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Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE Simple, outdoorsy, and a little bit rustic. We are the typical young Durango couple – we love biking and being outside, we are not very fancy. I chose a natural color palette of brown, sage green, and cream. THE CEREMONY It was a cloudy, stormy day. As we were getting ready, I felt sure it would rain. But, the minute I began to walk down the aisle, the clouds parted and the sun came out. It was perfect! THE RECEPTION We enjoyed delicious food, heard heartfelt and hilarious toasts, and danced the night away to an amazing band, Hello Dollface. ADVICE Cut your budget in half, in the end it will be double what you think you’ll spend. Have a detailed timeline of events so everyone is on the same page.


Durango Weddings Magazine


FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). WOW, Drew & Amy went above and beyond fantastic. Such a wonderful and talented couple. Our guests loved them as much as we did. Caterer: The Yellow Carrot (page 84). The food was delicious! Favors: Honeyville (see inside back cover). Our guests loved the local treats. Full vendor list on page 90.


Real Wedding

From the bride: WHY DURANGO Nathan and I wanted to do a lot of the wedding planning ourselves so we decided to get married where we live, in Durango! Moreover, we didn’t want our parents to have to do a lot of work for our wedding since they were traveling so far. We planned a wedding weekend with different events from Thursday through Sunday! THE STYLE We wanted to have our own style - Industrial Artistic. The train was really featuredIndustrial and I did a lot of my own artwork for the reception and ceremony. THE FIRST LOOK Nathan and I met before our ceremony in a private car at the train station; this was really a special moment for us because it helped us to relax with one another and get to enjoy a private moment before the festivities with all of our guests began.

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Cammie & Nathan COLOR PALETTE Our colors were white, a soft mint green, and a soft light pink. The bridesmaids wore dresses that they each picked out individually in the mint green color and Nathan’s sister made beautiful fluffy tulle flower girl dresses in pink. THE CEREMONY The setting was absolutely gorgeous and serene. We left the DSNGR train station at 3:00 PM and it was drizzling lightly all the way out to the ranch, but when we got there, the rain stopped and it didn’t rain the whole rest of the day. Our ceremony lasted for about 25 minutes and was wonderful. All of our parents rose to bless our marriage. Our sweet 2 year old flower girl walked down the aisle with some Cracker Jacks in her basket and everyone thought she was eating flower petals! My favorite part of the ceremony was when Nathan and I recited our personal vows we had written; it all became real to me when we read our them. We had to mix some funny things in both of our vows so that we wouldn’t cry.

We had the whole assembly turn around after the ceremony was over so we could get a picture of all of our family and friends who joined us on our special day. We are getting a big canvas print of it to hang in our living room!

Durango Weddings Magazine


Cammie & Nathan HANDMADE SIGNS Nathan and I went to Get Fused, the art glass studio in downtown Durango and made “Mr.” and “Mrs.” chair hangers out of glass. Mine had daisies in the background and Nathan’s was multi-colored. They looked super cute on the backs of our chairs at our sweetheart table. HANDMADE SEATING CHART I wanted a seating chart at our wedding so that there would be no awkward moments and so that all of the tables would have a balanced number of guests at them. Therefore, I knew that I had to assign tables in some way. What I ultimately decided to do was to place a 4” square canvas on a mini-easel on each table featuring a different Colorado animal. I researched animals that live in the Durango area and then sketched and watercolor painted each animal on the easels. I then framed a large print out of the animal sketches and listed who should sit at each table. Our guests LOVED this!

Our wedding was just a good, down-to-earth fun time. THE TABLE DECOR We chose white crinkled taffeta tablecloths for all the tables and had a rainbow of summery flowers in clear vases as the centerpieces. Nathan and I bought about ninety 2” x 3” metal picture frames that we filled with an assortment of our engagement pictures that our guests could take home as party favors. We had these placed around the vases on each table. Each table was named with a 4” square hand-painted watercolor Colorado animal on a mini-easel. THE GUEST BOOK I painted a 2.5’ x 5’ board of a train engine that acted as our “Sign In” board. Everyone stamped their thumbprint on the board and signed it.


THE CAKE I made a beautiful “W” shaped cake-topper since our last name is Willis and glued black and white engagement pictures of Nathan and me all over it. I also be-dazzled the topper with clear jewels. THE KIDS TABLE We placed brown butcher paper on top of the tablecloths at the kids’ tables (there were two) and a bunch of crayons as part of the centerpieces so they could draw on the table and not be bored. We also filled their flower vases with glow sticks in assorted sizes and shapes so that they could light up the dancing when it got dark. THE DANCING My favorite moment was dancing on the grass to the Grand March—a polka song that Nathan’s family dances to at every family wedding. The Grand March got every person at our wedding to participate and really got the party started! The dance itself is a mixture between a line dance and a train dance. At one point you have to go through a tunnel of arms that feels like it is a million miles long and then you end up making concentric circles with the bride and groom trapped in the middle. One of the most unusual and fun parts of our wedding was that we didn’t dance in the barn like I thought we would; we danced outside in the grass! The DJ’s sound system was so great that the music was perfect for the outdoor area, where our ceremony took place earlier. The bar was outside too, so it was just the most perfect setting. This part of our wedding was even better than I had imagined it would be. When “Dancing in the Moonlight” played, we really were dancing in the moonlight! SPECIAL DANCE A significant moment for me was when the DJ played “How Deep is Your Love” by the Bee Gees— a song my mom and I both love. We had a motherdaughter dance together to this song in the middle of the reception. It was beautiful and fun and I loved it! It was more meaningful to me because it was not one of the “main dances” that everyone watches. Our dance was just a quiet moment for us to celebrate my marriage to Nathan. ADVICE Start getting your vendors and planning the decor for your event early! Durango is a destination wedding location so popular venues are booked 2 years in advance! I also did a lot of DIY decorations and didn’t finish all of them until a week before our wedding—budgeting time is key! Durango Weddings Magazine


