Ruth & Fred
Words by Ruth Graupner + Photography by Jamye Chrisman
Fred and I met a couple years ago at Teton Springs Resort & Club in Idaho. He was the tennis pro, and I was a kids’ sports camp director and swim instructor. Fred noticed my smile and patient manner with the children; he soon asked me to help run a kids’ tennis camp. I fell in love with Fred’s zeal for life, his compassion, and his ability to draw out my best traits and help me succeed at my passions. Fred fell in love with my outgoing personality, my determination to work hard, and the ability to make him think deeper about life in new ways. Our friendship continued to grow as we shared dinners together, many rounds of golf, hiking in the Tetons, and skiing on the slopes.
Fred proposed to me on March 3, 2015, at Grand Targhee Resort. We hiked up to the top of Mary’s Nipple. It was a stormy day, but the sky cleared in a circle of sunshine right above us as Fred dropped to one knee, expressing his love for me and offering me a diamond ring. We shared a prayer of thanksgiving to God for joining our lives together before floating down the snow-covered terrain.
I grew up in gorgeous Teton Valley, and Fred moved to the valley in 2002. We both love the area’s rugged beauty and its endless seasonal activities, which played a part in our venue selection. Huntsman Springs was the perfect choice for us, with its Teton views, golf-course ceremony area, and ability to host a poolside reception.
We wanted our wedding to be full of sentiments from our experiences together and personal touches from loved ones. The ceremony took place under a handcrafted wooden arch that Fred and the groomsmen made, later to be placed in the flower garden of our new Teton Valley home. One hundred and twenty of our closest friends and family members witnessed our vows. Our pastor from Church in the Tetons performed the ceremony. The piano player was a piano student of my late grandfather, with flute accompaniment from my uncle. My cousin performed a saxophone solo. We had a dear friend sing a rendition of “It Is Well” while Fred and I took communion together. A dear friend gifted us our wedding cake, made by Sugar Bakers. It was perfect; every layer had a different flavor and filling. Sarah White, my best friend, designed the wedding announcements, RSVP cards, and thank-you cards. A dear friend of Fred’s, Blue Bunch, shared his love of photography by creating gifts for the groomsmen. The lovely Teton View Lavender Farm provided baskets full of lavender makings for the bridesmaids and close family. For our wedding favors, our close friend Wendy Starkey made serviceberry jelly with berries picked from the serviceberry bushes where Fred and I first met.
We offered guests our favorite drinks, southern sweetened iced tea and lavender lemonade. To represent the beautiful wildflowers that cover Teton Valley in the summer, we chose bright sunflower yellow and a deep royal purple as our wedding colors. The bridal bouquet and wedding party bouquets and boutonnieres were created by the loving hands of family members. I was escorted by my father, who wore a suit entirely designed and sewn by my mother. My four sisters and two stepdaughters served as my bridesmaids, while Fred’s groomsmen included his closest friends. After the ceremony, we danced our first dance in the rain, barefoot, to “You Are So Beautiful.” Everything was picture-perfect, including a brilliant rainbow and stunning sunset. Together, with our five beautiful children, we have a family of love, joy, and strength. Our bond and union in marriage has created something beautiful that we share each day with our children.
11 June 2016
ceremony & reception location
Pastor Karlin Bilcher, Church in the Tetons
hair & makeup
Katie Miller, Hair Den
Kayla Beard, Sun Shack
Beka Cain, Total Image Salon
Leah Peterson, Paul Mitchell
Rachel Blanchard, Graffiti Beauty Salon
Lauren Sompayrac (piano)
Alan Frantz (flute)
Isaac Frantz (saxophone)
Chris Champlin (DJ)
Cori Dahl (event coordinator)
Wendy Starkey (wedding planner)
Chef Jon Molofsky
Signature Party & Event Rental