Nature took center stage at this couple's family-friendly countryside celebration.
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Colby and John
It may sound like a meet-cute from a romantic comedy, but Colby Peck met John Zeiser at a wedding. Colby, an oil painter, was a bridesmaid at her best friend's nuptials when she first met her soon-to-be husband, John, who works with a car rental company. Unbeknownst to the two, their friends had planned to set them up and the wedding was the perfect occasion to do so. The couple met on the dance floor, immediately stopped dancing, and stayed up until 3 a.m. talking. Funnily enough, just a week earlier, Colby's friend had texted her sister saying, "Colby is going to meet her husband at my wedding! I just know it!" She was most definitely right.
After four-and-a-half months of dating, John flew out to visit Colby, who was living in Denver at the time. She had planned a mountain hike for the two and the night before their big trek, one foot of fresh snow fell, scaring away other hikers. The deserted trail proved to be the perfect spot for John to pop the question. A few miles in, as the snow continued to fall, he knelt to get something out of his backpack—a brown paper bag labeled "John's lunch". Colby instantly knew it was a cover-up and figured out what was going to happen next. "Even though my hands were freezing, I immediately ripped off my gloves and knelt down in the powder with him!" she recalls.
The outdoorsy couple, who now reside in Newport Beach, California, wanted to get married somewhere breathtaking. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, always had a special place in Colby’s heart and is “the most beautiful place in the world” for her. With its mountain views and untouched natural beauty, it was a simple decision for the two to host their wedding at Snake River Ranch.
On May 29, 2016, with 130 family and friends bearing witness, Colby and John became husband and wife. The pair worked with their planner, Kendra Hobson of Simply Grand Events, to create a wedding that drew inspiration from the surrounding environment, featuring wildflower-like arrangements and elevated homey touches. With family and their faith as a huge focus, the newlyweds succeeded in throwing an intimate, al fresco celebration.
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It was all within the family as the bride's sister handled the couple's stationery suite. Colby requested something "simple, rustic, and Jackson-y". The result: a long, narrow invite that came complete with a cute Jackson Hole map and a response card that featured a painting of the signature scenery. Rounded edges, an antler motif with the duo's initials tucked in, and nature-inspired illustrations made it all their own.
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The Bridal Bouquet
In keeping with the countryside feel, Colby carried a loosely gathered bouquet of sweet peas on the vine and delphinium, tied together with leather cord. "The giant bouquet looked like I ran out into a field of wildflowers and grabbed an armful!" she says about one of her favorite details of the day, courtesy of Fleur de V.
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It was truly a family affair as the bride's two older twin sisters served as her matrons of honor while John's two sisters were her bridesmaids. All the ladies wore different styles of blush Nouvelle Amsale gowns.
As for Colby, she knew she wanted a comfortable, slightly more traditional Claire Pettibone dress. After trying on 20 designs at the designer's flagship store, her chosen "Cheyenne" gown was the clear winner, with its intricate lace overlay and high neckline that evoked an American West feel that fit perfectly with her wedding's theme. The bride's reason for not wearing a veil was a sentimental one—"When John and I first met, I was wearing a bridesmaid's dress and had flowers in my hair. The one request he had for the wedding was that I had flowers in my hair again," she explains of the delicate white larkspurs she sported.
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The Bridesmaid Favors
As a special thank you to her bridal party, Colby gifted each of her ladies a crystal necklace, picking out natural stones that she thought best suited each sister. The quartz Mimi & Lu necklace (pictured above) was for John's youngest sister.
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The Ceremony Location
Larkspur, delphinium, various types of eucalyptus, and olive branches lined the aisle. At the end, the flowers that resembled wildflowers formed into a ring shape, where the couple said their "I do's". "It was a beautiful and symbolic way to put extra focus on the sacredness of the ceremony and our union," the bride says.
