A Family Affair: A Private Estate Stanley Idaho Wedding

Today I’m so excited to share this Stanley Idaho wedding that was truly a family affair. This wedding had so much love and meaning and family all wrapped up in it.

Now of course, all weddings are about family.

The joining of families.  The creation of a new family.  And celebrating with your chosen family (i.e. friends). 

And so to say a wedding was a family affair, you’re really talking about all weddings.  

But this one was different as it had family running through it from start to finish.

And while it’s always an honor to work with each of my couples, this one was extra special for me.

I had worked with the family previously on a sibling’s wedding, so getting reunited with the family was really happy. It was so nice to hear their voices and see their faces again.

I love these people.

So for me it also felt like a family affair, a reunion of sorts.

But before we get there, we have to talk about the couple. Because one of the things I love about what I do is getting to know each couple.

Because each couple’s story is different!

Where they’ve come from, how they met, how they fell in love and the journey of their relationship.

Every story is beautiful.

And I can’t wait to share their story with you…

Amanda and Cody’s Story

Happy couple at their Stanley Idaho wedding

Amanda and Cody’s story is one of those love stories that you only really see in movies.

They first met when they were just kids.

Cody is and has been one of Amanda’s brother, Jason’s friends for years. The two were friends since childhood and so naturally he’d come over to the house and Amanda and Cody would see each other.

But nothing ever happened as they were just “Jason’s sister” or “Jason’s friend” to each other.

Time passed and there was high school, then college and vet school for Amanda.

It had been more than 10 years since they had seen each other, but at a New Year’s Eve party (thrown by Jason), they reconnected and started talking.

They went on a date the next day and the relationship grew quickly from there.

And as they say, the rest is history…

The Wedding Story

Happy couple walking at their private estate wedding by the river in Stanley, Idaho

Since Cody has had a friendship with Jason for so long, the two families have known each other for years. And they’ve spent lots of time together.

And so this wedding was really like one big family gathering.

Not two families coming together, as they were already one big family.

This gathering was also particularly special, not just because of the wedding, but given the time apart due to COVID. It had been a long time since many of these people had seen each other, so to be able to come together in this special moment was very meaningful.

What made it even more of a family affair, was the wedding location.

When Cody and Amanda got engaged, they knew exactly where they wanted to get married, in the small town of Stanley, Idaho at Cody’s family’s private estate right on the river.

Cody’s parents are river raft guides and so they fell in love with the beauty of Stanley. And in turn both Cody and Amanda have fallen in love with Stanley.

They’ve spent many vacations there and they even got engaged there as well!

So having their wedding at this special property in this special place just made perfect sense.

And given COVID, having the wedding all outdoors was also the perfect fit.

A view of the river from the private estate in Stanley, Idaho
Private estate right on the river in Stanley Idaho

It was really important to Cody and Amanda that they show their loved ones what they love about this happy place.

Their happy place.

Not just Stanley Idaho, but the private estate as well.

Because it’s so unique! It’s right on the river with beautiful views of the Sawtooth mountains. And it has so many cool vintage elements that make you feel like you’re somewhere special (because you are).

Amanda and Cody are also both very outdoorsy (he surfs, she bikes), so taking guests on fun activities to experience the natural beauty was important.

So with jabs in arms, guests were excited to come out!

They were treated with a full weekend of events highlighting this very special private estate, the food and the outdoor activities Stanley is known for.

The Welcome Dinner

The festivities began with a fun river float to introduce guests to the area. After a little catnap, a casual Mexican welcome dinner commenced.

Guests enjoying themselves at a welcome dinner in Stanley Idaho

Hats were put out for guests to wear and take photos with for the guest book.

These hats live on property for any guest to use and they span a range of styles. So we brought them out for guests to wear and have fun with!

It brought just a little bit more of the special property to guests.

At the welcome table we also had guests fill out name tags so those who hadn’t met could meet each other easily.

Welcome sign with guest book instructions for a welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho
Coat rack with various hats for guests to wear at a welcome dinner in Stanley Idaho
Kids having fun with hats and taking photos at a welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho

As the welcome dinner featured yummy Mexican food from a local restaurant, tables were decorated with colorful striped linen and succulents.

The succulents also got to live on after the festivities at the property.

On the tables was also a custom crossword. One of the couple’s favorite pastimes is doing a crossword together, so they created a custom one for their guests to play!

As it contained answers from the span of their lives and relationship, guests had to mingle to learn the answers.

Colorful striped runner with succulent centerpiece for a welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho
Succulent centerpiece on a colorful striped linen for a welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho
Succulent centerpiece and custom crossword make for a good time at a welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho

The welcome dinner was purposely casual, with good food and lots of time to enjoy the view and the company.

But some really impactful moments like when the mother of the groom sang a few songs was lovely and touching.

Tortilla chips and salsa for a Mexican welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho
Mother of the groom singing at a welcome dinner in Stanley, Idaho.
Kids playing by the river at a welcome dinner in Stanley Idaho

The Wedding Day

The morning kicked off with guests hiking and enjoying a mountain bike ride, which is one of Amanda’s favorite activities.

