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  • Writer's pictureKayla Bertagnolli

Fall Elopement in Grand Teton National Park | Cody + Brooke

Epic fall wedding in Grand Teton National Park
Cody + Brooke

Wanna know what makes for a really cool wedding day? Plan to run a marathon in Jackson Hole and decide to elope the day before... Yeah, it's pretty epic! Cody and Brooke knew they wanted something really small and special, so when they decided to come to Wyoming for Brooke to run a marathon they thought "why not elope while we're there!" - that's where I come in. They contacted me to start planning their dream wedding day... If you want to see how their day turned out see the images and hear straight from the couple below.

I asked the couple to describe their Elopement day to me, and here's what they had to say:

"Traditional has never really been our style. Early into our relationship, Cody and I made an insignificant comment that an elopement wedding seemed the most fitting for our personalities. A few years passed without another mention of the subject and out-of-the-blue one summer night Cody said, "We should elope in Jackson...", as we were staying at a friend's house on a deflating air-mattress. We had been planning to visit Wyoming in order for me to run the Jackson Hole Marathon on September 26, 2020. Taking advantage of that thought, I created a PowerPoint slideshow, presenting the possible options for the elopement from the formality, location, date, and photographer. Cody had one condition to wear his bolo tie, and I excitedly agreed. After that, everything seemed to fall into place. Our amazing photographer, Kayla Bertagnolli, helped to arrange the details that our inexperienced selves had very little knowledge of. On the evening of September 25, 2020, we stood below The Wedding Tree in Jackson, Wyoming, along with our wonderful officiant, Rev. Anita Gordon, and said our "I do's" as the clouds billowed over the Tetons. Kayla and her husband, Dylan, assisted in taking the photos after the ceremony including mini cupcakes and champagne. We departed just in time for the rain to pour down over the park, but as I grew up hearing: Rain on your wedding day is good luck!"

Questions & Answers with the bride and groom!

Q: How did you guys meet?

A: We met in college at Bellarmine. On our last semester we both decided to take Environmental Anthropology as an elective. He was very outspoken in class and I soon realized that I found my redneck counterpart to my hillbilly in the big city of Louisville. Q: First date? A: After talking for a few months on Facebook, Cody asked me if I preferred beer or coffee and wanted to go for a drink. I told him that it depends on the time of day and we spent our first evening together at Milewide Brewing, a local craft beer spot to Louisville. Q: How did you decide on your elopement location?

A: When Cody said that we should elope while in Jackson, I immediately began searching popular elopement locations and the first to catch my eye was the wedding tree. Trees had become kind of a symbol throughout our relationship. Our first conversation in class was about trees, my first time at his house, we planted 3 trees, my first tattoo with him was of a tree, and in between the two trees at 'The Wedding Tree' just felt right. Q: What other activities / hikes / sights did you do while in Jackson Hole?

A: It was Cody who came up with the idea to visit Jackson. In December 2019, prior to COVID, I was in the middle of running Honolulu Marathon, at like mile 18, and looked down to see Cody sending me a text about Jackson Hole Marathon, saying "you should run this". At mile 18, it didn't seem to appealing, but the more I began to research the race, the more excited we became at the idea of traveling to Wyoming. Cody has always been a fan of national parks as an environmental scientist, and visiting Grand Teton National Park, running a marathon in the national park, and getting married in the national park all tagged along together. Pre-marathon and wedding, we hiked Phelps Lake trail, and afterwards we hiked Black Canyon Trail, Ski-Lake Trail, Valley Trail and hiked to Mount Glory. We enjoyed Cowboy Coffee multiple times, and ate brunch at a different location almost everyday. Everyone in Jackson was amazing and so friendly. Q: Brooke, tell us about your Marathons

A: Jackson Hole is the last marathon I've completed, making it marathon #19, and state #15. I have a goal to complete one in each state, and we decided to elope the evening prior to the race. Even though it was a busy 24 hours between the two events, Cody has been there along the way through more than half of my marathon adventures. It has become a tradition for Cody to find a good local brunch location, and meet me at the finish line. Q: Brooke's Favorite part about your wedding day?

A: My favorite part of the ceremony was saying the vows, especially watching Cody tear up, then taking photos afterwards. I think that the cupcakes and champagne were the perfect touch, and we ended up laughing much more than we ever anticipated when picturing our wedding (which is awesome). Q: Cody's Favorite part about your wedding day? A: Cody said that his favorite part was seeing me walk down the aisle (awww) and then taking pictures afterwards. Q: On your wedding day the storm held out until right after the ceremony and I remember you telling me that you actually wanted it to rain on your wedding day because it's good luck. Tell us about that

A: I had always heard that rain on one's wedding day is good luck, where or when I first heard that I'm not sure, but Cody had no idea and it didn't seem to be well known. Maybe its an Appalachian thing? Throughout the ceremony and photos it became more brisk and the clouds began to roll over the mountains creating some badass photos, in my opinion. As soon as we got in the car to leave The Wedding Tree, rain started to pour on the car, and my mind immediately went back to the old saying that I had heard that it's good luck on the wedding day. Q: Favorite moments since becoming Husband and Wife?

A: With COVID still in effect, we've not had the opportunity to do much more traveling together as husband and wife. We spent some wonderful holidays with our families, experienced being snowed and iced in together for weeks, and were proud to make it out of that spell still as attached to one another. We also bought an air-fryer since being married, which has made my 'cooking' much more edible. LOL Q: What's next for you guys?

A: We still are living in our 'newly-wed phase' it seems. Cody plans to compete in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament at the end of the months, and I'm scouting marathons in various states for 2021. We are working together to make home renovations, and hope to expand our apiary. Cody has one more class to become a 'Master Beekeeper' and I plan to assist him as much as I can in our Little Texas Apiary business. Cody continues to primarily telecommute for his job, and I recently accepted a position as a case manager for our local family court judge.

The day after Cody + Brooke's epic Elopement I met them at town square before the sunrise to document this sweet moment before Brooke ran her marathon. Talk about a bad ass bride!

Ready to start planning your Elopement?! Check out these resources for planning your Grand Teton National Park Elopement

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