Real Weddings

Real Utah Wedding: Kate & Quinn at High Star Ranch

By Tessa Woolf August 2, 2013

In celebration of our Pioneer roots, last week we shared some ideas for western shindigs, from denim jackets + wedding gowns to horseshoe decor details. Today we continue the wed-out-West theme with a mountain-chic wedding at High Star Ranch in Kamas by Erin Kate Photography. The couple, Kate and Quinn, met in college at Dartmouth (read their adorable "how we met" story below). Kate works for Goldman Sachs in their private equity group, and Quinn is a third year medical student at the University of Utah; they live in Sugar House.

When it came time to plan their summer wedding, the duo wanted to create a casual atmosphere for their guests, but still wanted to "keep things classy." Kate wore a gown designed by Coren Moore and a veil from Alta Moda Bridal. Both of Kate's rings are family heirlooms (more than 100 years old), and the diamond necklace she wore down the aisle had been worn by 11 brides in her family---how cool is that? Check out Kate and Quinn's wedding photos, and read on for all the details of their big day, including their inspiration for their wedding theme, their favorite details and moments of their ceremony and reception, and their thoughts on their local vendors. Enjoy!

Kate shares details of the couple's courtship and wedding day:

How did the two of you meet?

We first met at the Dartmouth College swimming pool on a summer afternoon during our sophomore year. I was life-guarding and Quinn showed up with a friend to learn how to kick while swimming freestyle. Although we hit it off, laughing and joking for about an hour, almost two years passed before we bumped into each other again. At a party senior year, I noticed Quinn from across the room. I was instantly attracted to him and made my way over to introduce myself. Not remembering our first encounter, I stuck out my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Kate." Quinn responded, "I know." After a long pause he flashed a big smile and said, "I'm the kid who can't kick." The rest is history.

Did you have a theme for your wedding? 

More than anything we wanted our guests to have a great time. We wanted to create a mountain-chic atmosphere that was classy yet still casual enough for our friends and family to feel like they could really cut loose and have fun. We set up lawn games for the guests to enjoy during the cocktail hour (corn-hole and bocce), a DIY photo booth with fun props and costumes, and had large bins with beers and cold drinks to minimize waiting at the bar. 

Why did you choose your venue? 

We looked at a variety of venues up in the mountains around Salt Lake, but nothing felt quite right. From the minute we set foot on High Star Ranch, we were in love.  It has that indescribable “wide-open spaces” feel to it, with gorgeous mountains in every direction. Not to mention, there is an open-air dance barn! The ranch itself definitely was a big inspiration for our theme.

Favorite detail of the wedding?

The funny thing is, you put unbelievable amounts of time and effort into planning all the little details of the day, somehow thinking that those things will be what makes it special… But when the day finally arrives, you realize it hardly matters, because there is nothing that comes even close to the feeling of being surrounded by every person you love on this earth. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and was far more powerful and moving than either Quinn or I anticipated. That said, if you were to force me to choose a favorite detail, it would probably be the flowers. My mom worked on every little detail with Marilyn of Silver Cricket, and they turned out beautiful. I was especially happy with the natural wedding arch Marilyn created.

Favorite moment during the ceremony?

The most special part of the ceremony by far was reading our vows to one another. We both prepared something to share during the ceremony that the other hadn’t heard yet. I pretty much cried through the whole thing.

Favorite moment during the reception? 

The dancing! As the night went on, the crowd got rowdy. The contents of the entire costume box from our photo booth station ended up on all our guests.

Most unexpected event on the wedding day?

My amazing maid of honor, Natalie Kim, gave a toast that tracked the story of our love with about 10 different songs used for a lipsync performance. It was absolutely hilarious and very touching! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house because people were laughing so hard.

Kate and Quinn tied the knot on July 7, 2012. Congrats and happy one year anniversary! Thank you Kate, Quinn, and Erin Kate Photography for sharing this wedding with us today! Have a happy weekend, folks!


Ceremony and Reception: High Star Ranch

Officiant: Karen Nielsen - Karen did a beautiful job making our ceremony everything we hoped it would be. She even went above and beyond, and showed up unexpectedly at our rehearsal to make sure everything went off without a hitch.

Wedding Planner, Caterer, and Rentals: Eileen Dunn, Done to Your Taste Catering - Eileen was a master coordinator, designer, and visionary extraordinaire. She made every step of the wedding planning fun and relaxed. The single best decision we made for our wedding was hiring Eileen!

Photographer and Photo Booth: Erin Kate Photography - WOW! Not only did every one of Erin’s pictures turn out beautiful, she actually made taking pictures fun. We felt so relaxed and genuine when we were with her, and it really paid off in the photos. Her work truly speaks for itself; she is unbelievably talented. As beautiful as every aspect of the day was in real life, Erin made every thing look even more beautiful.

Wedding Programs: William Arthur at Tabula Rasa Social Stationers - Our wedding programs were printed by William Arthur using my cousin Cody O’Loughlin’s design with the help of the staff at Tabula Rasa in SLC.

Flowers: The Silver Cricket - Marilyn of the Silver Cricket in Park City brought such joy and life to our wedding day. And it wasn’t just about the flowers--her level of caring and attention to detail was inspiring. Her flower arrangements are truly artwork. We were so happy to have Marilyn as part of our day! 

Cake: Snow Park Bakery at Deer Valley Resort

Entertainment: Joe Muscolino Band

Alterations: D’Antii - D'Antii in Salt Lake City made my dress magical.

Make-up: Enizio

Bridesmaids' Attire: Jenny Yoo (Find it here: Gateway Bridal)

Groom's Formal Wear: Beckett & Robb - Quinn built his custom suit from scratch!

Groomsmen's Formal Wear: Suits from Calvin Klein and ties from J. Crew

Favors: Custom-designed canvas "welcome" bags filled with local goodies, pashminas, custom-designed pint glasses - My cousin Cody O’Loughlin designed a beautiful graphic of the tree we were married beneath. We had the image printed on canvas bags which we filled with local goodies and delivered to guests upon their arrival in Park City. For favors at the wedding, we had pashminas for the ladies since it gets pretty cold in the mountains once the sun goes down. We also gave guests custom pint glasses to take home and remember the celebration.

Transportation: Park City Transportation - Park City Transportation was our go-to all week long for a huge variety of events. By the end of the week, we probably used every vehicle in their fleet: Huge coach buses to bring our guests to and from the ranch, limos for the bridal party and our families, and vans running shuttles to the various hotels for the late-night crowd who partied down at the after party until 2 a.m. on Main Street in Park City.

Rehearsal Dinner: High West Distillery

Hotel for Guests: Hyatt Escala Lodge and Marriot Park City

Honeymoon: Belize - A wedding gift from 20 of our friends!

Registry: REI, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Macy’s


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