Tag Archives: Jackson Wedding

Wedinated: Rebecca and Lance

You guys!!! I’m so so so excited about this. My first real wedding post! I’ve known the female half of this couple for years … I even “dated” her little bro in middle school … you know, as much as you can “date” someone at that age. Her dad was my 7th-grade algebra teacher. She is a strong, confident and compassionate woman who has always stood firm by her beliefs and fights for what she knows is right. She is also now a mother of an adorable little girl. She writes her own blog over here. And without further ado … here’s Rebecca!












Name: Rebecca and Lance

Age: 28

Occupation: Licensed Clincial Social Worker working as a supervisor and licensing specialist at a Child Placement Agency (I license foster homes and help place foster kids in them)

Wedding location: Ceremony was at Jackson Lake Lodge, Reception was at Dornan’s, both in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Wedding Date: June 18, 2005

Length of engagement: 2.5 years

Tell me about your wedding: Our wedding was all us. Since he’s Cherokee, and I’m Pagan (when I have to pin myself down to an actual religion), there weren’t many clergy in our small town that appealed to us. We were married by Terry Yazzolino, who’s a minster of the Universal Life Church. I wrote our ceremony from start to finish, and we each wrote our own vows, that weren’t revealed until the ceremony. The ceremony included the Cherokee wedding prayer, sand ceremony, memorial candle, and rose ceremony. It did, however, follow the same basic pattern as ceremonies that most people are used to.

I was walked down the aisle by my father, but we didn’t have any of that “giving the bride away” nonsense.

I do remember that during the opening, which we let Terry improvise on, he decided to have us turn to face everyone there to soak up the love or something like that. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I do remember that that’s when I started crying…












What was your favorite part of your wedding? This is hard. I really loved the ceremony, because I wrote it and it was totally us. I loved his vows because they were written on the spot and totally from the heart. I loved doing the portraits after, especially the candid ones of just the two of us on the lawn of JLL. And I loved the toasts that our family and friends did. I think that those all pretty much tie for favorite part.
















What disasters did you avert … or not avert and how did you deal with it?

The only real disaster was our Worst…er, I mean, Best Man… Lance made a deal with one of his nephews who was barely 18 at the time that if he would stay out of trouble (he was starting to make some not so good choices with his life) that if he got his shit together and stayed out of trouble until the wedding, he could be best man. Somehow, he managed to do this and got the position of honor.

He arrived in Jackson with Lance about a week before the wedding, and spent the entire week grating on EVERYONE’S last nerve. For example, we went up Cache Creek one night and he decided he had to show how “buff” he was by trying to pull someone’s F350. (Yes, he failed. And he kinda resembled a marshmallow…). He talked smack and had this massively inflated opinion of himself because he was in the Coast Guard and we were all just civilians (He later got dishonorably discharged. I laughed). I vaguely remember him threatening to arrest [my brother] Bryan at our bachelor(ette) party (we went on a joint camping trip with everyone up Curtis) for smoking weed because he was in the Coast Guard and could do that. We sent him off into the woods to find firewood and half hoped he’d end up walking off a cliff…but to no avail.

Anyway, when we went and got the marriage license, he assured Lance that he would keep it safe and make sure that it got to the ceremony etc, etc. Lance also put his copy of his vows with them. Apparently (I wasn’t informed of any of this until after the ceremony), they got to the ceremony, Lance asked for his vows, and the best man’s response was, “They’re in the truck” to which Lance replied, “You mean the truck that’s down at the reception site?” Yup, that truck. Idiot thought he didn’t need to grab the packet and that Lance wouldn’t need anything in it until the reception (scratch that, we needed EVERYTHING {license, vows, etc.} at the ceremony, and he knew this because we’d gone over it about 150 times…).

Anyway, one of Lance’s closest friends (who should have been Best Man) ended up missing the ceremony because he was driving like a bat out of hell back down to Dornan’s to get the marriage license. I dealt with it by kicking him with my shoe “accidentally” when I decided I didn’t’ want to dance in my heels anymore at the reception…and not speaking to him since. Lance has been a bit more diplomatic, but not much.












Was there anything you would have done differently, or do you have any regrets about how something went?
Really, my only regret was that the reception seemed to be more about people eating and leaving then our friends celebrating with us. I think that a lot of this had to do with our decision not to have an open bar (Lance’s family has more than their fair share of alcoholics, and we realized that we just couldn’t afford to have an open bar, not to mention that their behavior goes down hill fast when they’ve been drinking). That really hurt, because it felt like a lot of people cared more about drinking than about celebrating with us. So I might have had a partially open bar (up to a certain dollar amount or something).

