This Couple Mixed the Mountains with Elegant Glamour at Their Micro Wedding in Utah
Every summer for four years, Leanne Massey and Steven White enjoyed a trip to Italy, falling deeper in awe with its landscapes, people, and culture each time. "We knew that when we did eventually marry, it would be in northern Italy," says Leanne. After a romantic proposal atop a snowy Aspen mountain was joyfully accepted, the couple started researching villas, vendors, and itineraries for a wedding in Lake Como. "But right as we were about to dive in deep, Italy went into a complete shutdown—and then the world as we knew it fell upside down," says Leanne of the onset of the pandemic. The couple switched gears, planning an alternate event stateside, but it eventually became clear that a large celebration was not to be. "As much as we wanted the big party we had envisioned with 120 of our family members and friends, we knew it was more important for us to start our life together as a family," says the bride.
Pivoting to a micro wedding, the pair hired event planner and designer Beth Helmstetter ("Best decision ever!" says Leanne). Together, they toured different venues across California, Wyoming, and South Carolina before circling back to a property in Utah the couple had visited the year before. "We'd stayed at The Lodge at Blue Sky when it first opened in July 2019, and it was so majestic and serene to us," Leanne says. "While we were having dinner the last night of that first visit, I told Steven I envisioned us getting married there, even though we still had Italy stamped in our minds. It was like it was written in the stars for us."
Likening their vision to a cozy, romantic dinner party filled with warmth, the pair sent an inspiration board over to Beth and her team and let the professionals' creativity run. "Putting it together in such a short amount of time and seeing it come to life better than we could have ever imagined was nothing short of magic!" enthuses the bride of the beautiful wedding that was planned and executed in just seven weeks. A close friend agreed to officiate the ceremony, and a small group of 21 guests welcomed the opportunity to celebrate the couple on their big day.
Even the weather cooperated. "It rained all morning before clearing up around 30 minutes before our first look, which we pushed back until right before the ceremony," says Leanne. "Then the clouds literally parted and completely disappeared for the remainder of the day." The alpine overlook—where the vow exchange took place—was perfectly dry when the bride walked down the aisle, and the scenery was stunning after the refreshing rainfall. The bride admits that wedding planning can be stressful if you let it—"and adding a pandemic into the mix amplifies that stress tenfold," she says. "Stay focused on the fact that you are marrying the love of your life. At the end of the day, what really matters is the sacred bond of choosing to spend your lives together."
Dining in Style
A floral-patterned tablecloth set the scene for a delightful gathering for the couple and their guests. Plush monogrammed blankets draped over chair backs and strings of warm lighting overhead added a sense of coziness.
Light and Airy
Small bowls of fresh figs were strategically placed in between the airy floral arrangements that ran the length of the dinner table.
At First Sight
Embroidered with three-dimensional flowers in pale shades of blush and ivory, Leanne's wedding dress spoke to the natural surroundings. "I had been eyeing it for a while after seeing it on Galia Lahav's Instagram," she says. "Then there was a trunk show, so I went with my sister Lea. She had seen me try on at least a dozen other dresses, but when I put on this one, she instantly started crying. It felt like 'the one' the moment I put it on, and my sister's tears only further solidified it."
A Beautiful Surprise
Leanne gave her floral designer, Sarah Winward, carte blanche with her bouquet, a lovely mix of neutral florals and interesting textures. "She most certainly did not disappoint!" says the bride. "I would describe the composition as romantic, wild, and free."
A Modern Look
The pair shared their first look surrounded by autumn foliage on one of The Lodge at Blue Sky's picturesque pathways. "The moment leading up to it was filled with so much emotion and butterflies," says Leanne, "but the minute we locked eyes a sense of calmness and overwhelming joy took over. We both had to try hard to hold back the waterworks—I was an inch away from having a total makeup malfunction!"
A Floral Fantasy
A magnificent hydrangea-dotted arch was the focal point of the mountaintop ceremony.
Lined with Blooms
Wooden benches, which served as seating, were lined with a lush installation of flowers in soft shades of blush, butter, and white.
Leanne and Steven exchanged traditional vows against a scenic backdrop of hills and valleys. "The emotion and elation we both felt immediately after was one of the highlights of the day," says Leanne.
An Ecstatic Exit
The couple joyfully recessed up the aisle to the sounds of a string trio.
A Stolen Moment
While their guests enjoyed hot toddies and light bites at the cocktail hour, the pair took some time alone to drink in their new status as husband and wife.
An Elegant Entryway
The entrance to the couple's tented reception was embellished with candles, flowers, and two tall, graceful trees.
A Delightful Sight
Inside, attendees were greeted with tables draped in embroidered linens; they coordinated flawlessly with cushioned chairs constructed of pale wood. Garlands of greenery added a touch of freshness overhead while delicate strands of lights infused the space with a subtle glow.
Bowls of deep purple figs dotted the tablescape—a nod to the rehearsal dinner's décor—where place settings of two-toned china were topped with linen napkins and sophisticated menu cards. Colorful roses and ranunculus blossoms composed the floral arrangements, introducing richer hues to the event design.
On the Bar
An explosion of pink blooms brought a cheerful pop of color to the bar.
The couple's buttercream-frosted wedding cake featured pretty flecks of gold and fresh roses.
A Sentimental Song Choice
Leanne and Steven chose "Prayed for You" by country music artist Matt Stell for their first dance. "We both loved the song, and for me it felt very on the dial," says the bride. "I spent years praying I'd meet someone I felt confident I wanted to create a family with and grow old alongside."
A Spectacular Surprise
Wanting to do something special for her groom, Leanne arranged to have Matt himself—in the flesh!—appear in the middle of their song. "They played our song for 30 seconds and then it stopped," says the bride, "and Matt immediately came in. It was perfect and Steven was blown-away surprised! Seeing his excitement, joy, and emotions take hold was a special moment I will cherish forever."
A Special Serenade
Matt took his commitment to perform for the couple seriously, going to great lengths to make it to the reception. "He was flying in that day from Aspen, Colorado," explains Leanne, "and his flight ended up getting repeatedly delayed before being cancelled. He left the airport where his luggage was still being held and rented a car to drive six-plus hours to arrive in time." A member of Beth's team drove to Park City to buy an outfit for the artist, and his performance was an absolute highpoint of the night.
A Celebratory Concert
After the surprise, Matt led everyone out of the tent to a charming gathering area outside of The Tavern, the vintage cabin that serves as an outpost saloon on Blue Sky's property. "He performed a few more songs and then [country music artist] Tyler Rich came out to perform for 45 minutes," says Leanne. "It was a perfect, intimate concert filled with laughs, love, way too much whiskey, and incredible music."
Photography, Ryan Ray
Venue and Catering, The Lodge at Blue Sky
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Beth Helmstetter Events
Videography, Ryan Hinman
Flowers, Sarah Winward
Officiant, Miles McMullin
Bride's Rehearsal Dinner Jumpsuit, NBD
Bride's Gown, Galia Lahav
Veil, Galia Lahav
Jewelry, Ring Concierge
Hair, Stephanie Brinkerhoff
Groom's Attire, Tom Ford
Groom's Shoes, Christian Louboutin
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Ring Concierge
Music, Tribeca Ensemble (ceremony); Matt Stell (reception and concert); Tyler Rich (concert)
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