A Western-Themed Wedding in Jackson Hole
Tanya Rutner and Richie Hartman first hit it off at an Irish pub in Columbus, Ohioâ€”and after a night of conversation, Richie offered to drive Tanya home. She was tasked with the job of deejayingâ€”on an iPod touch as it was 2012!â€”and played Cyndi Lauperâ€™s "Time After Time." Something clicked, and four years later, the song played during the first dance at their wedding in Teton Village, Wyoming.
But the rest of the couple's wedding planning didn't come as easily. "It was stressful! I've been reading wedding magazines since age 14, so planning something that felt worthy of all those years of imagining the day weighed on me a lot," she says. But in the end, the stress and meticulous planning did pay off, as Tanya and Richie did most everything themselves. To bring their vision to life, the Columbus-based couple added plenty of Western touches (think cowhide rugs!) and DIY details (like branded blankets and more) to their venue, Four Seasons Resort & Residences Jackson Hole. Keep reading to see how this bride and groom planned their own big day, with the help of Lovely Day Events on the coordination and Pen Carlson behind the lens.
Both the bride and groom embraced their individual style, but also tailored it to their venue. Richie wore a classic black tuxedo by Threadwell Clothiers, which was lined with blue damask lining. Tanya opted for a blush ballgown by Legends Romona Keveza but paired it with boots for their outdoor portraits in Jackson Hole. She also added a feather shawl, sparkly belt, and diamond earrings, which were made from her grandmother's engagement ring and acted as her "something old."
The bridal bouquet featured ranunculus, anemones, roses, eucalyptus, black dahlias, and hydrangeas, as well as magnolia and Japanese maple leaves.
Inside the resort's ballroom, Tanya walked down the aisle with both her father and stepfather. The couple worked with their officiant, the bride's college mentor, to create a script that felt meaningful and personal. They wrote their own vowsâ€”but perhaps most noticeable were the readings. "Our ceremony readings were actually written by the readers themselves," the bride explains. "We invited three couples, married for five years, 38 years, and 56 years, to share their thoughts and advice on marriage, making the readings truly personal, intimate, and, at times, absolutely hysterical. They were just perfect!"
After signature cocktails named after the couple's neighborhood in Columbus and their love of travel, as well as Richie's nickname, everyone moved into the resort's main ballroom for dinner and dancing.
The meal was served family-style at tables accented with fall foliage, elk antlers, and floral arrangements accented with feathers. But below all the beautiful decor, the bride and groom had a surprise for each guest: a story disc! "Stories included how we met, how we got engaged, why we picked certain songs to be played, how we honored classic wedding traditions, and other fun facts about the wedding guests may have missed otherwise," Tanya explains. "It was so fun to watch guests' faces as they realized everyone had something different! They got guests chatting, sharing, and laughing between salads and entrees and really kept the evening moving."
"We took dance lessons for our first dance, which was a real hoot.," Tanya says. "We had it down pat before the wedding, but of course got a few butterflies for show time. Needless to say, we were a bit off, but it looked great!"
A DJ kept everyone dancing until midnight, when the plan was to play a last dance and then an encore! "Well, instead of everyone chanting 'one more song,' everyone started chanting 'one more hour!' '' Tanya recalls. "No one wanted the party to end! And thatâ€™s the beauty of everyone staying at one placeâ€”we were able to be carefree and make the celebration really last!"