Taldi & Nathaniel
Words by Taldi Walter + Photography by Amy Galbraith
Choosing the Tetons for our wedding was the easiest part of the planning. Several people questioned why we wanted to travel to the Tetons when we had the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges in our own backyard in Seattle. But if you’ve experienced a Teton sunset, walked through a field bursting with colorful wildflowers, or seen the explosion of fall colors, you know why the decision was easy for us.
The most important thing was choosing a location where we could share our love of adventure and the mountains with those people most significant to us. The Tetons delivered. Our wedding weekend was three full days of inspiring outdoor adventures, quality time with our guests, and the opportunity to make memories before an unforgettable backdrop.
Our love story began in Seattle in 2016, when we met at a mutual friend’s house party. Our relationship sparked immediately, and we fell in love one outdoor adventure at a time. A spontaneous skiing trip near Girdwood, Alaska, illuminated our shared love of snow and adventure. It also shone light on our growing love for each other. This was followed by ski trips in Canada and Washington and a very memorable climbing trip at Red Rocks, with a few summits sprinkled in. We both knew we had found our partner for mountain adventure and for life.
On a late summer night in 2017, we did our first night hike up Yellow Aster Butte in the North Cascades. Hiking through the dark with headlamps, we set up camp on top of the mountain with only the light of the moon and stars dancing across the sky. The following morning, we snuggled in our sleeping bags and watched the colorful sunrise surrounded by Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, and the Canadian border peaks. Just as the sun came over the horizon, Nathaniel asked me to marry him. I said, “Yes!” and we celebrated our future with mountaintop mimosas.
I grew up in northwestern Montana outside of Glacier National Park, spending weekends hiking, camping, fishing, skiing, and exploring the outdoors with my dad. Nathaniel grew up spending a lot of time outside, too, with family hikes, camping trips, and ski outings in Washington’s North Cascades. With so many personal and shared life moments having taken place in the mountains, we knew we should have a mountain wedding.
Choosing Grand Targhee Resort as our location meant our guests could park their cars and enjoy a three-day journey with us. We kicked off the weekend with a rafting trip down the Snake River and a welcome dinner. On our wedding day, I started by sharing a sunrise mountaintop yoga experience with ten of my girlfriends. With unobstructed views of the Tetons and the sun on our faces, it was the perfect way to start the day. As we headed down on the chairlift, my heart warmed to see many of our friends and family riding up for hiking, playing Frisbee golf, and mountain biking. Hearing stories later of how our guests bonded over outdoor activities was a highlight. We heard from several friends after the wedding that they loved getting to know the other guests while on a hike, bike ride, rafting trip, or while sipping a beer.
We enjoyed the wedding planning process once we decided on Grand Targhee Resort. We had weekly date nights to run through details and make shared decisions. With such a beautiful location, it was easy for us to move forward with simple, mountain-themed decorations. We named our tables after the mountains we’ve climbed independently and together or that we aspired to climb in the years to come. Our dessert table was made up of our favorite treats. I picked two from Montana, Nathaniel picked two from Washington, and we picked two of our shared favorites. What made the desserts even more special was that many of them were made by family and friends as well as by Persephone Bakery in Jackson.
We were humbled by the presence of so many of our friends and family. The feeling of fun, excitement, and love was infectious for the entire weekend. We couldn’t have asked for a more idyllic location. And we loved working with the local vendors. The staff at Grand Targhee Resort was amazing, making for a low-stress and unforgettable weekend in the Tetons.
18 August 2018
ceremony & reception location
Grand Targhee Resort
Mary Smith, couple’s friend
hair & makeup
Amy Galbraith Photography
Shelly Monk, The Flower Market at MD Nursery
Grand Targhee Resort
A La Mode Pies, Seattle
calligraphy and signage
Otter and Ink Designs