Bold as Love
Katie & Billy
Words by Katie McNamara + Photography by Jamye Chrisman
Our story began when I challenged Billy to a thumb war while attending St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. To this day it is still disputed as to who won, but I consider us both pretty darn lucky to have found each other.
Our first date was canoeing. We spent hours sharing stories of adventures and misadventures in the mountains and exploring our shared values. After graduating, our passion for adventure led us to the Tetons with one car, three bikes, two boats, and much anticipation of the journey ahead of us.
Billy proposed on a snowy March day in Teton Canyon with our dog, Tupper, the biggest smile on his face, and a very special ring. Billy made my engagement ring from an Idaho opal and old silver dollars he found at pawn shops. Having never made jewelry before, he spent many hours working away at it on a ski bench. This beautifully crafted ring deeply inspired our wedding celebration.
Teton Valley is our home. When it came time to choose our wedding venue, we could think of no other place than Moose Creek Ranch at the base of a canyon where we had spent many hours hiking, skiing, and exploring. Our wedding vision mirrored what we loved most: community, creativity, joy, and connection to place. We felt it was important that our wedding strongly incorporated our community and reflected our personalities.
We spent the summer before our wedding picking huckleberries for the wedding cake we made ourselves. Our wonderful family and friends contributed beautiful homemade desserts to make an epic dessert bar for our guests. My dad built matching Adirondack chairs out of old skis for guests to sign in lieu of a guestbook. Our family members picked early-summer wildflowers the day before our wedding and put together beautiful arrangements for the ceremony, reflecting a tradition that was important to Billy. (He picks a wildflower bouquet for my birthday every year.) Our dog, Tupper, played an important role as “best dog” and was the inspiration behind our logo, stationery, and table numbers.
On our wedding day, we awoke to a crisp 40 degrees and heavy rain. Mid-morning, the skies cleared for a moment and there was a beautiful dusting of snow on the mountains. Despite the rainy morning, we somehow ended up with a beautiful afternoon and evening of sun.
Aside from the weather, there was one other big surprise on our wedding day: I was waiting in our cabin before walking toward the ceremony location when John Love, the Moose Creek Ranch owner, pulled up in a vintage red Chevy truck ready to take me to the ceremony. What an entrance and surprise for Billy and our families!
Walking down the aisle to our song, “Bold as Love” by Jimi Hendrix, played by our dear friend Tom Toxby, is a memory I wish I could play on repeat forever. I found myself smiling the entire ceremony while holding Billy’s hands and looking at our guests from so many chapters of our lives. It is one of the most powerful experiences of my life. Our dear college friend Silas Streeter officiated a heartfelt and genuine marriage ceremony for which we will be eternally grateful. Billy and I exited the ceremony in style, seated in the Adirondack chairs my dad made in the back of the Chevy truck. Together with Tupper, we soaked up our ceremony’s amazing energy.
Along with our guests, we enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Spoon’s Bistro and danced the night away with music by Billy’s band, Switchback. Billy felt it was a truly special experience to play for his family and friends in the place we call home. He played an acoustic version of “Wildflowers” by Tom Petty for my father-and-daughter dance—a beautiful way to honor the two most important men in my life.
One of the most memorable parts of the day was honoring my parents, who celebrated their thirty-ninth wedding anniversary on the same day. I surprised my mom with the hat she wore at her wedding, and they shared a dance with other married couples.
It was such a gift to share this amazing place with all the beautiful people who have made us who we are. We feel so much gratitude for our wonderfully supportive parents and siblings and the dear friends and family members who traveled from around the world to be a part of our celebration. We happily live in Victor, Idaho, and look forward to many more years and adventures in Teton Valley.
16 June 2018
ceremony & reception location
Moose Creek Ranch
Silas Streeter, couple’s friend
hair & makeup
The Wispy Gypsy
Jamye Chrisman Photography
The Flower Market, MD Nursery
reception: Switchback, groom’s band
ceremony: Tom Toxby
Jeanette Beard, Moose Creek Ranch
wedding cake: bride + groom
assorted desserts: friends + family
Canvas Unlimited Event Rentals
Designed by bride, printed by Print Shop 22
other specialty vendors
wedding bands: JC Jewelers
engagement ring: groom