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weddings 98//serendipity wedding winners

102//Simply idaho-style East Coast meets the Old West

106//wedding directory Local wedding vendors

109//wedding tips Planning your special day

Andre Mercier and Sierra Dickens were the winners of dream wedding giveaway.

Summer 2013 | 97

weddings // andre & sierra



Roommate wanted Must believe in love at first sight, fairytale endings and that everything happens for a reason!

Andre and Sierra (Sierra is a Ketchum native) won their $100,000 dream wedding at Andre and and Sierra submitted their video themselves at the last minute, and they were barely chosen as finalists.

98 | Summer 2013

BY Heather Harder Brown PHOTOGRAPHY Roey Yohai Photography

Photo by: Hillary Maybery


Groomsmen take the streets of New York in Vera Wang tuxedos.

Summer 2013 | 99


ing and “realized they had just about everything in common.” The two hit it off immediately and just an hour after she left the condo, Andre called Sierra to let her know he would like to have her as a roommate. Andre had planned a trip to the East Coast, so while he was out of town the two continued to talk and text. Their bond quickly deepened and Sierra moved in. She came home one evening to find the words, “Will you be my girlfriend?” spelled out in rose petals on her bed. As Sierra revealed, “We knew within weeks of dating that we wanted to get married.” A vacation to Kauai, Hawaii, a few months later proved to be the backdrop of a beautiful proposal under a private waterfall only accessible by helicopter. There, Andre

by: Kirsten


or Andre Mercier, 27, a visual effects artist living in Los Angeles, it was an online classified advertisement that led him to the woman of his dreams. Truth was, he was just looking for a roommate to share his condo. Sierra Dickens, 27, a Ketchum native and professional figure skater, had just arrived in LA to pursue acting. After scouring hundreds of classifieds looking for a place to live and the right roommate, Dickens found Mercier’s post. Andre detailed his preferences in a roommate, posted pictures of the condo and even signed the post with an electronic signature. Sierra was impressed with the ad and the price, so she called. Andre said, “As soon as I opened the door and saw Sierra I knew she was the one.” Sierra remembers they started talk-

Amanda Seaward’s Absolute Weddings was featured in the Martha Stewart Real Weddings Special Issue

Cover photo

Sierra and bridesmaids in Amsal gowns share a laugh before the ceremony.

We offer a range of event planning services for weddings and other celebrations. Let us work with you to create a custom package that will meet your particular needs.


jam designs

weddings // andre & sierra

sun valley, idaho

Handcrafted, affordable jewelry and accessories

Weekly at Ketchum Farmers’ Market (Tuesdays 2-6pm) Ketchum Arts Festival • July 12-14 Custom wedding party jewelry Clockwise from top left: Guests danced to the music of Djore A Cappella. Sierra’s wedding dress was a Pnina Tomai sweetheart ballgown and the groom and groomsmen wore Vera Wang tuxedos. The wedding cake design was intricate but simple and delicious. Fans chose a Modern Ice Castle theme which included ice sculptures, crystal decorations and orchids. Special thanks to Roey Yohai, David Alexander, and Dorie Hagler for Roey Yohai Photography.

got down on one knee to ask Sierra to marry him. An overwhelming, “Of course, Yes!” captured in still photos by Andre’s camera was proof. This was really happening. Sierra’s mother, Karen Dickens, a Ketchum local and owner of Primavera Plants & Flowers, was so touched by the couple’s story that she encouraged her daughter to enter contests to tell their story to win prizes such as a dress or honeymoon package. Sierra was scouring the Internet and like many brides went to, a website where brides-to-be can learn about planning a wedding. TheKnot was having a contest for a $100,000 Dream Wedding; however, the contest was just days from closing. With Andre’s video production experience they were able to put together a stunning application video and submitted it just in time. Unfortunately, they received a call from TheKnot that they were not finalists but rather fifth runners-up. Andre said, 100 | Summer 2013

“I knew it would just work out somehow.” And it did; in a last-minute change of plans TheKnot added another finalist spot. The couple went on a marketing frenzy using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to encourage friends, family and strangers to vote for them. With only three voting days left they were determined to make every second count. Andre skipped work to hand out flyers and ask people in coffee shops to break for a moment and vote. The stars aligned for the couple and they won the Dream Wedding contest! For weeks, though, the couple had to keep their victory a secret. Finally, on January 3, 2013, they were able to tell family and friends that they would be married at the Citi Pond at Bryant Park in New York City on Valentine’s Day the following month. There was just one catch. Andre and Sierra had to give up all major details of their wedding to the mercy of voters across the


Coat Factory

tuxedo rentals

since 1971

511 SUN VALLEY ROAD KETCHUM 208.726.3588

Sierra’s encore presentation was a figure skating performance.

