You’re engaged—Congratulations! Is a destination nuptials in your plans? If so, then say “I do” to Jackson Hole. A wedding in the shadow of the Tetons is the stuff of fairytales, memories and magic. And it’s one of the most popular areas in the country to get hitched. If you’ve visited Jackson Hole before then the chances are pretty good that the area had you at “hello.” Choosing to tie the knot in this stunningly beautiful valley with the person who also had your heart at “hello” just seems to be the perfect match.
The venues for your ceremony and reception can range from the stunningly simple (a cozy log cabin B&B or alongside the banks of the Snake River) to the super sublime (a sprawling authentic dude ranch or atop one of the three area ski resorts). Of course, it almost goes without saying that the activities your family and friends can partake in before and after the wedding are just as varied and numerous.
Let’s get started with some ideas!
- When to wed: The summer and early fall are beautiful in Jackson Hole, but late spring or later in autumn finds the weather unpredictable. Winter weddings are gorgeous here, but keep in mind that a big storm could make it difficult for your guests to get to Jackson. If you're planning on eloping or having a smaller wedding, winter is, without a doubt, magical out here.
- Make sure you schedule some time to get your marriage license before your ceremony. There is no waiting period in Wyoming nor are blood tests required in the state as well. To get your license in Jackson Hole, please visit the Teton County Administrative Building located at 220 S. Willow Street. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on legal holidays. A marriage license costs $30. For more information, call 307-733-4430.
- If you choose to hold your ceremony in certain areas within Grand Teton National Park or Bridger Teton National Forest, you may need a special permit. Visit nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/weddings or fs.usda.gov/main/btnf/passes-permits
Planning At a Distance
Whether you’re a do-it-yourself event planner or would prefer a professional to help you create your special day, wedding planning out in Jackson Hole is mountain-town relaxed and easy. You’ve chosen a classic Western town to be married in for a reason, so embrace all of that as you go ahead with details, i.e. cowboy boots for the bride, anyone?
Hiring a planner here in Jackson Hole may be the way to go. Getting advice and working with a local who has professional experience in making dreams come true can help ease the load of planning your dream nuptials from afar.
For instance, Lisa Mack, owner of Lisa Mack Events, will head you off in the right direction starting with a personal consultation, either over the phone or in person. From there, she will create a custom proposal of wedding planning services tailored to fit your needs and budget.
"When you are planning a wedding from afar, it's easy to very quickly get bogged down with the different vendor options," Lisa says.
"These days, vendors claim to be based out of Jackson while they actually don't live here — that's not something you would know if you are just doing a quick Google search online," she continues. "That's where we come in and help narrow down the options and guide the bride and groom in the right direction based on their vision and budget. On their own, they can and do spend weeks, days and hours researching vendors which can be frustrating and exhausting when you are in the preliminary stages of wedding planning."
Living in the valley and being part of the community in Jackson comes with lots of knowledge of the area, says Lisa, and respect for how this community operates and the mountains that surround it.
More information on wedding planners in Jackson Hole can be found on the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce website: jacksonholechamber.com
Location, Location, Location
Teton County (both Wyoming and Idaho) has more venues for weddings than we can count. And the astoundingly gorgeous and dramatic Teton Mountain Range can be the backdrop at most of the locations you can choose to exchange vows and/or to celebrate after the ceremony.
Classic Jackson Hole Venues
Let the Grand Teton bear witness to your vows from such sites as Grand Teton National Park’s Schwabacher’s Landing on the Snake River or the Signal Mountain Summit. Other classic sites are the Wedding Tree and Curtis Canyon Overlook in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the top of the Bridger-Teton Gondola (or the Aerial Tram) at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, (pictured above; photo: @davidstubbs) the summit of Snow King Mountain, Grand Targhee Mountain Resort (boasting enviable views of the other side of the Tetons) or Dornan’s which sits just inside the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park.
You might also consider a wedding and reception at the National Museum of Wildlife Art, situated on a dramatic cliff overlooking the expanse of the world-famous National Elk Refuge and Sheep Mountain, also known as “The Sleeping Indian.” Click here for more information.
