Have you ever been to a wedding in the city? The traffic, congestion, pollution, urban noise, tall buildings and rush of urban life makes for uptight guests. After all, that is why you pay a fortune for a wedding planner to make all those things go away. Right?
Brides want their special day to be perfect including happy guests, happy groom and happy surroundings.
THE GRAND TETON
If you are an outdoors person looking for a backdrop that makes a real statement “The Grand” (as it is called by locals) has to be it! This sharp mountain peak, known as one of the Rocky Mountain’s youngest peaks, rises from a 6,400′ valley floor to an elevation of over 13,780 feet. Imagine a backdrop for wedding pictures vaulting over 1 1/3 miles above the dance floor! Talk about a “big rock!” Very few fake (or authentic) Greek columns can compete with a mountain! What’s more, glaciers fill the crevasses most of the year. A June wedding would display more than just white-capped mountain peaks. Your view could include glaciers the size of several football stadiums!
Inside the park weddings are permitted in certain places designated by the National Park Service such as Schwabacker’s Landing, Blacktail Ponds Overlook and Signal Mountain Summit. A reservation fee and permit are required to hold a wedding at any of these locations. It is good to keep in mind that each guest that enters the park through the gates at Moose or Moran is charged the normal park entrance fee.
About the only thing you can hear in this popular wilderness is the soft and steady whoosh of a nearby stream. Wildlife frequent the shadows at dusk as the looming moonlight supplants a spectrum of streaking sunbeams. Sandhill Crane, Canada Geese and an occasional Bald Eagle glide overhead keeping watch over wilderness habitat and overnight summer sleeping grounds. The silence is broken only by an occasional bugle of a bull elk gathering his harem at the end of summer’s passing.
If you know the west, you know that most summer days are clear and the visibility unlimited. Hiking and climbing enthusiasts can view the Snake River Valley of Idaho to a distance of nearly 200 miles and the mountain ranges of Wyoming as far as obscuring peaks will allow. Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Montana are all visible from the peaks of the Tetons on a clear day.
The temperature in summer rarely breaks out of the 80’s during the day and the nights are cool requiring a jacket as mountain shadows stretch across the valley of the Tetons. You should probably plan on more, than less, when planning evening wear and bridesmaids dresses.
Most brides planning for guests are interested in good friends, good food and good entertainment. The kind of entertainment in this part of the world goes far beyond loud bands and Rocky Mountain music. This is truly “America’s Serengeti.” Viewing wildlife including buffalo, moose, elk, deer, antelope and occasional creatures that are found on the top of the food chain, keep guests entertained with awe.
None of this is man-made.
It is all natural and in the most environmentally protected area of the lower 48. Mingling among the animals throughout the park makes for great entertainment and breaks from traditional rehearsals and receptions.
Guests, adept to the outdoors, can take a lazy float through the Oxbow or a wild river ride down Snake River Canyon in the afternoon. Whitewater and clear water are found all along the Snake as it winds a serpentine course past the foothills of The Grand!
A quick flick of a fly into the tributary waters of The Snake will yield a catch of native ancestry originating in the headwaters of the Yellowstone Wilderness. Cutthroat and Rainbow trout are abundant and are easily found by fishing enthusiasts. Some may be so overtaken by this experience they may not make it back for the vows.
A little-known fact about Grand Teton National Park is that a commercial airport is located within its boundary. Commercial flights on several major airlines deliver passengers (guests) to the foot of the Tetons. A 6,300 foot runway accommodates 737s as well as commuter-size aircraft. The view out the right cabin window on final approach to runway 19 is simply breathtaking. The descent along the entire Teton Range begins at an altitude even with the peaks and ends at its foot. Rental cars and shuttles are available at the airport and accommodations are not far away.
So, if you are looking for adventure in a wedding that reaches beyond the traditional back yard or urban setting, consider Grand Teton National Park and its surrounding venues. Your guests will not be disappointed with the scene and they will remember your special day for a lifetime!