Having a Field Day

Alexa & Mike
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For what felt like decades, Lex had been solely focused on two things: selling cameras and establishing a name for herself in the Denver pickleball scene. She had it all—a phenomenal two-handed backhand, a beautiful blue-eyed husky, and an adorable little niece. But in May of 2021, her life would improve in ways she never thought possible.

I had flown to Denver from Jackson a week before my cousin’s wedding to spend time with my family. Instead, I found myself at the Irish Rover Pub, in the historic Baker neighborhood of the city, talking to Lex. We discussed international politics and global economics. (Okay, that’s not really true.) But we did spend most of our first date debating the foot-to-body ratio of Hobbits and enjoyed every minute of it.

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A couple weeks later, Lex flew to Jackson for the first time. We kayaked down the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park and embarked on our first of many camping trips together. From that point on, we fell into the rhythm of driving back and forth between Jackson and Denver (for about a year), while Lex slept, and I talked to our two huskies, Kona and Obi. Then, I started traveling more for my job, connecting through Denver. I often found myself skipping my connecting flight home to hang out with Lex. 

We started planning a big trip together for January of 2023, and after a few iterations, we finally decided on New Zealand. Lex visited years ago while she was living in Australia, and I had close friends there, so it made for a great opportunity to see them and have Lex show me all her favorite spots.

A few months prior to the trip, I decided to propose, and in my mind, the most important element was the surprise. I told no one until the morning of our departure, trusting it would be difficult for anyone to blow my cover from so far away. I continued to play around with the “when and how” through the first part of our journey. But in the end, it was Lex who pretty much set the scene for her own proposal. (Remind you, she had no idea what I was planning.) 

A sunset hike up to Roy’s Peak, near Wānaka, was high on her list of must-dos, and it seemed like an incredible location to propose. Lex laid out all the details—we packed a dinner and took off up the trail, timing our summit with a beautiful sunset. I usually take my camera on these trips, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to set up my tripod and get a few shots. However, I wasn’t the one to really capture the moment. When I asked Lex for one last picture and prepared to propose, she attached her GoPro to my camera setup and ended up getting the better shot anyway. She said “yes,” and we began our journey back down in the dark led by the light of the moon and our headlamps.

As the big day approached, we found ourselves mostly stress-free thanks to the incredible support of our wedding planner, Amy Gertsch, who allowed us time to focus on some unique elements for our wedding weekend. Friends and family were coming from all around the country (and the world), so we wanted to do something special to turn many groups of travelers into one single wedding party. We decided that a “field day” event would do just that.

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We strategically organized eight teams, which allowed loved ones from different parts of our lives to get to know one another as they competed for gold in classic events, such as the water balloon toss, the three-legged race, and tug-of-war. By the next day—our wedding day—friends and family were mingling with people they otherwise would have never met, laughing about the games, and making jokes at the expense of the winning team. And yes, some guests even wore their medals to the wedding. 

The ceremony and reception/dance party went off without a hitch. The weather was incredible. Our dogs miraculously behaved as we exchanged vows. And the flower girls stayed seated in the tiny electric jeep used to transport them down the aisle. (The Bar-Sip-Bar team tested the jeep later that night and confirmed it’s also fun for adults.) Lex and I traveled into the park with our photographer, Sarah Eder, earlier in the week for the bulk of our photos, but Sarah’s eye for the perfect shot continued to pay off on our wedding day, allowing us to enjoy the dance party led by our DJ Chris Lewis. 

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These days, you can usually find us on the pickleball court (where Lex critiques my backhand, positioning, and overall approach to the game) or in the mountains (where I try to stop Lex from getting too much air). When we’re not outdoors being active, we’re likely planning our next trip (back to Jackson from Denver or elsewhere) or watching holiday romcoms, so feel free to share your recommendations for either when you see us. 


Have as much fun as you can and don’t be afraid to add some humor to your wedding experience. Lex walked down the aisle to “Concerning Hobbits” from “The Lord of the Rings” and our reception kicked off with the “Cantina Band Song” from “Star Wars.” We wanted to entertain our guests and get them in the right mindset, which made for a great party.


Wedding Date: August 12, 2023

Ceremony and Reception Location: Open Meadows Ranch, Wilson Officiant: Kenny Romano (brother of the bride) Photographer: Sarah Eder, Sarah Soulseed Photography Hair & Makeup: Brian Pacheco (hair), Tanya Crocker (makeup) Florist: MD Floral Consultant: Amy Gertsch Caterer: Chef Cam Auten Dessert Chef: Milk Bar DJ: Chris Lewis, Who is Chris Lewis Other Specialty Vendors: Mountain Top Events (décor), Bar-SIP-Bar (drinks), Nordic Skies (tents)

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