Amber & Dan
Words by Amber Perme + Photography by Hannah Hardaway
Great relationships often revolve around a shared interest or hobby: Dan and I are passionate about hiking and camping. Both of us started off as novice outdoorsmen, but our knowledge and experience have grown a great deal through trial and error. Shortly after our courtship began, we made a weekend camping trip to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It was September, and we were looking forward to the cool autumn temperatures, miles of scenic trails, and a relaxing campsite. However, we quickly learned that our preparations were a bit lacking. Dan and I arrived to our campsite in almost complete darkness, underdressed for the cold mountain weather and completely out of our element. Despite this, we refused to let any adversity get in our way. We set up our campsite in no time and had a roaring fire with food on the grill shortly thereafter. Even though the first night was spent in many layers of clothing and blankets, neither of us complained at all. Not even the fright of seeing a black bear the next day on our very first hike together could stop us from enjoying our outing.
Working through the challenges and overcoming obstacles brought us closer together and strengthened our relationship. It was on this first camping trip that we fell in love.
It should come as no surprise that many months and camping trips later, Dan chose Shenandoah National Park as the place to propose. After a morning hike filled with waterfalls and the bright, colorful fall foliage, Dan stood on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Luray Valley and dropped to his knee to ask me to marry him. Caught in a sentence of telling Dan to get away from the cliff, I stood speechless before accepting his proposal.
We both wanted a small, intimate destination wedding. After tossing around various options and ideas of where to go and what type of style we wanted, we narrowed the search to a national park that had an “epic” feel to it. Grand Teton National Park stood out instantly. Even though neither of us had been to Wyoming, the pictures we saw of the Teton Range took our breath away, and we immediately knew it was the place where we wanted to exchange our vows. The grandeur of the Tetons, even from behind a computer screen, was awe-inspiring, and we often found ourselves getting sidetracked from wedding planning by looking up hikes and activities to do in the park.
Planning our wedding was challenging—not just because we weren’t in Wyoming, but because Dan was literally halfway across the world on deployment as an officer in the Navy. Using the equivalent of the mobile version of Facebook, we had to bridge a seven-hour time difference to coordinate a destination wedding in a place that was entirely new to us. As if the logistics weren’t stressful enough, a new—and shortened—timeline added to it. While on deployment, Dan received new orders that would send him on back-to-back missions. What would have been a well-planned wedding in early spring turned into a severely time-compressed wedding to take place in the weeks he was home between deployments. In total, we had approximately five weeks to plan our entire destination wedding.
Despite the short planning phase, our wedding was stunning! On September 23, 2016, we exchanged our vows in the company of our families at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park. The bright yellow aspen leaves, the green conifers, and the majestic Tetons served as our backdrop. Rainfall provided the music. Moose, bear, elk, deer, beaver, marten, chipmunk, and wood duck were each present at one point to give witness to our love for one another. We were incredibly happy to start our lives together, forever and always as Mr. and Mrs. Perme.
23 September 2016
Il Villaggio Osteria
hair & makeup
Gild the Lily Too
Josh Riggs (acoustic guitar)
Vibrant Events of Jackson Hole
Jim’s Formal Wear