Cammie & Nathan

FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). Absolutely the best. Drew and Abbi were our photographers for our wedding day and they did a wonderful job capturing every moment, from getting ready to the reception dancing. Do whatever Drew says and the pictures will turn out great. These photographers are true artists. Venue: River Bend Ranch (page 90). This venue worked out great for us because it allowed us to do all of the things that we wanted to at our wedding. We wanted to be close to Durango because all of our guests had already traveled so far. We wanted to do something at our wedding that had “Wow” factor—which turned out to be renting the DSNGR diesel train to take everyone out to our wedding. The ranch could accommodate our 175 guests and has an absolutely gorgeous backdrop with a lake and fountain and the red cliffs in the background. I also loved the beautiful exposed wood barn and event tent that would shelter guests in case it rained (it didn’t). Flowers: Linnaea Farm (page 95). Marje made the boutonnieres, corsages, and bouquets for our wedding and allowed me to have a “flower-arranging party” in her beautiful backyard with my friends and family. We brought food out and 60 table centerpiece vases that I had collected and everyone went about arranging the flowers that Marje had cut and prepped for us. My grandmother said this was her favorite event of the entire wedding! Nathan and I also had our engagement photos taken by IlluminArts in her beautiful flower gardens! Chairs + Dessert Platters: Durango Party Rental (page 1). Full vendor list on page 90


Real Wedding

From the bride: WHY SILVERTON Silverton is a very special place to us. As outdoor enthusiasts who love the mountains, especially climbing in the mountains, that corner of the world has been very close to our hearts.

LOOKING BACK Even though our celebration was small, the planning process and preparation still felt a little bit like a roller coaster ride – fast and bumpy! In the end, it was so worth it.

THE PLANNING We initially threw around the idea of keeping things simple and eloping. As we were considering eloping and where we’d go, Ryan realized that he would actually really like to have family and friends join us on our special day. I’m not exactly sure when or how the momentum started, but we ended up planning our small ceremony over the course of six weeks, aiming for the Labor Day week.

I’m so glad we didn’t elope. Having our family and friends stay together in Silverton, enjoy the mighty San Juan Mountains with us, and share our special day was the absolute best!

THE CEREMONY We got married on the west edge of Silverton, with the town of Silverton and the surrounding mountains and a perfect blue sky scattered with white clouds as our backdrop. I can still feel the wind in our hair and the warm sunshine on our shoulders and in our eyes, the town of Silverton on one side and the edge of Anvil Mountain on the other.

ADVICE Just have fun, enjoy each other, and take care of each other as you take your first steps into the rest of your life together. It’s the magic time, because once you start planning the wedding, it’s kind of a lot of work.

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Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE I mixed junk gypsy with country glam. I included antlers, a little glitter, and a few old keepsakes from our families (kettles, tractor seats, wagon wheels) with a gold and turquoise color palette. THE BOUQUET My bouquet was made from broaches given to me by both sides of the family and several friends. The base was wrapped in my papa’s navy scarf with two rosaries and a locket with my papa’s picture. THE CEREMONY My dad drove me to the ceremony in my grandfathers 1969 Chevy C10 truck that happens to be turquoise. I actually lost my handwritten vows getting out of the truck. Our aisle was lined with our favorite bible verses. We had a super short, simple ceremony with written vows that I tried to repeat from memory. I’m proud that both our vows were from the heart and a little unorthodox. We had both our fathers sign our marriage license as a keepsake.


Our vows went the polar opposite of most couples. Tim’s were sweet and thoughtful, mine were raw and true to our life and had a little humor mixed in.

Durango Weddings Magazine



Kylee & Tim GUEST BOOK My husband cut an elk out of plywood, we painted it turquoise and had our guests sign it with gold pens. RECEPTION DÉCOR The tables had a southwestern feel with succulents, thistle and wax flowers surrounded by antlers. The linens were a mix of gold and crushed turquoise. We also had steer heads decorated in lace and pearls, and handmade signs for the tables.

Looking back, I loved having the party of our lifetime with all of our favorite people, but I hated the moment it was over. ADVICE Take your time (we were engaged a year and seven months). Make sure the day is about the two of you. Don’t get overwhelmed, and DEFINITELY get a dayof-coordinator. FAVE VENDORS Venue & Planner: LePlatt’s Pond (page 7). You could literally get married without a single decoration and the site would still be breathtaking! The tent is stunning plus, you get the inside outside feel. There is plenty of parking and the staff is amazing. The planning and strain Krii takes off you and your family is amazing! Any questions or help you need, Krii definitely has a solution. LePlatt’s Pond is such a wonderful place! Linens: Durango Party Rental (page 1). I loved our stunning linens! Rehearsal/Guest Lodging/After Party: Sky Ute Casino (page 96). They were amazing and so helpful. Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion (page 94). They traveled to us and made the day flawless. Full vendor list on page 90.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO Southwest Colorado is such a beautiful place. My favorite thing about the area are the massive aspen groves, so we chose to be married in an aspen grove overlooking the Twilight Peaks and Needles Mountains. It was a destination for many of our guests who had never visited Southwest Colorado! We invited our friends to Durango to spend the week prior to the wedding with us. We explored the San Juan Mountains: jeeping & hiking around Ouray and Silverton, mountain biking the Hermosa Creek trail, and enjoying local restaurants and breweries. THE STYLE I wanted a relaxed mountain atmosphere where guests felt at ease. I chose a color palette of sapphire blue (to match my sapphire wedding band) with turquoise accents and coral flowers. Everything was handmade or DIY, which was a lot of fun and a lot of work, but made for a very personal feel, which all of our guests loved! We actually received thank you cards from our guests thanking us for inviting them to the wedding and commenting on what a unique and special event it was!


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Cindi & Jason THE CEREMONY We held our ceremony in the meadow adjacent to Silverpick Lodge. The ceremony was officiated by my dear friend with musical accompaniment by an acoustic claw hammer banjo. My favorite memory was hearing ourselves announced as husband and wife. And that the rings were covered in pocket fuzz when the best man took them out of his pocket. THE RECEPTION The Sow’s Ear Restaurant in Silverpick Lodge is a beautiful venue and fit perfectly with our mountain theme, and everyone had a blast on the dance floor. The food was unbelievable!

