A Weekend to Remember
Bayless & Andrew
Words by Bayless Sword + Photography by Ashley Merritt
Andrew and I met briefly during the winter of 2009-10 while working for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Life pulled us in different directions, and me to a few different states before I returned to Jackson Hole in the spring of 2013. We met, again, serendipitously one morning that summer. After perusing the farmers market one Saturday in late August, I went to meet my Realtor at a house I was considering purchasing. Turns out, I accidentally arrived at the wrong address. It was there, in the wrong parking lot, that I met the most handsome chocolate Lab I had ever seen and his best friend, Andrew. Andrew directed me to the correct house. After the showing, I explained I was interested, but the house needed some work. Andrew referred me to a contractor and later that week met both of us at the house. We went on our first date later that evening, and we dated for two years before getting engaged. Those two years brought a second chocolate Lab into our lives, a new house (not the one from our August meeting), and lots of adventures.
Andrew and I often spoke of a fall wedding before we were engaged, so we hit the ground running once a date was set. We wanted each part of the wedding to represent the two of us, and that became the driving force behind all our decisions moving forward. Since Andrew is a Jackson native and my family has deep roots in the valley, we chose to get married on my family’s ranch, a place that had become very special to the two of us during our time together. My cousin is a florist in Los Angeles; her talent in floral design aesthetics is unmatched. Her arrangements and garland adorning the tables fit us perfectly—casual, beautiful, and fun. The minister at the Princeton, New Jersey, church I grew up in performed our ceremony. He has a close relationship with my family, so it meant the world to have him as our officiant.
We chose to have very small bridal parties. We knew how many people would be traveling to share in our day and wanted their focus to be on enjoying Jackson Hole instead of bridal party duties. Our rehearsal dinner was Thursday night—an intimate, plated dinner at Shooting Star. On Friday night, we hosted our welcome party. We hired Cafe Genevieve and a Pica’s food truck, and placed a tent on the north side of the gray barn at the Snake River Ranch. People were bussed in from Teton Village and enjoyed a bonfire, margaritas, sliders, mac and cheese, and tacos in their western best. It was a comfortable and familial way for our out-of-towners and family members to begin the weekend.
Although there was snow in the forecast for the five days leading up to our wedding, we awoke to a beautiful, overcast fall day. Rain was threatening, but blue sky broke through the clouds right as the ceremony started. Bright gold and orange leaves fell from the aspen trees during the service as a herd of elk bugled in the background. Despite losing our older chocolate Lab a few months before the wedding, our little one served as ring bearer and walked my sister down the aisle. Our ceremony faced the freshly snow-covered Tetons.
We chose a casual family style dinner, catered by Cafe Genevieve, with filet mignon and crispy-skinned sea bass. We did not have a wedding cake, but instead had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and shot glasses of milk for guests. An hour before the band stopped, assorted varieties of grilled cheese were passed: basil-cheddar, provolone and salami, and pimiento cheese (a nod to UVA, my alma mater). As everyone left, they grabbed mini coffee cakes that Andrew’s mom baked as wedding favors. The cellophane wrapper had an enclosed card with the recipe and a short explanation for offering the cakes. It was a weekend we will never forget, made even more meaningful by the family and friends who traveled near and far to celebrate with us.
24 September 2016
ceremony & reception location
Snake River Ranch
Reverend David A. Davis
hair & makeup
Metro Music Club
In Any Event, LLC
caterer & dessert
Pica’s Food Truck
Jackson Hole Whitewater