Lizzy and Pat’s Fun Utah Nuptials
Lizzy Karp, a digital communications strategist and creative events planner, met Pat Kelly, a media content producer and coproducer of the comedic radio program This Is That, through a mutual friend in Toronto in 2007. Six years later, they were traveling in the south of France and had hopped on a train to Provence. Pat had schemed to pop the question, but the weather wasn’t cooperating. Every morning the pair woke up to rain. Then, while driving to Roussillon one night, they pulled over into a random vineyard to “watch the sunset.” Pat got on his knee in the mud and proposed. Lizzy said yes, and they headed back to Paris to celebrate.
The following summer, on August 30, 2014, the couple (who had moved to Vancouver) returned to Lizzy’s home state of Utah for what the bride describes as “a perfect afternoon in the American West, gathering friends and family in a playful, joyful celebration, under an open sky.” Showcasing the natural beauty and spirit of the area was a key part of the wedding, which was also inspired by a large dose of humor, the merging of two cultures (the groom is Canadian), and a dash of the movie Days of Heaven. The weekend kicked off with a welcome barbecue in Millcreek Canyon, followed by a rehearsal dinner and party at a whiskey distillery in Park City. Guests got to spend loads of time together and exploring the areas before the big event on Sunday.
Grace Partridge, a graphic designer and dear friend of the couple, created the invite. It featured custom lettering and the shape of Utah formed out of hand-drawn images inspired by the state’s landscape. Other illustrations (a beehive, a whiskey bottle, a lucky horseshoe, antlers, and the ranch’s barn) were printed on paper and turned into a strand of bunting flags. “So many of our guests sent us photos of where the bunting was hanging in their homes,” Lizzy says of the suite.
Nestled in the Heber Valley of Utah, Red Cliff Ranch offered the facilities needed for the celebration and the landscapes that provided a magical backdrop.
Pat and a talented designer pal painted signs. The inspiration came from Toronto department store Honest Ed’s, which is known for its quirky, hand-drawn signage. A combo of red, yellow, and blue carried over from the stationery.
The Bridal Bouquet
Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral created the event’s floral elements, which were comprised of mostly ivory flowers and a mélange of greenery. Lizzy’s bouquet included hellebores, champagne roses, patience garden roses, honeysuckle vine, snow-on-the-mountain, snowberry, pieris, and white delphinium.
Lizzy and Pat opted to do a first look, and much of their portraits and family photos, prior to walking down the aisle. They took photos around the ranch, in the field, and in front of some of the property’s historic buildings.
Just Us Girls
Here, the bride pauses for a photo with her mother, Jody, and sister, Emily. Lizzy’s sister served as the sole member of her bridal party. There were many friends and family members helping with details and celebrations throughout the engagement, but the bride and groom opted to keep the bridal party itself to just siblings.
Pat was joined by his best man (and brother), Ryan, ring bearer (and nephew), Russ, and his father, Doug, for some portraits.
The Maid of Honor’s Bouquet
Lizzy’s sister carried a smaller version of the bride’s bouquet, comprised of pieris, hellebores, champagne roses, patience garden roses, snow-on-the-mountain, snowberry, and white delphinium. It popped against her gray Amsale gown.
A Little Fall of Rain
“Like a scene from a movie, the morning was unusually cool, cloudy, and rainy for August—reminding us of our Vancouver weather,” Lizzy says. As they took photos, the clouds started to break up (and an umbrella made for a useful prop beforehand). The sun came out just moments before the ceremony, making for a perfectly warm afternoon.
A Witty Welcome
Another hands-on craft greeted all 125 guests as they arrived at the ceremony location following a short shuttle ride from Park City. Hollow cardboard letters spelling out “Let’s Do This” were covered with gold, glittery paint and then hot-glued to sturdy blue ribbon before being hung between a birch tree and a lantern.
With help from Collage Collage and Grace Partridge, and inspired by fans seen at other weddings, Lizzy and Pat set out to create programs that could keep people cool during their outdoor summer ceremony. They chose a handful of sayings that they use all the time to print on one side and outlined the program on the other. They glued the pages together with a large Popsicle stick between.