We made stained glass hearts for the ladies (held close in our hearts) and shotgun shell magnets (sticking by our sides) for the guys.

ADVICE Find ways to have fun together planning the wedding. Making it personal and creating your vision together will make it a day truly unique and special to you!

FAVE VENDORS Venue, lodging & Food: Silverpick Lodge & Sow’s Ear Restaurant (page 19). We rented out the lodge for all of our friends to stay on site all weekend. Very fun atmosphere, great rooms, and beautiful mountain style without feeling too formal. The food is amazing! Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). Amazing talent, great people, very attentive to personal requests. Full vendor list on page 90.


Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO We wanted a small wedding in the mountains in the early fall. We love hiking, camping and biking and found Durango to be a good mix of secluded outdoors with modern conveniences. John and I talked a lot about having a wedding that was really a huge get together with our friends and family, and we would just happen to get married. We wanted to be surrounded by love when we celebrated our love. BEFORE THE CEREMONY We had no idea that our wedding weekend would correspond to the weekend ranchers typically brought sheep down from the high country. It was a bit of a hiccup as a few people were delayed, but it was pretty cool to say I stood in my bridal leggings (also a great thing) with a glass of champagne surrounded by people I love, while watching sheep come down the mountain. That doesn’t happen everyday. MEMORABLE MOMENT One of the biggest moments was walking down the aisle with my dad. Almost one year to the date of our wedding, my father was diagnosed with a severe case of necrotizing fasciitis, which caused him to lose his leg and almost his life. There were times last year when we questioned if he would be alive, let alone able to walk me down the aisle. After months of therapy and his extreme stubbornness, I met him on the other side of the bridge. I had the perfect moment that little girls dream of, my daddy walking me down the aisle to the man of my dreams. 20

THE LIBATIONS We made all the beer and wine. John has a passion for beer and wine making and makes wonderfully tasty libations. It was fun for him to have a direct hand in the planning. I also loved being able to highlight his talent. John made a portable serving tap out of wood pallets. It was super cool, really fit into our theme, and he took passion in it. Plus, we kept it and serve beer in the garage from it, so it’s a great reminder of the wedding. And making your own booze is a HUGE cost saver.

It was the party to end all parties! My favorite dancing memory was when the band started playing “Here’s a Quarter Call Someone Who Cares”. John pulled me out of my seat and we started dancing in the middle of the tent. The moment was perfect, just me and him, screaming our favorite country song in the middle of our perfect wedding. ADVICE Get married together, plan your wedding together!! Do not make this a one sided affair. This can be the best day of your lives together! But approach this as a unit so you both can love it. FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). They were amazing!!! Would highly recommend. Caterer & Cupcake Bar: The Yellow Carrot (page 84). It was the best wedding food I have ever had. We had almost as many compliments about the food as we did the venue. The Yellow Carrot made a great spread, I still get texts and phone calls from guests who are jonesing for one of the cornbread donuts with cheese sauce. Seriously epic!

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Real Wedding From the bride: We wanted our day to represent us, casual and effortless, nothing fussy or glitzy. We like to be outdoors and I love the easiness of nautical styling, both played a significant role in decision making. I didn’t really want a nautical themed wedding, especially since there was nothing beachy about our venue, but having touches of it through use of color (nautical blue, sea glass green, white) and texture offered a perfect balance. THE CEREMONY The ceremony was outdoors surrounded by trees, with grass underfoot, and a series of trellises decorated with hanging flower baskets that created the most beautiful aisle. We wrote our own vows and had my stepfather officiate. It was extremely personal and fit who we are perfectly. My favorite moment was the look on Derek’s face when he saw me for the first time, it was full of emotion and made me melt.


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The reception was held in a beautifully decorated tent with chandeliers and fabric draped from the ceiling the entire tent glowed. ADVICE Start by deciding on your budget, then decide what areas you are willing to spend more money on verses items that may not be as important. This helped guide our decision making a lot. The only thing I would have done differently is not have spent a whole year planning. 24

FAVE VENDOR Venue, Caterer, Flowers, Music: Canyon Crest Lodge (page 25). With Canyon Crest Lodge, we were able to get everything we wanted; ceremony site, reception location, and planner all in one. It is beautiful inside the house, where we got ready, and outside for the ceremony and reception. We loved it so much we held our rehearsal dinner there as well. Canyon Crest Lodge has their own chef and wait staff and the food was fantastic. Full vendor list on page 90.

Real Wedding

From the bride: THE STYLE I love the idea of being casual at a wedding and I really wanted to wear boots with my dress. We made the country theme known so, a lot of people were excited to put on some cowboy boots and come dance the night away with us. THE CEREMONY We had originally planned to have our ceremony outside, but due to a snow storm the night before, we had to go with plan B - a short and simple ceremony inside Purgy’s. THE RECEPTION We wanted our guests to have a great time so, we made sure we had great music throughout the whole reception to keep all age ranges dancing. We also had a “selfie station” with wigs and props. ADVICE Take deep breaths!! Research your vendors to find what you are truly looking for, but don’t let it consume your life! Remember why you are doing all the planning, and don’t forget to tell your fiancé you love them!

