Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the 2 Broke Girls and Mad Men stars' Western wedding was full of personal touches, meaningful music, and bee-themed details.
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Beth Behrs met her future sister-in-law before she met her husband-to-be. The 2 Broke Girls star was at a party for the first season Mad Men, the show on which Michael Gladis starred as Paul Kinsey, when Michael's sister Chion took her photo. Although Beth and Michael later chatted, it wasn't until two years later, when the actors saw each other at a Hollywood Forever cemetery screening of Casablanca, that they really got to talking. "We connected about our mutual love of country music (a rare thing in L.A.) and he invited me over to 'play some tunes,'" Beth says.
After several years together and a move to New York City for work, the pair decided to spend a full day together to close out the summer. They went to the American Museum of Natural History, canoed in Central Park, and ate dinner at their favorite restaurant. That evening, Michael told Beth they were going to have drinks on their friend Christina's rooftop. When they arrived, no one was there except for a jazz band, and they were playing one of Beth's favorite songs: "It Never Entered My Mind." Michael popped the question and the happy couple went on to celebrate with all of their friends at the couple's favorite dive bar, Parkside Lounge.
Two years later, on July 21, 2018, they were once again surrounded by loved ones in another beloved spot: the Rocky Mountains. The bride and groom had fallen madly in love with Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on a 2017 trip to see the solar eclipse in totality. "It was one of the most magical, memorable experiences of our lives," Beth says. "I grew up completely obsessed with Westerns and watching them with my dad. It truly feels like you're living in one when you're in Jackson, surrounded by the Teton Mountains, the wildflowers, and all the wildlife."
On the last day of that trip, the couple was eating brunch at Persephone Bakery when Beth spotted a local bridal magazine left on a table. Flipping through, she saw a photo of a bride at Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park. She read about the wedding, which took place at Moose Creek Ranch, in Victor, Idaho, and she and Michael decided to stop by the property on their way back to California. As soon as they got out of the car, the couple was greeted by stunning scenery (and a pair of baby goats). When Michael went into the main lodge, he saw a painting of a blonde girl in a cowboy hat that reminded him of a photo of Beth riding her horse (it was the background on his phone). They met Jeanette Beard, who runs the ranch and happens to have the same first name as Beth's late grandmother and shares a love of horses. "Michael and I both knew instantly in our gut that it was the place we had to say 'I do' in and confirmed dates with her that evening," Beth says.
With the date and location set, they tapped planner Angel Swanson of Love & Splendor Events to plan and design the personalized event for 105 loves ones. It was complete with programs in the style of Playbills as a nod to their backgrounds in theatre, a bee-theme since the couple keeps bees at their home, and a trio of signature drinks made with local ingredients that honored their animals. Music was another big part of the celebration, with meaningful songs playing at pivotal moments. "It was perfect, magical, and spiritual," says the bride of the wedding.
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Getting married outside and being surrounded by mountains, wildflowers, and horses were Beth's wedding must-haves. She also wanted a wedding where wearing cowboy boots was both acceptable and encouraged. She got just that when she and Michael chose Moose Creek Ranch, just outside of Jackson Hole. Thankfully, Michael's must-haves fell right into place from there: "good food, good booze, good music, good friends."
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Michael has been keeping bees for over three years and Beth recently fell in love with the pastime. They keep about 40,000 bees in their backyard and it's something they love doing together. They always knew they wanted to give honey from their hive as a wedding favor so Angel helped incorporate a subtle bee theme throughout the wedding, starting with the invitations, which were created by Amber Moon Design.
"We wanted the invitation to be classic yet interesting," Angel explains. Traditional printing methods like letterpressing were employed and simple layouts were used, but layering materials like leather, wood, and paper, made it unique. The main invite card was printed with navy blue ink and featured a small notch at the top right corner to give recipients a peek of the wooden panel underneath that featured an illustration of a horse along with the invitation to the western-style rehearsal dinner. Overall, the suite mixed a timeless font with the calligraphy of Anne Robin and illustrations by Karina Puente.
