A Western Wedding Weekend with Timeless Design at Brush Creek Ranch
Corinne White and James Troise's first conversation was actually more of a "heated debate." When the now-couple first met as undergrads at a fraternity party at Northwestern University, they found themselves discussing pizza, with Corinne arguing in favor of Chicago-style pizza and James, the New York slice. (Her family is from Chicago, while he hails from New York City.) After this convo, it took James two attempts to ask Corinne on a dateâ€”but they soon found they had many similarities, despite their differing opinions on pizza.
After more than seven years of dating and a proposal at the bride's family home in Colorado, Corinne and James came to an important agreement: They'd say "I do" at Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming. "My parents purchased Brush Creek Ranch in December 2008, when I was a senior in high school," Corinne explains. "Ever since then, I couldnâ€™t imagine getting married anywhere else." The ranch also played a special role in the couple's engagement: In April 2018, after James proposed while snowshoeing in Beaver Creek, Colorado, James, Corinne, and their parents flew to Wyoming to spend the weekend celebrating there. "Our parents had met before but only briefly, and Jamesâ€™ parents had never been to the ranch, so it was really important to share it with them before the planning process started," she says. "We had the best time!"
The couple saw their wedding as a "singular opportunity to share the ranch with all of our loved ones at the same time." To make that happen, they called on the team at the ranch, naturally, as well as the team at Easton Events to plan a celebration that was equal parts casual, timeless, and elegant. The three-day event began with a buffet-style welcome dinner that the bride describes as "super casual and kitschy Wild West vibe" and was followed with a "Western chic" rehearsal dinner in the property's new farm venue. The wedding itself was a more formal affair set in an elegant tent with subtle nods to the American West.
What I love about weddings at the ranch, aside from the magnificent setting, is how much time your guests get to spend with each other.
For their wedding, the couple and their 170 guests took over the all-inclusive Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, Wyoming. "What I love about weddings at the ranch, aside from the magnificent setting, is how much time your guests get to spend with each other," says the bride of their wedding venue. "The property is over 30,000 acres and features activities like horseback riding, fly fishing, shooting, archery, mountain biking, paintball, hiking, biking, yogaâ€¦ the list goes on! Our event was three nights so by the time the wedding rolled around, guests from both sides had already met and bonded doing these amazing activities together."
Naturally, the venue played a part in every detail of the wedding weekend, beginning with the save the date and invitation suite from Yonder Design. In their initial design meeting, the bride was inspired by a wool Ralph Lauren pattern, which was ultimately used to make custom clutches that held the save the dates. (It was also incorporated into the wedding designâ€”but more on that later!)
The couple's wedding invitation also featured an elevated nod to the American West with a rendering of a landscape at Brush Creek Ranch. "For Christmas the year of our engagement, my parents commissioned a painting of our favorite view on the ranch: a dramatic rock outcropping that we call the 'iconic rock,'" Corinne explains. "We knew we wanted to incorporate that painting into the invitation, ideally as some sort of keepsake for the guests. Eventually, we had success reproducing the painting by printing the image on wood, and included a stand so that guests could display it at home."
Corinne's mother took on the project of making welcome bags for the couple's 170 guests. Each tote included a Biscoff cookie (the bride's favorite), Tabasco hot sauce (the groomâ€™s favorite), and Kusmi BB Detox tea (the couple's favorite). Also in the mix? The couple's favorite book about Wyoming (â€śThe Solace of Open Spacesâ€ť by Greta Ehrlich), a custom coffee blend from Coal Creek Coffee (a local coffee shop in nearby Laramie, Wyoming), a spice blend from the ranchâ€™s greenhouses, and mixtapes featuring their favorite love songs.
Upon arrival, each guest received a custom cowboy hat that many wore for the weekend's first event: a buffet-style meal served creekside.
The night's dress code called for "Canadian Tuxedos" for all. Corinne put her own twist on the theme by wearing (old!) Mother Denim jeans, a Ganni denim shirt, and custom wedding boots from Miron Crosby.
Before dinner, guests participated in a number of activities such as archery and axe throwing.
The meal was designed to reflect the ranch's casual vibe so it was enjoyed at picnic tables surrounding a campfire.
Tables were topped with lanterns, votive candles, and fish-shaped ceramic dishes (a nod to the creekside setting). Mindy Rice handled the floral design for the weekend, opting to do small arrangements of herbs, textured grasses, and vibrant red blooms in tin cans for this casual event. Each place setting was complete with a blue napkin that was tied to look like a bandana.
