Planning a Sun Valley Wedding
Kat Morse and Brad Stansberry
Kat Morse & Brad Stansberry
March 24th, 2012
The Sun Valley Club and River Run Lodge
In the perfect Sun Valley winter setting, locals Kat Morse and Brad Stansberry wed surrounded by everyone they love and with tons of extra fake moustaches. This couple, who met in one of Ketchum's favorite bars and got engaged on a frozen pond in Stanley, Idaho, celebrated in a ceremony and reception that perfectly reflected their laid back and fun-loving personalities. As an event planner for Sun Valley Resort, Kat, with the great help of a local florist and wedding planner, made sure their wedding was full of special touches, with delicious food and an epically romantic setting.
HOW DID YOU CHOSE THIS LOCATION?
Sun Valley is such an important place to both Brad and I, we could not have imagined getting married anywhere else in the world. It was an easy choice to use two of Sun Valley Resort’s amazing winter venues, not only because I have worked at the Resort for many years, but also because they are so incredibly beautiful and unique. We didn’t want to get married in a church, so the entrance Sun Valley Club was an amazing winter alternative. Our reception at River Run highlighted the gorgeous mountain setting and Idaho charm.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
We are both originally from Newport Beach, California, but Brad moved to Sun Valley when he was ten, and I moved here after college.
I am the Director of Catering at the Sun Valley Resort. Brad is a fifth grade teacher at Hemingway Elementary.
HOW DID YOU MEET?
We lived in the same building, but we officially met on the Roosevelt Grille roof.
HOW DID YOU GET ENGAGED?
Brad planned a romantic weekend in Stanley for my birthday last year. He ended up proposing on the outdoor ice skating rink at sunset. It was perfect.
NUMBER OF GUESTS?
WHAT WAS YOUR WEDDING THEME? COLOR PALETTE?
Both venues are beautiful on their own, so we just tried to accent parts of our personality and compliment the gorgeous setting. Our main colors were purple, emerald green and orange, which sound very strange, but looked awesome together. We had simple white tablecloths with a burlap runner and a natural napkin tied with purple ribbon. Our florist, Tara Ooms used a gorgeous mix of flowers focusing on orange and purple tulips in three arrangements on each table.
SONG THAT YOU WALKED DOWN THE AISLE TO?
“Legends of the Fall.”
SONG FOR YOUR FIRST DANCE?
Jack Johnson’s “Better Together.”
HOW DID THE NIGHT END?
The night ended with pizza and hot toddies.
WHAT MADE YOUR WEDDING SO SPECIAL?
Absolutely everything! Our officiant helped make our ceremony incredibly personal by encouraging us to write our own vows as well as additional “words for each other,” which we shared for the first time during the ceremony. I was also completely blown away by our flowers. Tara did such an amazing job with the arrangements, lanterns, candles and table décor! It was even more beautiful than I could have imagined. I was also lucky enough to know and love almost every person involved in the wedding.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT?
Kat’s favorite moment was walking back down the aisle as a married couple at the end of the ceremony. It felt so amazing to be surrounded by everyone we love so much. Brad’s favorite moment was when he walked around the corner of the Opera House and saw Kat for the first time during our reveal.
HOW DID YOU DECIDE YOUR MENU? WHAT WAS IT?
I knew from the beginning that I did not want to do a plated dinner. While it is more traditional and formal, a plated dinner can create additional work and planning with entrée selection on the RSVPs and place cards. A buffet, on the other hand, allowed us to provide a wide selection of entrees and menu items without asking our guests to make their selections ahead of time. Following delicious Sun Valley passed appetizers, we had a buffet, a selection of desserts and of course, signature drinks.
Sun Valley Tradition Buffet:
Homemade Rustic Rolls, Northwest Cheese Display, Fresh Fruit Platter, Mixed Green & Arugula Salad, Spinach & Wild Mushroom Salad, Roasted Rosemary Chicken, Braided Salmon with a Whole Grain Mustard Beurre Blanc, Braised Beef Short Ribs in a Pinot Noir Jus, Fresh Seasonal Vegetables, Truffle Mac & Cheese, and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes.
Assorted Sweets including Red Velvet Cupcakes, Chocolate Éclairs, Mini Fruit Tarts, Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Double Fudge Brownies. Ice Cream Sundae Station with Mint Chip & Vanilla Ice Creams, Hot Fudge and Assorted Toppings. And a Candy Bar!
Jalapeno Margarita & Tall Boys of Rainier
Brad made the two large chalkboards for our seating assignments out of plywood, and my talented sister did all of the writing and decorations on them. One of my mother’s friends also made our burlap runners, which saved us money and helped achieve the look that we wanted. For our guest favors, we purchased really fun mustaches/lips/glasses on sticks and placed one at each setting. I think that favors are often left behind after a wedding, so we wanted to get something fun that people would use during the wedding.
The biggest challenge for me was taking time to focus on my wedding. Fortunately, I was surrounded by amazing people that made my vision come to life. I don’t know what I would have done without the amazing staff at Sun Valley, Marcia, Amanda and Tara.
TIPS FOR SOMEONE PLANNING A SUN VALLEY WEDDING?
Even though I plan events for a living, I cannot imagine planning a wedding without a wedding planner. I think a lot of brides think that they are going to be able to do it all on their own, but there are so many details involved in the planning process as well as the event execution that it can quickly become overwhelming. Having an outside wedding planner made my life so much easier and less stressful.
WEDDING PLANNER: Amanda Seaward
FLOWERS: Tara Bella Flowers
LINENS: Barbara’s Party Rentals
HAIR/MAKEUP: Jamilynn Smith from Vertu Hairdressing
DRESS/SHOES: Alvina Valenta (Dress) and Badgley Mischka (shoes)
GROOMS ATTIRE: J.Crew (suit) and Brooks Brothers (tie)
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES/GROOMSMEN: Saja (Maid of Honor)
MUSIC: Castle Rock Strings (Ceremony) and DJ Lenny Joseph (Reception)
FOOD: Sun Valley Resort
DESSERT: Sun Valley Resort
INVITES: Charlotte and Chatham Baker
PHOTOGRAPHER: Craig Wolfrom
VIDEOGRAPHER: Meredith Richardson
OFFICIANT: Marcia Mode-Stavros