An Elegant, Airy Wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
McKenzie and Paul
Some people kick off a wedding weekend with cocktails and canapés. But McKenzie and Paul didn't stop there. They welcomed guests with whitewater-rafting down the Snake River. "It was an immediate way for them to experience this incredible place," says McKenzie, "and the best ice-breaker we could imagine."
Racing down a river with their closest friends and family also made perfect sense for the nature-loving San Francisco–based couple. McKenzie, a recruiter at a venture-capital firm, and Paul, an investment professional, met during a group rock-climbing excursion, and the pair went on to forge a relationship over several years of hiking, skiing, cycling, and running together. "Being outdoors has always been a big part of our bond," she says.
And the duo could think of no more spectacular spot to marry than Jackson Hole, which the bride knew well from childhood trips, and from later living there briefly as an adult. The day after the rafting excursion—on July 29, 2017—155 guests made their way to the ceremony setting, an aspen grove on the Snake River Ranch, set against the majestic Tetons. "I heard that people actually gasped when they got there and the view was revealed," says McKenzie. The minister paid homage to the landscape in her remarks, and close friends read writings about gratitude and the environment, including a piece by John Muir, before the couple recited their vows.
From there, everyone walked to the reception area, also on the grounds, to sip gin and tonics and vodka sodas, dine on local elk and steelhead trout, and dance for hours. Aside from one memorable moment when the groom's entire party jumped onstage to dance to "Sweet Caroline," McKenzie and Paul stayed close to each other: "I've been to weddings where you never see the couple together after the vows, so we really made an effort not to get split up," says the groom.
Two days later, they boarded a plane to New Zealand, for two weeks full of heli-skiing, mountain-biking, and fly-fishing adventures. "We didn't want to sit on a beach the whole time," says Paul. "We wanted to do a honeymoon our way."
The Jackson Hole setting inspired the invitation suite by Rock Paper Scissors—from the watercolor landscape on the envelopes to the die-cut festivities card, in the shape of the nearby mountain range.
The Bridal Bouquet
Accessories with Style
McKenzie accessorized her lace Rebecca Schoneveld gown with a simple Mikimoto bracelet and Manolo Blahnik shoes. "I loved that the shoes were bridal, but also practical—I can wear them again!" says McKenzie. "And because I'm so tall at 5'10", I never wear anything higher than two inches." Her engagement ring came from Jewelry on 5th, and the bands were by Margo Friend.
The Bridal Party
Paul's eight groomsmen included former teammates from his college crew team as well as McKenzie's brother, his best man. "The morning of the ceremony, I hiked with a bunch of the guys to the top of a mountain, where you could see the whole wedding site," he says. "It was a pretty perfect way to start the day." They kept it preppy with navy jackets and khakis, plus a bow tie.
En Route to the Ceremony
Accompanied by a fiddler, guests walked through the aspen groves to the location of the ceremony—and its show-stopping vista of the Tetons. "The walk was really romantic, and built anticipation for the ceremony," says event planner Lynn Easton of Easton Events.
The Ceremony Arch
Vanessa Flory of Fleur de V Events created an arch of wild vines and garden roses to frame the couple as they said their vows.
"I wanted our guests to leave in awe of the mountains, with the same gratitude Paul and I feel whenever we spend time outside," says McKenzie of the natural beauty of the wedding locale.
Have A Drink
The Escort Cards
The Table Settings
Seating areas outside the tented reception provided a place to take in the scenery; hay bales wrapped in white fabric made a chic nod to the western setting.
The First Dance
The couple shared their first dance to Ray LaMontagne's "You Are the Best Thing," and then swiftly invited friends and family to join them. "Neither of us are super comfortable being the center of attention," says McKenzie. "We wanted everyone to be out there having a good time with us."
The Wedding Cake
The petite cake of chocolate, cardamom, and hazelnuts was topped with flowers that matched those used throughout the celebration.
Guests sent the couple off for the night waving sparklers. "Thankfully, Carrie [our photographer] told us to walk slowly and really soak it in!" says McKenzie.
Location, Snake River Ranch
Event design, styling, and production, Easton Events
Catering, Bistro Catering
Flowers, Fleur de V Events
Photography, Carrie Patterson
Cinematography, Après Events
Officiant, Reverend Tamara Mitchell
Stationery, Rock Paper Scissors
Calligraphy, The Left Handed Calligrapher
Cake, Jackson Cake Company
Ceremony, cocktails, and first-dance trumpet music, Judd Grossman Entertainment, Inc.
Reception music, Party Crashers
Bride's gown, Rebecca Schoneveld
Hair and makeup, Frost Salon
Bow ties, Western Range Clothing Co. bow ties
Lighting and draping, Technical Event Company
Transportation, The Driver Provider
Bars, Style Jackson Hole