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AN IDAHO FIRE ENGINE WEDDING
Written by Kate Elgee
Photography by Kristin Cheatwood
Sun Valley has long been renowned for its “mountain town” personality and no couple has ever captured that better than Erin Bahoshy and Chris Brown when they tied the knot on August 27th, 2011. Bringing their own personalities and fun-loving spirits to a “casual but elegant” celebration, while keeping it classy like only those Californians can, the couple combined the rustic sense of Idaho beauty with the playfulness of a ski town—riding down Main Street in a fire truck, taking pre-wedding party “shot-skis” and passing out escort cards designed to look like Bald Mountain lift tickets.
Erin explained, “It was all about creating an atmosphere that was comfortable, welcoming and fun while staying true to ourselves, as well as staying true to Sun Valley.”
Erin, who grew up in the Wood River Valley, first met Chris at a friend’s birthday party in Palm Springs a week before her college graduation. “We both knew the attraction was immediate but never would have guessed that those feelings would grow into such a deep and unconditional love,” Erin remarked. After a romantic, starry-night proposal on the beaches of Italy, they immediately decided the wedding should be celebrated in one of their favorite places in the world—Sun Valley.
From Manhattan Beach, California, where Erin currently works as an MTV account executive and Chris as a firefighter/paramedic, they planned a destination weekend wedding for their friends and family in the Gem State. But being about 1,000 miles away from their nuptials location, they enlisted the expertise of long-time local wedding planner, Amanda Seaward. “I have never known a bride so focused on making everyone else happy. There were more personal touches in this wedding than I’ve ever seen before,” Amanda said.
Erin and Chris personally put together small welcome packages with Sun Valley shot glasses, mini bottles of tequila and personalized M&M’s. They hand-made cocktail and dinner menus, designed the save-the-date invitations themselves and passed out customized matchbooks, napkins and beer koozies stamped with their name and wedding date. “They are an incredibly caring couple. You could see it in all of the attention to detail, all of the effort they put in just to make their guests happy,” Amanda explained.
Together, with help from Sun Valley Company and family, they mapped out a Western-themed welcome party, cocktail hour and rehearsal dinner at The Kneadery, beer and burgers at the Grumpy’s patio and plenty of outdoor activities, including golfing, hiking, biking and fishing (and one BIG six-wheeled surprise).
The ceremony itself took place at Trail Creek Cabin following a cocktail reception on the grounds. A gray, yellow and cream color theme complemented the surrounding hills. “We wanted the natural beauty of Sun Valley to shine through,” Erin mentioned. With Baldy towering in the background, the bride walked down an aisle strewn with rose petals—bubbles and an acoustic version of Ben Harper’s “Forever” floating through the air. But the big surprise came when a bright red fire truck arrived, decorated and honking loudly—a surprise even for the groom.
“Erin planned the whole thing,” Amanda said, “and I have no idea what strings she pulled to do it!” The couple jumped aboard and was escorted in style through town, waving and cheering with “Just Married” smiles, to the reception party at River Run Lodge. “Not only was it both special and meaningful,” Erin noted, “but it also gave the two of us the opportunity to have a few minutes alone to relish in all that we just did.”
For the couple’s first dance, Erin’s father played the piano and sang his own version of “The First Day of My Life” by The Bright Eyes. They spent the night dancing to the rhythms of Kevin Misajon and were hoisted in chairs above the crowd while Chris grabbed the microphone to perform an impromptu version of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” Erin and Chris were two of the last people on the dance floor, singing and swaying arm in arm with all of their friends and family. “We wanted to be there until the end,” Erin explained. And they were.