Making Seasonal Sense


Expect the unexpected

Photo by Taylor Glenn

Photo by Taylor Glenn

While hosting a wedding on either side of the Tetons guarantees a beautiful backdrop, this area is infamous for its unpredictable weather. Weather conditions differ around our mountain valleys and peaks, and temperatures can vary by ten degrees or more from one place to another.

Summer continues to be the most popular season for weddings. If you are considering a wedding in the Tetons during June, July, or August, keep in mind that millions of visitors pass through the area during these months, which translates to full hotels, busy restaurants and caterers, and fewer available wedding and reception sites.

Although the weather is less predictable, spring, fall, and winter weddings in the Tetons offer natural beauty equal to a summer wedding but with the advantages of fewer tourists, more vendor availability, and sometimes lower prices. Regardless of the wedding date you choose, be sure your location can accommodate your needs given the inclement weather.

| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

The Name-Change Game

The Name-Change Game

By Rebecca Mitchell

Photo by Katy Gray

After months of focused planning, your wedding day is a great success. From ceremony to reception, your attention to detail paid off and your day passed as a remarkably memorable event. Ahh … you can finally exhale. But wait! You’ve decided to change your name after marriage, which means you have one last hurdle to overcome before you can kick up your feet and reflect on your new life as part of a married couple.

Knowing when and how to change your name can save you time and headaches. Begin the name-changing process after you are married. While you may want to get a jump-start on what can be a lengthy course of action, starting before you are officially married is a waste of time. Once you are legally wed, obtain at least two certified copies of your marriage certificate and make several noncertified copies, too.

According to Leah Ingram, author of Plan Your Wedding in No Time, the best advice for accomplishing the name-changing process smoothly is this: Tackle the most important entities first and then work your way down the list.

The most important item to change is your Social Security card. Do this first, as you will need your new card to change other forms of identification and open a bank account using your new name. Plus, roughly ten days after the records at the Social Security Administration are changed, your Internal Revenue Service records will be updated. According to the Social Security Administration, failure to report a name change to them can delay future tax refunds and jeopardize your wages from being correctly reported, which may lower your future Social Security benefits.

To change your name on your Social Security card, you will need to complete Form SS-5 and submit it, along with proof of your U.S. citizenship, identity, and legal name change. You must submit original copies of documents like your birth certificate, passport, and/or driver’s license. While this can be unnerving, and though instances of lost items have no doubt occurred, in my case I received my original documents back from two different governmental agencies with no problems.

To obtain Form SS-5 and get further details on acceptable documents of proof, visit or call toll-free 800/772-1213.

Next on your list is updating your driver’s license, which requires a visit to your state’s department of motor vehicles. Bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate and your current driver’s license. You will likely have to pay a fee for your new license, so ask if it’s cheaper (and acceptable) to pay a “duplicate” fee as opposed to a new license fee. And while you’re there, update your vehicle registration with your new name.

Now that you have an updated Social Security card and driver’s license, it is a good time to update your passport. Be sure to complete this prior to any international travel, as having a passport in one name and a driver’s license in another can cause you problems abroad. There are two different processes for updating your passport with a name change—one for name changes occurring within one year of passport issuance, and another for name changes occurring more than one year from the issuance date. Each situation requires a unique application form (either DS-5504 or DS-82), both of which can be obtained online at The completed form, a certified copy of your marriage certificate, one recent color photograph (two-inch-by-two-inch), your current valid passport, and any required fees must be mailed to a processing facility, the address of which is found at the above-referenced website. The normal turnaround time is ten to twelve weeks, but if you need to receive your passport sooner, you can pay an additional $60 per application, plus delivery costs, to have it expedited. This reduces the turnaround time to two to three weeks.

If you are employed and have company benefits, such as health insurance or a retirement account, you’ll need to update those plans with your new name and any new dependents and/or beneficiaries. These tasks can likely be completed by your company’s human resources or accounting personnel.

The remainder of your list should include personal accounts like credit cards, banks, mortgages, investments, insurances, utilities, and personal memberships. Be sure to update your will and other legal documents, medical records, and voter registration. And, let the post office know your new name, so mail can be correctly sorted. It’s a good idea to contact the credit bureaus to make sure they are reporting your new name. Typically, the credit bureaus track people by Social Security number, so the change should take effect automatically, but it never hurts to double check when it comes to your credit history.

From personal experience, I know that each entity has its own name-changing policy, which can include fees to process. Some require a written request with proof of name change, while others allow you to make changes on the back of a current statement. For those that require written notification, I suggest you use the name-changing form letter provided online at Personalize it by entering your specifics in the red areas, and have several copies on hand for quick name-change requests.

If the name-changing challenge sounds too daunting for you to handle on your own, numerous name-changing services and kits are available—you can find them by performing an online search.