country, including their decorations, cake design, wedding bands and even Sierra’s wedding gown! Over 2 million votes determined every detail of their wedding. Fans chose a Modern Ice Castle theme, which included ice sculptures, crystal decorations and orchids, Sierra’s favorite flower. Fans also selected Vera Wang tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen and floor-length Amsal dresses for the bridesmaids. Sierra and her mother traveled to New York City where she was able to try on gowns at Kleinfeld Bridal. She carefully selected four gowns that voters would choose from. Sierra would not see her Pnina Tomai sweetheart ballgown until the very day of the wedding. Celebrity wedding planner Amy Shea Jacobs made sure every detail was perfect, from the silver linens to the crystal detail to the wintery menu. Surrounded by 100 guests, gathered in a white tent nestled next to the frozen pond, Andre and Sierra

expressed their deep love for one another in vows they wrote themselves. The couple also participated in a traditional Japanese sake ceremony, symbolizing the past, present and future, honoring Andre’s heritage. If one thing could set the wedding over the top for this couple, it was when the guests broke out into a flash mob, dancing in sync to urban gospel chorus Djore A Cappella singing “Higher.” Sierra’s encore presentation was a figure skating performance on the ice rink. This special couple is so grateful for having won and is thankful for TheKnot and all those who were a part of their wedding. A fantasy honeymoon is part of the Dream Wedding. The couple is asking fans to vote for their pick–which is a charity trip to Asia to visit orphanages and give back in every way possible. Visit sierraandandre for a voting link to help them go on their dream honeymoon. Summer 2013 | 101

Rustic Elegance Wedding & Reception Catering • Corporate Parties Rehearsal Dinner • Brunch Private Getaway • Entertainment

1/6 Vertical

Unique mountain setting, incredible hand-crafted food • 208.726.4010

Morgan’s bridesmaids (and one bridesman) are all smiles at the rehearsal dinner party at the Hook Draw Saloon.

Simply Sweet

Idaho-Style BY Heather Harder Brown PHOTOGRAPHY Hillary Maybery Keep it simple is Morgan Gove’s advice to aspiring Sun Valley brides. Morgan and her husband, Bray, didn’t get carried away with the little details of their wedding weekend. Instead, they turned their attention to the family and friends who gathered to celebrate.

102 | Summer 2013

Travel up a long dusty canyon road and you will find the Hook Draw Saloon (a private saloon southeast of Ketchum) and the ideal setting for the couple’s Western-themed rehearsal dinner party. This party was the perfect way to keep in step with Morgan’s Idaho roots and show Bray’s East Coast guests what the West is all about. The attire was upscale Western for the ladies—mostly cocktail dresses and cowboy boots and hats. The men stuck with jeans and some wore shirts and, well, some did not. They drank, they danced and even tried their luck at roulette.

photos courtesy hillary maybery


the wedding date:

August 28, 2010 Golden Eagle


rehearsal welcome party:

Hook Draw Saloon

ceremony and reception:

Golden Eagle

rehearsal dinner theme:

Idaho-style Western

wedding party:

Eight bridesmaids, one bridesman; nine groomsmen

rehearsal welcome party transportation:

Party buses

Wedding, Event and Party Rentals Tents • Tables • Chairs • Linens China • Crystal • Tableware • Serviceware Indoor & Outdoor Lounge Furniture Site Selection & Space Planning Services Discount Wine & Beer Sales

that’s entertainment


(208) 726-8800

Summer 2013 | 103


weddings // morgan & bray



(208) 788-7716

PHOTOS Thia Konig

Clockwise: Morgan and Bray at their rehearsal dinner party; Judith McQueen Catering created down-home fare; simple and elegant wedding rings from Kientzy and Co. Jewelers; Riding in style at the rehearsal dinner; Hook Draw Saloon was the perfect setting for an Idahostyle wedding rehearsal party.

Like most late-August days in the Wood River Valley, this one was picture-perfect for a wedding. With eight bridesmaids and one bridesman by her side, Morgan looked elegant in a Vera Wang gown and Jimmy Choo heels. She even styled her own long hair and Brie Wetmore Fowler, her maid of honor, did her makeup. The bridesmaids wore lavender, a rich accent color. Her handsome groom wore Ralph Lauren and was accompanied by nine groomsmen. Wedding planner Taylor Sturges organized a gorgeous ceremony and reception that took place in an expansive and green open area at Golden Eagle Ranch. Details like paper lanterns and about 200 votive candles made the clear tent from That’s 104 | Summer 2013

Entertainment glow against the dark sky and reflect off of the nearby pond. Judith McQueen catered the celebration and offered unique and delicious choices for everyone. Local photographer Hillary Maybery captured the excitement of the rehearsal and authenticity of the wedding beautifully. While the couple appreciated their beautiful wedding and reception, Morgan said, “Having our friends meet and everyone get along during the week” were their favorite moments. Another favorite was the band. Marmalade Hill from Salt Lake City rocked the party and kept it going all night. Morgan and Bray now live happily ever after in Mercer Island, Wash., with their two children.