Or how about getting joined in holy matrimony under the infamous elk antler arches in Jackson’s legendary Town Square? Obviously, your fête will probably be attended by uninvited members of the public, but the more the merrier, right? You can begin the planning process by contacting the Teton County Jackson Parks & Recreation Department to understand how to navigate reservations.
You could also become husband and wife at a hot springs! Astoria Hot Springs, just south of Jackson, provides a convenient setting in a beautiful log cabin along the Snake River and is also home to five hot spring-fed soaking pools, which you can reserve exclusively for your guests. For information on holding your ceremony and reception at Astoria, click here.
Resort Hotels, B&B’s
The Bentwood Inn in Wilson (WY), just outside of Jackson Hole, has a great reputation as a wedding venue with its romantic ambiance, cozy lodging and attention to detail. You can also rent a log cabin “mansion” that can act as a ceremony and reception site and also as a truly Western accommodation for your and your groom’s family.
Also located in Wilson is Trail Creek Ranch (pictured above; credit: @hannahhardawayphoto). If a smaller, rustic-inspired ceremony is what you have in mind, the ranch offers a three-day stay in one of its cabins tucked away into the mountains; there are also suites on site. Celebrate your special day in a historic barn that can accommodate up to 20 people. There are also other locations on the ranch if a larger affair is what you have in mind.
Some of the resort hotels in Jackson you may want to look into as both a wedding venue and reception spot are the Snow King Resort, featuring Teton and Snow King Mountain views aplenty; Amangani, which is nestled atop East Gros Ventre Butte; Spring Creek Ranch (also located on the butte); the brand new Cloudveil resort hotel just off Town Square; or the Four Seasons and Hotel Terra out in Teton Village.
Consider the intimacy of a wedding ceremony and reception at a B&B such as River Retreat Lodge, located in Swan Valley, Idaho, an hour's drive from Jackson. This off-the-beaten-track, boutique western B&B experience in a historic, large rustic log cabin features a new gazebo for vow exchanges. On the lawn in the back of the property is a large area for wedding receptions featuring a panorama of hillsides and mountains. The accommodations for wedding parties at River Retreat Lodge consist of six luxurious themed suites, named after local destinations/areas — Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Snake River, Palisades, Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole.
Country Clubs and Restaurants
Here are some Jackson Hole restaurants that can do triple-duty (as in rehearsal dinner venue, ceremony and/or reception): Palate at the National Museum of Wildlife Art (pictured above; credit: @Cedar & Pines Photography), Piste Mountain Bistro at the top of the Bridger-Teton Gondola at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park and The Bistro in the Cloudveil.
Any of the many ranches that dot the valley—all replete with the “are-you-kidding-me?” jaw-dropping views of the Tetons—will add to that special Old West touch you may seek. Ranches to consider include Moose Head Ranch (pictured below; credit: @booi_do) and Triangle X Ranch in Grand Teton National Park, Snake River Ranch in Wilson, just past Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and the Diamond Cross Ranch in Moran.
• Hire a wedding planner: lisamackevents
• Iconic wedding ceremony spot: Schwabacher’s Landing (pictured above credit: @madisonwebbphotography)
• Reception venue with Teton views: Snow King Resort
• Secure a photographer: madisonwebbphotography
• Traditional catering to food trucks:
• Local and organic flowers: jhflowerboutique
• Splurge on cake: buttercreamdesign
Before Or After Adventures To Plan
Create a long weekend (or even a week!) itinerary for your guests to partake of the many activities that the Jackson Hole area has to offer:
• Biking along the 67 miles of paved pathways through Jackson and Grand Teton National Park
• Touring Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks
• Renting ATV’s for exploring Bridger-Teton National Forest
• Jackson Hole Shooting Experience - This is one of Jackson Hole's most unique activities. The most popular pick is the 3-hour Multi-Gun Shooting Experience; no prior knowledge of firearms is required.
• Therapeutic floating at Healing Waters
• Playing at Snow King Mountain on the Alpine Slide, Cowboy Coaster, mini-golf course or taking a scenic gondola ride to the summit
• Taking a guided wildlife tour
Follow Us On Instagram
For more area, event and business information, plus gorgeous photos of Jackson Hole follow Jackson Hole Traveler on Instagram: instagram.com/jacksonholetraveler/