Local Information

The Wyoming Department of Motor Vehicles, located at 1040 Evans Road in Jackson, is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed noon to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. The phone number is 307/733-4571.

The Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles, located in the Sheriff’s Building in Driggs, is open Monday through Friday; call for hours. The phone number is 208/354-8785.


| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

I Do’s and Don’ts


Ideas and advice

By Rebecca Mitchell

Photo by Amy Galbraith

Photo by Amy Galbraith

Consider an “Unplugged Wedding”
These days, nearly everyone who attends a wedding has a phone camera or compact camera at the ready to capture memorable moments. While this can be a great way to see the event through numerous “eyes,” it can backfire when a guest inadvertently jumps in front of the professional photographer to capture a candid moment. Oftentimes, photos include guest faces hidden behind the backs of cameras and cellphones. Not to mention intimate photos, like “first look,” captured by good-intentioned guests ending up on social media sites prior to the couple’s viewing. Consider asking your guests to refrain from using their cameras—entirely or at certain times. You can include this request in your invitation mailing, or ask your officiant to make a heartfelt announcement at the beginning of the ceremony.

Reduce the Time Spent Taking Photos After Your Ceremony
Set up a bridal photo shoot prior to the wedding. It will serve as a dry run for the bride—her hair, makeup, dress, and shoes can be tested before the big day. Ask the photographer to suggest a location that has good lighting and will complement the bride’s look.

Photo by Mark Fisher

Photo by Mark Fisher

Consider the Children
If you plan to have children attend your wedding reception, organize a children’s buffet complete with kid-friendly food, drink, and desserts, plus tabletop activities like coloring books and small puzzles. Your young guests will love the special treatment, and parents will appreciate your efforts.

Host a Hometown Party
If you are having a destination wedding, consider hosting a reception in your hometown for family and friends who cannot attend. It’s a great way to include as many people as possible in your celebration.

Don’t Let Your Liquor Bill Surprise You
Ask the caterer to stop serving liquor once your budget limit is reached. Request that your caterer check with you (or someone you designate) about continuing the service—if you want to spend more money than originally budgeted.

Photo by David Stubbs

Photo by David Stubbs

Create a Unique Hashtag to Share Your Photos
Document your special day by creating a unique hashtag and sharing it with your guests. Tech-savvy guests can upload images using your custom hashtag for all followers to view. Be sure to make your hashtag easy to remember and original!

Ask About Restrictions at Your Venues
Check with staff at your ceremony and reception locations to find out about any restrictions or regulations on flowers or other decorations. Use of candles or open flames is often non-negotiable.

Learn Something New
Take dance lessons with your soon-to-be spouse and learn a choreographed number for your first dance. It will likely surprise and delight your guests, and be a fun pre-wedding activity for you and your partner!

Ask for a Midnight Snack
As the bride and groom, you will be very busy socializing at your wedding reception and may not get much to eat. Ask your caterer to prepare a special box of reception food that you can enjoy later.

Photo by Mark Fisher

Photo by Mark Fisher

Personalize It
Look for inspiring ways to make your wedding reflect you as a couple. Consider creating a wedding brand—a meaningful image or monogram—that can tie together your wedding elements. Weave it into your decor or “stamp it” on your paper goods. From wedding invitations and ceremony signage, to dinner place cards and custom thank-you notes, your options for uniqueness are endless.

Capture the Spontaneity
Rent a photo booth for your reception and watch your guests flock to snapshots of funny expressions, endearing embraces, and silly disguises. Provide some creative props and let your guests have fun! Typical rentals include photostrips for guests and a CD of the night’s images for you.



| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

Personalized with Precision


Styling your wedding

By Danette Burr

Photo by David Stubbs

I am always styling. Whether I am working professionally on a wedding, a photo shoot, a client’s house, or simply creating my children’s Sunday dinner, arranging and making experiences beautiful just comes naturally. So, when my husband, John, asked me to marry him a few years ago, of course my head started spinning with ideas on how to make our wedding day perfect.

Deciding on a location and date were our first big decisions. September in Jackson can be unpredictable as far as the weather is concerned, but we chose Sept-ember 1 because fall is our favorite season in the valley and surrounding national parks. The elk start to bugle, the leaves turn color, and summer comes to an end. To both my husband and me, September always feels like a celebration.

Photo by Ashley Merritt

Although there are many romantic locations in Jackson, we chose Signal Mountain Lodge because of the hotel’s camp-style charm and rustic lake setting. Both of us envisioned an outdoor wedding along Jackson Lake, where we have spent summers sailing with friends and family.

Signal Mountain’s lakeside cabins, appointed with primitive furnishings and creaky floors, made charming, informal places for friends and family to stay and served as a central location for dressing for the wedding. We also knew if bad weather moved in, we could huddle under the covered cabin decks and continue our celebration.

Once we decided on the site, I was free to work on the look and feel of the day. Being a wedding stylist, imagining my own wedding was a cinch.

