Annika & Gordon
Words by Annika Finnegan + Photography by Bradly J. Boner & Tim Miller
I grew up in Jackson, went to the public high school, and played soccer year round. Gordon lived in Alta, went to Journeys School (now Mountain Academy), ski raced, and also played soccer for Jackson Hole High School. We never met. Not when Gordon won the individual GS, slalom, and overall state titles in 2008. And not when my team won the state soccer championship my senior year, in 2009. We met while both attending college 1,200 miles away at a small school in Minnesota. Due to the familiarity of our pasts, we started hanging out, attending the same classes, playing intramural sports, and traveling home together during breaks. Then, after almost a year, we kissed.
That was 10 years ago.
Gordon would refer to Alta and Teton Valley as “his side of the Tetons,” and I would refer to Jackson as “my side of the Tetons”—a constant theme in our relationship, and one that played out perfectly during our engagement weekend. We planned a summer hike to the top of Table Mountain, and I thought, for sure, this is where he would finally ask me to marry him, on his side of the Tetons. Disappointingly, however, there was no proposal at the top. Little did I know, the next day on a hike to Delta Lake, on my side of the Tetons, Gordon would get down on one knee, perched above the lake, and pop the question. I immediately said “yes.”
Of course, our wedding played into that same theme. Choosing the Linn Canyon Ranch on his side of the Tetons was the best decision we ever made. We had a ceremony, cocktail party, reception, dance party, and place for our guests to stay all in one location. Many local friends set up their campers in the ranch’s field and celebrated with us until the wee hours of the morning. Everyone was able to mingle, meet new people, and hang out around a raging bonfire, making the absence of Teton views well worth it.
The night prior to the wedding, Gordon and I stayed at separate rental houses in Teton Valley with our friends and siblings. Unfortunately, the boys had to check out early on the wedding day, so, in true Wyoming fashion, they bought some biodegradable shampoo and turned the Teton River into their bath house. All the men jumped into the river—where they encountered a bull moose—rinsed off, and then grabbed a burger in town before driving to the ranch to get dressed-up.
Gordon and I let our personalities shine through on our wedding day. Our dinner tables were named after local ski runs. My cowboy boots were a nod to being born and raised in Wyoming and getting married on a ranch. For dessert, and in lieu of cake, my grandmother provided candies from her candy store in Wisconsin, which she has owned and operated since 1986. We had all the gummy candies that I loved as a kid: gummy blackberries and raspberries, sour watermelons, and Swedish fish. She also brought Gordon’s favorite chocolate treats: truffles, peanut butter cups, mint patties, and milk chocolate. She packed it all in her car and drove to Wyoming from Wisconsin, setting up and managing the table the day of the wedding.
In order to avoid the largest bridal party in history (our wedding was already pretty big at around 200 people), Gordon and I asked only my two younger brothers, Lars and Bjorn Schou; Gordon’s siblings, Patrick and Ellie Finnegan; and Tobias Helgeson, the Finnegan’s former Norwegian exchange student, to stand with us. We invited Gordon’s 91-years-young grandfather, Pop, to stand in for Gordon’s late father and speak on the best way to maintain a healthy, loving marriage. Looking back, it was one of the best moments of our day.
I was skeptical about having a big wedding, but standing there with the people that we loved cheering us on and supporting us was most magical feeling. It was a lot of work, but it paid off in the end with a beautiful, loving day—celebrated on his side of the Tetons—to kick off the rest of our lives.
July 20, 2019
Ceremony & Reception
Linn Canyon Ranch
Beau Hudak (couple’s friend)
Bradly Boner and Tim Miller
Hair & Makeup
Red House Flowers
Linn Canyon Ranch