When Paths Cross
Victoria & Ian
Words by Ian Smith + Photography by Derek DiLuzio
Victoria and I met on a bus winding through the astounding beauty of the Swiss Alps. We connected immediately, sharing a profound respect and reverence for the spectacular peaks that passed by our windows. As we winded around the alpine valleys and through the mountainous tunnels, we discussed our lives and families. It didn’t take long to realize that we had more in common than our love for travel. Victoria’s family had recently purchased a vacation home in Jackson Hole. I am a Jackson native, and this lovely woman sitting next to me had just told me that she vacationed in my hometown. If that wasn’t coincidental enough, her family’s house was on Snow King, the same neighborhood where I grew up.
When we met, I was working as a travel guide, bringing people to destination resorts throughout greater Europe. My colleagues and I frequently talked about how lucky we were to get paid to travel the globe. My job, however, provided me with even more luck than money and experiences—it placed me on a path that crossed Victoria’s. We talked for nearly eight straight hours as our bus brought us to the Jungfrau resort town of Interlaken. I remember thinking to myself that whatever paths my youthful, meandering life had brought me down, I sincerely hoped my life would end up on the same trail as Victoria’s. The conversation concluded, and I told her that the next time she vacationed in Jackson Hole, I would love to be her guide to the valley.
As life sometimes does, time and space separated Victoria and me. We kept in touch over the following years. Victoria was living in Washington, D.C., while I was living in Rome, Italy. Fate finally saw fit to have our paths cross again during a wonderful winter vacation in Jackson. Victoria and I planned a hike to Taggart Lake. The day of the hike I awoke to a winter wonderland; as often happens in the Tetons, the previous night had deposited nearly two feet of snow on the valley. I wondered if Victoria was still game to hike. When I arrived at her family’s house, she was all bundled up and so excited to go out adventuring. We left the parking lot in Grand Teton National Park and headed toward Taggart. Amidst the heavy snow dumping from the clouds, Victoria and I forged a new trail through the knee-deep powder. I frequently glanced a look over my shoulder to see if Victoria was keeping up. The sun broke through the clouds, and the Tetons emerged from behind their blanket. We frolicked through the fresh, fluffy snow for hours. I knew from that day on that I wanted to spend my life with this girl, making our own trails together through the wilderness of life.
I quit my job the following spring and returned home to pursue a relationship with Victoria. At the time, she was getting her masters in Pennsylvania. I convinced her to apply to doctorate programs on the West Coast, and we eventually moved to Berkeley, California. Victoria finished her doctorate while I worked. We always spent our vacations back in Jackson, and as the years progressed, we found ourselves yearning to return to the valley. After Victoria finished her doctorate in clinical psychology, I began to pursue mine at the University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie. Over one Christmas vacation, I convinced Victoria to organize a snowmobile outing to Granite Hot Springs for both our families. I told her it would be nice to have a relaxing day in the hot springs. Little did Victoria know she was organizing her own proposal party. I proposed to her that morning, and we spent the day with our families celebrating our engagement.
Our wedding was a lovely union not only of Victoria and me, but of our families and friends as well. Hundreds of guests arrived from across the country to come and support us on our wonderful day. The weather was perfect, and the Tetons provided a backdrop many of the out-of-towners said “looked like something from a Disney movie.” We picked Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club for our venue because it offers the same kind of magical mountainous scenery that had brought us together in the first place. We knew our guests would appreciate a party in front of the glorious Grand Teton. Victoria and I are so excited to call Jackson our home and to raise our family in this fairytale of a town. We are so happy to have shared our love for the mountains with all our friends and family.
3 September 2016
ceremony & reception location
Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club
Gable McCarthy (friend)
Lily and Co.
Hitched, Lisa Mack
Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club
JoVern Specialty Cakes
Padgett Hoke Mirror Art: Jessi Lundeen
Mountain Resort Services