A Rehearsal Dinner on a Ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

rehearsal dinner couple pose in grass area
Carrie Patterson Photography

After exchanging phone numbers during their first meeting at a fundraiser in Houston, Texas, in 2015, Jourdan and Holt were smitten—they started dating the next week. "After four consecutive dinners in a row," says Holt, "I had a feeling this was going to be something special." He proposed less than two years later during a private dinner at the couple's favorite Cabo resort, and the pair began planning a destination wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "We both loved the idea of a destination wedding as we knew it would allow us to keep it more private and only invite our closest friends and family," says Holt.

They chose Jackson Hole for sentimental reasons: Jourdan was two weeks into a cross-country bicycle ride fundraiser in 2016—and very homesick—when she paused there for a weekend and Holt surprised her with a visit. "It was a wonderful two days exploring the city and we quickly fell in love with it," she says. "When it came time to select a wedding location, nothing else seemed right."

Jourdan and Holt began their wedding weekend with a rehearsal dinner for 150 guests at Snake River Ranch. They requested a dress code of "ranch chic"—think cowboy boots, flowing skirts, and wildflower accessories—and treated guests to a whiskey bar, a bluegrass band performance, and an evening of laughter and tears with toasts from their friends and family. "We laughed and cried happy tears the entire evening," says Jourdan. "It was a perfect transition for the wedding to come."

01 of 19

In Bloom

rehearsal dress embroidered flowers
Carrie Patterson Photography

Jourdan's rehearsal dress was one of three gowns she designed for the weekend with Dallas-based company Nardos Design. This "light and airy" dress previewed her wedding dress without departing from the event's theme. "There were beautiful embroidered flowers along the overlay of the dress," she says. "These flowers were similar to the ones I would wear the following day."

02 of 19

A Stylish Couple

bride groom walking in wooded grass area
Carrie Patterson Photography

Jourdan finished her look with a fur shawl she donned after sunset and an early something borrowed: Diamond hoops and a bracelet on loan from her sister. Holt wore tan pants and a blue plaid jacket from Hickey Freeman with a David Donahue shirt and Lucchese crocodile boots.

03 of 19

The Great Outdoors

couple under barn doorway
Carrie Patterson Photography

Jourdan and Holt chose Snake River Ranch's Gray Barn as the site for the rehearsal dinner, which took place in an outdoor tent. "After guests traveled by horse and wagon, they walked through the barn to officially begin the night," says Holt. "The venue offered an incredible landscape backdrop, allowing guests to get a genuine Wyoming experience."

04 of 19

On Target

target arrow seating assignments
Carrie Patterson Photography

After guests walked through the lofty barn, they paused to find their name and seating assignment on an arrow stuck in a bullseye. "We wanted an interactive way for guests to find their seats," says Jourdan. "This was a great icebreaker for guests to meet one another and get settled for the night ahead."

05 of 19

A Reflection of Him

rehearsal dinner tent cover with wooden floor
Carrie Patterson Photography

The rehearsal dinner tent included a wooden floor that extended out past its edges, creating a porch that guests used during the cocktail hour and after dinner. "We wanted the rehearsal dinner to be a reflection of Holt, as the wedding would be more feminine," says Jourdan. They used antlers, feathers, hunting accents, and a "warm and masculine" color palette to represent the groom in the evening's décor.

06 of 19

Inside, Out

outdoor lounge guest sitting area
Carrie Patterson Photography

Outdoor lounges allowed guests to claim comfortable seating during the cocktail hour (and after dinner, during a second round of dessert and cigars). "The furniture was a fun way to bring in more Wyoming elements," says Jourdan. "We included leather, suede, and buffalo check prints. Cow hide rugs were a great complement to the wood floors, and colorful blankets brought the entire look together."

07 of 19

Small Bites

hors d'ouerves on wooden trays custom cocktail napkins
Carrie Patterson Photography

Passed hors d'ouerves on wooden trays included marinated elk satay, seared duck breast, masa-dusted lump crab cakes, and steelhead and smoked salmon tartare. Custom cocktail napkins with the couple's names also kept the wedding countdown front and center with a design reading "24 hours and counting."

08 of 19

Drink Up

bourbon bar wood sign menu next to white flowers
Carrie Patterson Photography

During the cocktail hour, guests chose between the bride's custom drink, an Earl Gray and lavender concoction called "The Gray Barn," and the groom's favorite spirits, including Wyoming Whiskey, Basil Hayden, Maker's Mark, Woodford Reserve, and Buffalo Trace. "A whiskey bar was included on the porch to highlight Holt's favorite whiskeys, cigars, and jerky," says Jourdan. "So Holt."