The ceremony took place in a field, with an aisle lined with white delphinium, Russian sage plants, and locally foraged wild grasses. “A Girl Like You” by The Troggs played as Pat walked down the aisle, high-fiving guests along the way. Lizzy chose “Kenaston” by Gonzales for the song to accompany her and her father to the altar.
Lizzy and Pat worked closely with their officiant (a chaplain at the same children’s hospital at which Lizzy’s parents met while working) to create a meaningful service, with room for laughter and lots of joy. Two childhood friends read the poem “A Blessing for Wedding” by Jane Hirshfield, the couple exchanged vows they’d written, and after the big kiss they walked back up the aisle as George Harrison’s “What Is Life” played. “Music was so important to us,” Lizzy says. “We worked with a great DJ who let us make custom playlists for each part of the day, including the ceremony.”
The Ring Box
A Picturesque View
“Utah is known for its gorgeous red rock, and the most memorable feature of the Red Cliff Ranch property is, well, the red cliff,” Lizzy says. Following the ceremony, guests walked through a forested path, past the rock, down to the cocktail hour and reception.
Burrito the donkey was just one of the animals guests got to visit during the soirée. The venue also boasts horses, sheep, bulls, cows, and geese. As dog lovers, Lizzy and Pat were happy to have the ranch dogs join them during cocktail hour too.
Guests sipped on High West whiskey—a locally crafted libation—and a signature cocktail dubbed the 588A, after Pat’s apartment number in Toronto, where the couple met. The specialty drink was a mix of lemonade and the whiskey. Pizza was made in large smokers, and fresh fruit was also served.
All Together Now
Photographer Erin Kate climbed up the hill in front of the barn before dinner to snap a photo of the newlyweds and all of the attendees.
The Seating Display
Blank vintage library cards from the CBC archive (a nod to the groom’s work at the national public broadcaster) were used to outline seating assignments.
“We are lucky to have so many comically minded friends—and our emcees, Peter Oldring and Chris Kelly, are two of the funniest,” Lizzy says. This duo (who are Pat’s close friends and collaborators on his radio show) surprised the bride and groom with matching cowboy outfits and shared jokes and an original song during the reception. “They had everyone in stitches,” Lizzy adds.
A few long tables were combined to form one continuous table, seating 80 guests in the center of the barn. A chandelier of smilax and hops hung overhead, below swags of bistro bulbs.
The Reception Tables
The long tables were finished off with a trailing garland of olive branches and silver dollar eucalyptus.
The Table Décor
Brass candlesticks holding tapers, small arrangements of flowers, and hand-drawn name tags created by Allison Cornu completed the look of the tables.
Lori Tolbert Catering prepared a feast made with farmers’ market vegetables, local trout and beef, and homemade bread. The beers were local, too.
Instead of toasts, friends and family told one-liner jokes to get the newlyweds to kiss, and as a hat tip to the coming together of Canadian and American families, everyone sang both countries’ national anthems at dinner.
In the Round
Additional round tables were set up in the horse stables.
All in the Family
To honor family members who couldn’t be at the wedding, Lizzy and Pat set out photos of their loved ones, adding flags to each noting who was shown in the picture. A custom pennant with the pair’s names on it (made by Melting Plastic) anchored the display (and now hangs over the newlyweds’ bed).
The First Dance
The newlyweds chose the Mamas & the Papas’ version of The Beach Boys’ “Do You Wanna Dance” for their first dance song. The dancing continued with a mix of ’60s soul music, ’70s classic rock songs, and other favorites.
Later on, there was dancing under the stars and a round horse paddock adorned with lights and greenery. Fire pits were ignited, with hay bales surrounding them for seating. Guests sipped whiskey and told stories as the night continued.
A sweet and simple vanilla and berry cake from Le Loup was cut, and a selection of the couple’s favorite summer treats (fruit pies and crumbles made with local peaches, berries, and apples) were served.