Fiercely in Love
Laken & Sam
Words by Laken Rush Allen + Photography by Peter Lobozzo
Like any good story, ours started with a guy walking into a bar.
Sam asked me out while I was working as a host at Local. He wrote his name and number on an O’Dell Brewing sticker he had found in his car and told me he would really like to take me out sometime. Between traveling and moving, it took about three months, but I eventually found the sticker and texted him. At first, he had no idea who I was, but after some investigative work, he figured it out and texted me back to make plans for a first date.
We spent the next four years learning from each other, laughing, and growing. I taught him how to mountain bike and backpack. He taught me how to cast a line and row a boat. He made me feel so fiercely loved.
His engagement proposal was perfect. After an amazing day of fishing, we were at our favorite campsite as the light started to fade. Sam said we should take some photos. While I was turned away, looking at the mountains in the background, he set the phone to record a video. Joining me for the photo I thought we were taking, he cleared his throat, got on one knee, and asked me to be his “sweet, sweet angel” for the rest of his life. He presented me with a ring he had personally designed. Through tears and muffled sobs, I accepted. It was all captured on video. We popped open a bottle champagne that Sam had stealthily brought and celebrated. Without cellphone service or another soul around, we spent three days basking in the joy of our recent engagement.
There was never a question that we were going to get married in Jackson. After all, we met at Local, said our first “I love you” after a hockey game at Snow King, and lived together on Kelly Avenue.
We set out to plan our dream Jackson wedding. For better or worse, we both loved the little details. It was the most fun part for us to plan. Sam, a fly-fisherman, hand-tied the groomsmen’s boutonnieres to mimic flies. I drew the wedding invitations. Sam designed the MADE belt buckles the groomsmen wore, and I designed the tablescapes and sparkler tags. We vetted and chose the perfect local band. We built the dinner menu and crafted the signature cocktails with Wyoming Whiskey and Highwater Vodka. In the end, every little detail that we had worried over and stressed about came together to make for the most incredible day.
The wedding weekend began on a Thursday with an intimate rehearsal dinner at Trio. We were immediately overwhelmed with love and appreciation for our friends and family members. It is such a special, truly unique experience to have your favorite people, from every part of your life, in one place to celebrate you.
On Friday, I went for a hike with my friends and Sam went fishing with his. We were both in our happy places and loved impressing our friends with the beauty we get to see every day. We rendezvoused that afternoon for welcome cocktails at Hayden’s Post. That evening, Sam and I went to bed, separately, with butterflies.
I sprung out of bed early Saturday and hiked up Snow King with a friend just in time for the sunrise. It was gorgeous, and it reminded me of how thankful I was to have moved to, and stayed in, Jackson. After all, it’s where I met my husband. I feel like I blinked and found myself getting ready to leave the barn at the Jackson Hole Winery and walk down the aisle. Sam and I barely held back our tears, and didn’t bother to hold back our laughter, throughout the ceremony officiated by Sam’s brother, Max. We listened to a reading from my mom and exchanged personalized vows. When Max pronounced us husband and wife, we shouted “mazel tov” with our guests. Our dream Jackson wedding was even better than we had expected.
29 September 2018
ceremony & reception location
Jackson Hole Winery
Max Allen, Groom’s brother
hair & makeup
Jackson Hole Parlour
Alison Kyle, Destination JH
Signature Party Rentals
Snake River Taxi
Black Dog Raft Company
other specialty vendors