09 of 19

On the Hunt

custom blue napkins the hunt is over text
Carrie Patterson Photography

Other custom napkins reading "The Hunt Is Over" were part of the couple's efforts to highlight Holt's personality. "One of Holt's greatest hobbies is hunting," says Jourdan, "so this was a fun pun!"

10 of 19

Local Tunes

wedding band playing next to barn
Carrie Patterson Photography

Jourdan and Holt asked bluegrass band PTO to provide music for the party. "Holt and I are both fans and their music screams Jackson Hole," says Jourdan. "It was upbeat and perfect for setting the mood of evening."

11 of 19

Band of Horses

grass field band of horses
Carrie Patterson Photography

As the cocktail hour ended and guests moved to their seats, they were treated to an unexpected sight: Dozens of horses crossing the pasture on the opposite side of a gate that enclosed the tent. "It was incredibly moving and beautiful," says Jourdan. "Holt and I stood out watching the horses as the Teton mountains stood in the background. It was a moment we will cherish forever."

12 of 19

Grass Act

rehearsal dinner tables overhead pampas grass installation
Carrie Patterson Photography

The couple left the wooden dinner tables bare, except for blue and tan suede table runners. Overhead pampas grass installations by Fleur de V Events incorporated a "masculine feel," says Jourdan. "We wanted the night to resemble Holt, which meant we needed to be creative with our floral options! The pampas grass was a great filler while not sacrificing beauty."

13 of 19

Flora and Fauna

moose shaped table number with floral arrangement
Carrie Patterson Photography

Other floral elements included dusty roses and wildflowers, giving the table a natural, country feel. Moose-shaped table numbers were a nod to the local wildlife found in Wyoming.

14 of 19

Taking Notes

rehearsal dinner table setting
Carrie Patterson Photography

Rustic chargers, gold-edged plates, and colored glassware rented from Canvas Unlimited added a variety of textures and materials to each place setting—but the couple's favorite tabletop element was the folded book labeled "Field Notes" on each plate. Inside, it listed the menu options—but also left space for guests to write a note to the bride and groom. "We loved receiving these booklets after the wedding and reading sweet messages from our loved ones," says Jourdan.

15 of 19

On the Menu

rehearsal dinner toast with wine
Carrie Patterson Photography

A family-style meal from Bistro Catering included appetizers of stuffed squash blossoms and beet salad; main courses of seared elk tenderloin and pheasant; and sides of wild rice and swiss chard.

16 of 19

Raise a Glass

rehearsal dinner couple laugh
Carrie Patterson Photography

The highlight of the evening, says the couple, were the multiple toasts from their friends and family. "Each speech was very meaningful to us," says Jourdan. "We laughed and cried happy tears the entire evening!" Each of Jourdan and Holt's siblings spoke, along with the maid of honor and the best man.

17 of 19

Parental Guidance

parents pose together in grass area
Carrie Patterson Photography

Holt's parents, who hosted the event, also offered some words of wisdom: "Always keep your landings equal to your takeoffs."

18 of 19

Sweet Stuff

gluten free mason jar dessert coconut cream pie strawberry shortcake
Carrie Patterson Photography

Instead of a full cake, the couple served gluten free desserts in mini mason jars, offering coconut cream pie and strawberry buttermilk shortcake. After sunset and the toasts, they brought out a selection of ice cream sandwiches for guests to enjoy on the porch before heading home to get ready to continue the festivities the next day.

19 of 19


bride groom kiss at dinner
Carrie Patterson Photography

Photography, Carrie Patterson Photography

Venue, Snake River Ranch

Event planning, Emily Clarke Events

Florals, Fleur de V Events

Catering, Bistro Catering

Videography, 31 Films

Stationery, The Detail Department

Calligraphy, The Left Handed Calligrapher

Music, PTO Bluegrass Band

Rentals, Canvas Unlimited; Perch Event Décor; Prop & Gild; Sperry Tents

Bride's gown, Nardos Design

Hair, Christopher Michael

Makeup, Tanya Crocker

Menswear, David Donahue (shirt), Hickey Freeman (jacket and pants)

Groom's boots, Lucchese

Lighting, Sperry Tents

Transportation, A Black Car Service; Teton Wagon Train

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