A Rehearsal Dinner on a Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
After exchanging phone numbers during their first meeting at a fundraiser in Houston, Texas, in 2015, Jourdan and Holt were smitten—they started dating the next week. "After four consecutive dinners in a row," says Holt, "I had a feeling this was going to be something special." He proposed less than two years later during a private dinner at the couple's favorite Cabo resort, and the pair began planning a destination wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "We both loved the idea of a destination wedding as we knew it would allow us to keep it more private and only invite our closest friends and family," says Holt.
They chose Jackson Hole for sentimental reasons: Jourdan was two weeks into a cross-country bicycle ride fundraiser in 2016—and very homesick—when she paused there for a weekend and Holt surprised her with a visit. "It was a wonderful two days exploring the city and we quickly fell in love with it," she says. "When it came time to select a wedding location, nothing else seemed right."
Jourdan and Holt began their wedding weekend with a rehearsal dinner for 150 guests at Snake River Ranch. They requested a dress code of "ranch chic"—think cowboy boots, flowing skirts, and wildflower accessories—and treated guests to a whiskey bar, a bluegrass band performance, and an evening of laughter and tears with toasts from their friends and family. "We laughed and cried happy tears the entire evening," says Jourdan. "It was a perfect transition for the wedding to come."
Jourdan's rehearsal dress was one of three gowns she designed for the weekend with Dallas-based company Nardos Design. This "light and airy" dress previewed her wedding dress without departing from the event's theme. "There were beautiful embroidered flowers along the overlay of the dress," she says. "These flowers were similar to the ones I would wear the following day."
A Stylish Couple
The Great Outdoors
Jourdan and Holt chose Snake River Ranch's Gray Barn as the site for the rehearsal dinner, which took place in an outdoor tent. "After guests traveled by horse and wagon, they walked through the barn to officially begin the night," says Holt. "The venue offered an incredible landscape backdrop, allowing guests to get a genuine Wyoming experience."
After guests walked through the lofty barn, they paused to find their name and seating assignment on an arrow stuck in a bullseye. "We wanted an interactive way for guests to find their seats," says Jourdan. "This was a great icebreaker for guests to meet one another and get settled for the night ahead."
A Reflection of Him
The rehearsal dinner tent included a wooden floor that extended out past its edges, creating a porch that guests used during the cocktail hour and after dinner. "We wanted the rehearsal dinner to be a reflection of Holt, as the wedding would be more feminine," says Jourdan. They used antlers, feathers, hunting accents, and a "warm and masculine" color palette to represent the groom in the evening's décor.
Outdoor lounges allowed guests to claim comfortable seating during the cocktail hour (and after dinner, during a second round of dessert and cigars). "The furniture was a fun way to bring in more Wyoming elements," says Jourdan. "We included leather, suede, and buffalo check prints. Cow hide rugs were a great complement to the wood floors, and colorful blankets brought the entire look together."
Passed hors d'ouerves on wooden trays included marinated elk satay, seared duck breast, masa-dusted lump crab cakes, and steelhead and smoked salmon tartare. Custom cocktail napkins with the couple's names also kept the wedding countdown front and center with a design reading "24 hours and counting."
During the cocktail hour, guests chose between the bride's custom drink, an Earl Gray and lavender concoction called "The Gray Barn," and the groom's favorite spirits, including Wyoming Whiskey, Basil Hayden, Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace. "A whiskey bar was included on the porch to highlight Holt's favorite whiskeys, cigars, and jerky," says Jourdan. "So Holt."
On the Hunt
Other custom napkins reading "The Hunt Is Over" were part of the couple's efforts to highlight Holt's personality. "One of Holt's greatest hobbies is hunting," says Jourdan, "so this was a fun pun!"
Jourdan and Holt asked bluegrass band PTO to provide music for the party. "Holt and I are both fans and their music screams Jackson Hole," says Jourdan. "It was upbeat and perfect for setting the mood of evening."
Band of Horses
As the cocktail hour ended and guests moved to their seats, they were treated to an unexpected sight: Dozens of horses crossing the pasture on the opposite side of a gate that enclosed the tent. "It was incredibly moving and beautiful," says Jourdan. "Holt and I stood out watching the horses as the Teton mountains stood in the background. It was a moment we will cherish forever."
The couple left the wooden dinner tables bare, except for blue and tan suede table runners. Overhead pampas grass installations by Fleur de V Events incorporated a "masculine feel," says Jourdan. "We wanted the night to resemble Holt, which meant we needed to be creative with our floral options! The pampas grass was a great filler while not sacrificing beauty."
Flora and Fauna
Other floral elements included dusty roses and wildflowers, giving the table a natural, country feel. Moose-shaped table numbers were a nod to the local wildlife found in Wyoming.
Rustic chargers, gold-edged plates, and colored glassware rented from Canvas Unlimited added a variety of textures and materials to each place setting—but the couple's favorite tabletop element was the folded book labeled "Field Notes" on each plate. Inside, it listed the menu options—but also left space for guests to write a note to the bride and groom. "We loved receiving these booklets after the wedding and reading sweet messages from our loved ones," says Jourdan.
On the Menu
A family-style meal from Bistro Catering included appetizers of stuffed squash blossoms and beet salad; main courses of seared elk tenderloin and pheasant; and sides of wild rice and swiss chard.
Raise a Glass
The highlight of the evening, says the couple, were the multiple toasts from their friends and family. "Each speech was very meaningful to us," says Jourdan. "We laughed and cried happy tears the entire evening!" Each of Jourdan and Holt's siblings spoke, along with the maid of honor and the best man.
Holt's parents, who hosted the event, also offered some words of wisdom: "Always keep your landings equal to your takeoffs."
Instead of a full cake, the couple served gluten free desserts in mini mason jars, offering coconut cream pie and strawberry buttermilk shortcake. After sunset and the toasts, they brought out a selection of ice cream sandwiches for guests to enjoy on the porch before heading home to get ready to continue the festivities the next day.
Photography, Carrie Patterson Photography
Venue, Snake River Ranch
Event planning, Emily Clarke Events
Florals, Fleur de V Events
Catering, Bistro Catering
Videography, 31 Films
Stationery, The Detail Department
Calligraphy, The Left Handed Calligrapher
Music, PTO Bluegrass Band
Bride's gown, Nardos Design
Hair, Christopher Michael
Makeup, Tanya Crocker
Groom's boots, Lucchese
Lighting, Sperry Tents