Running from the Law: Wedding Update

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wedding Update

Hello! As we're getting closer and closer to July, I've been getting all kinds of questions about the wedding and how things are going. And my only answer right now is...we'll see after this weekend! Tomorrow Ryan and I head off to Jackson Hole for a weekend of wedding-related activities. We're planning on (1) seeing the new venue; (2) picking a ceremony location; (3) picking table decor and china/glassware; (4) meeting with the florist to discuss bouquets, boutonnieres and decorations; (5) having a tasting with the caterer; (6) tasting and designing the wedding cake; (7) seeing the rehearsal dinner location; (8) picking the rehearsal dinner menu; (9) touring the lodging arrangements; (10) and possibly meeting with the judge that will marry us. And if there's any downtime at all, we're hoping to hit the slopes! Whew! What a weekend!

I'm pretty excited and very very nervous about this trip. With the way our wedding luck as been going so far, I have no idea what to expect. As a lot of you know, we've had some rather unfortunate news with our wedding venue and it's been a pretty crazy few months trying to get it all figured out. If you remember, I flew out there last May to check out locations for our wedding. I wanted something cozy and rustic, but elegant with spectacular views. Ideally, I wanted an outdoor spot for the ceremony overlooking the Tetons, an indoor place for the reception (so we wouldn't have to tent), and somewhere closeby where we could get ready or stay. Enter Crescent H Ranch. It was a a former Orvis fly fishing lodge with ten little rustic guest cabins, each named for a native or renowned trout species, a gorgeous lodge for the reception and a meadow overlooking the mountains for the ceremony. It was in our budget and even had a fly-fishing trout theme. PERFECT!

However, seven months later, the nightmare began. The planner at Crescent H called us and said that the owners of Crescent H received an offer to sell the place to some of the local homeowners around the ranch. The ranch was not for sale, but the potential buyers asked how much they would accept for the place and then matched it. The buyers wanted to privatize the ranch for their own personal use…meaning that if the deal went through, the new buyers would not honor any of the contracts for next year, including ours. Ahh!! They said they would know whether the sale went through in three weeks...would we wait? If we didn't want to wait, they would give us our deposit back and we'd have to find somewhere else. Begin total panic and chaos mode.

Right away we realized that we still wanted to have the wedding at Crescent H, if that was an option, but we also had to start looking at other places. Unfortunately, there were no places that I visited when I was out there back in May that I loved nearly as much. Other places were nice, but didn’t have all the things we wanted or were way out of our budget. Our wedding planner starting working overtime to see what else would be available that weekend (so we wouldn't lose the deposit on the photographer, band, etc.). Needless to say, this made me so mad b/c I had my pick of all the places in May when I went (b/c I was so early), but now all kinds of places were already reserved.

Our wonderful (and very patient) planner advised us to relax and remain calm…there was still a chance that either the sale wouldn't go through (for some reason) or that maybe the buyers woudl have a change of heart and would honor the contracts for the summer and then privatize it later. We just didn't know. When the time finally came, we got a call from the ranch that the owners had extended the deadline to the end of the year. More waiting. We still weren't ready to pull out, without having a back-up location and it was the holidays, so we just decided to keep waiting.

In the meantime, we happened upon another little rustic ranch that might be a back-up place to have the ceremony and reception. My photographer shot a rehearsal dinner there last year, and I fell in love with the pictures. As for style and elegance, it was probably even more spectacular than Crescent H. It didn't have the fly-fishing theme or the cabins on the property, but was really beautiful with horses, a bar with saddle stools, big hearth stone fireplaces, elkhorn chandelieres and and outdoor lounge area. Very cozy and western. Of course, it's more than we had originally budgeted (and would require a lot of additional charges that we weren't considering) but it was available on our date and beautiful. Hopefully we could work something out.

January 5th finally comes along and we hear from Crescent H...they owners extended the deadline AGAIN. Now the buyers had until the end of January. At this point, we were through. The owners were obviously doing whatever they could to make this sale happen. And even if the sale didn't go through, what was to keep this from happening again in a few months, when it was too late to find another place? Our confidence was completely shaken. We had to move on and find some place else. So, we will not be getting married at the little fly fishing villa we fell in love with. However, our back-up location looks so amazing, and we are in the process of getting everything finalized to proceed as planned. The new place is called the Lazy Moose Ranch. It is also located in Wilson, Wyoming, in between Jackson and Teton Village. Although it doesn’t have the fly fishing motif of the original location, my photographer and wedding planner both say that the Lazy Moose is even more beautiful and elegant. We cannot wait to see it!!!

Talk about stressful! I thought we were going to avoid a lot of the stress and drama of wedding planning by having a destination wedding. Wrong! I can't believe I haven't had a nervous breakdown yet. Anyway, my fingers are crossed that everything will work out in the end for the best (everything happens for a reason, right?!). I think we'll love the new place - I promise to take lots of pictures!


  1. I think you are going to look back and be thankful that the first place botched things so badly. And you will feel that the stress and sacrifices were worth it in the end...look at where you will be getting married...that is GORGEOUS (and will be even moreso with you there all dressed in white.)!


  2. So, not much has been happening in your life in the last few months, eh Sara? ;)

    Whew! Stressful for sure. Glad things seem to be working out for you on the alternative location though. Hang in there and, most importantly, cherish it all... even the stressful stuff. It's what great memories are made of.