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The Bride's Entrance
A guitarist and banjoist played the Christian hymn, "How Great the Father's Love For Us" during the bride's processional. "Standing up front, my chin was quivering and I was trying so hard to not cry, but I was losing it," John says. "Then I saw Colby walk out of this grove of Aspen trees, holding her dad's arm, and I immediately stopped crying. We hadn't seen each other for over 17 hours and I finally got to see her again; this time, as my bride."
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The twosome, who is strong in their Christian faith, wanted their ceremony to be a worship service that just so happened to be their wedding and chose scripture passages that resonated with them to reflect that. As they exchanged traditional vows, thunder roared in the background and the couple felt that the ceremony was the perfect length, as it stared to pour as soon as it was over!
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After a short spout of heavy rain, the sky cleared and the sun shone brightly, just in time for the newlyweds to pose for photos. With the rolling Teton Mountains as their scenic backdrop, the couple was all smiles while capturing their special moment with loved ones.
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John, a huge car lover, incorporated a 1971 Ford Sport Custom into their big day. The pickup truck acted as a great photo opportunity and was used as the country-casual prop for the couple's portraits. "It was supposed to be our getaway car, but it wouldn't start!" Colby says.
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The Cocktail Hour
Guests soaked in the picture-perfect setting as they nibbled on Wyoming-inspired appetizers like buffalo tenderloin cobb salad in endive and sipped on the day's signature cocktail, huckleberry lemonade with bourbon.
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The lounge areas featured a mix of cream-colored sofas, loveseats, club chairs, and chaise lounges dotted with black-and-white striped pillows and sheepskin rugs—for the guests to relax particularly Colby's sisters, who both recently had babies.
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"My niece and nephew love to play, so we figured we would have a teepee to keep them entertained," the bride says.
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The Escort Cards
Colby's family played double duty as they also made the gray escort cards, with calligraphy penned by the bride's sister. The chic cards were simply decorated with a single arrowhead, a subtle play on the day's Western theme.
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"We wanted everything to feel romantic, soft, and wild!" Kendra says. To achieve that, olive branches hung from iron chandeliers and candlelight shone all night through a mix of antique bronze candlesticks, clear votives, and silver candelabras throughout the tent. Long dark wooden farm tables were used, some draped in ocean blue La Tavola linens and some left bare, draped in garlands of olive, eucalyptus, white larkspur, and delphinium.
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In keeping with the airy, outdoorsy vibe, silver containers filled with spirea, anemones, olive branches, clematic vine, larkspur, white scabosias, and sweet peas, served as the table's focal point.
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The Place Setting
The flatware and candlesticks added elegant touches of silver, dressing up the long tables. Each place setting on the head table also had green almonds on them, a little feature that added a little greenery and an element of spring.
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The First Dance
The newlyweds wanted to do something fun for their first dance and chose The Beach Boys' "Wouldn’t It Be Nice". The duo, who never practiced their moves prior to their spotlight moment, had a blast winging it together. The crowd soon joined in and dancing went on until Don McLean's "American Pie" (a family wedding tradition), signaled the end of the night.
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Unlike most couples, Colby and John weren't too concerned about the wedding cake—they were more excited about the mocha ice cream cookie sandwiches that were served as dessert! However, for cake-cutting purposes, they bought one from the grocery store and jazzed it up with the day's signature posies. The sweet treats, which were decorated with olive branches, silver dollar, and seeded eucalyptus were laid out for everyone to feast their eyes on.
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Photography, Carrie Patterson Photography
Location, Snake River Ranch
Event planning, Kendra Hobson of Simply Grand Events
Catering, Bistro Catering
Flowers, Fleur de V
Invitation Calligraphy, Plume Jolie Designs
Bride's gown, Claire Pettibone
Hair & Makeup, Tanya Crocker
Bridesmaids' dresses, Nouvelle Amsale
Flower Girl dresses, Dollcake
Groom's suit, Ralph Lauren
Menswear, Ralph Lauren
Transportation, Salt Lake Express