A Mountain Retreat Ceremony

They met each other for the first time on a cold and rainy float trip down the Smith River in Montana. In spite of the miserable conditions, they had a wonderful time, and soon discovered they were kindred souls, with a love for every sort of outdoor adventure. Anna lived in Jackson, Wy. and Carson lived in Bozeman, Mon., and after two years of traveling back and forth, Carson proposed to Anna on a family trip to Scottsdale. They were joyfully united in marriage at 4:30 in the afternoon on October 5 at the Snake River Sporting Club in Jackson Hole.

The bride, Anna Marie Wells, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Calvin Wells of Jackson. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Calvin Lowell Wells and the late Mr. Wells, also of Jackson, and the granddaughter of Mrs. Carl Blatt and late Mr. Blatt of St. Louis. The bridegroom, Donald Carson Cowles IV, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Carson Cowles III, of Bozeman. He the grandson of the late Mamie Phillips Tatum, and the late Roy Tatum, of Louisiana, and the late Mr. and Mrs. Donald Carson Cowles Jr. of Bozeman.

Given in marriage by her father, Anna wore a designer gown accented with pearls, and a chapel-length veil. After the ceremony, she kept warm under a cashmere and fur cape. She carried a hand tied bouquet that included panda anemone, cream roses, blue hydrangea, and blue thistle.

Sally Wells Byram, sister of the bride, was matron of honor. Bridesmaids were Alex Smith Elliot, Marita Walton Ellis, Toy Gathings, Holly Williams Harvard, Sara Hazard Hastings, Mary Margaret Myers Lee, Yancy Love Popicg, Veazey Tramel Reindl, Maggie Tidwell and Brooke Donald Wahl.

Reese Milner served as best man. Groomsmen were Andrew Ferguson, Zach Lindsay, Nick Massey, Robert McBride, Evan Schwalm, Jon Turpin, Parker Walton and Mark Yarnell. George Byram, nephew of the bride, was the ringbearer.

The Reverend Ben Pascal of Jackson, Wy. officiated the ceremony, and The String Lake Ensemble presented nuptial music.

Guests stayed warm with lap blankets and hot cider during the breezy ceremony overlooking the Snake River, where Anna and Carson had fished many times.

Following the ceremony, guests made their way back to the clubhouse for a reception hosted by the bride’s parents. The fare included an assortment of regional specialties, including bison and elk. The wedding cake was a five-tier lavender infused vanilla cake, with wildflower honey buttercream, decorated with a mountain scape theme.

After dinner, guests moved to the tent to dance to the music of Changing Lanes Band of Salt Lake City. The bride surprised her father by switching their dance song to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and having Cardinals and Yankees Caps for the dance. Anna and her father have been to baseball games in every major league stadium across the country.  At the end of the evening, the newlyweds left the reception through an alley of sparklers and departed in Carson’s Land Rover Defender with a “Gone Fishing” sign tied to the spare.

On the eve of the wedding, the parents of the bridegroom, hosted a rehearsal dinner at the National Museum of Wildlife Art overlooking the National Elk Refuge, and continued the celebration with a Post Toast at StillWest Brewery. Earlier in the week, guests gathered at the Silver Dollar Bar in the Wort Hotel for a welcome to Wyoming party.

A wedding trip to New Zealand is planned for the spring. The couple is at home in Bozeman. (Photography by Karla Pound)

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