I knew the beauty of the day would be in the fun, personal accents. Early in the planning phase, John and I sat down and made a list of the details we wanted to incorporate into the celebration, which is something I recommend for all couples. Because of my business and my own inclination for collecting beautiful, old things, I had access to loads of unique props to enhance the already nostalgic western environment at Signal Mountain Lodge.

We decided on a lakeside ceremony and a casual picnic-style lunch. We exchanged our vows inside a driftwood heart. Kids and guests made wishes and skipped stones into the lake. Red and white plaid camp chairs and a driftwood teepee for the kids decorated the shoreline. From a nearby balcony, pictures of us as children hung from a ribbon.

For our picnic-style lunch we chose vintage tablecloths, washtubs full of drinks, and unique buckets of flowers. We placed the cake on a small table under a tent. I embroidered a favorite quote, “Once in awhile in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a fairytale,” on the cake tablecloth. We framed other favorite quotes and placed them on tables next to flowers in vintage vases.

Photo by Ashley Merritt

John and I agreed to include the talents of friends and family members in our wedding celebration. We wanted to make everyone a part of our special day. I have always believed that when creating something, whether an event or a business, having a good team is essential. I feel my creativity thrives when I am collaborating with other talented individuals. And, in a wedding situation, creative friends, family members, and professionals can truly enhance the experience.

On one of our first dates, John and I shared a delicious jar of his mom’s homemade peaches, so we asked his mom and sister to bottle peaches for our guests. At the party, one hundred pint-size jars of peaches, labeled with tags that said “Love is Sweet,” filled a vintage wheelbarrow.
John’s sisters adorned the cabins with a homemade garland of fabric flags. His sister, Hilary, designed another, larger flag for the top of our sailboat. The flag, decorated with the sewn words “Happily Ever After,” floated in sight of the ceremony.

Finally, John and I wanted to give something to friends and family. We delivered gift baskets to our family members’ rooms. Groomsmen received antique hankies I embroidered with “Cheers” and the wedding date. I made a special hankie for John’s mom with the words, “Thank you for raising the man of my dreams.”

Everything I have told brides in the past was true for me. Pick a meaningful location; include personal details; get help from friends, family members, and professionals; and remember to give meaningful gifts. That day, I stepped back for a moment and gave myself some new advice. Relax into the setting. Everyone is there to celebrate the two of you. Do not fuss over the little things. Just be! Enjoy yourselves and your guests. Cherish the memories, even if some of your plans did not work. In the end, people remember the feel of the celebration and the bride and groom’s joy.

Advice From A Professional Sylist

Photo by Ashley Merritt

•Pick a meaningful location.
•Ask for help from family members, friends, and professionals. Incorporate their specific talents and let them shine.
•Select personal details that highlight you as individuals and as a couple (i.e., quotes, photos, traditions).
•Use props—like furniture, flower containers, meaningful objects—to help create the ambiance you envision.
•Remember to give thoughtful gifts.
•Have a backup plan for inclement weather.
•Wear comfortable shoes or have an extra pair for after the ceremony. (There is nothing worse than wearing the wrong shoes!)
•Remember to relax and be in the moment, even if some of your plans do not work out. Don’t worry; your guests are there to celebrate YOU!
•Try not to stress; this is your day!





Danette Burr owns and operates Style Jackson Hole, a Jackson Hole production company specializing in location scouting, styling, and prop rental. Whether you are imagining a wedding or a photo shoot, she can create something beautiful. For more information, visit her website at To contact Danette, call 307/690-5406 or e-mail

| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

Stay & Play


Making your summer wedding more than a single day of celebration

By Virginia Symons

Photo by Katy Gray

Jackson Hole has so much to offer! While you and your fiancé are probably aware of what an absolutely amazing place this valley is (you did choose to get married here, after all!), your guests may not be aware of everything your selected wedding destination has to offer. Whether you opt to simply include some activity suggestions on your wedding website, create a weeklong itinerary of scheduled opt-in activities for your guests, or anything in between, there are some truly wonderful Jackson Hole experiences just waiting for you.

For The Wedding Party

Photo by Taylor Glenn

Photo by Taylor Glenn

Bridal Luncheon at Persephone Bakery
The light, whimsical decor and French-inspired menu, along with the downtown Jackson location, make Persephone Bakery Boulangerie & Cafe the perfect venue for an intimate luncheon or happy-hour get-together for you and your bridesmaids. Whether you choose to buy out the entire space or simply take advantage of the airy indoors, leaving the deck open to the public, you can enjoy a customized menu of incredible pastries and lovely champagne cocktails.
145 West Broadway
307/200-6708 –

