Wedding announcement: Jennifer Ridder and James Owens
Weddings can be complicated, time consuming affairs. So can presidential campaigns.
Last weekend, at least one couple tried to pull off both. The groom is a senior advisor to Governor Steve Bullock, a Democratic presidential candidate. The bride is the campaign manager, and his boss.
On Friday, just one month after launching a campaign for president, they gathered about 150 friends and family for their wedding in the mountains between Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek.
In addition to choosing seat assignments and picking out cake flavors (strawberry and pistachio made the cut), in the weeks before the wedding the couple found time to coordinate a national press tour and make preparations for presidential town halls in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Jennifer Wardell Ridder (32) and James Dakin Owens (33) were married July 5 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Ms. Ridder is the Campaign Manager for Governor Steve Bullock’s presidential bid and ran Jared Polis’ successful campaign for governor of Colorado last year. Mr. Owens is a senior advisor on Mr. Bullock’s presidential campaign, and previously was communications director for Senator Kyrsten Sinema and NARAL Pro-Choice America, among others.
The ceremony and reception was held at the bride’s family home along a mountainside. Governor Jared Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis attended the ceremony and reception for the couple. The officiant, Ricki Seidman, is the bride’s godmother and was previously communications director for Vice President Joe Biden in addition to holding senior positions at the White House, Department of Justice, and Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign.
Jennifer and James got to know each other in 2014 on the campaign for US Senator Mark Udall. They first met at a focus group the campaign was conducting where they observed from behind the one-way mirror. The couple shared their first kiss inside of a rodeo ring later that summer while campaigning at the state fair.
The bride’s parents, Joannie Braden and Rick Ridder, are political consultants in Denver who have worked in Democratic politics for more than 40 years. The bride and her father are the only father-daughter pair in history to have both managed a U.S. presidential campaign (about 15 years apart).
The groom’s mother and step-father, Monta Lee Dakin and Steve Friesen, are historians in Littleton, CO. His father, James Owens, was an emergency medicine physician who died last year. His step-mother, Jacquelyn Blackstone, is a physician in Albuquerque.
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