The various pieces were tucked into a vegetable-tanned leather folio debossed with a bee-motif and tied together with a blue ribbon for a pop of color. A single sprig of dried lavender made a charming accent. The entire suite was sent out in a white, gusseted envelope with vintage postage signifying important elements for the couple: Wyoming wildlife, bees, wildflowers, and horses.
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Even though the wedding itself took place in Idaho, most guests stayed in Jackson for the weekend. Tote bags by Noteworthy Paper & Press were filled with items that guests could enjoy over the course of the wedding weekend, as well as a few mementos to take home as a reminder of the festivities.
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The welcome totes were stuffed with white sage and lavender smudge sticks, almonds, vintage-style candy, mini emergency kits, a pack of wildflower seeds, spring water, cookies in the likeness of the Teton Mountains, a guide to the area, and jars of wild huckleberry jam adorned with custom labels featuring artwork by Karina Puente and lettering by Anne Robin.
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Her Bridal Style
"I wanted to feel natural, bohemian, whimsical, girly, classic, and free," Beth says of her bridal look. "I felt more beautiful than I ever had in my whole life, which was mostly the 'glow' of being surrounded by all that love, nature, and animals." From day one, she knew she wanted a Monique Lhuillier dress and chose the second one she tried on. She added golden floral hair accessories by Jennifer Behr.
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A Future Heirloom
As a wedding gift, Beth had custom Miron Crosby cowboy boots made for her husband and herself. Each boot features both of their initials on the outside and the lyrics to their first dance song transcribed onto the leather and sewn into the lining. "I hope these will be heirlooms in our family, passed down for generations," Beth says.
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"Waiting to see Beth for the first look when everyone went silent and it began to rain, I was overcome with emotion," Michael says. Thankfully it was just a passing shower and it was nothing but blue skies after that.
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Beth's maid-of-honor, matron-of-honor, and bridesmaids wore Joanna August wrap dresses with cap-sleeves while her man-of-honor matched the rest of the groomsmen in a suit from The Black Tux. The ladies wore floral crowns by Flowers by Chloe and carried bouquets that mimicked the bride's.
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The couple's non-traditional wedding party was an important part of the day. Hendricks stood on Michael's side as a groomswoman and Matt Doyle, Beth's childhood friend who she grew up doing theatre with, served as the man-of-honor.
The group of sixteen headed out to Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park before the ceremony to get the photos just like Beth had seen in that magazine—and a little treat. "When we were taking photos, a herd of bison crossed the plain and it felt like a blessing on our marriage," Michael says. While Beth and Michael were having their photos taken by Sylvie Gil, the attendants picked wild sagebrush and flowers and made impromptu bouquets for the women to hold. Beth saved hers so she could dry it and keep it in a scrapbook.
After the portrait session was over, the group headed back to Moose Creek Ranch, changed into comfortable clothes for a few hours, and had salads and sandwiches from Picnic (a favorite restaurant in Jackson Hole) and pizza from Pinky G's. The entire group (and their significant others) stayed on the property for the weekend, giving it a bit of a summer camp vibe.
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As guests arrived for the ceremony they were offered iced tea, lemonade, citrus-mint water, or a glass of sparkling rosé.
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The ceremony took place in a meadow with the Tetons in the background. A preexisting wood structure was adorned with clusters of wildflowers by Flowers by Chloe to soften it while not detracting from the sweeping views.
Along the aisle, a mix of barn wood planters and vintage zinc pots were filled with plants and wildflowers to create a naturally-overgrown look. Sunflowers (a favorite of the bride's) were incorporated in large buckets, too. These arrangements were later re-used to line the walkway to the reception barn.
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The blooms used at the ceremony included wild sage brush, larkspur, yarrow, nigella, smokebush, and dill.
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A Sentimental Bouquet
Flowers by Chloe incorporated a bit of braided horsehair from Beth's rescue mustang mare, Belle, into her bouquet. "My hand held her hair as I was walking down the aisle and I felt like she was there with me," Beth says. Coming up with the look of the flowers was the bride's favorite part of the planning process. "It was like Chloe read my mind," she says of floral designer Chloe Showell of Flowers by Chloe. "I wanted wildflowers, lavender, greenery. I wanted it to feel almost like it was all foraged from the fields that day. She blew me away."