Throughout the night, custom signage and paper cocktail napkins were done in a denim print to further illustrate the party theme.
After a meal of grilled fish, prime rib, and duck drummets, guests were invited to make their own s 'mores over the open fire.
The party ended late-night in the property's authentic saloon, which dates back to the early 19th century.
Corinne says she gravitates towards iconic brands associated with the American West, so much that Ralph Lauren and Pendleton influenced the overall wedding design. Night two also took on a Western aesthetic, only this take was more "chic" than "kitschy." For this occasion, Corinne wore a Ralph Lauren leather dress and Ralph Lauren boots paired with a custom belt (made with vintage turquoise!) by Ray Bernal of Strong Tower Designs, a local store in Saratoga, Wyoming.
Even the smallest guests took the "Western Chic" dress code seriously, posing in the back of a work truck for an on-theme photo.
The rehearsal dinner took place at The Farm at Brush Creek Ranch, the property's newest venue. Cocktails were served al fresco in an epic lounge area that felt rustic yet elevated thanks to varying textures such as faux cowhide, seagrass, leather, and wicker. Florals were more romantic this night, with bright pink peonies alongside textured grasses and yellow accents.
Escort cards were attached to leather and brass keychains that directed guests to their seats.
Dinner was served at one long table in the venue's wine cellar. It was dressed with more peonies and arrangements showcasing heirloom vegetables grown on the property.
Fireworks were a must to conclude the classic Americana-style night.
On the wedding day, Corinne got ready with her bridesmaids, who all wore Daphne Newman robes. She counts this time as one of the most memorable from the wedding because her 'maids surprised her with a scrapbook of their relationship. "Each bridesmaid had their own page with photos and a pouch that contained the most thoughtful letters from each one about our friendship," she says. "Itâ€™s a gift Iâ€™ll treasure forever and made me feel so grounded and loved just before the craziness of the day began."
This dress felt like the dress my childhood-self would have chosen, which cemented my decision. It was the most 'me.'
Corinne counts shopping for her dress as her favorite wedding planning task. To find her dream gown, Corinne and her mother flew to New York City for a "two-day shopping extravaganza" with bridal stylist Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride. "I truly would have been lost without Julie," Corinne admits. "Itâ€™s tempting to involve all of your friends in the process, but Iâ€™m so glad I kept it to just me, Julie, and my mom â€“ too many opinions creates chaos, and in the end, you should be choosing the dress that you love the most, not everyone else."
In the end, Corinne said "yes" to a Carolina Herrera gown of guipure lace with a subtle blue sash in the back. "I liked almost every dress I tried on, but this one felt the truest to my personal style," she says. "This dress felt like the dress my childhood-self would have chosen, which cemented my decision. It was the most 'me.'" She completed her bridal look with Jimmy Choo heels (also in a lace material), a Carolina Herrera veil, and jewelry from her late grandmother. "She left me a diamond ring, which was made into a beautiful diamond necklace," Corinne says. "My parents gifted it to me on my wedding day, and it was so special to have her feel close to me."
Corinne's dress, which was one of the first decisions she made after hiring a planner and choosing a venue, was integral to the wedding's overall design. "The blue from the back sash and the guipure lace became the inspiration for everything from the blue tablecloths to our menu, which was wrapped in a pattern that mimicked the lace of my dress," she says.
The rest of the wedding party dressed in blue, with the groom and groomsmen in suits from Suit Supply and Corinne's 'maids in custom strapless gowns by Belle Bridal Atelier and Julie Sabatino. "The blue sash of my wedding dress was the inspiration for the color, and I knew that I wanted a subtle print to really make them feel special," she says. "I was so happy with how turned out, especially in the photosâ€”they look even more beautiful against the blue of the Wyoming sky."
The ceremony took place in a meadow by the river, where wooden pews were accented with white roses and peonies.
Corinne walked down the aisle with her father, Bruce White, to "Canon in D" by Pachelbel. In lieu of a flower girl or ring bearer, the familyâ€™s four ranch dogs (three Bernese mountain dogs and one mutt) walked down the aisle. Adds Corinne, "They looked even cuter than usual in their sweet floral collars!"
The bride's uncle Terry Bird officiated the ceremony, and the couple wrote their own vows. "I didnâ€™t anticipate just how meaningful it would be to have the ceremony outside, next to the river," she says. "Every time I got nervous, I would just look out at the river and feel completely at peace."