Overall, it was an amazing night. I could have done without the blizzard, so we could have had the ceremony outside, but it ended up working out perfectly in the end. FAVE VENDORS Venue, Caterer & Lodging: Durango Mountain Weddings at Purgatory Resort (see inside cover). Sara was amazing throughout the whole process. I asked A LOT of questions, and she answered every one without judgement or annoyance! She helped make our day go smoothly, even with the last minute decision to move the ceremony inside. The food was delicious! I still have friends that talk about how great everything was! Full vendor list on page 90

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Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE We wanted to showcase our laid back side, but also wanted some elegance. We both have farming/ranching in our family and we love to get dressed up. We chose a color palette of pink, green and white. The groomsmen wore seer sucker suits, to represent my husbands southern roots. That was one of the only things he had an opinion on, so I wanted to honor it (even though I had no idea what seer sucker was until he showed me). THE CEREMONY The ceremony was very simple, but perfect. The cottonwoods were in full bloom and set a very magical tone. The sky was blue with great big puffy white clouds scattered around. Walking down the aisle with my dad was very emotional and special for me. He has been through 4 hip surgeries in the past five years and I wasn’t sure if he would be in a wheel chair. He was doing so well he didn’t even need a cane. Each of my 7 bridesmaids had a little note, which they delivered to Franklin as they came down the aisle (I got this idea form Durango Weddings Magazine). We were married under the same arbor my mom used for her wedding (we had to drive it out from Crested Butte). Our moms performed a water unity ceremony where they both captured water from our hometowns and joined them into a vase. They also brought us rocks from different points in our childhood that were placed in the bottom of the vase. Soon after the ceremony ended, we had quarter sized hail. 26

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Rochelle & Franklin RECEPTION DECOR We used a lot of barnwood, ribbons and lace. We also incorporated cotton from South Georgia, (where Franklin is from). Our table numbers were handmade booklets which everyone wrote their advice in. We plan to read each booklet on the corresponding anniversary (table 1: 1st anniversary, table 2: second anniversary, etc). Franklin and I made a picture timeline using barnwood, tacks and ribbon that helped tell our stories and how we met. MEMORABLE MOMENTS My 11 year old brother had been practicing “It Had to Be You” on his saxophone for months leading up to the wedding. Part way through the reception, he surprised us by playing it on the back patio. It was incredible.

At the end of the night, everyone was blowing bubbles in a circle around Franklin and I. We did the final dance of the night to “Lean on Me”. It was so emotional.

ADVICE Just take it in, every single moment leading up to the big day as well as the day of. Look around you and be thankful for all of the love around you! FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). Drew pretty much knew what was going on more than anyone that day! He was more than just a photographer. Caterer & Cake: The Yellow Carrot (page 84). They were amazing, organized, and fun. Venue & Lodging: Ridgewood Event Center & Blue Lake Ranch (page ). AH-MAZING. So beautiful. We rented the whole ranch and everyone had a beautiful place to stay!

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Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO We love nature, fall colors/trees, lakes and most important - mountains - and knew that Colorado would be ‘the place’ for us to create an outdoor wedding adventure that would stay true to who we are as individuals and who we are as a couple. And for me specifically, I always dreamed of being married on a mountain. When we came across the beauty of the La Plata Mountains our decision was made. THE PLANNING With only 8 weeks to plan our wedding and having never been to Durango, the resources provided in Durango Wedding Magazine really helped us visualize what our wedding could be. When planning a destination wedding (especially if you have not been to the location), it is critical to find local inspiration and detailed information to guide you. This allowed us to personalize our wedding and feel very confident in the decisions we were making from afar. THE CEREMONY LOCATION The day before the wedding, we found a beautiful meadow about 11,000 feet up the mountain with a stunning view of La Plata Canyon below us. We walked around the meadow and felt a calm connection. The location genuinely spoke to us (staying true to our wedding theme of being connected to nature, being spontaneous, and being in the moment) – we knew this was the place! 30

THE CEREMONY We kept our ceremony location a complete surprise! We told our guests to meet us at 2:00 PM for pictures. When the open air Hummers arrived everyone was so surprised. Greg and I left in a jeep to get up to the mountain ceremony site a few minutes earlier than our guests. This was such a magical ride through the amazing fall colors. We felt so connected and happy to be able to spend 1:1 time before everyone else arrived. We were truly doing it our way. When the guests arrived, they walked up into the meadow to join Greg and I. We found a large rock to stand by and everyone gathered close. Greg and I both wrote our own vows and performed our own ceremony. We had brought champagne to toast after and loved how our family and friends just went with the spontaneous nature of our wedding.

ADVICE Focus on the wedding being an extension of who you uniquely are. Do it your way! Be authentic!

Being spontaneous allows one to be in the moment and not be pressed with expectations. I call it ‘the perfect mindset’ for a wedding! Have a vision and then allow what is supposed to happen; happen.

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Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE We really wanted the whole day to feel relaxed, and we wanted all our guests to have a really good time. We were originally going for a rustic meets preppy style, which kind of represents both of us. We started with choosing our color palette, classic navy and white with pops of orange, pink and coral. I think it ended up being a little less preppy and a little more glam, which was fine with me! THE CEREMONY We held our ceremony next to the gorgeous LePlatt’s Pond. The handmade arbor, the pretty flowers, and the chandelier and wine barrel added to the scenery. I was blown away when I saw it all put together for the first time. All that went through my mind was, “Holy cow, we get to get married here.” It started to rain as soon as we began the ceremony, but I didn’t want to call it back so, we just went for it! It made it so special and unique, and something we will never forget. My rock star matron of honor held an umbrella over me for part of the ceremony. Despite the rain, everyone still looked beautiful when it was over! As the saying goes. “A wet knot is harder to untie” so, we will trade the good luck and the strong knot for a little rain on our wedding day.


