Wedding and lifestyle photographer Betsy Newman first met Michael Healy when they were students at University of Southern California. "The courtship started in February 2009, when Michael asked Betsy to be his date to his fraternity formal," remembers the couple. "Betsy initially responded ‘she had to check her schedule,’ which Michael interpreted as a rejection. To Michael's surprise, Betsy ended up having availability after all!"
After dating throughout the rest of college and a few years of long distance, the couple remained connected over a decade. In August 2020, Michael prepared to pop the question on a vacation to Jackson Hole. On the first day of the trip, he scheduled for Betsy to get a massage and asked her to be ready in the lobby for a drive in Teton National Park during golden hour.
"Michael handed her a love letter a few minutes into the drive, which was finely printed and double-sided. Immediately, Betsy burst into tears," recalls the duo. "A car then pulled off the road, and Betsy realized a photographer was following them. At the most picturesque location, Michael took Betsy’s hands and spun her around in circles. Michael then got down on one knee, and went into a heartfelt speech declaring his love." Since Betsy's favorite color is pink, he gave her a pink box with an oval diamond ring with a pink diamond halo setting inside. "I was floored by the thoughtfulness," she shares.
The Los Angeles-based couple imagined hosting a summer getaway in nature for their nuptials. "It was important to us to create a full weekend experience for guests, as we know how quickly just the wedding day goes by," they share. While brainstorming destinations, Betsy remembered photographing a beautiful wedding in Park City, Utah. "There is something magical about Park City–you have the quaintness of a small town amongst the vastness of nature. Everywhere you look, you see lush greenery and rolling mountains. It truly feels like an escape from reality," she says.
So, Betsy and Michael decided to host their 100 guests traveling from out of town at the Montage Deer Valley with the wedding day taking place at River Bottoms Ranch. Celebrations first began with a party at the Montage. "We wanted all of our guests to feel welcome upon arrival to Utah, so we decided a welcome party was the perfect way to kick off the weekend," the couple shares. The vision for the celebration? "Garden-side mountain party with pops of pink! The dress code for the welcome party was 'mountainside cocktail, color encouraged,'" the couple explain.
With the help of the planning team at Stylish Details Events, the pair hosted a charming welcome event on June 24, 2022. Ahead, see all the details, photographed by Natalie Bray.
"The Montage Deer Valley is located at the top of the mountain, and has jaw-dropping views," share the couple of the hotel. Not only were they hosting the welcome party there, but it also was the location of their room block and day-after brunch. "Staying at the Montage is a luxurious experience from the top-notch service to the accommodations. We knew our guests would love it there! We loved the Empire Room and Terrace, which created a perfect canvas for both events surrounding the wedding."
Some timely shopping decisions helped bring together the couple's looks for the welcome event. For Betsy's Alexia María mini dress, it took a bit of diligence to find the style. "I saw the dress online and it was sold out. I knew it was the one, and checked online every day for a few weeks! When my size came in stock, I immediately purchased the dress," she recalls. "It fit like a glove and I felt 100-percent me in it." Betsy accessorized the dress with pearl Jimmy Choo platform heels. "They were a splurge, but worth it! I love the simplicity of the dress with a more elaborate shoe," the bride shares.
As for the groom, it was a last-minute shopping expedition. "I asked Michael what he was planning to wear a few days before we left to Utah," says Betsy. "Michael hadn’t thought about it yet—typical guy! We ran to the mall and had a very tough time finding the perfect pants with his athletic build. In the end, Canali saved the day and Nordstrom same-day tailoring!"
"Once the wedding was happening, we were fully in the moment! We loved being present during our wedding weekend," shares Betsy. "We made a pact to stay together the whole time, as I see many couples separate during their wedding. Michael and I pretty much never left each other’s side!"
Betsy and Michael hired a vendor team from all over to execute their pink garden party vision. "I know as a photographer that you want your vendors to be inspired," shares the bride. "I looked for portfolios that matched the vibe, and didn’t limit myself to local vendors in Utah. Our photographer, videographer, wedding planner, rental company, and makeup artist all came in from California."
"I know how important creating a ‘photo moment’ is for guests," notes Bestsy. "Our florist Marianne created a floral frame backdrop of lush pink florals, which was a big hit!" Blush spray roses, coral charms, peach and coral ranunculus, yellow snaps, peach lissianthus, and mother of pearl were used in the floral arrangements around the space.
Guests could enjoy the festivities both indoors and out. "We did white linens with lush florals throughout. The colors included crisp white, sunshine, rose petal, flamingo watermelon, kumquat, and shades of fern," shares the bride. "We also rented a lounge set to elevate the indoor space. Everything came together beautifully!"
"We provided a full dinner and open bar—we didn’t want people to leave hungry! The menu included a blackberry red oak salad, a chef’s carving stations with beef tenderloin, a risotto station, and charcuterie," says the couple. Details like custom cocktail napkins gave an extra personalized touch to the celebration.
As favors, guests received an originally designed map by Dominique Alba and chocolates from a local maker.
Betsy and Michael share that being together with their guests was one of the most meaningful parts of the wedding weekend. "We were truly honored that our friends and family came out to celebrate with us. It really started to feel real at the welcome party as people strolled in," they share. "The energy was amazing!"
A celebratory toast was the perfect finish to the soirée. "Michael had no idea we were doing a champagne tower, so it was a complete surprise," remembers the couple. "We had fun and didn’t take ourselves seriously, pouring it as lavishly as we could! We were cracking up!"
Venue Montage Deer Valley
Planner Stylish Details Events
Bride’s Outfit Designer Alexia Maria
Bride’s Jewelry Chan Luu
Bride’s Shoes Jimmy Choo
Hair Kali Chris
Makeup Phoebe Dawson
Groom’s Outfit Designer Canali
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands Brilliant Earth
Floral Design Bushel and a Peck
Invitations and Paper Products Dominique Alba
Music Soren Green
Catering Montage Deer Valley
Cake Flour and Flourish
Rentals Archive Rentals
Favors Custom Maps: Dominique Alba; Local Chocolates: V Chocolates
Transportation The Driver Provider
Videography Emma Lynn Cinema
Photography Natalie Bray