Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Winter Wedding: Marissa and Russell
Marissa and Russell were married in a beautiful wedding at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, Wyoming. This winter wedding was such a joy to photograph and I’m so happy to share these images on the blog today. There’s something magical about winter weddings at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Marissa and Russell’s event was certainly full of that magic. It was a joy to be their wedding photographer.
Marissa & Russell’s Sweet Proposal
Russell and Marissa met in college at West Virginia University where Marissa lived downstairs with Russell a floor above her. They would hang out often, but after a special summer in Morgantown, it was clear they had found something special. After college, they moved to Maryland to start their life together. After seven amazing years together, they took a Valentine’s Day trip to a historic mansion in Taneytown, MD. They had tea in the mansion, in an amazing room with a hot tub and fireplace and the most incredible dinner. At the end of dinner, Marissa went to the restroom and returned to see that dessert had arrived. She looked down to see what the dessert was, and the plate said, “Will you marry me?” Marissa turned in shock and Russell was already down on one knee. Marissa was sobbing uncontrollably but managed to say “YES.”
Marissa & Russell | A Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Winter Wedding
Fast forward and I was lucky enough to be the wedding photographer for these two best friends to get married. Marissa and Russell traveled to Jackson Hole with Russell’s family in 2015 and they fell in love. Sadly, in 2017, they lost Russell’s father before they’d even gotten engaged. When it came time to decide on where they wanted to get married, they knew they would feel closest to Russell’s father in the mountains. Since both the bride and groom are big skiers, they knew they wanted a Jackson Hole Mountain Resort wedding! They recreated that wonderful vacation from 2015 with 80 of their closest friends and family. Marissa said: “From snowmobiling to skiing to the elk refuge and dancing the night away at million-dollar cowboy bar, my father in law would have loved every minute.”
For this winter wedding, Marissa and Russell relied heavily on the ski lodge and played off what was already in place. They wanted simplicity. The centerpieces were made completely by the bride’s mother (thank God for mommas!) and consisted of greenery and gold candles. Marissa named each table after the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and the seating chart was an enlarged map of the ski resort. Everyone knew how much the bride and groom loved skiing, so those simple touches were right in line with their style.
Marissa’s wedding gown had belonged to her mother. It was strapless, but Marissa found a cozy sweater to wear over it to match her mountain wedding style. She wore white fleece leggings under her gown and white sparkly Sperry snow boots. It was the perfect winter wedding get up! She even had a warm pair of white and cream mittens. Both the bride and groom had toe warmers tucked in their boots to stay warm. Marissa’s flowers were so stunning. They pulled forward gorgeous winter wedding colors like navy blue, pink, green and wine. The bridal bouquet was slightly different from the bridesmaids’, and the boutonnieres for the men were simple—just like they wanted.
An Icy First Look
The night before the wedding, Marissa told her soon-to-be-husband that she wanted to do a first look. His response was, “That is cheesy.” Well, Marissa had a surprise in store! Back home, they have a tradition called “icing” someone with a Smirnoff Ice. As soon as Russell told her that a first look was cheesy… she knew she had to ice him! Marissa walked up behind Russell under the antler arches downtown and tapped him on the shoulder. When he turned around to see her for the first time, she handed him the Ice and made him get down on one knee and chug it! Russell never saw it coming. I was so happy to be there to photograph every second.
Mountaintop Wedding Photography
The guests were all shuttled to the resort. From there, they boarded the gondola and began the 12-minute ascent up the mountain. Everyone stood with beers and cocktails while Marissa and Russell said their vows. At the end, instead of just a traditional kiss, everyone cheered beers, and everyone drank.
Marissa and Russell said that their most memorable moment was their “I Do’s.” Since they had been together a very long time, to finally say their vows was so special and long awaited. Russell is not a very wordy man when it comes to his emotions or feelings, so hearing him say his vows was so meaningful and special to Marissa.
Wedding Advice from the Bride and Groom:
When asked what advice they would offer to other couples planning their wedding, Marissa had this to share:
“After the ceremony and the reception dinner we went back into the bridal suite—just the two of us. We opened a bottle of champagne and I laid my head on his lap and we just sat in silence drinking our champagne for about 20 minutes. This moment was so important to us and is what we consider one of the best moments of the night. After your vows sneak away and take some you time. I also highly recommend doing photos BEFORE the wedding. By the time our guests arrived, we got to enjoy every second with them including cocktail hour. Thank heavens we did because our apps were amazing! The last piece of advice is to have fun with it. No part of our wedding felt stressful because we were having fun with it and not taking anything too serious. We did everything exactly the way we wanted and had fun planning together.”
Marissa and Russell, it was such a pleasure to be your wedding photographer for your Jackson Hole Mountain Resort wedding. I loved being there to document the joy and celebration as you became husband and wife! Best wishes to you both!
Let’s talk about your wedding! Contact Heather Erson Photography