“Attendees from all fifty states, every Canadian province, and several foreign countries gather each October to celebrate live performances of America’s music. The Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree was birthed out of a love and appreciation for jazz music by Tom & Barbara Hazzard held each mid-October each year in Sun Valley, ID.” For more information please visit http://www.sunvalleyjazz.com
Award-winning photographer Hillary Mayberry's images perfectly capture the romance and rustic feel of this spectacular summer Trail Creek wedding (photos courtesy of Hillary Mayberry)
It is a fantasy for many couples planning their dream wedding. Friends and family arrive in Sun Valley from all over the country, and the world, for a weekend unlike any other. Depending on the season, the days leading up to the “I do’s” might include organized hikes and bike rides or a guided tour of Baldy on skis or snowboard. How about a wagon ride or sleigh ride through the picturesque Idaho countryside? A morning of fly-fishing? A party at the Gun Club or a few laps around Sun Valley’s pristine, world-famous Nordic tracks? Fabulous meals featuring fresh, local seasonal dishes keep everyone’s energy up for what comes next.
So many possibilities exist to share this special place with wedding guests and wedding party, creating a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
The stunning bride, Kate Bentley, who grew up part time in Sun Valley, prepares for her walk up the aisle at Trail Creek
While many have married in Sun Valley style through the decades, the choice is now more popular than ever according to Kat Stansberry of Sun Valley’s Catering Department.Trends in nuptial planning emphasize the unique, the special, the non-cookie cutter event, and that is what Sun Valley does so perfectly.
Natural, rustic touches set a perfect backdrop for the nuptials, as did a gorgeous summer day
The beautiful bride grew up part time in Sun Valley and was quoted as saying, “Keith and I had little doubt about where we wanted to hold our celebration. For as long as I can remember, my family has spent time nearly every summer and winter in Sun Valley so it was an easy call for me. And after seven years of dating, Keith (a born and bred New Englander) had grown to love the location as much as my family. But most importantly, we associated Sun Valley with memories we had made together, a quality that made this picturesque mountain town a slam dunk.”
It was the attention to detail and the spectacular way the wedding complimented the surroundings and the surroundings complimented the wedding that made this sacred celebration stand out (though a gorgeous couple and a perfect summer day didn’t hurt either). Stansberry said she saw many current wedding trends perfectly executed in these creekside nuptials, from the use of natural and rustic materials, to seasonal flowers to personal do-it-yourself touches.
The wedding's themes continued to set the tone in the reception tent
This summer wedding captured so perfectly by Mayberry showcased the quality of the light and the splendor of the season, a pastiche that changes every week, and sometimes even numerous times during a single day, in the mountains. Though July and August are the most popular wedding months in Sun Valley, each season offers unique and jaw dropping possibilities.
Stansberry thinks (and I agree) the prettiest month to get married is September. “The weather is ideal, town isn’t terribly crowded, the leaves are changing,” she said. “It’s spectacular.” Winter weddings in Sun Valley are memorable, too, providing so many opportunities to play in the snow and then gather by the fire, creating a cozy, intimate atmosphere.
As varied as the seasons are Sun Valley venues perfect for gatherings of any size. Smaller events are a wonderful fit for Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge or the historic Roundhouse Restaurant perched two-thirds up Bald Mountain. River Run Lodge and Trail Creek Cabin accommodate bigger groups, with River Run comfortably holding 250 partygoers. If an early evening is what the couple desires, the always-elegant Lodge Dining Room invites revelry until 10 p.m. During the colder season, from October 1 through May 1, brides may also walk up the aisle at the elegant Sun Valley Club.
Sunflowers have never looked so elegant
Sun Valley staffs a coordinator who works exclusively with brides and grooms and their families. “We are not full-service wedding planners, but will help organize the event. We put families in touch with wedding professionals and vendors for every need — flowers, photography, tabletops, even hair and nail service providers,” Stansberry explained.Once the date is chosen, there is a wide and deep team of creative, consummate local wedding professionals to help make the couple’s vision a reality.
Stansberry said the Resort hears from brides and grooms up to 15 months before a desired wedding date, and Sun Valley can go into contract for the chosen venue up to 12 months before the big day. “One thing we’re seeing more of is mothers-of-the-bride calling to whisper that their daughter is getting engaged soon and they want to reserve a date even before the ring is on the bride’s finger,” Stansberry laughed.
