Tying the Knot at 11,000 Feet
Author: Julia Partain
Published Date: 03/09/2020
Read Time: 3 Minutes
Imagine your wedding with a lush, green mountain-scape, now imagine it at 11,000 feet. Relive the O’Keeffe’s amazing experience with hosting their wedding at Snowbird.
Before Sean and Gina O’Keefe were even engaged, both had “secretly” contacted Snowbird to inquire about having their wedding at the year-round resort. Gina, a Utah-Native, grew up skiing at Snowbird. Her family and friends had a timeshare at the Bird and it has always been an important part of her life. Sean grew up in Buffalo, New York and equally shared Gina’s love for skiing and the outdoors. So when Sean popped the question in August 2015, the next step was a breeze.
Sean and Gina (both residing in New York) contacted Snowbird’s Wedding Sales Manager Christena Buonforte and started planning their big day.
“We really wanted a Hidden Peak wedding” Gina says. “When we found out that newly-built Summit was available for a July 2016 mountain-top ceremony, we were sold.”
“A destination wedding was the plan and Snowbird was the perfect spot for both families and friends,” Sean adds. “This was going to be a wedding and vacation for our guests.”
Buonforte made the long-distance wedding planning process surprisingly easy and fun. They made plans via emails and phone calls and Sean and Gina were able to finalize the big details when they came out to ski Snowbird over her family timeshare weekend in February 2016.
“She had meetings set up with the bakery for cake tasting (we tried 18 flavors!) and the banquet chef to finalize catering details (seafood or steak)," Gina says. “She also provided us a solid list of preferred vendors that we could choose from for other wedding day details including DJs, photographers and florists.”
The July 2, 2016 wedding went off without a hitch. Guests flew in the week of the wedding and enjoyed a relaxing, fun getaway even before the weekend festivities began. Snowbird’s Cliff Spa treatments , summer activities and dining option did not disappoint.
Snowbird’s Tram whisked the wedding party to the Summit atop Hidden Peak for the 4 pm ceremony. After the I Dos and a champagne toast, guests enjoyed cocktails, a seated dinner and danced the night away.
“We had different venues for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and Sunday brunch,” Sean states. “Christena really helped us fully utilize the space and time that we had at each site.”
The O’Keeffe’s rustic wedding is just one of many that Snowbird has had the opportunity to be a part of. Maybe yours will be next. Let Snowbird help plan an unforgettable mountain wedding by combining the finest elements with the most unique alpine wedding venues. Visit snowbird.com/weddings to get started.
About the Photographer
The O’Keeffe’s selected Salt Lake City-based photographer Mark Thackery to document their big day.
“I am extremely passionate about what I do,” Thackeray says. “I go to great lengths to create and bring to life a genuinely unforgettable experience. This experience is not just for you. It extends to your families, your friends and each of your guests.”
Check out more of his work at pier23photography.com .
About the Author
Julia Partain, a Salt Lake City native, is a freelance writer and editor for local and regional publications, including Outdoor Sports Guide, Snowbird's annual Bird Magazine and the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance. When she isn’t writing about happenings in her hometown, you can find her running with her pooch or carving turns with her family at a local ski resort.