After cleaning up and some lunch, the couple got ready separately for some quality time alone with their siblings (also best man and matron of honor).

Bride getting ready with her sister and maid of honor at a private estate Stanley Idaho wedding.
Wildflower bouquet and shoes await the bride at a Stanley Idaho wedding

Then guests started arriving!

They walked over the bridge leading to the wedding and toward the ceremony area.

When they got there they were greeted with a cocktail, an Aperol spritz, a favorite of the family’s.

Vintage bicycle with sign directing guests to ceremony at a Stanley Idaho wedding
Colorful welcome drinks at a Stanley Idaho wedding

The ceremony took place behind the old motel barn with the Sawtooth mountains in the background.

Locally grown wildflowers in yellow and white adorned the aisle and encircled the couple. To make it even more of a family affair, the florals were lovingly created by the partner of the best man/groom’s brother.

Wedding ceremony area adorned with yellow and white wildflowers for a Stanley Idaho wedding
Locally grown wildflowers create a fun and natural looking ceremony aisle for a Stanley Idaho wedding
Semi circle of wedding flowers serve as a focal point for a Stanley, Idaho wedding

A family affair means the whole family needed to be there! So the couple’s beloved dog, Stuey (the dog of honor), walked down the aisle and bore witness to the union.

The couple were married by a long time friend and shared heartfelt personal vows.

Groomsmen walking with the dog of honor at a wedding ceremony in Stanley, Idaho
Bridal processional with dad as guests look on at a private estate wedding in Stanley Idaho
Intimate wedding ceremony with Sawtooth mountains in the backdrop of a Stanley Idaho wedding
Bride reading personal vows at a Stanley Idaho wedding ceremony
Couple kiss at their wedding ceremony in Stanley Idaho

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed cocktails by the river with more hats of course!

Private estate wedding tent in Stanley Idaho

As guests headed into the tent for dinner, a vintage easel held the seating chart.

Sailcloth dinner tent right by the river at a private estate wedding in Stanley Idaho
A vintage easel holds the seating chart for a Stanley Idaho wedding

In the tent, guests were greeted with farm tables and string lights.

Tables were set with runners recycled from the bride’s sister’s wedding, but made to look different by pairing it with mismatched blue and white patterned napkins.

Centerpieces were amber and brown bud vases filled with locally grown wildflowers which family members had helped to make the previous day.

And tables were named after special locations the couple loves in Stanley.

Farm tables and wildflower centerpieces at a Stanley Idaho wedding
Brown bottle bud vases with wildflowers served as centerpieces for a Stanley Idaho wedding
Wildflower centerpieces and table named after special places in Stanley Idaho

The family style dinner highlighted local flavors and utilized all local ingredients.

The chef even came out to talk about the ingredients and where they came from (from the meat and fish to the butter) so that the guests could appreciate what they were enjoying.

First course farm to table plated salad and mis-matched printed napkins for a wedding in Stanley Idaho
Corn on the cob at a wedding in Stanley, Idaho
Chef Aaron introducing the meal and the origins of the ingredients at a wedding reception in Stanley, Idaho

As this was truly a family affair, the toasts were some of the most touching and engaging I’ve ever heard.

It was like childhood story time! Everyone was completely captivated, entertained and enjoying the ride.

Laughing bride while listening to personal toasts a wedding reception in Stanley Idaho
Guests having a good time at a wedding reception in Stanley Idaho

After dinner, guests dived into the pie bar and homemade ice cream for dessert. Both being favorites of the couple.

Pie and ice cream bar menu for dessert at a Stanley Idaho wedding
Mini pies for dessert at a Stanley Idaho wedding

After the dinner, we headed into the vintage motel barn. The sweet first dance kicked off a night of fun.

A stargazing area and fire pit lounge was set up for those who wanted to take a break from the dancing. And conversations went into the wee hours of the morning.

Vintage barn for dancing at a Stanley Idaho wedding
After dinner lounge and vintage barn at a private estate wedding
First dance in a barn at a Stanley Idaho wedding
Stargazing area for a Stanley Idaho wedding

After a long, fun night, one last send off brunch event at the private estate gave guests one more chance to connect. They enjoyed a waffle and quiche bar and got one last hug in.

Amanda and Cody wanted a wedding that not only shared their love with their guests but this special place that is dear to their hearts.

And especially after so much time being separated due to COVID, it was the perfect way to gather and be together.

Getting to see the excitement of their friends and family enjoying this happy place only made it that much happier. It was the best start to their marriage.

Vintage truck and couple in cowboy hats at a Stanley Idaho wedding
Happy couple walking away at a Stanley Idaho wedding on the river

This Stanley Idaho wedding was a true family affair all around. The location, the venue, the couple, the details and even myself!

As I said before, I love this family! It was so much fun to work with them again and create a meaningful experience. And I hope we’ll get to do it again someday!

Many thanks to the team who helped to create this wedding:

If you’d like to learn more about our services and how we can help you with your destination wedding, please get in touch!

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