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Arriving in Style
Beth and her father, Dave, arrived in an old, cherry-red pickup truck.
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An Emotional Processional
"I was terrified about tripping getting out of the pickup truck but my dad was so calm and kept assuring me it would be okay," Beth says of her entrance. "I just remember looking at all of my friends and family as I started my walk and feeling more love and gratitude than I've ever felt in my whole life. Then when I locked eyes with Michael, I burst into tears." Michael cried too. "I was overcome with emotion," he says. "And she was just so, so beautiful."
The string quartet played "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music as a nod to Beth's grandma Jeanette Behrs, who taught her the Rodgers & Hammerstein canon before she could read. The wedding party had entered to a dear friend playing Tom Petty's "Wildflowers" on guitar with the quartet.
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The Outdoor Ceremony
Michael's sister Chion officiated the ceremony, during which she told the tale of the night her brother and the bride met, and also shared a couple of childhood stories. Michael's brother Chris read an excerpt from The Prophet by Khalil Gilbran, the bride's friends (and Broadway performers) Abby Baum and Matt Doyle sang "Sun and Moon" from Miss Saigon, and the couple exchanged personalized vows which they site as their favorite part of the ceremony.
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The sun was shining on the beautiful summer day, which had everyone smiling. Even though the ceremony began at 6 p.m., the sun didn't set until three hours later, casting the soft glow of twilight over the reception.
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A Personalized Event
During the ceremony, the couple's fathers brought up needlepointed flasks by Smathers & Branson—one each for Beth, Michael, and Chion—so they could take a shot of Wyoming Whiskey along with their traditional vow and ring exchanges. Another personalized touch was the ceremony program. Designed in the style of Broadway Playbills, they were further customized with kitschy, Old West-style photos of the couple taken in a photo studio in town.
Act 1: Get Hitched and Sip Cocktails kicked off "the show."
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Beth and Michael love singing Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash songs together, and Johnny Cash is also a favorite of Beth's paternal grandparents, who were unable to travel for the wedding. PTO Bluegrass played "Jackson" the moment the couple kissed and once the newlyweds had recessed up the aisle, led everyone to cocktail hour, where they continued to play.
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As the founder of She Herd Power (an organization that offers equine therapy to survivors of sexual assault and abuse) and an avid rider, Beth thought a photo op with her favorite animal made sense. Post-ceremony, in her full wedding regalia, she hopped on this horse named "Little Black" bareback and bitless. "My dress was covered in dirt and black horse hair the rest of the evening and I was ecstatic," she says. "I loved feeling like myself after a day at the barn."
Earlier that morning, Beth woke up to find that she was the only one awake on the ranch. "I went into the horse pasture and sat and drank my tea as they ate their breakfast during sunrise," she says. "It was a beautiful moment of grounding and gratitude before the day began."
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Since their animals couldn't be present at the wedding, Beth and Michael honored them in the names of their cocktails. Betty Takes Manhattan referenced their dog and was made with Wyoming Whiskey, Belle's Mustang Margarita with a Kick was for Beth's horse and had jalapeño-infused tequila, and The Bee's Knees was dedicated to their bees and included Jackson Hole Stillworks vodka or gin, honey simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and lavender water. Melvin Brewing beers were another local libation on offer.
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During cocktail hour by the bubbling creek, Spoons Bistro passed trays of tiny tacos with margarita shots, seared elk crostini with huckleberry demiglace, and fried artichoke hearts and avocado slices with lemon-chive aioli.
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A Custom Seating Display
"For our table assignments, we had a huge sign that read 'World Famous Osceola Hotel' and vintage hotel keys," Michael explains. The World Famous Osceola Hotel is a small bar in the town of Osceola, New York, on the Tug Hill Plateau. Beth's grandfather Pete (also known as Pop Pop) has been visiting his family and hunting on their land there since he was a young boy. It is one of his favorite places on earth, and Beth's dad and Michael now take part in the yearly trips. It was on one of these trips that Michael asked Beth's father for permission to marry his daughter. Since Pop Pop couldn't be there on the wedding day, the couple payed homage to him in this way.
