Chari and CJ
River Bottoms Ranch, Midway. Sept. 27
Photography by Branson Maxwell
Chari, a track and field Olympian who competes for Team USA in the heptathlon, and CJ, who works for Booster Fuels—a gas and oil company—met in college as fellow athletes on the Utah State University track and field team. The two became best friends and, after spending so much time together, fell in love. The couple has been together ever since.
DINNER, DRINKS & I DO
After seven years together, CJ decided it was finally time to pop the question. The couple was dating long distance at the time, and they decided to meet up in Utah. They went to La Caille for dinner, and when they stepped outdoors after their meal, Chari was greeted by a camera crew outside the restaurant. As the pair walked toward the garden’s bridge, Chari could hear a musician playing one of the duo’s favorite songs, and CJ asked his future wife to dance. Their last stop was at the gazebo, where the pair kept dancing before Chari noticed rose petals falling all around her. When she turned around, she realized that she was surrounded by her friends and family, who looked on as CJ got down on one knee and proposed. After Chari said yes, the pair—accompanied by their nearest and dearest—headed back to La Caille, where they shared drinks and desserts and celebrated their engagement.
THE BIG DAY
The pair became smitten with the venue, River Bottoms Ranch, at first sight. “We loved it the second we saw it,” Chari says. “Everything was perfect, from the inside of the barn to the incredible scenery outside.” In order to achieve the intimate, romantic and mountain-inspired wedding of their dreams, they chose hues of blush, taupe, champagne, ivory and sage to give the celebration a natural, light and romantic aesthetic. One of the most memorable inclusions for Chari was John Beck, the couple’s officiant. “He’s one of our all-time favorite people and has been in CJ’s life since he was ten years old,” says Chari. “He’s been there for us throughout our entire relationship and was the perfect person to marry us.”
THE FIRST DANCE
“Our first dance was to ‘Perfect’ by Ed Sheeran,” Chari says. The pair added a personal touch to the performance by choreographing the dance themselves, and they had so much fun creating that special moment. “The dance was simple and wonderful, and we still do it every single time that song comes on. It’s such a sweet song, and it illustrated our relationship so perfectly.”
After 11 years together, the pair wanted to create a story that felt unique and personal to them, so they included special, personalized touches. They served Aggie Ice Cream—a fan favorite at their alma mater, Utah State. The bride also attached her garter to a football, which she threw across the room to her groom. They also added a fun experience by trading in traditional ring bearers for “ring security,” fully equipped with sunglasses, earpieces and personalized name tags.
Ceremony and Reception: River Bottoms Ranch
Photography: Branson Maxwell
Videography: Cali Warner Media
Wedding Planning and Design: Rachael Mayo, Rachael Ellen Events
Floral: Rachael Ellen Events
Makeup: Marisa Rose
DJ: Ricky Barrera, @therickybarrera
Rentals: Diamond Event & Tent
Bubbly: Bubbly Bar Events, @bubblybar.eventsut
Photo Booth: The VW Photo Bus
Veil: Ines Di Santo
Boutique for Dress and Jewelry: Lovella Bridal
Jewelry Designer: Maria Elena
Shoes: ON Running Rogers
Groom and Groomsmen’s Tux: The Black Tux
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Azazie
Escort Cards: Lustr Creative, @lustr.creative_
Dessert: Aggie Ice Cream
Hair: Laura Barton
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