One of the best parts about the western industry is the people involved. Stephanie and Justin of Long X Trading Co. have not only worked with some of the best in the business like Espuela Design Co. and Cody and Rikki Ruiz, but they’ve also come to call them friends. So much so, that they pulled off one of the most beautiful, touching, and so very fitting elopements right in the middle of the Pendleton Round-Up Arena. Stephanie tells it best! Keep reading to see how they eloped…
“May 11th, 2018 we kissed as the clock turned to 6:00pm PST. That’s what Karen from Espuela told me.
“There was just something about this magical place that screamed ELOPE. When we left the northwest, I had no idea that this would now be somewhere I can’t wait to go.
“Before, Justin and I had never been to the Pendleton Round-Up, let alone passed through town. Right after we started dating, he flew me to Oregon for New Years Eve…included in that trip was a 3 hour journey from Portland to Pendleton. If you’ve never been there in January….well, there isn’t much to do. So other than my tour of Hamley’s and first experience with a kraütberger from Prodigal Son, I had no idea what was in store for me when Justin said we would move back to Pendleton so he could do leather full time.
“There were more hard days than easy, but it was the friends and memories we made that eventually got me to fall head over heels in love with this historic little town.
“So, when we were going back to Pendleton to not only participate (I’m also still a board member) in all things Pendleton Cattle Barons, but to also take part in a photoshoot with Pendleton Round-Up and Espeuela Design Co., I just couldn’t help but think the stars were aligning. Not only were we in a place where we really started from nothing, but we were in a place where we knew God was.
“For anyone who doesn’t know, The Let ‘Er Buck room actually holds cowboy church, at least it did when I was there.
“Justin took me to this place shortly after we moved out west. On some of the darkest days, I was sure glad to make the drive into town to listen to Marty Campbell preach and sing. It was really and truly our once a week escape from the barn before it warmed up enough to start roping. So, it just made sense that this is where another historical moment was supposed to take place.
“We didn’t tell anyone. We created a 5:30 ice cream social at Dairy Queen (so people would bring their kids), and whoever showed up was in attendance. It was 20 minutes from start to finish. Right after, I changed, we signed the dotted lines, and finished working the trade show.
“We headed to Mac’s Bar & Grill where a table full of us laughed and shared memories of all the anniversaries that were taking place.
“See, Cattle Barons is where we sold (traded actually) our first pair of customized converse to Miss Nevada Watt, and even sold the first pair of wedges out of the trunk of my car. No one knew us, we didn’t have a booth…for the most part, we still didn’t have a clue what we were doing with our logo or the fact I didn’t know how to watermark a photo.
“It was a weekend that was a turning point in our lives in 2017, 2018, and now for the rest of our lives. Pendleton is about a legacy and we pray we do it proud by making ourselves a part of it however we best can.
“Our first official picture as husband and wife was with none other than Randy Severe of Severe Brother’s Saddlery. He gifted us his Singer Patching Machine until we could afford to buy it shortly after Cattle Barons last year. Randy is also the master craftsman who’s responsible for the Pendleton Trophy Saddles each year.
“Minister Cody Ruiz is husband to Rikki from The Frosted Cowgirl. She was the best personal assistant, wedding coordinator, and people herder EVER! She actually knew my plan before Justin (he wanted to elope the whole time, but I was the one who needed convincing). I had Rikki ask Cody before I bothered Justin.” -Stephanie Alps
They took photos in front of bucking chute number 5 and 11…for their May 11th wedding date! Keep scrolling to see more photos from the big day.
Who says you have to wear white? Stephanie looks BEAUTIFUL and completely herself. Black, turquoise, and, of course, her signature tooled leather Converse!
Gosh, I just love these two!
I now pronounce you husband and wife!
Their first picture as husband and wife together after the wedding at the trade show!
Want to see more from the Espuela Design Co. photo shoot Stephanie was talking about? Click below!