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Lindsey & Wyatt THE RECEPTION We held the reception under the most magnificent white tent. It was just so romantic and a great way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Colorado. HANDMADE DETAILS It was a lot of fun making all the items once we got our vision nailed down. I had a really hard time finding runners that I liked so, we ordered fabric and my mom sewed 25 table runners! Wyatt made all the wood flower balls that hung outside. We made all the table numbers, and found giant spools that we turned into cocktail tables. We picked up hay bales from the Co-Op and made the couch that we covered with quilts, and Wyatt’s dad welded a fire pit. LOOKING BACK The whole day was a dream come true. It was such a happy day for us, and I think it was really felt throughout the event. We ended up having to go with the flow a little bit due to the weather, but Krii and her staff at LePlatt’s really made it seamless. ADVICE Do what you want to, make it your day. If you are proud of your event and are having a good time, your friends and family will too. Remember what the day is for and just enjoy every minute. FAVE VENDORS Venue & Event Planner: LePlatt’s Pond (page 7). AMAZING. It is a beautiful location for both the ceremony and reception. The big tent was gorgeous and we were able to customize our event to be exactly what we envisioned. Krii Black was the best wedding coordinator ever. She was so organized, coordinated with the vendors, and was quick to respond to my crazy requests. Tent Heater & Plates: Durango Party Rental (page 1). They were easy to work with. Full vendor list on page 91. Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE INSPIRATION We are very laid back and wanted a day to celebrate all of our family and friends coming together. Our long history on the Animas River and David’s experiences with the train have truly sculpted our relationships, careers and lives with one another. THE LOCATION We chose a site towards the end of the Cascade Wye, at the confluence of the Animas River and Cascade Creek, in a meadow with a giant ponderosa pine. David built wooden benches with seating for 50. I train horses so, we nailed horseshoes on the end of each bench. We, along with our parents and close friends, spent the week before the wedding in Cascade Canyon building our dream ceremony site.

We recited our vows surrounded by the jaw dropping mountains and landscape of the canyons coming together. 36

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THE DECOR The decor was simple, natural, and rustic. Aspen branches, carved out to hold shrubs and river rocks were used as table centers. ADVICE Take the process of getting married in stride. It should be fun. Listen to each other, work together, and realize that this day is about the two of you. 38

FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). Drew stood alone at the top of the class in our eyes. He was very personal, very involved, and very concerned about making our day special. Cake: The Yellow Carrot (page 84) Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion (page 94) Full vendor list on page 88.

Real Wedding

From the bride: THE LOCATION We chose to get married at Purgatory Resort because the VIEWS are amazing, we love to travel to Durango and we loved that we were able to have the ceremony and reception all in one place at Dante’s. It was so nice to have all our guests stay in the same spot, and no one had to drive, we didn’t have to worry about everyone getting home safe and sound after celebrating all night. THE STYLE I really wanted our wedding to reflect us as individuals and as a couple, we love the mountains, we love biking and skiing in the mountains, we are pretty easy going and laid back. We really tried to personalize every part of our day and we wanted to make sure our guests had a great time. THE CEREMONY Our ceremony was at Dante’s on top of Purgatory Resort. We had a dear friend marry us and we picked our own ceremony music that was pretty non-traditional. The highlights were definitely seeing Andy for the first time as I walked down the aisle and saying our own vows to each other.

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Lindsey & Andrew HANDMADE DETAILS All of the decorations and flowers were hand picked and put together by my mom and sister. Our guest book was an old ski that we had people sign with metallic markers. We had a special flower arrangement for our grandparents who are no longer with us. Our favors were small succulents that people could take home and plant and watch grow. FAVORITE MEMORIES Walking into Dante’s with all our guests cheering was so humbling. Also, having a packed dance floor all night and getting to see your loved ones from all aspects of your life in one place together was amazing.

Our wedding day was the most incredible day we have ever had. It’s hard to describe in words the best day of your life.

LOOKING BACK We had the perfect day, warm sunshine and that famous Colorado bluebird sky. We love the Durango area so, to be able to be up in the mountains with the beautiful scenery was a dream come true. Our photos turned out amazing and we have had people ask us if the backdrop was fake.

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Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE Eclectic! I was not the type of little girl who planned out my wedding, but having Scottish heritage, I did know I would get married to a man in a kilt. It ended up being coincidence that Jesse too, has Scottish ancestry and we were able to incorporate both of our family tartans (plaids) with the kilts that the male family members wore. The kilts and tartans were definitely what we ended up using for our color scheme of green and blue. We also added some glass and gold details. THE DRESS My mom is a seamstress and I had always wanted her to make my wedding gown. She spent nine months making me the perfect dress. She also hand-sewed the five traditional kilts that my father, brothers, and nephews wore. This turned out to be a lot more difficult than my dress because it all had to be hand-tailored, and she spent weeks creating them. Thank heavens she enjoys this kind of thing! MEMORABLE MOMENT We had our “first look” at the lake and were able to take our canoe out for a few minutes of alone time before everything begin. We got to take a little breather, just the two of us, before we became husband and wife. I’ll cherish those moments forever!


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Alix & Jesse THE CEREMONY We got married at Ridgewood Event Center’s riverside site on the La Plata River. Jesse and I met working at a local rafting company, and rivers have a very special place in our hearts - we knew that we wanted to get married next to a river and that was how we were able to decide on the location. We hung a homemade lace bunting (I scoured thrift stores for vintage lace doilies, table runners, and other textiles for pieces to make into a bunting), brought blankets for our guests seated on the wooden benches, and Jesse built a gorgeous and simple arbor for our ceremony. We didn’t have to do much decorating with such a beautiful outdoor setting, but we did want it to be “us.”

Bagpipers led the procession and the whole wedding party, including guests, followed them out to our reception celebration! THE DÉCOR My mom is a collector, and we did almost all the tables differently with the things she already had. We borrowed a few lanterns and used lots of candles. My mom found an antique ladder and we put old family photos on it to celebrate our families. Everyone enjoyed looking at the old photographs of our grandparents, parents and us as children. To keep the kids occupied, we had a full size teepee set up with blankets and pillows and lots of yard games. We served pies instead of cake. We found a cool old wicker serving cart on wheels and made a pie display naming all the types of pies to choose from. We draped the table with my mom’s wedding dress, which ended up being one of favorite details. LOOKING BACK We hated that we were so busy and were unable to spend quality time with every guest, but we were also incredibly grateful to have all of the people who matter most to us helping us celebrate! ADVICE Enjoy the planning process, after all you are only going to do this once! Ask for help, family and friends want to be involved and it is worth taking them up on their offers! FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). Drew & Jana were great! Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion (page 94). I was very pleased with the look for the day! Venue: Ridgewood Event Center (page 11). Full vendor list on page 90. Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE Our theme was a romantic shabby chic vintage style. We gravitated toward the romantic and soft dĂŠcor and decided to create that style with the shabby chic, which we felt brought in more of the outdoor wedding feel. Our color palette was rose, blush, ivory, taupe, and dusty blue/green. We both are very creative, I love decorating and making things and Danny has a woodworking business that he is very passionate about so, we personalized the day with what we do best and enjoy. While I was creating the project ideas that I envisioned at the wedding, Danny built them all including the pergola and marquee LOVE letters. THE CEREMONY We got married under the pergola that Danny built with a chandelier hanging in the center and ivory fabric flowing in the breeze. The sun was perfectly romantic and warm. We had a storm approaching, but as soon as the clouds came to the venue, they parted and dispersed around us. 46

My favorite memory was driving down the dirt road with my stepdad in an old red MG. I was sitting on the back (my huge tulle dress filled the entire car) honking the horn as we made our entrance. I loved seeing everyone so surprised!