I also wouldn’t have used the baker that we did. We went with my former horseback riding instructor turned cake baker because she was a family friend and gave us what we thought was a good deal. I’d looked at her portfolio, and we tasted the cake a head of time, so I was pretty confident that we’d get just what I wanted. What we ordered was a 4 layer cake with white fondant with a filigree icing design in blue and purple (our colors) on alternating tears (ie: top blue, 2nd purple, 3rd blue, 4th purple). I even sent her pictures of the cake that I was basing ours off of, and she assured me that she could do it. She lied. We ended up with a 3 tiered, slightly lopsided cake that was dirty iced in YELLOW buttercream with no fondant, and blue and purple designs that looked like a 5 year old had drawn them on. It tasted good, but totally not worth the $500 we paid her for it.

Oh, and I might have suggested a different Best Man…












What was your biggest challenge in planning?
Finding a freaking ceremony site! I’d always wanted to get married at JLL, but the reception cost for there was a bit out of our price range, so we opted for Dornan’s. However, I didn’t want to get married there with the gas pumps in the background… I searched and searched for a ceremony site to no avail, and was getting insanely stressed.

One day in September (and in Jackson, not having your site 9 months out can be dangerous…), I got a call from my MOH at like 7:30 in the morning. “I’m calling to let you know I’m finding you a ceremony site today. Goodbye.” Didn’t even give me a chance to talk. She called back about 2 hours later telling me that she’d talked to the events coordinator at JLL and they had the lawn available for that day, and were willing to give it to me for the ceremony for $500. The catch was all the indoor rooms were booked, so if it rained, I was going to be a soggy bride… I risked it.

The other biggest challenge is that my MOH’s husband and flower girls’ father passed away unexpectedly on May 1, 2005, and I spent all of May up with them, planning funerals and helping take care of my “nieces” while my “sister” coped and learned how to start to live without her husband. Throw a move to Denver in on June 1, and that last month was slightly chaotic for someone trying to put the finishing touches on a wedding. But I survived.












What lessons did you learn from planning or from the wedding itself?
When the day’s over, you won’t remember much, but what does matter is how much you love each other, and that your family and friends were there to support you.












What was your biggest “holyamazeballzI’mfreakininlove!” moment?
Lance and I had agreed that we wouldn’t try to memorize our vows, and that we’d just read them (we’d each written our own). I went first, and when it was his turn and the preacher didn’t hand him his vows to read from, I got slightly nervous. (Remember, he didn’t have them because the Worst Man had left them at Dornan’s…) But what came next was absolutely amazing.

His vows were more touching, more from the heart, and more perfect than anything he could have planned. I was astounded in the moment that he’d memorized them, and even more so later when I learned everything that had happened and discovered that they weren’t memorized, they were made up on the spot.












What were your top 5 favorite things about your wedding?
Aside from marrying Lance, Location, my dress, my photographer, my dad’s toast and my MOH’s toast

Top 5 least favorite?
Best Man, People leaving quickly from the reception, the cake, and I really don’t know if I can think of 2 more…

What was the worst piece of wedding advice you received?
“Don’t do it!”

The best?
“When the day’s done, it won’t matter what you wore, who was there, or what went right or wrong. What will matter is that you are in love, and together forever.”












If you’ve been married for more than a few years, what have been some challenges? Learning that we are both still individuals who are going to continue to grow and change. I think during most of our fights one of us says something to the effect of, “But you used to always…” or “But you’ve never done…” We’ve had to learn how to adapt our relationship to who we are and who we’re becoming, rather than having it remain stagnant. It can be a challenge, but it’s worth it.












What from your wedding vows/ceremony still holds the truest?
“Although this marriage creates a single unit, that unit is only as strong as its individual parts, thus you must each realize that in order to come together, you must maintain your individuality.” We also did the rose ceremony, and there’s a bit in there about how when we’re mad, or angry, or just don’t have words, to leave the other a single rose to remind both that we are still in love. We have lots of roses around the house…












Any other bits of wisdom?
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. It won’t be like the fairy tales, and there will be times when you go, “WTF was I thinking?!?” But if you can stick it out, and remember why you are in the relationship, you will make it through, and you will come out stronger on the other side. If it’s good 51% of the time, it’s worth holding on to, and chances are, it’ll be good much more than that.

All photos courtesy Grand Productions/Rick Armstrong Photography
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