I didnâ€™t anticipate just how meaningful it would be to have the ceremony outside, next to the river. Every time I got nervous, I would just look out at the river and feel completely at peace.
Elan Artists played throughout the ceremony with music selected by James, a self-proclaimed lover of classical music. After their (epic!) first kiss, the newlyweds recessed to "Lovely Day" by Ben Withers to "start the party vibe!"
But first: Corinne and James posed for portraits at golden hour.
Next, the couple had a surprise for everyone. "One of our favorite traditions at the ranch is the 'running of the horses' when the herd is gathered every morning. Itâ€™s this awe-inspiring moment when the wranglers gather all the riding horses for the day and you can watch them all gallop across the plains," Corinne explains. "After our ceremony, we surprised our guests at cocktail hour with a running of the horses 'show.' Itâ€™s a special ranch tradition that we were thrilled to be able to share with our guests."
Guests found their seat assignments inside scalloped envelopes by Yonder Design. In addition to assigning seats for dinner, the couple also had to assign everyone a room for the weekend. "The ranch was at its full capacity with our guest count, so choosing where everyone slept and making sure they would be comfortable was a bit of a puzzle," Corinne admits. "But it was very satisfying once we figured it out!"
The rest of the night's festivities took place in an elegant tent that was dressed with an abundance of white blooms, gold lanterns, and washed wood accents (including flooring, built-in bars, and dining chairs).
With their signature touch, the Easton Events team created a homey atmosphere inside the grand tented space. A favorite element was a custom bar accented by gold sconces and a pair of built-in bookshelves decorated with silver trophies, antique platters, and decanters filled with dark liquor. The focal point of this display was a print of the same painting that appeared on the couple's wedding invitation.
"Aesthetically, I lean more romantic, feminine, and traditional," admits the bride. This style was evident in the reception design, combining the bride's taste with the wedding's color palette (Carolina Herrera blue!) and the ranch's natural beauty to create a scene that was romantic, feminine, and traditional with subtle nods to the American West. "I was not a micromanager with the dĂ©cor and trusted Easton Events completely to create an event that fit our personalities and taste," Corinne says.
Each table was topped with a blue linen tablecloth and dressed with wooden vessels holding lush blooms and romantic votives. Each place setting was complete with a wooden charger, blue and white china (accented with gold!), a white linen napkin, an antique napkin ring, and a mixture of horn-rimmed and sterling silver flatware. The final touch? A custom menu designed to mimic the lace in Corinne's dress.
Much of the night's menu came from the ranch with garden greens grown on-site in the greenhouse and filet mignon sourced from the property's beef program. While the couple trusted the in-house culinary team to execute the menu, James did have one "must-have" request. "He considers himself to be a soup connoisseur and wanted a soup bar that included some of his motherâ€™s original recipes," Corinne explains. "This didnâ€™t really fit with a plated sit down wedding menu, so we did at lunch on the wedding day. He was very pleased, saying the ranchâ€™s culinary staff got his motherâ€™s recipes exactly right. They tasted almost identical!"
Individual servings of tres leches cake and cottage bread and butter pudding completed the meal.
Rhythm Collective provided the night's entertainment, playing Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" for the first dance. However, the band, who is represented by Elan Artists, was not the only form of entertainment at the reception. "My dad and I share a love of music, particularly classic rock. One of those songs he used to sing to me was 'Little Miss Magic' by Jimmy Buffet, which is about a fatherâ€™s relationship with his daughter," Corinne explains. "In lieu of a traditional toast, he surprised us by writing his own original lyrics about our relationship to the melody of that song and then performing it live at the wedding. There wasnâ€™t a dry eye in the house!"
The wedding cake was actually presented as a trio of white cakes covered in fondant to match the bride's dress. The groom's cake, shown here, was also made to resemble an important fabric: the Ralph Lauren print featured on the couple's invitation suite!
At the end of the night, Corinne (now in a jean jacket and printed jumpsuit!) and James exited to a shower of petals and cheers from loved ones. When asked to share their wedding advice, Corinne had a few words to prepare others for this moment. "Use your pre-wedding events, like engagement parties and showers, as 'practice' for the wedding," she advises. "These parties really helped us get in the right mindset to get the most out of our wedding day. We were able to practice being the center of attention, making toasts, taking the time to chat with each guest and thanking people. By the time our actual wedding day came, we felt more confident and relaxed, which allowed us to be present and really enjoy it."