Durango Weddings Magazine


THE DÉCOR We collected lanterns, birdcages, bottles and all of the dÊcor from garage sales, recycling, thrift stores and Hobby Lobby. We refinished old doors for the entrance to the tent. We made the wine bottle candles by hand dripping around every one so they looked used. We created signs out of old scrap wood and chalk paint. We had suitcases by the sweetheart table and flowers wherever they could go. The tables were adorned with neutral and rose linens. For favors, we filled mini vintage milk jars with vanilla and cinnamon sugar. Our intentions were that every centerpiece and decoration would be different because that is what shabby chic is all about.


ADVICE Make sure you have fun every step of the way cause it goes by so fast. On the day of, if something doesn’t happen or goes wrong, just remember you are the only ones who know what was supposed to happen. Just enjoy every moment.

FAVE VENDORS Venue: LePlatt’s Pond (page 7). Linens & Rentals: Durango Party Rental (page 1). Full vendor list on page 90.

Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE LOCATION We live in Durango and love to ski so, we chose Silverpick Lodge for a cozy and beautiful winter wedding with some après wedding skiing at Purgatory Resort. THE STYLE Our inspiration was winter in the mountains. We incorporated natural materials with subdued tones (ivory and beige), pops of jewel tones (deep purple and gold), and rustic lodge details (elk antlers, mason jar vases, boots, pine tree napkin folds). We wanted the feeling of the day to be fun and cozy. THE CEREMONY We got married in the lodge entryway. The ceremony atmosphere was cozy. Our friends presided over the wedding. We wrote our own readings to each other that told our love story, and reflected our values and intentions.


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THE RECEPTION When we first walked into the reception, I remember holding hands with Scott, walking through the dining room packed with our favorite people clapping and smiling at us as we walked to our table - that was a really memorable moment, and reminds me of all of the communal love and support that Scott and I have. MEMORABLE MOMENT The first dance with my dad was hilarious! My dad is a ballroom dancer and we had practiced some basic swing moves to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s, “Pride and Joy”. I remember agreeing to keep it simple, no double spin moves, but when the music got started, my dads inner dancer shone and he had me flying and spinning around the dance floor. Fortunately for me, he’s a good leader! All I could do was laugh and catch my breath after the song was over. ADVICE Try to pick a wedding date that will also be a good anniversary date! Our married friends gave us this advice and I think it’s brilliant! Since winter is generally a calmer time of year for us, it made more sense for us to have a winter wedding and a winter anniversary every year. 52

FAVE VENDORS Ceremony Site & Lodging: Silverpick Lodge (page 19). We rented the lodge and filled it with friends and family. We didn’t need to coordinate any transportation, other than getting a lift to Purgatory on Sunday for some after wedding skiing. Reception Site & Caterer: Sow’s Ear at Silverpick Lodge (page 19). Beautiful venue for an evening winter wedding. Food was amazing and George and team were on point all night long. George also catered our rehearsal dinner and made quiches for the morning after! The food was excellent and the staff brought out salads and entrees with great timing and at perfect temperature to over 100 guests! Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). The photographers at IlluminArts are true artists! The quality and creativity of their photos is amazing! Drew met with us several times throughout the planning process to really understand our vision, and helped us with other planning details like timing and coordinating with other vendors! Hair: Hair Fusion (page 94). Mary Beth is so sweet and awesome at doing hair! We had a consultation before the wedding and did a trial run so we had a chance to communicate and work out a perfect look before the big day. Full vendor list on page 90 Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE INSPIRATION I wanted to have a fun retro 60’s style wedding in downtown Durango with cotton candy and pink champagne. THE NIGHT BEFORE We had the dancing/craziness the night before our wedding at the Wildhorse Saloon with Karaoke & dance lessons. THE CEREMONY I did not want all the focus on me so, prior to the ceremony, I greeted everyone as they arrived, which made for a more laid back celebration. THE RECEPTION We had pink champagne, a polka band, an airstream camper turned into a photo booth, and cotton candy. We had dinner on the Eolus Rooftop as we watched fireworks from Fort Lewis (it was homecoming weekend). The day was perfect. ADVICE It’s easy as a bride to get caught up on the details. “Let it go, Let it go, Let it go”. There are no rules. Have fun.


Image by IlluminArts Photography Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO We both really enjoyed Durango when we went up to visit Labor Day weekend of 2014. We were engaged the next week. We wanted a destination wedding and fell in love with the beauty of Durango and therefore decided that it would be the perfect destination for us. THE DESIGN I have been in many weddings and knew that for my wedding, I wanted something relaxed and fun. We both are very family oriented and wanted the feel of our day to be more of a family get together than a formal wedding reception. We personalized the day by making sure it reflected us as a couple.

I tried to kiss my groom before we were announced man and wife. What can I say I was a little excited. 56

LOOKING BACK After being in 8 weddings myself, I knew that the small things may not go as planned, but as long as the overall day goes off fairly close to planned, I would be okay with the small hiccups (we forgot to bring all the beverages and the ambulance was called out twice). As it turned out, my vision for the perfect wedding day played out perfectly. ADVICE Create the feeling and vision for your wedding that reflects you both as a couple. Try not to set up false expectations by creating a vision for the pinterest perfect wedding.

