Wedding stories are inherently heartwarming and inspiring. A sweet love story with a fairytale ending offers us reassurance that, at least occasionally, magic happens. This is one of those endearingly comforting sagas—and it has alchemy, too. The tale begins humbly enough.
“We met in the second grade at Hemingway Elementary in Ketchum. We were in the same class,” reminisces Amber (Simpson) Morgan.
Remaining “good friends, but nothing more,” the couple graduated Wood River High School together in 1992, wished each other well along with their other classmates, and went their separate ways. Years later, and on a pure lark, they met up again in Ketchum during their summer vacations. The alchemy begins.
“A girlfriend mentioned to me that David was in town, too, so I just called him up and invited him to my birthday barbeque. Later on, we went dancing, and, well . . . it just sparked from there.”
After a few years of following one another to various university and career venues, Amber decided to settle in Ketchum. Unwilling to disregard the call of developing magic, David followed her back to their childhood hometown.
On a vacation to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, the couple chose to indulge in one of their favorite pastimes, scuba diving. Nothing unusual about that—until David swam in front of Amber and began gesturing.
“He crossed his heart and pointed to a ring,” Amber recalls, clearly moved by the memory.
Their wedding was a celebration of pure substance, a clear reflection of the couple and their history in this Valley. Cabin Girl married Creek Boy on a gloriously golden day—September 20, 2003—on the grounds of a Warm Springs cabin they had remodeled for lifelong family friends, Steve and Haley Minor. A fascinating supporting cast of locals was in attendance, including Amber’s family, the founders and longtime owners of Warm Springs Ranch—a favorite local hang-out. Officiating at the ceremony was Ketchum’s mayor—David’s uncle, Ed Simon. Smiling through her tears was the groom’s mother—the former postmaster of Sun Valley, Hetty Simon Morgan. The bride’s father passed away in 1999; his life was celebrated and his ashes were scattered near one of his favorite places, the cabin grounds where the couple married.
“We chose to get married there because we had such meaningful memories of that special place. Having the wedding outdoors was mandatory for us. No question. The mountains, next to the river, surrounded by pines and aspens . . . it couldn’t have been better. We chose the fall because the colors are so spectacular.”
Every aspect of their wedding had a connection to the Valley, and to the couple’s childhood years here.
“We loved having our families and friends participate in so many significant ways,” explains Amber. “It was incredibly important to us to support the local business community in planning our wedding. We used all local vendors—and, everyone was so great! It was all absolutely perfect.”
One of their childhood friends sang to the couple as part of the ceremony. Other friends provided signature foods for the celebration, and still others organized countless special details for them. The couple’s rings were designed and created by Expressions in Gold, combining elements of each of their grandmothers’ wedding rings.
Another gift arranged by Amber’s family offered a broader benefit as well. To videotape the wedding, Amber’s aunt and uncle hired a local, but internationally known, documentary filmmaker—Vanessa Schulz—who shoots weddings as a means of subsidizing her environmental and wildlife films. For a couple who deeply loves nature, this was a gift within a gift, a reminder of their special day inside a package that also supports important environmental work.
When night fell on this perfect autumn day, no one was ready to leave the fun. “In a way,” Amber says, “I wished we had set up a cover for the reception because all of a sudden it was pitch dark. But then, if we’d had a tent and candles and all that, we wouldn’t have had the trees and the mountains and the beautiful sky. So, when it got dark, we all went to The Roosevelt to go dancing. There I was, still in my wedding dress, with all of our friends. . .It was absolutely sweet!”