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Karina Puente Arts painted Beth, Michael, their animals, their flowers, and Jackson Hole icons and then turned those pieces into wallpaper that served as the background for the escort card display. It mimicked a key wall you'd find at an old hotel. Forest green keychains hot pressed with gold foil featured a beehive design and inducted guests as members into the "Beekeeper's Club." The three-digit number on each tag corresponded to table assignments and guests' names were printed neatly on small cards behind the keychains themselves. As a final touch, vintage keys were added to each one.
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The Outdoor Reception
Everyone sat at tables under string lights and enjoyed a meal prepared by Spoons Bistro, who incorporated the couple's backyard honey into the meal, like in the salad dressing.
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Wild and Western Décor
Centerpieces were arranged in a mix of vessels—including old metal tins, hide-covered vases, and distressed pottery—and arranged down the center of each table along with other items to create a feeling of a table runner. "From end to end, the tables were packed with beautiful pieces to admire," says Angel of the mix of candlesticks, tealights, votive holders, and antler sheds.
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Gray and ivory matte ceramic plates were set with hemstitched napkins, hammered rose-gold flatware, and classic stemmed glasses. The round menus were letterpressed with navy ink on a cool gray paper and a small floral accent (like a sprig of lavender or a bloom of thistle) was positioned nearby. Jars of honey from the couple's hive were placed at each seat as wedding favors. The tags featured an illustration by Michael of two owls on a utility line—something the couple saw on their first date.
Table were labeled with lilac-colored numbers mounted on leather squares that leaned against a centerpiece.
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The dress code was formal, with Western wear encouraged but not required. "Hats, bolo ties, and boots were out in full force," Angel says. Actress Jennifer Coolidge embraced the theme.
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The Sweetheart Table
The newlyweds sat at a table for two that was decorated with a floral arrangement in shades of white, yellow, and lavender (Beth's favorite) that showcased delphinium, black-eyed Susans, scabiosa, sweet peas, and more. Instead of a number, their table was assigned the bee icon that first appeared on the invitation.
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Shodown Band played Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" as the couple shared their first dance. A father-daughter dance to "My Girl" and mother-son dance to "Wild Horses" followed.
The couple had seen the band play on New Year's Eve a few years prior, before they were even engaged, and said that if they got married that would be their band. True to their word, they did, and the music and dancing didn't stop until the wee hours of the morning.
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All the Feels
"My little sister's maid of honor speech took my breath away," Beth recalls of one of four toasts given. She and Michael laughed and cried happy tears during the toasts, enjoyed from their sweetheart table. Of the emotion-filled day, Michael says "I didn't think I would cry as much as I did!"
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A Sweet Ending
The bride and groom agree that one of their favorite parts of the reception was cutting into (and then eating) their wedding cake, which was honey-lavender flavored and made by Lady in the Wild West with honey the couple had harvested themselves.
After the wedding weekend, the couple headed back to California for a mini moon at Ventana in Big Sur. They'll head to Tuscany in the fall for a full honeymoon.
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Photography, Sylvie Gil
Location, Moose Creek Ranch
Event planning and Design, Angel Swanson of Love & Splendor
Catering, Spoons Bistro
Cocktails and beverages, Amrita Beverage Co.
Flowers, Flowers by Chloe
Videography, The Cana Family
Stationery, Amber Moon Design
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy + Design
Artwork, Karina Puente Arts
Cake and dessert, Lady in the Wild West
Bride’s gown, Monique Lhuillier
Bride’s and bridesmaids’ reception boots, Ariat
Hair, Aviva Perea
Makeup, Kindra Mann
Bridesmaids’ dresses, Joanna August
Groom’s suit, Brooks Brothers
Menswear, The Black Tux
Transportation, Jackson Hole Alltrans