Mikki Ekfelt & Zach Clayton
Sundance Mountain Resort, Sundance
Photographs by Nhiya Kaye
Virginia meets New Hampshire meets Utah. This couple brought their New England favorites to the mountains of Utah in a wedding fit for a film.
They met at the University of New Hampshire, where She played lacrosse and he competitively skied. After eight years of dating— including a move to Park City— Zach proposed to Mikki during her first backcountry ski run in Jackson Hole’s Teton Pass. “After I got used to skinning (climbing uphill on skis with adhesive grippy skins attached to ski bottoms), we toured around Mount Elly, and our dog Angus romped in the snow around us,” Mikki says. “When we got there, I plopped down because I was tired, but Zach kept forcing me up to look at the views of Jackson in the distance. He snuck around behind me, and all of the sudden I heard, ‘Mikki?’ When I turned around, Zach was down on one knee and proposing.”
Mikki and Zach knew from the start that a fall wedding was in the cards. “We thought we wanted to get married in Jackson Hole after getting engaged there, but after site visits, nothing really struck a chord for us. Sundance had so many elements we wanted: activities for our guests, everyone staying in one location, an intimate, mountain setting and it is stunningly beautiful. Sundance checked all of our boxes.”
Mikki and Zach included elements from their favorite places. Maple candies from New Hampshire, Virginia peanuts, Polar Seltzer (a New England cult favorite) and Salt Lake saltwater taffy all filled goodie bags. Place cards and floral arrangements featured copper and gold magnolia leaves that the bride’s mother spray-painted, “I grew up in Virginia with a beautiful and huge magnolia tree in my front yard,” Mikki explains the symbolism.
The couple chose a buffet filled with local dishes including steak and trout served with autumnal side dishes. “All the food at Sundance is to die for,” Mikki says. Flour & Flourish baked a sweet potato caramel cake with whiskey caramel buttercream filling and toasted candied pecans. “The cake!” she exclaims, “It was literally the best cake I’ve ever tasted.”
Mikki and Zach served up an “epic dance party” filled with music from their college days. Their wedding weekend coincided with University of New Hampshire’s homecoming weekend, “so we told everyone to party like we were at UNH,” Mikki says. The newlyweds chose Sam Cooke’s “Nothing Can Change this Love” for their first dance.