Groom’s Bash at The Whiskey Barber
Treat yourself and your groomsmen to a leisurely afternoon in Jackson’s unique downtown barbershop, complete with a whiskey bar. Dave and Dub, the Whiskey Barbers, give the best straight razor shave around, and their unique shop is the perfect “man cave.” Give the guys a call in advance, and you can arrange to have the place to yourself. Have a drink, toss some darts, grab a slice of the best pizza in town from next door, and get a little rowdy.
50 West Broadway
307/201-1549 –


Photo by Katy Gray

Photo by Katy Gray

Downtown Pub Crawl
Get the guys and gals together for a fun evening on the town. Start at Local on the Town Square for great happy-hour specials, incredible cocktails, and a killer buffalo tartare. Head across the Square to the Snake River Grill (be sure to make reservations!) for dinner, where the potato pancake and Korean hot bowl are NOT to be missed. After dinner, head over to the Silver Dollar Bar in the historic Wort Hotel for a Bartender’s Margarita and live music every Tuesday night. To finish up your evening, make your way to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and saddle up for a beer in Jackson Hole’s quintessential watering hole.

A Day on Jackson Lake
If the downtown scene is not for you, head into Grand Teton National Park to Signal Mountain Lodge for a scenic and amazing day on Jackson Lake. The Marina can outfit you with a pontoon boat (or two) for an hour or for the entire day, and the Trapper Grill will pack an amazing picnic lunch for you. Just be sure to make your reservation and place your pick-up order in advance!
1 Inner Park Road, Moran
307/543-2831 –

For The Whole Group

Photo by Hannah Hardaway

Photo by Hannah Hardaway

Scenic Float Trip on the Snake River
Floating beneath the Tetons on the channels of the Snake River is one of the most accessible and intimate ways to experience Grand Teton National Park. Sightings of bald eagles, osprey, and moose are common, and the mountain views are breathtaking. The seasoned guides at Solitude Float Trips provide cultural and natural history information, while you and your guests soak up the mountain sunshine—do not forget that sunscreen! Private boats are available for up to twelve people (ask about requirements depending on water levels), and groups of up to sixty can usually be accommodated with prior booking.
888/704-2800 –

Horseback Riding
No trip to the Rocky Mountains is complete without a journey on horseback through wildflower meadows to lovely vistas. The Wheeler Family at Mill Iron Ranch provides an incredible two-hour ride through Bridger-Teton National Forest, climbing 2,000 feet for incredible views of the Snake River Canyon and the Tetons. Four-hour or full-day rides are available for more experienced riders, and you can enjoy a barbecue lunch upon your return to the ranch.
888/808-6390 –

Ride the Tram
While Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is renowned for its world-class skiing in the winter, that is no reason to miss out on the grandeur of the resort in the summer months as well. The aerial tram runs daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the bulk of the summer, carrying passengers 4,139 vertical feet to the top of Rendezvous Mountain in just fifteen minutes. The hiking options from the summit are nearly endless, including the seven-mile hike back to the base of the resort. For a fun afternoon, hike from the summit down to The Deck at the Bridger Gondola for happy hour (5-6 p.m. most days) and then ride the gondola back down to the base. For the thrill-seekers in your group, tandem paragliding rides are available from the top of the gondola in the mornings, weather permitting—check with the Activity Center at the resort base for details.
888/333-7766 –

Now get out there and have fun! While this is a great start, your wedding planner can help you create an itinerary that is tailor-made for your guests. See you on the river, in the mountains, or at happy hour this summer—enjoy!

Virginia Powell Symons owns and operates Vibrant Events of Jackson Hole, a wedding planning and consulting company that is focused on creating truly unique and creative weddings, showcasing everything that Jackson Hole and Teton Valley has to offer. Virginia can be reached at or by calling 307/413-0174.

| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

Eat Well


Selecting a wedding caterer

By Alice Boney

Photo by David Stubbs

You are in love.
You are marrying your perfect partner.
You want to share the occasion with the special people in your life.
You dream of an idyllic setting in the shadow of the Tetons.
You will have a meaningful ceremony.
And then, most certainly, you will want to celebrate the new union with a flawless party!

Experience Delivers Success
When choosing your wedding caterer, be certain that the team you employ embraces the celebratory concept of a wedding reception. It is important that your caterer can create your desired cuisine and service, and deliver it in the ambiance you envision. Experience plays a major role in successful wedding catering; it could be the most important aspect of your chosen caterer.

A skilled caterer has years of experience—especially with brides—and he/she will know the small nuances that can occur during the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, cake cutting, and late-night-party food service. Hiring a caterer who is experienced with weddings will enhance your planning phase and give you another degree of confidence.

When looking for a caterer, references are critical—there is too much at stake (your successful reception) to go with unknown entities. Seek local caterers with a reputation for excellent food and service. By asking people who throw parties frequently (local nonprofits, for instance) for recommendations, you will identify caterers who are reliable and have solid business practices. Look for ones with friendly, accommodating staff and fun menu ideas, which will make your event memorable. A word of caution: make sure you select a caterer who is licensed and operates out of a commercial kitchen that is inspected and certified by the local health authorities.