My most memorable moment was our first dance! I think I cried most of the time.

FAVE VENDORS Caterer: Durangourmet (page 90). The food was GREAT. The staff was polite and fast at serving our guests. We received many compliments from our guests. Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). I really wanted someone who had more of a photojournalist approach and Drew fit that description. He was very easy to work with and captured all the details. We are beyond happy with our photos. Venue: Ridgewood Event Center (page 11).We really loved the venue because it gave us the rustic look we were looking for as well as the natural beauty of Colorado. We also chose it because of the bed and breakfast at Blue Lake Ranch, which allowed our many friends and family to enjoy a mini vacation over the weekend. Full vendor list on page 90 Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO I wanted our families to experience the beauty of Durango for a week! Echo Basin Ranch, in particular, was the perfect place to have our destination wedding with a family as big as ours. Everyone was able to stay in once place surrounded by nature. THE CEREMONY Our ceremony was perfect! My dad cried as he walked me down the aisle as well as most of the family sitting in the first two rows, tears of happiness, of course! Brendan’s vows were sweet and heartfelt - he made everyone cry. Then it was my turn and this was the first time I was nervous. My whole body started shaking as I read what I wrote to Brendan. Right after we were pronounced husband and wife, we walked down the aisle as guests threw lavender. We suddenly stopped at the top of the aisle as Brendan dipped me and we kissed - that was my favorite moment!


THE RECEPTION The reception was so fun, the set up at Echo Basin Ranch allowed people to go from a bar area with a pool table to the next room with a dance floor to outside on the porch, then straight to your cabin, if you needed! It was a blast! I loved the Karaoke, the dancing, and just being with all of our family. It was quite an event and I didn’t want it to end! FOLLOWING THE RECEPTION We added a little twist to the night. My sister and her boyfriend set their cabin up as a Speakeasy! They made an extremely strong cocktail and made a sign reading “Walden Speakeasy Featuring: Punch Drunk Love”. Many of the guests gathered there after the reception to keep on celebrating!

Looking back, I want to rewind and do it again. It was so fun! FAVE VENDORS Venue: Echo Basin Ranch (page 83). This was the perfect location for our large family. The ranch has everything you need cabins, ceremony, reception, food, drink. No one has to drive and everyone is around everyone! You don’t have to deal with multiple vendors for food, linens, drinks, etc. It’s all inclusive. The food was great and Kathy is just wonderful and easy to work with. Full vendor list on page 90 Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE Intimate, simple and a little bit country with a pale yellow and tan color palette. THE CEREMONY It snowed all morning, making my groom very unhappy. The snow then turned to rain, which melted the snow, breaking for a short time in the early afternoon. Then, just before the ceremony, it started snowing again. About ten minutes before I was to walk down the aisle the snow stopped, and the sun came out - perfect! My favorite moment was seeing Ty as I walked down the aisle, he was more emotional than I could have imagined.

I loved every minute of the entire day! We laughed a lot, cried a little, and had so much fun! ADVICE Do as much as you can in advance so you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the friends and family. 60

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Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO Durango was the perfect town for our destination wedding (we did not have one guest who actually lived in Durango), great shopping, outdoors activities and the train! THE STYLE Jesse is an outdoorsman so, we wanted to incorporate that into our wedding. I wanted turquoise jewelry to reflect my New Mexican heritage. We chose a color palette of coral, tan and turquoise. THE CEREMONY My dad and I arrived in a horse drawn carriage pulled by a beautiful black horse. We had flowing fabric draping over the arbor with an antler/flower decoration that sat atop the arbor (the antlers came from one of Jesse’s hunts). Rose petals were sprinkled along the aisle. The beautiful backdrop of LePlatt’s pond was directly behind us. My favorite part of the ceremony was having our great friend marry us. 62


Looking back, I would have had the ceremony earlier so that the reception could have been longer. It was all such a whirlwind and went by so fast!

Venue: LePlatt’s Pond (page 7). I can’t say enough good things about Krii. She was absolutely amazing! She did more than just the day of wedding coordination! She helped with EVERYTHING. I did not have to worry about logistics – I was able to just enjoy our wedding day! Photographer: Illuminarts Photography (page 39). Drew was great! We met with him on our first trip to Durango and we knew right away that we wanted him to be our photographer. He has a great eye! Caterer: Durangourmet (page 90). Jimmy Nicholason was great! He also catered our rehearsal dinner. Everyone (for both meals) raved about the food! I even had a guest ask for recipes! He was great to work with and I would hire him again! Linens: Durango Party Rental (page 1). They were so easy to work with. Full vendor list on page 90

Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO We were visiting Durango on a ski trip when Josh proposed at the top of Chair 1. Durango was the perfect mountain setting for our wedding and equidistant for our immediate families to travel. THE ATTIRE I wore a Maggie Sottero dress paired with Corral boots. My bridesmaids wore short flowy burgundy Bill Levkoff dresses and the groomsmen wore champagne suits with burgundy vests, a tie and brown cowboy boots. THE CEREMONY We held our ceremony at the Boyce site under an aspen grove with the Needles Mountain Range as the backdrop. For the ceremony entrance, Joshua’s father painted our favorite Bible verse on a set of custom doors. We stood in front of a rustic cross of reclaimed wood made by Joshua’s step-father.


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Lauren & Joshua THE RECEPTION The reception took place at Purgy’s. The tables were adorned with champagne accented linens. The table numbers were our engagement pictures transferred to small wooden boards and mounted on a wire easel. The children received a small burlap bag of crayons, a coloring page and candies. My grandmother made the favors, Biscochos, a Mexican wedding cookie from a secret family recipe. We had a S’mores bar with our favorite chocolates and roasting sticks for marshmallows to be used on the patio with the fire pit.

The groom’s cake was a truck with mountain bikes in the bed. ADVICE Enjoy the journey, it goes by fast!

