Happily in Love
Katie & Ben
Words by Ben Nalty + Photography by Jamye Chrisman
Katie and I attended the same junior high and high school and shared our very first kiss watching the cinema classic, “Along Came Polly.” As we grew older, the unavoidable teenage awkwardness intervened at times, but we never let it suppress our real friendship. Katie and I both ended up at the University of Mississippi (UM) and spent the next four years learning and traveling separately. By the time our senior year came around, we discovered that we wanted to be together because that’s when we were happiest.
I had just finished school and was about to move back home to start my full-time career as a mechanical contractor. Katie continued to pursue her master’s degree at UM, and I thought my chance to be with her may have passed. However, before I started work and Katie went back to school, she decided to move to Jackson for the summer. And, my boss (father) had it in his heart to let me go visit before I started working full-time. I spent two weeks in the most beautiful place in the world (Jackson!) with a woman I’d always adored. We camped under the gorgeous, starlit mountain sky, floated on the clear creeks and rivers that flow abundantly around the mountains of Jackson, and breathed in the ancient mountain air that has seen so much innocent love come and go. It was such a special time for us. Since that trip, Jackson has held a special place in our hearts.
From the music to the flowers, to the majestic mountains, it could not have been better.
Four and half years later, I asked Katie to marry me. Shortly after that proposal, Katie asked, “Where do you want to get married?” We paused, then both said aloud, “Jackson!”
Our Jackson wedding was so incredible that the word “incredible” almost seems like an understatement. We were humbled by the showing of so many of our beloved friends from all over the world, and the feeling of fun and joy was infectious during the entire wedding venture. The authentic friendships that filled our venue resonated throughout all the evening’s activities, making it very personal. I really can’t put into words what it meant to me; nor can I thank everyone involved enough. It was truly a memorable experience Katie and I will cherish forever.
The feelings of gratitude and awe from my reflections of that weekend are, to say the very least, overwhelming. I offer a heartfelt message of thanks to the good people of Jackson. From the music to the flowers, to the majestic mountains, it could not have been better.
To put an exact time when Katie and I fell in love with each other would be incredibly difficult. We simply always had a natural affinity toward each other. We tried to avoid an ever-present truth, but in the end, an honest and mature love prevailed. Thank God it did because we are so happily in love.
22 July 2017
Teton Pines Country Club
hair & makeup
Jamye Chrisman Photography
Jackson Hole Flower Company
John Wayne Harris & band
Snake River Strings
Special Events Jackson Hole
Teton Pines Country Club
Everything but the Dress
Canvas Unlimited Event Rentals
Jackson Hole Whitewater