Start your search by asking for recommendations from wedding planners, florists, photographers, venue managers, rental suppliers, and band members. These people have seen it all and know which caterers make great events happen.

Photo by Ashley Wilkerson

Location Matters
Choosing your venue will impact your catering company selection. On-site caterers are usually limited to their respective facilities, such as hotels and country clubs. Most of these venues will not allow off-site catering.

Off-site caterers bring the party to your event location—providing the bar, kitchen, food, servers, and serviceware. Exchanging your vows in the sagebrush with gorgeous background scenery is so romantic. However, an off-premise wedding reception requires crews efficient in loading, setting up, and cleaning up. Is your potential caterer an expert at creating an outdoor kitchen, service station, and bussing location? Ask if they are equipped and capable of setting up in challenging locations and how he/she plans to prepare the food on-site.

Menu Style Defines Event Vibe
Planning what to serve your guests is the fun part; planning how to serve it can be tricky. After you research reception-menu concepts, present your ideas to your prospective caterers. Certain menus are best when matched with certain serving styles. For instance, messy foods are best plated in the kitchen, not out on a buffet. Sides tend to work better when presented family style. And, the traditional wedding cake should be cut and served by a professional. Buffets are popular, efficient, and pleasing to the guests. Grouping the food and presenting it in food stations gives an updated look to the traditional buffet. Food selection and presentation create different event tones or vibes, which can range from formal to family friendly. Your caterer should be flexible and eager to help you attain the feel you’re looking for, while having experience with all styles of service. Keep in mind: menu styles vary in cost. Extra servers, buffets that need extra food prepared, and a plated service that involves more kitchen staff will increase the price tag.

Tastings are a good way for you to experience a caterer’s capabilities before selecting him/her. Check to see if you can sample the style of food you plan on serving. Be aware that popular caterers will have limited availability throughout the year and may never be available for tastings during the busy summer season.

Photo by Ashley Merritt

Special Requests Accepted
Your wedding will be a once-in-a-lifetime event and having it fit your wishes should be top priority for your caterer. If ordering from a static menu is not what you desire, ask if your caterer can do that special recipe from Auntie Sue or the Spanish paella your fiancé loves to devour. Offering a unique dish will add enjoyment to your guests’ experience.

Consider those attending; does anyone require special accommodations, like gluten-free or kosher? Most caterers can provide a vegetarian or vegan option, a kosher or gluten-free meal, or special children’s selections. Also, be sure to tell your caterer about any food allergies your guests may have—seafood or nuts, for example. This will be important information for food preparation.

It is best to think of the wedding cake as a project all its own. Discuss wedding cake options with your caterer candidates—do they make cakes or have professional cake chef recommendations?

Local Businesses Reflect Local Character
The ideal caterer employs local professionals, sources food locally, projects the local character, and is part of a meaningful community. Keeping money in your area is an important concept in today’s economy. Will you be supporting a locally owned business, a global corporation, or a company with owners in California? Ask yourself who will benefit from your choice.



Alice Boney and her husband, Bill, own Dining In Catering, a full-service catering company serving Jackson and Teton Valley. Chef Bill Boney, who has been at the helm of the catering division for twenty years, started Dining In Catering and built The Wildwood Room (and its enormous commercial kitchen) in Victor ten years ago. The food is always fresh, prepared to perfection, and delicious. To contact them, call 208/787-2667 or toll-free at 800/787-9178, e-mail, or visit their websites at and

| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

Gauging the Value


Hiring a professional florist

By Shelley Monk

Photo by Amy Galbaith

The mark of people who are good at their jobs is that they make it look easy. As a floral designer, I often encounter brides looking to “do-it-yourself” some part of their wedding flowers. They think it will not only save them tons of money, but it will be a fun, bonding experience to share with their family and friends. Not to mention it’s easy, right? You can decide for yourself about the “easy” part, but here are some things to consider when you are determining whether to DIY your wedding flowers or hire a professional florist.

Working in a flower shop, we often hear people say how fun it must be to play with flowers all day! While this can be true, what people do not realize is that floral designers have a complex and varied profession. We are not only artists but tradespeople who have trained to learn our craft. Much like botanists, we understand the care and handling, lasting ability, and behavior of the flowers with which we work. We are customer service specialists who deal with custom orders and unique clientele on a daily basis. Every time we make an arrangement, we use all of the aforementioned skills in order to create a floral design personalized to fit each customer. Floral design can be quite complicated and very time-consuming; it is the expertise of a professional florist that makes it look easy.

Greater Access
As florists, we have established relationships with reputable growers and suppliers, which means we have greater access to a wider variety of blooms. When a bride has her heart set on a particular blossom that she saw in the latest wedding magazine, as professional florists, we can tell her whether or not it is in season at the time of her wedding. If it is not in season domestically, we will try to source it from another part of the world. If tapping into the international markets is too expensive, we can offer options to maximize her budget while still achieving the style she wants.

