An Elegant Wedding Amidst the Mountains in Wyoming
Alexandra and Andrew
Soon after meeting as coworkers at the same Washington, D.C., think tank in 2010, Alexandra Fisher and Andrew Sweet proved that they make a great team. Their first joint project: successfully hiding their budding romance from their boss, who had previously been in the upper echelons of the United States Department of Defense. They pulled it off for six months, then Andrew left for another job. "I joke that one of my biggest claims to fame is keeping my greatest secret—dating Ali—from a man who had run the Pentagon," says Andrew. When Alexandra eventually let that man know they were an item, he said, "Not much surprises me. But this surprises me."
What might have shocked him even more? Their first real interaction took place at the office, on a day when most people had stayed home due to the "snowpocalypse" that had shut down the city. As Andrew puts it, "I either convinced or coerced her to have some wine at my desk." And so began a courtship that included two years of bicoastal living while Alexandra earned her MBA at Stanford and Andrew worked in international development for the Obama administration in D.C. The romance also involved trips to 30-plus countries, which they took both together and separately.
The couple now live in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Andrew is an associate partner at an international consulting firm and Alexandra leads efforts to recruit and develop teachers and staff for a network of schools. But in their peripatetic past, they learned to form attachments to loved ones rather than locales. Alexandra explains, "Home has always been a place with people we care about, rather than a physical site." That said, they knew exactly where they wanted to kick off married life: Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Andrew had proposed in December 2013, during a dog-sledding adventure in five feet of snow. (He flew in from meetings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, stopping in D.C. to pick up the ring.) After that thrilling experience, "We could think of no better place than Jackson Hole to bring our worlds together, among the aspen trees," says Alexandra.
On September 20, 2014, they exchanged vows that blended their Baptist, Catholic, and Jewish backgrounds before 155 of their nearest and dearest at Snake River Ranch—and with their former boss, now a friend and mentor, officiating. Keep reading to go inside their celebration.
The foil-stamped, calligraphed invitation by Amber Moon Design included photos of the mountains and bucking bronco and antler motifs. In addition to being one of Wyoming's state symbols, "the bronco signified that marriage is going to be a wild ride!" says Alexandra. "And the antlers represented the peaceful side of the town we fell in love with." A piece of leather and waxed twine bound the suite together.
The Welcome Bag
Each guest received a mix CD with songs that were meaningful to the couple, his-and-hers sweets (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Andrew, and a cookie from Alexandra's favorite bakery in Providence, Rhode Island), a list of the weekend's activities, and a booklet of short bios on all of the guests in attendance. The bottle of whiskey was a little something extra their wedding planner snuck into the couple's personal bag.
The Bridal Bouquet
The bride carried a classic bouquet of clematis and garden roses, a nod to her mother's rose garden.
Before the ceremony, Alexandra hugged her father, who came with his own "something red" good luck charm: "He wore that same bow tie at my brother's wedding," she says.
The Ring Bearer
The couple's nephew and godson (who happens to be named Jackson!) was the ring bearer.
To honor the bride's father's Jewish faith, the pair exchanged vows (and a kiss) under a chuppah made of aspen branches and hop vines.
Flower-toss bags were filled with dried aspen leaves.
Sweet Tea-tons—a twist on an Arnold Palmer—were served with paper straws that looked like the area's aspen trees. During cocktail hour, there were two boozy signature cocktails—a bourbon slush and a kir royale.
To encourage mingling, the riverside path to the reception was lined with cheeky trivia signs about partygoers.
Cowbells, calligraphed with attendees' names by Anne Robin, tripled as escort-card holders, favors, and noisemakers during extra-festive moments, like when the newlyweds were introduced as "Mr. and Mrs. Sweet."
Time with Friends
Alexandra caught up with business-school friends during cocktails. "This was just as the sun was setting; it was so magical," she recalls. "The Tetons were turning a pinkish color."
Cathy Waterman with her sister Nancy Chiamulon. Cathy is a jewelry designer who created Alexandra's engagement ring and both Alexandra and Andrew's wedding bands. "One of Andrew's favorite parts of the engagement process was working with Cathy and my sister to pick the ring," Alexandra says.
Waiters sported bow ties made of cork (from Boutaugh), shown here against cocktail napkins, which were gilt-embossed with the couple's initials and the antler motif.
Tables were named after places that were meaningful to Alexandra or Andrew; East Lansing, for example, is where he got his undergraduate degree at Michigan State. The head table was "Home."
Rustic Chic Tables
Bare wooden tables were set with woven rattan chargers, muslin runners, and etched Czech crystal glassware. The green and white centerpieces made by Fleur de V Events featured garden roses, sage, scabiosa, phlox, snowberries, and raspberry leaves.
The First Dance
As everyone gathered under the tent for dinner, the couple went straight into their first dance, to "Lovely Day," by Bill Withers.
Partygoers raised up the newlyweds while dancing the hora.
A Little Dancing
The groom danced with the flower girl, their 2-year-old niece.
The couple couldn't decide on just one flavor, so they went with a tiered version made of vanilla cake with a fresh raspberry puree and vanilla-bean butter cream filling and a chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut feuilletine, and salted caramel buttercream from Persephone Bakery. The outside of the cake was airbrushed fondant, decorated with garden roses, sage leaves, and small antlers.
A Musical Performance
Andrew joined the band for his surprise serenade of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's "Home". "It's what brought everyone out onto the dance floor," Alexandra says.
Location, Snake River Ranch
Event Design and Production, Lisa Vorce Co.
Catering, Bistro Catering
Flowers and Décor, Vanessa Flory of Fleur De V
Photography, Elizabeth Messina Photography
Videography, Moonstone Pictures
Stationery, Amber Moon Design
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy
Cake, Persephone Bakery
Reception Music and Sound, Élan Artists
Cocktail Hour Music, PTO Bluegrass
Rentals and Draping, Montana Party Rentals
Tenting and Flooring, Bancroft & Partners
Bride's gown, Oscar de la Renta
Hair and Makeup, Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole
Flower Girl dress, Olivia Kate Couture
Flower Girl shoes, Rachel Riley
Groom's ensemble, Brooks Brothers
Groom's wedding band, Cathy Waterman
Transportation, Carey International, Inc.
Lighting, power, and sound, Hughes Production
Restrooms, Macy's Services
Airstream, The Silver Bungalow
Travel and Concierge Services, Life:Styled
Cork and leather bow ties, Boutaugh