Running from the Law: Wedding Recaps - Welcome Bags, Engagement Pictures and a Rodeo

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wedding Recaps - Welcome Bags, Engagement Pictures and a Rodeo

One year ago today...Ryan and I woke up in a crappy hotel room in Teton Village to absolutely perfect weather and only three days left until the wedding.  We were already exhausted!  Neither one of us could sleep the night before due a combination of nervousness and excitement, but we got up early and started tackling our To Do list, running on pure adrenaline.

First things first, we checked out of the craptastic hotel and checked into our beautiful townhouse.  We were spending the weekend, along with most of our guests, at the Moose Creek Townhouses in Teton Village.   We had a beautiful 4-bedroom townhouse, which we were sharing with friends. 

We were up late the night before finishing our Welcome Bags and were excited to be delivering them to all our guests that day.  If you've never been to a destination wedding, a Welcome Bag (or Out of Town Bag) is a nice way for the bride and groom to welcome their guests to the area with some local information (maps, brochures), a few favorite items and anything else you might need.  I had SO much fun dreaming up things to put in our Welcome Bags!  I couldn't do enough!  
Our Welcome Bags had a "moose" theme to match our venue and were filled with:

  • Moose soap

  • Moose notepads

  • Koozies

  • CDs of our favorite music

  • Crossword Puzzle about our guests

  • Moose chocolate pops

  • Weekend event itinerary 

  • Note to each guest

  • Photo upload card and instructions

  • Transportation, rehearsal, brunch, altitude information

  • Jackson Hole maps, brochures and pamphlets

  • Jackson Hole postcards 

  • Bottle of water

This is the whole package!
All of the local information (maps, magazines, postcards, brochures, etc.) we got at the Jackson Hole Visitor's Center for free!  I also put together a one page info sheet on Jackson, which included: our favorite places to eat in Jackson, information on transportation and the events, info on adjusting to the altitude, info on sending us their pictures from the wedding, etc.
And then we had a bunch of personalized items.
I found a free program online that let me make my own crossword puzzle.  I had at least 2 trivia questions about every single one of our sixty guests!  It was a great icebreaker and a way for all our guests to get to know a little bit about each other!
I printed the itinerary on Western bandanna paper.
I'm a big believer in making To Do lists.
It runs in my blood - thanks Dad!
So, I had an Etsy vendor make notepads - "Things I Moose Do."
We also had koozies made with the heart from our invitation.
Ryan and I also picked out a few of our favorite songs ("Favorite Moosic") and made CDs for everyone.
(I got this idea after visiting in February and not being able to find a single radio station in Jackson that wasn't country.)
Another Etsy vendor made and packaged some homemade shea butter soaps for us - the scents were Chocolate Moose, Naked Moose and Musky Moose. 
I saw chocolate moose pops in a store for about $4 each.  Ouch.
But I had to have them!
So, I just bought chocolate molds and made them myself!
For about $0.25 each!
I think they turned out really well!
And I put it all in a brown paper bag tied up with twine!

Next up was a visit to our venue to go over the wedding day schedule and determine location for the ceremony.  The only time we'd seen the Lazy Moose was back in February and it was covered in 15 feet of snow.  It looked different in the summer, even more spectacular, if that's possible.  By the time we left I was so giddy I could barely stand it.  I didn't know how I could possibly wait three more days! 

At the end of the day, it was time to meet the amazing Carrie Patterson and take our engagement pictures.  Originally, I didn't know if I wanted engagement pictures, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of having pictures of the two of us in the mountains we loved. The Tetons are too incredible to pass up.  And since the peaks weren't visible from our wedding venue, we figured engagement pictures would be a perfect opportunity for us to get some pictures in front of them. Carrie took us to the Moulton Barns in Grand Teton National Park, just outside of Jackson. We went at dusk and the lighting is beautiful. I think they turned out to be some of the prettiest and romantic pictures I've ever seen.
After we were finished, we headed back into town and went to the Jackson Hole Rodeo!

Robin, the owner of the Lazy Moose was a volunteer at the rodeo and got us VIP back-stage passes to all the action.
It was so exciting!
Yee haw!
But even more exciting...our guests were starting to show up!!
So we finished out the evening having drinks with these hoo-rahs at the Silver Dollar Saloon. 
It was a pretty fantastic day.
And it only gets better...


  1. Gah, your engagement pictures are like something out of a fairly tale--totally romantic and completely perfect!!

    Happy anniversary. I can't wait for more recaps!

  2. And um yes. Fairy Tale. I can spell. Sometimes.

  3. Love, love, love!!!! Also, I'm obsessed with the Tetons--my mom took this gorgeous picture of Jenny Lake and it's the focal point of my living room.

  4. Seriously adorable. I totes love the moose theme, it is way too cute!

  5. I love the recaps!! I think your engagement pictures are stunning! You look so's heartwarming!

    The welcome bags were so clever! Can't wait for more details. :)

  6. I stumbled across your blog this morning. I love reading wedding blogs and even the recaps of weddings! Mine is coming up in 59 days and I'm both nervous and excited! Sept 4th will be here before I know it. I LOVED the cross-word puzzle idea! Now I just need to find a free site like that!!

  7. Your welcome bags are the coolest idea, I am sure that your guests went crazy for them. And your engagement photos? Simply beautiful!

  8. The moose theme is killing me with cuteness. I love it all! Lucky guests! Your engagement pictures turned out adorable as well. This is like a post of awesomeness overload.

  9. these are all so beautiful! ah to be married in god's country! love jackson hole!

  10. OMG, amazing, every bit of it!!! The pictures are gorgeous!! The goodie bags just kill me, so, so cute!! Can't wait to see what's to come!

  11. I love the gift bags!!!! How did you find time to do all that? Also, have I told you that I grew up really close to Jackson Hole? What made you pick there are your venue?

  12. I'm sure I've told you before but your engagement pictures are absolutel breathtaking. Seriously, some of the best I've ever seen. Looking forward to wedding recap series!

  13. It looks like you had such a fun wedding! There were so many great ideas and nice personal touches. The engagement pictures are amazing!

  14. Congrats on your anniversary! I can't get over those beautiful pictures and I'm obsessed with the bags. I love how you stuck with the Moose theme. Cool idea to recap a year later, keeps the memories fresh!

  15. Your engagement pictures are amazing...such a pretty way to remember such a happy time :)

  16. I'm so jealous of how many pictures you took/have of all the pre-wedding festivities. Seems like we ended up with only a few!

  17. Wow, that sounds like so much fun! Those engagement pictures are just so perfect.