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The Perfect Winter Wedding

Genevieve Cortese & Jared Padalecki

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Thanks to Sturges (and the weather), high hopes became reality. With 150 guests, this wedding was a medium-sized affair for Sturges. But Sturges has planned everything from giant weddings to casual little elopement parties, and she’s worked on events with some big stars with even bigger egos. But not this couple.

 Sturges kept the programs clean and white with monograms and a simple snowflake; Cortese’s bridesmaids follow as she reveals her stunning Bagdley Mischka heels; Something new—Cortese’s Monique Lhuillier dress; The newlyweds’ first dance; Padelecki keeps his bride warm.


Working with her “amazing staff” and other Sun Valley experts, Sturges coordinated everything from invitations and menus designed by Butterfly Design’s Michelle Juliet Castle, to details on place settings and transportation. The cake was from Cristina’s in Ketchum. Music was provided by the James Gang band. Kirsten Shultz, the consummately professional photographer, created her usual exquisite images.

Winter weddings are a smart idea, Sturges said, because rentals are more available and arrangements are easier. She and Cortese chose The Valley Club, the picturesque mid-Valley golf and country club. The ceremony was in a clear tent on The Valley Club’s terrace while a second tent held the band and “cigar smokers.” Sturges, whose mother owns the fashionable home-furnishings store, Bellissimo, in Sun Valley, has been around interiors her entire life, she said, so she had no trouble picking the elegant table settings and linens for the couple. “They were so happy and I tried to make it low stress and easy for them,” she said.

But the final and crucial detail was a “big surprise” for the couple, Sturges said.

And a happy one. Cortese had wanted a white wedding, but December had been unseasonably dry. Toward the holidays, a Pacific storm lined up and the bride was hopeful.

“Being from Sun Valley, I was really hoping the snow reports were true,” Cortese said. “I was doing my best snow dance to the gods. It was clear the entire week and even on the morning of our wedding day, and then—Bam!—right around 4:30 the snow began to fall. So we consider it good luck and a blessing! It was definitely a white wedding.”

Since she and the groom are “HUGE foodies,” they were also well-pleased with the plated dinners of steak or halibut prepared by The Valley Club’s chef, Mike Diem. “We’ve lived all over and travelled the world. The service and attention at The Valley Club is unbeatable,” she said, and the food was “fantastic.”

Groom and groomsmen pose in the scenic Valley landscape.


The wedding party included guests from all over the country, “a third local, a third Texan and a third from all our walks of life, including L.A. and New York City,” the bride said.

The gown and bridesmaids dresses were designed by Monique Lhuillier. The gown featured the designer’s hallmark lacework with a skirt that “looked like snow billowed out from the bottom,” the bride said. The bridesmaids wore draped navy blue dresses.
The couple was married by the bride’s grandfather, Ron VandenBerghe, from California, and a special song was written and played for them by musician Brian Buckley of the Brian Buckley Band.

Padalecki proved more traditional than Cortese: “He wanted our pictures taken after we were married. It was really important to him to NOT see me in my dress,” Cortese said.

And Padalecki had already scored considerable points with her family by calling her stepfather and her two brothers to ask for her hand. The two were in New York, her mother said, and Padalecki suggested a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a place they had frequented. There, in front of their favorite painting, “Joan of Arc,” painted in 1879 by French realist Jules Bastien-Lepage, he proposed. “We knew it was happening and were just waiting for the call,” Batt recalled.

And thus, Cortese in her lacy gown and Padalecki with his inimitable dimples, met to get married in Sun Valley. She was walked down the aisle by her stepfather Jeffrey Batt, and her brother, John Cortese. Outside, a steady snow was falling.

The couple has homes in Los Angeles and Vancouver, where his series is filmed. It seems they are surrounded by gorgeous mountains at all times. Once the Sun Valley wedding was complete, they finished preparations for an even more mountainous honeymoon: trading their bridal finery for hiking boots and sunscreen for a 10-day trek to Machu Picchu in Peru. Looking into the past at those awesome ruins, the future seemed awfully bright to this young couple, poised to take on the world.


All photos are property of Kirsten Shultz and may not be copied, reproduced or distributed in any manner not pre-approved by the photographer.


Sun Valley Magazine encourages its readers to post thoughtful and respectful comments on all of our online stories. Your comments may be edited for length and language.

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Comments, page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4  ··· 6 Next »
Jun 14, 2010 10:15 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I wish both all the happiness in the world! They look stunning and yes, so in love. It's just beautiful to see.

I wish there would be one place where the Supernatural fandom would show some class, but no. The few crazy ones are giving everybody a bad name and I am ashamed.

Forgive the insane part of the fans, Jared and Gen!
All the best to you!

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Jun 14, 2010 11:15 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Jared and Genevieve look beautiful and so much in love.

I wish them a long, happy. loving life together as do all true fans who wish them well. The others with their hateful comments are just very sad people. I feel so sorry for those pathetic losers.

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 11:37 am
 Posted by  270583

They are so much in love and happy. I wish to them never lost these feelings:)))

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Jun 14, 2010 12:29 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

When I saw the first pictures of Genevieve that were released to the press as the new actress playing Ruby on Supernatural, I looked at her and the first thing that came to me was 'oh look there's Jared's wife'. I've had similar premonitions about these kinds of things before about people becoming perfectly matched couples. As I look at the love shining out from these wedding photos, now it seems I was right about Jared and Genevieve too.

All the best to the happy and loving couple. May God's light and blessings always be with this union of two people so much in love.

Congratulations Jared and Genevieve Padalecki!

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 12:38 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Everything about this wedding looked beautiful. It was elegant and yet cosy at the same time. All the photos are beautiful as well.

Love Genevieve's dress and shoes and earrings. Jared in that one solo photo with his dimples in full force looks stunningly handsome.

All the fans who truly love you wish the best in your love and life together.

Congratulations, Jared and Genevieve.

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 01:06 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Congrats to the happy couple!! Beautiful photos. My husband and I Had a more intimate wedding at a small resort in Victoria, BC, Canada. Love the idea!

Charlotte Kinzie

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 01:51 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I love this couple! Jared and Gen are very nice and down to earth people! I wish them happiness forever and ever!!

Thank you for the pictures, they are very beautiful.

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 02:12 pm
 Posted by  nobodysbaby

How incredibly beautiful this wedding was! Gen's dress was perfect for her, beautiful girl in a beautiful gown!

Sun Valley is beautiful, I would choose a white wedding myself in such an incredibly beautiful part of our world...I happen to love Idaho, the Tetons, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone & all the surrounding area.

My best to this loving & adorable couple for a lifetime together! Thank you for this article & the photos, I cried through them as if I was in personal attendance!

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 02:46 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

The picture of Genvieve looking at her father arm-in-arm is really making me cry, it's so beautiful. Congratulations to Jared and Genvieve, may you have long and happy lives together.

This has been flagged
Jun 14, 2010 03:03 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Beautiful article about a beautiful couple. Congratulations to Jared & Genevieve

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