A Traditional Rustic Destination Wedding on a Ranch in Idaho
Rachel and Larry
When Rachel started college, she was pretty miserable. Attending a state school as an out-of-state student was rough, and she considered transferring out. Luckily, an acquaintance put her in touch with Larry, an old high school classmate. Rachel and Larry began communicating online and by the end of the school year were good friends. But just friends.
Rachel decided to stay right where she was, and by sophomore year, the two were dating. Larry told Rachel he loved her the night they officially became a couple. And several years later, the two were officially wed.
Rachel and Larry first considered a local wedding in Brooklyn, but when complications arose, they decided to throw a destination wedding. They looked at farms and ranches that could be rented out for the weekend and limited their search to states they had already visited.
Rachel spotted the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch online and was instantly smitten. A book editor, she contacted an author she knew in nearby Sun Valley, Idaho, to inquire about the venue. His response? "Glorious."
After a visit to the property, the couple was able to fully commit to having an Idaho wedding. "Between the gorgeous mountains framing the valley, the original 1930s architecture, and the local and seasonal cuisine the venue specializes in, we knew this was an incredibly special place where we could celebrate both our marriage and the friends and family who would attend," Rachel says.
Guests stayed in private cabins, complete with amenities like fireplaces, beautiful stone showers or claw-foot bathtubs, and crisp linens. The setting merged the rustic outdoors with the standards of a nice hotel.
The Bridal Look
The Bride's Special Touch
To add a bit of drama to her simple-chic look, Rachel turned to Leah of Leah C. Couture Millinery in New York City, who crafted a show-stopping hair piece made of feathers. Rachel wore it pinned into her updo, which her friend Ellen helped her with.
The Groom's Special Touch
Leah also made the groom's boutonniere. "Larry's a bird lover, so I thought it would be fitting," Rachel says. "This was my little surprise gift to him, which I managed to spoil about two months before the wedding."
The Jewish marriage certificate was signed prior to the ceremony. Its clean design fit the simple feeling of the wedding. A friend of the couple later created a frame for the ketubah, which now hangs in Rachel and Larry's home.
The huppa was made with Rachel's grandfather's prayer shawl and was carried to the ceremony site by Rachel and Larry's brothers and friends.
Larry's parents, Annette and Harold, led him down to the ceremony location.
Rachel also walked down the aisle on the arms of her parents, Lois and Paul.
Her bouquet was made of herbs from the kitchen's garden (compliments of the chef) and finished off with twine.
A Customized Ceremony
In a ceremony customized for and by the couple, close friends read interpretations of the seven blessings that are customary at traditional Jewish weddings. Rachel and Larry incorporated the kiddush cup from Larry's parents' wedding.
Fifty-one guests witnessed the nuptials, which occurred at sundown. Cozy throws hung on the backs of chairs in anticipation of the evening's drop in temperature.
Portraits and Fashion
At the end of the ceremony Rachel and Larry posed for portraits with photographer Craig Wolfrom. They chose three distinct backdrops: a guest cabin, the mountains at sunset, and the kitchen's smoker.
Here, you can see Larry's J.Crew ensemble. He embellished his suit with suspenders and Rachel's grandfather's tie clip.
Rachel accessorized with a gold bracelet that belonged to her grandmother.
Dressed to Impress
For two of the couple's friends, the wedding fell in the middle of a large road trip, so their pup Jake was with them for the special event. Like any self-respecting dog, Jake wore black tie to the wedding.
The Reception Decor
To bring the lodge's rustic atmosphere to the forefront, the tables were set in neutral colors, with twine-wrapped Mason jars serving as candle vessels. In keeping with the intimate, dinner party aesthetic and country-chic mood, the tables were loaded with bread boards of the ranch's delicious baked goods as guests took their seats. Bud vases with fresh-picked pansies were scattered throughout the room.
Tags courtesy of Calligraphy by Katherine served as seating cards and were tied to chairs with twine.
The decades-old dinner bell on the front porch of the lodge signaled meal times to guests throughout the weekend-long event. Rachel and Larry rang it to signal the start of the dinner reception.
Muzzie Braun played bluegrass music throughout the ceremony, cocktail hour, and dinner.
The menu included butternut squash ravioli with brown butter, sage, and pine nuts; local heirloom tomato, fresh mozzarella, and basil with balsamic syrup; and three different main courses. It was prepared by Chef Andrew from the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch.
The ranch baked a stunning challah for the reception. Larry's childhood friend from summer camp said the blessing over the braided bread.
In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the couple served Chef Andrew's Washington state apple pie and decorated it with a custom topper by etsy vendor Goose Grease. Homemade vanilla ice cream paired perfectly with the seasonal dessert.
Rachel and Larry put the toppers and Larry's feathered boutonnieres in shadow boxes once they got back home to Brooklyn.
Following dinner, the newlyweds and their guests hit the dance floor until 2 in the morning. The couple's friend Reed served as DJ, getting everyone on their feet in celebration -- including some of the ranch's staff.
Everyone took a break from dancing to roast s'mores at the fireplace. The ranch stripped enormous birch branches into skewers for the marshmallows.
Rachel and Larry chose "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show for their first dance.