While theirs was far from the typical office romance, Genevieve Cortese and Jared Padalecki did fall in love on the job. Keeping their relationship low profile until their romantic New York City engagement became official in January of 2010, the former costars fantasized about a wedding with an outdoorsy feel in the bride’s hometown of Sun Valley, Idaho.
While Genevieve worked in Los Angeles and Jared in Vancouver, it became difficult to deal with logistics of a wedding in Idaho. Thankfully, the bride’s mother – who lives locally – generously offered to help plan the event. The extra assistance provided a reprieve for the busy couple. “It was a bit crazy!” admits Genevieve of the destination planning process.
The couple based their wedding details on the valley’s naturally gorgeous winter landscape. “It was really important to me to share my love of the mountains with Jared’s family,” shares the bride. “Plus, we both love the outdoors as well as winter sports, and figured it was the perfect time to gather everyone together.” Since the area has such an organically beautiful look in the wintertime, the couple wanted to incorporate the frosty season into the theme of the celebration. With that in mind, snowy whites, shimmering silvers, and a shade of rich navy were selected for the décor elements. Genevieve and Jared also wanted to include their love of the outdoors in the details. With the weather so chilly, it was necessary to bring the outdoors “in” for the event. Simple items such as decorative snowflakes, glittery ribbons, and wintery sprigs achieved the desired effect.
Genevieve wore a strapless Monique Lhuillier gown of delicate lace paired with equally feminine floral pumps. A dainty ribbon tied across her waist added the final touch to the ensemble, while diamond earrings gifted by the groom added a touch of sparkle. Bridesmaids wearing floor-length dresses by the same designer in a pretty shade of navy sported Ugg boots customized with Sun Valley patches. The bride’s junior bridesmaid and flower girl wore crisp white dresses complemented with navy satin ribbons, and carried bunches of calla lilies and roses. Wooden chairs decorated with white roses and ribbons in a shade of deep blue lined the aisleway of the ceremony. The transparent tent in which the nuptials took place gave guests a magnificent view of nearby Bald Mountain. “Snow was falling all around and it was so beautiful,” remembers Genevieve. A stunning arch made of roses, hydrangeas, and lilies stood at the end of the aisle and served as a backdrop for the vow exchange, which was lovingly officiated by the grandfather of the bride.
At the reception, guests found their table assignments by locating their name on “ski lift” tickets with the recognizable Sun Valley logo. In lieu of a traditional guest book, a custom bound portfolio of the couple’s engagement photos was set out for guests to sign and include their well wishes. Before taking their seats, attendees were invited to enjoy signature drinks designed by Genevieve and Jared. Custom coasters with the couple’s names and matchbox sets inscribed with their initials were placed along a bar that was illuminated by romantic candlelight. Understated centerpieces of ivory roses and hydrangea blossoms graced round tables clothed in silver tablecloths of luxurious satin. A fresh leaf adorned each chic navy napkin into which stylish menu cards were tucked, and simple votive candles gave tables a romantic glow.
Guests feasted on a scrumptious sit-down dinner before receiving their choice of dessert: Generous slices of the couple’s three-tiered wedding confection adorned with dazzling snowflakes; or a taste of the groom’s cake fashioned into the shape of Texas as a nod to Jared’s home state. The musical entertainment was exceptional and included a live band, as well as two other extraordinary entertainers. “Our friend Brian Buckley sang an original song that he wrote for us,” says the groom, “and Matthew Gregory, one of my groomsmen, sang as well. It was really personal and special.” Before guests left for the evening, they were gifted with charming paper bags filled with inviting midnight snacks of donuts and milk.
The couple agrees that their most memorable moment of the evening was gazing around the room, watching all their loved ones having a wonderful time, and feeling the happiness. “It was amazing having our friends and family all together to celebrate our special day,” confirms the bride. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”