, where girl and boy don't actually meet. So about six years later, while in college, Alexis introduced herself to Evan when she saw him in Hilton Head, South Carolina. She was there for a long weekend with girlfriends. Evan had graduated, but had come to the island with a bunch of his college buddies to watch the PGA golf tournament.
They talked every day after that and Alexis joined Evan for his sister's engagement party several weeks later. They visited each other and a long-distance romance began. Four-and-a-half years later, while at a ranch in California, Evan had everything planned out for the next step. "I had to rush the proposal because I may have gotten us a little lost on our way to the romantic cabin where I wanted to pop the question," he explains. "I think he means to say he was driving the ATV like a maniac and I was afraid for my life," Alexis adds. "But I had no idea what he had in store and it was the ultimate surprise."
And so, a year later, on September 17, 2016, the Richmond-based pediatric nurse and commercial real estate broker were joined by 100 loved ones in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for a destination wedding in the mountains. The bride had vacationed there with her parents and younger brother for as long as she can remember, and as a little girl dreamed of getting married there. Luckily Evan loves the area as much as she does.
The colors of the aspen trees in the fall influenced the palette and added warmth to everything. With the focus on the love they share and the guests they invited, it was truly a special gathering and celebration.
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The Stationery Suite
Alexis's bridesmaid, Sarah Ransone of Bar Lazy R, designed the wedding suite around a plein air painting Alexis's mom had painted from the wedding venue. Dusty gray touches, an elk antler motif, and a ranch-inspired brand of the couple's interlocking initials set the tone on the letterpressed pieces. The invites were sent in envelopes calligraphed by Proper Prints by Erin in metallic ink.
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The First Look
"My favorite part of the day was the first look," Evan says. "I remember getting there a few minutes early and my nervousness to see her for the first time. It was truly a moment I will never forget."
Alexis agrees. "My dress got caught on the wooden bridge and it was like someone had pressed the pause button," she explains. "I won't forget how Evan looked at me in that moment."
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Alexis found her Rue De Seine gown at The Dress Theory, in Nashville. She fell for the high neckline and lace, complete with beading on the front for a bit of extra wow. She accessorized with earrings and rings by Jill Hoffmeister Jewelry and a Yuri C. veil.
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The Wedding Party
Nine ladies and nine guys stood by the happy couple's side. The bridesmaids wore a mix of pink and white Joanna August gowns and two-tone wraps and Erin McDermott earrings Alexis had gifted them. The gents wore navy blazers, L.L. Bean pants, and the same Buffalo Jackson Trading Co. tie as Evan.
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The Bridal Bouquet
"When Alexis showed me her save the date featuring a painting by her mom, that became the inspiration for their wedding," says floral designer Emily Lacoste of Lily & Co. of the floral and design elements like the bridal bouquet. "The painting embodied fall in Jackson Hole with strokes of rich yellows and fiery oranges reflecting the aspen trees seen throughout the valley, which we later foraged and incorporated in the ceremony decor." Here, she combined protea, garden roses, pheasant feathers, ranunculus, eucalyptus, pieris, rosehip, and millet.
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Alexis's mom and brother helped glue on the pheasant feathers to each of the programs, which were stashed in a 100-year-old hide box found at an antique store.
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The ceremony took place in the aspen grove at 4:30 pm. A table held two flower arrangements in wrought iron planters—complete with aspen branches foraged en route to the site. Antlers and a vintage Turkish rug (Alexis's idea, as she loves beautiful old things) as a runner anchored the space. Greenery in woven baskets adorned the back rows along the aisle. Overall, the goal was to enrich the setting while setting a romantic, elegant, and natural scene with a juxtaposition of bold and bright arrangements against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Grant Teton mountain range.
Officiated by the groom's stepfather, the non-religious service incorporated readings by Mark Twain and Rumi.
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The Ring Pillow
The bride needlepointed the antler ring pillow complete with the wedding date.
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Cocktail Hour Sips
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Instead of a couch, a daybed anchored the lounge area. A hide, woven tray, and funky pillows highlighted the space.
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The Reception Tent
Guests walked a few minutes along a creek from the ceremony to the reception location. "The walk was especially sweet because everyone had gone ahead and Evan and I could walk hand-in-hand," Alexis recalls.
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In the reception tent, horn vessels held taper candles, copper-accented glasses housed tea lights, and floral arrangements created in a fun twist to the typical fall palette anchored the farm tables, which boasted taupe runners. The centerpieces (by Lily & Co.) included mokara orchids, protea, dahlias, ranunculas, spray roses, scabiosa, astilbe, Andromeda, rosehip, eucalyptus, and pheasant feathers.
Stations of food were set for guests to serve themselves from, enjoying a baby kale salad with Humboldt Fog goat cheese, dried cherries, toasted hazelnuts, and truffle honey vinaigrette; macaroni and cheese; fried brussel sprouts; wild salmon with creamed summer corn, bacon, and crimini mushrooms; Snake River Farms beef tenderloin with dried cherry sauce; and sweet potato mash with brown sugar, butter, and sage.
Instead of a wedding cake, a mix of doughnuts was served.
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The First Dance
"Grow Old With Me" by Tom Odell played while the newlyweds took to the dance floor. The bride got a bit emotional during the lyrics of "and our hands they might age, and our bodies will change, but we'll still be the same as we are; we'll still sing our song, when our hair ain't so blonde, and our children have sung we were right." "I guess in that moment I could see those lyrics coming true and I couldn't be happier," she says.
Alexis then joined her father to Natalie Merchant's "Kind and Generous." It was upbeat enough so we both didn't bawl our eyes out," she recalls. Evan and his mother chose "Never Alone" by Lady Antebellum—a great fit considering his mom loves the tune and has always been there for Evan.
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Photography, Carrie Patterson
Location, Snake River Ranch
Event planning, Elizabeth Kelleher of In Any Event
Catering, Café Genevieve
Flowers, Lily & Co
Videography, MTN Media
Stationery, Bar Lazy R
Calligraphy, Proper Prints by Erin
Doughnuts, Nom Nom Doughnuts
Rentals, Canvas Unlimited
Hair, Anna Pantone
Makeup, Steph B. Makeup
Bridesmaids' dresses, Joanna August
Flower Girl dresses, David's Bridal
Flower Girl shoes, Melissa
Groom's suit, Alton Lane
Groom's and groomsmen's ties, Buffalo Jackson Trading Co.
Lighting, Hughes Production