“Hillary Maybery is our photographer.”

the vendors wedding coordinator:

Taylor’d Events - Taylor Sturges Events - Taylor Sturges rings: Kientzy & Co. Jewelers, Delray Beach, Florida dress: Vera Wang groom’s attire: Ralph Lauren music: Marmalade Hill food: Judith McQueen Catering cake: Judith McQueen Catering invitations: Keely Eliason photographer: Hillary Maybery officiant: Sandy Bazovsky rentals: That’s Entertainment


flowers: Taylor’d






201 3

Voted “Best of the Valley Photographer” for five years Summer 2013 | 105

Local caterers busy at work.

Local Wedding Vendors

There is no better place on the planet to get married than Sun Valley and its surroundings. To make sure your nuptials are nothing shy of magical, here are some of the Valley’s finest wedding vendors.


event locations

Affordable luxury with top-of-the-line products for natural nail and glowing skin care. Indulge your senses and experience a complete beauty bar with facials, waxing, manis and pedis, haircut and full hairstyling services, spray tan and Happy Hour Fridays. Come pamper your feet, hands and face on your special day! 208.788.1355

Natural beauty and romantic design are brought together to create the perfect secluded mountain venue. Nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains, Galena Lodge offers the perfect backdrop for your wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon or a small intimate dinner. A unique mountain setting with incredible handcrafted food. 208.726.4010

chic nail + beauty bar


judith mcqueen entertaining

Judith McQueen Entertaining’s events exemplify the quintessential Sun Valley experience. From classic destination weddings to memorable local fare, we provide world-class catering and event coordination—making your entire experience weightless and, more importantly, fun for all. 208.788.7716; 106 | Summer 2013

galena lodge

idaho rocky mountain ranch

Privacy and breathtaking natural beauty create the picture-perfect setting for your wedding or private party at historic Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. Charming accommodations, excellent cuisine and a gracious staff provide a perfect celebration event. Martha Stewart Weddings named IRMR an outstanding wedding destination venue. 208.774.3544

photograph hillary maybery

wedding // vendors

wood river inn

Luxurious comfort and unmatched hospitality create the perfect setting for you and your out-of-town guests. Enjoy spacious rooms with luxurious triple sheeting for effortless enjoyment and a refreshing night’s stay. Our locations place you steps away from fine dining and shopping, making us the place to stay in the Wood River Valley. The Wood River Inn: 877.542.0600 The Tamarack Lodge: 800.521.5379

event planning & rentals

absolute weddings

Absolute Weddings is a full-service wedding and event planning business that has been operating and making dreams come true in this Valley for over 10 years. We will help you with all details, from invitations and save-the-dates, to appointments, vendor selection and budgeting. Absolute Weddings’ hands-on approach allows you to relax and enjoy this special time with friends and family, and we will take over all details to make your event, day and experience stress-free. 208.720.4713

barbara’s party rentals

With 26 years of experience, Barbara’s Party Rentals has everything you need to make your special event perfect. Classic and transparent tents, wedding and party planning, beer and wine sales, tables, chairs, linens, dance floors, and casual to elegant place settings and clever accessories to personalize every detail. They’re the local know-it-alls that you can trust to deliver quality to your event. 208.726.3778

that’s entertainment

At That’s Entertainment, we believe that every wedding should be as one-of-a-kind as the bride and groom at the center of it. We carry a wide variety of everything from tent styles to china to specialty linens to help you create a setting that is uniquely your own. 30 guests or 300, simple or sumptuous—we will work with you to bring your vision to life. 208.726.8800 Summer 2013 | 107


wedding // vendors

petal pixie





Your One-Stop Stationery and Gift Store Personalized printing: Invitations, menu cards, place cards Wide variety of gifts Greeting cards & wrapping paper Last minute in-store printing Specialty lines including: Arzberger Crane & Co. Vera Wang William Arthur


Kristy Logan Jewelry

380 N. Leadville Ave. Ketchum 726.0456

Petal Pixie is a floral and event design studio. Our designs lean toward a natural, sometimes wild, feel with an elegant and timeless quality. 208.684.4079 or 801.891.8478,


