Jackson, Wyoming Wedding

Jeremy and I planned our wedding taking inspiration from our life together. We chose burgundy and navy for our base colors because these are colors we find ourselves living in all the time, and used varied wine tones to compliment them. We had gold accents everywhere we could because that's the color of jewelry I wear over any other, and we have the same decor style in our house! When purchasing decor, we went with the rule of thumb that if we weren't going to use it to decorate our house later, we wouldn't buy it. We wanted our wedding to be an extension of our home to all the people we loved most, and even had the idea of it being one big dinner party, that, of course, included big canvas photos of our dogs in fresh floral wreaths. Because obviously, they would be at any dinner party.

We chose Jackson as our location because obviously, it's gorgeous and really as Wyoming as you can get. Jeremy also grew up in Dubois and was born in Jackson, and I have deep family roots in Jackson. Diamond Cross Ranch was the perfect venue for us for so many reasons that we thought long and hard about. Symbolically, it was halfway between Jackson and Dubois (my family and his, a kind of meet in the middle idea), and it is a working horse ranch in the mountains. Seeing as Jeremy grew up in the mountains and my family always had horses and we practically grew up living in barns such as the reception barn, so this too was the perfect combination for us to get married! Not to mention, the ranch has an unreal view of the Teton's that we were so excited about for our photos.

For our ceremony arch, we wanted something unconventional but also something that complimented the space and view of the Tetons. Jeremy's Dad is incredibly creative and handy and actually puts up teepee's all over the area for different events, so it was special to have that piece of his family history tied in with the ceremony and also have the wow-factor of a huge teepee framing Mt. Moran. To give it a more soft and elegant feel, our fantastic florist Sarah draped it with a rose-filled garland and the buffalo skull as a centerpiece.

Our whole theme was based around a rustic-elegance idea but adding a little bit of mountain and old west here and there. I loved that my dress was half very simple and soft, and half an intricate lace pattern that had a western nod to it.

Jeremy and I wrote our ceremony to be very heartfelt and personal as well. We had two of our mentors recite readings during the ceremony, one about how falling in love is like owning a dog - of course. Jeremy's dear friend also was the one who married us in the ceremony, which ensured that the whole thing was surrounded by people who had helped us get to where we were. One of our favorite parts was the decision to "tie the fisherman's knot" as a unity ceremony since Jeremy and his family are all incredible fishermen. And yes, we use the knot as decoration in our home, too!

Make sure when you're planning your wedding that you only stick to the rules you want to! We loved combining old tradition with new ones that felt at home to us, like reciting traditional vows as well as writing our own to each other and making sure that all of our parents danced at the reception. Since my Dad is an auctioneer, he auctioned the garter off instead of having Jeremy toss it! Find any way that you can to incorporate the people and things that you love for your big day, and it will surely be one that you will dream of for decades after.

- The Bride and Groom, Cassie Madden + Jeremy Brandl

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