Sun Valley is the ideal place to exchange vows and to share this timeless, classic and elegant location with the most special people in your life.
At my own September wedding, way back in 1995, the party moved from Trail Creek to the Lodge Dining Room and made a stop at the outdoor ice rink for some impromptu pre-dessert skating. That's what you get for inviting a hockey team to your wedding. You never know what will happen at a Sun Valley celebration!
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is thrilled to announce our new event, the Winter Lift-Off Party! The Winter Lift-Off will take place Friday, December 6, 2013, at two new venues, Sun Valley Company’s Roundhouse and River Run Lodge at the base of Bald Mountain in Ketchum.
In the spirit of renewal inspired by the remodeling of the Greyhawk Training Center, the annual Wild Game Dinner will be revamped into the Winter Lift-Off and infused with the energy and anticipation of the SVSEF’s 47th winter season. We have chosen to retire the much-loved geese, and replace them with a winter-themed celebration featuring snowflakes, skis and don’t-stop-til-you-drop dancing.
Despite a lack of our feathered friends, favorites from the Wild Game Dinner will still be present, including mystery balloons, live music, silent and online auctions and all the friends you want to catch up with. The night will begin with an intimate supper at Roundhouse for the SVSEF’s Champions of the Foundation, and festivities continue with a party at the base the mountain for all who would like to join in the fun.
Through the Winter Lift-Off, the SVSEF hopes to raise one-third of the annual budget necessary to produce the quality on-snow programs the community has come to expect. Through fundraising efforts, the SVSEF provides financial aid for both tuition and travel, academic assistance, training facilities, and racing opportunities.
Stay tuned for more information on the SVSEF’s Winter Lift-Off Party, but please save the date for Friday, December 6!
Let’s face it, kids have limitless energy that can sometimes be challenging for parents to harness. Even after hours of shredding on Baldy, playing on the “Bald Spot” terrain at the top of the hill and tackling runs from moguls to glades and Adventure Trails, many children are still not ready for the fun to end.
And let’s face it, after hours of skiing on Baldy and trying to keep up with said kids, parents might need a bit of a break. Maybe even one of the famous Bloody Marys or a beer for après ski at River Run Lodge. A little live music and adult conversation might just hit the spot.
Every child loves to sled and tubing is even better
How to keep everyone happy? It’s the Tubing Hill to the rescue! Every afternoon, beginning at 1 p.m. and running until 5 p.m., the young and the young at heart can get a ticket, grab a special inner tube sled and delight in an hour of taking some laps down the Tubing Hill, relocated his year to Baldy. Located to skier’s left of Lower River Run and adjacent to the children’s learning area, Kinderspielplatz, the Tubing Hill is a terrific way to get a little more out of your day.
On New Year’s Eve, Matt jovially manned the base of the run, handing red and blue inner tubes to a child as young as three (accompanied by his dad), to two 17-year-old girls who announced they “loved” their ride after the first lap, to every age in between. At the top of the hill, accessed by the Magic Carpet and a gentle uphill walk, Mark helped launch the sledders down the curving slope, giving an extra spin or a little more speed when asked. Two local sisters, who hadn’t skied that day, had come over to the hill simply to enjoy tubing. They were happily doing laps, sometimes sharing a tube (it goes faster that way), or driving their own.
Ready, set, go!
Everyone loves to sled but the adults among us may not always love the hassle of driving to the right spot and repeatedly lugging children up steep hills. At the Tubing Hill, the Magic Carpet does the work and there is no need to drive anywhere. Brilliant!
Across the plaza, I am guessing the parents of some of those happy children, were enjoying Happy Hour at the bustling Lodge. The last “run” of the day for many vacationers and locals alike is Mahogany Ridge, the long, polished bar at River Run. Serving cocktails, beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee and hot chocolate drinks, it is a very popular gathering place and a great spot at which to compare notes, brag about runs and talk about just how amazing the skiing in Sun Valley is right now. And did I mention the legendary Bloody Marys?
Mahogany Ridge is the place for apres ski
It’s all happening at the base of River Run. Happy, shrieking children sliding and spinning down the Tubing Hill; parents joining them for a few runs or gathering with friends at the Lodge to unwind and extend the day a bit longer.