Anne Powelson and Teddy Dunn were sure to meet at some point, but they didn’t expect it to be on a blind date. “My best friend’s sister was dating Teddy’s brother, and they invited us on a group date in downtown Chicago in August of 2013,” says Anne. “We hit it off immediately, and have been inseparable ever since!” Two and a half years later, in February of 2016, the couple and some friends planned a weekend getaway to Michigan. “It was perfect,” says Anne. “We were escaping the city, and our little cabin was blanketed in over a foot of snow.” On the first night, Teddy and Anne were in knee-deep snow and just as Anne was about to comment on how cold it was getting, she turned around and saw Teddy on one knee, holding his great grandmother’s 100-year-old engagement ring.
With family in Indiana and Ohio, and friends in Chicago (and all over!), it was hard to choose where the pair would tie the knot. They ended up deciding on Vail, Colorado, a ski resort town that they visit every winter. “I’ve always wanted to get married on a mountain, and Piney River Ranch fit all of our criteria,” she says. Planning almost a year and a half in advance, the couple had their choice of dates, and settled on June 24, 2017—which just so happened to be Teddy’s grandparents' and great-grandparents’ anniversaries. With so much time to organize the details, the couple had plenty of opportunities to enjoy their engagement as much as possible. “We prioritized the big items, like a venue, photographer, and band, and then slowly worked through our to-do list,” says the bride. On an early summer afternoon in June, their 110 guests traveled to the mountains of Vail to witness Teddy and Anne tie the knot, photographed by Danielle DeFiore.
“Having a destination wedding was the hardest decision we made, with a lot of lists of pros and cons,” says Anne. But the choice was worth it, rewarding the pair and their guests with spectacular views and a warm, sunny setting.
The bride chose a stunningly simple silk crepe gown by Vera Wang. “My friends cried the moment I walked out of the dressing room,” she says. “It was sophisticated, elegant, and classic.” The bride let her bridesmaids choose their own navy dresses and nude shoes, and they all opted for styles they’d wear again.
The wedding party’s flowers included white roses, lisianthus, sweet peas, and seeded eucalyptus—a perfect mix for the beautiful natural setting.
Since they were planning a destination wedding, Teddy and Anne actually booked their venue sight unseen and didn't see it until the week-of. “We were giddy on the ride up to Piney River Ranch, since neither of us had ever been there before,” Anne remembers. “The drive was bumpy, but took our breath away.”
The couple wed on a deck overlooking Piney Lake, with an altar of greenery and white roses framing the ceremony. “We wanted to write our own vows, but both felt that the day’s emotions might be too much for us to handle. I’m glad we made the choice we did!” says Anne.
Guests filled the ranch’s main lodge as the newlyweds wandered the lakefront property for a little post-ceremony alone time.
The couple embraced their rustic venue (and theme) by serving dinner at log tables—yes, really! Each was draped with a deep navy runner and topped with gold accents and white floral arrangements (of roses and hydrangea). Garlands of greenery, roses, and succulents were draped on the back of the bride and groom’s seats, which created the perfect photo op.
Teddy and Anne weren’t able to attend a menu tasting before their wedding (they were too busy celebrating at the weddings of their friends!), but everyone loved what the venue came up with: Miniature mac and cheese skillets, salads dressed with nuts and fruit, and sriracha-glazed flank steak with green chili corn bread. And, of course, a wedding in the mountains wouldn’t be complete without late night s’mores!
A seven-piece band kept the dance floor full all night—and the group was happy to let Teddy’s parents, uncle, and brother-in-law take to the stage. “Teddy sang the first song, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ by the Beatles, and then joined me on the dance floor while everyone else played a few more tunes,” says Anne. “It took the vibe of the reception up ten notches!”
And while they planned from afar, Teddy and Anne didn’t let the stress get to them. “Be confident in your decisions along the way,” she says. “Choose a few aspects that are the most important to you, then let the experts help get everything else in place. No matter what, it will be the most unforgettable weekend!”
Day-Of Coordinator: First Look Events || Venue & Catering: Piney River Ranch || Bride's Dress: Vera Wang || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Bride's Jewelry: BHLDN || Groom's Attire: J.Crew, The Tie Bar || Floral Design: Petals and Pours || Paper Products: Allie Hasson || Cake: Mountain Flour || Entertainment: Groove Nation || Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linens || Transportation: Colorado Mountain Express || Photography: Danielle DeFiore