Though Samantha Scott and Major Jared Wagner originally met in Washington, D.C., the pair headed west to Cheyenne, Wyoming to tie the knot on July 22, 2017. “Jared’s parents just built a home in Cheyenne, and after our first visit, we thought it would be the perfect place for a wedding,” Samantha says. The views, the terrain, the sunsets, and the cattle sealed the deal. In fact, the DC duo even planned their date around the city's annual Frontier Days (the world’s largest outdoor rodeo!). “We wanted our guests to have a chance to experience something unlike any other,” the bride explains.
The couple's wedding décor was all about finding a balance between the masculine setting and feminine touches. “We knew we had to have a whiskey bar, denim accents, and the University of Wyoming colors—brown and yellow—so I used rusty kettles for the centerpieces, patterned denim napkins, and bright yellow flowers,” says Samantha. But the bride also went feminine, with chandeliers lighting the tents and blush goblets on the tables. (And just wait until you see her pretty, pink dress!) Photographed by Red Aspen Photography, this masculine-chic ranch wedding is a fresh take on getting married out West.
The couple welcomed guests with appropriately-themed totes, which were perfect for both the ranch wedding and their first trip to the rodeo!
For her hair and makeup, Samantha looked to the Marchesa Spring 2018 bridal presentation for inspiration. The result? An effortless low ponytail tied with a pink velvet ribbon.
Samantha went into dress shopping with a clear vision: Statement sleeves and bursts of color. With that in mind, she ordered three Needle and Thread gowns from Net-a-Porter, tried them on at home, and quickly said "yes" to one with a flowing skirt and intricate floral beading. (Seriously, how pretty is that detail?!)
“Jared’s one request was to wear jeans and cowboy boots to the wedding,” Samantha says, laughing. “I couldn’t say no—but I did ask him to wear a blazer!” The groom selected a Ted Baker jacket, along with a bowtie made from chukka feathers.
The couple kept the wedding party small—with just a maid of honor (in a dusty rose dress from Tadashi Shoji) and a best man (in jeans, a blazer, and a bolo tie).
Samanth and Jared skipped a traditional altar and instead invited their guests to circle around them for the ceremony. “We stood on a cowhide rug, and made a circle of wooden stakes and ribbons to capture the wind,” she says. They shared handwritten vows, and each referenced their shared love of whiskey!
“We loved how intimate the ceremony was, with everyone standing so close,” says the bride.
Rustic touches were added to the wedding décor details, with guests’ table assignments written on antique whiskey jugs and a cow skull that acted as an appropriately western guest book.
The reception took place beneath a white tent, which was lit with hanging café lights and crystal chandeliers.
“I made the crazy decision to do the flowers myself,” Samantha says. “I spent months researching, then babysat the flowers for days before the wedding to make sure they didn’t die. Thank goodness for amazing friends and family, who joined me the day before our wedding to assemble it all!” Roses and proteas added the necessary pops of yellow to the tables, while lush greenery wove between the lanterns and kettles. Vintage spurs held menus on each guest’s plate, and the denim napkins were cut and hemmed by the groom’s mother.
“My dad surprised me with a crazy father-daughter dance to ‘Gone Country’ by Alan Jackson,” says the bride. “We can’t believe it hasn’t gone viral yet!”
The bride and groom shared their first dance to another country favorite, “To the Moon and Back” by Luke Bryan, and then ended the celebration by hitting the whiskey bar and late-nighting on doughnuts and lemon bars for dessert. After planning a wedding from afar and taking on her fair share of DIY projects (the flowers!), Samantha has this advice for brides-to-be: “If you’re going to take on DIY projects, you’ll need helpers—so make sure you have them lined up before you start!”
Wedding Planner: First Look Events
Bride's Dress: Needle & Thread
Bride's Shoes: Kenneth Cole
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Tadashi Shoji
Groom's Attire: Ted Baker
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Carol Zemnick
Catering: Footers Catering
Entertainment: Brian Raine Band
Rentals: Eclectic Hive, Yonder Floral + Décor House, Flexx Productions
Transportation: Cheyenne Street Railway Trolley
Photography: Red Aspen Photography