After Josh Vandenburg proposed to Tyler Lown, the couple knew exactly where they wanted to say “I do.” Though the duo reside in Dallas, Texas, they opted to host their nuptials at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe. “We have a special connection to New Mexico,” explains Tyler, who travels there weekly for work. “Josh spent summers and winters in New Mexico. I first learned to ski at Angel Fire right outside Santa Fe. It’s a magical place. There’s a spirit there that’s so alive and well.”
The Bride and Groom: After moving back to Dallas, where she grew up, Tyler found herself lonely and sad about leaving Los Angeles, her home for several years. “I was reminiscing about my life in LA, and it was Memorial Day, and I was bummed out,” she says. “I was in my apartment having this pity party for myself and I heard voices next door. I gave myself a pep talk and decided to go meet some people. There were three guys out on the balcony and they invited me over, gave me some Champagne, and I immediately started talking to Josh.” A whirlwind romance followed, and two and a half years later, Josh surprised Tyler with a proposal at a playground where she’d played as a child, near her grandmother’s home in east Texas. “It brought back a lot of cool memories from her childhood,” explains Josh of choosing the location. “We took the dogs there, and I took her to a gazebo. It was a perfect fall day, and I got down on my knee and asked her to marry me.”
The Celebrations: The three-day festivities began on Thursday night, when the couple hosted a casual “Boots and Blazers” rehearsal dinner at Rio Chama steakhouse in Santa Fe for the wedding party as well as close friends and family. Guests dressed for the occasion in blue jeans and cowboy boots. On Friday, Tyler’s grandmother hosted a welcome party at the Coyote Café in downtown Santa Fe. For the casual cocktail hour, out-of-town guests wore colourful Latin-inspired paper flowers in their hair and on their shirts, danced to an all-female mariachi band, and enjoyed chiles rellenos, chicken wings and prickly pear margaritas.
The Bride Wore: Tyler chose a stunning mermaid-style gown with off-the-shoulder sleeves by Monique Lhuillier, while her bridesmaids wore Amsale dresses. Her bouquet was also a show-stopper, consisting of roses, ranunculus and peonies in bright pinks, yellows and oranges. “I didn’t want a really tight and compact and structured bouquet,” explains Tyler of the loose arrangement of flowers with a flowing vine draped down. “I wanted everything to be very organic in the sense of movement.”
The Scene: The couple wed during an Episcopalian ceremony at the Church of Holy Faith in Santa Fe. Afterwards, guests headed to the courtyard at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, where they enjoyed a cocktail hour as soft jazz played. The reception was held in the Resort’s Aspen Room, where wedding planner Jessie Baca brought to life the couple’s vision of an organic, earthy and natural wedding that paid homage to Santa Fe’s “enchanting, ethereal, creative spirit,” as Tyler describes it. Chocolate brown table linens contrasted with the bold oranges, reds and greens of Santa Fe’s desert landscape, which were incorporated into elegant floral centrepieces by Marisa Millefiori. After a Southwest-inspired dinner, guests moved to a stunning tent that was so clear, “you could see the stars perfectly,” says Tyler. There, everyone danced the night away to the sounds of Dallas-based band Party Machine, taking an occasional breather from the dance floor to relax around chimeneas stationed throughout the lounge areas.
Special Moment: The massive wooden doors to the church opened and Tyler, backlit by the bright New Mexico sun, walked in on the arm of her father. “Watching the church doors swing wide open and seeing Tyler for the first time was, by far, the best moment!” says Josh.
Photography Karlisch Photography