A Reason to Visit Jackson Hole
Kelli & Will
By Kelli Gould • Photography by Morris Weintraub
Will and I met the old-fashioned way—a blind date set up by a mutual acquaintance. We discovered that, despite my Midwestern roots and Will’s Northeastern upbringing, we had lived within only a few miles of each other for six of the past twelve years. It’s funny how life waits until just the right time to bring two people together.
Will brings out the hidden adventurer in me, while I help him slow down and enjoy the ride. Case in point: our first visit to Jackson Hole. It was Labor Day weekend 2014, and Will and I followed an impulse and flew from our home in Chicago to the valley for the holiday. That weekend, I hiked my first 10,000-foot mountain with Will cheering (and sometimes pulling) me along. About one-quarter of the way into the hike, Will looked over at me and knew I was the one he wanted to marry.
It was only fitting that we return to Jackson Hole in March for him to propose. But, through a long series of unfortunate mishaps, the ring didn’t make it to Jackson with us, so the plan had to be delayed. Two weeks later, at home in Chicago, he gathered countless pictures from our times on Rendezvous Mountain and hung them all around our house to re-create the experience for me. He even served waffles to really get the feel of Corbet’s Cabin! After I said, “Yes,” we knew we had to return to Teton Village to get married in our favorite place on Earth. And, in order to make it before the cold arrived, we had to plan fast!
Thanks to the remarkable vendors in Jackson Hole, five months was more than enough time to plan. We worked with John Thomas and his team at Hotel Terra to set up the “Welcome” cocktail hour, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and brunch right in the Village so our guests were within walking distance of everything. Somehow, we were lucky enough to book Floral Art, Jackson Cake Company, and two amazing musical acts despite our short timeline. And, to make sure everything ran smoothly and we could just sit back and enjoy our big day, we enlisted Lovely Day Events.
Unfortunately, our engagement wasn’t as enchanted as I always pictured it would be. In May and again in July, we received sad news of deaths in the family. These tough times made Will and I appreciate each other even more. While we needed to dedicate our attention to family during such difficult periods, John Thomas and Ayla Allen at Hotel Terra helped keep the planning moving along. I simply don’t have words to articulate how amazing our “team” was.
Our guests still rave about the food (provided by Hotel Terra); the bison prime rib was the star of the entire weekend. Wine from Jackson Hole Winery was available for our guests throughout the weekend (and in their welcome bags). Jackson Cake Company created the most innovative pistachio cake stackers with huckleberry filling, not to mention a stunning gold groom’s cake with a depiction of the Tetons.
The one thing we wanted most from our wedding weekend—besides, of course, committing to each other for life—was to help our guests understand exactly why Jackson Hole is so dear to our hearts. It’s because of the warm people, the truly exceptional food and wine, and the breathtaking scenery. Our loved ones continue to thank us for giving them a reason to visit the Tetons.
wedding date 5 September 2015
ceremony & reception location Hotel Terra
officiant Katherine Mead, Esq.
hair & makeup Tanya Crocker
photographer The Imagewell – Morris Weintraub
florist Floral Art
entertainment Derrik & The Dynamos and Judd Grossman Entertainment
consultant Lovely Day Events
caterer Hotel Terra
dessert Jackson Cake Company