FAVE VENDORS Venue, Caterer & Lodging: Durango Mountain Weddings at Purgatory Resort (see inside cover). Gorgeous mountain setting, amazing facilities, great food, and lots of activities. Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). VERY organized, easy to work with, kind supportive photographers, with unique creativity. Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion (page 94) Full vendor list on page 90


Real Wedding

From the bride: THE LOCATION We wanted an outdoor ceremony, an inclusive indoor reception that provided tables, chairs, catering, etc., and rooms for our guests to crash after the reception so everyone could drink, have fun, and not have to worry about the drive home. Purgatory Resort had all the amenities we wanted. THE CEREMONY We held our ceremony at Engineer Meadows with Engineer Peak as our backdrop. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and there was still snow at the top of the peak. We had no formal altar because we didn’t want to take away from the natural beauty of the location. My favorite memory was the kiss! We didn’t talk much about what kind of kiss it would be beforehand and when it was time, Jered grabbed me and didn’t let go. I think the part that made it so special was that we didn’t rehearse it, we just let the moment run its course and it was perfect. When we turned to our guests, they cheered for us so loud, it was magical.

I will never forget the moment my Dad and I shared before I walked down the aisle. I walked down to Alison Krauss. “When you Say Nothing at All.” The moment I heard the song start, I broke down in tears. THE RECEPTION Our reception was held at Purgy’s restaurant. The food was incredible. My Dad is a musician and wrote a special father/daughter song for our dance and we both just cried as we danced to it. He recorded the song for me on a CD that I will have forever. ADVICE Talk to your fiancé and decide the 3 most important items about your wedding and focus on those. Ours were photography, venue and food. That is where we spent the majority of our money and it worked out great for us because we had the same focus the entire time. Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: WHY DURANGO My family has been vacationing in Durango for many years. It is where we go to relax and spend quality time together. Since Dan and I wanted to have a fun and relaxed wedding, we thought Durango would be the perfect place. THE STYLE We wanted a formal garden summer wedding with a Tiffany blue and coral color palette. THE CEREMONY The ceremony was held outside under a pretty pergola that was covered in vines with beautiful purple flowers. There was a forecast of rain during our ceremony time, but it held off until after the ceremony and everyone was safely under the tent for dinner. The gathering clouds provided the perfect lighting for beautiful photographs. My son was the best man and played an important role in the ceremony, from handing off the rings to joining us in the lighting of the unity candle. Dan’s uncle was the officiant, which personalized the ceremony even more.


Durango Weddings Magazine


Shauntel & Dan THE RECEPTION We held the reception outside at Fox Fire Farms under a tent. The rain began just as everyone had gathered beneath it for dinner and let up in time for us to hit the dance floor.

One of my favorite memories was the sound of the rain coming down outside the tent while we enjoyed dinner. LOOKING BACK I would have hired a wedding planner. I didn’t realize how much work there was to be done the day of the wedding. Having someone to take charge and keep everyone organized would have made the day more relaxed for me and my family. FAVE VENDORS Photography & Film: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). We knew we wanted beautiful photos to remember the day and all of the details; especially since it all goes by so quickly. In our search for a photographer, we didn’t find another studio that could compete with IlluminArts in terms of quality and expertise. Drew and his staff were very attentive and professional through the entire process. They captured the most special moments of the day and we will forever cherish the photos. Caterer: Durangourmet (page 94). Highly recommended! Jimmy uses high-quality ingredients to make delicious, well-presented appetizers and dishes. We were eating the leftovers for days because we couldn’t get enough of it. Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion (page 94). The staff was friendly and attentive and made my bridesmaids and I look like princesses. Full vendor list on page 90


Durango Weddings Magazine


Real Wedding From the bride: THE STYLE I am a picker at heart! I love salvage, vintage, and antique items. I fancy myself as a bit of a repurposer. I like to use old items in new and unconventional ways and I’m not afraid of rust. I also love this beautiful place we are blessed to live in so, I tried to incorporate a lot of natural elements in our wedding. It doesn’t hurt that I love to shop and craft so that also helped to shape the style of our wedding. My color palette was pink, gold, and various wood tones, along with shades of white and cream. THE CEREMONY It was a beautiful sunny day. It had snowed the night before so, the snow was pristine and sparkly white. I was told that right before the ceremony there were birds circling above which was a good omen for our marriage. I was walked down the aisle by my best friend (we are 7 days apart and lifelong friends) to the Postal Service, which is one or our favorite bands. Our officiant, Reverend Chessa Gill, was very funny and read lovely proverbs. My favorite memory was when I got to kiss my husband for the first time.


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HANDMADE DETAILS We filled all the nooks in the event center with salvage pieces, mason jars, string lights and fake snow. We made all the napkin rings out of old silverware and folded the napkins in the shape of a box. For the centerpieces, we took green bottle brush trees and bleached and dyed them two shades of pink. For the table numbers, we used a series of our engagement photos where we posed with a chalk board and then I added the numbers digitally. I hand glittered bottles of champagne and made a sign that said “Bliss� out of an old shelf. I created a free standing backdrop to go behind the head table. It was a large piece of wood naturally weathered to look like a mountain range which I attached different ribbons and burlaps strips creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art. I love how the light shone through some of the ribbon pieces, but not others, creating a romantic and dramatic look. Our favors were handmade hot chocolate mix that I placed in jars embossed with a snowflake, tied with a thank you note and a rusty jingle bell.


FAVE VENDORS Photographer: IlluminArts Photography (page 39). I love their style and how they always seem to get shots that have a different perspective. I really appreciated how they were willing to work with me to get all the images I was looking for no matter how crazy they were. Hair & Makeup: Hair Fusion (page 94). Marybeth is the absolute best. She made sure I looked just how I wanted and taught me a lot about hair and makeup. She is a doll. Officiant: Reverend Chessa Gill (page 95) // Venue, Caterer, Lodging: Ridgewood Event Center (page 11)

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Profile for Durango Weddings Magazine

Durango Wedding Magazine - 2016 Issue  

This stunning issue features 25 southwest Colorado weddings guaranteed to inspire!

Durango Wedding Magazine - 2016 Issue  

This stunning issue features 25 southwest Colorado weddings guaranteed to inspire!

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