Greater Insight
There is a strict timeline when it comes to preparing wedding flowers. As professional florists, we know that not every flower is going to arrive in optimal shape, and we are prepared for that. We have the resources to arrange for quick replacements and last-minute substitutions due to weather issues or crop failures. Most flowers do not arrive “event-ready.” Many blossoms need time to open or need extra care and handling. We know the product, and we know how to arrange the shipments to allow for the time necessary to make each blossom reach its peak.

Photo by Ashley Merritt

Care and Quality
From the time wedding flowers arrive at the flower shop, they receive special treatment. The bundles of flowers are removed from boxes and unwrapped. Each stem is carefully inspected for quality and the lower foliage is stripped off. The next phase may include hydrating solutions, followed by floral preservative solutions, before the flowers make their way to the flower cooler, where they will be stored until it is time to begin designing the wedding flowers. All these steps require tools and supplies: large coolers, buckets, vases, floral food, clippers, strippers, knives, wire, picks, pins, packing materials, etc. As professional florists, we have all these items at our disposal, and we use them every day.

It Takes a Team
Consider this: an average bridal bouquet can take an experienced floral designer anywhere from one to three hours to create. Now, add on the bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages, ceremony arrangements, table centerpieces, and cake flowers, which all need to be made within a small window of time considering we are working with a perishable product. Does the same person create all of these items? Absolutely not. It takes a team of professionals to create an average-size wedding. So remember, when you hire a professional florist to design your wedding flowers, you are not just hiring the person with whom you had your consultation, you are hiring the whole shop—a group of floral experts who efficiently work together on a daily basis.

What’s in the Value?
As a bride, this is YOUR wedding day—the one day you are supposed to be pampered and showered with attention. This is the time when you should be visiting with family and friends whom you have not seen in ages. Not to mention, this is also the day you are supposed to be well-rested and glowing. This is a moment in time that you will never get back, so do you want to spend it working, rushing, stressing, and missing out on seeing everyone? I sympathize with the idea of making the most of your budget but not at the expense of one of the most important days of your life. When you hire a professional florist to take care of your wedding flowers, you are paying for her time, knowledge, access, insight, quality, and team. This is our business, and it is our reputation, so we want to do a great job for you. And while flowers may seem like a small element, they really can be the finishing touch to your grand day. Let a professional florist help you bring your vision to life … it is what we do best.

Florist Consultation Checklist

Photo by Taylor Glenn


What To Bring:
•Pictures of flowers you like (bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc.)
•Pinterest link
•Color swatches
•Personal elements you would like to incorporate
•Budget concerns, if you have any

What Your Florist Will Ask:
•Wedding date/time
•Wedding/reception venue
•Color scheme/style
•Dress colors (bride and bridesmaids)
•Number in wedding party
•Reception table count
•Delivery or pick-up needed

What You Should Ask:
•Availability on the date you need
•Portfolio of the florist’s work
•Payment terms
•Delivery charges
•Rental items
•Seasonal availability of flowers





Shelley Monk is a professional florist and manager of the floral department at MD Nursery in Driggs, Idaho. The Flower Market @ MD Nursery is a full-service floral shop servicing the Jackson and Teton Valley areas. The floral shop provides personalized consultation for every event—from complex weddings to simple birthday arrangements. For more information, contact Shelley by calling 208/354-8816, e-mailing her at, visiting, or stopping by The Flower Market @ MD Nursery, located off Highway 33 in Driggs.

| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

Wedding Planner vs. On-site Catering Director


Understanding the difference

By Lindsey Nickel

Photo by Morris Weintraub

Booking a venue and a wedding planner are two important decisions. These two vendors have a tremendous impact on the planning and overall success of the event. One of the most confusing pieces at the start of wedding planning can be differentiating between the on-site catering director (also called event manager, catering and sales director, food and beverage director, sales manager, banquet manager, and other similar names) and the wedding planner (also called wedding coordinator or wedding consultant). Both are talented, experienced, and essential professionals with the common goal of making the wedding fantastic, stress-free, and memorable. Yet, they play differing roles in accomplishing this shared goal. The on-site catering director focuses on the property, while the wedding planner focuses on the wedding couple.

On-Site Catering Director

Photo by Morris Weintraub

The venue is probably the first vendor that couples book since it affects the wedding date. The on-site catering director—employed by the venue—knows the facility inside and out. When couples are selecting a venue, the on-site catering director will host a private tour or meet by phone with out-of-town couples. She will answer all of the property-related logistical questions: how late can music play? How many people can the space accommodate? Where do guests park?

