Callie and Eric’s Rustic Ranch Wedding
Both Callie Louis and Eric Reinhardt spent their childhoods in Columbus, Ohio, but they weren’t aware of this fact for 14 years, when they finally met in high school. By sophomore year, they were an item. After graduating, the two took a break to attend different universities, only to find their way back into each other’s hearts postcollege.
Living in Chicago, the pair picked up where they left off, and Eric, who works for an investment firm, put a plan in motion to secure their happy ending. The couple headed to Saugatuck, Michigan, for the weekend (a routine excursion) to meet Callie’s sister, brother-in-law, and their newborn baby. The trip turned unexpected when the vacationers headed to the beach at sunset but couldn’t find a relative in sight. What Callie, a product manager for a real-estate website, found instead was a picture-perfect picnic. There, Eric dropped to his knee and popped the question. And as the evening’s final surprise, Callie’s parents and siblings appeared to clink glasses of Champagne and watch the sun set. Eric flew the crew into town just for the occasion.
On September 6, 2014, the high school sweethearts—10 years in the making—threw a rustic destination wedding with 150 guests at Snake River Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming.
“Jackson has often been referred to as the ‘last of the Old West,’ so we played off that idea,” Callie explains of the inspiration behind the rustic invitation suite printed by xowyo. Stamps and postcards included for R.S.V.P.s depicted the open skies and wilderness that awaited guests. The arbors bordering each invite, which the bride illustrated herself, inspired her father to build a life-size replica for the ceremony.
The duo booked Snake River Ranch as the venue. “My family has a home in Jackson, and after traveling there together for years, it’s a very special place for both of us,” says Callie. Guests took in scenic views of the Teton Range, which served as a breathtaking backdrop for the day’s festivities. “I wanted to blend in with, not take away from, the beautiful setting,” says Callie.
Callie expected to buy a white gown, but instead fell for a nude design by Vera Wang with lace and petal detailing. She paired the classic silhouette with diamond earrings and a Cartier LOVE bracelet, both gifts from her parents and grandparents. The bride’s mother embroidered the wedding date and logo into the dress as Callie’s “something blue.”
Crowned With Flowers
In keeping with her free-and-easy vibe, Callie opted for a head wreath of autumnal blooms and berries, designed by Fleur de V, rather than a traditional veil.
Callie carried a petite bouquet of roses, astrantia, andromeda, and jasmine in muted tones indigenous to the surrounding environment.
Wyoming’s nickname as the “Cowboy State” inspired Callie’s shoe selection: monogrammed J.B. Hill Boot Company boots, custom made for the big day.
Dressed to Impress
The bridal party wore Champagne and nude dresses of their choice paired with cowboy boots.
Each bridesmaid clutched a dried-wheat bouquet wrapped in burlap and velvet ribbon.
A Special Gift
Callie gifted her gals an Aztec-patterned Pendleton scarf to slip on once the temperature dropped.
Eric’s groomsmen donned navy suits of their choice with matching J.Crew pocket squares.
A Family Affair
Callie’s grandparents, who live just down the road from the ceremony venue, beamed with joy as they awaited the bride’s walk down the aisle.
The First Look
The couple took photos before the ceremony to ensure ample time with friends and family.
Callie constructed wooden signs with resources from her dad’s workshop that greeted guests and gave directions.
The Little Guy
Here Comes the Bride
Everyone smiled as Callie and her father processed down the aisle to tunes by Mandatory Air.
Tears of Joy
There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as the bride met her groom at the altar.
The I Do’s
The bride’s aunt officiated the nuptials beneath a Western chaparral built by Callie’s father. Hops, from the bride’s grandparents’ garden, helped blend the structure into the ceremony’s scenic backdrop.
Callie’s wedding band, fashioned by a local jeweler, and Eric’s Cartier band were knotted on a leather string and laid atop a dainty pillow sewn by the bride’s mother. The pillow included the newlywed’s monogram and wedding date.
After taking a leisurely creek-side stroll from the ceremony to the reception, partygoers enjoyed bacon-wrapped, chorizo-stuffed dates; elk carpaccio on crostini; ham and sweet potato hush puppies; and oyster bar offerings, all made by Café Genevieve.
The reception had a casual air. “A lot of the furniture and all of the lights were from my parents’ house,” says Callie. “My florist called it the ‘sexy man’s den.’” Moody flowers, vintage candles, and assorted deer antlers lay atop faux cowhide to home in the rustic atmosphere.
Beige couches and screen-printed pillows from Hunter Gatherer, as well as pieces from Callie’s parents’ home, furnished the reception.
Branded for Life
The couple made a cattle-branding iron, commonly used by ranch hands, which depicted the wedding-day monogram that Callie created. The custom-made décor is now displayed in the couple’s home as a keepsake of their special day.
Branded cowhides marking the lounge area dressed up the outdoor celebration.
The pair served sage-infused whiskey and huckleberry-infused vodka lemonade as the cocktail-hour coolers.
Cocktail napkins (monogrammed and stamped by the groom) added a personal touch to the cocktail station and bourbon bar.
Bring on the Bacon
Jars of sugarcoated bacon, otherwise known as “pig candy,” took the place of typical bar nuts atop the bourbon station.
Guests dined on spinach and arugula salad, bison tenderloin with blue cheese, seared salmon with creamed corn, and short ribs. An additional course of fried chicken and honey biscuit sandwiches arrived around midnight.
Two covered wagons brought historic charm to the venue and provided unique lounge areas for partygoers.
As an icebreaker, guests tried their hands at a game of “Stump,” which the couple often played together with friends, including one of Callie’s bridesmaids, as kids. To win the game, players must hit a nail into the stump with the prongs of a hammer.
The couple snuck off during the reception to take in the scene. “We were in awe at how amazing the moment was, watching all of our friends and families back at the tent, who came from all over the country to celebrate us. It was a feeling like no other,” says Callie.
The Guest Book
Fitting for the couple’s honeymoon to Kenya, attendees wrote congratulatory biddings in a coffee-table book filled with images of African wildlife.
A huckleberry cake with buttercream frosting from Persephone Bakery nodded to the day’s décor. Greenery hugged each tier, adding an earthy touch.
Swing Your Partner
Mandatory Air’s contagious energy lifted even the shyest of guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor and stage. Two belts looped together were all that was needed to start a spur-of-the-moment round of limbo. After the celebration, revelers made their way to a nearby saloon.
The newlyweds exited in Callie’s father’s Land Rover decked out with pillows, blankets, and a branded cowhide rug, courtesy of the bride’s mom.