National Park Wedding

After falling in love in one national park and then getting engaged in another national park, it seemed fitting for us to want to get married in a national park.  Steve and I have visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks the previous year and loved it there! And so, we started investigating the options, costs, and logistics for a wedding across the country and in a national park!

We started planning this wedding in 2003. Mind you, the first iphone came out in 2007. So while we used websites and the internet, we still had to make lots of phone calls, snail mail, and even use the fax machine! (We really aren’t that old, but this sounds old thinking about the technology changes!) Check out my huge planning binder!

 

Wedding magazines helped a lot with ideas and planning suggestions for destination weddings. I remember finding one issue of Martha Stewart Wedding that had a a western-style wedding in it. That wedding incorporated their own western looks into a beautiful wedding. It definitely inspired me to add our own touches to our wedding.

For our wedding, we wanted a mix of a formal wedding, yet set in the national park.  We wanted the wedding to reflect us!

For our attire, we wore a formal wedding dress and tuxedos, but had photos done outside by this famous barn (T.A. Moulton Barn) and at the log chapel (Chapel of the Transfiguration). My dress ended up with some grass stains on the bottom, but didn’t care at all!

S K barn laughing

chapel

We rode a bus as our transportation to photos, the chapel, and back to the lodge.

getting on the busjust married bus

At the reception in the Jackson Lake Lodge, we had a stuffed animal surrounded by berries from our florist as our centerpieces.  Each table had a unique national park stuffed animal and we named each table after a different national park. Our head table was the Grand Teton National Park with a moose.

Reception national park tableStuffed animal centerpieces

We created the wedding and reception into something really special that fit us and our personalities.

Enjoy some more photos from this amazing day!

S k walking by barn

S K hiking by barn

The kiss

Group yahoo at chapel

I would highly recommend having a wedding in a national park!

 

15 years ago…

15 years ago in 2004, a few big things happened!

Greece hosted the summer Olympics.

Hurricane Charley hit Florida, Cuba, and Jamaica.

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918.

President Bush beat John Kerry for a second term.

Facebook is launched.

Martha Stewart gets convicted of a felony and sentenced to 5 months.

A 9.3 earthquake hit the Indian Ocean causing a tsunami that kills around 200,000 people in South Asia and Africa.

Disney released the movie, The Incredibles.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! is published by Mo Willems.

Ireland became the first country to ban smoking in all workplaces including bars and restaurants.

And…

I got married to an amazing guy in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

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July 24, 2004

National Mall

Happy 229th anniversary to our National Mall.  The National Mall is centrally located in Washington, DC.

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The National Mall is America’s most visited national park and nicknamed “America’s front yard”.

The Mall area preserves the Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, D.C. War Memorial, World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, the National Mall, East and West Potomac Parks, Constitution Gardens, 60 statues, and numerous other historic sites, memorials, and parklands.

I remember seeing the National Mall for the first time. I had traveled to DC for an internship after graduating college. In my free time, I walked over to check out a few sights and knew this area would be an ideal place to see some iconic memorials.

I grew up seeing the skyscrapers in Chicago. I’ve seen tall or big buildings. I’ve seen open areas and parks.

Yet, this place wowed me. I paused in my steps there. The beauty, the history, the size, the importance of it all truly awed me.

I love going back to this part of our national park system. It brings together our country in unique ways. It still awes and wows me!

According to the National Park Service, “The open spaces and parklands envisioned by Pierre L’Enfant’s plan, which was commissioned by President George Washington, created an ideal stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance, celebration, and expression of First Amendment rights.”

If you’re traveling to the DC area, definitely make some time and check out the National Mall area.

Happy 229th!

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Grizzly Bears 🐻

While I love a number of animals, I wanted to briefly highlight one of my favorites today. And one that I am hoping hoping hoping to get a glimpse of on our next trip to Yellowstone National Park. I am talking about grizzly bears. Good job if you read the title to this blog post and guessed it! 😉

Today, grizzly bears only live in western Canada and northwestern United States.  Grizzlies once roamed North America from Mexico on up to Alaska and from California across to the Great Plains. Grizzlies gained protection in 1975 by getting listed on the Endangered Species Act.

These massive animals are a subspecies of the brown bear. Grizzlies weigh around 700 pounds and on their hind legs can stand about 8 feet tall. That’s huge! Yet, about 75% of their diet comes from berries. That’s a lot of berries every day to keep these big bears happy!  In addition to their grand size, their color ranges from very light tan to dark brown. They have a very large shoulder hump and extremely long claws.

Grizzlies surprise many people with their agility and speed as well as with their intelligence. Grizzlies can run up to 40 mph! In addition, grizzlies have a strong intellect and solid memory!

Did you know that the mama grizzlies give birth during hibernation? I cannot imagine giving birth in a winter den! They are some strong females! And these mamas fiercely protect their cubs! I know that many mothers out there can relate to fiercely protecting our children. I definitely channel my inner grizzly at times!

Humans stand as the main predator of grizzlies. These very intelligent and unique animals play a huge role in our ecosystem and deserve to stick around for our future generations.  I love that our national parks provide a safe place for these beautiful animals (as well as many other animals)! And I’m crossing my fingers to see one (at a safe distance) during our next trip to Yellowstone National Park!

For lots more information on grizzly bears, click here.