As the DJ cranked up “I Could Have Danced All Night” at the evening's end, Devan Pedersen,in a satin Marisa gown, and Jeff Jackson, in a Perry Ellis tuxedo, bade their well-wishers goodbye A freak snowstorm hit on the day in May that Jeff Jackson, 31, took Devan Pedersen, 29, by the hand and guided her down a trail on her parents' 40-acre property in Bozeman, Montana, ostensibly to give her a birthday gift. Instead, on a tree-trunk bench overlooking a babbling creek, he proposed. Thirteen months later, on a brilliantly sunny day, the couple wed beside a riverside arbor that was designed by Devan's mom. As a gentle breeze blew through the grasses, 120 guests witnessed the Jackson family pastor, Reverend Biff Johnson, lead the couple through an intimate ceremony that included one of their favorite poems (Maya Angelou's “Touched by an Angel”) and string instrumentals (César Franck's “Panis Angelicus”). “We knew the ceremony was going to fly by quickly, and we wanted to slow it down by taking a few minutes to just be in the moment with the music,” says the bride.
The pace picked up with Jeff's famous mojitos (blackberry, raspberry, mango and traditional mint) at the barn-side reception, followed by chicken satay and crab cakes. “The most wonderful thing about the evening was looking around and seeing people cuddling, dancing, stargazing, and strolling off together,” says Devan. “It was exactly what we had hoped for.” —Hillary Quinn
Our Favorite Things
Children Will Listen: Devan and her mom hit the dance floor to “My Girl,” which Mom had used years ago to rouse the Pedersen kids for Saturday-morning house cleaning.
A Sale is Made: When Devan was torn between two gowns, the salesperson held up a third and said, “If these two dresses had a baby, it would look like this.” Devan tried it on, her mom and sister cried—and that was that.
Ranch Redo: Devan's family spent months sprucing up the property—they built a new deck, widened trails, planted trees. The crew included her seven-months'-pregnant sister!