Mallory Mantle, granddaughter of legendary baseball player Mickey Mantle, knew Rex Yarto back when they both attended Highland Park High School in Dallas. But it wasn’t until they had both graduated college and moved back to Dallas that the two really hit it off. “We had drinks with mutual friends one night and would never be separated again,” Mallory explains.
Five years later, the couple was living in Jackson, Wyoming; Rex was brewing beer, while Mallory was working at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. On Christmas morning, the mountain had received 15 inches of fresh snow overnight, so Rex insisted they leave early in order to snowboard down freshly powdered tracks. They took the very first tram that morning and halfway up the mountain, Rex got down on one knee and popped the question with a custom Alexis Russell raw, black-diamond engagement ring. “Hearts stop, the other tram passengers cheered,” Mallory recalls. “Best. Christmas. Ever.”
The couple knew immediately they wanted to tie the knot in Jackson. “It had become so much more than our special place,” Mallory explains. “It was home for us.” They settled on Moose Head Ranch after touring the venue over Labor Day weekend and set the date for August of the next year. “The natural beauty was undeniable,” she adds.
While they took their time choosing the venue, one of the first things Mallory did was buy her wedding dress only about a month after they were engaged. She found it during a trip back to Dallas, when she visited Stanley Korshak Bridal. “I wasn’t necessarily looking to buy that day,” she says. “It was the 7th dress I tried on. Seven is my lucky number, and my grandfather’s old baseball number, so it only seemed fitting that it was the dress.” While she initially thought she wanted something earthy and bohemian, Mallory ended up falling in love with a tulle Vera Wang dress with a mesh open neck and sleeves. “I actually sat down in the bridal studio with the tulle surrounding me and knew it was the one.” She finished off her look with a pair of celestial earrings by Jennifer Behr and vintage Stuart Weitzman white satin heels from the 90s. Meanwhile, Rex chose a light gray suit by Ted Baker.
The day of the ceremony, guests gathered at Moose Head Ranch for Rex and Mallory’s wedding. “Since my father passed away when I was eleven, it was important to me that my uncles play an integral role in the ceremony,” she explains. One of her late father’s brothers officiated, while the other walked her down the aisle to “Avril the 14th” by Aphex Twin. “To say it was emotional would be an understatement!” While rain clouds rolled in during the ceremony, they managed to make it through all the way to their first kiss as husband and wife. “Then it really came down during our ‘steal away’ shots. But it was good luck because it made for the most romantic and moody photographs, which are right up our alley,” she adds.
The reception took place immediately after just a few feet away from the ceremony. A seated dinner was served, while their wedding band, The Great Gatsby, played soft, alternative tunes. Once dinner was over it was time to dance. “My grandmother, who raised me once my father passed was a huge Elvis Presley fan,” Mallory explains. “I wanted to incorporate that somewhere, so we decided on ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ pretty quickly.” Mallory also felt strongly that she did not want to replace the traditional father-daughter dance with anyone else, and instead asked her bridal party to join her on the dance floor, where they all spun to “Do You Believe in Magic” by the Lovin’ Spoonful. “Each bridesmaid received a gold bracelet engraved with the title track just before the ceremony,” she adds.
After much, much dancing, it was time for the reception to wrap up. From there, many guests took shuttle buses into town and continued the party at the Cowboy Bar right off Jackson Town square. There was just one tiny catch—the bride was not allowed inside. “I hadn’t thought to have my ID on me, and they are strict about it,” she says. “However it was probably for the best. My Vera Wang dress would not have been the same!”