Primavera Plants and Flowers is Sun Valley’s premier florist specializing in weddings, parties and home décor. Orchid plants, blooming and foliage plants, baskets, candles, pottery and planters. Gourmet gift baskets, fresh, silk and dried flower arrangements. We deliver and wire flowers anywhere. 208.726.7788

sue bridgman florist

Specializing in innovative and stylish floral design, Sue Ellen Bridgman Florist is the leading floral design studio in the Sun Valley/ Ketchum area. Our reputation for quality and service is built on years of creating beautiful and spectacular weddings, parties, conventions, and distinctive events. From the exotic and bold, to the simple and elegant, we can do it all. 208.725.0606

tara bella floral designs

Tara Bella specializes in beautiful destination weddings and eye-popping special events. Celebrated for her unique style and meticulous attention to detail, Tara Ooms and her talented staff tailor custom elegant floral designs for every occasion. Ooms’ passion for flowers shines through with the grace and hospitality that only a true Southern belle could possess. 208.788.4046

Tara Bella

Weddings & Floral Design

Tara Hoff Matteson

P.O. Box 81 • Ketchum, ID 83340 tel 208.788.4046


kristin cheatwood

Kristin began her photographic career in the field of motorsport racing, with images published in numerous national and international magazines. Seven years ago Kristin decided to turn her artistic eye toward capturing the joy of weddings. Kristin’s ability to capture unique moments, coupled with a refined sense of composition and intimate, photojournalistic style, has earned her a reputation as a soughtafter wedding photographer in the Sun Valley area. Kristin is also available worldwide. 208.721.1641; 108 | Summer 2013

dev khalsa

I am a documentary photographer at heart, but to me photographing weddings is more than simply capturing the moments before me. Providing truly great images goes beyond technical expertise. It requires insight, intuition and the ability to connect on an emotional level. Success, for me, is measured by the amount of laughter and tears my images provoke. My goal is to create images that are bold, authentic and enduring. As a wedding photographer, I am devoted not only to creating spectacular images, but also to ensuring a wonderful experience for my clients. 208.788.2849

hillary maybery photography

I’m easygoing and down to earth. I love things daring, to laugh, flipflops and strawberry margaritas. My style is fresh, vibrant, with a dash of fashion. I photograph every detail— from the decor to the shoes, kisses, hugs and laughter. I love Sun Valley and destination weddings! 208.928.7333

kirsten shultz photography

An award-winning editorial and wedding lifestyle photographer, unobtrusively documenting the beauty of the day as it unfolds. Recently featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. Available in Sun Valley and worldwide. 208.481.0138

stationery & invitations

willow papery

Celebrating in Sun Valley? Let Willow Papery help. A full-service stationery boutique, Willow Papery carries a wide range of invitations, gifts, greeting cards, wrapping paper, ribbon and Kristy Logan Jewelry. We’re also here to assist with last-minute printing needs: menu cards, place cards, gift tags and so much more. 208.726.0456

wedding attire

sheepskin coat factory

Sheepskin Coat Factory is the local place to rent tuxedos and related formal wear for men who want to look handsome on their wedding day or for any special occasion that calls for a suit or tuxedo. Ladies may also find elegant sheepskin coats for a winter wedding. 208.726.3588 511 Sun Valley Road, Ketchum

photograph hillary maybery


Wedding Tips

Barbara’s Party Renta ls

planning a sun valley wedding

for a sun valley wedding

Planning a wedding in Sun Valley? Why not learn from the pros—former brides. Check out the dos and don’ts we’ve gathered from Sun Valley weddings and ensure that your wedding day, or week, is the very best it can be. 1 don’t stress The best way

“Hitched”is Sun Valley Magazine’s online resource for brides-to-be trying to plan a fabulous Sun Valley Wedding. Check it out at www.

s Party Specialist Established 1985



to ensure a stress-free day is to plan ahead. The biggest cause of wedding stress: Lastminute details that show up unannounced. So hire a wedding planner to help guarantee that everything is under control. That way the duty doesn’t fall on close family and kin and everybody gets to relax and have fun with you.

2 have fun One of the most common tips given by all our Sun Valley brides is to remember to have fun at your own wedding. Sounds elemental. But in all the details and planning, it can often get overlooked. Plan a wedding to reflect your personal style, as well as your likes and loves ... and the rest should take care of itself. 3 RENT A TENT Our mountain weather can be, if nothing else, completely unpredictable. We have a saying here that “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.” While a bit of a local exaggeration, it has snowed in July and even August. Of course, it won’t do that on YOUR wedding day, but rent a tent or have a contingency plan ... just in case.

Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch Stanley, Idaho

4 ALLOW FOR DOWNTIME You and your beloved will be busy greeting out-of-town guests, family, friends and distant relatives that you may have never even seen before. It can be a whirlwind of activity and socializing, so remember to plan a few moments all your own. SV mag

online exclusive

Find inspiration online. Browse photos and tips from hundreds of local weddings and “Hitched” blog posts at

weddings • private events 208.774.3544


Sun Valley’s Finest Florist for Over 35 Years 208.726.7788 • 888.913.7788 Summer 2013 | 109

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