As the wedding date nears, the on-site catering director will assist with choices directly related to the venue and food, such as menu selection and wine pairings. She will create and maintain the banquet event order (BEO)—where all food, beverage, and service aspects are tracked. Food allergies and special menu requests (such as gluten-free, vegetarian, children’s meal, etc.) are noted in a BEO. Some venues allow events to be catered by an independent catering company. It is helpful to include the on-site catering director in catering planning meetings. The on-site catering director can provide insight into property-related aspects of food preparation, presentation, and breakdown/cleanup.

On the wedding day, the on-site catering director will serve as the liaison between the couple and the venue staff—ensuring the venue is ready and well-maintained during the event, and the on-site food and beverage service runs smoothly. This chore can range from serving the food on time and adjusting the house music, to dimming the lights for dancing or turning up the heat or air conditioning.

Other on-site catering director duties include:

° Assisting with food and beverage selections
° Hosting menu tastings
° Setting up the tables and chairs based on a floor plan decided by the couple
° Tending to venue details, such as restocking hand towels in the restrooms or cleaning up food spills

Wedding Planner

Photo by Katy Gray

The wedding planner is a personal consultant who works directly for the couple. Usually, the wedding planner is booked early in the planning process so that she can advise on vendors and guide the planning. Wedding planner services range from full-service with design to “day-of.” The service level will dictate how involved the planner is before the wedding day. Regardless of the service level, couples can expect the planner to work with their best interests, budget, and style in mind.

A wedding planner is a wedding professional who can advise on wedding etiquette and answer all wedding-related questions. She can help with all aspects of a wedding, from pre-wedding activity planning and the rehearsal dinner to the day-after brunch. Drawing on their experience, wedding planners can offer vendor and design recommendations. They have seen what ideas work and do not work, and what vendors operate using proven business practices, so their insight can be invaluable, especially if you are having a destination wedding.

During the planning and on the wedding day, the wedding planner serves as the liaison between the couple and the vendors, including the on-site catering director. She is the point person for any questions and is an extension of the couple’s personal style and preferences.

Prior to the wedding day, the wedding planner will conduct a ceremony rehearsal to ensure the wedding party members understand their ceremonial roles.

On the big day, the planner will place all of the wedding elements, including guestbook, place cards, favors, programs, table numbers, cake knife, toasting flutes, and any other display items. She will invite guests to be seated and cue the parent seating and wedding party entrance and music. The wedding planner will handle all unexpected incidents—like the flower girl needing a Band-Aid, a bridesmaid requesting water during photos, or gusty wind blowing name cards off the reception tables. Essentially, the wedding planner keeps the day on schedule and the event flowing smoothly. As the reception winds down, the planner will collect all of the gifts, distribute final payments to the vendors, and return borrowed items to their designated places.

To increase the chances of wedding-day success, leverage the available experts. Hire a local wedding planner for either full-service planning or day-of coordination and take full advantage of the venue’s available staff. Once the planning and decision-making is finished, take a step back and trust the vendors.


Lindsey Nickel is a professional wedding planner and owner of Lovely Day Events (formerly Events, Etc.). This boutique wedding planning company specializes in “day-of” and partial planning for local and destination couples. Lovely Day Events prides itself on excellent customer service, a personal experience for each client, and attention to details. You can learn more at, on Lindsey’s blog at, or by calling 510/517-1269.

| Posted in Planning Your Wedding

A Wedding Weekend to Remember

A Wedding Weekend to Remember

Kate & Joe

Kate and Joe 2014_1

By Kate Wienman    
Photography by Morris Weintraub

I have been skiing in Jackson each winter since I was ten years old. Joe’s first winter Jackson visit was in 2008. Although he embarrassed himself thoroughly on the slopes, he immediately loved the place. Since then, the two of us have spent a lot of time in the area in both summer and winter. We decided to have our wedding in the best place we could think of—Jackson and the Tetons!

Over the years, Joe and I have enthusia-stically shared the wonderful things to do and see in Jackson with our friends and family. We were thrilled to hear that so many of them from around the United States and England planned to attend our wedding. We wanted to organize a weekend to remember, showcasing a few of our favorite places and activities.

On Thursday evening, my parents hosted a welcome celebration at their home. It was a perfect start to our big weekend. There was plenty of socializing, food, and good times! We had the straw bales out around the campfire, as well as treats throughout the house and decks. Cafe Genevieve catered the affair, and of course, we had its famous “Pig Candy” as a treat.

Friday morning donned early for us with a crispness in the fall air. It was a perfect day for a scenic float on the Snake River. Everyone arrived at the launch site to a great Wyoming welcome by my parents, including a selection of cocktails. For many folks, it was their first time seeing the Grand Teton, a bald eagle, and a moose. We ended the day with a grand lunch at Dornan’s, honoring one of our favorite restaurants.

