Real Wedding: Ellie + Pete’s Stylish Ranch Wedding

A gorgeous ranch wedding can be ultra stylish and I think Ellie + Pete pulled off a lovely wedding that really does look like it could be pulled out of a Ralph Lauren Ad! :) Ellie + Pete were married at a gorgeous ranch right outside Park City, Utah last fall – the perfect time for gorgeous fall leaves (check out the second photo below!). I think my favorite detail from their wedding is the reception seating – they had a long table right in the middle of all the horse stalls! It just looked like the most fun dinner party! Ellie shared lots of great advice at the end of the post and I loved reading about their planning into the day, so thanks so much for sharing that with us Ellie! And big thanks to the always lovely + so talented Sarah Yates for letting me feature her gorgeous photos too!

barn wedding in salt lake city

From Ellie, “When we first got engaged, I like many other brides, started pulling pages out of bride magazines for inspiration. It wasn’ t long before a clear pattern started to emerge. Barns and DIY details. Which wasn’t surprising as my husband and I were both raised to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors (I’ m originally from Utah where I grew up skiing and he’ s originally from Oregon where he grew up working his family’ s hazelnut farm). Park City, nestled in the majestic Wasatch Mountains seemed like the perfect place for a destination wedding. It’ s got typical small town mountain charm as well as 360 degree beautiful landscapes and vistas. There was no doubt that I wanted the wedding to take place in the fall as that’ s when the yellow aspens start to peak. To me, there is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than their twinkling golden leaves in October. Even when I moved away from Utah, I would always come back in the fall for a fall leaves drive with my mom.

giant moss letters

rustic wedding bouquet

When we started looking at reception spots, we knew it was important to keep an open mind. We looked at everything from typical hotel banquet rooms, to ski lodges, to ranches. But, the minute we drove down the winding gravel road to Red Cliff Ranch, we knew we had a winner. It not only spoke to our mutual love for the outdoors, but also to our creativity and passion as individuals. It was unique and we knew we could really make it ours on our wedding day. Not to mention it looked like Ralph Lauren had designed the place himself. Think beautiful wood, polished steel, and tasteful ranch décor.

barn wedding couple

reception tables in horse stalls

barn wedding tables

It wasn’ t long before we had our wedding day plan in place. We would shuttle our guests in (with country music + champagne) from the church and immediately lead them to the round covered horse pen for hors doeuvres and drinks before dinner. We found a guitarist to provide music and we tied escort cards from twine hanging from the railings. Dinner would follow in the barn where there would be one long “ kings table” covered in candles and flower arrangements in alternating heights. Guests would sit on long benches and dinner (highlighting local fall flavors) would be served family style. Dancing would complete the night in the attached tent and of course, we would say our goodbyes after several gourmet smores (roast your own marshmallows!) surrounded by guests holding sparklers and riding away on the ranch’ s working tractor.

reception tables in the barn

horse shoes for table numbers

long family style dinner seating

rustic ranch decor

fall wedding cake with leaves

park city barn wedding

smores at wedding

Advice to Brides: Definitely look through bride magazines to see what catches your eye. If you decide to go off the beaten path and utilize a venue that doesn’ t typically host events, make sure you know what goes into making one happen. You might have to source everything from food, flowers, lighting, heating, restrooms, security, music, flooring, signage, power, and transportation. You will also need time to get all of those details together (don’ t recommend pulling it off in less than one year) and I highly recommend finding a local wedding coordinator who can keep everything straight, on time, and on budget. Meredith Parsons at Bluebird Events kept my whole family sane.

I also recommend really thinking about every detail and what it means to you. We put a lot of thought into our wedding invitations because we believed they would set the tone for the day. Olivia from Olive Route runs her own letterpress studio and helped us create a piece that we felt represented us as a couple and the festivities to follow on October 2nd, 2010. We choose gray and yellow inks for our invitation and a vintage western rope tied into a knot as our motif. Those details shaped our decisions as we pulled together the pieces that would make up the rest of our wedding day.

I constantly tried to put myself in the shoes of one of our guests. What would I see when I entered the church? When I pulled up to the ranch? When I was seated for dinner? If you go through the day step by step, it makes it easy to really create the day of your dreams.

At the end of the day I wouldn’ t have changed one thing, however that isn’ t to say you shouldn’ t be ready to roll with the punches (canceled band anyone?). As long as your dress still fits, your fiance shows up, and you have a kick ass photographer (Sarah Yates!) to capture the day, you’ re good to go. Enjoy the ride!

Thanks so much Ellie + Pete and best wishes to you both!!

Photography: Sarah Yates
Event Design + Production: Bluebird Event Destination Management
Floral Design: Decoration, Inc.
Catering: Culinary Crafts
Reception Venue : Red Cliff Ranch
Ceremony: St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park City
Invitations: Olive Route