Into the Woods: The Hollow at Sundance

Elegance and nature coalesce at a verdantly intimate Provo Canyon wedding venue.

The Hollow, a one-acre event venue located a two-minute walk upstream from Sundance Mountain Resort, is pure fairy tale woodland. There, dappled sunlight filters through the forest canopy onto a grassy meadow flanked by a serene pond and the babbling North Fork of the Provo River. Hank Stewart homesteaded this dreamy setting back in the early 1900s. It’s now preserved into perpetuity as an inimitable venue where outdoors-loving couples joyfully begin their lives together.


A tall stone fireplace, original to the Stewart home that once stood there, anchors this one-acre venue. Other elements include a wood-plank rope swing, rows of benches for guests to observe wedding ceremonies, long dining tables and even a zip line running the length of the space. Sophie Islip, of Florette Floral, played up the fireplace’s rustic appeal with an abundant, 11-foot installation that extended from the middle of the structure up the chimney. The same free-form clusters of greenery and flowers were used to flock the venue’s romantic rope swing. For the riverside ceremony site, Islip created an eight-foot rounded arch from free-flowing greenery, white roses, larkspur, hydrangeas and, for depth and volume, baby’s breath. She chose more delicate floral varieties—including white garden roses, scabiosas, ranunculus and majolika spray roses—for the petite arrangements placed on the dining tables. “A secret garden was the overall theme,” Islip says. “My intent was for the flowers and greenery to look like it had perhaps been left to grow naturally.”


A green velvet sofa accented by oversized pillows, candle-lit lanterns and large flower arrangements fostered the site’s inviting ambience. Lounge chairs and a carved wooden love seat shaped additional conversation areas near the fireplace and at other corners of the venue, inviting guests to linger and mingle with those beyond whom they were seated with for dinner. Glowing strings of globe lights crisscrossed the dining tables overhead, furthering the setting’s magical vibe.     


Culinary Crafts is The Hollow’s preferred caterer and, for this reception, they created a menu that paid homage to both the event’s forested setting and Utah producers and purveyors. Passed appetizers included petite grilled Deer Valley Brie sandwiches and bacon wrapped dates with smoked Utah goat cheese and Slide Ridge honey. At tables set with romantic blue-tinted glass goblets and sheer white table runners, guests dined on a colorful salad of Arcadia greens tossed with berries, pears and candied almonds and a main course of grilled sea bass, beef tenderloin and vegetables, and roasted fingerling potatoes. Petite chocolate pots de crème, Dutch oven apple cobbler, gelato and a chocolate hazelnut and vanilla strawberry wedding cake rounded out the dessert menu.


This wedding’s bride, Marianne Liljenquist, was also the event planner. “When we got engaged,” Liljenquist says, “we didn’t really know what we wanted our wedding to look and be like. All we knew was we wanted delicious food and drink and to have our closest loved ones present.” After a couple of months of considering the options, the couple decided that a small and intimate celebration was the way to go. “We love the outdoors and nature and were lucky enough to stumble upon the most incredible venue in the mountains that felt like an enchanted forest. We used this vibe and feel through the rest of the planning process keeping things whimsical, natural, romantic and modern.”


PHOTOGRAPHY: Ashlee Brooke Photography,
VENUE: The Hollow, Stewart Mountain Lodging
FLOWERS: Florette Floral
TABLE LINENS & SETTINGS: Diamond Event & Tent
LIGHTING: Moonlight Lighting
HAIR: Prodigy Salon
MAKEUP: Marisa Rose
WEDDING DRESS: Atelier Edwin Oudshoorn Bridal, Alta Moda Bridal
RINGS: Sierra West Jewelers

We have even more forested fairytale weddings on our blog!

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Melissa Fields
Melissa Fields is a wife, mother, freelance writer, editor and—since the moment she migrated to Utah from Michigan more than 25 years ago—a huge fan of the Wasatch Mountains. A few of the outlets Melissa writes and edits for include Salt Lake Magazine, Park City Magazine, Utah Bride & Groom Magazine, and When not wordsmithing at her laptop, Melissa spends her time volunteering, hiking, pedaling, skiing, rock climbing and playing her guitar.