Saying “I do”
On Wednesday night, in front of close friends and family, Cody Teel said “I do,” and married his fiancée Kaitlin McDonald. Thursday, he will nod his head in front of 18,000 fans at the Thomas and Mack Center.
Outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, in the Primrose Court Wedding Salon at the Wynn, Cody and Kaitlin exchanged their vows. The couple stood alone in the outdoor venue, a simple ceremony that focused on their love and commitment to each other.
Their lifetime together begins at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR), an event that is close to Cody’s heart.
Cody is the 2012 world champion bull rider. He joined the PRCA in 2011 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings. The next February, he won the San Antonio Stock Show Rodeo and finished second at their Xtreme Bulls competition. He won over $34,000 there, and set the pace for the rest of his season.
The next year, he won his first Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (NFR) championship and finished as the reserve world champion. In 2014, he placed in three rounds here and finished the year in fifth place. Last year, Cody won his second NFR average title and was once again the reserve world champion.
After he and Kaitlin got engaged last August, they decided they were going to have a destination wedding. Kaitlin had found a place in Colorado but after a little discussion they picked Las Vegas. For Cody, it was easy.
“So many of the happiest times of my life have happened in Las Vegas,” he said. “I wanted my wedding day to be among those and it just seemed natural to have it with the NFR.”
Cody’s good friends, Clayton Foltyn and Trey Benton, who he has competed with here, made a special trip to Las Vegas for the wedding.
“I’ve missed weddings because I was at a rodeo,” Trey said. “I wasn’t going to miss this one. It would have been better if I was competing, but it was worth it to come out and see my friends get married.”
The wedding was much more than a time to celebrate Cody and Kaitlin. It was an opportunity for competitors to spend relaxing time together before the pressure-packed NFR starts. Six of this year’s bull riders were in attendance, Joe Frost, Rorey Maier, Brennan Eldred, Tim Bingham, Jeff Askey, and Tyler Smith. Three-time PRCA world champion and Championship Bull Riding Ambassador, Tuff Hedeman, was also there.
The camaraderie in rodeo is unlike any other sport. These competitors offer each other support inside and outside of the arena. In a time when they are getting ready to compete on rodeo’s biggest stage, it’s gratifying to see take time to help one of their own celebrate a life-changing event.