We spent Friday evening at Spring Creek Ranch enjoying a cocktail party and barbecue. We favored a dramatic setting with long rows of tables adorned with dried grasses, votive candles wrapped with leather and fabric, and vintage animal-themed tins of sagebrush. The toasts drew many tears and laughter, and we ended the evening outside singing around the teepee and bonfire with s’mores. This was enchanting, as Joe’s friends have a history of singing together.

The wedding was held at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club under the big tent with its dramatic silk lining. Robin Christensen of Cadenet Design Inc. was at the decorating helm; she created a romantic ambiance by making the exterior front grounds and tent interior look like a sparkling forest with natural antlers, painted antlers, and gold-leafed accents of chargers and votive candles among the mercury glass and flowers. The many aspen trees—with fairy lights and flowered wreaths—accompanied the festive autumn splendor of the mountains. As the time came to head to the ceremony, my father surprised me with a special ride over for the two of us in a 1929 navy blue convertible Model T.

The ceremony was held against the backdrop of the Teton mountain range with the fall foliage at its peak. Joe and I were so thankful to have my Uncle Max officiate the ceremony; he made it so meaningful. We included some special traditions in it, like a circle of love by our dear friends, special readings, and music performed by family and friends.

To kick off the reception, we offered champagne toasts for everyone at our celebrated “amour” station. After heartfelt toasts and an incredible meal, we were all ready to put on our dancing shoes. It was a lively event with the tossing of guests in the air and riding on elevated chairs. The night went much too quickly, and at the end of the evening, we were again surprised by a candlelight procession out to our transportation with the after-party continuing at the Cowboy Bar in town.

As we remember the many incredible moments of our wedding weekend, we are grateful to our family and friends, as well as the local community of experts who helped us create such a special celebration.


Wedding Details

Wedding Date: 20 September 2014
Ceremony & Reception Location: Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club
Officiant: Max Millett, bride’s uncle from England
Hair & Makeup: Tanya Crocker
Photographer: Morris Weintraub, Imagewell Photography
Florist: Gild the Lily Too
Lighting and Production: Hughes Production
Entertainment: Diamond Empire Band
Consultant: Robin Christensen, Cadenet Design Inc.
Caterer: Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club
Dessert: Persephone Bakery
Rental Service: Montana Party Rentals, Canvas Unlimited, & High Country Linen
Transportation: Alltrans & Allen Raver

| Posted in Teton Weddings

Backyard Paradise

Backyard Paradise

Margaret & Michael

Margaret and Michael 2014_5

By Margaret Ludick    
Photography by Michelle Erwin

Michael and I met while working seasonally at Signal Mountain Lodge in Grand Teton National Park. We met on the volleyball court after work one day and never looked back. We tried living in Florida for a winter, but came back to the Tetons. Then, we spent a year living in Minnesota but found ourselves back at Signal Mountain Lodge. We fell in love with the area, and now, we call it “home.”

Our combined love for sports and athletics makes us a truly fierce couple; Michael and I like to push each other. On the weekends, we enjoy trail running in the mountains and car camping. We feel extremely lucky to call the Tetons our backyard.

Michael proposed to me while snowshoeing on a frozen Jackson Lake on January 1, 2014. It was a bluebird day, and it felt like we had the entire park to ourselves. I did not believe that he was serious about asking me, so he proposed three times. Of course I said, “Yes!” each time.

Choosing to have our wedding in Jackson was the easy part. Picking a date was more challenging. Michael and his family are huge Florida State football fans, so we had to wait until the schedule came out to see when the Seminoles’ bye week was planned. Bingo—September 13th became our wedding date!

We chose to wed in the Catholic Church and have the ceremony at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart. It is only a half-mile north of Signal Mountain Lodge in the park, and it is a beautiful, quaint log cabin. I had been going to this chapel for the past six summers and knew it was exactly where I wanted to get married. Deacon Doug was our presider and made the ceremony special and uniquely crafted for us; it felt like we were the only ones present.

After the ceremony, we stopped at Signal Mountain Lodge for a cocktail before going to the Grand View Lodge in Jackson for the reception. During the cocktail hour, we offered a signature drink called “The Dickberg,” a combination of our two last names, Landberg and Ludick. Basically, it was a Moscow Mule, but it helped kick off our celebration.

The evening was filled with good food, drinks, and dancing. We ended the night just like any other night in town; we danced to live music at the Town Square Tavern and ate pizza at Pinky G’s Pizzeria.


Wedding Details

Wedding Date: 13 September 2014
Ceremony Location: Chapel of the Sacred Heart, Grand Teton National Park
Reception Location: Grand View Lodge
Officiant: Deacon Doug Vlchek
Hair & Makeup: Body & Soul Spa & Salon
Photographer: Michelle Erwin
Florist: Gild the Lily Too
Entertainment: Jeff Lutz, Acme Strength Industrial Music
Caterer: Grand View Lodge
Dessert: Persephone Bakery
Transportation: The Driver Provider

| Posted in Teton Weddings